5 things to look for in a payroll applicant’s CV


Recruiting the right staff is important in any sector, and payroll is no different. You can tell a lot about an applicant from their CV, but are you looking for the right things?

Here are 5 questions to ask yourself as you prepare to interview candidates:

What experience do they have?

The amount of experience required for a role varies depending on the organisation. You may be specifically looking to fill a junior or senior role, or there may be budgetary constraints that affect who you can hire.

Either way, it’s interesting to note a candidate’s prior experience of the payroll sector, as well as whether or not they have qualifications from industry-recognised bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM). If a person has a strong track record in other payroll roles, chances are they will be a dependable addition to your team too.

Have they highlighted their technical skills?

Any payroll employee needs a strong grasp of numeracy and at least a basic understanding of the various software used in the industry. If you need someone to be able to use a specific program, it’s likely you will have said so in your job advertisement.

Candidates shouldn’t ignore this. If they have the skills you need, they should say so prominently in their CV. If you don’t see any mention of them, it might be time to start worrying.

Do they possess strong attention to detail?

Clearly, it’s not enough for a candidate to simply write that they possess strong attention to detail. This should be evident in their CV. In this case, if there are errors in the document, then perhaps their attention to detail isn’t quite so strong after all.

Look at how the applicant has presented their CV and how well they have addressed all of the job requirements. It should be clear that they have tailored their application to your specific role, rather than sent a generic CV.

Can they work well with others?

The vast majority of payroll roles will involve interaction with others on a daily basis. Whether this is done via email, phone or face to face, you need staff who will be able to make a good impression on both colleagues and clients.

Scrutinise their explanations of previous job roles and look for any evidence that they have worked as part of a team. Specifically, look out for any cases where a candidate has offered further detail about what their team efforts have entailed.

If they have included a cover letter, this is an early indicator as to the sort of tone of voice they might use when addressing clients. You will likely decide pretty quickly whether you like what you read.

Would they be a good fit?

A candidate can tick all the boxes as far as your job advertisement goes, but you still need to decide if they would be a good fit for your business. Naturally, the interview is a good place to decide this, but there are also a few indicators within the CV.

For example, candidates will include a little about their personal life at the end of the CV and this will provide some clues as to whether they will get on with their colleagues. You can also look at factors such as how long they spent in their previous roles and how enthusiastically they talk about them.


Get more recruiting tips

Portfolio Payroll specialise in finding the most skilled candidates for organisations throughout the UK. If you would like more advice on choosing your next hire, call the team on 020 7247 9455 or email recruitment@portfoliopayroll.co.uk.