Q&A with James Chappell - Risk, Regulation and Compliance

Pubished 28th September 2022


Introducing James

James joined InterQuest’s Risk, Regulation and Compliance business in 2019. An honest and empathetic approach to delivering a high-quality candidate experience saw James win the 2021 InterQuest Group award for “Best Customer Experience”. We caught up with James to find out what his experience has been like.

James Chappell

How long have you been working in recruitment and what's your specialism?

I joined InterQuest in April 2019 having never worked in recruitment before. I’m now a Senior Consultant working within the Risk, Regulation and Compliance practice based in Manchester. I cover compliance and financial crime featuring mandates at the senior level such as Chief Compliance Officer. I also cover Operational Risk and Credit Underwriting, working with specialist lenders in the SME lending space.

Is it Jim or James?

Everybody calls me Jim unless I’m in trouble with my parents! 😊

What are the key challenges in the market?

I've never seen competition for talent like in the current market before, particularly within compliance and the payments space. The market is moving extremely quickly. Most of the candidates I'm speaking to are interviewing for multiple roles, especially when they hold specialist in-demand skill sets. One of the key challenges is counteroffers, businesses are now more likely to counter with higher salaries, promotions, title changes and improved working arrangements to retain staff.

However, counteroffers don’t often address the reasoning behind why an employee may want to leave and acts more as a temporary solution to retain talent. I focus on getting to know my candidates and their requirements to align the best opportunities with long-term success in mind.

Market Trends:

From a compliance perspective, a lot is happening in terms of regulation changes. I work with a lot of consumer lenders and there are upcoming new consumer duty reforms with the FCA. As businesses prepare for this regulation, they have moved to rapidly expand their compliance teams.

The EMIs and Crypto landscape is also subject to regulatory changes. We’re putting on an event later this month with Associate Director, Michelle Khan who will host two industry experts around this topic in detail. Learn more here.

Buy now pay later (BNPL) is also an interesting model that companies are looking to adopt to drive sales. However, BNPL is under scrutiny from the regulator and can be divisive in terms of public opinion.

Finally, the skills shortage continues to impact UK businesses with over 86% of businesses facing reduced output and growth due to staffing issues. Focus has shifted to the need for investment and solutions through which we can plug this skills gap. Through our IQUAD offering, we have launched the pioneer programme that takes a diverse pool of candidates and gives them the skills, training, and placements to prepare them for a successful tech career.

What advice would you give to clients given the competition in the market space?

I think for me the most important thing is to have a fluid recruitment process. Acting at pace is essential. Most candidates are actively interviewing for several roles and a lot can change from week to week. Direct feedback from candidates includes specific interview timelines and honest ongoing communication throughout the application process being the most important aspects to candidates. The hiring process, therefore, needs to be reactive to secure the most in-demand talent.

What kind of advice would you give to candidates seeking a role?

I think for me it's about really understanding what's what you're looking for out of your next career move. There is enough opportunity out there that candidates will find it. For me, it’s just about ensuring you get the optimal fit for your career. I advise candidates to use the interview process to ask questions for themselves as well as to establish if it's the right business and role for them.

Any tips for interviews?

Learn as much about the company you’re applying for. Do some reading about the culture, vision and values. It’s also important for me to understand the motivation behind why people want to move and what they're looking for. This is crucial in aligning the right opportunity with that candidate.

What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about making a change?

Some candidates may just be looking to move for the first time in a while and may be apprehensive about starting the job search again. There's no harm in having that initial conversation. Most often, the best people out there are not actively looking but are open to hearing conversations. If nothing else, a conversation will provide insight into the market. It’s amazing how many times at the end of the process a candidate will say to me “well, I wasn't actually looking, but after that conversation”.

Whether you are a recruiter looking for a change or an individual who is keen to start a career in recruitment then get in touch:

julie.pratten@interquestgroup.com