You don’t have to be a Payroll or HR expert to be aware of the Great Resignation. The last few months have seen such record numbers of employees quitting that all news platforms or social media channels seem to have taken note. Not only is it taking its toll on Payroll management from the point of view of above-average turn-over in managed payrolls, but it is also creating issues with the Payroll team itself.
What do you do, if suddenly, key Payroll management or team members succumb to the latest turnover trend. Based on the current numbers, the potential risk is high — and, unlike other departments, payroll cannot be “put on hold” while you source — and train — replacements.
- Compounding the HR-turnover issue for payroll managers is the “Great Retirement” we identified in a previous feature>>
- See our previous feature on the statistics of the Great Resignation — it’s worse than you think>>
Payroll — mission-critical, never “on hold”
Whether employees are leaving for better opportunities or simply because they’re unhappy with their current situation, it poses a problem for businesses in terms of payroll management, recruiting, business continuity, and even employee morale due to the challenges of managing so many vacancies. When Payroll team members leave it is even more difficult — since these are the very people tasked with managing the payroll of all employees. It costs the company money and time and leaves a talent void that can be difficult to fill. The fastest way to make it an ‘non issue’ — for many companies — and the best solution for both the Great Resignation and Great Retirement team migrations is outsourced Payroll Management teams. These are, by definition, stable and reliable. Making it “someone else’s problem” works in the context of mission-critical are Payroll Management.
This is why it’s important for organizations to review their Payroll team stability, their options in terms of outsourcing payroll to a stable team of experts — and additional issues, as always in terms of HR Management and talent management strategies and make sure they’re prepared for the challenges of the current job market.
Do you need help with Payroll Management? Are you having an issue with a shortfall of team members on your critical payroll team? Contact the experts at Pivotal Payroll Management:
The solution to uninterrupted payroll coverage
The fastest way to ensure that payroll management remains stable and uninterrupted is either to outsource all or part of your needs. It is also helpful and strongly recommended to have a payroll management company that can jump in to manage shortfalls on a non-permanent basis if you have a shortfall situation.
At Pivotal Solutions, for example, their long history and expertise — and a ready team of 25 certified payroll specialists — makes it possible to “jump in” instantly to manage a sudden shortfall. Aside from The Great Resignation, and the Great Retirement, other reasons — perhaps more temporary — might include:
- maternity leave
- healthcare leave
- sudden disability, accident or unexpected situations
- “leave of absence” on short notice — increasingly an issue in the time of the Great Resignation
- long term grief leaves (when a family member passes)
- an early and unplanned retirement
- stress-related leave
The list is very long. The Great Resignation simply compounded an ever-present issue.
3 Ways to safely manage unexpected leaves
In terms of your mission-critical payroll team, there are three obvious solutions to “unexpected leaves.” They can also work for “expected leaves” such as maternity leave or a well-notified leave of absence.
- Outsource all fill-in and standby roles. It’s best, of course, to decide on your outsourced payroll management team long before the need arises. In the case of Pivotal’s Payroll Management outsource service, we have a core team of 25 certified payroll members who can jump in on short notice to almost any situation that might arise unexpected.
- Outsource part or all of your payroll management on a more permanent basis. This could be just one more volatile division, where you manage a lot of shorter-term employees or find you have high turnovers. Or, it could be for all of your needs. The advantage of outsourcing this way — especially to an expert team such as Pivotal HR Management — is stability. There is rarely a scenario where an outsourced team is not available for services.
- Review and screen potential team replacements on standby. This is time-consuming and means you’re recruiting for a possible future position with no certainty. Even with preplanned absences, such as Maternity or leave of absence, something can happen to trigger earlier unplanned leave. Anticipating these needs is difficult, and really where outsourcing shines — assuming you have a top team ready.
Planned or expected leave coverage
Outsourced Payroll, whether short or long term, also helps with planned and expected leave coverage. It’s often not useful to undertake recruitment and training of a sensitive payroll position for a few months while someone is away for temporary reasons. Finding top talent, especially for specialty rolls, is difficult. Whether top talent or not-so-talented, your new “temporary” recruit still will require orientation and training.
Outsourced Payroll Management certainly shines for planned or expected leave coverage. The situation may be less urgent, but the need is still immediate.
Pivotal Payroll Management’s team of 25 expert certified payroll specialists are able to step in on short notice and for short term, depending on your needs.
What is the Great Resignation?
The Great Resignation is the name given to the recent mass exodus of employees from their jobs.
In the last few months, there has been a significant increase in the number of people resigning from their positions, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
It’s also been called the Great Reshuffle, as many of those who resign are looking to take up new roles at other companies.
But the overall net picture is that companies are finding a talent shortage due to all the resignations.
According to a study, there were 10.6 million job vacancies in the US at the start of the year, but only 6.9 million unemployed workers available to fill those positions. That makes 0.62 unemployed people per job opening, a record-low ratio. For comparison, before the COVID-19 pandemic, this figure was closer to 2.3 unemployed people per job opening. 
Companies are struggling to keep up with the number of vacancies they have, and they’re also finding it difficult to make themselves attractive to new talent.
What’s causing the Great Resignation?
There are several factors that are believed to be contributing to the Great Resignation.
Job availability. The current job market is very competitive, there are more opportunities available than there have ever been, and employees are feeling confident that they can find a better role elsewhere.
Changing priorities. The recent global pandemic has led to uncertainty and instability, both in the workplace and in our personal lives. This has made many people reassess their career goals and decide that now is the time for a change.
Values first. There has also been a shift in societal values and what employees expect from their employers. They are no longer willing to work in toxic environments or put up with poor working conditions, and they’re looking for companies with a mission they can buy into.
Financial pressures. With the current inflation levels, coupled with the economic difficulties during the pandemic, many employees are finding that their salaries are not keeping up with the cost of living. This leads to a lot of financial stress and is one of the main reasons people choose to leave their jobs.
Employees today want a better work-life balance. This starts with providing them with more choices, such as flexible working arrangements to adapt their working hours and location to their life. The pandemic has shown that we can manage a workforce that is no longer tied to one place, and many employees who got used to that way of working will take their skills and experience elsewhere if their employer forces them to move back to working in an office 9-5 again.
Whatever the reason why employees leave, what’s clear is that businesses need to be proactive to tackle it.
A solid strategy to manage the current job market situation needs to be multifaceted, working on these different areas:
- Have a certified payroll expert team on standby
- Improve employee retention
- Strengthening talent recruitment
- Prepare for potential resignations to minimize business disruption, including outsourcing.
Improving employee retention
If you want to keep your best employees, you need to make sure they’re happy and engaged with their work.
This means creating a positive work environment, offering competitive salaries and benefits, and providing opportunities for career development.
You also need to be aware of the warning signs that an employee is thinking of leaving, so you can address any concerns before it’s too late.
It’s much less painful to put in the time and effort to inquire about employees’ pain points and come up with a plan to address them well in advance than only finding out that they weren’t happy during the exit interview when they’ve already decided to step down.
Ensure that there are regular feedback loops in your organization so that employees feel like their voices are being heard and know that they can come to management with any problems they’re having.
But, most important of all, if you create the space to hear employees’ concerns, you need to make sure that you act on the feedback you receive.
Nothing is more frustrating for employees than feeling like their concerns are falling on deaf ears.
Strengthening talent recruitment
To replace the employees who are leaving, you need to have a strong talent recruitment strategy. This starts with attracting the right candidates, which means having a clear idea of the skills and experience you’re looking for.
Once you’re clear on what you’re looking for in a candidate, these are a few of the aspects you need to review to strengthen your selection process:
Company branding. It’s important to sell your company to potential candidates, so they can see why it’s a great place to work. As the job market is so competitive, make sure your company is attractive to potential new recruits.
This means having a clear and compelling brand as an employer, having an up-to-date website and social media presence and using employee testimonials to show what it’s like to work for you.
The interview process. Once you’ve attracted the right candidates, make sure you’re screening them effectively to identify the best person for the job. This means having a structured interview process, with set questions that you ask all candidates. But it also means ensuring that the interview process is efficient and enjoyable from a candidate’s point of view.
Forbes reports that according to findings from Indeed, close to a third of candidates surveyed admit to abandoning the recruitment process or to even ghosting the recruiter  so it pays to ensure your process keeps candidates engaged.
With the abundance of job offers available, candidates won’t put up with a selection process that is slow or painful, and they’ll take their skills elsewhere.
Be open and honest. Employees want to know the type of company they will be working in, so it’s essential to be transparent and honest about your culture, values and expectations. This includes being upfront about the challenges that the company is facing as well as the good things and will allow both of you to assess whether the employee will be a good fit.
Preparing for potential resignations
It doesn’t matter how much you work on retaining talent; it’s still likely that you’ll have some level of employee attrition, and it pays to be prepared.
This was the case even before the Great Resignation, but now preparedness is a much more pressing issue.
The first thing to do is identify which are the critical roles where you need continuity and that you cannot live without, even for a short space of time.
For example, a business might survive without a marketing strategist for a while but cannot survive for a month without payroll management or an accountant during year-end or tax season.
Once you’ve identified these roles, you need to put succession planning in place so that there is always someone ready to step up and fill the role if necessary.
Regardless of the job market situation, these positions would need to have a solid succession plan to manage backups during employee vacations or personal circumstances such as unexpected sick leave.
Some options to ensure that these critical roles are not left vacant could include:
- Have always-standby outsources pre-arranged
- Have a contingency plan
- Cross-training other employees so they can cover the essential functions of the role
- Recruiting for positions that are one level below the critical one that can take on the responsibilities in the short-term.
Having a pool of pre-vetted candidates who can step into the role at short notice
Hiring temp employees for payroll is problematic. It is more likely an outsourced Payroll certified payroll specialist is the best solution. If you do plan on hiring temp employees that can fill in the role until a permanent replacement can be found, this can prove challenging if there’s no one left to onboard the temp. Expertise can also be an issue for a temp employee.
Pivotal Payroll Management solutions can act as a backup. Alternately, our HR recruitment experts can help you source a temp employee. The lowest risk option is usually to engage certified payroll specialists from a top team such as Pivotal Payroll Management.
When it’s not possible to establish backups within the organization, for example, when an organization is small and doesn’t have the capacity for redundancies, a good solution is to fully outsource critical administrative tasks to an agency that does have that capacity.
For key roles, it’s best to outsource payroll, accounting, taxes, legal, and any areas that are purely administrative and not a core competency of your organization where you do not have internal resources and backups.
No matter what option you choose, the key is to have a plan in place well in advance so that you’re prepared for when an employee does resign to minimize the impact on your business.
Pivotal Payroll Management Solutions
When a resignation or an employee leave of absence catches you unprepared, Pivotal Solutions are specialists in offering emergency payroll coverage in Canada.
Our team of 25 certified payroll specialists is ready to jump in immediately and work from your existing systems to solve all payroll admin needs.
Pivotal can be your payroll contingency plan, as well as maternity, paternity, or sick leave coverage. You can trust them to seamlessly take over the payroll process and hand it back to your administrator as soon as they are ready to come back to work.