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How to overcome the challenges of payroll recruitment in the current market
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How to overcome the challenges of payroll recruitment in the current market

Posted on 05 December 2023

The landscape of the hiring market has changed in 2023. With budgetary pressure & a shifting economic climate, there has been an increase in direct hiring strategies being employed by internal HR & talent teams across organisations of various sizes & scales.

With vigilance around payroll compliance, data integration & integrity still in sharp focus, the payroll market has become more saturated with internal recruiters, generalist agencies & payroll specialists competing for a depleted pool of talent. This trend has led to increased movement in the latter half of this year; candidates will move if a role is misrepresented at an interview. This is not negligence – it’s impossible to know everything. But transparency around performance issues, remediations; challenges with poorly configured systems & manual processes, will set up you for success.

There’s no such thing as a payroll paradise

Every function has its challenges in the complexity of the ANZ payroll environment. It’s vital to approach the market with a transparent & realistic value proposition:

  • What is your risk management strategy for payroll compliance?

  • If there are issues with remediations it’s not a failure to be honest, it’s realistic.

  • With the complexity of legislation & consistent regulatory changes like STP 2; changes to super etc., errors happen. However, a talented professional can institute an entrenched timeframe around payroll auditing that can pre-empt & prevent issues from re-occurring.

  • How robust is the interface between Finance & HR; how could these relationships be nurtured?

  • What is the internal reputation of payroll?

  • Are there performance issues in the team? Payroll leaders thrive on mentorship & succession planning, creating the next generation.

  • How is payroll valued by cross-functional stakeholders & senior management?

This isn’t to construct a negative impression but rather to transfer knowledge so that the candidate understands the scale of the challenge at stake.

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They need to know the good, the bad & the ugly.

My goal is to consistently increase visibility to the people in this industry and to empower them when the complexity they face is not tangible. When your pay hits your bank every week, fortnight, or month, we aren’t aware there are multiple interpretations & variations to the intricate rules of payroll awards & EBA’s that are applied. Or that punitive damages are enforced when they are not calculated correctly.

Payroll advocacy is really important

I often support clients/candidates with shortlisting, interview prep, curating position descriptions and recommending suitable candidates to apply. This is not predicated on a placement; partnering with an SME will yield better outcomes, less clean-up projects.

With a surge in the entry of globalised systems into the marketplace, I offer real-time examples of lessons learned from other projects. With consummate discretion of course.

There is a real opportunity to interrogate payroll data to create insightful reporting & commercial analysis. Industry leaders are adept at understanding business needs & developing solutions to drive operational efficiency & labour cost analysis. They are agile in a world where change from all angles is BAU.

In summary, It is essential to get your hiring process right, to secure the right talent and to have the most optimal set-up of your systems architecture. Having a close industry partner can be invaluable, whatever your hiring strategy.

Thank you for reading, and please reach out to me here if you need or want any further advice on this subject – always happy to continue the conversation.

Watch our video series discussing these points, in our video library.

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