at a glance
Launched in 2017, Lokalise is a cloud-based translation management system that helps businesses streamline their localization processes. It provides a platform for managing translations of software, websites, mobile apps, and other digital content. Overall, Lokalise helps businesses improve their time-to-market, increase translation quality, and reduce costs associated with localization.
Lokalise partnered with Oyster in order to build and scale a globally distributed team to better serve their growing client base around the world. Thanks to Oyster, Lokalise has grown tremendously in the past year, with new hires across 45 countries.
When the Lokalise decided to raise capital after being bootstrapped for their first three years, they were ready to accelerate the next phase of their growth—by going fully-remote and recruiting the best tech talent globally.
Since their translation management software enables companies to expand into new markets and connect with customers worldwide, it was only natural that Lokalise, too, wanted to access global talent markets and build a world-class team. With top-tier customers signing up for their product, they needed to scale a top-notch global team to keep pace.
James Corfield, Director of Talent Acquisition at Lokalise, explains that they didn’t want to be geographically constrained in their search for talent. “We wanted to open up our talent pipeline and hire the smartest people no matter where they’re from,” he says. However, they didn’t want to deal with the legal, administrative, and logistical complexities of setting up legal entities in every country.
“We wanted to build a distributed team that wasn’t restricted by geographical borders. We also didn’t want the stress and hassle of setting up company entities, figuring out tax regulations and employment laws, and sourcing benefit providers whenever we operate in or move into new territories.”
Doing this work in-house would be a huge administrative burden for the People team at Lokalise, James adds. It would also be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming, and not a sustainable way to grow.
“As a startup or scaleup, you have a limited amount of cash and time. You probably don’t want to dedicate that cash and time to looking at new offices or new locations to operate in, and all the infrastructure that’s necessary to operate in those countries.”
After reaching out to a few different providers, Lokalise eventually chose Oyster as a global employment partner in August 2020. They decided on Oyster based on their shared mission and values: just as Lokalise enables companies to connect to customers anywhere, Oyster enables companies to connect to talent anywhere.
“We chose Oyster because of our shared mission and values. We’re both remote-only organizations with distributed teams all over the world. We’re both B2B SaaS companies that help our customers grow by operating in new countries and markets. We’re both trying to make the world a better place by breaking down barriers—for Lokalise it’s language barriers, for Oyster it’s geographical barriers.”
For James, it’s a relief to be able to count on Oyster to hire, pay, and provide benefits to Lokalise’s global workforce. “Oyster is very much our one-stop shop for all things employment-related,” he quips. He appreciates the fast and compliant hiring process, and the ability to lean on Oyster for local knowledge and advice when operating in a new country for the first time. He and his team also depend on Oyster to facilitate work permits and visas when needed.
“Oyster does much more than just providing advice around hiring, paying, and benefits. They are also on hand to provide expertise and support when it comes to operating in new countries for the first time. And they’re particularly great when working with candidates who need work permits or visas.”
As for Oyster’s support team, James and the Lokalise team have always found them to be helpful and knowledgeable on matters big and small.
“The Oyster team is always making sure that we are taken care of—from a simple platform request to a complex relocation issue. Our Talent Acquisition and People team can always reach out if there are any questions or concerns regarding our hiring process with Oyster.”
With Oyster as a partner, Lokalise is able to expand their hiring capabilities, focusing on the candidates’ skills and abilities, and not on geographical limitations.
Scaling rapidly and globally was a key part of Lokalise’s strategy, and since they weren’t limited in their search for talent, they were able to grow tremendously fast within a year, while also building a highly diverse global team. James clarifies that diversity is not only good for company culture, but also brings an infusion of new ideas that ultimately drives innovation and business success.
“Working with Oyster allowed us to significantly increase our headcount in the last 12 months. We’re proud to host so many different cultures under one roof, and this diversity of talent brings a wealth of ideas and perspectives, ultimately contributing to the success of Lokalise.”
As a People professional, James also appreciates being able to offer an equitable employee experience regardless of where people are based.
“Oyster enables us to provide a stellar experience to our team members and helps us guarantee that regardless of their location, everybody will be treated equally and have the same access to growth opportunities, benefits, and well-being.”
By partnering with Oyster to achieve their growth goals, Lokalise was able to save time, money, and effort that would have otherwise been required from their People team. “We can repurpose our time, energy, and resources into building a great product, growing our business, and supporting our customers,” says James.
Lokalise is proud to be a remote-first, globally distributed company and an industry leader in shaping the new world of work. Partnering with Oyster is an important part of that, and James is eager to see what more Oyster will offer in the future.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what Oyster does in the future, in particular how they might offer improved or enhanced benefits to employees, how they might leverage data to provide insights into labor market trends, and how they’ll continue removing barriers to entry into new countries.”
Having experienced the benefits of scaling rapidly and building a diverse, high-performing team through global hiring, James is happy to recommend it to other companies. However, building a remote-first culture does require a mindset shift and a particular approach to work. Once you’ve committed to the culture and mindset, that’s when a partner like Oyster can help, he says.
“My advice to other startups and scaleups is to give yourself an unfair advantage by working with Oyster. It’s amazing to see how they’ve enabled companies like Localise to grow exponentially over the last couple of years. If startups are like rocket ships, then Oyster is the rocket booster that helps propel their growth.”
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