After a slow start to 2019, hiring of compliance professionals has since improved. Medium to smaller sized institutions have been responsible for this boost in recruitment.
The hiring of permanent compliance professionals increased as the year progressed towards summer, overcoming a slow start to 2019 which was quieter than the same periods in recent years. Most of this hiring has come from the medium to smaller institutions, whereas large wholesale banks and brokerage houses have been less active. In addition, Asset Managers have continued to hire throughout the second quarter across different areas of compliance.
There has been an increased requirement for generalists at medium sized institutions where they are able to undertake all aspects of compliance. Further to this, AML, regulatory/policy and surveillance roles have remained popular, but this is primarily due to backfill. The level of these hires has generally been at AVP and VP level.
The temporary market, as a whole, mirrored the market seen in the first few months of the year. Job volume and level of hiring has been down when compared to this time last year. The main reason for this has been Brexit and the number of firms not looking to enforce huge regulatory change until the final outcome is clear. The majority of recruitment has been for replacement hires, rather than for growth, which has always been consistent within compliance.
The most popular temporary roles have been for AML/KYC/FCC regulatory policy. This has predominantly been within tier 2 and foreign banks, and have been at the AVP/VP level.
Aside from the usual benefits offered, more and more organisations are actively promoting agile working through the roll-out of more advanced technology. City firms are also using the graduate recruitment models of larger banks, hiring graduates straight into junior operational roles, permanently and on temporary contracts, giving them cross discipline coverage as to how the business operates and exposing them to different areas of compliance.
Historically, contractors don’t receive the same benefits as permanent employees but nowadays, a number of firms are offering flexible working 1 or 2 days a week to their temporary employees, especially in regional offices.
A number of firms are continuously looking to increase the number of women fulfilling senior (board) level positions. When hiring, they want at least 1 in every 3 CVs to be a female candidate. This isn’t across the board for all firms, but most prolific in small-mid firms.
Primarily due to regulatory pressure, but also due to the lack of strong compliance monitoring/thematic review and surveillance candidates, those with compliance monitoring and surveillance experience have stood out. This has been apparent across buy and sell-side, with both areas happy to consider candidates from the opposite market, as well as those with 3rd line or internal audit profiles. Buy-side firms have recognised the need for a designated surveillance officer in their compliance department.
Beyond the above, medium sized firms with smaller compliance departments have required general compliance candidates who can undertake a number of duties. Firms have struggled to find the necessary technical knowledge in AML Systems and their assessment of the AML models, thus AML Transaction Monitoring has been sought after, as has the demand for KYC / CDD Advisory professionals.
Across the temporary market, there has been an increase in KYC/AML policy roles from small-mid size banks. Any candidates with experience of rewriting policies, creating frameworks and working procedures, especially against current KYC/AML legislation, have been in demand. There is a continuous lack of candidates with solid compliance skills, albeit core or KYC/AML experience, with insurance experience. Candidates with insurance experience are highly desirable at the moment and can request a higher rate than others. We saw an increase in trade surveillance roles over Q4 last year and also Q1 this year, but there is now a lack of available candidates.
It’s important to continue chasing processes, despite knowing there will likely be delays with people away on holiday. To keep improving your profile and furthering your development, there are many additional courses and professional qualifications that can be undertaken. These include CISI and ICA certificates or diplomas and ACAMS.
Contributors to the Compliance recruitment update: