Melanie Pizzey: Changing the world of global payroll Melanie Pizzey: Changing the world of global payroll

Melanie Pizzey: Changing the world of global payroll
29 Dec 2017

Melanie Pizzey has risen from humble beginnings in backroom payroll recruitment to launching a boutique UK payroll agency and founding the world’s first, pioneering global payroll association. She tells us her own inspiring story and her plans for changing the world of global payroll

Where did your global payroll journey begin?

My first job was as an estate agent. I was 17 and it was the summer holidays. I had finished my A-levels and come back from holiday and knew I needed to find a job. I saw a job advertised, so I phoned up, but they said they had found somebody already and were no longer interviewing. So, I was a bit cheeky and ‘name dropped’ my father, Bob Pizzey, who was a conveyance solicitor at the time. I got an interview and got the job.

I did the estate agency job for a couple of years and then I met a colleague who really inspired me. At 26 years old, she had travelled the world and I really looked up to her.

She suggested that I tried recruitment, but I didn’t know how to go about it. I left the estate agency as I didn’t like doing the sales anymore and I went to be a secretary - the worst secretary ever! My former boss said: “It’s a good job that I like you, as I have never had such a bad secretary in all my life!” I then heard from my old colleague again when I was 20 and she said there was a job at her place at a payroll recruitment agency. So that was it. I stayed in recruitment for a long time and set up a number of agencies for different people. I got to my midthirties and wanted my own company.

So how did the idea for your UK company, Purely Payroll, come about?

I started out in my front room. My first ever bit of kit was a scanner to send timesheets, which I was very excited about at the time. I’ve still got it and won’t throw it away! I did everything on my own. I thought it was going to be a relaxing job, but as soon as I started the agency, I was working ridiculous hours and it started from there.

My friend came up with the name Purely Payroll after shouting out different names at each other across Costa Coffee!

How did Purely Payroll then expand to the global operation that you run today?

Our headquarters is now in Brentwood, Essex, just 25 minutes from London. It’s a great place to be and I have a team of great people working for me.

We run conferences, the Purely Payroll e-magazine (GPA Magazine’s sister UK magazine) and consultancy services. We get a lot of traffic to the Purely Payroll website . I’m always thinking about how we can take the business forward and like exciting new things, but I have to remember that the original Purely Payroll really is a great brand in its own right. We decided to keep Purely Payroll as a UK-focused brand even though we cover global subjects on the website.

So explain how the Global Payroll Association (GPA) idea was born…

The GPA idea also came about when Purely Payroll was formed and we bought an online magazine and database. I knew from an early stage that we could have a global presence but, at the time, I didn’t know how to sell it or how it was going to work. I knew it was the only global online magazine out there and that it had huge potential globally.

We launched our first issue straight away and built our global audience. Then we started to get more and more questions about global payroll and requests to find consultants and providers on a regular basis. We knew that there was so much potential there, but the UK Purely Payroll brand didn’t fit the global remit. It was then that I decided that we should form a different organisation focusing on global payroll with something for everyone, not just the UK, but a truly global organisation. That’s when we came up with the GPA.

How does it stand apart from other payroll associations?

The information that we provide is totally unique and we work with so many international payroll providers. We deal with people in-country who are in the know about international products and information and I don’t think that anybody else is doing that. If we have a query in Mexico, for example, we have Mexican specialists that can help out.

Tell us about your plans to become the leading world payroll association…

From an internal point of view, we are continuing to build the GPA’s structure. We provide as much payroll information as we can for payroll professionals on a global basis, finding out what the key trends are. We have strong foundations but now need more input from our global members so that we can keep providing what they need. Our global payroll members are really important to us. I always get told off for being too hands-on, but I think that is the only way I can find out how to grow the business. I’ve worked with people before that sit in the office and don’t get involved. So, I need to hear from our members, because they are key and the GPA must be as good as our members. I love it when the members say thank you and appreciate the information we provide.

Since the GPA launched in December 2015, you have b een taking the international payroll world by storm with some key events…

We’ve been running symposia in London so far and we are planning to run one in the USA in June. These are currently free events for members but also open to non-members. We cover global strategy and in-country topics to make sure each symposia has a broad agenda, looking at the ‘how tos’.

The Global Payroll Awards are taking place on 26 May 2016 at the Tower of London, somewhere where I have always wanted to run an event as it is so iconic, very British and has so much history.

The awards are the first of their kind, aren’t they?

We’ve had some criticism from some people who say they are the same as all the other awards. They are not the same as all the other awards. We havetotally different award categories to any other event that has been held and it is a truly global event. We have people from The Philippines, who are putting in nominations, Sweden, the Netherlands, UK and the USA. It’s going to be a very different style of awards.

Are there any partners that the GPA works with that you particularly value?
We have worked with the Swedish payroll association, SALK. They are so transparent and easy to work with, without any politics and they are on a similar journey to us. They are inspiring.

We have met with the Dutch payroll association, who have shared their ideas with us. For example, for our conference in March we have decided to bring down the prices to a minimal rate to encourage people to come along and learn about payroll. It’s not a money-maker for us - we want people to learn. The Dutch did this and had 400 people at their event. The networking was great, there was plenty of laughter and it was such an amazing event compared to some that I have been to.

Who would you like to work with and build relationships with?

I would like people to take down their barriers with me, especially people who don’t really know me. I’ve met clients recently who don’t know me, but have heard of me and were quite pleasantly surprised. I want to work with more people and more organisations. We want to be inspired by and learn from other organisations. It’s a shame there is negativity from other competitors - I would like to take the politics out of payroll.

 

Melanie Pizzey has risen from humble beginnings in backroom payroll recruitment to launching a boutique UK payroll agency and founding the world’s first, pioneering global payroll association. She tells us her own inspiring story and her plans for changing the world of global payroll

Where did your global payroll journey begin?

My first job was as an estate agent. I was 17 and it was the summer holidays. I had finished my A-levels and come back from holiday and knew I needed to find a job. I saw a job advertised, so I phoned up, but they said they had found somebody already and were no longer interviewing. So, I was a bit cheeky and ‘name dropped’ my father, Bob Pizzey, who was a conveyance solicitor at the time. I got an interview and got the job.

I did the estate agency job for a couple of years and then I met a colleague who really inspired me. At 26 years old, she had travelled the world and I really looked up to her.

She suggested that I tried recruitment, but I didn’t know how to go about it. I left the estate agency as I didn’t like doing the sales anymore and I went to be a secretary - the worst secretary ever! My former boss said: “It’s a good job that I like you, as I have never had such a bad secretary in all my life!” I then heard from my old colleague again when I was 20 and she said there was a job at her place at a payroll recruitment agency. So that was it. I stayed in recruitment for a long time and set up a number of agencies for different people. I got to my midthirties and wanted my own company.

So how did the idea for your UK company, Purely Payroll, come about?

I started out in my front room. My first ever bit of kit was a scanner to send timesheets, which I was very excited about at the time. I’ve still got it and won’t throw it away! I did everything on my own. I thought it was going to be a relaxing job, but as soon as I started the agency, I was working ridiculous hours and it started from there.

My friend came up with the name Purely Payroll after shouting out different names at each other across Costa Coffee!

How did Purely Payroll then expand to the global operation that you run today?

Our headquarters is now in Brentwood, Essex, just 25 minutes from London. It’s a great place to be and I have a team of great people working for me.

We run conferences, the Purely Payroll e-magazine (GPA Magazine’s sister UK magazine) and consultancy services. We get a lot of traffic to the Purely Payroll website . I’m always thinking about how we can take the business forward and like exciting new things, but I have to remember that the original Purely Payroll really is a great brand in its own right. We decided to keep Purely Payroll as a UK-focused brand even though we cover global subjects on the website.

So explain how the Global Payroll Association (GPA) idea was born…

The GPA idea also came about when Purely Payroll was formed and we bought an online magazine and database. I knew from an early stage that we could have a global presence but, at the time, I didn’t know how to sell it or how it was going to work. I knew it was the only global online magazine out there and that it had huge potential globally.

We launched our first issue straight away and built our global audience. Then we started to get more and more questions about global payroll and requests to find consultants and providers on a regular basis. We knew that there was so much potential there, but the UK Purely Payroll brand didn’t fit the global remit. It was then that I decided that we should form a different organisation focusing on global payroll with something for everyone, not just the UK, but a truly global organisation. That’s when we came up with the GPA.

How does it stand apart from other payroll associations?

The information that we provide is totally unique and we work with so many international payroll providers. We deal with people in-country who are in the know about international products and information and I don’t think that anybody else is doing that. If we have a query in Mexico, for example, we have Mexican specialists that can help out.

Tell us about your plans to become the leading world payroll association…

From an internal point of view, we are continuing to build the GPA’s structure. We provide as much payroll information as we can for payroll professionals on a global basis, finding out what the key trends are. We have strong foundations but now need more input from our global members so that we can keep providing what they need. Our global payroll members are really important to us. I always get told off for being too hands-on, but I think that is the only way I can find out how to grow the business. I’ve worked with people before that sit in the office and don’t get involved. So, I need to hear from our members, because they are key and the GPA must be as good as our members. I love it when the members say thank you and appreciate the information we provide.

Since the GPA launched in December 2015, you have b een taking the international payroll world by storm with some key events…

We’ve been running symposia in London so far and we are planning to run one in the USA in June. These are currently free events for members but also open to non-members. We cover global strategy and in-country topics to make sure each symposia has a broad agenda, looking at the ‘how tos’.

The Global Payroll Awards are taking place on 26 May 2016 at the Tower of London, somewhere where I have always wanted to run an event as it is so iconic, very British and has so much history.

The awards are the first of their kind, aren’t they?

We’ve had some criticism from some people who say they are the same as all the other awards. They are not the same as all the other awards. We havetotally different award categories to any other event that has been held and it is a truly global event. We have people from The Philippines, who are putting in nominations, Sweden, the Netherlands, UK and the USA. It’s going to be a very different style of awards.

Are there any partners that the GPA works with that you particularly value?
We have worked with the Swedish payroll association, SALK. They are so transparent and easy to work with, without any politics and they are on a similar journey to us. They are inspiring.

We have met with the Dutch payroll association, who have shared their ideas with us. For example, for our conference in March we have decided to bring down the prices to a minimal rate to encourage people to come along and learn about payroll. It’s not a money-maker for us - we want people to learn. The Dutch did this and had 400 people at their event. The networking was great, there was plenty of laughter and it was such an amazing event compared to some that I have been to.

Who would you like to work with and build relationships with?

I would like people to take down their barriers with me, especially people who don’t really know me. I’ve met clients recently who don’t know me, but have heard of me and were quite pleasantly surprised. I want to work with more people and more organisations. We want to be inspired by and learn from other organisations. It’s a shame there is negativity from other competitors - I would like to take the politics out of payroll.