HR Tech Interview with Ruairi Kelleher, CEO of Immedis

Even though HCM technologies have undergone lots of innovation in the recent years, there are still a few missing elements that need to be pieced together; Ruairi Kelleher, CEO of Immedis elaborates further in this short chat with TecHRseries:


Tell us a little about yourself Ruairi…we’d love to hear about the Immedis payroll solution…

Passion best encompasses what drives me as CEO of Immedis. Passion is also one of our core company values. We’re passionate about global payroll and delivering the best service to our customers and their employees.

Immedis is part of the Clune Technology Group, a collection of global companies that deliver focus driven, digitized solutions to simplify the complexity of global business.  I joined the wider Clune Technology Group in 2012 and along with Terry Clune and Mark Graham launched Immedis in 2016 to reimagine how global payroll is delivered, utilising the best-in-class modern technology capability combined with a deep expertise in global taxation.

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With over 20 years in Global Tax Mobility, Immedis has a deep understanding of the most challenging aspects of global payroll. We used that knowledge and expertise to create a global-first payroll platform that’s purpose built for the digital age.

I am responsible for the corporate direction, strategy, and M&A activity at Immedis, enabling the team to drive innovation in international payroll and tax services through our cloud-based platform. Since we created Immedis, I have worked to share the strategy and vision with employees, clients, partners and the wider global payroll industry to promote a new vision of global payroll consolidation through global tax expertise and integrated agile technologies.

What are some of the biggest trends in payroll management today that you think will reshape how companies manage HR and pay processes for globally distributed staff? 

One of the driving forces in tech innovation across almost every industry and technology has been simplification.  As technology and platforms have evolved, enterprises have built impressive but highly complex technology stacks that unfortunately suffer from poor integration, redundant systems, loss of data and data insights, and security vulnerabilities to name just a few.  Human Capital Management systems have undergone massive transformations with a drive towards centralization, but what’s still missing is the connection between HCM and payroll, a relationship that is invaluable in terms of the wealth of data and strategic insights that organizations can glean from such a synchronization. Immedis is already leading the charge in consolidated global payroll systems that connect HCMs, payroll and finance with process automation resulting in more efficient, timely and accurate payroll outcomes.  HCM integration with payroll has the added benefit of providing the business with actionable insights on salary costs, global locations, pay equity, diversity and inclusion, and much more. These data insights will elevate payroll to have a seat at the table as a true strategic business partner.

Payroll will also play a more important role in the employee experience. Organizations today are under tremendous competitive pressures coming at them from every direction, and the ability to find, attract and retain top talent is more important than ever before. A positive employee experience is a key competitive differentiator for organizations. Ensuring timely and accurate global payroll delivery plays a crucial role in a positive employee experience.  After all, everyone at every level of the organization looks forward to payday! Exciting innovations in global payroll will also enable organizations to bolster employee financial wellness programs.  Regarding payroll integration with HCMs, organizations will be able to glean data insights that will help them benchmark pay equity. These insights can be used to support diversity and inclusion and pay equity programs, which have become increasingly important for organizations to attract top talent.

There’s so much more to talk about, but these a few examples of current trends and exciting innovations that will elevate global payroll to a strategic advantage for organizations that do it right.

Given the events surrounding 2020 – what are some of the biggest best practices you feel global workforces and HR needs to inculcate to help create better measures for crises management in future, when it comes to payroll (pay advance / access to benefits etc.)? 

Without question, 2020 has been one of the most challenging and stressful years many of us have ever lived through. It has had a tremendous impact on every aspect of our lives, including our working lives and the workplace.  That said, in some ways the pandemic has highlighted some things we already knew and accelerated trends in these areas. For example, companies of all sizes, not just large enterprises, have been increasingly moving toward a distributed workforce both nationally and globally. The same can be said for the growth in remote working. What used to be known as “working from home” and was an occasional occurrence typically due to dentist or doctor’s appointments, or attending a teacher/parent conference for workers with children, was already growing into an option or a perk some companies began to offer. Some companies, especially in the business services and consulting industries, had already made the transition to a fully remote workforce. The pandemic dramatically accelerated those trends, especially for companies and industries that had never adopted a culture to allow or encourage remote working. Suddenly we had no choice. Executive leadership, HR, learning and development and virtually all aspects of the business stepped up and made the leap, demonstrating that it could be done. Naturally, there were drawbacks, but many unexpected benefits emerged. Organizations began to see cost saving opportunities by encouraging remote working versus investing in leasing or building more office space. Executive leadership and human resources leaders that hadn’t considered hiring talent from out of state or their geographic region, or even overseas talent, began to see the opportunities in talent without boundaries. The implication for payroll is the need for organizations of all sizes to ensure they’re positioned to accommodate remote workforce options and that they have the agility to hire talent from anywhere in the country and the world. This requires more advanced, agile and global-first payroll technologies and solutions to put these organizations in a strong position to compete.

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As HR trends shift in light of today’s evolving workplace culture – what are some ways in which companies in tech can strengthen their employee culture with the right tech?

I think the more companies can keep the human element at the center of technology innovation, the more enriching and satisfying our cultural experiences will be in the workplace, whether that’s in the office or working remotely as part of a globally distributed team. Case in point can be found in the technology simplification example I mentioned earlier in this interview. Technology should solve problems and make our lives easier, not more complex. Simplification and reducing complexity are elemental to everything we do at Immedis. We’re obsessed with simplifying the payroll process so HR, finance and payroll leaders and their staff can focus on more important things like building a great place to work. Today’s leading multinationals are striving to provide a unified employee experience across the world with shared core values. Payroll is a communications channel with every single employee regardless of state, region or nation. Immedis is laser focused on developing payroll technology innovations and solutions that provide opportunities for organizations to strengthen their global culture.

Immedis also looks beyond the immediate benefits of our technology for global payroll to how we can help organizations improve the employee experience, which is a key part of the company culture. People work to get paid, but they also want to work at a company that provides them with options and programs that support their financial wellbeing.  People want to work at a company that provides equitable pay for everyone. Immedis is committed to providing the payroll tools and technologies organizations need to get there. These are just a few examples from Immedis’ experience in the global payroll industry. I think all technology providers and the companies who buy their products and solutions should keep this human-centered approach to technology top of mind across every aspect of the business.

Can you talk about some of the biggest ways in which you are seeing businesses evolve with the help of HR tech today?

We’re at an exciting time in HR tech and global payroll. I think simplification will continue across the HR technology stack. This will provide businesses the ability to focus more of their precious talent resources on providing winning products and solutions for their customers while also building a workplace culture that’s enriching and fulfilling. Businesses that have adopted more agile and advanced HR technologies as well as collaboration and productivity tools – some of this adoption driven by the pandemic – are already seeing some of these benefits. The pandemic has also demonstrated that despite state lines, country borders and continental divides, we live in a truly global world that requires close collaboration and understanding across cultures, regulations, currencies and more.  It’s no longer the big enterprise giants that need enterprise-strength technology to operate in today’s global economy. Business of all sizes need technology that solves their problems with ease and agility and can scale with their business as they grow their workforce and their business, expand into new markets, regions and countries both organically and with mergers and acquisitions. This is where we are now and where we will continue to evolve going forward.  I believe the demand on talent will only get even greater and more global with organizations now looking everywhere for the best talent. HR tech will be ever more important in retaining and attracting the best.

 We’d love to hear about the employee and work culture at Immedis? 

I’m passionate about the unique opportunity we have at Immedis to create something special both for our customers and for our people who have always been at the heart of who we are. The team that we have grown over the past four years has enabled us to grow our customer base to include some of the biggest brands in the world. Technology is designed and built by brilliant people. People are critical to everything! While we grow, it’s very important to me that we don’t lose a sense of who we are and what makes Immedis unique. We’re passionate about continually striving to achieve excellence for our customers and for ourselves.  That passion is a driving force of our company culture.  It’s my view that we continue to grow because of the amazing people who are Immedis. The functionality within our platform and the knowledge of our people mean that we can provide an offering to the global payroll market that has never been delivered on before – touchless global payroll with proven technology, relentless innovation, and accessible knowledge.

Immedis provides an enterprise grade platform that supports the complete end-to-end payroll cycle and provides advanced reporting and real-time data analytics.

 Ruairi is the CEO of Immedis

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