FUTURE OF PAYROLL SURVEY REPORT 2020
Businesses are changing strategies. In recruitment terms, I have seen this first-hand. Employees are now demanding more from employers than ever before, and organisations are focusing their attentions on retention instead of attraction. The way employees receive their pay plays a central role in this emerging challenge as employees seek more transparency regarding wages. To satiate demand, I predict we will see a rise in the adoption of self-service platforms, mobile apps, chatbots, pay-on- demand services and interactive payslips. Surprisingly, only 12% of 413 payroll professionals surveyed believe pay-on-demand services were an attractive benefit for the workforce. However, I think organisations will continue to adopt the US trend of implementing employee-centric services. Why? Because organisations will utilise all marginal gains possible to improve the employee experience because better engagement typically results in better performance. In response, the demand for hybrid skills is also growing. Inter-related collaboration between payroll, reward, wellness, and performance is increasing, causing payroll to become more holistic. Therefore, transferable skills in the fields of compensation, benefits, human resources, and customer services are becoming more valuable. Individuals with the necessary skills to bridge the complexity gaps that exist between positions will become highly sought after by organisations aiming to drive efficiency improvements with integrated workforces. Encouragingly, I believe that as global complexity increases and technology advances, payroll skills will continue to increase in both value and demand. It will be payroll professionals who take responsibility for interpreting and contextualising the data robots provide for strategic purposes. It will also be payroll professionals who provide the safety-blanket for when things go wrong. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated that when systems failed, it was human payroll professionals who stepped in to keep the world paid. Therefore, it is imperative payroll professionals continue to build the soft and technical skills required to manage both people and robots. Autopilots may fly planes, but I, for one, would be reticent to board a flight without a competent pilot present to take over the controls if the autopilot failed.
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