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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 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 Recruiter is like, discover below the different elements that make up a day in the life of a Compliance Consultant at Rutherford.

From keeping on top of industry news to negotiating salaries and contracts for their candidates, our compliance recruitment team explains what different hats headhunters must wear nowadays to provide the best recruitment solutions to their clients and candidates.

But First: What Is Compliance Recruitment?

Compliance recruitment can be defined as the proactive​ staffing of regulatory specialists who occupy a position within the compliance function of a given business.

Within financial services, compliance can be described as the department which ensures that a company follows a certain set of rules and regulations provided by external bodies such as the government of financial authorities. The sector gained more traction and importance after the 2009 global financial crisis.

Compliance specialists require a very niche and specific skillset, which are not easy to come by. Internal recruitment teams within financial services often struggle to pinpoint the right talent for such niche roles - this is precisely why compliance recruitment exists. To fill the gap and support firms in their regulatory duties.

Specialist Market Knowledge (Compliance)

Firstly, recruiters 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 recruitment specialist 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 recruiter 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 compliance 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 compliance 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 Compliance Recruitment Consultant; 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, the Compliance Recruiter 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 Director at Rutherford, the executive legal compliance recruitment specialists.

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


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