Risk & Compliance – Newsletter, Trends, Advice

By admin on October 25, 2019 in Uncategorised

Market Overview

The last quarter has been particularly busy as many of our clients have been establishing and re-building their risk and compliance teams with gusto as they have the support and the budget from the top. 

There has been a significantly higher volume of compliance positions. The compliance function has typically been under resourced and unsuccessful in engaging the business. We have won briefs for Heads of Compliance with an emphasis on leadership to uplift the function. 

As expected, the demand has been for candidates that have strong interpersonal skills over technical skills. “common sense” has been an essential requirement. 

We have seen an increase in recruitment activity outside of financial services (including non-profit organisations) and in smaller mutual organisations e.g. Credit Unions, Super Funds, Health Insurers, etc.

What does it look like for the rest of the year?

We expect the recruitment activity to accelerate as we get closer to the Christmas period. Traditionally this is the busiest period as clients and candidates wants to wrap things up before Christmas. Additionally, we have observed a backlog of unfilled roles. Through the course of the year, the more generic risk and compliance roles have been filled and what remains are the more specific, challenging recruits. As the demand continues, there will be a desire to “lock candidates in” before the Christmas break. 
During the course of the year, there has been a surge of active candidates as they seized the “opportunity”. As we get closer to the Christmas period, we anticipate that there will not be the same supply as a lot of the available candidates have now secured roles.

How do you recruit to this market?

The recruitment game for risk and compliance professionals has changed, simply because of supply and demand. Some clients that have more success with recruitment are practicing the following disciplines: 
  • Assessing the degree of difficulty of the role relative to candidate supply
    When recruiting a more generic risk and compliance role, you may be better off running a direct process. However, for the more challenging and critical roles, we would recommend either working in tandem or exclusively with a specialist.  
  • Pricing the role correctly
    There is a general expectation of a premium. If you need market benchmarking on salaries, feel free to contact us. 
  • Willing to compromise
    The key tradeoff is between interpersonal and technical skills. 
  • Attuning to candidates’ individual needs and presenting the best case
    Good candidates are looking for strong leadership, commitment to risk and compliance from the top, flexibility in the workplace and progression.  
  • Moving quickly
    The good ones are moving on and off the market rapidly.
Good candidates have choice, a good process can make all the difference.

Remuneration Trends

  • It continues to be challenging to recruit at the lower levels, for example, under $120K package.
There is a mismatch with expectations from both, the client and candidate.

Clients are having to respond by either paying a premium for a certain level of experience or paying the same for less experience.

  • At the senior end of the market, there seems to be a gap in the market for “true” leaders. There is a demand for the combination of thought leadership, people management, change management and the ability to influence the business / board. Candidates that can demonstrate this will command a premium.  
  • We are seeing the initial stages of a downward trend with bonuses in anticipation of pressure from the regulator. Additionally, we have had feedback that the bonus pools have reduced as profitability comes under pressure. 
  • In the last 12 months, most risk and compliance professionals have been working harder and longer. Generally, candidates are willing to trade remuneration for a better balance of work and life. 

Our Career Advice

If you are a relatively new entrant (0 to 5 years’ experience) to the risk and compliance profession, this would be our advice:
  • Don’t move too often
    This year has provided a lot of opportunities for aspiring candidates. Beware of the danger of moving too often for the following reasons:
    • You can damage your CV
    • The perception is that you haven’t given yourself the opportunity to learn
    • You will raise questions on reliability and flight risk
  • Beware of over-exposure
    If you sell yourself into a job, make sure you have the skills and experience to deliver.  
  • Be strategic rather than opportunistic
    Align yourself with a good business, a good leader and consider the skills you will pick up along the way. 
We have seen candidates progress quickly by changing jobs however, as Warren Buffet says “you find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out …”