What is the best payroll software to get on my resume so I can stand out from the crowd?

By Payroll Talent

Firstly, before we start, it is imperative to understand that there is NO substitute for the ‘soft skills’ that Hiring Managers are seeking when they are hiring Payroll Professionals. Soft skills are defined as ‘personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people’. They are also referred to as ‘transferable’ or ‘professional’ skills.

Secondly, before we answer the software question, it is important to note that there are a few things to consider here (based on the fact the article is written from the perspective of a Payroll/HRIS Recruitment Specialist):

  • No opinions on the quality/functionality of payroll software products mentioned are provided
  • The articles main aim is to discuss the payroll software products that, in the current Melbourne market, are in high demand.
  • If you do not have any exposure to the software products mentioned it does not mean you are not in demand.

ATS – Applicant Tracking System

Before we answer the question or provide an ‘opinion’, it is imperative that you, as a Payroll Professional, understand some terminology in the recruitment industry:

Applicant Tracking System: Software application utilised by both companies that advertise online and recruitment companies. ATS’s enable the electronic handling of recruitment needs and filters job applications automatically based on given criteria. ATS’s are utilised to ‘pinpoint’ candidates that match specific requirements for particular roles within organisations.

As a Payroll Professional what does this mean for me?

What is most relevant to you is that your resume will appear in more searches on ATS’s if you have ‘keywords’ that either the organisation and/or the recruiter are searching for.

We must be honest here, and it is a fact that Payroll Talent does not subscribe to, but keywords in a payroll context are generally focused on the payroll software that Payroll Professionals have exposure to.

One example of this we hear all too much from candidates we register is ‘an agency/Internal Recruiter called me up about a potential role last week. The money was sensational but I had to turn it down as I live in Cranbourne and the role was in Geelong. The other thing is that I used Chris21 but it was over 10 years ago’.

However, apart from the fact that software on a Payroll Professional’s resume is important for both existing and potential positions, payroll software on a resume is sometimes a good indicator of a lot of other important skills that a Hiring Manager may be seeking (or not).

For example, a potential candidate with MYOB, Xero and/or Quickbooks experience is generally someone that processes pay:

  • For a very small employee base (0 – 100 employees)
  • That does not involve a lot of complexity
  • And also has other daily tasks (like Accounts Payable/Receivable)

A resume with, for example, Chris21 and Kronos generally indicates to a Hiring Manager that the candidate probably:

  • Has high volume payroll experience (500 – 3000+ employees)
  • Is processing pays with a degree of complexity
  • Is only involved in daily/weekly/monthly payroll tasks and not processing invoices (Accounts Payable) and/or allocating received funds (Accounts Receivable)

The examples presented here are possibly the most ‘extreme’ scenarios where software plays an important part in the ‘message’ your experience sends to a Hiring Manager. The point we are making here is that the software you currently, or in the past, have utilised will say a lot about your experience. Not only your past experience but also whether you have the potential to grasp what the Hiring Manager is seeking.

The easiest analogy that Payroll Talent can provide to payroll professionals when it comes to the requests we receive from Hiring Managers, is to think about the Mel Gibson movie ‘What Women Want’. In the movie, the Actor’s (Gibson) whole life turns haywire when a fluke accident enables him to hear what women think.

Now, Payroll Talent is not (for one second) saying that we can read our Hiring Managers minds however we believe we have (after specialising in the Payroll & HRIS market in Melbourne for 7+ years) the ability to hear what they are thinking.

For you, as a Payroll Professional, we also have the ability to influence Hiring Managers minds when we believe what they are seeking is not possible – which is generally a Payroll Professional with both the software skills and who is potentially the right culture ‘fit’.

The ‘take out’ message for me, a Payroll Professional

The best advice you can take away from this article is to take the view that, in order for you to identify the right role/company/culture, you need to first establish where you are in terms of your existing skill set/software exposure, and then determine where you want to be in your career. If you have the software exposure that will enable you to appear in keyword searches for specific roles, get lots of calls and career opportunities from companies and agencies, good for you. You will feel very ‘wanted’ however is the only reason you got hired because you had Chris21? What if the culture of the organisation is crap? What if you are the third Payroll Officer in a year?

However, if you do not appear in keyword searches (because you don’t have Chris21, SAP, Preceda, PayGlobal etc.) but believe you have the requisite ‘soft skills’ to both learn and develop these technical skills, then maybe it’s time to align your search with a Payroll & HRIS Recruitment Specialist who can get you where you want to be.

You know exactly what you are seeking in a new role and that is not an employer that will only hire you because you prefer an iPhone to Android…

Oh, the bit you were after…

OK, so the answer to the question. Bear in mind that you, as a Payroll Professional, exist in a market for your skills. Markets are all about supply and demand.

Where Payroll Talent sees demand exceeding supply is for Payroll Professionals with solid, in-depth experience with the following (in no particular order):

  • Preceda (Ascender)
  • Payglobal (MYOB)
  • CHRIS21 (Frontier)
  • SAP PY (SAP)
  • ADP Payforce (ADP)
  • Aurion
  • TechnologyOne
  • HR3

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