Solugen Location:

14549 Minetta St., Houston TX 77035 or later at new HQ location (likely Greenway Plaza)


HR Specialist/Lead – Payroll and Compensation

About Solugen:

Solugen, Inc. is a revolutionary technology company seeking to use biology to transform the chemicals industry. Solugen was founded in 2016 and is a post-Series C venture-backed startup company supported by renowned venture capital firms including Founders Fund, Fifty Years, Refactor, and Y Combinator, plus international sovereign wealth funds from Singapore. Located in Houston, Texas, Solugen is currently commissioning its manufacturing facility to use its chemienzymatic processes to create biobased chemistries for water treatment, agriculture, and personal care.


Solugen’s mission is to decarbonize chemicals manufacturing. As a first step, Solugen is building a 10,000 tpy first commercial plant with the potential to offset up to 37,000 tpy of carbon dioxide equivalents. For the plant and company to operate efficiently, support departments such as Finance, have an important role. Additional plants and locations are highly likely. Solugen currently employs approximately 125 persons across two physical plant locations in Texas and with a few remote working employees across the country. We are anticipating additional growth over the next few years to at least double from this level of employees and with new plants outside of Texas. Our need for timely and accurate payroll processing is essential.

This role ensures that all Solugen teammates are paid on time, in full and without any errors. This role would handle multiple payroll cycles and payroll types, such as semi-monthly and bi-weekly, plus one-off runs for specific purposes like bonus payments, severance payments or for payroll tax purposes. This role will report up through the Human Resources organization and be based in Houston, Texas.

Key Outcomes

  • Processing payroll for both exempt and non-exempt employees and ensure they are processed accurately and timely. This also includes managing time and attendance for all hourly employees.
  • Reconcile monthly, quarterly and end of year reporting, understanding proper tax requirements for wages and alignment with the benefits providers and 401K to properly provide reports to finance and HR. This outcome includes processing any additional corrections, journal entry for each payroll work, work with our payroll platform Zenefits for any adjustments and compliance investigations to prepare any additional reports or payments to any agency involve.
  • Monitor and analyze changes in regulatory, government, legal, benchmark trends for all compensation strategy to ensure compliance and competitiveness. The specialist will ensure that compensation levels and structure is fair and maintains guidelines from our compensation philosophy.
  • Manages compensation surveys, external market analysis, processes and strategies to ensure Solugen has accurate compensation data; including base salary, bonus structure, spot bonuses, internal equity and any additional compensation initiative. Expectation is that the qualified candidate can implement compensation strategies, processes, and guidelines in alignment with business objectives to provide timely and accurate compensation data

Key Competencies:

Job Specific -

- Attention to detail and organization. Use Kanban tools to drive work achievement and organization.

- Strong understanding of Federal and State HR/Payroll laws (FMLA, FLSA, etc.) and IRS regulations that impact payroll.

- Good communication skills, both written and verbal, utilizing different approaches based upon the audience and desired outcomes.

- Commitment to working safely, following EH&S guidance on a variety of subjects.

- Maintain a strong internal controls environment within the company, particularly within Payroll/HR related processes.

- Good familiarity with Office products as well as a general level of comfort with online communication and work management platforms such as Dropbox, Google Doc, and Slack.

- Understanding of common ERP software and processes, able to apply those to our NetSuite environment and offer suggestions on closing any identified gaps and improvement opportunities.

Company Specific -

- Ask a lot of questions, be curious, and have insights into your work. Don’t assume anything, ask!

- Be nimble, embrace the speed and ambiguity of startup culture.

- A passion for fighting climate change.

- Ability to self-manage and set your own priorities and schedule.

- Be comfortable working in multiple roles, backing up others.

- Emphasize safety above all else. If you see problems, report them immediately.

- Respect for others and their uniqueness.

- Creative problem solving.

- Drive insights on finance issues and support them with data.


Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting, Finance or equivalent, plus minimum 5 years full-time experience working in payroll processing

Certifications related to Payroll, such as Certified Payroll Professional (CPP), are strongly preferred.

Zenefits and NetSuite experience is preferred but not required.