Why working in the Health/Hospital sector is a great career move?

By Payroll Talent

With nearly 7 years experience specialising in the recruitment of Payroll & HRIS Professionals in the Melbourne market Payroll Talent can say, with absolute conviction, considering a career move to the Hospital/Healthcare industry is a great one.

Before we get to why it is a great career move, it is imperative to understand that there are both ‘Public’ as well as ‘Private’ providers of these services.

Having said that, your key motivation should be careers over dollars because this industry sector is not one to focus on if money is your key motivation. The majority of organisations in this industry sector are either Public/Government owned and/or Not for Profits. The base salaries will be, compared to Private companies, lower. These organisations take advantage of Salary Packaging to ensure that, with tax-free incentives, they can compete with the private sector. (It is best, however, to seek your own advice regarding Salary Packaging – it works better for some people more than others).

But only if you choose the ‘right’ organisation for you.

The best thing for you as a Payroll Professional, whether the organisation you are sizing up for your next move is Public or Private, chances are that they will be utilising ‘in demand’ Payroll/T&A software products that will look great on your resume.

In order to obtain the most benefit from this article, if $$$ is your key motivator in life, as opposed to career, you had best wait for future articles where Payroll Talent can advise the most productive way to get more money.

The irony here is that, by taking a backwards/sideways step in base salary to enter the Health/Hospitals industry sector, will more than likely allow you to leverage this experience to be considered for higher paying roles in the medium to long-term.

Most of the candidates that we interview at Payroll Talent are looking to identify new opportunities for the same reasons but the one that comes up the most is a desire to identify an opportunity that will “stretch’ their capability and provide them with further Learning & Development opportunities.

Why is a Health/Hospital payroll the work environment of choice for career-motivated payroll professionals?

Simple – it offers people with genuine payroll career aspirations the complexity they are looking for:

  • A Hospital operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year
  • Its employee base is generally around 5000 including shift workers paid under multiple Awards and EBA’s.
  • Hospitals invest heavily in their systems and most utilise both Tier 1 and Tier 2 Payroll/HRIS like SAP and CHRIS21
  • Rostering is hugely important and Hospitals utilise the best Workforce Management/T&A systems available (like Kronos, RosterLive, TimeTarget. Some are even investing in software products like Workday).

Another huge benefit is that most Hospitals will not rely on software vendors to support their internal systems – they will have their own Payroll and/or T&A System Administrators/Trainers. This creates immense opportunity for a payroll professional who is keen to pursue a career in Systems Administration and/or go down the training route.

What can I expect working for a Hospital?

Hospital payrolls are very high volume hence come Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday it’s ‘all hands on deck’! Hospital payroll teams are generally quite large (including a Payroll Systems Administrator as well as a T&A Administrator) so you must be prepared to work in a large team environment and be supportive of other team members when it comes to checking their work and/or jumping in to assist someone who is a bit behind.

The beauty of this is that most payroll teams in a Hospital based work environment foster an environment of absolute collaboration – you will never feel isolated because everyone is always around you to provide assistance when required.

Another huge benefit of working with a large team is the fact that you have the ability to take time off when you want. Work/life balance is generally good in most Hospitals so long as you communicate and plan with your Team Leader. And you don’t have to feel guilty if you require sick or annual leave as the team is always there to back you (whilst you too are there to back them in these situations).

The most important aspect of gaining experience in a Hospital payroll is that prospective employers in other industry sectors understand and appreciate the requisite “hard slog” payroll professionals need to be successful in a high volume, 24/7 and extremely complex payroll environment.

Whether you decide to stay in this industry sector, or leverage from the experience you gain, it will certainly open up many future career doors for you with these additional skills:

Demonstrated ability to:

  • Work in a high volume payroll work environment
  • Understand and interpret complex Awards and EBA’s
  • Work in a large, complex and collaborative team-based work environment
  • Use (high demand) Payroll/HRIS/T&A like SAP/CHRIS21/Kronos
  • Deal with demanding stakeholders like Doctors, Nurses, Allied Healthcare professionals etc.

To prove our point simply go on to any of the job boards and have a detailed look at the skills, experience and system requirements of most companies in Melbourne and the same ‘wish list’ is more than evident – almost all companies are looking for the same qualities in a payroll professional and they are all on the bullet-pointed list above!

If you need any anecdotal, real life, examples of how a career in a Hospital payroll has assisted some of your peers in Melbourne:

  • The Group Payroll Manager at the Just Group (Just Jeans, Jay Jay’s, Smiggle, Dotti etc.) came from Cabrini Health.
  • The new Group Payroll Manager at Country Road Group (Witchery, Mimco, Trenery etc.) came from Cabrini Health and Austin Health – she had no previous Retail/Fashion experience.
  • The Payroll Manager at Crown Casino came from Ballarat Health.

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