Exploring the Path of Compliance: A Conversation with our Seasoned Expert Compliance and Quality Manager - Emma Smith

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Meet one of our wonderful in-house experts and find out more about how HRGO Recruitment ensures every business we work with is fully compliant at all times.

What inspired you to pursue a career as a compliance expert, and can you tell us a little about what makes you an expert in this area?

You can ask anyone: my ‘strap line’ has always been that I am all about the efficiencies, and that has remained the same in all my roles.

I am driven by an urge to make compliance easier and more achievable, streamlining it. I think I am an expert in this area as I have honed these skills over various industries working at all levels therefore so anything I look to implement, or change is from experience and tried and tested.

In terms of my career, I worked in the prison service (Finance and HR) for many years, straight from school, then moved on to doing H&S in construction/civil engineering. From there, I worked for a company of immigration lawyers before registering with HRGO Recruitment as a temp, assuming I would work for a client; as it turns out, HRGO Recruitment was the client.

What inspired you to pursue a career in recruitment, and how has your journey been so far with HRGO Recruitment?

I fell into Recruitment by accident; my first role at HRGO Recruitment was to do payroll and compliance at a local level and the role grew very quickly, utilising previous skills. I believe HRGO Recruitment have been very good at understanding how my knowledge is an asset and using that to strengthen and develop both HRGO Recruitment and me.

Can you share a memorable success story or moment from your time working at HRGO Recruitment?

When carrying out our regular checks, it was clear that there were some indicators of Modern Slavery. Upon investigating through the appropriate channels and working closely with the GLAA (Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority), it was discovered that, whilst HRGO Recruitment were fully compliant, the candidates were being exploited by their landlord. They were supported by the GLAA, and the matter was addressed and corrected. This would not have happened had we not been proactive and raised the alarm, highlighting the importance of vigilance in safeguarding against exploitation.

In your opinion, what sets HRGO Recruitment apart from other recruitment agencies, especially in terms of compliance?

Our approach to compliance is distinguished by our innovative approach to not overusing technology, as well as a steadfast commitment to internal processes that ensure adherence to regulations. This combination not only sets us apart from other recruitment agencies but also embeds a culture of integrity and efficiency within our operations.

What are some challenges unique to your area of expertise, and how do you overcome them to ensure excellent service delivery?

Balancing sales with compliance presents a unique challenge, but I've demonstrated that enhanced compliance leads to more efficient processes, which in turn, bolsters our reputation and business growth. My approach has always been to show that compliance isn’t a barrier to success but a foundation for sustainable and reputable business practices.

What do you enjoy most about working in compliance, and what keeps you motivated every day?

What keeps me driven each day is the knowledge that my work contributes to tangible improvements for both individuals and businesses. The prospect of making processes more efficient, thereby freeing up time for proactive measures or sales, provides a constant source of motivation. There's always room for improvement, and it’s this potential for making a positive impact that I find most rewarding.

How do you stay updated with industry news, best practices, and changes in recruitment/compliance regulations?

I attend regular webinars, training sessions, read research from multiple sources, such as the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, GLAA, Association of Labour Providers and many more. I also participate in roundtables with the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate, GLAA, and Association of Labour Providers.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering a career in compliance, what would it be?

For those considering a career in compliance, remember to keep your communication concise and direct. While it’s important to delve into the details, it's equally crucial to convey your message in a manner that captures and retains the audience's interest. Compliance is a rewarding field, offering the chance to make a significant, positive impact on the way businesses operate.

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