Acumen’s Global PEO to Adjust to Global HR Trends & Changes 2020 – Annual Report

It would be hard to find a human alive who mourns the passing of 2020. No question that the year’s events in 2020 have upended almost every aspect of modern life, and global HR trends are no exception. Global businesses were affected in multiple ways by the events of 2020. Luckily, Acumen International knows how to roll with the punches, and we have kept pace with the many changes occurring across the globe, to mitigate the impact on our international business partners. In this Annual Report article we present changes in top global HR trends 2020 “accompanied” by Acumen’s solutions provided and implemented and supported by our Case Studies! Enjoy… Table of Contents Global HR Changes 2020 + Our Solutions

  1. Changes in the Workplace
  2. Challenges for Hiring and Retention of Top Talent
  3. Worker Misclassification
  4. Employees Stranded Abroad
  5. Technology’s Impact on HR

Summary Acumen’s Solutions → Global Payroll Awards 2020 Recognition

Global HR Changes 2020 + Our Solutions

1. Changes in the Workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic became a major factor to result in the greatest global HR changes that reformatted many companies’ workplaces in 2020. We can name Remote work one of them. It turns to be a scenario that has been playing out within every country as the number of coronavirus cases swells and more employers commit to the social-distancing practices that health officials say will help hold back the pandemic spread. Working remotely, once a perk for trusted employees, became the new norm and officially – a demand by the Law for office workers in 2020 because of COVID-19 both on domestic and the global scales. Work from home practices in their turn resulted in changes in the system of paying employer taxes and mandatory contributions. Large international companies and corporations have been forced to reinvent ways to attract and retain key international talent as well as keeping an eye on the latest trends in compliant global hiring. Apart from the world’s biggest companies possessing the status of “International”, many SMEs (small and mid-size businesses) were classified as “non-essential,” taking massive losses or being forced out of business. Yet savvy business owners took advantage of the situation to innovate, moving their operations online and expanding their reach to international markets.

Acumen International Solution Provided

Many of the mentioned companies, who became our new clients this year, had been previously unaware of Acumen’s International PEO solution, and how it could help them resolve their global HR challenges. Now more than ever, these global businesses implement and enjoy the benefits offered by Acumen’s Global PEO aka Global EOR (Employer of Record) solution. We walked our clientele through the many benefits of the solutions provided and demonstrated we are there to help in 190 countries. Our in-country team of experts continually monitors local labor laws and HR-related regulations updates in every of 190 countries of our coverage, so we helped our clients’ companies always remain legally compliant within the countries they entered in 2020. Our clients entered the year of 2021 being aware and assured that with our help they can fast and easy do both:

  • hire a local expert in their (client’s) home country,
  • onboard an expatriate employee in any country of the world.

2. Challenges for Hiring and Retention of Top Talent

Attracting and retaining key employees posed new challenges for companies, as remote work eliminated geographic constraints and made hiring more competitive. With a quickly changing global landscape, Acumen’s Global PEO solution can help your business reshape its remote workforce retention policies and practices, to help you lure and retain the biggest fish in the international talent pool. Due to the pandemic 2020, immigration policies have changed and a number of restrictions have been introduced. All of this introduced extra difficulties for companies that wanted to bring the talent to the countries where they are based or renew visas and work permits for their existing workforce…

Acumen International Solution Provided

We helped a number of our clients (who had been unaware of the Global PEO solution priorly) not only to onboard their selected talent, but also – legally retain their remote worker in the country. We helped to either hire a local citizen or bring an expat into a country, paying them a salary so that they could continue to work for the client company. Some countries use complex methodologies to calculate employee payroll, that consist of minute details as well as specific nuances to be carefully adhered to. One of these countries is – Norway, where we had an unprecedented case to resolve this year. The goal was to grant the employee a compensation package in Norway that was equitable to the one they enjoyed in the United States… To get into the details of our solution – See our Norwegian Case Study.

3. Worker Misclassification

Classification of workers, both domestically and globally, posed new legal challenges, as companies leveraged the growing gig economy. The year 2020 was marked by numerous costly worker misclassification cases, including lawsuits against rideshare companies and food delivery services. And more suits are still there to come!.. Correct classification of workers both domestically and globally is becoming more complex, with ever-changing in-country rules and regulations, at the same time remaining crucial for employer companies! The focus problem to be aware of here is – to employ compliantly!

Acumen International Solution Provided

Company’s Global PEO solution has helped this year a number of businesses – our clients – avoid the risks of Contractors vs. Employees misclassification while retaining top talent and protecting their employer brand. A range of companies operating in Africa, Asia, and/or the Middle East would expand their operations to Europe. One of such companies wished to turn their Global Access Sales Director they have already had in France from an independent contractor to their employee in order to be compliant and get more commitment from the worker. We helped our client to break into the French market and keep moving, keeping the talented sales director long-term. At the same time we helped to avoid risks of misclassification that could result in costly lawsuits. To get into the details of our solution – See our French Case Study.

4. Employees Stranded Abroad

Many international employees were stranded abroad by COVID-19, and companies faced new challenges to keep their global talent pool legally employed. In one instance, a US citizen employed by a global healthcare entity was stranded in Taiwan while visiting his family.

Acumen International Solution Provided

The usual timeframe to apply for and get a work visa in Taiwan is normally 3 to 4 weeks. Our client needed to expedite the legal process, so that the employee could start working as soon as possible. Acumen International stepped in with its Express Global Employment solution: we immediately got all the needed employment documents ready, and – the very moment the employee got his visa – we employed him, thus enabling him to start his work. But we didn’t stop there… Read our Taiwan Case Study.

5. Technology’s Impact on HR

Changes and innovations in technology have upended the HR industry, bringing about new HR trends in global employment. The biggest “changes” of 2020 resuted in implementing COVID-19 employee tracking, tracing and assessment tools. The main focus of these tools now was – to enable our clients to communicate with their global staff, set the needed tasks, and track performance. Technologies for transferring money internationally also became even more important. Acumen is light years ahead of the competition, having developed during this year and is now getting prepared to present the HR world with two innovative self-service tools:

  • 💡 Global Payroll Calculator – an online SaaS only tool that helps clients instantly estimate total payroll costs and taxes in 190 countries;
  • 💡 Global HR Assistant (GHRA) – a global knowledge base with continually updated in-country information for 190 countries. It provides our client companies with valuable info to make informed decisions on global employment.


As a global employment innovator and a Global PEO service provider, Acumen International was able to leverage its global expertise and infrastructure to help companies adapt to changing global HR trends, grow and expand in 2020. Our 2020 “and a Little More” achievements include:

  • Scaling up of our NGO client sector.
  • Attracting new businesses in the Healthcare IT Solutions and media industries.
  • Establishing projects in 17 new countries:

1. Algeria
2. Bahamas
3. Benin
4. Bermuda
5. Bolivia
6. Cyprus
7. El Salvador
8. Fiji
9. Finland
10. Germany
11. Kyrgyzstan
12. Malawi
13. Suriname
14. Switzerland
15. Taiwan
16. Tanzania
17. Uruguay

The events of 2020 have forced internationally operating businesses to rethink how they hire, compensate and retain talent around the globe, and many are looking to Acumen’s Global PEO and EOR solutions to overcome the challenges caused by an ever-changing global business landscape. Whether your business is already a player on the world stage, or you are ready to expand to global markets, get a free quote on the cost of employment estimate in any country we cover.

Acumen’s Solutions → Global Payroll Awards 2020 Recognition

“To be recognized as 2020’s Professional Employment Organization of the Year is a great honor for us. Acumen’s global team is dedicated to providing the highest quality service to our international clients, and we are honored to accept this Award.”

Nick Ganzha, Founder and CEO of Acumen International

The Global Payroll Awards is an annual type of event featuring sponsorship by the Global Payroll Association (GPA) aimed at recognizing excellence in the Global Payroll industry. In 2020 the Association received a record number of submissions, which more than doubled the number of submissions in 2019. This year Acumen International services were recognized to become the Winner of GPA 2020 awards!

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