What makes a great Head of Compliance?

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Our Head of People Resourcing, Chris Spencer, regularly recruits senior compliance management talent for our clients in social housing. In a candidate led market where competition for the best people is intense, we are asking a key question.

What makes a great Head of Compliance?  

Competencies vs Technical Qualification

With so many organisations fishing in the same pond, is it time to review how Compliance Managers are recruited?

The essential responsibility of a Head of Compliance is to keep the integrity of a company intact and to ensure that the activities of the organisation are conducted within the legal, regulatory and organisational framework.

In essence, the Head of Compliance role involves:
  • Assessing organisational and operational risk.
  • Developing risk management strategies and processes.
  • Making sure policies and procedures are fit for purpose.
  • Ensuring there are robust cyclical testing and inspection programmes in place.
  • Making sure there is a robust system for capturing, recording and evidencing remedial works.
  • Ensuring there are robust data arrangements for reconciling assets with programmes, recording information and reporting performance.
  • Managing audit programmes to ensure adherence to standards.
  • Identifying compliance issues.
  • Investigation of compliance procedures and follow up actions.

To execute these key tasks and achieve maximum mitigation of risk to an organisation, its people and tenants, the Head of Compliance should also possess a range of competencies.

  1. Organisation: capable of managing resources (including people and budgets), getting things done, multi-tasking to accomplish goals, using resources effectively and efficiently and arranging and sharing information.
  2. Informing: ensuring people are provided with the necessary information needed to carry out their jobs, make effective decisions, deliver information when and where it’s required and to feel part of the team.
  3. Decision quality: make good decisions based on analysis, intellect, experience and judgement. Provide solutions and decisions that prove correct over time and be willing to seek others for advice and solutions.
  4. Process management: work out the necessary processes to get things done; organise people and activities; understand how to create an efficient work flow; know what to measure and how to do it; see opportunities and risk where others can’t and the ability to simplify complex processes.
  5. Integrity: widely trusted and presents the truth in an appropriate and helpful manner; keep confidential information and admits mistakes; will never misrepresent themselves for personal gain.
  6. Technical learning: picks up technical issues quickly; eager to learn new skills and knowledge; enjoys learning about new sectors, products, services and technical innovations.

However, the question still remains…

In a competitive market where the demand for compliance management exceeds the quality of supply, is it time to recruit on competencies and become less focussed on technical qualifications?

It all depends on your organisation’s preference; however, the odds are that most applicants applying for an advertised role will have a similar set of qualifications to support their application. Therefore, to differentiate candidates, employers should look at their practical experience, personal skillset and how they have handled certain situations to identify whether they are a fit for the role.

But how can this be achieved?

There are options available that can effectively identify a suitable candidate. For example, inviting technical and operational experts to accompany the in-house recruitment team during interviews, to enable applicants’ knowledge and problem solving skills to be tested.

Alternatively, running practical assessment centres designed and run by industry experts, could also be a great way of grouping candidates together to see how they handle situations as a collective, and identify those that stand out working within and leading teams.

Of course, these support activities are predicated on having the right people in front of an interview panel.  Whilst many recruitment companies can set-up interviews and assessment centres in support of the hiring process, what most lack is the true industry expertise.

At Pennington Choices, we are property experts who recruit, meaning we can provide a bespoke service that identifies, engages and secures the best people for your organisation.

Our candidate searches are conducted by recruitment experts who take your brief, then target relevant people directly with a discrete and personalised approach, followed by a detailed and robust engagement cycle.

Our recruitment process is supported throughout by our experienced operational and technical teams, bringing a unique and dedicated approach to finding the perfect candidate who has the competencies to do the job and who fits your organisation’s culture.

Click here for more information on how we can help your recruitment process.

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