On 20 May, we celebrate "International HR Day". This is the perfect opportunity to highlight a much sought-after position within HR, namely that of Payroll Officer.
Bo Beintema, Recruitment Consultant at staffing specialist Walters People, can warmly recommend this interesting role: the position is highly varied and is likely to boom even further in the coming years. Bo explains exactly what your responsibilities as a Payroll Officer are, what career opportunities you have and what salary you can expect.
What are the main duties of a Payroll Officer?
As Payroll Officer, you are part of the HR team and are responsible for payroll processing and personnel administration. You closely monitor Belgian legislation and implement any changes. Bo: "Furthermore, you are the point of contact for employees regarding issues such as long-term illness, time credit, parental leave, etc. You also work closely with the social secretariat in preparing payroll processing. There too, you act as a permanent contact."
What education and skills do you need to become a Payroll Officer?
Professionals with a bachelor's or master's degree, preferably in a human resources field, are eligible for a Payroll Officer job. "Currently, there is no specialised payroll training in regular education," Bo explains. "Many companies therefore require 1-2 years of relevant experience, for example as an HR assistant. However, education is adapting to the needs of the market: specific HR and payroll courses are currently already under development in higher education. We therefore expect this position to gain more and more traction, even as an entry-level job.
In terms of skills, it is above all important to be able to work accurately and numerically. Furthermore, you must also have strong communication skills - as you will be in close contact with both internal and external parties. Finally, discretion is also a must: you handle personal data of colleagues and must handle it with the necessary confidentiality."
What is the current demand for Payroll Officers?
"We notice a significant shortage of Payroll Officers, so demand is currently high," Bo knows. "So for professionals with a first experience within HR or payroll accounting, the switch to Payroll Officer can be a great option: job security guaranteed!"
By region, according to Jobfeed data, we find most vacancies in Antwerp (22%), followed by West Flanders (19%), Brussels (15%) and East Flanders (15%).
What are the career opportunities for a Payroll Officer?
Obviously, you can grow from this position into a managerial role within payroll, such as Payroll Manager. Bo: "You can also choose to specialise in a particular area within HR. Compensation & Benefits Manager, for example, is a great option, where you lead projects such as implementing a cafeteria plan. If you would like a position a little closer to the business, you can evolve into the role of HR Business Partner. In this, you deal with so-called 'hard HR' topics such as social insurance and union negotiations."
How much does a Payroll Officer earn?
"As a Payroll Officer with 0 to 3 years' experience, your gross monthly salary averages EUR 2400-2800. However, due to talent shortage, we expect Payroll Officer starting salary to climb up in the coming year," says Bo. "With 3 to 6 years of experience, you can currently expect a gross monthly salary of 2600-3700 EUR. If you have more than 6 years of experience, you can see your gross monthly salary rise to EUR 4500. The gross salary is usually supplemented by a cafeteria plan, eco cheques, bicycle leasing, group and hospitalisation insurance and so on."