Recruitment Obstacles

This is an extract from a study conducted by the National Payroll Institute of Canada.


Payroll is an often misunderstood function within Canadian organizations to the point that it has become almost invisible. As long as payroll runs smoothly, it tends to be overlooked by different levels of management. The challenge is that payroll is a tremendously critical function within organizations, responsible for one of the most important aspects of the employee experience: compensation.

To help understand the current state of payroll today and to understand what payroll will look like in the future, the National Payroll Institute engaged PwC to conduct an independent assessment.

There's a clear need for a fit-for-purpose operating model for payroll to address the root cause of some of the major issues impeding the payroll function. Either of the two presented future state payroll operating models (enhanced payroll operating model and the digital payroll factory — payroll 2.0) require a dedicated focus on transforming the structure, redefining the payroll professional's role, and relentless investment in technology.

The following implications are common to both of the models:

  1. Embracing Automation

    Both of the model options require a dedicated focus on automating the administrative high-volume tasks and creating capacity for the professionals to focus on higher-value, strategic activities.

  2. Internal and External Partnerships

    Payroll cannot be effective on its own and needs to extend its capabilities and influence through internal (HR, Finance, IT) and external (technology vendors, legislative bodies) partnerships.

  3. Changes to Payroll Professional's Job Architecture and Capability Framework

    Knowledge of working with data and analytics (extraction, manipulation, visualization, storytelling) and understanding the payroll technology market and trends will be essential components of the role going forward. The payroll professional of the future will also be effective at working with and alongside the technology (cloud, robotic process automation, anomaly detection, and artificial intelligence), have a continuous improvement mindset, and have the consultative and advisory skills to influence others.

  4. Talent Pipeline

    Based on the emerging capabilities, either of the proposed models require a fresh thinking on how to re-brand payroll and recruit and develop the next generation of payroll professionals — the talent pipeline and career path into payroll might change (e.g. computer science, system design, consulting).

  5. Economic Impact

    The future of payroll will have an even greater economic impact with a more direct role in monitoring and enhancing workforce productivity and improving the employee experience. The future of payroll is not just about delivering with accuracy and efficiency but delivering a different level of value to the business.

Read the complete study published by the National Payroll Institute here.

Where does your company stand in this process? Share your thoughts on the future of payroll in the comments section. 

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