I work in the compliance/regulatory team of a listed financial institution. Contrary to popular belief, compliance isn't about preventing fraud/looking for IT systems-generated automated "hits" on suspicious activities but, rather, things like ensuring that our processes comply with the law/policies/guidelines issued by bodies like the Financial Markets Authority, that offer documents aren't misleading etc, and maintaining a sensible and healthy relationship with the likes of the FMA. Our team is very "flat" - it's basically normal employees ----> team leaders -----> a couple of managers ------> head of compliance for NZ who sits with the executives. Frequently even normal employees have to assist with stuff that are used in executive level discussions and even present to executives.
Because of the work we do, inevitably many of us are increasingly either lawyers or accountants with financial accounting or audit backgrounds. Junior/intermediate staff previous often came to us with banking experience but without the legal/accounting background and many turn out to be most unsuitable. Yet despite our numerous attempts at making clear in our job descriptions/scoping to HR that we value quality post-grad degrees, demonstrable intellectual flexibility, demonstrable ability to handle reading lots of and lots of boring stuff without having one's eyes glaze over and giving glib answers, and early exposure to difficult people/senior executives (e.g. having worked for judges, as special assistant on projects for executive level staff, having worked on advisory roles in the likes of Treasury or for a cabinet minister), they still tend to come back to us with candidates that have banking experience first but little else of what we want or far less than candidates that HR initially rejected.
I am not making this up -- two of our most recent hires were actually initially rejected by our HR and we ended up reading through all the applications ourselves and contacting these two. Do we just have bad HR, do people just get over-seduced by "have they done this/something similar before" excessively, and/or are supposed commitment to transferrable skills over-stated?
Feel free to chip in with your views.