How Blockchain, Cryptocurrency & DLT affect the Future of Payroll & HR ?

How will Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and DLT technologies affect the future of Payroll & HR. Article 1 of 10

This is article 1 of 10 forming the first part of a series of articles dedicated to my attempt at helping payroll & HR professionals understand what Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and DLT technology are, and perhaps more importantly, how it may affect Payroll & HR processes in the future.

Please also look out for the next Payroll Podcast, which is with Anita Lettink, SVP of Global Alliances at NGAHR which also goes into significant detail about this subject, which is due for release next week.

Why do I think it is essential that payroll and HR professionals understand these complicated and much-hyped technologies? Well, wild volatility in the trading price of Bitcoin has been the main entry point raising up cryptocurrencies, Distributed Ledger Technology and blockchain from a technological oddity to the front pages of the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Forbes, The Guardian and The New York Times.

The payroll industry today contributes some £418m to the UK economy every year and ranks as one of the most expensive back-office functions for the vast majority of small businesses.

These series of articles seek to explore the intersection between the payroll and HR industries, and the most popular technology of 2018: blockchain. Rampant speculation on the price of Bitcoin has forced blockchain and cryptocurrency into the mainstream but it appears that the majority of us are still not quite familiar with what the technologies are.

Blockchain itself has become something of an investor’s buzzword, and it has become hard to separate the hype from reality, but I hope these articles may do just that.

Take the example of Long Island Ice Tea Company. On 21 December 2017 this New York drinks brand announced a startling pivot: it was to change its name to Long Blockchain Company. Company stock rose as much as 289% on the back of the announcement, even though it had no blockchain-based products to sell and had no concrete plans to develop any blockchain technology. The change of direction failed. By 10 April 2018 Long Blockchain Co learned their stock was to be de-listed by the NASDAQ exchange for misleading investors and the company formally abandoned plans to purchase Bitcoin mining equipment.

So easy was it to convince investors that they were worth investing in, all with a simple name change.

It would be foolish to ignore blockchain technology and the impact it could have on both payroll and HR industries. However, this should come with the caveat that blockchain will also not solve all of your payroll problems, nor is it a magic bullet to, overnight, cut your HR or back-office costs in half.

It is still highly experimental technology, so to set the scene of understanding, in thie article , I would like to focus on what Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and DLT Technologies are, an introduction if you will…

Article 1: An introduction to Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and DLT Technology.

What is blockchain?

A blockchain is a type of distributed online accounting ledger which is essentially, an ever-growing list of records. Blockchains are stored across multiple computers and need agreement from each computer to update the entries on the ledger.

Blockchains collect blocks of transactions together in groups, which are then added to the chain of previous blocks and linked together using a form of encryption called ‘cryptographic hashes’ or ‘hash functions’.

These hash functions assign a fixed-length string of letters and numbers to each entry on the ledger. It would take more computer power than there is in existence in the world to randomly guess these hash functions, which is what makes a blockchain so secure.

Blockchains are also tamper-proof because their structure only allows new blocks of transactions to be added, and previously agreed blocks cannot be edited or changed.

While interest in blockchain technology has been growing in the wake of the rocketing (and plunging) price of Bitcoin, driven by speculative mass trading, there are still few enterprise-level blockchain-based products for businesses to use.

The blockchain employs a method of verification for each transaction called ‘proof-of-work’.

Specific computers called mining nodes (miners) each hold a copy of the blockchain and compete in a race to solve a mathematical puzzle to prove that each block of transactions is correct. The winning miner receives a cryptocurrency reward for doing so.

Because of this proof of work, no-one can fraudulently forge new Bitcoin without the agreement of the rest of the blockchain network.

However, proof of work takes a long time and uses up significant electricity as each computer runs through millions of calculations to update the blockchain.

It’ is estimated that Bitcoin mining ‘farms’ using thousands of high-powered computers now use up more electricity each year than the population of Ireland

This is quick overview of what blockchain is. Of course, my future articles will explore the technology in much more detail over the coming weeks, but I hope this gives you a platform of understanding. So, next up, cryptocurrency…

What is cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital, virtual currency. Transactions are secured not with the agreement of banks, but by doing it person-to-person, relying on a kind of encryption called cryptography.

Cryptocurrency transactions are recorded on a blockchain and are linked to a database which is shared (distributed) across multiple computers. This creates a permanent and irreversible online ledger of every transaction made using the currency.

Bitcoin is the first and most widely used cryptocurrency, and it is, in fact, possible to view every Bitcoin transaction that has taken place since it was created.

It’s no coincidence that the idea for Bitcoin, a payments system that deliberately does away with the need for banks and financial institutions, came in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis. Developers wanted a way to bypass the banks – seen as greedy and corrupt – and still, make financial transactions safely and securely.

The idea behind Bitcoin was to create an online store of value that would work without a central point of control.

It is deflationary because it is different from bank-controlled money: no-one can create their own Bitcoin out of thin air, unlike central banks who print millions in the form of quantitative easing.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are built using public, open, ‘permissionless’ blockchains that anyone can view, use and contribute to without asking first.

These contrast with private blockchains, which we’ll discuss later in a future article. Hopefully, you are still following me up to this point right? Okay – so finally we have distributed ledger technology, also known as “DLT”…

What is Distributed Ledger Technology?

Distributed Ledger Technology or DLT is an umbrella term which describes a type of online database which is copied across multiple computers and needs the agreement of each machine to make changes to the entries in that database.

The blockchain is one form of DLT.

Not all DLTs employ a chain of linked blocks as blockchain does, but all DLTs are databases which are spread out across different computers in a network. So, every blockchain is a DLT, but not every DLT is a blockchain.

The agreement on the one correct copy of the ledger is called ‘consensus’, and each computer which stores the ledger contributes to updating it.

In theory, this technology should be able to increase the speed of payments and reduce costs for financial institutions.

This is because recording payments in fiat (national) currencies like the US dollar or the British pound requires a network of participants including banks, governments, regulators, lawyers and compliance officers, which slows down the whole process. DLTs could work autonomously, agreeing to payments automatically and cutting out back-office waste.

So hopefully, now that we have an understanding of what blockchain, cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology (DLT) are, we can explore how and indeed if, we should expect companies to start to pay their employees in cryptocurrency in the future.

I hope you have found this very quick introduction into very complex technologies useful. This article will form the foundation for the future articles I will be releasing on the subject so please save it to your favourites and refer back to it if you need too!

Future articles in the series will include:

  • Will companies start to pay their employees in cryptocurrency?
  • How will blockchain affect HR?
  • How could smart contracts affect payroll and HR?
  • What benefits could blockchain bring to the payroll industry?
  • Blockchain payroll companies
  • How to build a blockchain-based payroll system
  • When should businesses start planning for blockchain?
  • Risks and costs
  • Conclusion – is Blockchain and Crypto the future?

Look out for article 2 in the series: Will companies start to pay their employees in cryptocurrency?

Thanks,

As always, whether you love payroll or love HR, love what you do, work smart and work hard – just be careful not to overdo it.

Please share and comment – I will try to interact with as many as possible!

Why not visit our website where you can access more blogs, FREE whitepapersThe Payroll Podcast and social content about all things “Payroll and HR”.

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please call me or email me and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.

Nick Day | Managing Director

JGA Recruitment | JGA Payroll & HR Recruitment

Email: nick@jgarecruitment.com | Tel: 01727 800 377

The Challenges & Complexities of Implementing new Global Payrolls


Challenging Considerations:

Global payroll can be extremely challenging and incredibly complex. Understanding these challenges and complexities is both essential and necessary.  This is because different countries have varied, unique legislation on matters that impact payroll, such as tax which differs entirely from country to country.  There are also factors such as multiple currencies to consider, as well as complexities such as different languages and cultures which are thrown in for extra measure – as if the process wasn’t confusing enough already!


Avoid Costly Mistakes

 

All things considered, it makes selecting the right vendor, project path or solution extremely challenging. Many businesses make the mistake of deciding on a project direction without first investigating in detail what the best fit-for-purpose solution is, or without researching what is available in the market. Subsequently, the final global payroll solution selected will not always be fit for purpose. This can be an extremely costly mistake!


Set yourself up for success

The best solution should only be decided after considerable research and due diligence, which is why it is highly advisable to follow a detailed planning process to set up your global payroll project for success. Doing it this way will ensure that when you do begin your implementation, you will already know what the objectives are, and you can ensure that they remain aligned with the requirements of your global payroll.

As a minimum, you need to document your current processes and the requirements of your new global payroll process at a high level. This will make it much easier for you to understand what your new global payroll solution or provider will need to be able to deliver. Once you have this, you can then consider inviting in global payroll vendors or software solution providers for early engagement discussions and demonstrations. You may think you know what it is you need, but it is always worth discovering what specialist global payroll providers can recommend. Comprehensive global payroll services can vary from software purchases to Software as a Service (SaaS), full outsourcing or fully managed services (and everything in-between). It is, therefore, a good idea at this stage to talk to the vendors about their strategies for the future so that you can ensure your selection is futureproofed and culturally compatible with the complex global payrolls you need to deliver.


Challenges to overcome: Multiple Currencies

There are many problems payroll departments are faced with when it comes to implementing new global payroll solutions. However, dealing with multiple currencies is one of the most significant challenges to consider. The main problem with working across different currencies is that currency exchange rates are not static. They are a moveable beast, and they can be highly volatile. A sudden fluctuation in exchange rates could result in either your overseas employees suddenly costing the business significantly more than budgeted or your employees end up with a much lower income than they anticipated. The good news is that there are global payroll solutions that work to avoid these risks and reduce exposure, so it is worthwhile researching and locating a provider that offers the technology that can manage or at least mitigate the risk of these challenges for you. Once a system is implemented, it becomes much easier to manage local changes in different countries, allowing you to be compliant, cost-effective while also ensuring that you can pay your employees accurately and promptly too.

Immedis is just one example of such a provider that offers this technology. I mention Immedis because Adrian Morrissey recently discussed global payroll and jurisdictional compliance on The Payroll Podcast with me.  It is well worth a listen too! Whether it is Immedis or one of the many other global payroll providers out there, I would strongly recommend that you take your time to consider which one can deliver the solution that best suits your requirements. Different providers may have different regional strengths too so if, for example, 90% of your global payroll workforce is based in APAC, it would make sense that you selected a provider with particular strengths delivering solutions across APAC regions. This may seem obvious, but with many providers promising to be all things to all payroll departments, it can pay to investigate areas of expertise like this before selecting your provider.


Challenges to overcome: Existing Technology

One of the most critical considerations is then establishing the capabilities of your existing technology. Unless you want to start again from scratch, and most companies do not, it will be vital to find a global payroll system or solution that can integrate well with the systems you already have in place, such as your payroll, reporting, time and attendance, HR and financial systems. Make life significantly easier by analysing the degree of automation that the system offers, so you can make sure that your payroll operations are as efficient as possible. Making sure the user interface is simple to use and provides self-service options for employees is helpful, as it will save the amount of time that your payroll department has to spend answering questions. Finally, make sure that reporting from the system will be straightforward and consistent so you can have a good understanding of global payroll issues at a glance.

Challenges to overcome: Compliance

Another of the significant headaches associated with global payroll systems and associated payroll processing is compliance. If you are working across different countries, you will need to be compliant in many different jurisdictions, and this can be incredibly complicated. Complying with tax regulations can be particularly complicated. The Global Payroll Management Institute recommends bringing in specialists who understand compliance in different jurisdictions to avoid costly mistakes. Aside from tax, you will also need to comply with social security regulations in the country of operation. Bringing in experts can help you to set your system up correctly from the start, to avoid errors. Of course, locating payroll consulting or project experts is something we at JGA Recruitment can help you with too! If you need help, email me: nick@jgarecruitment.com


Challenges to overcome: People Management

 

 

Another challenge of implementing global payrolls is dealing with the people side of things. Leadership skills form an essential part of any payroll management remit, especially where large teams are involved.  However, going global will often lead to changes concerning responsibilities and job roles too. Managing change is therefore vital, especially if your team is afraid of automation. It is human nature to be fearful of the unknown but with evolution, brings opportunity. In reference to RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and artificial intelligence coming into payroll operations, focus on the opportunities it can bring (you can read one of my previous articles on the subject here). Responding to RPA positively will encourage your team to support the change. Automation (in my view) will require payroll departments to develop significant technical payroll expertise, which means that data inputting payroll roles could become a thing of the past. I believe that automation will raise the profile of the payroll profession because it will force businesses to recognise payroll as being a very technically capable function that contributes high-level reporting and analytics to support strategic decision-making at board-level. Evolution is always challenging, so it is imperative that you support your payroll team to ensure they are not confused or concerned during the implementation process.

Subsequently, I would advise adopting particular change management techniques to help avoid these difficult challenges, and I would recommend communicating openly with staff, so they understand why projects are taking place and how they can also get involved. This can help gain support and buy-in for the project so that it runs smoothly – which is a lot better than dealing with employee resistance or demoralisation.  In addition, when managing change, it is also crucial to consider organisational politics to get your stakeholders on-side. This is essential because if you can achieve stakeholder backing then they will not only support you, but they may also free up additional budget or resources that can help the project.

Conclusion:

Ultimately, implementing and then managing global payrolls is never going to be a straightforward task. Managing payrolls across different languages, cultures and time zones add layers of complexity to your payroll operation that can be difficult to surmount. Therefore, it is essential to be very diligent when putting in place a global payroll system or when selecting a suitable global payroll provider so that you do not get caught out. Detailed planning from the outset and then making sure you have the right people in place to deliver the project and manage it on an ongoing basis is as important as finding the right technology and maintaining compliance, as well as the change process. The devil is in the detail, and if you work hard to get it right first time, the chances are that your global payroll implementation will be a great success.

Good Luck!

As always, whether you love payroll or love HR, love what you do, work smart and work hard – just be careful not to overdo it.

Please share and comment – I will try to interact with as many as possible!

Why not visit our website where you can access more blogsFREE whitepapersThe Payroll Podcast and social content about all things “Payroll and HR”.

This article was written by Nick Day, Managing Director at JGA Recruitment – the UK’s Premier Payroll & HR Recruitment Consultancy

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please call me or email me and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.

Nick Day | Managing Director

JGA Recruitment | JGA Payroll & HR Recruitment

Email: nick@jgarecruitment.com | Tel: 01727 800 377

 

Image Credits:

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Is it a risk for Senior Tax or Payroll Professionals to swap Urban Surroundings for a more Rural Location?

Commuting in the bustling, (often dirty) city leads to many of us questioning from time to time where a move to the countryside is something that may be for us. I am sure I am not the only one who has held the escalator handrail during a commute and then discovered blackish, sticky grime has transported from the rail to the palm of your hand. Even worse is being crammed into a tube or a bus finding yourself exposed to the germs being expelled by the individual to your right or left who is coughing uncontrollably and is unwell and knowing there is little you can do to avoid it.

The fact is, more and more people are deciding that enough is enough and are swapping their urban surroundings for more rural surroundings. I can understand this too, as I am someone that moved recently from outer London to the coast of Devon. The commute is admittedly taking some getting used to, but for me, the benefits far outweigh the alternative.

Although this move may be right for me, is it the right move for a senior tax or payroll professional? Worries about maintaining a certain level of income, and securing sufficient work are among the issues that need serious consideration.

Here, the pros and cons in more detail:

Senior tax and payroll professionals considering a move to the countryside have various options with regards to maintaining an income. One point to consider is that many potential clients have also had enough of urban life and are moving to the countryside too. Potentially, this is good news as it may mean it is possible to join a similar sized company with an equally impressive stature to your current firm. If your role requires you to build up a new client base locally in the new rural location then subsequently, this should also be possible. There are also local people who may not be well-serviced and who could be delighted to find an experienced tax or payroll professional operating in their area with City experience.

Agile working opportunities are on the increase as businesses strive to develop better work-life balances and benefits for its employees.   With this in mind, there may be opportunities to continue working with existing clients (or even your existing employer) from home (more on that below). Alternatively, if the move to the countryside is still close enough to the big city, commuting could be possible. Often the reduced cost-of-living costs (also more on this below) associated with rural living can more than accommodate the increased costs of commuting. It might also be plausible to do a combination of these things – for example, work with existing clients remotely one or two days a week, work with local clients one or two days a week, and then commute into the city to maintain business relationships the remaining one or two days a week.

Cost Considerations:

Moving to a rural location may be positive for your bank balance too. As Norwood (2013) explains, the price of a property is considerably lower in rural areas. For the price of a two-bedroomed flat in London, it may very well be possible to purchase a four-bedroomed house in some parts of the countryside, with land sometimes thrown in too, and even some left-over cash. I was personally able to afford a property that is double in size in Devon to the house I previously owned close to London. In certain parts of the country, the cost of living is also significantly cheaper than living in one of the UK’s many cities. That said, I have also discovered that some prices can be higher, in particular, utility bills!  It is also worth noting the property prices, while lower in rural locations, also do not increase in value at the same rate as city locations so this is worth considering if you decide to move away to the countryside now but want to move back to the City later.

Still not convinced? 

Look at this report (related to my recent move to Devon) as an indicator of where the cost of living expenditure can differ (1):

Indices Difference   

  • Consumer Prices in Exeter are 20.00% lower than in London
  • Consumer Prices Including Rent in Exeter are 36.70% lower than in London
  • Rent Prices in Exeter are 58.19% lower than in London
  • Restaurant Prices in Exeter are 21.18% lower than in London
  •  Groceries Prices in Exeter are 17.31% lower than in London
  • Local Purchasing Power in Exeter is 9.16% lower than in London

Agile Working :

In most cases, the financial benefits of moving will probably outweigh the costs. This is particularly true since these days it is possible to work from anywhere with a good WIFI connection – thanks mainly to the increase in SaaS-based solutions (not sure what SaaS is – see my last article – https://jamesgray.wpengine.com/software-service-saas-need-know/).

Senior tax and payroll professionals may find that with the increased use of communications technology such as video conferencing, they can work from home and command a similar income as they did in the big city. This is supported by the ACCA which reports on the numerous technologies that make this much more plausible than it ever was in the past. ‘The Cloud’ offers opportunities to save and share information quickly and efficiently between people working in different locations, for an affordable price. Perhaps this is why the Office for National Statistics reported in 2014 that the number of home workers had increased to 4.2 million, which was the highest number since records began in 1998. Many people find they are more productive working from home, and this affords them a better work-life balance – one of the distinct advantages of moving to the countryside. Even more interesting was the finding that of the 4.2m people working from home, 73.4% of these home workers were in some of the highest skilled roles in the economy (2).

Health Benefits:

An often-overlooked benefit of moving from an urban location to a rural one is the potential health benefits it can bring. Levels of pollutants are lower in rural locations since there are significantly lower levels of traffic. Evidencing the health benefits of not living in urban areas, a study published in The Lancet in 2017 investigated the link between living close to major roads, and the incidence of dementia, and found that there was a higher incidence of this disease for people living nearby to heavy traffic. Any stress in the countryside can also be walked off by stepping outside one’s front door into the greenery not far beyond, with only the sound of birdsong and boots crunching on the ground below, rather than dealing with the constant traffic noise of urban parks (3).

The Cons:

The benefits of moving to a rural location are very compelling, but senior tax and payroll professionals should also consider the changes that this will bring in their lives. In the city it may be possible to pick up groceries, order take away, and get on a train or bus late into the evening. They also have access to a tremendous variety of entertainment and international cuisine opportunities. In the countryside, things differ. With many companies situating their head offices within the major cities of the UK, living in the country could make it much more challenging to meet people or clients, and subsequent opportunities could be lost. Also, the sheer volume of suitable opportunities is likely to be higher in City locations than in rural ones where sometimes large businesses (that would require a dedicated full-time tax or payroll professional) can be few and far between.

Finally, it is likely that any move (unless you can engineer it with your current employer) will require you to being open about accepting a reduction in your current salary. To use the same reference point as the costs of living data included above, the average salary for a Payroll Manager in Devon is £30,652 whereas in London it is £38.970 (source: https://www.payscale.com/). Therefore, you need to ensure that this is a pill you are happy to swallow in return for quieter rural surroundings.

 Conclusions:

Ultimately, moving from an urban location to the rural countryside is a decision that should not be made without serious consideration to personal preferences and priorities. It is essential that senior tax and payroll professionals do not romanticise such a possible change, and instead really consider if such a transformation will bring benefits to them. It is a very personal choice. I made mine for family reasons as I wanted my children to live closer to the sea and have access to rural areas of natural beauty such as Dartmoor. Only time will tell if this was the right decision but if you would like to find out more about my personal experience – please get in touch.

Alternatively, if you are a tax or payroll professional looking for a new role in the countryside then please contact us or send us your CV to nick@jgarecruitment.com

I hope you enjoyed this article – please comment, share and like as I would love to hear from you!

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Written by Nick Day, Managing Director at JGA Recruitment – the UK’s Premier Payroll, HR and Marketing Recruitment Consultancy

Have you listened or subscribed to ‘The Payroll Podcast’ yet? If not, check it out here: https://jamesgray.wpengine.com/the-payroll-podcast/

Thanks!

Nick Day | Managing Director

JGA Recruitment | Payroll & HR Recruiters | Email: nick@jgarecruitment.com | Tel: 01727800377

Copyright©: JGA Recruitment Group 2017

Other Sources:

1.      htttps://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living

2.      https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2014/jun/04/proportion-of-employed-working-from-home-reaches-record-high

3.      http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)32399-6/abstract

SaaS JGA

What is Software as a Service (SaaS) and why I need to know about it

What does SaaS stand for?”

It is a question I was recently asked by a payroll manager who called me for some advice about payroll software, and it got me thinking – perhaps people are not as aware of SaaS (which stands for Software as a Service) as I thought? Subsequently, I decided to write this short blog to help others out there get to grips with what SaaS is and perhaps more importantly, why I think everyone needs to know about it.

Software as a service (SaaS) primarily refers to cloud-based applications offered via a software distribution model whereby a third party hosts the applications and provides them to customers online. Logging in via a web interface, such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox or another similar internet browser makes them extremely accessible. Recently, these types of software have been made increasingly available through mobile devices too. Software as a service (SaaS) means that as well as accessing data in this way via software, the data itself is hosted elsewhere.  Ultimately, companies save money by renting software instead of purchasing it. Subsequently, instead of your company investing in a server where the information is stored, with SaaS, the data will usually be stored centrally by the third-party offering the cloud-based service. Software as a service provides many significant benefits for organisations, and much enterprise software is now in fact delivered in this way, leading to time and budget savings for companies that adopt these types of solutions.

“Why do I need to know this?”

Advantages and reducing Capital Expenditure

You need to know as the benefits that can be brought about through adopting software as a service (SaaS) solutions can be highly advantageous for businesses and payroll operations of all sizes. One significant benefit is cost and time savings. In the past, IT departments would manage the servers that host the applications that employees access and that store the data the employees save. With software as a service, this is unnecessary, as the third-party provider takes care of all of this. This means that less staff are needed to administer and manage servers and data – which in the past could have been very time-consuming. For example, each time a software update or IT maintenance is required, previously the provider would have had to coordinate with your IT team, and your team would have been involved in making the changes and upgrades. However, with SaaS, the provider will manage these changes on your behalf. It also means that fewer servers are required by the organisation making storage more secure and the cost of storing it, more efficient. Servers can be particularly costly, so utilising SaaS can be a great way of reducing IT capital expenditure. Also, SaaS applications are unlikely to require the upfront costs associated with traditional software implementations because all you need is a login and an internet connection to install them. These server, maintenance, upgrade, and implementation savings make SaaS applications a very attractive proposition.

Affordability and Flexibility

Software as a service also makes software much more affordable for companies allowing many businesses to access software that they just would not have had the financial resources to obtain in the past. Traditionally, the software has been sold by licences that are then associated with specific users or computers in an office. However, due to the way that the data is stored centrally, both hardware and software licence costs can now be much lower, making this a much more affordable option for business users. Another benefit from a cost perspective is that SaaS business models typically offer applications on a “pay as you go” model. Subsequently, companies pay for what they use, rather than paying for exclusively dedicated and expensive servers rarely utilised to their full capacity. This pay-as-you-go approach provides incredible flexibility and options for companies because it means they can scale up and down, depending on business needs at any given time.

Mobility and Accessibility

Software as a service is increasingly becoming more mobile as well (i.e. software of this type is now frequently accessed via smartphones). Many companies have developed their SaaS offerings into versions that are specifically designed to work on mobile devices, rather than merely making their website available on the mobile device. The result is it makes them significantly more user-friendly for mobile adopters. This mobile advantage means that SaaS solutions can be accessible via smartphones to access anytime and in any location, provided that there is internet availability. The result is that employees can access the systems they need remotely, such as when they are home, out in the field or with clients. It also provides opportunities for more flexible working for employees. Considering the number of hours payroll or HR professional work beyond 5:30 pm; it is easy to see why the prospect of implementing SaaS solutions can be exciting to payroll and HR managers alike.

Integration

Another critical benefit of software as a service (SaaS) applications is the fact that in many cases these can easily be integrated with existing or new SaaS applications. The net result is that SaaS solutions make it easier for businesses to link up one system with another, passing data between them without causing major headaches for your IT team or indeed between HR, Payroll and Financial functions.

Drawbacks

Like anything new, there are some drawbacks to SaaS applications. One is a potential loss of control (traditionally the responsibility of your IT department) is now managed by the third-party SaaS provider. Another is connectivity issues or requirements. Since SaaS software is web-hosted, applications will not work if there is a problem with your Internet connection. Similarly, applications may also be slower than in-house server applications if your internet is slow or if servers hosted by the third-party provider are located on the other side of the world. Some applications may also be limited regarding function and features, so it is essential that the SaaS solution you are considering does offer you the features you need to run your payroll or HR function efficiently.

Conclusion

Ultimately, you’re probably already using SaaS without even knowing it, but if not, as you can see, you probably should be. Software as a service has tremendous benefits for business and can save a lot of human resources, time and money, as well as a great deal of hassle. Let’s be honest; payroll departments are stretched enough already so if SaaS can help reduce stress within your payroll department, then looking into Software as a Service for your business today could prove extremely worthwhile.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Written by Nick Day, Managing Director at JGA Recruitment – the UK’s Premier Payroll, HR and Marketing Recruitment Consultancy

Nick Day | Managing Director

Website: JGA Payroll & HR Recruitment | Email: nick@jgarecruitment.com  | Tel: 01727800377

Download the JGA App: Google Android / iOS iTunes | Download Free Payroll & HR Whitepapers

Copyright©: JGA Recruitment Group 2017 | Image: Copyright: www.123rf.com/profile_iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo

Consumers Guide to Recruitment

Consumers Guide to Recruitment

Consumers Guide to Recruitment

Your recruitment campaign should be a comprehensive plan detailing everything from who you are looking to recruit, when, where and how. As Richard Branson says ‘The most important part of any organisation are the employees’, and finding employees that are qualified, motivated and skilled can be a challenge if you don’t have a recruitment campaign in place. This guide is intended to help you and your business develop an effective recruitment campaign to maximise time and efficiency and to ultimately find the best possible candidates for the job.

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Why not visit our website where you can access more blogsFREE whitepapers and social content about all things “Payroll and HR”.

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please call me or email me and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.

Nick Day | Managing Director

JGA Recruitment | JGA Payroll & HR Recruitment

Email: nick@jgarecruitment.com | Tel: 01727 800 377

Mobile payroll payments blog

The growth in Mobile payroll payments and self-service portals

The use of mobile payroll payment gateways and self-service portals are growing in the payroll industry.

Despite this growth, many businesses are yet to embrace the opportunities that these types of systems provide. Payroll Lab argues that this can be down to data confidentiality concerns, in addition to the tremendously large processing requirements that payroll data brings. However, in some cases, it is likely that payroll teams are not even aware of their existence, particularly in smaller companies, where payroll is not the primary activity of the business. Regardless, the availability and variety of these solutions continue to increase in the marketplace, so I thought it might be helpful to discuss what they are and how/why they add value.

Looking at mobile payroll software solutions first, the great attraction of these is that they can be accessed anywhere at any time. Therefore, real-time information (RTI) can quickly be gleaned by anyone, anywhere and analytics can be right up to date across multiple locations too. Companies that offer mobile payroll payment apps may provide both an employer app and an employee app. The employer app will allow updates to be made anywhere, to any figure. Payroll can be stopped or started, or an extra payment can be added, just by swiping on a smartphone or other mobile device. Meanwhile, for employees, being able to access payroll information via an app offers opportunities for them to check on their earnings, view payslips and double-check how much holiday they have left.

This real-time approach to payroll can have some exciting and beneficial advantages for employees.  It can also help improve the efficiency of a payroll department because when employees have access to payroll details themselves (via mobile devices), it can cut out the need for payroll professionals losing time repeatedly answering simple payroll questions. Essentially, employees can look up the answers directly by logging into their mobile payroll apps. There can also be advantages in cost savings too. According to Core HR, in 2014, the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals found that 33% of companies were using electronic payslips and this was bringing about considerable savings compared with posting them. Allowing employees to access them via their phones makes this process even more efficient, allowing employees to access the data as and when they need it.

Payroll self-service portals bring similar sorts of benefits. An employee payroll self-service portal is essentially software that provides the employee with the potential to either view or manage their own payroll and/or HR information. The employee is given a login and can access the system as and when he or she likes. The benefits of this for a payroll function are two-fold because it means employees take responsibility for tasks that often the payroll department would usually be responsible for handling. Secondly, employee self-service payroll portals typically allow employees to view and update a wide range of different information. Some such changes include contact details, address details and banking information, among others – again this can save both payroll & HR departments time and resources. To prevent mistakes some self-service payroll portals, include approval processes – so while costs reduce (thanks to saving payroll departments time in having to interact with the employee in entering all the relevant details), there is still some outlay associated with checking and approvals. Generally speaking, almost all self-service payroll portals provide the potential for employees to request annual leave. Requests such as this are usually only approved once they have been passed to the relevant line manager for approval.

Many mobile payroll payments and self-service portals are available; however, before deciding to implement these types of systems, it is essential that the company understands the pros and cons of doing so. Regarding benefits, the likelihood is that productivity will increase, as will efficiency in the payroll team as the number of questions directed to payroll employees will likely reduce – as employees can look these up in the system. It is also thought that errors and mistakes can be reduced as employees will want to be paid so will make sure they enter their own data correctly. In theory, this should cut back costs associated with errors. In addition, there is a line of argument that employees are more empowered by being able to take care of these sorts of tasks for themselves.

On the other hand, these types of systems are not necessarily suited to everyone. One of the most significant challenges can be getting employees to understand how to interact with the system, and a lot of effort will need to be invested up front in training and understanding what is required. Where employees do not understand, they may try to muddle through without asking for help, and this could create more problems than it solves.

Nevertheless, if organisations can get past this initial stage, the potential for cost saving and improved quality with these types of systems is considerable and therefore implementing mobile payroll payment solutions or self-service offerings may well be worth the investment.

As always, whether you love payroll or love HR, love what you do, work smart and work hard – just be careful not to overdo it. 😊

_____________________________________________________________________

Why not visit our website where you can access more blogsFREEwhitepapers and social content about all things “Payroll and HR”.

 

This article was written by Nick Day, Managing Director at JGA Recruitment – the UK’s Premier Payroll & HR Recruitment Consultancy

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please call me or email me and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.

Nick Day | Managing Director

JGA Recruitment | JGA Payroll & HR Recruitment

Email: nick@jgarecruitment.com | Tel: 01727 800 377

Image Credits: https://www.123rf.com/profile_ximagination

Blog

How is the digital age affecting payroll?

The digital age is transforming all businesses, without exception. Payroll is no different and like other back-office functions has naturally been impacted by the digital age. There have been many changes to payroll – some of which that have crept in overtime and some that hit with a big bang. All have been affecting how payroll operates in many different ways, such as through the use of cloud-based systems, mobility and robotic process automation (RPA). Read on, and I will explore each of these in greater depth.

Digital payroll management and automation have been one of the primary ways in which payroll is changing as a direct result of the digital age. This automation and digitisation of processes are highly beneficial because, as Capgemini highlight, it allows payroll to be ‘significantly more productive’. RPA also reduces the risk of human error within payroll systems. As long as the correct information is input by the payroll administration in the first place, the system will take care of much of the rest. The time saved by payroll companies can thus be directed towards other activities, and overall digital advancements provide the opportunity for payroll to be more efficient.

Meanwhile, Forbes reports that one of the fundamental changes brought about by digital has been the use of cloud-based systems in payroll. Such systems are web-based and no longer require a person to be logged in on a specific machine to gain access to the data within. As long as an internet connection is available, anyone should be able to access the system at any time with their login details. The hosting of data in the “cloud” rather than on-premises has therefore led to the opportunity for increased mobility. One of the significant advantages of this is that payroll administration can be carried out from anywhere and employees can access the data via mobile devices, in addition to on their desktops in the office. One of the benefits of this digital advance is that there should be fewer payroll deadlines missed. Data seen by one person will be consistent with that observed by another, helping to reduce consistency issues, lower complexity and aid problem-solving. Fraud is also easier to monitor for and track, as all of the data is accessible in the same place.

The benefits of using a digital cloud-based system do not end there, and one improvement is that IT staff are not needed within the payroll firm to manage the system. Cloud-based payroll systems controlled by the provider, who take care of all of the maintenance and upgrading activities themselves. This digital advantage has typically allowed payroll companies to make savings regarding IT costs associated with maintaining payroll systems. The risk is also transferred, as the company hosting the payroll system is responsible for resilience in the case of issues such as natural disaster – though payroll companies should undertake due diligence to ensure that there are the appropriate levels of backups in place. Some aspects of data security are also managed by the provider, though of course the business and individuals within it still have responsibility for proper security protocols, such as keeping passwords safe. The use of digital solutions such as cloud-based systems allows payrolls to scale systems up and down when needed without increasing cost permanently, as usually, companies pay for what they use when they use it. The result is a no more requirement to pay for additional, expensive servers, “just in case”.

Also, robotic process automation is already impacting the payroll industry, and this digital change offers significant benefits to payroll companies and teams. Robotic process automation is the utilisation of robotics technology to carry out processes and deal with transactions. There is a wide range of activities where these could be applied. Ernst & Young have explained that any standard and repetitive payroll activities that are carried out could be performed by robots rather than machines. I am of course not referring to walking, talking robots but rather, software that can learn. Any tasks that have clear, pre-programmed rules and work with structured data can be undertaken by robotic process automation (RPA) technology, where logical decisions can be deduced. Specific areas where RPA can help is in automating data entry, carrying out reconciliation and validating data, reviewing quality, and working within simple business rules. Data processing errors and data compliance problems might be handled by RPAs, such as the discrepancies between data that payroll has and that which HR has stored.

Overall, the digital age has brought and continues to bring significant benefits to payroll teams and organisations. Companies that have not yet adopted digital technologies should consider doing so, as the productivity and cost efficiency benefits of doing so can be considerable.

How have you seen the digital age affect payroll? Please comment and share!

 

Why not visit our website where you can access more blogsFREEwhitepapers and social content about all things “Payroll and HR”.

This article was written by Abu Choudhury, Sales Director at JGA Recruitment – the UK’s Premier Payroll & HR Recruitment Consultancy

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please call me or email me and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.

Abu Choudhury | Sales Director

JGA Recruitment | JGA Payroll & HR Recruitment

Email: abu@jgarecruitment.com | Tel: 01727 800 377

Image Credits: Image: Copyright: <aref=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_photonphoto’>photonphoto / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Success Blog

7 Payroll Skills to Progress your Payroll Career

 

Payroll is a competitive field, and taking steps to progress your career can be highly beneficial. With a higher level of skill or experience, you can stand out from the crowd and show recruiters that you have that little bit extra to offer. Here are 7 Payroll skills /tips you might want to consider that can help you gain that all-important payroll promotion!

1.     Getting a Recognised Payroll Qualification

Working on getting a qualification in Payroll will show managers and recruiters that you are committed to your field and that you know your stuff. The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) offer diplomas in payroll that may be of interest, and there are also payroll BTEC Diplomas on offer at all levels from other reputable providers such as The Learn Centre.  Another opportunity might be to consider studying for the MSc (Master of Science) in Business & Payroll Management currently offered by the University of Derby (run in conjunction with the CIPP). This qualification is arguably the pinnacle qualification available within the payroll industry and completing it epitomises someone who is committed to achieving excellence within the profession. You can also study for a Foundation Degree in Payroll Management endorsed by Worcester University (also run in conjunction with the CIPP). Undertaking such studies will show you to be serious about your career, and will also provide you with detailed knowledge that other candidates simply may not have. Many companies now insist upon a qualification so achieving one could also be your first step in the door to new, progressive career opportunities.

From October 2017, the CIPP announced that payroll professionals can now achieve individual chartered status within the payroll industry. To become recognised as a Chartered member there are strict criteria, but if successful, you can gain recognition within the industry as a being a payroll professional committed to delivering best practice.

2.     Commit to Payroll Training

If gaining a qualification within the industry is a commitment too far for you at this stage of your career, perhaps due to professional or personal obligations then the next best option is to consider upskilling yourself by undertaking some specialist payroll training courses. There are many out there offered by some exceptional and highly experienced providers. For example, if you want to progress your International payroll skills then there are few better places to start than with one of the many International payroll courses offered by Global Payroll Association (GPA). In addition to the GPA, exceptional training courses covering all aspects of UK payroll and compliance are also provided by The Learn Centre, the CIPP and Pitman Training.

3.     Gain Team Management / Supervisory Experience

Supervisory experience can help you advance your career as it shows you know how to manage and lead a team. The ability to lead, motivate, train and develop a payroll team is a critical skill that will show recruiters or hiring managers that you can deliver a successful payroll operation, prioritise tasks and demonstrate composure and sounds management skills within a busy and stressful working environment. However, gaining this experience can sometimes be a bit of a “chicken and egg” problem. Often, to secure a management or supervisory role previous experience in leading teams will be required so it can be a skill that is hard to gain. One step you could take to surmount this problem might be letting your boss know you would be happy to stand in for him/her as needed, offering your support where possible to train and mentor new members of staff or by volunteering your experience wherever possible to gain supervisory exposure. By finding ways to increase your exposure to supervising others, you can quickly FastTrack your payroll career to an official supervisory or management role in the future. Take responsibility, develop transferable leadership skills and progress your career.

4.     Develop your Payroll Profile & Network

Networking is an excellent skill to have and could lead to you meeting influential professionals that could help progress your career. One way of achieving this is by proactively joining relevant networking or peer groups. Some fantastic events include the GPAUK PAYROLL SUMMIT 2018 provided by the GPA; the Future Focused Payroll Conference 2018 offered by The Learn Centre or the Payroll Annual Conference & Exhibition hosted by the CIPP.

However, you can also enhance your social presence too! Consider developing a professional LinkedIn profile which can showcase your payroll skills. LinkedIn is a professional social platform that allows you to join, partake, debate and share in relevant industry related payroll groups and is a great way to build your network within the payroll industry with relevant payroll industry leaders. Within LinkedIn, you also can increase your knowledge by asking questions regarding systems, legislation or processes and within minutes expect industry experts to help and respond. You may be reading this article on LinkedIn – in which case you are already ahead of the curve! Keep up the good work! Why not increase your own network today by joining mine? I have 9K+ payroll connections worldwide! Send me an invite at nick@jgarecruitment.com

5.     Gain Software Implementation Experience

A payroll software implementation is a relatively common activity that occurs within a Payroll environment. Payroll systems are continually evolving to keep up with either the latest payroll legislation or the most recent software advancement.  Showing you have this type of experience could help you stand out from the crowd in an interview situation, particularly if a business is considering a system change or an upgrade project in the near future! In payroll there is a vast variety of systems in use, so as well as gaining implementation experience, it is advisable to try and get experience in as many of these as possible as many positions will require knowledge of a specific system for you to be considered. If you are already highly experienced payroll and you are reading this, then you might say “once you have used a few, they are all pretty much the same, and I could pick up any even if I don’t have experience”. This may be true, and as an experienced recruiter, this is one of the hardest objections to overcome. The reality is, in a candidate-driven market, employers can be specific about what they want, and even if you possess the skills to pick up a new system, many hiring managers will not give you a chance in a new role unless you already have the experience! So, if you get an opportunity to increase your system implementation skills or to learn a new payroll software package – take it!

6.     Gain International Payroll Experience

Getting experience in processing payrolls beyond the shores of the UK will broaden the scope of your experience and open up new and exciting career opportunities for you. Payroll in the UK is not the same as Payroll in other countries. We also work in a global landscape now with many International businesses basing their headquarters here in the UK, it means that more and more roles (particularly senior ones) now require experience of EMEA, APAC, LATAM, NA or other Global territories. EMEA refers to Europe, Middle East and Africa, which is a common grouping of regions for Payroll (and other) business purposes. APAC applies to Asia-pacific areas, NA to North America and Canada and LATAM relates to Latin America. If you can work in a place where you can gain experience of International payrolls, then it will allow you to apply for more jobs that require such specialist expertise. This knowledge could also take your career into a whole new and exciting direction. It might even lead to the opportunity to work abroad

Want to learn more about Global Payroll without training? Check out the free global payroll publication offered by the Global Payroll Association. Download the latest magazine here: http://gpa-global.org/magazine/

7.     Gain Payroll Change Experience

As with any other function in the business, Payroll is frequently exposed to change, brought about by technology advancement or changes in the business environment, among others. For example, having experienced a situation where Payroll moved from weekly to monthly, you may be well placed to help other teams that want to do this take the best approach to it – and this type of experience has the potential to make you a strong candidate for Payroll positions that are up for grabs. Assisting with implementing changes to a payroll operation that are required for compliance requirement (such as RTI or Auto Enrolment) shows that you are capable of handling complex tasks and can deliver against a project timescale. Hiring managers are always looking for candidates that are willing to go the ‘extra mile’ that can demonstrate a willingness to improve processes, deliver cost savings and that will advance customer/employee satisfaction. Payroll plays a fundamental role in all of these areas so if you can demonstrate your commitment to process improvement related tasks; it just might be the difference that secures you your next advancement.

Adding more strings to your bow will be very helpful in moving your Payroll Career forward. Why not look at the options today and sign up for a bit of personal development? You never know where it could take your payroll career.

As always, whether you love payroll or love HR, love what you do, work smart and work hard – just be careful not to overdo it. 😊

May I also take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year!!

____________________________________________________________________

Why not visit our website where you can access more blogsFREEwhitepapers and social content about all things “Payroll and HR”.

This article was written by Nick Day, Managing Director at JGA Recruitment – the UK’s Premier Payroll & HR Recruitment Consultancy

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please call me or email me and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.

Nick Day | Managing Director

JGA Recruitment | JGA Payroll & HR Recruitment

Email: nick@jgarecruitment.com | Tel: 01727 800 377

Image Credits:

Header: https://www.123rf.com/profile_gustavofrazao

Content: https://www.123rf.com/profile_Elnur

Payroll Blog

Why the HR and Payroll Relationship is More Important that you think

People often claim Payroll should be part of a Finance function rather than an HR function. Payroll professionals process and calculate payments so it must be part of finance, right? Additionally, Payroll departments are also responsible for paying bonuses, dealing with changes in taxation legislation as well as a host of other important financial tasks. These responsibilities alone leave many with the viewpoint that Payroll is a Finance responsibility.

But is it?

At first sight, this logic may seem difficult to argue with. Some companies have even created a section within their Finance teams called “Finance HR”. A study of HR professionals carried out by Advanced Business Solutions found that there are many mixed opinions on this matter. The study was carried out both in the UK and the USA and showed that only 25% of participants believed Payroll should sit within HR. However, 24% of participants felt that Payroll should be a component of the Finance team (with everyone else thinking it should be positioned between the two or be altogether outsourced)! The thinking behind positioning Payroll within Finance is down to the fact that Payroll is cost-sensitive and is typically the most significant expense for most organisations. The payroll function is also very numbers driven. This makes a compelling case for placing Payroll within Finance. However, the relationship between HR and Payroll is a close one too, and maybe more important than you think.

Here’s why:

The relationship between HR and Payroll is essential due to the close correlation between the activities undertaken by each. HR has an instrumental role in determining how best to remunerate talent, and Payroll, in turn, is responsible for ensuring that approaches to reward management put into practice. This is a critical factor for defining the role between the two and for making a case for excellent relationships between them. There are numerous other examples of this, not just the monthly pay run. These include the payment of bonuses, as well as raises in salary. They also include the ties between firing people and that person getting paid as well as other areas such as absenteeism, sickness leave, maternity pay, paternity pay, adoption pay, starters and leavers and more. These are all areas where a good relationship between HR and Payroll can lead to a more efficient working partnership, which ultimately results in improved employee services provided to staff.

Another important, but linked concept is the fact that Payroll contains significant employee-related confidential information, often accessed or relied upon by HR. For example, Payroll information could be analysed to support HR diversity and equality agendas. These are employee-related areas that may be managed by HR but are intrinsically linked to data held and controlled by those in Payroll. If Payroll is situated within finance, it might be more difficult for HR access data to analyse whether diversity and equality policies are being productive. Offering equal opportunities or fair pay are just two examples, but there can be many more. By closely linking Payroll and HR operations it is possible to track correlations and put in place systems for reducing inequality. Together, HR and Payroll functions have all the pieces to put puzzles together to develop, analyse and implement extremely effective employee policies and initiatives.

Confidentiality is also an area where the relationship between Payroll and HR is intertwined. The decisions that are made around pay and benefits need to be highly confidential. So too, does the data that both HR and Payroll utilise to ensure that people are paid in a timely way. This includes data such as home addresses, National Insurance details etc. From a practical perspective, this is another critical reason why HR and Payroll need to have a close relationship and why that link needs to be robust. With new GDPR data protection regulations well on their way, it makes, even more, sense to solidify the relationship between HR and Payroll, if even just for data protection purposes (though of course there are more reasons than that, as shown here).

Another essential reason why Payroll and HR’s relationship should be a close one is the fact that decisions that HR make drives what Payroll does, and arguably more closely and in greater detail than decisions made by Finance. For example, Finance may decide that the budget for pay will not be more than a certain amount each year. However, it is HR that will work with managers to determine what people will be paid and why. Finance does not have an oversight of this, and arguably, with its intensive focus on numbers, does not have the close, in-depth experience of understanding the skills, knowledge and expertise that different employees bring to a team. This would make it challenging for Finance to work with Payroll supporting the latter on decisions made, or even making the decisions in the first place.

Ultimately, the relationship between Payroll and HR is more intricate and interlinked than might at first be realised. Getting underneath the surface, it seems clear that this is a relationship that needs to be healthy, robust, retained and nurtured, despite the pressure from some to locate Payroll in Finance.

As always, Love payroll, love what you do, work smart, work hard – just be careful not to overdo it.

 

Why not visit our website where you can access more blogswhitepapers and social content about all things “Payroll”. You can also download our latest Whitepaper: A Payroll Blueprint Towards Successful Transformation or our HR Whitepaper, Employee Engagement – A Critical HR Problem.

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This article was written by Nick Day, Managing Director at JGA Recruitment – the UK’s Premier Payroll & HR Recruitment Consultancy

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please call me or email me and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.

Nick Day | Managing Director

JGA Recruitment | JGA Payroll & HR Recruitment

Email: nick@jgarecruitment.com | Tel: 01727 800 377

Credits:

Source : https://www.thehrdirector.com/features/miscellaneous/is-payroll-really-hrs-responsibility/

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Blog

Master Your Stakeholders in 8 Simple Steps

A stakeholder is someone, or a group, that has an interest or concern in something. Managing stakeholders can be tricky. Stakeholders include different business partners, employees, senior management (the board), shareholders, the public, and lobby groups among others. There are stakeholders in most business activities and projects, and the interest each has can be very different. This conflict between diverse interests of stakeholders can make it quite challenging for an HR or Payroll professional to do their job efficiently. This is particularly true if one stakeholder thinks another stakeholder is getting a better deal. Managing stakeholders effectively to the point that you can master this is essential to achieving HR or Payroll success. Here at JGA Recruitment, many of the Payroll or HR vacancies we handle require individuals to have “excellent stakeholder management skills” so, here are eight steps you can take to master your stakeholders:

  1. UNDERSTAND WHO YOUR STAKEHOLDERS ARE – often mastering stakeholders is an activity that falls at the very first hurdle, since certainly, it will be impossible to master those that you are not aware of. Spend some time having a brainstorm to get to the bottom of who has an interest or concern in what you are doing. Stakeholders for HR and Payroll professionals often includes the managers and employees in the departments that are served, the senior management team, shareholders, HR colleagues and your HR manager, (among others). In a partnership environment, you may have many bosses so understanding the requirements of each and getting to know them well can be critical to ensuring you can deliver an excellent service in line with stakeholder expectations.
  2. PINPOINT YOUR STAKEHOLDERS’ INTERESTS – mastering your stakeholders will be difficult if you are unsure what their interests are. Sometimes, it may be appropriate to ask them, and in others, not – on occasion, these interests may also be closely tied to office politics. Nonetheless, if you can deduce specific stakeholder interests to satiate their requirements, then you can then find ways to manage these effectively.
  3. DEFINE THE LEVEL OF STAKEHOLDER INTEREST – while all stakeholders have an interest in what you are doing, some have more of interest than others. Those that have more of interest have the potential to be trickier to manage as well. You might choose to rank stakeholders between 1 and 10 with one being the highest level of interest and ten the lowest. This will help you isolate who may need closer management and why.
  4. ASSESS STAKEHOLDER POWER – some stakeholders have more power than others. This usually makes them more challenging to master, and especially if they are highly interested too, as they will want to know everything that is going on. Those that have more power have more influence. They can stop you in your tracks if they are not efficiently managed. Knowing who these stakeholders are and what they want is critical in mastering their management. The CEO has high power, but often may have relatively low interest in lower level HR or Payroll activities you are undertaking (unless you get their payroll wrong, in which case their interest may increase quite suddenly)!
  5. PLOT STAKEHOLDERS ON THE POWER INTEREST GRID – once you have all the information you can chart your stakeholders by the strategy you will take to mastering them. If they have high power and low interest, your strategy must be to keep them satisfied. With low power and low interest, you only need monitor stakeholders. Where there is high interest and low power, keeping stakeholders informed makes it easier to manage them. The most difficult stakeholders will be those with the most power and the most interest. These stakeholders need to be closely managed as they have both the power and interest to quash projects if they so desire.

6. PRIORITISE STAKEHOLDERS – all stakeholders are important, but some are likely to be more important than others in different scenarios. For example, if managing a problematic reward management situation such as a pay freeze, one of the key stakeholders may be the manager who must pass the information over to the team. Another significant stakeholder may be a key person with talent that the organisation does not want to lose. Understanding who is most important to manage in any given situation will make it easier for you to manage stakeholder issues more effectively overall.

7. DEVELOP A COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY – mastering your stakeholders is all about communication. Letting your stakeholders know what you are doing and why and doing this in a timely manner will help you to manage their expectations more comfortably. This is because to some degree you will be able to control when they react to your activities by telling them at a specific time. Consider the power interest grid when communicating with stakeholders – not all stakeholders want the tiniest of details all the time. Your HR director probably does not want to know about one person leaving the organisation. However, they do want to have flagged up to them a potential employee retention issue across an entire department. Use some common sense with this.

8. SEEK OPPORTUNITIES TO PLEASE – finally, mastering stakeholders should involve sharing good news too. Finding ways to go the extra mile to impress your stakeholders can be useful for your career, and can keep those troublesome stakeholders off your back too. Being more proactive about helping stakeholders achieve their goals is likely to be good for your reputation, so it is worth looking for ways to do this.

Ultimately, the key is to get to know your stakeholders early. Failure to recognise who they are or what power they yield could be costly, whereas understanding their motivations and aspirations and supporting these could put you on a fast-track road to success and development.

The question is, do you know who your key stakeholders are???

As always, whether you love payroll or love HR, love what you do, work smart and work hard – just be careful not to overdo it. 😊

Why not visit our website where you can access more blogswhitepapers and social content about all things “Payroll”. You can also download our latest Whitepaper: A Payroll Blueprint Towards Successful Transformation

____________________________________________________________________

This article was written by Nick Day, Managing Director at JGA Recruitment – the UK’s Premier Payroll & HR Recruitment Consultancy

If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please call me or email me and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.

Nick Day | Managing Director

JGA Recruitment | JGA Payroll & HR Recruitment

Email: nick@jgarecruitment.com | Tel: 01727 800 377

Image Credits: Copyright: www.123rf.com/profile_faithie