What makes a good Payroll Supervisor?

In any large business, the payroll supervisor is crucial. Leading the team, overseeing all processes and adapting to change, they are central to the smooth running of the company and the state of its finances. With so much at stake, how do you find the right person for the job?

Five desirable qualities in a payroll supervisor

  1. Knowledge – A payroll supervisor should have extensive experience in all aspects of running a payroll, enabling them to develop strong knowledge of PAYE, legislation, deductions, new staff procedures and year end tasks. At Portfolio we require candidates to undertake a CIPP test to ascertain the level of their knowledge in these areas.
  2. Relevant experience – Every payroll supervisor or manager role is different, so it's essential to state in the job advert what kinds of software you use, and any specific details of the payroll (e.g. global, high volume, weekly). It's important to weed out any applicants without the right knowledge – unless you're prepared to invest in retraining.
  3. Leadership – The candidate will also be the payroll team leader, so experience in managing, developing and motivating a team is essential, as well as excellent communication skills and patience.
  4. Flexibility – The changing nature of payroll, with recent developments including pensions auto-enrolment and real time information, means any senior payroll professional needs to be flexible. They will be on the front line, planning and implementing new systems and processes to adapt to these changes.
  5. An eye for detail – A major aspect of many supervision roles is developing methods for spotting fraud or errors, and dealing with issues as they occur. This requires investigative skills and a diligent approach.

An added bonus

For most payroll supervisor roles, qualifications would be an advantage, but not essential. Proof of numeracy and analytical nous is positive, while vocational qualifications and CIPP accreditation are available. For senior roles it is also important that a candidate has been proactive in seeking CPD – again showing their flexibility and desire to learn.

If you're looking to hire a payroll supervisor or fill any payroll manager vacancy, contact Portfolio Payroll. Unlike most recruiters, we specialise in payroll, so we know exactly what makes a good candidate. From writing up your job description to selecting candidates to interview, we can ensure you attract and find the right person for the job.

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