How to succeed as a Payroll Specialist: believe in your skillset, understand your worth 

Author John O’Brien
September 6, 2022

Enhancing skillsets for payroll professionals 

2022 has become the year when payroll professionals have stepped up to the plate and delivered beyond measure. 

Individuals working across financial/professional services, fintech along with biotech and pharmaceuticals have seen their skillsets increase, taking on more responsibility from HR and working in a hybrid/diverse capacity that is now challenging the reward function. 

This increase in responsibility now means the title “Payroll” is simply part of your role and with the added responsibility of HR tasks, benefits negotiations, renewals and benchmarking – plus systems across the UK, EMEA and global landscape. 

The role and trends of payroll in modern-day business  

Is it time the profession looks to make a significant title change as HR did when moving away from personnel? 

One of the major trends that I have seen over the past two years has been the number of US firms looking to relocate their entire payroll and benefits function to the UK as they now realise that we have the best payroll talent globally. 

With this new shift we are now seeing the roles on offer becoming far more technical than ever. We need to understand and learn more about US payroll and the legislation that comes with it: SOX Controls and how each individual state operates are just a few differences which are only going to become more challenging and demanding. 

There also seems to be a big shift towards Asia-Pacific (APAC) where companies are looking to grow their current headcount but also open more jurisdictions in challenging locations, which is hugely exciting. 

The value of a Payroll Specialist 

Now comes the exciting part, your earning potential. 

The last two years has seen an unprecedented increase in base salaries within banking and financial/professional services and commerce and industry. 20% to 40% rises have now become common. 

The spotlight is firmly on payroll and the appreciation factor has mounted considerably along with that long-forgotten word “Respect”. 

Senior stakeholders now realise the importance payroll can play in running their businesses globally and now is the time for payroll professionals to “Cash in”, which I have witnessed firsthand. 

Clients are now regularly offering total reward and compensation packages that were the things of dreams a few years back and when they want someone, they deliver an offer that raises eyebrows. 

Sign-on bonuses, significant annual bonuses, market leading pension contributions, agile working patterns – the list goes on. It’s hugely exciting to be making these offers to candidates who 100% deserve what is being offered to them. 

For years we have heard about the importance of HR and more recently the attraction towards reward but the biggest retention of all is your pay and with possible tough times ahead this is simply where it starts and ends. 

How to get ahead in the payroll industry 

Don’t be afraid to ask for more and stand your ground. 

You must take ownership, lead from the front, and if your current employer is not taking you and your skillset seriously, please call myself or one of the Frazer Jones Payroll Consultants who can showcase the current opportunities and clients that we are working with. They will truly support and respect the importance of payroll and the essential role it has to play. 

Together we can change the way that payroll has been perceived and the revolution starts now. 

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