Anytime we find ourselves in an economic environment that is both challenging and evolving, the level of uncertainty will often create a level of “paralysis” to many business decisions, and this time is no different.
Organisations are understandably much more focused on getting through the short to medium term, and this also has an immediate impact on hiring decisions. We are seeing a shift towards a requirement for ‘contract’ payroll specialists (as opposed to permanent hires) with six-month contracts becoming more prevalent within the current economic forecasts. Short term hires have the dual effect of providing immediate relief to payroll processing requirements while also providing the flexibility as to whether the headcount may or may not be required on the other side of the current situation, whenever that may be.
Primary considerations when looking to hire interim/contractors in payroll:
1. The ability to remain flexible is paramount in the current climate and not something that always comes naturally to everyone. Make sure people are comfortable and confident to work remotely or wherever required and ideally have some proven experience working independently. Embracing change and adaptability is an essential requirement in the current environment.
2. As with any interim requirement, gaining a solid commitment for the term of your contract is imperative – perhaps more so at the moment. Fully understand the reasons behind someone’s immediate availability and ensure that this checks out. The last thing organisations need at the moment is people jumping out of contracts prematurely and potentially leaving payroll functions exposed.
3. Ensure technical payroll knowledge is “fit for purpose”. There are online tools available to quickly assess the level of an individual’s technical payroll knowledge to ensure they bring the right type of technical payroll ability required for a role. Plenty of hiring decisions are made on the assumption that “number of years in the chair = an appropriate amount of technical payroll experience” … and this is a common mistake. Experience doesn’t always equate to expertise.
We are working closely with a number of our candidates (at a variety of levels) and have some particularly strong contract resources that are available quickly to assist organisations through these next six months (and beyond if required). These people are well qualified and can offer a high degree of flexibility in terms of where and how they can operate.
If you or anyone you know may be interested in engaging reliable and technically qualified Payroll Contractors to see you through this period, then please don’t hesitate to make contact. You can learn more about our recruitment service here.
Recruitment Director – Australian Payroll Association