How to write a Payroll Specialist job description

Your job description is the first touchpoint between your company and your new hire. With millions of people searching for jobs on Indeed each month, a great job description can help you attract the most qualified candidates to your open position. To get you started, here are some tips for creating an effective job description.

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Payroll Specialist job title

A great job title typically includes a general term, level of experience and any special requirements. The general term will optimize your job title to show up in a general search for jobs of the same nature. The level of experience will help you attract the most qualified applicants by outlining the amount of responsibility and prior knowledge required. And if your position is specialized, consider including the specialization in the job title as well. But avoid using internal titles, abbreviations or acronyms to make sure people understand what your job posting is before clicking.

Examples of Payroll Specialist job titles

  • Payroll Specialist
  • Senior Payroll Specialist
  • Payroll Specialist (with PeopleSoft proficiency)
  • Payroll Specialist (Part-Time)
  • Payroll Services Specialist

Payroll Specialist job summary

A great job description starts with a compelling summary of the position and its role within your company. Your summary should provide an overview of your company and expectations for the position. Outline the types of activities and responsibilities required for the job so job seekers can determine if they are qualified, or if the job is a good fit.

Example of a Payroll Specialist job summary

Our network of daycare centers needs a reliable Payroll Specialist to take over this aspect of our finance department. We operate 12 individual centers, each of which has between 10 and 20 staff members, in addition to our corporate office. Consequently, we’re looking for an experienced professional who understands the unique factors involved in processing payroll for multiple locations. Since we aren’t a large company, however, we also need someone who can lend his or her skills to other tasks when the opportunity arises. You might need to assist with AR or AP, for example, or help HR on occasion.

Payroll Specialist responsibilities and duties

The responsibilities and duties section is the most important part of the job description. Here you should outline the functions this position will perform on a regular basis, how the job functions within the organization and who the job reports to.

Examples of Payroll Specialist responsibilities

  • Prepare and submit paper payroll checks for employees who do not have direct deposit
  • Collect banking information for direct deposit setup and initiate deposits on paydays
  • Familiarize yourself and keep current with the taxation of salaries, benefits and other factors
  • Process and monitor garnishment orders and other issues that impact payroll specifications
  • Maintain and document all payroll records
  • Conduct semi-annual audits of all payroll records
  • Reconcile general ledger with regard to payroll transactions
  • Detect and process issues related to uncollected payroll
  • Respond to employee inquiries regarding payroll issues or concerns

Payroll Specialist qualifications and skills

Next, outline the required and preferred skills for your position. This may include education, previous job experience, certifications and technical skills. You may also include soft skills and personality traits that you envision for a successful hire. While it may be tempting to include a long list of skills and requirements, including too many could dissuade qualified candidates from applying. Keep your list of qualifications concise, but provide enough detail with relevant keywords and terms.

Examples of Payroll Specialist skills

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting preferred
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience in payroll
  • Experience with payroll processing and wage attachment
  • Excellent organization and mathematical skills
  • Familiarity with Windows-based computer programs a must

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Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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