At HSP Group, we take pride in the amazing work we deliver for our clients, and are excited to share our latest interview with Mike Swetman, Co-Founder at Morpheus Talent Solutions, to hear first-hand how we helped Morpheus with its strategic US expansion.
Tell us about your business and the solutions you provide
Morpheus Talent Solutions, founded and incorporated in the UK, provides a wide range of business services including staffing, statement of work and AI consulting solutions.
Our white-collar staffing solutions serve two distinct markets:
- Early-stage, pre-IPO businesses that are growing quickly and need go-to-market sales teams as well as software engineers to help bring products to market (think Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in a really fast moving and exciting space).
- Digital transformation, where our clients tend to be larger, more scaled post-IPO businesses looking to lean and digitize their operations.
Our customers have really high expectations, and we provide them with critical senior appointments both here in the UK and in Germany, and now, increasingly in the US, which is an important growth market for us.
This is why we needed to start thinking seriously about how we’re going to service that market – and not just at arm’s length as we have been, but by employing people, American citizens, on the ground in the US.
What made you want to expand into the US and what did you want to achieve from this expansion journey?
There are several reasons why we wanted to expand into the US:
- A lot of the businesses we work with are global, so if we’re supporting them here in the UK and Europe, it makes sense for us to also support them in the US, especially when they’re increasingly asking us if we can help build out their teams and their capability in the US.
- The US is a huge market, way bigger than the UK, and the revenue opportunities are significant.
- The UK Staffing market is ultra-competitive and pretty sophisticated, so we see opportunities to export best practice in executive search and Interim management to the US marketplace.
We’re seeing a lot of British-based staffing businesses land and expand in the US, and we think we’ve got a great service to export. We feel really well placed to deploy our expertise into the US market.
What challenges were you aware of when it came to global expansion, specifically in the US?
Essentially, we didn’t know what we didn’t know.
We knew that the cost of doing things wrong would be very high, both in terms of potential fines, a different tax regime and reputational risk.
The cost of getting things wrong in the US would be detrimental, and that’s why it’s especially important to pick the right partner to hold your hand throughout the process and provide a clear view of the landscape, laying out the options available to us and guiding us on the right moves to make and when to make them!
We knew it was complex and that we needed an expert partner, and it was evident that HSP Group had done this many times before and that we would be in safe hands – we knew it would be risky business should we get it wrong, and we didn’t want to take any chances.
How did you come across HSP?
We first got to know HSP as a client – we were introduced by one of our board members.
Once HSP secured its series B funding round, we helped to build out their sales and product team in the US. As a result, we got to know a few members of the leadership team and it was great to work with them as a client first and foremost.
Through that journey, we really started to understand how HSP helps companies expand globally, the value it brings, and the different options available when it comes to setting up in the US.
Once we embarked upon our own US expansion, we knew what we were getting into, but having HSP as part of our extended team was a no-brainer.
How did HSP help you? What services were provided to guide you through the process?
Educating us on potential employment structures:
There were still a lot of things that were unknown to us about expanding to the USA. What we valued was that HSP took the time to really get to know us and our short-, medium-, and long-term goals. That also involved walking us through all the options, including the merits of incorporating vs using an EoR (Employer of Record) model or even, a PEO (Professional Employment Organisation) model.
We did look around to see what other partners we could work with, but what really stood out with HSP was that we felt that they had our best interests at heart. HSP advised us that whilst the EoR framework could work for us initially, the likely scenario is that we would in time outgrow this solution, and advised what options are available once we reach that point.
We felt for that reason, that HSP was giving us valuable and impartial advice, and it was because HSP took the time to understand our plans at the beginning, as well as our timelines and our journey, that we were getting a bespoke service, not just something straight off the shelf.
Supporting our new hires with the transition:
Another area that was important to us, was our new employees. We hired American citizens, who had previously worked for US businesses, and we were now hiring them under an employer of record framework, which initially made them nervous.
It was critical to make them comfortable with this transition. HSP took the time to train us on how to present this to our new hires, to onboard them smoothly and answer any questions they had. Collateral and data were provided to ease the conversations, and at every point along the way, we had an answer if there were any potential issues.
Helping us to navigate the complex nature of employee benefits in the US:
The team at HSP also educated us on the right levels of employee benefits to provide and where to pitch ourselves to be competitive, providing the right overall package and support for the talent we were looking to hire.
HSP allowed us to take advantage of some great healthcare packages that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to access, and that was tremendously important. The US healthcare and benefits system is complex and not something we have any experience in. In the US, it’s a key benefit that employers provide, and so getting it right and being able to offer a more generous package than we may otherwise have been able to was hugely important to us, and HSP massively ticked that box for us and our new hires.
How is your expansion journey looking so far?
It’s early days, but we had our new US team up and running within a matter of days!
We’re already starting to bring on exciting new clients, and within two months our new hires are already doing business organically on the ground.
This means we will be looking to add additional team members in the US, which of course HSP will help us with.
Overall, HSP has been a great partner, and has always been on hand to provide help and advice where needed – this even included their Global Director of EoR hopping on a Zoom call on a Sunday morning to support us!
HSP got us up and running quickly, and made our employees feel comfortable, knowing they would get their benefits and be paid on time.
We value that HSP has been there and done that with businesses just like ours. We’ve really loved working with HSP so far, and we highly recommend the company to anyone looking to expand internationally.
We’re on hand to help you expand
We’ve worked with all kinds of businesses, like Morpheus Talent Solutions, to deliver bespoke and strategic advice on how best to expand into your chosen market.
Interested in reading more about expanding to the USA. Take a look at our ultimate guide: