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How to Recruit Millennials into Payroll

Make Payroll Meaningful, Glamourous to Recruit Top Millennials


Recruiting for a position always brings about its own set of challenges (i.e., budget, skill set, timing, etc.), but recruiting a millennial into a field that they’ve never heard of presents a whole new set of challenges. This generation has grown up with the presence of technology since early childhood and is excited about careers that impact the world. The makeup of this generation is different than most other generations, as they are focused on having a greater impact on society through their work. Payroll as a career is something a millennial probably has never even talked about, let alone dreamed of pursuing. Payroll as a career choice is competing with the exciting roles of software developers, engineers, actors, marketing professionals, doctors, and lawyers. How can a company looking for a payroll professional compete with that?

The typical dreams of a millennial include the glitz and glamour that encompass exciting careers, and companies will need to know how to address those aspirations should they want to recruit top talent in the field of payroll. Companies will need to reinvent the career of a payroll professional. Payroll as a career can and does possess all the glitz and glamour other traditional careers have that attract this generation; it’s all in how a company presents the role.

More Than Just Data Entry

Understanding what motivates, interests, and excites a millennial will help an organization take the right approach in recruiting a millennial. The overall work has to be challenging enough for millennials to feel they are growing. The work must have a meaningful, positive effect on people’s lives and has to be something millennials are proud of doing. Payroll addresses all of these concerns. By getting beyond the role of data entry as the standard role for a payroll person, millennials must understand what actually makes up payroll. Possibilities of projects such as implementation of new time and attendance systems, human resource information systems (HRIS), or payroll systems will help meet the urge for challenging work, along with the opportunities payroll brings in actually using software learned while in college. You cannot make a more positive impact on someone’s life then by getting them paid on time and accurately. The satisfaction in an employee’s voice or on their face after resolving whatever payroll issue that prevented them from paying their mortgage on time will be like no other. These are the types of positive impacts millennials want to be proud of, but a company must paint the picture of the role better than it has done in the past. The painting should show the millennial as a superhero, “The Incredible Payroll Specialist,” combating the evil villains “Mr. No ACH” and “Dr. Deleted Check.”

Payroll Is Everywhere

The greatest emphasis to harness and attract a millennial will need to be focused on the stability of the job—“if a company has employees it must has payroll”, couple that with the reach the role has into other departments, which can build the millennial’s network as well as growth prospects, and you might stand a chance at actually landing your millennial into the role.

In today’s employment market, a millennial will need to feel safer than most other generations. As a millennial, I have seen the effects of the Great Recession along with the complications of getting a job after college. Showcasing the stability of payroll will help attract a millennial, as all employees will need to be paid through the process we call payroll, the stability of payroll is backed by this simple notion. The opportunity to work and network with other departments will help attract the millennial. Payroll can be described as a department that works with everyone else: legal, sales, HR, compensation, and benefits to name a few. Millennials will have the opportunity to show their talent to not just their direct manager but to various other prospective managers in other departments, which can lead to growth.

Attracting talent is the goal of a company at the end of the day. Knowing you have the best workforce working for you for the right reasons is what makes good companies great. Addressing the concerns of millennials in the workplace will be necessary to attract the millennial into a career that most, sadly, know nothing about. With the right compensation package and right approach when describing the role of payroll, a company has a good chance of attracting the top talented millennial, who is hungry to make a positive impact in the organization.

This has been advice from your friendly neighborhood millennial.

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