01 June 2024

Beverley Gibbs, employment taxes consultant, PSTAX, looks at what employees are searching for in potential new employers, discussing if this centres on experience, education, a mixture of both or whether there are other areas for organisations to consider when recruiting staff

Part of the discussion on how to attract new talent to the payroll profession centres on whether the roles available in your organisation can differentiate themselves from the many other payroll jobs out there. It isn’t just a case of offering high salaries but also of exploring the training opportunities available and the experience gained. There are significant costs for employees when joining a professional organisation and undertaking a professional qualification. Consequently, organisations that value the education their employees will gain by studying and becoming qualified that offer support with this, will attract talent with more ease than those who expect a trainee to fund themselves.

Even HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) agrees! Where an employer pays for or reimburses an employee for work-related training and subscriptions to a professional body, these are generally not considered to be a benefit in kind or taxable in any way. In fact, if your employer doesn’t pay or reimburse you for your subscription to a professional body, you can claim tax relief on the amount paid directly from HMRC. The professional body does, however, need to be on what is known as HMRC’s ‘List of approved professional organisations and learned societies (List 3)’. The list is extensive, and the CIPP is included on there under ‘Payroll Professionals Chartered Institute of (new title from 10 November 2010 formerly Institute of Payroll Professionals)’. This list is regularly updated and you can access it here: https://ow.ly/oP2050RAcsK.

Even where employees have the appropriate qualifications, there’s no doubt that the knowledge gained from education is enhanced by putting it to the test and gaining real life experience. A combination of professional qualifications gained with experience while working in the sector is probably the most effective and productive combination.

This leads on to another government initiative which assists organisations in recruiting and training talent. Apprenticeships paid for using funds from the apprenticeship levy are an economic way to train payroll professionals. Apprentices can be any age and the apprenticeship levy can be used to fund a fully designed career pathway or to train existing employees to further their career. The role an apprentice undertakes while training must give the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge needed to pass their assessments. Apprentices must work towards an approved apprenticeship, which is at least 12 months in length and at least 20% of the apprentice’s normal working hours must be spent on ‘off the job’ training. Special attention needs to be given to national minimum wage rules and ensuring the correct training contracts are in place.

Education and training aren’t the only things employees are looking for when searching for that perfect job. It’s not all about the money. Reward and recognition are other areas future employees focus on when applying for jobs. This doesn’t necessarily mean big bonuses and monetary rewards, and sometimes it’s the small things which make the difference. An organisation that promotes mental health and well-being initiatives, provides flexible or remote working, recognises employees’ achievements and generally demonstrates a caring atmosphere will make that differentiation and attract the talent it needs. 


This article feautured in the June 2024 issue of Professional.