Nick Day ACIPP, managing director at JGA recruitment group talks about patterns he is seeing in the payroll job market and how they’ve recently changed.

I’ve worked in payroll recruitment for over 20 years, and I’ve lost count of the number of times a payroll professional has told me they have ‘fallen into payroll’. Perhaps this was the case historically; however, we’re now seeing people pro-actively opt to pursue a career in payroll, and this is significant, because it highlights how far the industry has come.

We’re now seeing people pro-actively opt to pursue a career in payroll.

Covid-19 lockdown measures have also accelerated a change in perspective towards payroll. Payroll professionals were praised for their tireless work, despite constant changes to furlough legislation that pushed payroll departments to breaking point. Over 11.7 million employee jobs were put through the scheme at a cost of £70 billion. We’ve even witnessed world leaders, such as the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, publicly thank the efforts of payroll practitioners “for playing your part in what has been an extraordinary effort”. Subsequently, the importance of payroll is getting recognised as an essential strategic and operational function, and with this recognition, we’ve seen an explosion of new payroll career pathways open within the industry.

The World Economic Forum released an article in 2020 reporting that advances in automation and artificial intelligence (AI) would displace 85 million jobs and create 97 million new ones by 2025. The pandemic has also resulted in the largest home-working experiment of all time, proving payroll professionals can deliver results from remote locations. Automation, evolving software and advances in analytics, reward packages and well-being initiatives have resulted in many new payroll career options coming to the fore.

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Read the full article in The CIPP’s Professional Magazine for March 2022 here