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Spotlight on Service Delivery – Shawn Golden

#PeopleBehindPayoll

 

Current payroll position?

I’m the Director of Global Payroll at Immedis based in our US New Jersey office.

 

The payroll job that launched your career?

My career started when I was working at a company called Vonage (VOIP), where I worked on the technical support side of the business. Some internal roles came up and one of the opportunities being offered was the chance to be transitioned into the payroll team.

To get to the next stage, there were skill tests we had to complete, where you had to log into the payroll module, do some training and then complete a skills test based on the different modules. At the time you had to get 80% or more to qualify and I got above 90% which was surprising as I had no background in payroll!

I started off as a payroll coordinator managing the garnishments such as child support and individual tax levies. It was an eye-opening experience for sure.

 

Why did you choose payroll?

I’m a through and through customer service agent by nature. I love helping people and working with a strong team on complicated scenarios where it seems like there’s no solution at all, but we get the job done. I get a thrill out of us finding that solution and bringing it back to the client or employee all figured out.

Those parts of payroll we see every day – internal and external partnerships, full ownership of getting people paid right and on time – I love every aspect of that.

 

What are you working on today?

I’m working on a payroll software transition, onboarding new countries with existing clients of Immedis and hiring new talent for the team so we can continue delivering excellent service to our clients around the world.

We’re growing quickly so I want to hand pick those people who share the same passion for their work too and build our team here.

 

What do you bring to payroll?

I bring industry knowledge in the global payroll space, as well as experience. I think my interpersonal skills really add value in this line of business, as I come with an understanding of the global space with a cultural perspective always first. You have to be adaptable to your surroundings, especially in a global business – whether talking to clients, colleagues, interviewees or otherwise, those interpersonal skills help me every day.

 

What is your defining moment in payroll?

Understanding not only conceptually, but now factually there is a complete difference of managing payroll on the client side vs the service side. When I first came to Immedis, coming from client side, was a totally different ballgame off the start with client interaction. At the beginning, I was working with a client and the head of the organisation was very direct and had no desire to be treated same. So, one day I sent an email with clear (direct) deliverables that needed to be met. She was so taken back when she got it and immediately became offended and put me right back in my place.

Of course, I was shocked and a bit nervous because I was new and thought I have just made the biggest mistake. My senior colleagues stepped right in and thankfully communicated the email wasn’t ill meant from my side – it was just a very direct response. I worked on the relationship day after day and now our relationship reflects a true partnership of client and provider.

 

Toughest payroll challenge?

I’m sure like most service providers, it has to be not being able to meet all the demands of a client.

We have our business structure based on a strategic model and sometimes it doesn’t directly coincide with a client’s exact needs. It’s about talking the client through the reasoning and showing them how we operate.

It’s up to us to make sure the clients are compliant from a tax and compliance perspective and get their employees paid on time, so at times it feels really tough to put your foot down with a client because we know what they need for a successful payroll operation.

 

Your biggest industry influence?

Christine Keily, our chief tax and payroll officer. I find her to be firm, fair, full of knowledge and leads by example. She has a lot of character for one person! I admire how she leads and I hope to one day be able to be in a position like hers and leverage those attributes. She’s a great influence and example to follow as a leader in the global space.

 

Best payroll innovation?

Even with all the advancements in technology I have to say the management on the staff side of business is the best development in the industry – working on those soft skills particularly. Soft skill development is an essential tool for everyone and every manager and every team.

Especially in-service delivery when you are meeting the demands of the role but still keeping that client service edge. Technology will bring you so far but its service and people at the end of the day who we want to deal with and have good experiences with.

 

Your payroll ambition?

One day I would love to see myself as operations president or as close to that as I can get to that role in Immedis. It’s a big vision but it’s my dream.

 

Where do you see payroll five years from now?

Ultimately it will be similar in nature – getting people paid on time, every time.  But as artificial intelligence and robotic process automation get more popular and develop, I think there will be less time spent on data entry and reconciliation. There’s big and exciting times ahead in payroll

 

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