Now is the time: 7 things compliance, financial crime and risk candidates should do during the COVID-19 pandemic

    At the time of writing, the UK is currently experiencing restrictions with the way we live and work in attempts to manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has seen the temporary (and unfortunately in some cases, permanent) closure of many businesses and organisations across the nation. And when it comes to compliance, financial crime and risk hiring, candidates looking to secure a role in these sectors are likely to have had their application processes postponed or even rescinded. 

    This is an uncertain time for both recruiters and candidates; but what it does give us is a moment of pause to consider what we can do to become even more successful once we emerge from this pandemic. At Twenty84, we are taking this as an opportunity to think about what we can change or improve; and in order to continue helping risk and compliance specialists throughout this crisis, we have come up with the following 7 things that risk, financial crime and compliance candidates should do while they now have the time, and before the pandemic is over:

    1. Stay up to date with sector news and risk and regulation updates

    Despite the current restrictions, risk, compliance, and financial crime issues, challenges and regulatory demands remain. In fact, there have been reports of increased financial crime since the outbreak of the virus. New and updated compliance regulations are also coming into play constantly, so be sure to keep an eye on these, particularly when you have a few minutes to spare. By keeping on top of current news and regulations, you’ll not only be in the right frame of mind to work on applications, but you’ll also impress interviewers with your up-to-date and relevant knowledge. Be sure to keep an eye on industries where there maybe an uptick: for example FinTech finance apps, digital banking, contactless payments and so on.

    2. Stay in touch with other professionals

    With everyone at home and with more flexibility now is a great time to stay in touch with other professionals and re-establish contact with old colleagues. Although you will not be able to see them face to face during the pandemic, this does mean that you will have more time to get in touch via phone call or for a virtual coffee and discuss the latest updates in the sector, bounce different ideas around, and subsequently keep a strong and alert risk, financial crime/compliance mindset. You may even find that new opportunities begin to present themselves! 

    3. Make yourself available for contract/interim work

    Now that changes to IR35 regulations have been postponed until 2021, this time of quiet offers a great opportunity to make yourself available for any contract or interim work that might be available to complete remotely. If you decide to do this, be sure to change your availability on any online profiles to available for “contract”, as well as on your favourite job sites. You should also let your recruitment agency know of this update, and change your LinkedIn settings to show your interest in contract roles, as well as updating your LinkedIn profile headline to show that you are open for permanent and contract/interim positions. Any experience you can gain between now and the end of the current pandemic could be transformative to your application processes in the future!

    risk recruitment

    4. Complete online training courses

    Being a risk and compliance professional, it’s likely that, although you will have completed your necessary training, you’re unlikely to have the time to further this. Now is therefore the perfect opportunity to do so. While all in-person training and learning opportunities in financial crime, risk and compliance are suspended for the time being, there are a multitude of risk and compliance training courses and webinars that can be accessed online. While you are at home during these restrictions, be sure to explore these opportunities to brush up on your current skills and learn some new ones. You can usually print out certificates at the end of these online courses, which will look great in your portfolio! Which leads us on to:

    5. Update your CV/portfolio of experience

    Due to your busy schedule, you may not often find the opportunity to update your CV. While you are working on online training courses, be sure that you also take a look at your CV and make sure all the essential information is present and correct. If you don’t currently have a portfolio, this period has provided the perfect opportunity to go back through your archives and put one together. The more accurate, professional and up-to-date your CV and portfolio is, the more likely you will impress employers in your applications!

    6. Practice interview techniques

    Now is also a good time to research the latest interview structures and techniques, as often, risk and compliance candidates do not have the opportunity to do so due to time constraints. During this period, be sure to take this opportunity of extra time to do your research into the organisations you are applying to work for so that you can answer any questions they may have for you in the interview effectively. Be sure to make note of any questions you may have for them, too. If you are fortunate enough to be in isolation with friends or family, ask them to help you by taking on the role of the interviewer, getting them to ask you questions so that you can practice answering them with confidence. 

    7. Take care of your physical and mental wellbeing

    Although it’s important to use your new-found time as an opportunity to prepare for compliance and risk recruitment opportunities, also be sure that you take the time to look after your mental and physical health. At the time of writing this blog, UK residents are permitted to leave their homes for one form of exercise per day, and by doing so, you’ll not only be able to keep up your physical fitness, but this will also give you a necessary break from your candidate preparations and come back to them later with a fresh mind. Keeping in touch with friends and family over phone, text or video calls, and engaging in hobbies and interests outside of your professional life are also important for your mental health, and will help to ensure you feel refreshed and prepared for the next steps in your financial crime, risk or compliance career once the pandemic is over. Having a daily routine is also important for your mental wellbeing, so be sure to create a timetable or schedule of tasks and activities (including all the above ones) for each day. Ticking off each task as you go is a great motivational technique, too!

    Conclusion

    Much compliance, financial crime and risk recruitment is on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, but competition for roles in these sectors is still high - and will likely be much higher once the current restrictions have been lifted. However, by using the time you have been given back due to the current restrictions to complete the above suggested tasks, candidates should see their chances of securing a role in the risk, financial crime and compliance sectors significantly increase.

    In the meantime, be sure to look at the risk and compliance roles we have listed currently on our website, and feel free to get in touch with our team should you like any further hints, tips and advice for improving your chances of securing a role.

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    At the time of writing, the UK is currently experiencing restrictions with the way we live and work in attempts to manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has seen the temporary (and unfortunately in some cases, permanent) closure of many businesses and organisations across the nation. And when it comes to compliance, financial crime and risk hiring, candidates looking to secure a role in these sectors are likely to have had their application processes postponed or even rescinded. 

    This is an uncertain time for both recruiters and candidates; but what it does give us is a moment of pause to consider what we can do to become even more successful once we emerge from this pandemic. At Twenty84, we are taking this as an opportunity to think about what we can change or improve; and in order to continue helping risk and compliance specialists throughout this crisis, we have come up with the following 7 things that risk, financial crime and compliance candidates should do while they now have the time, and before the pandemic is over:

    1. Stay up to date with sector news and risk and regulation updates

    Despite the current restrictions, risk, compliance, and financial crime issues, challenges and regulatory demands remain. In fact, there have been reports of increased financial crime since the outbreak of the virus. New and updated compliance regulations are also coming into play constantly, so be sure to keep an eye on these, particularly when you have a few minutes to spare. By keeping on top of current news and regulations, you’ll not only be in the right frame of mind to work on applications, but you’ll also impress interviewers with your up-to-date and relevant knowledge. Be sure to keep an eye on industries where there maybe an uptick: for example FinTech finance apps, digital banking, contactless payments and so on.

    1. Stay in touch with other professionals

    With everyone at home and with more flexibility now is a great time to stay in touch with other professionals and re-establish contact with old colleagues. Although you will not be able to see them face to face during the pandemic, this does mean that you will have more time to get in touch via phone call or for a virtual coffee and discuss the latest updates in the sector, bounce different ideas around, and subsequently keep a strong and alert risk, financial crime/compliance mindset. You may even find that new opportunities begin to present themselves! 

    1. Make yourself available for contract/interim work

    Now that changes to IR35 regulations have been postponed until 2021, this time of quiet offers a great opportunity to make yourself available for any contract or interim work that might be available to complete remotely. If you decide to do this, be sure to change your availability on any online profiles to available for “contract”, as well as on your favourite job sites. You should also let your recruitment agency know of this update, and change your LinkedIn settings to show your interest in contract roles, as well as updating your LinkedIn profile headline to show that you are open for permanent and contract/interim positions. Any experience you can gain between now and the end of the current pandemic could be transformative to your application processes in the future!

    1. Complete online training courses

    Being a risk and compliance professional, it’s likely that, although you will have completed your necessary training, you’re unlikely to have the time to further this. Now is therefore the perfect opportunity to do so. While all in-person training and learning opportunities in financial crime, risk and compliance are suspended for the time being, there are a multitude of risk and compliance training courses and webinars that can be accessed online. While you are at home during these restrictions, be sure to explore these opportunities to brush up on your current skills and learn some new ones. You can usually print out certificates at the end of these online courses, which will look great in your portfolio! Which leads us on to:

    1. Update your CV/portfolio of experience

    Due to your busy schedule, you may not often find the opportunity to update your CV. While you are working on online training courses, be sure that you also take a look at your CV and make sure all the essential information is present and correct. If you don’t currently have a portfolio, this period has provided the perfect opportunity to go back through your archives and put one together. The more accurate, professional and up-to-date your CV and portfolio is, the more likely you will impress employers in your applications!

    1. Practice interview techniques

    Now is also a good time to research the latest interview structures and techniques, as often, risk and compliance candidates do not have the opportunity to do so due to time constraints. During this period, be sure to take this opportunity of extra time to do your research into the organisations you are applying to work for so that you can answer any questions they may have for you in the interview effectively. Be sure to make note of any questions you may have for them, too. If you are fortunate enough to be in isolation with friends or family, ask them to help you by taking on the role of the interviewer, getting them to ask you questions so that you can practice answering them with confidence. 

    1. Take care of your physical and mental wellbeing

    Although it’s important to use your new-found time as an opportunity to prepare for compliance and risk recruitment opportunities, also be sure that you take the time to look after your mental and physical health. At the time of writing this blog, UK residents are permitted to leave their homes for one form of exercise per day, and by doing so, you’ll not only be able to keep up your physical fitness, but this will also give you a necessary break from your candidate preparations and come back to them later with a fresh mind. Keeping in touch with friends and family over phone, text or video calls, and engaging in hobbies and interests outside of your professional life are also important for your mental health, and will help to ensure you feel refreshed and prepared for the next steps in your financial crime, risk or compliance career once the pandemic is over. Having a daily routine is also important for your mental wellbeing, so be sure to create a timetable or schedule of tasks and activities (including all the above ones) for each day. Ticking off each task as you go is a great motivational technique, too!

    Conclusion

    Much compliance, financial crime and risk recruitment is on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, but competition for roles in these sectors is still high - and will likely be much higher once the current restrictions have been lifted. However, by using the time you have been given back due to the current restrictions to complete the above suggested tasks, candidates should see their chances of securing a role in the risk, financial crime and compliance sectors significantly increase.

    In the meantime, be sure to look at the risk and compliance roles we have listed currently on our website, and feel free to get in touch with our team should you like any further hints, tips and advice for improving your chances of securing a role.