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4 Key Traits Of A Successful Payroll Professional

Most business owners and leaders understand that efficient payroll is crucial to the success of any organisation. However, given the ever-changing regulatory landscape coupled with the varying legislations in each country, payroll remains a highly complicated and specialised affair.

Payroll staff have to be able to handle the demands of the job or risk costly payroll errors, miscalculations and unhappy employees.

Having a payroll professional is imperative to ensure that all your payroll responsibilities and obligations are met. However, how do you ensure that you are able to identify the right candidate who possesses the right skills and traits?

Here are some key traits to look out for when hiring a payroll professional.


Logicians are known as flexible thinkers. They are capable of spotting a problem, drilling through the endless possibilities and details that encompass the issue. Logicians are also known for taking unconventional approaches to solve problems, experimenting practicality with creativity.

During payroll processing, most organisations tend to rely on their payroll software to automate the administrative payroll tasks. However, errors may occur from time to time and given the extensive processes involved in payroll, it may be difficult to identify the bottleneck at first glance. This is where having a payroll professional who is detail-oriented can help to rectify potential payroll issues.


Mediators are caring in nature and value authenticity, empathy and harmony. They are known to be extremely dedicated, considerate and feel most motivated when they are thinking of ways to help others.

Managing payroll involves dealing with sensitive and confidential employee information. At the same time, payroll professionals need to have a comprehensive understanding of the organisation’s finances and partner closely with the respective team to resolve any payroll issues. Having a Mediator as a payroll professional becomes crucial as this individual needs to be able to possess the necessary soft skills to deal with various stakeholders with tack and diplomacy. At the same time, they also need to be able to handle any payroll situation well while showing empathy towards employees’ payroll concerns and frustrations.


Executives are representatives of tradition and order. They utilise their understanding of what is right, wrong and socially acceptable to bring communities together. At the same time, they are strong believers in the rule of law and authority.

In payroll processing, it is all about precision and confidentiality. Not only does the individual have to be meticulous when it comes to calculating payroll, they also need to stay abreast of the latest changes in payroll legislations. Payroll professionals need to be well-organised and be aware of important payroll deadlines such as tax submission and payroll disbursement dates. Payroll professionals with Executive personalities tend to be highly efficient in organising and maintaining the confidentiality of payroll data.


Virtuosos love exploring with their hands and eyes, examining the world around them with cool rationalism and spirited curiosity. Individuals possessing a Virtuoso personality are natural Makers and tend to move from project to project in building useful and superfluous ideas and solutions while learning from their environment as they go along.

In the payroll context, as payroll systems gradually shift from on-premise to cloud solutions, the entire user interface of a payroll software may change from time to time. A Virtuoso payroll professional will be the first to embrace any payroll changes. At the same time, they will be keen to find out what and how the new payroll software features are, leveraging on the existing features to drive process efficiency in payroll processing. Virtuoso payroll professionals also tend to be well-versed in various types of payroll software, making it easier for them to pick up new payroll software easily.

While these traits are certainly good to have when hiring a payroll professional, it ultimately boils down to the potential candidate’s skills sets and fit with the organisation culture. Use this list to identify potential candidates that are a great fit with your workplace culture and goals, before making them an offer that they cannot refuse.

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