How Wren used Pilot’s EOR services to hire and move a team member internationally

Enlisting Pilot to move a team member from being a contractor in Switzerland to an employee in Canada (during a pandemic).

Location

San Jose, CA

Team members

5

Industry

Startup

Founded

2019

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“Pilot was enormously helpful for me to be able to take a job that I really enjoy and to be able to work effectively.”

Thomas Hollands

Marketing Generalist at Wren

Founded in 2019, Wren is a consumer subscription company that offers a carbon footprint calculator and ways to fund climate initiatives and offset carbon removal. Backed by Y Combinator and other investors, the startup is a Public Benefit Corporation and is fully remote, with five employees in the US and Canada. In 2020, Wren hired Thomas Hollands as a marketing generalist to grow their marketing efforts. When they hired Thomas, he was in the process of moving from Switzerland to Canada. Says Thomas, “I was hired by Wren as a contractor in Switzerland for a couple of months or so, but then I moved to Canada and was hired as a full-time employee.” This switch meant that Thomas and Wren needed assistance with complex immigration processes.Wren decided to utilize Pilot throughout Thomas’s move, from using the platform to hire and pay Thomas as a contractor in Switzerland, to enlisting Pilot’s employer of record (EOR) services to hire him as a Canadian employee. Thomas found the transition very smooth, as Pilot guided him and Wren through the process and made sure Thomas had all the necessary immigration paperwork. “Arranging everything was definitely a non-trivial thing,” says Thomas. “It was pretty seamless. Most of the work was handled on my behalf. I just corresponded with Jacob [Customer Success Manager at Pilot], and we had many email threads of him sending information back and forth. I got the sense that it was quite a complicated process. Lots of work was done on my behalf, which I’m very grateful for.”
Wren team
A complication in Thomas’s move was that it occurred in January 2021, when Canadian immigration controls were especially restrictive due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “That was in the middle of COVID lockdowns,” Thomas says. “So it was quite difficult to go visit Canada and immigrate there.” Thomas already had a work permit secured, but needed the proper papers to smoothly cross the border. “I needed to prove I had a job offer and needed other documents. Pilot helped me double-check that I had the right documents, so I wouldn’t be turned away at the border, which would have been quite a stressful experience. It was really helpful to have a second opinion from a source that was authoritative.” He also found Pilot valuable in figuring out his benefits, as he needed healthcare benefits when he arrived in Canada. “Pilot was helpful in arranging my healthcare,” he says.Now that Thomas is settled in Canada, Wren has continued to use Pilot’s EOR services to employ him. Thomas appreciates that Pilot helps him and his company save time. “Pilot consolidated my tax return, which is an enormous time saver. They do a lot of administrative work on my behalf and especially on Wren’s behalf, that just saves me and Wren lots of time.”Besides enabling him to save time, Thomas appreciates that Pilot continues to work effortlessly. “It’s one of those services that is running in the background,” he says. “Pilot’s doing the best job when I don’t have to think about it.”Thomas would recommend Pilot to other remote employees, particularly international employees who work in a country that is different from that of their company’s headquarters. He also believes Pilot is a great solution for startups that need help with remote hiring. “Pilot made it easy for Wren to hire me,” he says. “If Wren weren’t working with Pilot or a company like Pilot, I don’t think I would have been able to take the job, because for a startup like ours, the organizational complexity would have just been too difficult to handle on our own. So Pilot was enormously helpful for me to be able to take a job that I really enjoy and to be able to work effectively.”

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