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What Does a Compliance Recruiter Do?

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What Does a Compliance Recruiter Do?

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The compliance recruitment industry being massive in London, many wonder what a day in the life of a recruiter or headhunter looks like – especially if the said individual specialises in very niche sectors. Do they need to understand their market through and through? Do they spend all of their time on the phone, screening candidates? If you ever wondered what being a Compliance Recruitment Consultant is like, discover below the different elements that make up a day in the life of a Compliance Recruitment Specialist at Rutherford. From keeping on top of industry news to negotiating salaries and contracts for their candidates, our team explains what different hats compliance headhunters must wear nowadays to provide the best recruitment solutions to their clients and candidates.

Specialist Market Knowledge (Compliance)

Firstly, compliance recruitment consultants need to know what they’re talking about. You can’t help your client if you don’t understand how their company works or what issues they face.

Every recruiter needs to know their core market like the back of their hand. This includes key terminology, knowledge of the business model, key brands/companies and key figures in the industry.

A good compliance recruiter should also keep on top of industry news and trends and act as a back-channel communication system in the industry. For compliance recruiters, that means knowing the key duties that a compliance officer undertakes along with all the key legislation that they deal with; like MiFID II or UCITS.

Candidate Search (Headhunting)

Once a compliance recruitment consultant knows what a client wants; they then need to find it.

Headhunters are hired to find candidates for niche and hard-to-fill roles. They’re not usually hired to fill graduate or entry level positions. Their client asks for something, and they need to cater to the request as much as humanly possible. Sometimes this can involve finding someone with a very specific skillset in a very short timeframe.

In order to find the right person a compliance recruiter employs a wide array of tactics including leveraging their personal network for referrals, Boolean strings (search engines) and advertising. They then approach the person to discuss the role and to further assess whether or not they would be suitable for the role. Recruiters spend a very large part of their day on the phone.


Once potential candidates have been found, a headhunter will usually interview them in person. This is a form of screening to see how the candidate would come across in an interview. This is hugely important as a lot of emphasis can be put on cultural fit for compliance officers.

An interview with a recruiter can be an invaluable resource when it comes to gaining market knowledge and defining rational goals within a given market. This is also a good opportunity for the candidate to tell the recruiter what they are expecting out of the process and vice versa.

The interview may revolve around the core compliance duties in previous jobs along with reasons for leaving previous roles.

CV Writing

Once a candidate has successfully completed an interview with a recruiter; the latter will forward the former’s CV to the client, but not before editing it and asking the candidate relevant questions to sharpen up the focus on the job they’re applying for. Sometimes there’s a lot of information left off a CV that can be vital to an individual progressing to the next interview. Sometimes there’s too much information… beware of long, too long CVs!

Once edited, the resume will be sent off to the client along with detailed notes on how the candidate presented at interview and what the expectations are with any new employment.


If a candidate is successful, a compliance recruitment consultant will act as a mediator between them and the client so that they are able to come to a final salary and benefits package that works for both parties.

Once it’s all done and dusted, and a candidate is placed in the role, a good recruiter will follow up with both parties to see if it has worked out as planned. This is important as, this is the best way for a recruiter to learn from either successes or mistakes to better hone their skill of discernment.


Jackson Baker is a Manager at Rutherford, the executive specialists in legal, financial crime, cyber security and compliance recruitment.

Contact us for confidential search, send us an email to or see our latest vacancies.


About Rutherford

Rutherford is a boutique search firm that specialises in compliance recruitment within the financial services and legal sector, with London and New York being the main focus. We use our carefully curated relationships, networks and market knowledge to find the best fit for the clients in hand. We work with a wide range of clients, spanning from advisors, corporate and commercial banks, brokers, exchanges, MTFs and financial tech, through to global investment managers, hedge funds, private equity firms and investment banks.