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Navigating the UK Compliance Recruitment Market: The Era of “The Great Stay”

Navigating the UK Compliance Recruitment Market: The Era of “The Great Stay”

Navigating the UK Compliance Recruitment Market: The Era of “The Great Stay”

The UK compliance recruitment market has experienced significant shifts in recent years. With increasing regulatory demands and a more complex regulatory landscape, the need for skilled compliance professionals remains competitive. However, a notable trend has emerged: “The Great Stay.”  This phenomenon refers to the current trend where professionals choose to stay in their existing positions rather than explore new job opportunities. Understanding this trend is crucial for organisations looking to attract passive candidates and retain their top talent in compliance.

The UK Compliance Recruitment Market

The market has shifted in favour of employers, with numerous highly qualified candidates competing for fewer opportunities. This client-driven dynamic has heightened competition for roles in compliance, financial crime, and risk. Industry reports suggest a rise in jobs advertised for compliance positions, reflecting the critical need for firms to address regulatory issues.

However, despite the recent surge in activity, the market remains sluggish compared to previous years. Many companies, driven by cost-control measures, are prioritising direct hiring and talent attraction models. While this approach aims to reduce recruitment expenses, it has inadvertently extended the time to hire and led to a frustrating experience for candidates. The challenge for organisations now lies in balancing cost efficiency with an effective and positive recruitment process.

Organisations face a unique challenge: attracting and persuading professionals to leave their current roles in uncertain times, a phenomenon known as ‘The Great Stay.’

Understanding “The Great Stay”

As the UK compliance recruitment market experiences significant trends and strives to attract the right talent, several factors contribute to this phenomenon. These factors provide a comprehensive understanding of the current trends in the UK compliance recruitment market:

  • Job Security and Stability. In an uncertain economic climate, job security is crucial. Compliance professionals often hold critical roles within their organisations, providing them a sense of stability that can be hard to find elsewhere.
  • Work-Life Balance. The rise of remote work and flexible arrangements has improved work-life balance for many professionals. Those who have adapted to these new working conditions may be reluctant to leave their current roles for positions that might not offer the same level of flexibility.
  • Company Loyalty. The pandemic has fostered a sense of loyalty among employees who appreciate how their employers have supported them through challenging times. This loyalty can make employees hesitant to leave a company that has demonstrated a commitment to their well-being.
  • Professional Development. Many organisations are investing in the professional development of their compliance teams, offering training and advancement opportunities that make staying with the company more attractive.

Strategies for Navigating This Trend

Understanding and adapting to this societal trend is essential for companies looking to attract top compliance talent. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Enhance Employer Branding: Highlight the unique benefits of working at your organisation, such as career development opportunities, a supportive work culture, and work-life balance initiatives.
  • Offer Competitive Compensation: Ensure your salary and benefits packages are competitive. This includes base salary, bonuses, health benefits, and other perks that can differentiate your company from others.
  • Focus on Employee Well-Being: Promote mental health and well-being programs. Showing that you care about your employees’ overall health can be a significant factor in attracting new talent.
  • Provide Career Growth Opportunities: Emphasise the potential for growth within your company. Offering clear career paths and continuous learning opportunities can entice compliance professionals looking for long-term career development.
  • Leverage Recruitment Agencies: Partner with specialised recruitment agencies with deep insights into the compliance market. These agencies have access to and can help identify passive candidates who may not be actively looking but could be open to the right opportunity.

The UK compliance recruitment market is in a state of flux, shaped by regulatory demands and the unique dynamics of “The Great Stay.” For organisations, this means adopting a more strategic and empathetic approach to recruitment. By understanding the motivations of compliance professionals and offering compelling reasons to join, companies can successfully navigate this challenging market and secure the talent they need to thrive.

If you would like to discuss any of the topics mentioned in this update, please reach out to Director William McCoppin via email at or +447311387242

William McCoppin


William has experience across multiple markets, specialising in compliance and financial crime at the interim, mid-to-senior and executive level.