Last Updated on February 26, 2024 by Ewen Finser
If you are trying to figure out if the Deel HR solution is right for your business, you are in the right spot.
As a business owner for 10+ years with an international workface, HR payment and compliance are still significant headaches for me.
Things have come a LONG way with solutions like Gusto for domestic (US) payroll and benefits administration. But, there’s still a gap for managing and paying international contractors and employees.
I’d previously tested out Osyter HR a few years back, so I was excited to jump back into this space and see how Deel has evolved.
But first, how would I exactly describe Deel to someone on the street?
What is Deel?
Deel is an all-in-one platform that simplifies managing a global team for small to mid-sized business owners and startups.
In plain language, Deel helps you hire people from all over the world quickly and easily, regardless of whether they are contractors or official employees.
It takes care of all the complex stuff like staying compliant with local laws, handling HR tasks, and setting up payroll in one system.
Further Read: EOR vs PEO explained.
So in a nutshell, here’s how I’d describe how Deel can make your live easier:
- Hire Anywhere Without Hassles: You can bring on full-time employees or freelancers from different countries without needing to set up a legal entity there, saving you time and legal headaches.
- Streamline HR and Payroll: With Deel, you can manage all your HR processes in one place—from onboarding to paying your team, no matter where they are.
- Keep It Compliant: The platform automatically creates contracts that comply with local regulations, so you don’t have to worry about legal issues.
- Save Time with Automation: Deel lets you automate invoicing and payments to contractors, and even sends equipment to your team members wherever they are.
But let’s dive in a bit deeper into the key features…
The EOR Edge
Deel’s EOR service is one of its standout features. This allows businesses to legally hire employees in countries where they don’t have an entity, providing a significant edge in international expansion.
Deel ensures that contracts and payments comply with local laws, providing peace of mind for businesses about the legality of their operations.
This all sounds simple, but I cannot stress enough how “this wasn’t really a thing” even 10 years ago.
The rise of remote-first, globally distributed teams isn’t JUST a large enterprise problem anymore. In fact, some of the smallest digital businesses now have incredibly diffuse global footprints.
Full Spectrum Payroll Services
Deel’s international payroll services simplify payroll for international employees by handling tax and compliance across different countries.
Plus, with its in-house payroll team managing pay processes, salary calculations and deductions, government declarations, and payroll taxes, Deel takes the stress out of payroll management for businesses.
The best analogy I have is that Deel is like Gusto, but for global teams AND incorporating a true HR function (versus just payroll).
Further Read: Direct Deposit Payroll Services Guide.
Deel also offers a contractor package to help businesses hire, onboard, and pay global contract workers in 150+ countries. This package includes features like contract management, online onboarding, automated invoicing, and document management tools.
This is helpful for companies that have a contractor or consultant footprint but do need to comply with local regulations and run payroll in local currencies.
Other Deel Features I Liked
It’s hard to fully describe Deel as there are so many subtle add-ons that make operating a global business just plain easier.
But these are some of the additional features I really enjoyed:
- Background Checks: This can be a huge hassle normally, even in the US. Deel supports processes and vendors to conduct background checks globally based on what’s available in various locales. Normally this would be a whole separate process, software, or service run-around and Deel makes it super straightforward in one dashboard.
- Immigration / Visa Support: An incredibly complicated process to begin with, Deel offers direct support to help you figure out what you need to apply for and then handles the visa sponsorship and application process (as well as annual compliance) for you! This would normally take an experienced in-house HR specialist to help process.
- Equity Structures: If you have an equity grant program, Deel can help figure out what this looks like in each local jurisdiction, including tax support.
- Providing Equipment: If you offer perks like company laptops, monitors, furniture, etc… Deel takes care of this in each local market without you having to figure out how to source & deliver.
Deel Integrations List
Deel integrates with leading accounting platforms like QuickBooks and Xero, as well as HRIS systems like BambooHR. These integrations streamline financial processes and ensure efficient data management.
Here’s a full list of some of the popular integrations I found useful:
Talking to the Deel team, they’ve mentioned more integrations are coming soon in 2024, so I’ll keep this list updated as I hear more.
Other Perks for Using Deel
I’m usually not one for co-branded perks, but Deel actually has a useful list of perks and discounts on other services our company can use and directly benefit from. It’s a fairly large database of offers:
Deel Pricing Considerations
This is where the rubber hits the road for a lot of businesses. How much is this really going to set you back?
Here’s the first look pricing scheme:
As you can see, getting starting is going to set you back about $599 per month, with each additional contractor at $49/month.
There’s also the “custom” pricing to consider (immigration and payroll) and these can vary considerably based on what countries you are operating in.
That said, Deel is a comparable to Remote.com in terms of pricing (both starting at $599/month for the EOR support). Remote does come out a bit ahead for additional contractor support, however, at just $29/month per contractor.
That said, neither Remote or Oyster offer the sheer number of features and perks that Deel has (visa support, background checks, equity, HR function).
Which gets be to the competitor landscape…
Deel Competitors and Alternatives
There’s now a few different platforms that I legitimately consider true competitors.
- Remote.com: Very similar to Deel, but with slightly lower additional contractor pricing and more of a “remote first” tools orientation. Remote has some HCM solutions like time tracking and remote-first analytics for tracking workforce activity, which differs from Deel (more focused on the hiring and compliance side).
- Oyster HR: Oyster is like the baby version of Deel, suitable for executing the pure EOR function for global hiring and compliance. Payroll can be a bit slower and they aren’t an in-house processor like Deel. Oyster DOES seem to support more countries (180+) at the time of this writing, compared to 150+ for Deel, but these are largely edge cases and not where MOST companies hire (still, it CAN be a difference maker based on your talent pool). See how Oyster HR compares directly to Deel.
- Rippling: I’ve tried out demo’s of Rippling but am always turned off by the pricing. It’s opaque and requires a bunch of “quotes” and sales calls. That said, Rippling does have a broader HCM, IT, and Finance suites. Rippling is a good “next option” if you try (or have tried) Deel and find it’s not broad enough for your business (e.g. suitable for larger enterprises).
- ADP: Beyond Rippling, ADP is starting to zero in on the EOR space in response to the upstarts like Deel. It’s definitely too big for our company, but something to keep in mind if you are the right size, particularly if you already use ADP products domestically.
- Gusto: This really isn’t a DIRECT peer, but I’ve used Gusto for years for our payroll processing, and they are starting to add features and country support beyond the United States (encroaching into the EOR space with a new EOR dedicated service). As of this writing, they only operate the EOR platform in about 75 platforms, but can support contractor payments in 120. There’s still some gaps in compliance, reporting, and HR support compared to Deel and the like, however. I’m closely watching to see how they roll this out.
So is Deel the Real Deal?
I’ll admin that Deel wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.
I came in for a standard EOR to solve international hiring concerns, but I left with a versatile HR swiss army tool for global workforce.
Bottom Line: If you are looking to better hire, support and engage a global team, Deel is worth a good, long look. No question about it.
I’m still testing out some other tools, but so far Deel sets the bar in terms of the best full suite EOR platform (and more) for that pesky middle market solution.
In short, if you’ve outgrown Gusto (and the like), but aren’t ready for a Rippling or ADP, Deel is a great option to start with.