This is a 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition (#SHRM19) Interview is with Mauve Group, a leading provider of global HR and employment services based in England. Below is a quick Q&A with the company.
Who is Mauve Group!? Tell us everything, just as you would someone approaching your booth and asking you this question at #SHRM19 in Las Vegas.
Mauve Group is a global group of companies supporting organizations to expand overseas and manage their international projects. Through our network of 60 plus entities worldwide, we can support HR professionals with services such as local HR and labour law consultancy, employer of record, global payroll, visa and immigration, contract management, entity set-up, project management and relocation/destination services. Mauve’s solutions equip businesses with the tools needed to reduce risks, lower costs and save time when it embarks on a new overseas project.
Let us in on the magic. How do you utilize your own tech and processes to solve problems within Mauve?
It’s great that you mention this, as we have an incredibly exciting announcement on this topic launching at this year’s SHRM event – we’ll be bringing the casino to our booth to celebrate, and we’d like to invite your readers to join us for a cocktail reception, roulette and the opportunity to find out more during the event.
To answer your question, technology is fundamental to what we do – we started Mauve to support telecoms and tech engineers as they embarked on overseas projects, and it underpins and enables every part of our business today. On an internal level, the focus of our tech is to create links between our global network and remote workers, and avoid silos of information that can lead to broken processes. For our clients, our implementation of technology ensures compliance with privacy rules and provides transparency to business workflows. We see the application of blockchain technology as the future of global employment, so we are actively exploring how it can be brought into a business model like ours.
Mauve began as a small company in an office “the size of a cupboard,”but has expanded to offer services in 60 countries. How do you maintain the inclusive, supportive ethos that the company began with over two decades ago?
We are a family-run business and as you mention, that has become woven into the fabric of our business – even as we grow, we see each and every colleague as a member of the family. Although we work from different locations, we stay connected through our technology and by physically meeting as much as possible. Our family approach extends beyond our work – in recent years, we’ve organised company-sponsored active events such as the Cyprus Marathon and the London Landmarks half-marathon, and we see colleagues supporting each other across the physical borders of their work location. We’ve recently begun organising group away days to enable colleagues to bond socially. Events such as SHRM are also a fabulous way to reconnect socially, and we will definitely be making the most of this year’s Las Vegas setting! The longevity of our staff’s service is testament to the success of this ethos and their excellent loyalty– in every department there is someone with 10 years of service, and some with 20 years.
What are the biggest challenges companies face when expanding globally? How do they overcome those challenges?
Labour legislation varies considerably from country to country, and often companies are naïve to the impact of non-compliance, particularly around terminations and offboarding. For example, in the U.S. termination is relatively straightforward, but in France this can be a long and complicated process, and carries court-ruled settlements of more than six months’ salary. Companies often don’t understand that they cannot apply their existing processes to the new location, and this can lead to fines, blacklisting and sometimes, prison sentences. Treat the situation with gravity and employ expert local support to alert you to potential risks. This also applies to taxation and corporate financial requirements – speak to those who know and avoid taking what is seemingly the cheapest way out.
We are also seeing a lot of organisations coming to us because they’ve chosen the wrong support – with the rise of internationalisation, many opportunistic companies have cropped up claiming to solve the global challenge, but in reality they are agencies that contract out the work to third and fourth parties hidden within a contract chain. This is particularly problematic when dealing with people and HR for obvious reasons. Avoid the middle men and find an organisation offering transparency of the supply chain, so you know exactly who is managing your international projects.
What do you wish more HR professionals and recruiters knew about the services you provide?
There is a common misconception that services like ours are only relevant to multinational or large scale, corporate organisations. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as we work across a broad spectrum - from one-man bands to start-ups, and international enterprises like Air BnB to non-profit organisations like WaterAid. Any organisation can benefit from access to new global locations – for example, a U.S.-based company may have one salesperson heading to Mexico to scope out a new potential customer base, and that individual could be employed via an Employer of Record scenario if the company is unsure about setting up a permanent entity. The services needn’t apply to an entire workforce if that isn’t the requirement– and we have an incredibly varied, cross-industry customer base to show for this flexibility.
For anyone who won’t be able to make it to the Mauve booth in Las Vegas, what do you want them to know?
We were the test-cases for the services we offer; Mauve started as a one-man band in 1996 and has grown into an organisation with 60+ worldwide locations, so we understand exactly the leap of faith it takes to go global. We have experienced the complexity of landing in Thailand for the first time and trying to find a local office for your staff, or setting up a company in a location where you know not one word of the language – we’ve done the legwork and want our experiences to smooth the way for our clients. If there is one thing we want to impart, it is that achieving global growth is achievable and headache-free with the right support.
Visit the Mauve Group Booth #1357 at #SHRM19!