An EMEA / International payroll –“How much?”

The current payroll marketplace has seen a seismic shift in the salary levels of both passive & active candidates since we started to come out of the pandemic and the one question I am being asked on a recurring basis is “why are salaries so high now?”.

To summarise pre pandemic EMEA/International payroll salaries were between £45,000 to £50,000. During the pandemic and now post pandemic, salaries have risen to a minimum of £55,000. What’s more, this seems to be continuing to rise, so in the here and now I do not believe that salaries have topped out yet either.

Across industry we are seeing generic salary increases as organisations compete for the best talent. Since the pandemic we have slowly started to see businesses look to grow out their payroll functions with a blended solution of developing internal talent & bolstering functions with the additional talent from the external marketplace. With both clients & candidates dipping their toes back into the market this has created a shortage of experienced EMEA/International payroll professionals and this, very simply, is driving up salaries. It then doesn’t take long for the candidate market to cotton to the ever-increasing salary expectations that they can achieve.

Having had many conversations with my clients in recent weeks it has become apparent that candidates are also being offered much better broader benefits and total comp packages. Historically payroll professionals haven’t been overly concerned with what constitutes their total package. Now there is more focus on pension contributions, more competitive bonus numbers and flexible benefits packages – all these additional elements of total pay are impacting decision making. Candidates are being approached consistently with numerous opportunities, so candidate’s benefits & total compensation have become key driving factors in candidates decision making process.

Aside from the broader economic driver at play here there is also the fact that the importance of payroll in the broader HR, reward and pay cycle is continuing to grow and evolve with organisations looking to improve talent, diversify roles and look for professionals who can influence the development of HR and finance functions. This all paves the way for more positive career opportunities for the payroll community.

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