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Director, Global Payroll Strategy and US Payroll Leader



Accounting & Finance
Rahway, NJ, USA
Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2024

Job Description

The Director, Global Payroll Strategy and US Payroll Leader has responsibility for the delivery of HR payroll for approximately 26,000 US employees as well as Global Payroll Strategy impacting employees globally. The role is a leadership role with 5 Direct reports and a total organization of 14 people. This leader will oversee the delivery of US payroll services both through internal resources and an external vendor relationship. It will be expected that the role balances delivery, operational efficiency and elevates the employee and HR experience. In addition, this role will be the leader of Global Payroll Service strategy inclusive of migrating all company payrolls from Finance to HR, managing external provider relationships and on-going delivery strategy.

This position will be based in Rahway, New Jersey or Charlotte, NC and reports to the Executive Director, HR Regional Services.

  • Payroll Strategy and Roadmap: Ensuring the realization of global payroll strategy across all markets. This includes migration plans for integration of finance-owned payrolls into HR, ensuring a 3- year payroll roadmap is created and approved, and creating and executing payroll strategies that align with the organization's goals and objectives. This includes identifying opportunities for process improvement, standardization, and automation to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of payroll operations on a global scale. This will require close and frequent collaboration with Regional Directors on the overall plan and country specific needs and priorities.

  • Enhance Governance and Control Processes: The Director is responsible for creating internal and external control through governance and audit processes. They will collaborate with legal and compliance teams to develop and implement policies and procedures to further enhance governance as well as lead in any process failure events to conduct thorough after-action reviews, suggest recommendations and ensure execution path.

  • Managing payroll vendors and relationships: The director oversees relationships with external payroll service providers globally. This includes contracts oversight, monitoring vendor performance, and ensuring service level agreements are met. They are also responsible for partnering to evaluate payroll systems, technologies and suppliers that best meet the organization's needs.

  • Leading payroll transformation initiatives: The role involves driving payroll process improvements, standardization, and automation initiatives across the organization. This includes leveraging technology solutions to streamline payroll operations, eliminate manual tasks, and enhance data accuracy and reporting capabilities.

  • Collaborating with cross-functional teams: The Global Payroll Strategy Director collaborates with various stakeholders, including HR, finance, IT, and legal departments, to ensure seamless integration of payroll processes with other business functions. They provide guidance and support to these teams on payroll-related matters and ensure alignment with the organization's overall strategies and objectives. This role will be the single point of contact/demand management for IT budgeting and sequencing.

  • Analyzing and reporting payroll data: The director is responsible for analyzing payroll data to identify trends, insights, and areas for improvement. They prepare and present reports to senior management on a regular basis, providing key metrics and recommendations for payroll-related decisions.

  • US Payroll & Tax Operations: This role will have direct oversight of US Payroll & Tax Operations scope and team/org structure of inclusive of Direct reports with a total organization of 14 people. This role requires accurate, timely delivery of payroll in both union and non-union environments.

The successful candidate should be energized by an environment that requires strong leadership, attention to detail, coaching for excellence, and prioritizes governance, control and accuracy with an eye toward external trends and changing impactful legislation.

This role requires significant people leadership experience, supplier management, strategic capability in the payroll space, and values and role models strong collaboration and partnership. A focus and proven track record of managing and improving payroll operations and working with payroll suppliers is critically important in this role.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, HR, or related discipline and/or extensive payroll experience.

Required Experience and Skills:

  • Minimum of 12 years of experience in Payroll in a large global company

  • Strong, proactive business leadership skills

  • Transformational mindset and deep experience in process and services

  • Service innovation mindset and curiosity

  • Change management experience

  • Responsible for building and managing relationships with strategic vendor / partners.

  • Demonstrated record and proven ability to lead a large team of individuals in both on-site and virtual locations.

  • Must be articulate and able to communicate and address issues around service to a broad range client community.

  • Excellent analytical and critical thinking skills.

  • Ability to mobilize with composure to solve issues and concerns and direct a team toward action


In accordance with Managers' Policy - Job Posting and Employee Placement, all employees subject to this policy are required to have a minimum of twelve (12) months of service in current position prior to applying for open positions.

If you have been offered a separation benefits package, but have not yet reached your separation date and are offered a position within the salary and geographical parameters as set forth in the Summary Plan Description (SPD) of your separation package, then you are no longer eligible for your separation benefits package. To discuss in more detail, please contact your HRBP or Talent Acquisition Advisor.

Employees working in roles that the Company determines require routine collaboration with external stakeholders, such as customer-facing commercial, or research-based roles, will be expected to comply not only with Company policy but also with policies established by such external stakeholders (for example, a requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to access a facility or meet with stakeholders). Please understand that, as permitted by applicable law, if you have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and an essential function of your job is to call on external stakeholders who require vaccination to enter their premises or engage in face-to-face meetings, then your employment may pose an undue burden to business operations, in which case you may not be offered employment, or your employment could be terminated. Please also note that, where permitted by applicable law, the Company reserves the right to require COVID-19 vaccinations for positions, such as in Global Employee Health, where the Company determines in its discretion that the nature of the role presents an increased risk of disease transmission.

Current Employees apply HERE

Current Contingent Workers apply HERE

US and Puerto Rico Residents Only:

Our company is committed to inclusion, ensuring that candidates can engage in a hiring process that exhibits their true capabilities. Please click here if you need an accommodation during the application or hiring process.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability status, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. For more information about personal rights under the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment laws, visit:

EEOC Know Your Rights

EEOC GINA Supplement​

Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination

We are proud to be a company that embraces the value of bringing diverse, talented, and committed people together. The fastest way to breakthrough innovation is when diverse ideas come together in an inclusive environment. We encourage our colleagues to respectfully challenge one another’s thinking and approach problems collectively.

Learn more about your rights, including under California, Colorado and other US State Acts

U.S. Hybrid Work Model

Effective September 5, 2023, employees in office-based positions in the U.S. will be working a Hybrid work consisting of three total days on-site per week, generally Tuesday, Wednesday and either Monday or Thursday, although the specific days may vary by site or organization, with Friday designated as a remote-working day, unless business critical tasks require an on-site presence. This Hybrid work model does not apply to, and daily in-person attendance is required for, field-based positions; facility-based, manufacturing-based, or research-based positions where the work to be performed is located at a Company site; positions covered by a collective-bargaining agreement (unless the agreement provides for hybrid work); or any other position for which the Company has determined the job requirements cannot be reasonably met working remotely. Please note, this Hybrid work model guidance also does not apply to roles that have been designated as “remote”.

Under New York State, Colorado State, Washington State, and California State law, the Company is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the salary range for this job. Final determinations with respect to salary will take into account a number of factors, which may include, but not be limited to the primary work location and the chosen candidate’s relevant skills, experience, and education.

Expected salary range:

$149,400.00 - $235,100.00

Available benefits include bonus eligibility, long term incentive if applicable, health care and other insurance benefits (for employee and family), retirement benefits, paid holidays, vacation, and sick days. A summary of benefits is listed here.

Search Firm Representatives Please Read Carefully
Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA, also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC, Rahway, NJ, USA, does not accept unsolicited assistance from search firms for employment opportunities. All CVs / resumes submitted by search firms to any employee at our company without a valid written search agreement in place for this position will be deemed the sole property of our company. No fee will be paid in the event a candidate is hired by our company as a result of an agency referral where no pre-existing agreement is in place. Where agency agreements are in place, introductions are position specific. Please, no phone calls or emails.

Employee Status:



No relocation

VISA Sponsorship:


Travel Requirements:


Flexible Work Arrangements:



1st - Day

Valid Driving License:


Hazardous Material(s):


Job Posting End Date:


*A job posting is effective until 11:59:59PM on the day BEFORE the listed job posting end date. Please ensure you apply to a job posting no later than the day BEFORE the job posting end date.

Job Posting End Date:06/20/2024

A job posting is effective until 11:59:59PM on the day BEFORE the listed job posting end date. Please ensure you apply to a job posting no later than the day BEFORE the job posting end date.

Requisition ID:R298062