Hoping to Hire Someone for a Role in Compliance? 6 Traits and Skills to Look Out For

When it comes to hiring talent for your team, employees in the field of compliance represent a unique breed of worker.

After all, few people are chomping at the bit to deal with the pressures and technical specifics of compliance.

That said, some workers absolutely relish the challenges related to keeping business in line with industry rules and regulations. Those who are qualified for such positions manage to stand out due to a very specific set of characters and traits.

Whether you’re scouring LinkedIn for potential candidates or are revving up for a round of interviews, we’ve outlined six traits to keep an eye out for. The more of these characteristics come out of your would-be hires, the more likely they are to be a strong fit for your company.

Keen Attention to Detail

Perhaps it goes without saying, but anyone working in compliance needs to know the ins and outs of regulations, laws and the ever-changing nature of their industries at large.

From the fine details of PCI compliance, risk management and the different types of audits out there, there’s a lot of information for any given compliance manager to retain. A strong employee essentially serves as an encyclopedia of such information at any given time; meanwhile, they know where to look for find the answers in situations where they’re not 100%.

Communication and Persuasion

While compliance and people skills may not seem to go hand in hand, a savvy compliance manager understands the importance of working well with others.

For example, there’s always the task of persuading other employees of adopting compliance-related policy. An ability to break down the complexities of the role to fellow employees and management alike is a major plus.

Someone Who Documents Everything

Accountability and compliance are one in the same. Anyone working with regulations understands the loopholes and potential red tape involved when you don’t keep track of metrics, meeting notes and the seemingly minor details that could result in compliance headaches.

When you hire someone who constantly covers their tracks, the organization at large has peace of mind.

Cool Under Pressure

If possible, try to have your potential hires highlight how to handle high-pressure situations. When you think about tedious and time-consuming tasks such as conducting a compliance audit, it’s obviously much easier to work with someone who isn’t going to crack at the first sniff of trouble.

Strong Research Skills

As noted, laws and regulations for any given industry are constantly changing. In addition to having a pulse on the specifics of your company’s space, it pays to have someone on deck that’s actively researching regulations to understand where your industry might be headed and how to prepare accordingly.


Finally, having a sense of integrity in the workplace is integral to a top compliance worker.

Although it may be easier said than done to identify candidates who are trustworthy and a personal stake in the companies they work for, you can probably get a decent sense of someone from a conversation alone. If nothing else, references can provide eye-opening testimony on someone’s’ character is necessary.

Hiring someone for a compliance role is inherently challenging given all of the characters required to be successful in the job. Any candidate that ticks the majority of these boxes is likely worthwhile and can be molded to learn what it takes to make it in your organization.