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4 ways to attract and retain AML Investigator staff in a candidate short market 

By Hays Recruitment Expert, on Feb 27th 2019

The rise of data breaches and trade-based money laundering has led to a growing demand for Anti-money laundering (AML) investigators. With so few candidates in this market, employers need to focus on how to better attract and retain these highly skilled professionals. What are some other ways employers can attract AML investigators? Here are top four tips from our expert consultants.

1. Focus on job details, requirements, and pay
LinkedIn conducted a study to see what candidates look for in a job description. The company found that compensation, qualifications, and day-to-day details were highlighted as the most helpful parts of the job description.

Some requirements for the AML Investigator role include the following:

  • Review and analyze customers’ accounts to identify and report on suspicious money laundering and terrorist financing transactions.
  • Receive referrals from multiple internal sources and investigate suspicious activity and red flags by conducting internet research, reviewing internal and external databases, as well as reviewing and conducting internal correspondences, as required.
  • Recommend a course of action for customers, fluently discussing internal procedures and policies, and regulatory guidelines.
  • The AML Investigator will also provide telephone/e-mail guidance to LoB or relevant stakeholders where appropriate. 

While some employers are hesitant to provide a salary range in the job description, mentioning the salary could help better attract candidates. According to LinkedIn’s survey, candidates indicated the importance of knowing how much they’ll make and whether they’ll have a real shot at getting the job. When it comes to the AML Investigator role, the average salary for a contractor $35–$40 per hour, whereas the average salary for a full-time hire in Canada is $70–$80k.

2. Support an engaged and collaborative environment
Words travel fast in the financial sector. A poor employee experience can negatively impact your company’s reputation. However, improving company culture goes beyond adding nice amenities such a yoga studio or a ping pong table. A great organizational culture needs to have strong leadership, employee engagement, and collaboration.

Employers can elevate engagement and support collaboration by implementing compliance utilities that facilitate information sharing and by having regular one-on-ones with their team. Taking advantage of emerging technologies in artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate repetitive tasks can also elevate engagement. That way, AML investigators can focus on tasks that require more critical thinking skills.

3. Promote career progression
One of the main reasons AML investigators leave their current company is because of career progression. While we don’t recommend giving people a title or promotion simply for the sake it, you can give employees incentive to stay if they see that they are working towards their career goal.

Below are the three common career stages of an AML Investigator:

Providing professionals with a set career path can help them see opportunities for growth within your company. As well, career paths aren’t necessarily linear. Some organizations offer career flexibility to support employees who want to transition into a very different role. For instance, someone who started at the company as an AML analyst could end up as a Risk Analyst or Senior Auditor. Conversely, a Compliance Analyst could transition into an AML Officer role.

4. Allow flexible work hours
Many professionals in this area prefer to work on their own schedule. When employees have a say in when they work, they reap many benefits including improved work-life balance, reduced stress levels and higher job satisfaction. Given the nature of the industry, allowing employees to work remotely with sensitive information may not be an option, but employers could still allow more vacation time or flexible working hours.

Employers cannot afford to hold back when it comes to attracting and retaining AML professionals. These professionals are not only few and far between, onboarding new hires also takes on average four weeks.  

If you need help filling AML investigator roles, contact us today.

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