Stack Overflow offers an online platform where developers and technologists collaborate, learn, and share insights. Its public platform is one of the 50 most-visited websites globally, drawing over 100 million visitors each month. Stack Overflow also provides a private knowledge sharing platform, Stack Overflow for Teams, to clients like Microsoft, Expensify, eBay, and more.
When Debbie Shotwell took over as Stack Overflow’s Chief People Officer (CPO), she inherited an immediate challenge. Stack Overflow had spent more than a decade building a workforce spanning 11 countries. But with entities in only three of those countries, Stack Overflow classified its talent as independent contractors everywhere else. Shotwell needed a partner her C-suite peers could trust to quickly convert her independent contractors to supported employees and mitigate the risk of fines, legal fees, and business interruptions that come with worker misclassification.
Stack Overflow explored several Global Employer of Record (also known as International PEO) providers but was uninspired by their lack of communication, organization, and expertise. Shotwell had to find the right partner to accurately classify and manage Stack Overflow’s distributed talent as supported employees.
Before joining Stack Overflow, Shotwell served as CPO at a large SaaS company, where she relied on Velocity Global to manage supported employees in 23 countries. Shotwell trusted Velocity Global to bring the same expert knowledge and People-First support to Stack Overflow.
“I didn’t hesitate when deciding to work with Velocity Global,” Shotwell said. “I needed to work with somebody I trusted, especially considering I was new at Stack Overflow. I knew I could trust Velocity Global.”
Velocity Global quickly gained the same trust from other Stack Overflow decision-makers, who were impressed by the team’s responsiveness, dedication to customer service, and clear understanding of international labor regulations. Convinced it had found the right partner to convert and manage its overseas workforce, Stack Overflow enlisted Velocity Global’s Global Employer of Record solution.
Velocity Global converted 22 Stack Overflow independent contractors to supported employees in less than two months, eliminating the risk of talent misclassification in 11 countries. Shotwell attributes the speedy process to the Stack People Operations team and Velocity Global’s expertise, urgency, and consistent communication. She also credits Velocity Global’s technology platform, which gave Stack Overflow’s legal, operations, and payroll teams one place to approve every supported employee contract.
Thanks to Velocity Global, Stack Overflow’s supported employees maintained the valuable stock options they received as independent contractors. Velocity Global also enabled Stack Overflow to offer competitive pension and retirement plans in each market, while removing the burden of compliance from internal legal, finance, and HR teams.
Shotwell is confident Velocity Global will continue to provide the same high level of care and attention that she works hard to give her supported employees. “I always like to work with companies that put people first,” Shotwell said. “I know Velocity Global will take care of our people just like our team does at Stack. When they have questions, their voices will be heard. It’s been a very, very great process.”
Stack Overflow’s new Chief People Officer (CPO), Debbie Shotwell, needed a way to quickly convert her independent contractor workforce to supported employees and mitigate the risk of misclassification. Misclassification consequences include fines, legal fees, business interruptions, and reputational damage. Stack Overflow wanted to ensure that its independent contractors agreed to locally compliant contracts, paid in-country taxes, received the appropriate benefits, and were compensated in local currencies.
Shotwell recommended Stack Overflow work with Velocity Global, which helped her manage her overseas workforce while she was CPO at a previous company. Stack Overflow was impressed by Velocity Global’s expertise, clear communication, and People-First approach to customer service. The company chose Velocity Global’s Global Employer of Record solution (also known as International PEO) to compliantly convert and manage its international workforce.
Velocity Global quickly converted 22 Stack Overflow independent contractors to supported employees, mitigating risk across 11 markets. Velocity Global helped Stack Overflow’s supported employees maintain their stock options and receive market-specific pension and retirement plans. Shotwell trusts Velocity Global to continuously offer her teams the same personalized support and care that she does.
Debbie Shotwell, Chief People Officer, Stack Overflow
Velocity Global is the leading provider of global employment solutions, offering premium service and unmatched expertise in over 185 countries. Velocity Global has reinvented the way companies expand internationally with its innovative International PEO solution, allowing companies to enter markets quickly and efficiently to achieve their global growth goals.