Lights, Camera...Paycheck: Payrolling For An Awards Show 

Strategic Achievements

  • Ensured corporate compliance for employee designation 
  • Updated paper documentation to digital processes
  • 400+ onboarded in just 5 days for 2 shows each year 
  • 100% compliance with onboarding requirements 
Currency symbols on human hand. Money making and wealth-3

What DZX Brought To The Table

  • Payrolling expertise 
  • Onboarding services 


Degree of Difficulty

  • 7/10
  • No employee tracking methods 
  • Unorganized and chaotic environment 
  • Bilingual employees and communications required 
  • Short timeframe to onboard 

The Dilemma

One of DZConneX’s (DZX's) clients, an entertainment and communications company, hosts two massive, internationally broadcasted awards shows every year. An awards show of this size requires a large, complex workforce for a seamless production. Our client needed to onboard approximately 400 people per show to complete the hundreds of jobs necessary for the show to be a success. This large workforce must also be properly onboarded and paid in a short timeframe, which can be difficult for many organizations to handle on their own. In order to ensure all talent was efficiently onboarded and compensated on time, DZX stepped in to help this client. 


The Strategy

As the payrolling manager for our client, we are not responsible for the procurement of talent. We are, however, responsible for verifying each new hire's employment eligibility and ensuring that they understand all policies and procedures before they start their first day of work. To best utilize our on-site team of 2-3 people against the 400 show workers, we use DocuSign to minimize physical paperwork, lines and errors. We also introduced an innovative time-recording and expense management platform to efficiently capture information in real-time. To rapidly pay everyone, we work closely with the client’s management team to identify in advance all the talent that will be hired and needs to get paid.


The Impact

With the diligent work of our client and our dedicated team, the show went on without any issues. We seamlessly onboarded about 400 people per show, updated paper documentation to digital processes, and paid the entire workforce accurately and on time. Our newly implemented processes allowed our client to achieve a 100% compliance rate. With DZX handling the onboarding and payrolling, our client could focus on all other preparations for their awards show productions. 


DZX 3 Keys Nonemployee Workforce Planning


Broadcast Industry Fast Facts

279,300 industry employees 

$35.38 average hourly earnings 

$134.7 billion annual industry revenue 

$30 million+ cost to put on an awards show 


Awards shows are a highly anticipated pop-culture tradition around the world. People love to watch their favorite stars gather in glamorous attire to be recognized for the noteworthy work they have done throughout the year. Viewers see a glamorous spectacle full of celebrities, bright lights, intricate set designs, incredible production value, and a four-hour running time. However, what the viewers don’t see is the tremendous amount of work that goes into making all that happen.

So when a national broadcaster needs to put on one of these events, how do they make sure each person they need to make the show possible gets properly onboarded, understands their responsibilities and employment timeframe, and receives payment for the work they do? When some people are on location for a week and some just hours, who’s going to ensure everyone is compliant and gets compensated in an efficient and timely manner? Total talent experts often help organizations with these complex processes, and our client turned to DZX for our expert payrolling and onboarding services.


Welcome To The Show

For a project that requires the onboarding of hundreds of workers in a non-office environment with dozens of moving parts for a commonly chaotic event, there is very little room for error. Each and every person brought on to help the show run smoothly needs to be onboarded and accounted for in just five short days. The workforce consists of the lighting people, the set builders, the camera crew, the group that puts down the red carpet, the talent escorts who accompany the stars out of their limousines, the seat fillers, the makeup artists, and the orchestra that plays the walk-off music for those whose thank-you speeches are running a bit too long, and even more. For every single component that goes into making a live show run smoothly, DZX is there to quickly onboard them. 

As the payrolling manager for these awards shows, DZX doesn’t handle the procurement of these workers, but rather is responsible for verifying the employment eligibility of each person hired and ensuring that when an individual shows up for their first day, they know the procedures, fill out their I-9 form accurately, and can get paid for their work correctly and on time.

When DZX first started managing payroll and onboarding for our client's awards shows, they eliminated inefficient paper documents and began using technology like DocuSign to minimize physical paperwork and prevent errors. And by using best-in-class time-recording and expense management systems, the process for recording time, auditing, and sending paychecks is faster and more accurate.

With 2-3 DZX employees on site any time work is being done (all of whom are fluent in Spanish and English because of the unique requirements of the awards show), our experts are always on-call and ready to bring workers up to speed, whether they need to hook up a satellite to the production van or construct a set piece for the musical act occurring midway through the show. But with 40 or more managers on the client side, responsible for awards show travel, telecommunications, IT, construction, hospitality and more, keeping everything and everyone organized isn’t an easy task.

While many managers try to notify DZX in advance of who they’re hiring in each department and send them to our team to get onboarded, there are always some individuals who slip through. Sometimes, it’s up to DZX to track down people wherever they may be on set and make sure they fill out all the forms that need to be completed. No matter what, our experts' top priority is to guarantee that every member of the workforce is properly accounted for so our client can focus on producing the best show possible. 


The DZX Solution  

As the client’s largest payroll provider since 2001, it’s safe to say the company has bought into the DZX process. With 100% compliance in onboarding requirements (including helping those who fill out paperwork incorrectly), the client and contingent workers can trust there will be minimal to no disruption to payroll processes during one of its most complex projects of the year.

And because of the trusted relationship built over time, whenever the client has a need for a quick contingent worker or a solution to a payrolling issue, they’ll turn to DZX's experts for a seamless solution. Building that reputation of trust, one in which the word “DZX” brings with it the feeling that everything will work out, is something DZX strives to bring to every client relationship. No matter the need, no matter how tall the task, DZX will be there to get it done and get it done right.

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