Spring recruitment update for compliance professionals in London, with tips on how to maintain momentum in your career.
Overview of compliance recruitment
The market for temporary and contract opportunities going forward in 2020 is very hard to predict at this stage. In quarter 1 the market was preparing for the changes in IR35 compliance to come into effect, and this was certainly suppressing opportunities, across the board. The COVID-19 crisis has now pushed those changes back until 2021, and we have already seen a number of firms adopt different approaches to how they approach hiring contractors throughout the remainder of the year. Some have stuck with their plans and are only taking contractors on PAYE or Umbrella, whereas others are opening back up and giving people the chance to still operate through their Ltd company.
Overall despite these changes and the uncertainty, and the very significant practical challenges presented by the virus situation, the year started in a really positive way with a number of contract roles coming out across the entirety of compliance, from KYC/AML analysts, to monitoring, to surveillance, to advisory, to reg change and implementation roles and placements being made in each of these areas.
Hiring has been across a range of Financial Services firms, from smaller foreign banks and wealth management firms, to midsize tier 2 banks to your large global tier 1 banks and asset management firms.
By contrast, permanent compliance hiring across the bulge bracket investment banks has been sluggish in the first quarter of this year. Many have not been hiring and the others have been hiring in small numbers, with any movement mainly being replacement hires. On the buy side the market has been more positive with opportunities in the investment management and PE houses mainly across the junior to mid level space.
Salary levels have been somewhat stagnant in the past 18 months partly as a result of the high number of candidates in the market, many of whom are available at short notice and willing to compromise on salaries.
The AML sector and generalist positions within buy side firms have been the busiest spaces. European compliance hiring has been busier, however firms find it difficult to attract good talent.
A few tips on how to maintain momentum in your compliance career
- ICA Diploma, CISI & ACAMS - they are certainly beneficial to have to separate you from other talent. They are all industry recognised and therefore seen as advantageous by certain managers.
- Have a strong LinkedIn profile. This goes without saying for every candidate on the market, I suggest having a strong profile, so you can be seen and known within your network. Make it as all singing and dancing as your CV - with a good picture, profile, skills, updated role and then further dated experience from there.
- Utilise LinkedIn - as well as having a top notch profile, you need to be using it and making sure that you are posting relevant things in the right places. To be seen as a industry expert, make sure you are; connecting with the right people, always message after connecting, post topical updates (these can be around company updates, job updates, regulatory updates), join compliance groups on LinkedIn and post your content into these groups. Doing all of the above on LinkedIn along with your top notch profile, will help you get noticed in the market.
- Network - for compliance this has to be one of the top things to do. Regardless of if you are in a role or not. If you aren’t in a role, network as much as you can either through LinkedIn, old colleagues, groups and online events. If you are in a role, make sure you network around the wider business, introducing yourself to the wider compliance team and/or business could help create other opportunities for you.
- Consider and be open to various types of contract. With the recent deferral of IR35 we are, for the first time, seeing a very even spread of contracts between FTC, day-rate (Ltd) and day-rate (PAYE). More than ever we would encourage all candidates to be flexible and listen to options that they may not have considered previously, to really maximise the amount of recruitment process that they can enter.
- Being able to meet future colleagues in person before accepting a new role looks like it will be a thing of the past (for the next few weeks/months at least) as most clients switch to phone & video based interview processes.
- It is crucial that you hone your skills in asking your interviewers good, relevant questions in order to screen whether a role is right for you, and really drill down on their expectations for a successful candidate.
Contributors to the Accounting & Finance Banking market update: