How to attract risk and compliance experts

by Chad Lawson, Associate Director


As the banking and financial services industry continued to encounter a toughening regulatory environment, demand for risk and compliance professionals grew in 2016. With banks set to face new anti-money-laundering and compliance regulations in 2017 and MIFID regulations coming into force in the UK, we expect this trend to continue, resulting in talent shortages across the board.


Based on research from our latest Global Salary Survey, we outline our advice for attracting compliance and risk professionals in 2017.

Ensure you’re paying the market rate

With demand for compliance and risk staff on the rise, it’s important to benchmark your salary offering in line with the market rate. In the UK, junior to mid-level staff with experience in financial crime and compliance are due to be in particularly high demand. These professionals can expect salaries ranging from £40-60k for those with up to two years’ experience, and up to £80k for those with up to four years’ experience. Keeping up to date with the market and benchmarking yourself against what your competitors may be offering can ensure you are best placed to secure top talent.

Broaden your search

Extreme risk and compliance candidate shortages in many markets has meant employers need to be more dynamic with their search criteria. If you are struggling to find candidates with the exact skill set you require, it could be worth considering professionals from similar backgrounds, such as those already working in financial services, who have relevant experience. Those with a background in audit, accounting, product governance or operations, may already have many of the core skills needed to work in risk or compliance. Being too stringent with your requirements could result in you missing out on high potential candidates who may be looking to make the move into a compliance role, and who could be a great asset to your organisation. 

Think global

With countries like Ireland struggling with talent shortages, many employers have had to look abroad to find the skill sets they need. However, hiring from abroad can bring added benefits; candidates from overseas bring with them knowledge of other markets and may have a wider understanding of global regulatory trends. This can be particularly beneficial if you are operating in an international organisation. Working with a global recruiter can give you access to top talent outside of your market.

Look to the contract market

Average rates of pay for compliance consultants working on short-term contracts are on the rise as financial firms look to acquire professionals with the skills to deal with increasingly demanding regulations. In the UK, urgency amongst employers to hire quickly has led many to look to the contract market for compliance staff, with some senior level professionals being able to command up to £800+ per day, particularly those experienced in regulatory affairs and product advisory. The contract market can be worth considering if you are looking to hire staff on a short term basis.

Provide career progression

In line with global trends generally, we are seeing a growing demand amongst risk and compliance professionals to find roles that offer more than just great remuneration and this is particularly true of Millennial employees. With Millennials set to comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2025, it’s important that employers are open to the wants and needs of this growing demographic. In New York, we’re seeing candidates crave structured career progression and this can often be the differentiating factor in choosing a role, as long as compensation is competitive. Ensure you have clear career progression paths and a system of regular reviews in place and communicate this to potential staff at interview stage. This could be the difference in a candidate choosing your organisation over competitors.

To ensure you’re up to date with all of the latest global trends in risk and compliance, download our 2017 Global Salary Survey today.