The Complete Compliance Skillset
Whilst technical knowledge and business acumen rank highly of those required compliance competencies, when delved further, compliance professionals with a well-rounded soft skill set bring the real added value.
Below categorises the top soft skills for compliance professionals wanting to maximise their employability and longevity in the industry.
- Ethical Integrity
A compliance fundamental - integrity and honesty underpin compliance. Sound moral principles are regarded throughout industries but within compliance a strong moral compass holds significant necessity. Along with ethics and integrity, compliance professionals need to be trusted figures in order to hold influence.
With the unfortunately malleable reality of most people’s ethical standards, a career in compliance requires professionals with unwavering ethics and integrity to avoid influence. No matter the relationship, it is the job of compliance officers to report all violations and not attempt any form of cover ups or unethical influence.
- Relationship Expert
Whilst some might label it as being politically astute, a savvy negotiator or emotionally intelligent, no matter the title, a compliance expert needs to navigate relationships from C-suite executives down. Relationship navigating is a heightened requirement for Chief Compliance Officers.
Influencing and leveraging upon these relationships is required in order to drive a culture of compliance. Beyond this, compliance officers frequently work alongside people across departments. No matter the seniority levels, when delivering feedback, honest, clear communication which balances between assertive and sensitive is called for. This feedback must also consider company needs - people-pleasing cannot be prioritised above best-practice compliance.
Compliance has traditionally been perceived as a siloed function, but as it becomes more wholly infused compliance officers need the confidence to fight on challenging problems, communicate both positive and negative news to stakeholders, command a room and, if ethics and integrity becomes questionable, leave. Compliance is not a role for the meek, demanding unfettered confidence along with moral integrity and courage.
Like any role, both written and verbal communication is necessity. With the departing siloed approach, compliance professionals are increasingly present throughout the organisation and communicate across levels and departments. With only nineteen percent of staff opening compliance-related emails, according to SnapComms research, communication in compliance demands an innovative, effective approach.
- Detail Oriented
The continual regulatory evolution demands heightened attention to detail – the difference between meeting compliance can minuscule. Understanding and implementing these sometimes-minute regulatory changes is a major aspect of a compliance professionals' role. From a big picture perspective, attention to detail can ensure a workplace remains out of the compliance spotlight for regulators and the public.
In building a sound culture of compliance, these soft skills are being viewed as essential by employers. With these five skills those can see their career progress far beyond that which a university degree or textbook CV once promised.