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It pays to pay attention to payroll: market update with Brendan Blewitt

Published on 5th May 2022

​The Melbourne payroll job market continues to be one of the most active in recent recruitment history, thanks in no small part to the amount of potential candidates open to moving as a result of their current working conditions.

Lack of international talent coming into Australia and huge swings in on and off boarding thanks to regulatory and legislative change, job keeper and job saver demands, means the employment market in the payroll space is extremely stressed now and significantly burnt out.

There seems to be a real demand for change from candidates as the industry reshapes itself to be a better place to work for those who have chosen a career in payroll. But what changes are most meaningful? $20-$30k salary increases across the board aren’t enough with teams being worked into the ground with many reporting working public holidays, 7-day weeks, weekends, and little to no downtime. Salary is no longer the main priority for candidates looking to relocate.

We spoke to our Melbourne based Payroll Recruitment Specialist and all-round legend Brendan Blewitt about the 7 critical changes he believes organisations must make to be competitive in the payroll hiring market.

Flexibility

This is easily the number one reason for leaving and an agenda item in the space right now.

To be specific, the ability to be involved in school drop off and pick up stands out – an extra 30 mins either side of the day or occasionally during the week makes all the difference, especially with two working parents being the new normal for so many young families.

This isn’t a preferred way for people to work, it’s often the only way. Is your flexibility the reason people leave, or the reason they join?

Be people focused

We have found smaller businesses are more clearly able to engage people both in recruitment processes and during their employment.

Why can’t more larger organizations identify we have moved way beyond payroll teams being simply numbers, and concentrate more effort in creating great places to work for the teams who provide one of the most crucial services to their staff?

Enhance culture

Culture isn’t just what you do when you’re not working, it’s how things are done around here. A breakfast bar or pool table is easy for a competitor to replicate – does your work culture enhance a sense of belonging, a connection to continuous improvement, provide people with choice and treat them fairly, or do the goalposts move often?

Understand the market has reversed in a healthy way – candidates expect better working conditions, it’s no longer a perk or stroke of luck to work somewhere you enjoy, it’s a prerequisite.

Be supportive

With such heavy demands on payroll teams who become increasingly lean and forced to adapt, how are they being supported? Have you considered a payroll administrator to support the team? Many organisations are now considering these roles as ways to help support their payroll division, prevent burn out and save time and money in replacing people.

Embrace the tech

There are so many innovative ways to use tech to collaborate and work more effectively, that enhance culture rather than detract from it. These tools aren’t just better ways to run the business, but also major reasons to leave or obstacles to hiring when not present.

Have clear progression pathways

A surprising amount of organisations have very little transparency around career progression in their payroll teams. True, some candidates are just happy to do the job and go home, but for those wanting more there has never been more choice, so it’s critical to have a clearly defined future that looks attractive and feels achievable.

Streamline hiring and onboarding

What do your current recruitment processes say about what it’s like to work at your organization? Onboarding is so important, clear direction around tasks and training is critical. You never have to recover from a great start!

Brendan is currently working on a number of roles within the payroll space. If you are interested to find out more, contact Brendan today for a confidential chat.