Senior Specialist, Payroll & HRIS - Washington, DC

Company Overview

Cogent Communications is a multinational, Tier 1 facilities-based ISP, consistently ranked as one of the top five networks in the world and is publicly traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the ticker symbol CCOI. Cogent specializes in providing businesses with high speed Internet access, Ethernet transport, and Colocation services. Cogent's facilities-based, all-optical IP network backbone provides IP services in over 210 markets globally. Since its inception, Cogent has unleashed the benefits of IP technology, building one of the largest and highest capacity IP networks in the world. This network enables Cogent to offer large bandwidth connections at highly competitive prices. Cogent also offers superior customer support by virtue of its end-to-end control of service delivery and network monitoring. Cogent offers competitive compensation and a full benefits package that takes effect within 30 days of employment. Matching 401k and stock options are also included.


The Senior Specialist, Payroll and HRIS is responsible for ensuring timely, accurate and compliant semi-monthly and year-end payroll processing, payroll taxes and reporting for a multi-dimensional, multi-state (39), 800+ employee payroll. The Senior Specialist also enters, updates and maintains employee records in HRDB, payroll and timekeeping system; responsible for data integrity, generating reports, data extraction and manipulation, managing data feeds between systems and analyzing data flows for process improvement opportunities.  The Senior Specialist’s primary scope is for US employees, and may occasionally assist with international HR coordination as assigned.  The Senior Specialist interacts with all members of the Human Resources department, and supports all US employees.



  • Implements, maintains, and reviews payroll processing systems to ensure timely and accurate processing of payroll transactions including salaries, benefits, garnishments, severance, final pay, commissions, taxes, and other pay actions/deductions.
  • Ensures timely and accurate setup and processing of new hires and associated taxes, benefit elections, timecard, etc. in accordance with agreed upon first pay date. Processes terminations and final pay, to include severance and PTO, in accordance with state regulatory requirements.
  • Monitors overtime usage and ensures accurate pay; ensures timely and accurate once monthly commission payments, twice monthly expense payments.
  • Using HRDB and other HR reports, systems, etc. ensures accurate pay for special leaves to include disability, parental, military, ADA, FMLA, LWOP, etc.
  • Prepares and maintains accurate records and reports of payroll transactions.
  • Ensures data integrity of US ADP payroll and timekeeping system. Uses full system functionality and capacity to meet the needs of our complex payroll and regulatory requirements.
  • Ensures compliance with federal, state, and local payroll, wage and hour laws, and best practices.
  • Facilitates financial analysis, audits by providing records and documentation as requested.
  • Identifies and recommends updates to payroll processing software, systems, and procedures.


  • Maintains and updates HRDB with new employee information, existing employee changes, terminations, salary, leaves of absence/time-off and changes. Reviews source documents for accuracy and to ensure proper approvals.
  • Has a keen awareness of the HR department’s operational flow and processes.  Participates in identifying, developing, testing, and implementing new or modified system capabilities to ensure operational efficiencies and excellence, meet changing business requirements and prevent breakdowns in information flow across all HR department processes. 
  • Manages and monitors data feeds between systems - HRDB, payroll/timekeeping and benefits to ensure data accuracy and timely transfer of information/uploads between systems.  Exports, imports, and manipulates data as needed.  Performs regular audits to verify authenticity and quality of data is maintained.
  • Serves as the HR data expert, creates standard and on-demand reports, performs data analysis to produce statistics and identify trends.
  • Serves as super user/Subject Matter Expert on all systems and identifies their ability to communicate/integrate; partners with Cogent IS, system vendors to troubleshoot, strategize and resolve issues. 
  • Ensures proper safeguards are in place to maintain the privacy of employee data. Performs general database administration and maintenance functions, including tracking authorized users and access level. Resets self-service passwords as necessary.

Required Skills / Abilities:

  • Sound knowledge of the payroll function including preparation, balancing, internal control, payroll taxes, multi-state regulatory requirements, international payroll experience a plus
  • HRIS/Database experience to include data migration, manipulation and report writing.
  • Proficient with payroll software, preferably ADP Workforce Now
  • Strong analytical, problem-solving and process improvement skills.
  • Excellent numerical/computational skills
  • Experience working effectively with Finance/Accounting to collaborate on proper procedures, controls, data, and compliance.
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Ability to adhere to unwavering deadlines and operate with urgency.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or related software; must have advanced Excel skills

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Accounting, Business Administration, Information Systems or related field; proven equivalent experience may be substituted.
  • Three to five years of related experience required.

Physical Requirements:

  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer

To apply for this position, please submit your resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Cogent Communications is an Equal Opportunity Employer.