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A Payroll Specialist And Their Oh-So-Important Soft Skills

payroll specialist skillset

While salary is key for both employer and candidate, hiring the right accounting and finance fit goes far beyond competitive compensation.

Enter soft skills, which are partially intrinsic and partially learned. They’re not as black and white as a salary, but they are perceptible. The skills may be apparent in an interview or during an office tour. Referrals can also help you determine how strong a candidate’s soft skills are.

Soft skills are an important part of the Payroll Specialist job description, as they also contribute to an important component of any company’s culture—engagement. And when you consider a Gallup poll determined that 63% of American workers are “not engaged” with their jobs (and more likely to leave their jobs), the importance of these skills is amplified. They help foster positive communication and interaction among employees, which produces engagement in a big way.

Vital Soft Skills for a Payroll Specialist

So what are a few of the most important soft skills for a payroll specialist (or really, many accounting positions)?

Confidence – Without confidence, a payroll specialist won’t completely trust their skills or take on new challenges.

Objectivity – No bias or favoritism means logical internal and external facing decisions are made.

Sensitivity – Keeping co-workers’ feelings and opinions in mind creates mutual respect and allows for more effective conversations.

Optimism – A “Negative Nancy” can influence those around them, in a bad way; being optimistic is contagious and contributes to a positive culture.

It’s worth noting that employees should strike a balance with some of these skills. For example, it’s one thing to exude confidence, but it’s another annoying thing to seem cocky.


Soft-Skill Interview Questions

For interview questions to help you measure candidates’ soft skills—including those above—visit our blog post on Jennifer, our A/P Clerk.

Get more advice from Stacy, a payroll specialist that has all the soft skills necessary.

Looking for a payroll specialist like Stacy?

We have a diverse group of talented accounting and finance professionals looking for temporary and full-time positions across the nation. And although soft skills will remain a critical factor, you need to be up-to-date on job descriptions and salaries. Get all the knowledge you need to make your next great hire. Request a Free Copy of Our 2015 Salary Guide Today!



Accounting Principals

We're Accounting Principals--a leader in finance and accounting staffing. In fact, since 2010, we've been part of Adecco Group, a Global 500 company and leader in staffing services around the world. But this isn't staffing as usual. We take quite a different approach than most staffing agencies. A people-focused approach. We believe in forming real relationships with both our clients and our candidates. We want to understand the needs on both sides.