As National Payroll Appreciation Week continues on, we wanted to outline the trajectory and career path it takes to succeed in Payroll Management. Many begin as a Payroll Clerk and work their way up to Payroll Manager or Supervisor. But what are the necessary skills and experience needed to grow in this field? We’ve listed what employers are truly looking for when hiring Payroll professionals.

Bachelor’s Degree or certificate

A Bachelor’s Degree is generally required when applying for Payroll positions. Many choose to major in accounting, human resources, administration, or a related field. These programs will garner experience in basic payroll duties, sales, taxes, and even QuickBooks. It is also an opportunity to learn professional and leadership skills, such as verbal and written communication, time management, and deadlines awareness.

Payroll systems and experience

All roles within the payroll realm require some level of experience using specific technologies. There are many payroll platforms, but a few consider are Workday, ADP Workforce, Paychex, Gusto, and QuickBooks. These systems allow you to adapt to streamlining paychecks, customizing portals, managing time and attendance, running payroll reports, assessing important tax deductions, and tracking time-off for employees.

Compliance knowledge

An important aspect of working in payroll is keeping up to date with applicable changes to taxes, medical benefits, and various laws pertaining to payroll. This also requires a strong ability to maintain confidentiality and adherence to new and existing legislation changes.

Additional hard and soft skills

As with any career, payroll management requires many hard and soft skills. Most importantly, it demands a need for collaboration, the ability to meet strict deadlines, and an understanding of how your company operates. Additionally, payroll specialists need to be able to communicate with employees and vendors in productive manner, while also maintaining a excellent sense of time management.

Many of the Accounting & Finance recruiters at Green Key recruit for payroll positions. Interested in starting or advancing your payroll career? Connect with our recruiters on LinkedIn today!

Survey: Half Of All Companies Expect to Hire This Year

Despite concerns the economy may be stalling, half of all companies still plan to add staff this year.

Global outplacement and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas says of the 150 companies it surveyed, 46% said they’ve been hiring throughout last year and intend to hire more workers in 2020.Another 5% of them said they expect to up their headcount “significantly.”

Tempering the news is that far fewer companies feel the economy is improving. In 2018, 65% of the companies in the Challenger survey said they felt the economy had improved. When that question was asked last month, only 38% said the economy had improved. Another 35% felt there had been no change in 2019.

“The fact that half of companies are hiring this year is a positive for job seekers and indicates companies are continuing to enjoy a solid economy. That said, we are seeing some indicators, such as slow-growing wages, an increase in job cuts, and an exodus of CEOs, that may portend rough waters ahead,” said Andrew Challenger, company VP.

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, 1,640 CEOs left their posts last year, the most since CEO tracking began in 2002. The firm also reported that employers at US-based companies last year announced plans to cut 592,556 jobs, a 10% increase over the cuts announced in 2018.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash


Open Enrollment is Going Virtual This Year

The dog days of summer aren’t likely to have you thinking of health plans, life insurance, 401ks, or any of the other benefits employers offer. That is, unless you’re in HR.

This year, open enrollment – the weeks in October and November when employees make choices about their benefits – is going to be so different from those of the past that HR professionals began their planning while the rest of us were cleaning the barbecue for the summer ahead.

BenefitsPRO made that point a month ago writing, “In terms of benefits enrollment and communication, we will see major disruption.”

Across the country, HR leaders are rethinking how to present and communicate benefits information. With many employees likely to still be working remotely and even where they’re not, the usual group meetings are too much of a health risk, so HR professionals are turning to virtual presentations and digital messaging.

Heather Garbers, VP voluntary benefits & technology at HUB International, tells BenefitsPRO, “We are already seeing more employers adopting text messaging services and centering communications around digital campaigns, and we expect this trend to become normal operating procedure moving forward.”

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) predicts that employers will take their open enrollment campaigns online, offering virtual benefits fairs. Some will plan their own event; more will use a commercial service.

Megan Taggart, client and participant engagement senior manager at ConnectYourCare, says an online benefits fair is superior in some ways to the traditional in-person events. “An online fair allows employees to check out webinars, download resources and speak privately with benefit account experts according to the employees’ schedule,” she explains in the SHRM article.

But virtual benefits fairs and meetings have their downsides, the SHRM article notes.

“Virtual benefits fairs, by themselves, don’t create the same sense of urgency that in-person events do,” says Jon Stuckey, VP at the benefits communication firm Segal Benz. Hosting a live presentation with Q&A is one way to generate interest. Stuckey suggests conducting a survey or raffle as other ways to drive engagement.

A different issue is reaching those employees who may not be online. There are also legal requirements to consider says SHRM. Information about retirement plans can be delivered digitally, but “only for employees who regularly use a computer as part of their integral duties or for those employees who affirmatively consent.”

Mailing open enrollment information to employees in addition to making it available online “may be preferable,” says SHRM. “This is especially true considering that sometimes it’s the employee’s spouse who makes the benefit decisions.”