Building Personio’s Payroll Product Ecosystem

Justin and a colleague at the Madrid office

At Personio, one of our focuses is on finding top talent from around the world to join our team. Justin, our VP of Product for Payroll, is a perfect example. Born in Australia, he spent his childhood and the first six years of his career in Tokyo before moving to a third continent. “My career has taken me to many places for both short and long-term assignments – including London, New York, Singapore, and Hong Kong.”

Before joining Personio, Justin spent 16 years in banking, getting his start in foreign exchange. As the banking industry moved toward digitalization in the mid-2000s, he earned his Master’s degree in information technology, which eventually led him toward product development. In 2019 he received an offer to move to Berlin for N26, one of the biggest digital banks in the world, where he led multiple teams, including Payments, Lending & Savings, and Financial Crime Prevention.

When a Personio Talent Acquisition Manager first approached him in September 2020, he was intrigued by the product and company culture. A few Zoom calls later, Justin was invited to an on-site interview in our Munich office. “I felt really lucky to have the opportunity to meet people face-to-face and see the office. In the end, it made all the difference in my decision.”

But it wasn’t just the product and positive candidate experience that sold Justin on Personio. “The amazing culture and opportunity to work in regulated finance – a favorite topic of mine – in a completely new context was a major selling point.”

Justin currently works remotely, and he acknowledges that the arrangement comes with both benefits and challenges. “Being remote can be quite difficult, but I’m a huge supporter of the concept, and it truly works for some teams – perhaps especially for teams with a focus on product development.” Justin makes a point to visit the Munich office at least once per month, and Madrid every other month, because he has a new adventure on the horizon: moving to Madrid!

Justin working from the Madrid office.

Justin working from the Madrid office.

As he prepares for the move, Justin and his teammates continue to make an impact at Personio. “I’m leading the Payroll domain together with Fernando, Steven, and Natascha. Even though I’m a product manager by training, the four of us blur the lines within our roles. Our current focus is on supporting our amazingly talented team as we scale payroll across Europe. The path there might be complicated and long, but the learning is so rewarding and fun. It makes it all worth it!”

And the changes don’t stop there. “We are currently on a mission to make payroll easy, accurate, and affordable so that our customers can focus on succeeding at their core business and not worrying about payments.”

Justin enjoying coffee with some colleagues.

Enjoying coffee with some colleagues.

“Over the past few months, the team has interviewed more than 70 customers from a number of our core European markets to understand their pain points for processing payroll. It’s given me a great perspective on the opportunities ahead of us for both Personio and our customers.”

Scaling payroll across Europe has proved to be, unsurprisingly, a multi-faceted project. “We’re building our payroll engine to scale across Europe in order to help small and mid-sized companies – and their tax advisors – digitize their payroll process. At the same time, we’re focused on creating deep integrations with existing partners like Datev to create a holistic payroll ecosystem for our customers.”

Aside from tackling international projects, Justin has also been able to enjoy some of the events and initiatives that define our culture – including our first-ever All Company Culture Week. “I would say Culture Week was definitely one of my favorite memories, but I think trampolining together in a Mario suit with 75 Payroll colleagues took the cake!”

Justin dressed up as Mario with fellow Personios during ACCW.

Getting into the spirit of All Company Culture Week 2021.

Are you interested in helping build a best-in-class Payroll strategy with Justin and his teammates? Then now’s your chance! We’re hiring multiple roles across the Product and Payroll teams in multiple cities. Head to our careers page to apply today!

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