How to Create an Effective RFP for Global Payroll Services

By iiPay | Updated June 3, 2020

Global Payroll Services


Is it time for your company to consider a new Global Payroll Provider?  Perhaps you are not getting the service you need from your current provider.  Or, maybe you are managing multiple vendors across each of your countries and it’s time for a simpler answer. 

A Request for Proposal, or RFP, is one effective way to ensure you are getting a new provider that meets your needs.  The RFP is created to outline the requirements for your project and solicit information and pricing from qualified vendors to help you select the vendor that best meets your needs.

Why Go Through the RFP Process?

You may be thinking that the RFP process will take too much time or effort and that you can just hire one of the vendors you’ve heard about, and everything will be okay.  But, that’s not always the case. By outlining the requirements of your company through an RFP, you can better evaluate the capabilities of each vendor and how well each one truly understands your project. RFPs also help ensure transparency between you and the vendors and pushes you and your company to create specific criteria up front that you can use not only to evaluate the vendors but to measure the success of the project at a later date.

Where to Start?

  1. Involve the Right People

It’s important to recognize that your project won’t just affect Payroll.  Rather, this transformation will touch multiple departments of your business, including HR, Finance, and IT and it could have bearing on business decisions regarding global expansion plans, relocations, and recruitment. Involving the people from related departments will help you ensure you are asking the right questions as well as help vendors to have a clear understanding of your current payroll environment, issues you are facing, and your future objectives.  

Ask the people that this change will impact.  Find out their pain points related to global payroll. Involving these people early-on creates buy-in and cooperation for your project and gives you a more holistic view of your needs.

  • Set your requirement and criteria

What really matters?  Find out from each of those people you’ve involved what matters to them.  What do you need your new provider to do specifically?  What unique needs does your company have?  What are the pain points?  Once you know your requirements, you can set out to prioritize the criteria you will use to select a vendor by deciding what matters most.  For example, it could be that the vendor system’s capabilities will count for 25%, relationship and approach count for another 25%, and perhaps the staff skill set, scalability, references, and cost make up the other 50%.  Establishing your requirements and criteria before releasing your RFP allows you to easily eliminate some vendors and gives you a fair way to rank the remaining vendors that you want to seriously consider.

  • Create the RFP:

You’ve pulled together the right people and established your requirements and now it’s time to write the RFP.  You’ll want to include information about your company, your goals for the project and the requirements you need fulfilled. Global payroll is complex and there are typically many detailed requirements, so make sure you have explained your needs and written your questions clearly and concisely.  This will help the vendors to provide the best possible responses for you to evaluate against your criteria.

Although each RFP will vary according to the needs and goals of a project, it is important to include the following:

  • The history of your organization
  • A detailed description of the project, including the drivers behind the project and the future state you require for your payroll
  • Specific requirements for your payroll (i.e. HCM integrations, country capabilities, etc.)
  • Timelines for desired completion of milestones such as implementation and go-live.
  • Questions you would like the vendors to answer or additional details you would like them to provide
  • The submission deadline, contact information, and guidelines to submit proposals

What’s Next?

  1. Share the RFP with Global Payroll Vendors

You’ll want to include a minimum of three vendors that you believe may be qualified, but standard practice is to start with five vendors.  You’ll need to have enough vendors for good comparisons and rankings of each vendor and then be able to narrow down to the most qualified. 

Allow vendors a time frame in order to ask clarifying questions so they can ensure they are providing accurate responses to your questions.  Give them plenty of time to gather answers from various parts of the business and pulling together their responses.

  • Selection

Once you have narrowed down your list of qualified vendors, it’s time to set up presentations for your top two-three vendors so that they can explain their solution in detail, provide a demonstration and answer any questions.  You’ll want to rank these vendors again and depending on your needs, it may be helpful to have follow up meetings until you select the vendor you would like to contract with for global payroll services.  At that point, you will go over the contract and ensure both parties are satisfied with the end result.


The RFP process can feel time-consuming and even complicated, but by going through this process and specifying your requirements, you will have greater confidence that you have selected the right vendor for your company and your project.

In order to expedite your process, iiPay has gathered together questions that we often see within RFPs we receive.  We have included questions regarding each area of emphasis, such as implementation, service, data security, etc.  You’ll be able to keep the questions you need and delete any that are not relevant for you. 

Download our Excel template and get started on your Global Payroll RFP today!

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