Back to blogs

What makes a GREAT payroll administrator?

Payroll Administrator Blog Recruitment

What makes a great Payroll Administrator?

In 2017 the UK recruitment industry saw a total revenue of £32.2bn. 87.6% of that was achieved through temping and contracting – that’s a huge £28.2bn. With a high volume of contractors being paid through the recruitment businesses payroll, the payroll function of the recruitment business is even more crucial than ever. It is not only external staff you keep happy, ensuring the correct payroll has been processed correctly can have a huge impact on internal employee’s morale. The role of the payroll administrator has never been more pivotal and being a GREAT payroll administrator can make you invaluable for a business.

Build your house on rock, not sand

A career in payroll offers numerous possibilities.

It can provide you with the building blocks for a successful financial career, with the opportunity of progressing to a payroll supervisor/manager or even moving into an accounting position.

Being a payroll administrator will provide you with a good solid grounding in financial administration and helps you learn the basics of finance (timesheets, tax, calculations, excel skills).

Operating in such a customer service-based environment, you will be given lots of client and candidate interaction and developing these soft-skills will again set you in good stead in your career.  Keeping our eyes on the here and now, a position in payroll gives you the opportunity to become an integral part of any company.

Learn from ‘The Parable of the Wise and the Foolish Builders’ and build your strong foundations with a career in payroll (Matthew 7:24–27) and (Luke 6:46–49)!

Industry-leading advice

With a career in payroll being such a valuable position, I asked some of the Recruitment sectors leading finance professionals, ‘what makes a GREAT payroll administrator?’ Here is what they had to say:

“The role they perform is not just technical and administrative, but that of brand ambassador.  A payroll administrator who can make your temps or contractors feel valued and important is worth their weight in gold and could be the reason your best contractors stick with you.  That customer service ability is a key attribute as very often the payroll administrator will be the only person a temp/contractor will talk to once they have begun the assignment”. Poonam Mawani – CEO @ Azuki Accounts.

 “Patience, attention to detail, hardworking and excellent people skills as they will need to deal with the most important thing to people, their wages.” They are the face of the company when something has gone wrong, how they deal with payment issues could be the difference between a worker staying with you or going to a competitor”. Matt Eastwell - Head of Financial Operations @ HCL.

“…a successful professional is driven, approachable, ethical, empathetic and able to think commercially with their decisions.” Nicola Holt - Contractor Compliance & Payments Manager @ Square One Resources.

“1.       Attention to detail

2.       Problem-solving skills

3.       Focus

4.       Enthusiasm

5.       Confidence when dealing with others”. Christine Davis – Payroll Manager @ Shorterm Group


The abilities of payroll administrators can make a huge difference to any business and is the base on which they can reinforce their reputation, attract new talent, and facilitate the growth of a business. Weak systems result in pay errors, which lead to unhappy employees, customers, and clients. Possessing a highly effective payroll team is essential for any business.

The advantages of both being a great payroll administrator and having a great payroll administrator are huge.

I specialise in placing transactional finance professionals within the recruitment sector, so if you are looking for a position in payroll or looking to add your very own great payroll administrator, get in touch! / 0203 805 5224.

If you enjoyed this, you might also like: How can finance professionals can influence stakeholders?