My Take on Deel vs Oyster HR Compared

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By Ewen Finser

Last Updated on February 26, 2024 by Ewen Finser

If you want to figure out if Deel or Oyster HR is better for your business, you are in the right spot.

I’ve used both platforms over the last two years and I generally like both EOR systems. That said, there are some significant nuances and additional features that are not obvious up front.

In this comparison, I’ll share my experience with both and when to consider one over the other.

Let’s get right into it.

My Bottom Line Up Front: These are both great systems and if you haven’t used an EOR yet (or use on of the old payment processors), either of these are upgrades for international teams and I’m largely splitting hairs. That said, I’d recommend starting with Deel for it’s wider feature set initially. You can always downgrade to Oyster later if you find you aren’t using most of Deel’s features.

Main Differences Between Deel and Oyster

Here’s how I’d summarize the key differences between these two platforms:

  • Coverage of Countries: Deel offers Employer of Record (EOR) services in over 150 countries, whereas Oyster provides similar services in more than 180 countries, indicating broader coverage.
  • Focus and Features: Deel has a more comprehensive approach to HR and payroll features, beneficial even for businesses not focusing on international hiring, whereas Oyster is more focused on global hiring with fewer HR features, making it less versatile for companies seeking a general-use HR and payroll platform.
  • Pricing Differences: The two services have an identical pricing structure, except Deel charges more for each additional contractor ($49/month) compared to Oyster ($29/month).
  • Customer Support: Deel provides in-house support that’s fast, reliable, and available through multiple channels, including dedicated customer success managers for enterprise accounts, whereas Oyster relies on a ticketing system with slower response times, often causing delays for urgent issues.
  • Integration and Automation Capabilities: Deel boasts a wide range of integrations and superior built-in automation to keep all data synced and updated, offering more than 20 integrations, whereas Oyster’s integrations are more limited, impacting efficiency in support, onboarding, and employee experience.
  • Global Payroll and Compliance Tools: Both Deel and Oyster offer robust global payroll and compliance tools, but Deel staffs local payroll experts in 100 countries to advise on tax and compliance issues, whereas Oyster also includes additional HR tools like time off management but may not have as many in-country experts as Deel.
  • Immigration Assistance: Deel provides immigration services for global team members as an add-on service, making it easier for companies with employees all around the world to manage visa and immigration issues, whereas Oyster does not specifically offer this.

Deel vs Oyster: An Overview

Before we dive into the detailed comparison, let’s get a brief overview of both platforms.

Deel Overview

Deel is a global hiring platform that allows businesses to recruit overseas contractors and employees and manage multi-country payroll. Deel was launched in 2019 and has since helped over 15,000 businesses with recruitment and payroll.

Popular brands like Shopify, Nike, and Subway use Deel to manage their distributed teams. Deel’s core functions include EOR services, multi-country payroll, and a self-service platform for direct employees.

Oyster Overview

On the other hand, Oyster is an international employment platform that provides tools and services to manage a global team.

The company was founded in 2020 and has since expanded its reach to over 180 countries. Oyster’s core functions include EOR services, global payroll, and a self-service platform.

Deel vs Oyster Pricing Considerations

Both Deel and Oyster have a similar pricing structure when it comes to the core EOR service (both $599/month) and a per contractor pricing model, but Oyster charges just $29/month for each contractor, while Deel charges $49/month.

That said, Deel also offers a whole host of additional features (on demand), including a free HR automation and reporting platform (Deel HR) and some custom quote international payroll and immigration support services.

Oyster, on the other hand, offers the less expensive “per additional contractor” model, but has fewer core features and add-ons compared to Deel.

My take on the Pricing Advantage: This may or may not be an advantage depending on your organization size and requirements, so I don’t have a particular judgement on pricing either way.

But, I do think Deel offers some really sold value with their “Deel HR” free platform (reminds me of Hubspot’s fully functional “Free CRM” entry point).

And if you ever think you’ll need immigration / visa support, Deel will likely save you a lot compared to deeling with lawyers and law firms (or having to hire in-house HR specialists).

Oyster vs Deel Integrations

For me, integrations are a critical part of software for our business. I don’t like being tied into one system (ahem, Microsoft that’s you!), or toggling in and out of lots of systems.

So I was keen to figure out how Osyter and Deel stacked up.

Unless otherwise noted, I’ll count integrations as direct “API” integrations. There are numerous Zapier connections and the like, but I’d consider this a secondary (not directly supported) bucket.

Deel Integrations:

  • Jibble
  • Mangtas
  • Easop
  • Tresio
  • Tackle
  • FloCareer
  • Hitch
  • JobzMall
  • Pangea
  • Embark
  • Webstarted
  • allGEO
  • Qlearsite
  • Eqtble

Deel’s integrations are fairly unique, micro targeted functions and they intentionally do not directly integrate with other payroll solutions. I do think some integrations with project management tools, accounting or comms channels would be nice.

Oyster Integrations:

  • Carta
  • Personio
  • Slack
  • Okta
  • Workday
  • Expensify
  • Netsuite
  • BambooHR
  • HiBob
  • Greenhouse
  • QuickBooks
  • Xero

I found Oyster’s integrations to be more immediately recognizable, and I’m guessing more companies would see a fit for them here.

That said, Oyster is also a more limited platform compared to Deel and some of these functions that you would NEED an integration with are natively built-in to Deel.

Things I Liked Better About Oyster HR

Here’s a few of the standout reasons I liked Oyster:

  • Easy Access to Global Talent: Oyster HR is an easy “on ramp” to the global talent EOR platforms. Not as robust as Deel, but also a bit more streamlined, with fewer additional features outside of the core EOR function.
  • Global Compliance & Protection: Mitigates risks with my compliant infrastructure in 180+ countries (this is a bit more than I saw listed with Deel – they have around 150 advertised). I haven’t obviously NEEDED to use every country so it’s hard to truly validate these claims.
  • Automated Workflows: Unlock a smooth employment experience from hiring to offboarding through my automations and integrations, making the process efficient and hassle-free.
  • Employee-Centric Solutions: I design and roll out competitive offers based on local insights to help win and retain top talent, ensuring that your team is both skilled and satisfied. This part was really interesting, a sort of local / cultural norms + trends view).
  • Nice Tools: Oyster has a really nice suite of “extra” tools that make my life easier. Specifically, I love the employee cost calculator to quickly compare the actual costs of hiring in different parts of the world.
  • Reasonable Pricing & Transparent: Oyster’s pricing is competitive and transparent, with a slightly lower “per contractor” fee of just $29/month (vs $49 for Deel). Because they keep things fairly simple, the pricing is a bit easier to project compared to Deel (with it’s extensive “custom” quotes for additional services).

Things I Liked Better About Deel

Here’s some of the features I liked about Deel in contrast:

  • Free Forever HR Suite (up to 200 employees): I definitely needed the EOR features, but it was nice to know that Deel offers a based (but useful) free tier for managing time & attendance, benefits, app controls (basically a super admin control of team access to all system like Gsuite, Dropbox, etc.. in one admin panel), secure data storage, org charts, and some basic workflow automations. Oyster does not have a similar “free tier”.
  • Direct Support Partners: I didn’t know this at first, but while Oyster nominally offers more supported countries, they often contract out the actual work which can lead to inconsistencies. Deel actually maintains their own network of vetted advisors and country-specific support staff!
  • More Responsive Support: This might be somewhat related, but I found their support to be faster and/or more knowledgeable from the get go. This is kind of a big deal because generally when you NEED support it’s pretty urgent, in my experience.
  • Visa Support: It’s an extra (quotable) service, but I really like having the built-in support to handle country-specific visa issues. It’s much cheaper than hiring an attorney or hiring an internal role for this purpose.
  • Built-in Payroll Processing: Unlike Oyster, Deel actually processes payroll in-house, meaning that you don’t necessarily need an external payroll processor. This makes the higher contractor fee make a lot more sense. This ALSO makes sense because if you go with Oyster and you have domestic + international workers, you’ll likely still need 2 different “systems” whereas with Deel you can roll everyone on to the same platform for payroll processing.

Alternatives to Deel and Oyster HR

These aren’t the only two EOR kids on the block anymore. There’s a few other peers (similar to both), some big upmarket competitors and some payroll processors (like Gusto) that have recently added basic EOR functions.

Here’s some other names to check out, or that you may also be considering:

  • The other big player in the space, Remote is similarly positioned but (as the name suggests) is more specifically geared towards REMOTE companies and remote talent.
  • Multiplier: Multiplier is another similar service (priced in between Deel and Oyster), but with more emphasis on timesheets, and work management.
  • Rippling: If you need something closer to a large enterprise work management (IT, HR, Payroll, that also has EOR functionality), Rippling is worth checking out. Supports fewer countries than both Deel and Oyster, however.
  • Gusto: Gusto traditional wasn’t competitive here, but recently rolled out their own EOR solution and supported country list. A good option if you already use Gusto and the supported countries fit your needs.

So Which EOR Platform is Best?

These are both really good platforms and I’m glad they exist today. 10 years ago… this was a serious gap in the market.

Just Getting Started with Global Teams? If this is your FIRST experience hiring globally, Oyster HR might be a good cost effective way to test the waters.

Already Working Internationally? For more established teams OR for companies planning to definitely make a big push internationally, I prefer starting with Deel. It’s just a more complete platform for most enterprises.

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