Celebrating 20 Years in Business • 2004 - 2024

Spot Your Rising Stars

Once the team is in place, it is generally up to the managers to continue to monitor members’ development. They seek to identify those individuals likely to contribute most to the company. Especially in a smaller startup, it is helpful to recognize exceptional competency while the operation is still in its early stages. With an eye on the future, management can lay the groundwork for optimal performance later.

Different characteristics drive success

Your star employees may exhibit diverse qualities and traits, depending on the company, the business or even the department. In some cases, doers who deliver results may be the key to the firm’s success; in other businesses or industries, creativity and innovation set the firm apart. The first challenge is to realize the components vital for a company’s success.

You first need to define talent in a business context. Many organizations benefit from a combination of skill sets. Maybe 80% of the workforce is made up of dependable, productive performers, with the other 20% providing that extra spark of brilliance. A company needs more than a collection of elite superstars. Therefore, HR focuses on the variety of roles and which people can match those needs. For example, a sales business requires employees with an ability to persuade and cultivate relationships, while hospitality employees need to solve operational problems quickly and attend to details rigorously.

It is also important to distinguish between today’s performance and tomorrow’s potential. Every employee does not come fully fledged, and a company must clarify the connection between current and prospective performance in its field. A truly effective manager will observe behaviors and project to envisage how an employee might develop.

The ultimate goals are broader than immediate promotions. The whole organization benefits when it can retain its long-term A team by steadily progressing the team into more senior roles. Incorporating available talent into the long-term plan can galvanize engagement and leadership across the ranks.

Pinpoint potential

After you have decided how you will measure potential, you will need to monitor progress among those identified as high-potential individuals. Many companies simply rely on the instincts of management and look to ad hoc observations for predicting the paths their most dynamic workers are destined to follow.

There are also some tools available to help quantify a range of elusive personality traits. The High Potential Trait Indicator, created in 2006 by Adrian Furnham and Ian McRae, predicates its model on theoretically optimal characteristics for a given job. The model scores appropriate levels for:

  • Conscientiousness.
  • Flexibility.
  • Curiosity.
  • Openness to risk.
  • Ambiguity.
  • Acceptance.
  • Competitiveness.

On the cultural side, there may be fewer official tests, but managers should also watch for signs of common values among their workforce. Members who share the organization’s mission and values will be more receptive to camaraderie and more likely to remain loyal. A strong employee value proposition acts as a recruiting magnet too. If you provide promotion opportunities for a variety of positions, you may pick up clues as to who in the group is keen to keep moving ahead within the ranks.

Star material

How does an innately talented team member behave, and what features distinguish them from their colleagues? You will probably recognize the signs of a self-starter who:

  • Is comfortable taking initiative and does not need micromanagement.
  • Is team oriented.
  • Is cooperative and collaborative with others.
  • Has a strong work ethic.
  • Is trusted by peers.
  • Has high personal standards for performance.
  • Has a proactive drive toward continuous improvement.
  • Demonstrates expertise, competency and craftsmanship.
  • Thinks creatively, bringing fresh perspectives to challenges.
  • Exudes positive energy.
  • Is adaptable and flexible — they can accept being wrong and value feedback.
  • Thrives under pressure.
  • Has superior decision-making ability, sorting through complexity and ambiguity, making patterns and drawing connections.
  • Asks insightful questions.

There is another key quality that sometimes trumps all these capabilities: In the end, you want someone on your team who stays cool and collected under fire. Emotional intelligence is the gift of self-awareness — the sensitivity to read situations and react appropriately.


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Emily Gooding

Payroll Specialist

Emily is graduating in May with a BA in Business Administration from Lander University. She has gained valuable experience as a payroll intern for BMW. We are so excited to have her on the team and  to see her excel in her role as a Payroll Specialist.

Madison Capps​

Payroll Specialist

Madison received a BS in Psychology from Southern Illinois University in 2019. Since then, she has been working as a supervisor at Starbucks and earning her second degree, a BA in Administration and Accounting, from USC Aiken in the fall. She will be joining us as a Payroll Specialist and a valuable addition to our Paysmart team.

Kristen Wilby

Payroll Specialist

Before moving to South Carolina with her husband, Kristen worked as a Sales & Marketing Specialist for Premium King in Feasterville, PA, where she gained valuable experience in strengthening the brand and generating new business. Kristen also brings to our team several years of professional experience as an Executive Assistant and as an Office Manager, where she was first introduced to payroll. Kristen’s knowledge and her innate ability to establish genuine relationships contribute greatly to the team as we continue to grow and serve our clients.

Meg Whitaker

Payroll Specialist

Meg brings nearly twenty years of professional experience to the team. Most recently, she worked as a Payroll & Benefits Specialist in Centennial, Colorado. She and her husband recently moved back to the Carolinas for his job, and we were fortunate to find her! Before Colorado, Meg worked at CPI Security Systems in Charlotte, NC, for twelve years as a Billing Coordinator and Senior Administrative Assistant. She also gained three years of experience as an HR Assistant for a law firm in Fayetteville, NC. Her expertise significantly adds to our team and benefits our clients as we continue to grow!

Rachel McClaran, EA


Rachel plays a crucial role in developing Paysmart’s core processes and procedures, as well as overall strategy within the company. Rachel graduated from Bob Jones University and is an active member of the Junior League of Greenville and the South Carolina Association of CPAs. Her desire to serve her community has led her to become involved with several nonprofit organizations and to serve as the past Vice President of Finance for the Junior League of Greenville. Outside of the office,Rachel enjoys spending time on the water and traveling with her husband and their two children.

Hina Rogers

Payroll Specialist

Hina joined the Paysmart team in August 2022. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, before moving to Greenville, SC. She earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education. After college, she represented her alma mater as an enrollment counselor in the Southeast and Western states. She enjoys traveling, road trips, cooking, and quality time with her family. Hina looks forward to serving your company’s needs! 

Sharon Quantrille

Payroll Specialist

Sharon has spent several years in the accounting industry and has completed courses to hone her skills as a Payroll Specialist. Her background as an educator, professional musician, and Human Resources Generalist has contributed to her communication skills, commitment to professionalism, and organizational skills that make her a tremendous benefit to her Paysmart clients and colleagues. A graduate of Bob Jones University with a B.S. degree in Music Education, a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and a Human Resources Generalist Certificate, Sharon spends her free time gardening, hiking, playing the piano, and spending time with her four adult children.

Haleigh Bates

Payroll Specialist

Haleigh joined our team in May of 2022 as a payroll specialist. Haleigh has over eight years of experience helping personal and small business clients with their financial needs. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Georgia Southern University. She enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children, Caden, Addie, and Mason.  She likes to go hiking, spend time at the beach, and volunteer at her church in the children’s ministry. 

Courtney Rossello

Payroll Tax Manager

Courtney joined the team at Paysmart Payroll Services in September 2020.  She was raised in Simpsonville, SC, and graduated from Clemson University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a concentration in public administration.  Courtney began her payroll career in 2011 and currently works in the payroll tax department at Paysmart.  She strives to make every client feel comfortable knowing their payroll taxes and tax returns are handled accurately and efficiently.  Courtney is also a volunteer Treasurer for a local middle school in Greenville County.  In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with special needs children, road trips, and spending time with her two daughters. 

Emily Hargrave

Senior Payroll Specialist

Emily received her bachelor’s degree in music from West Coast Baptist College. Since her college days, Emily has gained nearly 18 years of experience in office operations and project management. Emily joined Paysmart in 2017 and enjoys using her skills to support clients and the Paysmart team.

 At heart, Emily is a small-town country girl from the Midwest but is happy now to call the Upstate home, where she doesn’t have to endure harsh winters. Emily’s favorite ways to spend her free time are reading a good book, challenging herself with puzzles, and doing her best not to kill the plants in her garden.

Julie Shull

Client Success Specialist

Julie is the Client Success Specialist for Paysmart Payroll.  She joined the team as a Payroll Specialist in March of 2020. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from NC State University and earned an MBA from Gardner-Webb University while playing on the GWU women’s tennis team. After starting her career with Wilson Sporting Goods as a Financial Analyst, she took a few years off to raise twin boys until she began working for Greenville County Schools in 2014.  Julie enjoys spending time with her family and outdoor activities.

Brad Detandt

Payroll Administrator

A graduate of Northland International University with a BA in Counseling, Brad Detandt leads the day-to-day operations of the Paysmart team. He is eager to grow the firm’s client portfolio. He brings a diverse employment background in retail, manufacturing, nonprofit ministries, and business development, with
a specialized focus on team development and process improvement. Brad’s professional – and personal – mission is to “Be Great. Serve!” Brad enjoys spontaneous activities and weekend trips to state parks with his wife Miranda and his three children.

Stephen C. Stokes

Managing Partner

Stephen has more than 14 years’ experience working with individuals and businesses to meet their tax, accounting, and payroll needs. He has been the managing partner of Paysmart Payroll Services since January 2009. He is a licensed certified public accountant in South Carolina and Georgia. Stephen is also a member of the South Carolina Association of CPAs, the Georgia Society of CPAs, the American Institute of CPAs, and the Professional Association of Small Business Accountants. He has a bachelor’s degree from Bob Jones University and a master’s degree from Georgia State University. Stephen was born and raised near Atlanta, Georgia and moved to Greenville, South Carolina, several years ago. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Tiffani, and daughters, Madeline and Julianna. He is actively involved in his church and enjoys reading, sports, and other outdoor activities.