February 21, 2020 | 5 min read
Compliance Hiring Alert: Contract Trade Surveillance Roles On The Rise


Financial institutions have been hit with a variety of regulatory changes since 2008. In this time, many firms have invested heavily in their trade surveillance functions—increasing their resources and expanding their range of responsibilities. The need for trade surveillance officers and analysts is a trend that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, but the types of roles you see on the market might start to look different as firms shift toward a more project-based or contract hiring strategy.

“To adapt to an evolving regulatory environment, hedge funds and banks need to be constantly evaluating and adjusting their hiring strategies,” says Paige Vetterlein, a Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. “Employers may need to hire trade surveillance specialists for a variety of reasons, ranging from a seasonal uptick in work or to implement new surveillance capabilities. Hiring on a contract basis gives them the flexibility they need to handle shifting priorities and improve their internal processes.”

This type of work can also benefit trade surveillance professionals in a variety of ways. However, many are hesitant to make the transition to a contract role. “Some job seekers are apprehensive about contract or consulting work due to some common misconceptions of what it entails. The reality is, however, that these are very high-level roles that can set you up for long-term success—whether you want to pursue a career as a consultant or find a more permanent role in the future.”

Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of pursuing contract work within trade surveillance:

Gets your foot in the door

Many trade surveillance specialists assume that contract work is not stable, or it provides very little job security. In reality, it can lead to a lot of different career opportunities. “People have the tendency to get nervous when they hear the term ‘contract’ because they think they’ll constantly be on the lookout for a new job,” says Paige. “These trade surveillance opportunities are often six-month assignments, at minimum. Many of our consultants go onto work for these clients for at least a year or are eventually brought on full-time. If the assignment is set to end, however, we can place them with a new employer before the project is over.”

Helps you gain new skills and experiences

By consulting for different firms, you can gain experience with different software and internal processes. In a field that is constantly evolving, this can help you develop new skills faster—something that can help you stand out amongst your peers. “The variety of contract work not only helps you diversify your skillset, but also ensures you are up-to-date with the latest regulatory requirements,” says Paige. “Having this breadth of experience can be the difference between you and another candidate, as the firm needs to know they can rely on you to ensure their trading practices are in compliance.”

Allows you to evaluate long-term fit

A contract role affords you the opportunity to get accustomed to the work and culture of the firm before making a longer-term commitment. “Since many of our clients bring our trade surveillance consultants on full-time, this is a great opportunity to evaluate if this is the right place for you to build your career,” advises Paige. “Factors such as the team, your commute time, and work-life balance can help you get a broader sense of what it would be like to work for the organization.”

Eases the transition into a new role

Transitioning into a new role can be challenging, especially if you are currently unemployed. This is where having contract or consulting work on your resume can give you an advantage you might not have thought of. “Many unemployed trade surveillance professionals prefer to hold out for a full-time opportunity,” says Paige. “Taking a contract role during this transition, however, is a great way to show your value to future employers. Not only does it allow you to keep your skills sharp, but it also shows employers that you can quickly adapt to new environments and hit the ground running on day one.”

Interested in contract work? Check out our job listings!

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