Elements Global Services, the world's largest direct employer of record, has announced its rebranding as Atlas, in tandem with the launch of its new SaaS-based HXM platform. This new platform takes the form of an extendable enterprise software solution, one that can be plugged into a company's existing systems for better management of remote talent, and is intended to help companies streamline their global people operations by fitting the entire end-to-end HR administration life cycle for all employees into a single solution.
Founded in 2015 by CEO Rick Hammell (right, image by Atlas), Atlas - then Elements - was set up to help companies with international operations simplify the human capital management process, so that they would only need to engage one service provider to handle their HR and payroll functions. An employer of record takes on these and other core compliance responsibilities on companies' behalf.
In the post-pandemic employment landscape, where skill shortages are increasingly urgent, a simplified process is just the starting point. Now, companies want the ability to manage their workforce regardless of borders, says Hammell.
"We’ve seen a shift in flexibility for employers and employees over the last two years," he told People Matters. "For employers, there’s now a war for talent. Employers now realize that the talent pool has widened — from hundreds to billions."
"At one time, if a company wanted top tech talent, they had to search in their own community. They can now reach the entire world and reach higher skilled talent that wouldn’t have otherwise been available," he explained. "Similarly, employees realize the flexibility they have in working for a company anywhere in the world.”
But underlying the new urgencies and opportunities of today's labour market, companies really still want the same thing for their operations, Hammell said: to work with one partner, on one platform, with greater efficiencies, and lower cost from economies of scale. Those are the key selling points in today's industry.
“I like to use the example of Uber," he said.
"Uber didn’t change the experience of taking a taxi; they simplified it. That’s what we’ve done with global expansion. You still need to hire and manage talent, pay accordingly and minimize compliance risks. We’ve simplified that process.”
As an example, he described what might happen if an employer were to expand into, say, China. "They would need to set up an entity in China. That could take up to 18 months," he estimated. There would also be considerations around how to manage the onboarding, paying and managing of talent. A direct employer of record, however, can manage the setup within as little time as one week, and keep the workforce management simple throughout the employee life cycle. Also, large EORs like Atlas will have the capacity to handle HR services in-house rather than outsourcing them to a third party - Atlas's in-house data suggests that the cost savings from not outsourcing may be as high as 87%.
Going forward, the new Atlas HXM platform is intended to support these needs by allowing companies to not only settle HR administrative matters across remote teams more efficiently, but also manage business decisions and employee experience more effectively, and even pick up a better understanding of local market and regulatory conditions.