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Steps to Successful Global Payroll Recruiting 


By Sandra Sommerville

InsideImage_Nov19_Feature3_GlobalRecruitGone are the days of putting your company’s latest job vacancy in the local newspaper and receiving piles of résumés in the post. Advances in technology have allowed businesses to source potential talent from all corners of the globe—only a click away.

Recruiting the right talent is vital for us at activpayroll. We have 10 offices around the world, including Aberdeen, Scotland (HQ); Venice, Florida; and Perth, Australia. Once a vacancy has been identified through resource planning, the vacancy is advertised on various job sites. Careful consideration has to be taken when choosing what platforms to use depending on the country of hire. Global websites such as Indeed, Seek, and Monster are all particular favourites, but let’s look at some of the other simple steps you can take to find the right job hire.

How to Recruit

Promoting a vacancy on job boards is just one part of the recruitment process. Other channels such as social media, a company website, and university careers pages are all great avenues to advertise a new role. LinkedIn in particular is a fantastic way to source new talent. We also ensure that key people within the company, including the CEO and directors, share the job vacancy from their personal LinkedIn pages, widening the reach of potential applicants.

When an applicant submits their résumé, it is screened by the HR team to see if it matches the criteria in the job specification and company values. In activpayroll’s case, our company values are: passionate, knowledgeable, accountable, flexible, and committed to service excellence. Shortlisted candidates are invited for an interview, and those not successful are informed via email. As a company, we believe that it is important to make sure that every single person who applies for a job is responded to, regardless of the outcome.

The Interview

The interview process at activpayroll is split into two stages. The first stage focuses on competencies and values. We look at whether the applicant is a good cultural fit for the company. It is always important to keep in mind that you are working in a culturally diverse environment and not everyone is going to share the same perspective and views. When someone new is hired, they become part of the “work family” and you want to ensure they are aligned with your work ethos and culture, making these some of the most important factors to consider when hiring.

The second stage focuses on more in-depth questions around knowledge and experience. Moreover, we ask questions covering communication, commercial focus, customer service, and drive. Depending on the job they have applied for, the candidate may have to complete a short assessment in the form of a customer issue scenario and a simple formatting exercise using the Excel program.

Traditionally, interviews have taken place in a quiet environment where you have the opportunity to meet a potential new recruit face to face. However, for many global businesses, this is not always an option due to geographical factors. This is where popular video calling tools such as Skype come in very useful. Skype helps break down barriers such as time difference and travel costs, while still being able to analyse the candidate’s body language and communication skills.

Capabilities, Cultural Intelligence

Applicants do not necessarily need to “tick all of the boxes.” At activpayroll, we believe in the “hire for attitude, train for skill” philosophy. Although some competencies may be an advantage, such as speaking another language, a degree, or great customer service experience, if they do not meet the values of our corporate culture, those abilities are irrelevant.

Charts_Nov_2019GPR_FeatureRecruitingChecklistRecruiting in the Global Payroll Arena

When recruiting for a role in global payroll, you need to consider not only skills such as numeracy and accuracy, but if candidates are competent communicators, problem-solvers, and confident team players. Being highly organised, IT-literate, customer-focused, and able to balance priorities are also highly valued prerequisites. Those who work in global payroll know that it is a high-pressure job, hence candidates should be able to keep their cool under pressure.

Target Audience Challenges, Goals, Interests

With 10 international offices, finding the right talent in certain locations is often a challenging task. Our headquarters in Aberdeen, Scotland, has the biggest headcount out of all. With fierce competition from the oil and gas market, recruiting the desired people can be tricky. Our company hires a wide array of professionals, with the majority in global payroll, finance, and IT.

Engaging with local schools, colleges, and universities is a great way of introducing others to the prospect of a career in payroll, as well as attracting fresh talent to the business. The activpayroll HR team regularly attends university career fairs, as they are a great opportunity to access large pools of potential candidates at once. Having spent a long period of time in education may often mean that applicants do not have the experience of working in the industry; however, we believe in not just hiring someone, but also training and developing them into qualified professionals.

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Sandra Sommerville is Group Human Resources Manager with activpayroll. She has 20 years of experience in human resources and senior food retail operational management. Her role at activpayroll is key in driving business growth and change, growing talent through training and development, encouraging, recognizing, and mentoring people to reach their full potential. Sommerville is client-focused and has a strong commercial and operational background; she is an experienced trainer, delivering accountability through the line and providing one on one support to help managers deliver their objectives. Sommerville is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and has experience in working with local schools, colleges, and universities.