Prior to the pandemic, companies usually hired based on location. This makes sense because until 2020 office-based working was the norm for white collar workers. Yes, some people worked remotely, but they were the exception to the rule.
But fast forward to 2022 and things have completely reversed. Hybrid working is set to be the future for white collar sectors, meaning that many companies no longer need to restrict recruitment based on geography.
In this context, although it existed before the pandemic, the trend of hiring from anywhere has become mainstream. Therefore, it is no surprise that HR tech startups that want to make this simple and easy for companies have boomed over the past two years.
One hiring from anywhere business that has boomed during the pandemic is Deel.
“Every time we tried to hire people, we ran into issues – compliance, payments, tax, all of it”, Wang tells UNLEASH.
So they decided to create a company that fixed these issues – “and that’s how Deel was born”.
“Now that we’re seeing the technology and appetite [for] distributed businesses mature, I wanted to build a solution that would make global talent easy”, adds Wang.
Therefore, Deel offers payroll, onboarding, hiring, compliance, as well as benefits, to its clients so they can seamlessly hire and manage a global team.
Becoming a HR tech unicorn
Deel’s mission is tied up with the fact that the best person for the job isn’t necessarily on your doorstep.
Companies are slowly starting to realize this, which is why they have been very receptive to Deel and its tools.
Not only does Deel’s data show that global hiring is up 200% on pre-pandemic levels, but its revenue has grown 20-fold year on year from $4 million to $57 million in 2021. It also has grown its client base to 6,000 companies, including the likes of Shopify, Dropbox and Spendesk, in 150 countries, and acquired two companies – Roots HR and Zeitgold – to expand its offerings.
This growth helps to explain why Deel has managed to raise more than $600 million in just three years. It became a unicorn in April 2021, following a $156 million Series C. Now following a $425 million Series D, its value has increased to $5.5 billion.
Wang describes Deel’s growth as “crazy” and shares how she and Bouaziz seal the deal – excuse the pun – with investors.
“Let your product do the talking. Alex and I have never raised venture capital money with a traditional investor deck. Instead, we focused on showcasing the opportunity and demo-ing the Deel product to show tangibly how we are solving this massive problem”.
“If you are hyper-focused on solving…pain points and listening to your customers, the money will follow,” adds Wang.
The world of work at Deel
Wang is clear that the main thing that sets Deel apart – and has enabled it to be so successful – is “how quickly we’re able to build features, the rigor with which we service our customers and the robust set of tools we offer”.
It is clear that Deel’s success wouldn’t have been possible without its talented people, so UNLEASH was curious find out how the company’s hypergrowth impacted Deel’s workers.
Wang notes that the funding helped Deel to scale its team from 60 to 500 people to keep up with the growth and demand. Deel is, of course, a distributed workplace with employees in more than 50 countries.
Notably Deel hired a new head of people Casey Bailey in December 2021. Bailey had previously worked in Uber’s global HR team and now “leads the charge on Deel’s remote, global culture and our explosive employee growth”.
Wang believes Deel is a great place to work because it tries to practice what it preaches; creating a “tight-knit and supportive culture even when teammates can literally be across the world from one another”.
“From the start, and through monumental growth, we’ve focused on keeping teammates connected through transparent communications”. It also offers perks like WeWork membership to enable in-person collaboration, a budget for learning and development, and it relies on subsidiary RootsHR’s plug-ins to make work seamless on Slack.
“By ensuring the entire team is able to contribute [to] communication forums, Deel aims to make everyone, across roles and regions, feel part of a global collective of entrepreneurs,” concludes Wang.
It is clear that Deel and its team are ready for the continuing hiring from anywhere boom. This is the tip of the iceberg, according to Bouaziz; “We’re going to keep challenging the norms of how companies operate and continue building tools that shape the future of work.”
UNLEASH may have named Deel as a startup to watch in 2021, but 2022 is set to be a equally big year for hiring from anywhere tech. Watch this space.