Intentionally International

Remote working· 4min January 12, 2023

Over the past year, we have grown massively at Form3, increasing our employee footprint to over 30 locations, and more recently, going global, with colleagues now based in Argentina & North America. We founded Form3 to be intentionally international, and to foster a company culture that embraces all nationalities.

You might have seen from our previous blog posts that we’re a remote-first team. This has been our model since before the Covid-19 pandemic, and truly is our strength, as we have come leaps and bounds in terms of our hiring strategy over the past 18 months. Our international and remote-first environment allows us to hire colleagues under three main pillars:

  • Permanent and direct hiring
  • Permanent hiring via an employer of record
  • B2B contracting

Direct hiring

We’re currently able to hire colleagues directly in 6 locations from the UK to the US.  Direct hiring essentially means that we (Form3) can hire them as employees, rather than as contractors or via an employer of record.

At the start of the year, our team went through the process of setting everything up from a people perspective in the US; vetting payroll and benefits providers, engaging insurance brokers, navigating the world of US healthcare, and finally landing on a package that we’re sure will attract top talent in the 4 US states which we have initially identified as key hiring hubs. The vendors we have worked with have been instrumental to us gaining an understanding of what works for a tech company of our size in these territories and continue to support us on this journey we are on.

The benefit of being able to hire employees directly in the US as well as in our other locations means that we have a direct relationship with our employees from the get-go, implement benefit plans of our choosing, while reducing our onboarding costs, since we can directly control what this looks like.

Hiring via an employer of record

We have been working with our chosen employer-of-record (EoR) for the last 18 months to hire employees in locations where we either don’t have a big headcount just yet, or where the process of establishing a people set up is super complex. We’ve chosen to work with Deel. There are many employer of record options out there, but Deel won out through our vendor assurance processes for a few reasons.  Firstly, they offer the ability to support us in all the locations where we have an existing headcount, and in locations that we planned to hire into in the future. Through Deel, we are also able to offer immigration sponsorship to colleagues in locations where our set-up doesn’t yet allow it, and provide location-specific perks (such as 30% tax relief to eligible colleagues in The Netherlands). Another big thing that stood out for us with Deel, was the account management experience; mainly delivered by our awesome Account Manager, Tiago. We’re able to communicate asynchronously via Slack, at speed which means the employee experience doesn’t suffer! Working with Deel has been an invaluable part of our expansion journey as we quite simply would not have been able to grow to the size we are without their services.

Although our employees are technically hired by the employer of record, 100% of the work they do is for Form3. This means that they are able to fully enjoy the complete Form3 benefits package, including our long-term incentive plans, Health & Wellness allowance, Learning & Development allowance, Hofy allowance to rent home office equipment… the list goes on!

B2B contractors

A sizable percentage of our R&D population is engaged with Form3 through business-to-business contracts.  
Though traditionally, a contracting relationship with a business can often mean missing out on employee benefits, we also offer as many benefits as possible to our contractor colleagues!

The contracting model suits us greatly, as it means we can hire colleagues in locations where employee taxes would otherwise be significant, such as in Poland, or in locations where our we are not yet able to offer permanent employment, such as in Argentina.

In addition, all colleagues engaged with us through business-to-business contracts have the option to convert to becoming permanent employees by request, meaning that they can benefit from our generous annual leave allowance and more! 

Plans for the future

We’re building resilience in our team by intentionally focusing our hiring efforts in locations that offer us the opportunity to cross multiple time zones, allowing us to adopt a ‘follow the sun’ model and increase our employee footprint.  This means that there will be less need for our EU-based teams to work overtime and be on-call during unsociable hours since their colleagues in the rest of the world are able to provide support as part of their regular working day.

Under this model, we’re working really hard to benchmark and research which hiring locations suit our commercial needs as well as our hiring needs/ preferences.

We have our sights set on locations that are renown for having a strong engineering presence, as well as those with equivalent data regulations to the UK and the EU…. Watch this space to see where we land next!

Written by

Jessica Bradley Senior People Partner and Inclusion Officer

Senior People Partner and Inclusion Officer, based in the UK.