How to Develop a Successful Compliance Recruitment Strategy

6 min

Developing a successful compliance recruitment strategy is essential for organisations striv...


Developing a successful compliance recruitment strategy is essential for organisations striving to navigate the intricate web of laws and regulations in an increasingly complex and regulated business landscape. Compliance recruitment is not just about finding the right talent; it's about ensuring that every step of your recruitment journey aligns with legal requirements, safeguarding your organisation from potential legal issues and financial penalties.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll look into the intricacies of compliance recruitment, from understanding recruitment compliance itself to crafting a strategy tailored to your organisation's specific hiring needs. We'll then delve into the components of a robust compliance recruitment strategy, helping you identify, attract, and retain top compliance specialists who can ensure your business adheres to the ever-evolving regulatory landscape. 

  • What is recruitment compliance?
  • What is a compliance recruitment strategy?
  • How to develop a successful compliance recruitment strategy
    1. Determine the type of compliance specialist you need
    2. Write engaging compliance job descriptions
    3. Interview your future compliance specialist
    4. Partner with an outsourced compliance recruitment agency
    5. Promote your compliance specialist from within

What is recruitment compliance?

For context, recruitment compliance ensures that a business complies with the relevant laws and regulations when looking for and hiring new talent. A pivotal component of this surrounds employment law, which refers to overseeing interactions between employers and employees both prior to and after the commencement of a work contract. 

Some of the most noteworthy legislations in this context encompass the following: 

  • Equality Act of 2010
  • The Employment Rights Act of 1996
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act of 2006

The other regulations below relate to existing employee and employer relationships but can also be relevant here:

  • Employee Study and Training Regulations of 2010
  • Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 

Numerous facets of employment legislation establish guidelines that impact both recruitment practices and post-recruitment obligations. Remaining well-informed about these types of regulations and how to adhere to them is essential for ensuring employer compliance, ultimately safeguarding them from potential legal repercussions and financial penalties.

What is a compliance recruitment strategy?

To ensure you abide by compliance recruitment regulations, it's best practice to formulate a hiring strategy around this. But what is a compliance recruitment strategy? Well, a compliance recruitment strategy is ultimately a plan for attracting and hiring the right people to help your organisation meet its various compliance obligations. 

The specific requirements of a compliance recruitment strategy will differ depending on the particular compliance regulations your business is subject to. However, the key elements of a successful compliance recruitment strategy are the same regardless of the industry or the specific regulations.

So, before you jump straight into developing your strategy, here are the main things you should consider. Firstly, it's essential to clearly understand your company's compliance goals and the skills and experience you need in your compliance team. You also need to consider aspects like writing engaging job descriptions, your interview process, whether outsourcing is an option or if you can promote your compliance specialist from within. 

Let's explore the above and the top tips for developing a successful compliance recruitment strategy. By the end of this guide, you'll be able to use these tips to build your hiring plan and be in the best position possible to source and attract the best compliance specialist for your organisation.

1. Determine the type of compliance specialist you need

Our first step in how to develop a successful compliance recruitment strategy involves determining the type of compliance specialist you would like to hire. Here, you need to be specific about the kind of candidate you need and whether they will be working independently with support from outsourced compliance recruiting firms or as part of a broader internal team. 

Considering why you need to make the hire is also important. This could be anything from a need to grow and provide extra support to the other compliance specialists within the team or to fill a niche skills gap within your business to help ensure you avoid violating particular regulations.

You must also consider when you need to onboard your next compliance specialist. For context, the average time it takes to hire an individual within the compliance and financial crime sector is 34 days, so be sure to give yourself enough time to source, interview and onboard the person or people you need, depending on how many hires you need to make. 

When determining the type of compliance specialist you need, consider the experience level you want to bring into your business. For example, this could be a junior compliance officer who can shadow senior professionals within your team. Alternatively, you may require an executive-level financial crime compliance officer with an extensive background within your industry and a deep understanding of the regulations most relevant to your organisation. 

It’s also important to consider the skill sets of the individual you’re looking to hire. Of course, the skills of the specific compliance specialist will vary depending on the role. However, many skills are transferable and can be interlinked between various positions. 

We’ve outlined some of the key transferable skills you could look for when hiring a compliance professional:

Legal and Regulatory Knowledge

A strong understanding of and staying updated with the relevant industry standards, laws and regulations is fundamental.

Attention to Detail

Compliance often involves reviewing extensive documentation and data. Therefore, spotting inconsistencies or errors is an essential skill to maintain accuracy and ensure adherence.

Analytical Thinking

Compliance specialists need to analyse complex regulations and assess how they apply to their employers. They must also be able to evaluate potential compliance risks and suggest mitigation strategies.

Research Skills

Staying informed about changes and developments in regulations and industry best practices requires excellent research skills, and compliance specialists should be able to gather and analyse information effectively.


Compliance specialists must be able to communicate and explain complex regulations to non-experts within the business and ensure that policies and procedures are clearly communicated and understood by all relevant parties.

Project Management

Many compliance tasks involve managing projects, such as implementing new policies or conducting audits. Project management skills help ensure these tasks are completed efficiently and on time.


Compliance specialists often encounter situations where the right course of action is not immediately obvious, so they must be able to find solutions that meet regulatory requirements and the company's goals.

Ethical Judgment

Compliance specialists often deal with ethical dilemmas and need strong ethical judgment skills to make decisions that align with the organisation's values while ensuring compliance.


Regulations and industry standards can change rapidly. So, being adaptable and able to pivot quickly to address new compliance challenges is a valuable skill your compliance specialist should have.

Cross-Functional Collaboration

Compliance is rarely the sole responsibility of one department. Therefore, compliance specialists must collaborate with various legal, finance, and operations teams to meet compliance requirements.

While considering transferable skills, when determining the type of compliance specialist you need, you must also ensure you have the budget to afford the people you want to hire. According to Glassdoor, the typical chief compliance officer salary from low to high is as follows:

  • Low: £33,000
  • Average: £45,000
  • High: £61,000

To help you determine the type of compliance specialist you need to support the growth of your organisation, explore our guide on why financial crime compliance is crucial for your business, where we outline the following compliance jobs. 

  • Chief Compliance Officer
  • Financial Crime Compliance Officer
  • Anti-Bribery and Corruption Officer
  • Fraud Analyst
  • Money Laundering Reporting Officer

Once you know the who, what, when and why regarding the hiring of your next compliance specialist hire, you can move on to our second step.

2. Write engaging compliance job descriptions

The second step on how to develop a successful compliance recruitment strategy involves the importance of writing engaging job descriptions. When experienced professionals or hungry junior candidates seek compliance jobs, they only click on the roles tailored to their skill sets and experience. So, as you write your job descriptions, ensure you include the information and keywords the candidate is likely to search and look for.

Here, you should include the skills you’ll need your future hire to have, the duties and responsibilities you’ll require them to carry out and the qualifications and experience you are looking for - the latter of which could be based on the number of years of experience needed for the role and the particular industry you’d prefer your hire to have expertise in; this could be the finance sector, for example.

Regarding the qualifications, similarly to the skills we mentioned in our previous point, these can be transferable from role to role. For your benefit, below are some of the qualifications you could include in your engaging compliance job descriptions.

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject, such as:
    • Finance
    • Accounting
    • Law
    • Business
  • Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP)
  • Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM)
  • Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS)
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) 
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • Juris Doctor (JD) 

Another element to add to your job description is the salary range you’re willing to offer the right candidate. Of course, money isn’t the be-all and end-all for every candidate, but it is certainly something they will factor in when deciding whether to apply for your job or a position at one of your competitors. 

LinkedIn conducted a survey on this and found that 91% of 1,200 respondents said that including a salary range in a job description would affect their decision to apply.

Additionally, when asked what the most helpful elements of a job description were for deciding to apply for a role, salary ranges were agreed upon by 89% of people, outperformed by only ‘responsibilities’, which got 90% of the votes. Qualifications were seen as 82% helpful, while information about the company and company policies on remote/hybrid working, both valuable aspects you could include in your compliance job description, received 60% and 53%, respectively. 

Here’s an example of how you can format your compliance job description:

Job title 

Keep this specific to the job, as certain compliance roles request similar duties and skills.

Job Summary 

Here, you can include an engaging overview of your business and what sets you apart from other companies within the industry. You could also include your location, hybrid working flexibilities, work hours, company culture and employee benefits.


Outline what the typical day-to-day role will involve, and bullet point the specific duties and responsibilities of the compliance job.


Highlight the skills, qualifications and level of experience required for the role. Again, this can be outlined in bullet points.  


Provide the salary range you’re willing to offer the ideal candidate.

When writing an engaging compliance job description, keep your language concise, inclusive and in line with your brand’s tone. Additionally, let the candidate know how to apply and post the role in places where the target candidate is likely to look for the position. This could be on job boards, your company website, websites of trusted compliance recruiting firms, socials, or via a monthly email newsletter you send out.

Once you implement these elements into your compliance job descriptions, your vacancies will start to gain attention, and candidates will begin applying for your roles. By this point, you’ll be ready to start interviewing your future compliance specialist. This leads us to our third step. 

3. Interview your future compliance specialist

Your approach to interviewing your future compliance specialist is a core aspect to get right when developing your compliance recruitment strategy. Getting this right could be the difference between hiring your perfect candidate and losing out to one of your competitors. 

Before interviewing your ideal compliance specialist, conduct thorough background checks and obtain references from previous employers to ensure the individual is worth your time for an interview. 

When interviewing your shortlist of potential compliance specialists, it’s best practice to follow a structure, presenting each candidate with the same questions. 

Here is an example of how you could structure your interview questions when interviewing your future compliance specialist:

Experience and background:

  • What is your experience in compliance?
  • What are your areas of expertise?
  • Do you have any professional certifications in compliance?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses as a compliance specialist?
  • What are your career goals?

Knowledge of compliance regulations:

  • What are the most important compliance regulations for our industry?
  • How do you stay up-to-date on compliance regulations?
  • How would you assess our company's compliance with these regulations?

Experience in implementing compliance:

  • How would you develop and implement a compliance process for our company?
  • How would you train employees on compliance procedures?
  • How would you monitor and enforce compliance?

Experience in investigating and resolving compliance violations:

  • How would you investigate a suspected compliance violation?
  • How would you recommend resolving a compliance violation?
  • How would you communicate a compliance violation to management?

Experience working independently and as part of a team:

  • How do you handle stress and ambiguity?
  • How do you work with others to achieve common goals?
  • How would you handle a situation where you disagree with management on a compliance issue?

An important thing to remember is that the interview stage is not only an opportunity for the candidate to give off a good first impression; it’s your chance to give off a good first impression of your business. 

Additionally, if you’re conducting the interview remotely on Teams or Zoom, ensure the applicant can access this technology. Also, you should avoid asking discriminatory questions regarding race, religion, disability, age, gender and marital status - the candidate can bring this up if they wish. Instead, focus on the specific role, your company and the opportunity you’re providing.   

You may also want to conduct a couple of interviews with the candidate before making your final decision, and you may decide to give them a task to complete to ensure they fit the role. However, be aware that in the time between interviews and assigning candidates a task, they may receive offers from other employers. So, you should not only stand out and make a good impression, but you should also be quick to hire a compliance specialist if you believe they can help grow your business.  

4. Partner with an outsourced compliance recruitment agency

Another step on how to develop a successful compliance recruitment strategy is the consideration of partnering with an outsourced compliance recruitment agency. Outsourcing is essentially bringing talent into your organisation on a contract basis, giving you the flexibility to pick and choose who you need, when you need them and for how long. 

For example, a member of your compliance team may be on maternity for the best part of a year. Instead of hiring a permanent employee to replace the absent staff member, you could turn to an outsourced compliance recruitment agency to help you fill this gap with a compliance specialist for the duration you need. 

With outsourcing, you essentially pay for the time you require the compliance contractor for. This can be an excellent short-term solution if you don’t have the budget to invest in a permanent employee or you want to see if the role has a justifiable place within your team before exploring the possibility of a permanent hire. 

Additionally, as the contractor is not a full-time employee, the employer doesn’t have to pay the annual salary cost or provide other employee benefits such as insurance, company benefits and working tools such as laptops or other equipment. The contractor or the outsourced compliance recruitment agency takes care of these things.

Outsourced compliance recruitment firms have an abundance of talent, which are typically experienced professionals with the skills and knowledge to support your business almost instantly, with little to no onboarding required. They can also work onsite or remotely, depending on your requirements. 

Ultimately, partnering with an outsourced compliance recruitment agency has many benefits and should be considered as part of your strategy to help you overcome your immediate hiring challenges. Whether you’re looking to fill a niche skills gap in your team, cover for an absent employee, or trial run a job role within your business before making a long-term commitment.  

5. Promote your compliance specialist from within

Our final step on how to develop a successful compliance recruitment strategy involves promoting from within. Whether you have a talent you believe has the potential to grow with your business or an employee has approached you for career progression opportunities, promoting from within encompasses a range of benefits for the longevity of your business and the progression of your talent. 

For example, promoting your compliance strategist shows you value your employees and their contributions. When you promote someone from within, you show them that you appreciate their hard work and dedication, which can go a long way to boost morale and motivation, helping create a more positive and productive work environment.

Internal promotion can also save you time and money instead of recruiting and hiring a new compliance specialist. Of course, there will always be times when you will need to hire fresh talent from outside as people come and go. However, by promoting from within, you can avoid some of the costs and time used by hiring outside talent and get someone already familiar with your company and its culture.

Additionally, suppose the compliance specialist you’re promoting has come from a junior position and is moving into a more senior role. In that case, they will already have a deep understanding of your company's operations and its challenges, specifically concerning compliance. 

This can also make them more effective in developing and implementing compliance processes tailored to your specific needs and communicating these updates to the broader team, with which they will have already built established working relationships.

Promoting your compliance specialist from within can also help you retain top talent. When employees see the potential for advancement within the company, they are more likely to stay with you, helping reduce turnover and keep your compliance team strong. Likewise, if a compliance specialist at a competitor sees you offer internal promotion, this is a huge incentive to attract them to your business.

Of course, to ensure the promoted employee has the same level of experience or qualifications as an external candidate, you would need to provide training and development opportunities to support their growth. Your business could provide this training if it has the resources or by an outsourced third-party training provider. 

You should also consider whether your employee is ready to be promoted by putting them through an assessment process, conducting an interview you would do for new hires of this position and evaluating their performance in their current role.

Whether you've yet to hire a compliance specialist or have a team of professionals working in this niche, this step can certainly be applied to your compliance recruitment strategy. 

Final thoughts

Developing a successful compliance recruitment strategy is paramount for any organisation looking to thrive in the complex landscape of employment law and regulatory requirements. As you now know, a well-crafted compliance recruitment strategy should be tailored to attract compliance specialists who can cater to your specific compliance goals and the regulations that affect your industry. 

From determining the type of compliance specialist you need, writing engaging job descriptions and interviewing your future hires to the potential of partnering with outsourced recruiting firms and promoting from within, there are various steps you can take to develop a successful compliance recruitment strategy that can help grow your business.

Seeking support from a specialist compliance recruitment agency?

Are you a rapidly expanding business within the legal and financial services space looking for the top compliance specialists to grow your business? If so, we can help. Our strategic solutions can help you build your compliance recruitment strategy and unlock the people you need to futureproof your brand.

Discover how we can support your specific compliance recruitment needs by contacting a member of our team today.