at a glance
Launched in March 2021, Neon is a serverless database that makes it possible for developers to streamline and speed up their workflows through a cloud-native Postgres solution. With a serverless solution, developers don't need to maintain servers when they build new applications and can access their database only when needed.
An innovative, remote-first organization, Neon partnered with Oyster in order to scale rapidly by onboarding tech talent from North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. With Oyster, Neon doubled in size by onboarding talent from 17 countries. They’re also able to attract and retain top talent by providing visa and relocation support.
When Neon was launched in March 2021, it was a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, so Neon’s founders decided to go remote right from the start. They needed a top-notch engineering team with very specific expertise, (sophisticated algorithmic skills, in-depth knowledge of system engineering and Ruby language), so they didn’t want to be limited by geography in their search for developers. They knew it would be easier to find the right people by tapping into the global talent pool.
Neon started building a global team, but initially this was a manual, in-house process. Adrian Torres, People Operations Manager at Neon, explains how that meant the admin work was tedious and time-consuming, which also made it difficult to scale quickly.
“Before bringing on Oyster, we didn’t have any employer of record. We just had a bunch of contractors around the world. Luckily for us, we found Oyster. Since then, we’ve been able to recruit half of our talent and onboard people in more than 17 locations.”
Relying on contractors also meant having to worry about compliance and misclassification risks, which can lead to serious consequences. And in terms of culture and engagement, it was hard to ensure a cohesive and consistent employee experience that would keep their team happy and engaged.
Most importantly, as an early-stage startup Neon needed to scale quickly without getting bogged down by the compliance headaches or administrative burden of doing everything themselves. They needed “the flexibility to hire everywhere,” Adrian explains.
“With Neon being in rapid growth, we had to find a partner that would allow us to find talent and employ them very quickly, and in lots of locations. Oyster gave us the flexibility to hire everywhere while also staying compliant.”
After considering several options, Neon eventually chose Oyster as their global employment partner in May 2022 because they were impressed by the high quality of customer support as well as the ease of use of the platform.
“Neon evaluated a few different employer of record vendors. But Oyster proved to be the one that fit our needs best. They have an amazing customer support team, and we realized that the Oyster platform was much more powerful and it’s super easy to onboard talent.”
For Adrian and his team, using the Oyster platform has been a smooth and intuitive experience. The people they’ve hired through Oyster have had a seamless onboarding experience, and both parties appreciate the human support available throughout the process.
“The Oyster platform is super intuitive. It’s very easy for us to create an onboarding, and the candidate can complete their profile within a few minutes. An Oyster team member—a real person—takes it from there and contacts them, which candidates appreciate because sometimes they have questions. Often it’s the first time they’re trying an employer of record service, so we really appreciate that Oyster brings this human touch to the onboarding process. Then in a few days everything is completed, the documents are ready for review, and talent can be onboarded.”
Neon is currently using Oyster to onboard and manage both full-time employees and contractors. They started with full-timers and soon decided to move their contractors onto the platform as well. According to Adrian, it was the right move “because it’s proven to be so easy and intuitive” to manage their global workforce in one platform, making it their single source of truth.
One of the things Adrian most appreciates about Oyster is the helpful and reliable customer support he can count on, especially when Team Members have needed visa and relocation assistance. He’s delighted with the information and support he’s received from the Oyster team.
“My experience with the support team at Oyster has been incredible from day one—both with our key account manager and with our customer success manager. They’ve been incredibly helpful. Especially when processing immigration cases, Oyster has always been on top of that, providing us with all the information needed; an estimation of the timeline, costs, and required documents; supporting the talent; and keeping an eye on the process.”
With Oyster as a partner, Neon has doubled in size by onboarding talent from 17 countries. For Neon, the biggest business impact of using Oyster is that they can recruit talent anywhere in the world, without any geographical restrictions. This has enabled them to scale quickly as an early-stage startup, while also having peace of mind about being compliant with local laws and regulations in each jurisdiction.
“Oyster made it very easy for us to find talent anywhere in the world. We are not restricted to specific locations. We can just go wherever we find the best candidate, make an offer, and Oyster will take it from there. And we are sure that we will become compliant, that the candidate will be fully engaged.”
Over the course of his career in People Ops, Adrian has worked with various EOR providers, but “Oyster has definitely proved to be more valuable for me,” he says, because it makes the admin work easier and faster.
“As a People Operations manager, I can say Oyster has made our day-to-day operations so much easier. All the administrative work is simple and fast, and we don’t have to worry about it because they take care of everything. Oyster is definitely the partner that we want to continue growing with.”
A particular highlight for Adrian has been working with the Oyster team—their key account manager, customer success manager, and the support team. He finds both the customer support team and the customer success team to be helpful and trustworthy whenever his team has questions or needs support. “They have proven to be an amazing value for us,” he says, “and I can’t think of a more reliable partner for Neon."
Having a remote-first, globally distributed team sometimes means having to deal with immigration issues, which can be legally and operationally complex. Thanks to Oyster, Neon has been able to attract and retain top global talent by providing visa and relocation support when needed.
“We’ve had a few migration cases at Neon of people who decided to relocate to different countries. Oyster was very supportive—they’ve been a reliable partner for our employees. They helped us through their local partners, obtaining all the work permits in time, and then supporting our employees through this very stressful process. Luckily for us, their experience with Oyster was really great.”
Oyster has helped Neon not only with the legal and logistical aspects of global employment, but also with ensuring a great employee experience, which is particularly important in a remote setting.
“From the very beginning, they take care that all your questions are answered, that all documents are prepared, and you have time to review all the drafts. Even after onboarding, they continue being a really good partner for our employees—preparing tax documents and sending compliance updates based on your location, for instance.”
Neon expects to continue growing in the coming years, and looks forward to Oyster’s continued support. Adrian’s team is excited about new and upcoming features in the Oyster platform, and how they might help Neon.
“At Neon, we plan to continue remote hiring at scale, so we definitely need a partner like Oyster to help us do that, to help us stay compliant in all locations where we decide to hire, and to keep our employees engaged and happy from day one. I’m excited to learn more about improvements at Oyster—like the benefits benchmarking tool that’s about to be launched—and how it can help Neon in our growth.”
Now that he’s experienced the benefits of partnering with Oyster, Adrian is happy to recommend Oyster to anyone looking for a global employment solution.
“Oyster has helped Neon grow while feeling confident about hiring anywhere and being compliant in those places. It has allowed us to create a more diverse workforce with people from different parts of the world, so we have multiple perspectives going into the work we do every day. I can only say good things about Oyster and recommend them to any company that’s considering them.”
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