Compliance & Risk Market Update Q1, 2020

January 10

2019 was certainly an extremely busy year for recruitment into the Compliance and Risk markets. We saw demand increase for candidates across all levels, with demands for specialist skillsets increasing. Several factors were in play throughout 2019 resulting in the spike in demand, with Brexit-related contingency planning at the forefront. We saw an influx of firms, particularly in the Asset Management, Investment Management, and Insurance sectors establishing operations in Ireland to passport their products across Europe. These firms were required to hire key positions in order to obtain their licences, with Compliance and Risk being business-critical. This demand added further pressure to an already candidate-tight market. Throughout 2019, we saw significant demand in the Compliance profession for expertise relating to MiFID, AIFMD, CP86, and AML. With regard to the Risk profession, demand for Operational Risk, Enterprise Risk, and Financial Risk continued to grow. The impending Senior Executive Accountability Regime is also having a significant bearing in the Compliance and Risk markets, particularly at a senior level. There is significant evidence to show a more cautious approach to the market from both firms and candidates alike. We are seeing candidates give far more consideration now when stepping into PCF positions, and similarly for firms when hiring for PCF positions, as they do not wish to put a candidate in front of the Central Bank unless they are sure that person will pass the fitness and probity requirements.  

Whilst the demand for Compliance and Risk professionals continued to grow throughout 2019, there was certainly a shortage of suitably qualified candidates to fill all open vacancies. In previous years, firms might have had a healthy shortlist of three or four candidates to choose from when hiring for Compliance and Risk professionals, whereas in 2019 this was certainly not the case in many instances. Salaries across both disciplines thus continued to rise as demand continued to outstrip supply. Candidates have become increasingly aware of their market worth, especially those with skills that are in short supply. Counter-offers and candidates receiving multiple offers continued to be a common theme throughout 2019, which put further upward pressure on salaries. There is no evidence to suggest that this trend will not continue into 2020, with many candidates seeking large percentage increases on their current base salaries when considering a move.

2020 looks set to be another very busy year for the recruitment of Compliance and Risk professionals. As in 2019, we would anticipate that firms who are flexible and efficient in the recruitment process will secure the best talent available on the market. There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a candidate-driven market where the vast majority of skilled Compliance and Risk candidates have their pick of roles when searching for new positions. As a result, those firms who have drawn-out recruitment processes, or are non-negotiable around certain requirements relating to their vacancies, may find it difficult to secure their first-, or indeed second-choice, candidates.

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About the Author

Donal Whelan

Donal Whelan

Director – Compliance, Risk & Financial Services

dwhelan@lincoln.ie+353 1 661 0444

Donal is a recruitment professional with over 6 years experience across the Compliance, Risk and Finance markets. Donal currently manages the Compliance and Risk disciplines at Lincoln Recruitment Specialists. He has an in-depth understanding of the compliance and risk recruitment market with a strong network of contacts. He has successfully worked with many national and multi-national companies in Ireland, who were either establishing new compliance and risk departments or expanding their in-house teams.

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