“Payroll is a critical function. If a payroll department misses a payroll deadline or makes regular errors, it can result in employees in other areas of the business becoming frustrated, despondent and ultimately leaving. In addition, fines for inaccurate or late reporting can be severe, so it pays to hire the best talent from the outset.” says Nick Day, Managing Director at JGA Recruitment.
“The key to a successful recruitment process is locating the best skilled and experienced candidates that also have the personality and profile to align with your corporate values and culture.”, continues Nick Day.
According to Robert Half, here are 7 best practices to follow when hiring payroll professionals:
1. Cast a wide net
It’s no longer enough to just upload the listing to a job board and wait for applications to roll in. In a job market rife with opportunities for candidates, you should take a multi-pronged approach, including advertising the position on social media accounts and encouraging followers to share the post.
2. Use marketing to sell your company
To stand out in a sea of postings, front-load your payroll job description with the benefits of working for your organization. Highlight incentives like flexible scheduling, regular social events, wellness perks, opportunities for advancement, and how your corporate culture is different. As today’s professionals — especially millennials — seek meaningful work that makes a difference, so don’t forget to play up your company’s community and/or affinity involvement.
3. Accelerate the hiring process
It can be daunting when you’re already balancing this with your day-to-day work, but speeding up your hiring process helps ensure you have your pick among the top candidates available in your area. Update your job posting to weed out unqualified applicants. Streamline interviews by having candidates meet only with essential personnel. Cut out a round of interviews, where possible.
4. Outsource the screening
As any manager knows, a substantial number of job applications simply don’t make the cut. Then there are those candidates who look great on paper, but you soon discover they’ve embellished their skills and credentials. You can save time and all these headaches by using a specialized recruiter who handles much of the initial evaluation so you can meet with a handful of fully vetted candidates and pick the best fit.
5. Prioritize people skills
Aside from seeking out job candidates who understand payroll software and the latest compliance requirements, you should pay particular attention to their soft skills — the ability to soothe ruffled feathers and quickly resolve payroll issues, as an example. While communication and interpersonal skills can be taught, they’re often more difficult to develop than technical know-how. When meeting with potential hires, be sure to ask how they’ve dealt with angry customers or recovered from a mistake. Ask insightful situational and outside-the box questions.
6. Be flexible with your hiring needs
Have you considered a temp-to-hire strategy for your company? There are alternatives to hiring full-time employees, and staffing agencies are well-versed in assessing your needs and providing a solution that’s right for you. If you want to focus on getting the work done and you’re not sure you need someone full time, you might find a temporary worker makes the most sense.
Courtney Rosenfield from Lifetime Retirement Partners adds “Freelancers also bring other advantages to the table, not just money-saving benefits. These kinds of workers come with a specialized skill set. Many have spent years honing their craft.” To find them, she recommends looking for their portfolios on online job search websites like LinkedIn or Upwork.
7. Keep them happy on the job
After landing someone great, whether temporary or full time, focus on keeping them engaged and acknowledging their work. Robert Half’s study on workplace happiness finds that among the accounting professionals surveyed, the top driver of professional contentment was feeling appreciated. Because your staff likely won’t receive many kudos from fellow employees, it’s up to management to boost morale. Even simple verbal praise, in private or in public, can go a long way in making a worker feel happy on the job — especially one you recently recruited to join the team.
How are you hiring payroll professionals for your company? Which particular skill are you usually looking for? Tell us in the comments section below.
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