So, we are 18 months since we started operations and eight UK based employees. Our client base is growing slowly, and the pressure is on us to deliver cost-effectively under the challenging economic climate. We have considered hiring resources offshore for a while, and after much discussion in our team and hard work, our Romanian operation was born in April 2022. Here are a few words about our journey;
Step 1 - Shall we do offshore?
We first had to make sure we could operate in a model where we had resources based in a different country, different time-zone, and different culture. This was an easy decision – why? Well, all our employees were working remotely, and hiring offshore would simply mean we have resources remote but just in a different location. Also, the leadership have experience with various outsourcing models and understood the processes that needed to be put in place. So the decision was – Let’s do it!
Step 2 - How should we set this up?
This step took some time… The question was whether we should
- Set up a company in the country of operation and hire employees
- Hire contractors via online platforms
- Use “Employer of Record”
Each approach came with its complications and costs. Before deciding, we explored which location (Step 3) and settled on setting up a subsidiary because that would give us the flexibility and control we needed as we expanded. Also, when speaking to clients, they felt more comfortable knowing that they were working with a digital partner that had a permanent employees base rather than a contractor base.
Step 3 - Where should we set up?
This was an easier decision…. We looked at our own experience and which locations we had worked with… India, Philippines, Ukraine, Romania. What influenced our decision was;
- How easy was it going to hire (linked to next step)
- Cost of setting up in that country
- Our experience in that location
We settled upon Romania, and there were two key factors;
- We already had two employees from Romania in our team and b)
- The favourable conditions for setting up tech micro-companies (i.e. reduced taxation)
Step 4 – Set it up!
As part of Step 3, we spoke to various people who had experience setting up companies in Romania. From those discussions, we chose to work with a small accountancy firm and a lawyer to assist in facilitating the company creation. The effort required in this process should not be underestimated; however, we had good partners who helped us. So first, the company had to be registered by the lawyers, which took about four weeks. Subsequently, the accountant took over setting up the tax registration.
This also required a visit to Romania to set up a local bank account to enable salary payments to our Romania employees.
Tip – take all possible paperwork … Each bank has a different criterion and will ask different questions. Be prepared to chase a lot… and challenge why they need certain documents. Allow a week for this visit, assuming all the prep is done beforehand.
Step 5 – Let's hire some awesome people!
Our head of engineering kicked off the search, and we started with LinkedIn. We had over 100 applications which we sifted through and hired two engineers and two interns.
Step 6 – Onboarding and moving to BAU
Once candidates were selected, we worked with our Accountant in Romania to produce employment contracts and ensure payroll was set up correctly. Now our Romania setup is running as BAU, and we have an awesome capability we can leverage with some super smart people working for us.
If you are interested in leveraging our Romanian Capability, then get in touch!