Acumen partners with Blue Bison, ‘restarts’ in Cayman

Professional-services company Acumen Group is partnering with Caymanian software firm Blue Bison as it sets its sights once again on expansion in the Cayman Islands.

The Bermuda-based human resource and payroll services company first opened an office in George Town in late 2019, but the company said in a press release it is hitting the restart button after its first year in Cayman was disrupted by the effects of the pandemic.

Damien Byrne

Damian Byrne, Acumen’s head of recruitment, who came in to lead the Cayman branch at the start of this year, said: “We view this year as a hard restart for Acumen and we plan to expand rapidly, in line with client demand.

“We see a growing trend of companies hiring experts to deal with non-core activities, such as recruitment and payroll, so they can focus on growing their businesses. That plays to our strengths. What makes us different is that we work with clients to address their particular needs, rather than dealing in off-the-shelf products.”

Demand for payroll services is growing globally, according to the company. The Deloitte Payroll Benchmarking Survey 2020 found 73% of organisations outsource at least some aspect of payroll, often to take advantage of cost savings, confidentiality, compliance and data security.

Graham Pearson, executive director of Blue Bison, said his company’s payroll software administers about 7,000 employees in Cayman and 1,800 in Bermuda. Pearson expects the partnership with Acumen will accelerate Blue Bison’s geographic expansion, as it has signed up international clients with workforces spread across different jurisdictions.

Graham Pearson

“We’re delighted that Acumen and their clients are using our payroll platform,” Pearson said. “It’s a partnership of offshore people who specialise in meeting the needs of offshore organisations.

“Our software can deal with complex payroll requirements. For example, if you have US employees who are subject to tax requirements in their home country, or employees in different countries that have different rules, we can handle that.”

Acumen, which operates out of offices in Whitehall House on North Church Street, is also expecting its recruitment services to be in demand. Byrne said he is impressed by the calibre of Cayman’s workforce.

“For a relatively small place, there are some amazingly talented people here,” Byrne said. “In Cayman, there is this remarkable influx of companies and ideas. It has such a diverse and sophisticated workforce. It’s a place that will constantly reinvent itself, because of the talent that’s here, both homegrown and from overseas.”

Acumen also offers clients an option to offload their entire hiring process, known as Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO).

“Recruiting in-house is a difficult, labour-intensive task and bringing in a new employee who is not a good fit for the organisation can be very expensive in the long run,” Byrne said.

“Using RPO means you have an external talent acquisition team, made up of experts in the field, using innovative technology to source candidates, screen resumes and ensure that roles are filled with best-fit candidates.”

Byrne said clients can save 30% to 40% on what it costs them to do their hiring in-house by using RPO.

In addition to Bermuda and Cayman, Acumen also has a presence in Singapore, Mauritius, the United Kingdom and South Africa.

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