JGA Recruitment Group opines on payroll industry
JGA Recruitment Group opines on payroll industry
Covid-19 hit the UK just as payroll departments were preparing for year-end, the busiest month in the payroll calendar.

Covid-19 hit the UK just as payroll departments were preparing for year-end, the busiest month in the payroll calendar. Since then, payroll professionals have hunkered down, working tirelessly to keep the world paid, despite wrestling new legislation, remote access to data and enquiries from all angles.

Meanwhile, C-suites vigorously streamlined operations and identified technological improvements in response to safeguard profits, improve efficiency and develop employee-centric outcomes.  However, as normality slowly returns, how will that leave the future for payroll?

In the world of payroll recruitment, automation has caused hiring demands to change.  Payroll vacancies are becoming more analytical and less transactional.  Payroll departments, (managing significantly more data than most functions), are being challenged by boardrooms to identify trends and improvements that boost profitability and efficiency.  If harnessed correctly, payroll data can become a powerful resource that helps drive strategic C-suite level decisions.

Improving employee wellbeing, satisfaction, and retention is also paramount for businesses. How employees receive their pay plays a central role in this equation.  Subsequently, employee-centric payroll services, including self-service, mobile apps, pay-on-demand services, and interactive payslips, are increasing. Every marginal gain implemented that improves the employee experience is critical because better engagement equates to better performance.

The future will also require strong payroll leadership as workforces become more global, remote, and balance demanding.  Industry leaders interviewed on The Payroll Podcast and The HR L&D Podcast believe the future of payroll will see the dissolution of the monthly pay cycle.  New payroll protocols will undoubtedly be created, on-demand pay will become the norm.  Cyber-crime and economic instability may also result in cryptocurrency pay, blockchain and other technologies infiltrating payroll processes earlier than anticipated.

Fortunately, throughout history, the payroll community has always adapted.  Many believed payroll could not be processed from home. The pandemic dispelled that myth. Studies claimed payroll professionals would become obsolete once systems automated processes. Covid-19 furlough legislation disproved this theory.

However, the future will require the industry to view payroll through a new lens.  The old one, focused on legislation, compliance and risk mitigation is no longer adequate.  The new lens requires a broader aperture to incorporate technology and data with a focus on making payroll profitable.

Payroll has been a thankless task for decades and yet, time and again, it has evolved to keep the world paid. Covid-19 elevated the role of payroll, therefore, as payroll responsibilities augment, payroll leaders must inform C-suites of the critical role payroll can play in supporting organisational objectives. Visualise payroll contributing at board level.  Focus your attentions, take a picture, and share the image with your stakeholders because now is the time for everyone to start viewing payroll through a new lens. 

JGA Recruitment Group are a multi-award-winning, Payroll & HR search firm covering all levels of the market. We place permanent, interim, and temporary vacancies.  If you need to recruit top payroll talent, contact or visit

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