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Payroll workers want career progression

Posted by Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President, on Wednesday, Mar 16, 2016

CAAF Blog: Career progression graphicCareer progression remains one of the top priorities for Canadian workers. However, payroll has a reputation for flatter career progression, and it is often a siloed operation, making progression more challenging.

How can you offer the progression employees want?

In the 2016 Hays Payroll Salary Guide, created with the Canadian Payroll Association, employers identify career progression as their main retention challenge. This is reflected in the payroll workers’ answers, where more than half (53%) of respondents want to reach a payroll manager or middle management position, and 25 per cent are aiming for senior management or C-suite.

However, the nature of payroll makes planning for progression more difficult, as it is often a siloed department with less room at the top. This means fewer top candidates are interested in payroll as a function, and those that are entering the function are looking for companies that are willing to invest in their careers.

There are three key ways you can make the most of this attraction and retention opportunity.

1. Offer job rotation
Career progression is not just about increasing seniority or responsibility. Employees want variety, not just opportunities for promotion.

Rotate employees through different financial or HR roles if you have the capacity for secondments. Not only will this keep them engaged and learning new things, but you get a more effective employee who understands how the different departments interact and effect each other.

2. Support training and development
When we asked Canadian professionals what career progression meant for them, for our What People Want report, they rated learning new skills as one of their top priorities.

Financially support training where possible, including helping payroll workers earn their designation. Other forms of support such as paid time off to study and workload adjustments to manage course work are also important ways to show employees you want them to succeed.

3. Develop a succession plan.
Having a succession plan is crucial for business planning and creating opportunities for career progression, but only 22 per cent of payroll employers report having one – a number that remains flat over the past three years.

Structure your payroll department to give employees clear career path opportunities that will keep then engaged in the role for the long-term.

Learn more about how you can attract and retain top payroll professionals. Request the 2016 Hays Payroll Salary Guide.

Talk to Rowan O'Grady, Hays Canada President, on the Canadian labour market.

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