Why those with a head for compliance and regulation are in hot demand, as skills shortages cause salaries to rise

Hayley Kirton
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Good news if regulation is your thing – skills shortages are boosting salaries (Source: Getty)

Believe it or not, the red tape brigade look set to become the rock stars of the City as a study out today has found that demand for highly-skilled compliance professionals is outpacing supply.

The report by specialist recruiter Barclay Simpson discovered that three-quarters (75 per cent) of managers believe that workers skilled in compliance are hard to come across and, of those who reported hiring woes, just under two-thirds (62 per cent) said that finding somebody with the required level of technical skills was tricky.

Companies are now so in need of these skills that over two-thirds (68 per cent) of managers describe their compliance department as "insufficiently resourced" to cope with the demands placed on it, despite 42 per cent of managers boosting their recruitment budget in a bid to lure in talent.

The situation is showing little sign of improving. When Barclay Simpson ran its Compliance Market Report the year before, only 71 per cent of managers reported having troubles finding compliance professionals, while just over half (55 per cent) described their compliance department as underresourced.

The skills shortage has also come at the worst time, as increased regulation, such as the Senior Managers Regime and MiFID II, means that companies are in need of top compliance pros more than ever before.

"Competition for staff is as strong as ever and companies are having real difficulties in attracting and recruiting the calibre of compliance professionals that they now require," said Tom Boulderstone, head of the compliance recruitment division at Barclay Simpson. "For those involved in this profession it is encouraging that both the breadth and depth of the recruitment market is developing.

"With salaries remaining buoyant, career opportunities in compliance are exceptional."

Previous research into the career prospects for red tape warriors has also shown that salaries are strong. A study released by Morgan McKinley last month discovered that pay for compliance roles shot up 20 per cent in 2015, while those with particularly specialist skills may well have seen a 30 per cent boost to their pay packet.