Onboarding timeline & process
Updated over a week ago

Congratulations on hiring a new employee with Plane! 🎉 We're excited to support you through the onboarding process to make it as smooth and successful as possible. We know that bringing on international employees can come with challenges, considerations, and concerns, and we’re here to help. In this guide, we outline our onboarding timeline and process, so you know what to expect as we embark on this journey together.

The length of time it takes to hire an employee compliantly varies from country to country. Timelines can also be affected by an employee’s right to work status in their country. If the employee needs to undergo a right to work check or requires visa support, their start date may need to be extended to accommodate these procedures. (You can view more info on right to work processes and visa support here.)

ℹ️ Important Information

  • Onboarding through Plane typically takes about 2.5 weeks to 4 weeks.

  • The exact onboarding timeline for an employee depends on factors such as their country, how long their background check takes to process, and their right to work status.

  • We recommend that new employees start on the first day of a new month, to ensure they receive their paycheck in time.

Below are our estimated timelines for onboarding an international employee, based on where they are located. Please keep in mind that these timelines are not guaranteed; onboarding may take more or less time depending on each employee’s unique circumstances.



Africa - Central & South

2.5 weeks

Africa - North

2.5 to 4 weeks

APAC - North

2.5 weeks

Europe - East & UK

2.5 weeks

Europe - North

2.5 to 4 weeks

Europe - South

2.5 to 4 weeks

GCC & Middle East

2.5 to 4 weeks


2.5 to 4 weeks


2.5 weeks


1 to 2 weeks

General onboarding process

Here’s an overview of the employee onboarding process and the tasks that the owner or admins of your Plane account will need to complete.

Step 1: Add employee to Plane

To kick off the onboarding process, the first step is to add your new employee to Plane.

Check out “How to hire and onboard an international employee” in our help center for a detailed, step-by-step breakdown of how to do so.

Step 2: Approve cost of employment and security deposit

Once you’ve added the employee to Plane, you will receive a notification to approve the cost of employment and security deposit. (This notification is typically ready within one to two business days.) The cost of employment depends on the employee’s country, and the security deposit is equal to one month’s expected payroll and employer taxes.

As soon as you confirm this step in the platform, we will process your security deposit. This deposit, a one-time only payment, serves as a safeguard; if we’re ever unable to withdraw funds from your account, we can use this deposit to ensure that your employee still gets paid in a timely manner.

This security deposit is fully refundable when the employee is offboarded.

Step 3: Complete onboarding tasks and approve offer summary

Next, within the Plane platform, check off all the tasks in your guided onboarding process. Make sure to address the following important to-dos:

  • Additional incentives: Review the contract and approve any applicable incentives, such as a one-time signing bonus, one-time or recurring allowances or stipends, or a guaranteed annual bonus.

    • Please note: We also cannot include variable compensation in the employment contract, as we don’t manage the employee’s performance directly. You can have a separate agreement explaining the relationship between Plane, Plane’s hiring partner, and you, and include any other variable compensation such as bonuses, commission, or equity.

  • Supplemental health insurance: Review the options available for supplemental health benefits, decide the plan you want to offer (if multiple options are available), and cost share of the monthly premiums.

  • Right to work: Review the right to work check and ensure that your employee has the right to work in their country, in compliance with local regulations.

  • Background check: Plane conducts a background check against international criminal records as part of the onboarding process. The time frame for completion can vary depending on the country, how quickly the employee uploads the required documents, and the number of countries in which the employee has resided. We’ve seen background checks take anywhere from less than one week to up to one month to complete.

Step 4: Plane asks employee to accept offer summary and complete their profile

Once the offer summary is approved and sent to the employee, they will need to review and accept the offer summary officially. We’ll send a request to the employee to complete their profile on Plane by logging into id.plane.com. This step allows us to receive necessary information and documentation to finalize their onboarding.

Step 5: Plane generates the formal employment contract

Plane creates the employment contract and sends it to you for approval. This is usually ready within five business days after the employee completes their profile on Plane, but this timeline may be subject to extension depending on changes or specific requirements.

Step 6: You and the employee approve the employment contract

Both you and the employee will need to review and approve the employment contract. We recommend that both parties complete this step as soon as possible to avoid any delays.

Step 7: Employee signs the employment contract

Once all parties have approved the contract, Plane will provide instructions to the employee to sign the employment contract.

Step 8: Plane collects additional information and documents

We will request any necessary additional information and documents from the employee. These may include tax forms, proof of address, banking details, and other relevant paperwork.

Step 9: Onboarding complete

Your work here is done! Once all the necessary steps have been completed, and we’ve collected all the required documentation, Plane will notify you that the employee has been successfully onboarded. Congrats! 🎉

ℹ️ Important Information

  • Our onboarding timeline relies on you and the international employee promptly completing your assigned onboarding tasks. However, we will send email reminders to follow up if any steps remain incomplete.

  • Certain requirements, such as wet signatures, medical exams, right-to-work checks, translations, and visa sponsorship, can also affect the timeline mentioned above.

  • A few countries require new hire registration to be completed before the employee’s start date. If information provided by the employee is incorrect, this can cause delays in the onboarding timeline.

  • We recommend that international employees start on the first day of a new month. This ensures they’ll be added to payroll in time to receive their first paycheck at the end of the month.

  • Please refer to How to hire and onboard an employee to view each stage, milestone, and task in the hiring and onboarding flow in greater detail.

  • As part of the onboarding process (except in Canada and UK), we use BambooHR to collect documents and signatures. International employees will receive an invitation to set up a BambooHR account. If you are already using BambooHR as your internal HRIS, you may want to inform your employee that they will have two accounts — one through Plane and one through your organization.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does it take longer to onboard in some countries?

Some countries require new hire registration, medical exams, and wet signature contracts. Plane and our local team will assist the employee with the coordination and completion of these tasks.

What is the best date to onboard an employee?

We recommend that employees start on the first day of a new month. This ensures they will be added to payroll in time to receive their first paycheck at the end of the month.

When will employees be paid?

All employees can expect to be paid on the last working day of each month. There are some exceptions, such as the examples below:

  • Sweden: 25th of each month

  • Canada: 15th and last working day of the month

  • Mexico: 15th and last working day of the month, but only one monthly payroll summary will be sent

What documents will employees need to provide?

All employees must provide the following documents and information at minimum:

  • Local home address & proof of the same

  • Two forms of ID

  • Local tax number & Social Security number (if applicable)

  • Proof of right to work

  • Local bank account & proof of the same

I don’t know if my employee has the right to work. What should I do?

During the onboarding process, we ask employees to indicate their right to work status. If an employee is a non-national of the country they intend to work in, we are required to request proof of their right to work. It is best practice for your team to request these documents directly from the employee to ensure smooth onboarding.

Find more information on verifying right to work status here.

Background checks: What do you look for?

We use a partner background check provider. The employee is required to provide a copy of a government-provided photo identification, and provide information such as their current and previous home addresses. The background check provider investigates whether or not the employee has any criminal record. Once the background check is completed, a copy of the report will be available on Plane for your review.

What is the security deposit used for? When will I get it back?

The security deposit is the equivalent of one month of expected payroll and taxes. We withdraw the deposit and hold it for the duration of the employee's employment. As an employer of record, we have a contractual obligation to pay the employee their salary; if we’re ever unable to draw funds from your account, we can use this deposit to ensure we pay the employee in a timely manner.

Once the employee leaves (e.g. through resignation or termination), the security deposit will be refunded to you within 30 days of the employee's final payroll.

Can I pay my employee in USD?

We are required to pay employees in their local currency. If you enter the salary into Plane in USD, we’ll do a live conversion to get the equivalent in local currency on the day it was entered.

If an employee’s salary depreciates throughout their employment due to currency fluctuations, you may decide to offer a “bonus” to make up the difference. Just reach out to support@plane.com and let us know the amount of the bonus that you’d like to provide, in local currency.

The local salary value doesn’t match my employee’s expectations. Why is this and what can we do?

The exchange rate you may see on CurrencyRate, Bloomberg, or Google is the mid-market rate, which, in practice, is only available to central banks. As different currencies have different liquidity, you may see differences between the mid-market rate and the rate we’re able to convert at. In this case, what you’re seeing is the rate from the currency exchange partner we use for employee payroll.

Your cost in USD is subject to change each month; this is based on the actual exchange rate on the dates we process payrolls.

If you would like to reevaluate an employee’s salary, please contact us at support@pilot.co. Let us know what salary the employee expects in local currency, and we can tell you the live conversion.

Can an employee sign the contract electronically?

Most countries allow for and acknowledge the validity of electronic signatures. However, some jurisdictions will also require wet signatures. In jurisdictions where wet signatures are required, we will work with the employee to coordinate this.

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