Hello Yellow case study

Hello Yellow: Quickly and Compliantly Expanding Into New Markets

Discover how we helped Hello Yellow streamline global hiring and onboarding.

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Hello Yellow case study

Founded in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hello Yellow is an agile digital marketing agency. Diverging from the traditional, disparate approach of legacy advertisers, it takes a three-pronged approach centered on integrated service, technology, and consultancy. The company has rapidly expanded into an international business, working with leading brands and Nasdaq companies and generating outsized revenue generation results for its customers through paid search, paid social, Google Ads, and advanced tracking and tagging solutions.

Hitting the brick walls of compliant global expansion

As Hello Yellow expanded rapidly into countries like Australia and Vietnam, the team started running into the challenges of managing an international workforce compliantly. Initially, Hello Yellow relied on an entirely tech-based platform for expansion that required new employees to onboard themselves. For a brief period, this worked adequately. However, the cracks began to show, particularly as the company gained more traction internationally, which didn’t sit well with co-founder Ryham Fontenot. 

Fontenot explained what it was like before working with Velocity Global: “When we initially expanded into other countries, it was a case of ‘we don’t know what we don’t know,’ so we worked with a provider that we thought was a full-service employer of record.” 

Using this provider, Fontenot quickly ran into unexpected challenges. “The reality diverged significantly from our initial expectations. Although the technology platform was proficient, the extensive self-service administration required on our part became a significant hindrance. Instead of alleviating our administrative burden, we found ourselves bogged down in it. Simple tasks, such as obtaining banking information, turned into complex, time-consuming endeavors,” Fontenot said. “Additionally, we encountered inconsistent advice regarding the use of contractors, which raised concerns for me. This discrepancy between expectation and reality highlighted the need for a more supportive and tailored service, especially from a compliance standpoint.” 

“In our view, a single mishandled termination could harm our business,” Fontenot emphasized. “Given our lean operational team, managing complex international compliance and employment law issues was beyond our capacity.” The Hello Yellow team set about devising a more compliant strategy for expanding into South Africa to establish a business presence there. They explored the feasibility of establishing a permanent foreign entity to support local employees. However, this approach was soon met with obstacles, causing the team to struggle with how to proceed. 

“It became apparent almost immediately that establishing a permanent entity wasn’t going to work for us,” Fontenot said. “We discovered that setting up the entity could take as long as six months, incurring costs exceeding the annual salaries of the potential hires we were considering.” 

As Fontenot and the team continued to weigh their options, time was running out to get their employees onboarded and working. They eventually determined they were not willing to incur the high costs of setting up a legal entity. “What surprised me most was that the ongoing maintenance costs would run into the tens of thousands of pounds, rendering the venture economically futile. Ultimately, encountering these substantial financial burdens and time constraints led us to critically reassess our expansion strategy.” 

With the limited bandwidth of his team, Fontenot needed to pivot and find an employer of record (EOR) solution that could guarantee both speed and compliance to support their expansion goals.

Finding the right fit in Velocity Global

Knowing they needed to upgrade from the self-service technology platform model that was bogging them down, Fontenot and the team made the move to a more comprehensive global EOR strategy that included full end-to-end service, prioritizing a holistic approach to international expansion. 

After being referred to Velocity Global, Hello Yellow was impressed by the company’s quality of communication and true full-service EOR capabilities —which included seamless employee onboarding and significant cost savings of up to $45,000 in entity setup costs and $100,000 in annualized costs. The Hello Yellow team decided to partner with Velocity Global to help expand its workforce globally. 

Speaking about the new partnership, Fontenot said, “The contrast in communication quality was immediately apparent. There was an immediate relief in not having to navigate the complexities of in-country employment, immigration, payroll, and tax laws.” 

“We found that our HR specialist was able to swiftly and robustly address any inquiries we posed, a significant improvement over the impersonal and often untrustworthy responses we received from a chatbot or the non-local telephone support we experienced,” Fontenot continued.

Gaining peace of mind for compliant global hiring

Since working with Velocity Global, Fontenot and the Hello Yellow team immediately felt a significant improvement in the support they received for their questions. 

“There are a few things that stand out in my mind since becoming a client of Velocity Global: First, the comprehensive support in HR, legal, and payroll matters ensures that any potential issues are effectively managed under our agreement. Second, their ability to address any issues related to liability brings considerable peace of mind. While we oversee the daily tasks and responsibilities of our employees, the complex matters of legal compliance, payroll, and taxes that could present challenges from an international perspective, particularly given our lean internal team, are now handled by Velocity Global.”

We know the future of Hello Yellow is bright, and now Velocity Global has opened up rapid access to almost any market or geography for business. This unfettered access to global opportunities is what excites me the most.
Ryham Fontenot
Co-Founder, Hello Yellow

 For Fontenot, the decision to go with a full-service EOR provider wasn’t just about the technical capabilities but also the peace of mind and confidence that comes from partnering with true experts in global expansion. 

“I’m reassured by the knowledge that our extended HR team at Velocity Global is conducting the required due diligence and continuously monitoring compliance for us,” Fontenot said. “The service completely lifts this burden from us. Even in worst-case scenarios, such as employee terminations, everything will be managed above board and without incurring excessive third-party legal fees, which is a big plus for us.”

How Hello Yellow found its global expansion partner in Velocity Global

Hello Yellow’s challenge
  • After experiencing more of a self-service EOR model with a previous provider, Hello Yellow needed a different, more robust EOR partner to help with global expansion.
  • As Hello Yellow looked into hiring across markets, it needed a true expert in compliance and employee transitions.
  • Hello Yellow wanted a more personalized and communicative partner that it could rely on with any and all questions regarding global expansion.
Velocity Global’s solution
  • Velocity Global’s full-service, end-to-end EOR solution that emphasized partnership over self-service was exactly what Hello Yellow needed.
  • Velocity Global resolved many of the global expansion challenges Hello Yellow was experiencing and assisted with everything from compliance monitoring to consistent payroll.
  • Velocity Global’s dedicated account team quickly and thoroughly answered any questions from Hello Yellow, allowing it to keep pace with its global expansion efforts.
Shared success
  • Hello Yellow saw a 60% reduction in overseas operational costs while also avoiding ongoing entity maintenance expenses that would have amounted to tens of thousands of pounds monthly.
  • The company was also able to onboard an employee in as little as 48 hours— 99% faster than the usual six months it would take to set up a permanent foreign entity.
  • What was once a huge burden on Hello Yellow soon became a no-brainer as Velocity Global provided risk mitigation guidance for expansion into new countries such as South Africa.
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Hello Yellow case study
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