Payroll management is one of the jobs that requires a critical eye. Therefore, it is essential that you find payroll specialists with the right skills, experience, and expertise to ensure seamless business operations. This means that they will not only be able to effectively handle their jobs’ demands, but they will ensure compliance with regulatory mandates. So, is being a payroll specialist hard? Well, the position comes with lots of demands that, when not carefully handled, can cause errors and compliance penalties, leading to an unhappy and unsatisfied workforce.
This article guides you on the payroll specialist skills to look for when hiring payroll experts. In this regard, if you have been wondering what makes a good payroll specialist, we believe that you will find the correct answers here and hire a payroll professional with the right skills, knowledge, and experience.
1. Payroll Certification
Above all, the best payroll specialists must have the proper certifications that qualify them for payroll positions. According to the American Payroll Association (APA), accreditation for payroll experts comes in two different forms, including the Certified Payroll Professional (CPP) and the Fundamental Payroll Certification (FPC). To qualify for entry-level in the payroll profession, a candidate must hold the FPC. They can also be hired as payroll clerks or other mid-level positions within the payroll department.
2. Excellent Communication Skills
As mentioned earlier, managing payroll is a daunting task that involves various processes. Communication is one of them, and it is crucial that you find a candidate with excellent communication skills. This makes it easier for employees to be honest and open up when called upon to explain essential details regarding payroll within various departments.
3. Payroll Software Experience
The advancing technology has brought about the invention of payroll software to simplify payroll management. However, note that these software vary from complex to advanced. In this regard, a candidate should be able to transition from using one tool to another if need be. Luckily, since the hiring market for payroll specialists is competitive, employers get to train the newly hired candidates on using the available payroll software.
4. Customer Service Skills
Payroll duties do relate somehow to customer service, and it is essential that you find a candidate with excellent customer service skills. This is so that they can easily manage different employees and clients with courtesy, understanding, and patience. They should also be available to answer any questions professionally and represent your company with dignity. To quickly identify a suitable candidate with excellent customer service skills, consider including payroll specialist interview questions and answers during interviews. For example, ask them how they will deal with angry employees and whether they are good at interacting with different people.
5. Attention to detail
The last thing you want is to hire a payroll specialist that will not pay keen attention to essential details. So, whether you are looking for a payroll staff for entry-level or professional, ensure they are up to par. Simply put, they should deliver accurate and high-quality work, and this can be proved by thoroughly analyzing the payroll specialist resumes.
6. Other Software Management Skills
Besides knowing how to use payroll software, the best candidate should also know how to manage other tools that contribute to your business’ success. For instance, find candidates who are adept at using Microsoft office software like Word, Outlook, and Excel. In addition, since some payroll duties can involve accounting procedures, proficiency in Quickbooks and Quicken is a plus. Furthermore, nowadays, most communication is done remotely. Therefore, it is crucial to find employees who are comfortable using communication and collaboration tools like video conferencing and other cloud-based tools for financial reporting and payment.
The payroll specialist job is surrounded by a regulatory landscape that keeps changing. Therefore, employers need to find candidates with a complete understanding of the legal procedures surrounding payroll and know how to apply them. Keep in mind that online payroll platforms can only help you navigate compliance requirements, but they are not entirely reliable. That is why this element is crucial when analyzing payroll specialist qualifications.
8. Timeliness and Organized
Payroll management requires payroll experts with the ability to meet stringent deadlines. This is to ensure salaries and wages are issued on time and accurately, especially if you have large numbers of employees to manage. So, when analyzing payroll specialists’ responsibilities, ensure they can adhere to a schedule and still perform with high standards.
Finding the best candidates to hold positions in the payroll department is challenging. However, with the best plan and strategy, you can easily do so with a first try. Note that many employers will confuse the roles, leading to wrong hires. For instance, it can be confusing to figure out the requirements for a payroll specialist vs payroll administrator. In this regard, start by identifying the type of candidate you are looking for, whether one holding an entry-level position or a managerial one. In addition, conduct keen research on each candidate’s responsibilities to develop an accurate job description that attracts the right candidates. You should also consider seeking the assistance of a professional recruiter and follow the above tips in finding the best payroll specialists.