Ask the Expert: Internal Audit & Risk Q&A

The landscape of Internal Audit and Risk is rapidly evolving and gaining insights from an industry expert is invaluable. We sat down with our recruitment specialist to discuss all things Internal Audit, Risk and Compliance and what the future holds for this industry.


Can you tell us about your background and experience in internal audit and risk recruitment?

I have been in recruitment for over 6 years now, initially recruiting Qualified Accountants into the Technology and Hospitality sector before moving quickly onto the Internal Audit, Risk space.

Having collaborated with a diverse range of companies from £5million turnover to FTSE 50 businesses and everything in between, I have successfully placed candidates in permanent, fixed term contract and day rate temporary roles. My focus has always been providing the best possible service to clients and candidates.

Expanding my involvement with the profession, outside of purely recruiting, enabled me to be invited as a guest speaker at the Institute of Internal Auditors Conference, walking junior auditors through potential career paths. I was then invited back later, to speak at the IIA’s Internal Audit Leaders’ Summit on two areas – whistleblowing and the changing recruitment landscape.

I am keen now to be able to blend my experience within Internal Audit, Risk and Compliance, with the autonomous and quick moving nature of Rutherford Briant to be able to help clients and candidate at all levels achieve their objectives.


What does the newly introduced specialism of internal audit and risk recruitment entail at Rutherford Briant?

Recruitment done badly is very transactional. Its sending CVs to jobs and leaving everything else to the clients and candidates involved. I aim to recreate what Rutherford Briant have done so well for the last 14 years - the service level that goes above and beyond.

That service is wide ranging, from simple things such as consulting clients on market conditions and securing the best people, conducting enhanced interview preparation with candidates, to the more intangible, empathising with people whatever their situation and advising on the best course of action for them, their careers and their teams.

More functionally, Internal Audit and Risk covers both permanent and temporary positions, at all levels from part-qualified and entry levels roles through to Director level search mandates. We have a national outlook and excellent local reputation across East Anglia and London, also branching out to assist our candidates and clients wherever they may be.


What advice do you have for candidates navigating the recruitment process in the internal audit and risk sector?

There are 3 big areas to consider: Where do you want your career to go? What skillset do you bring to the table? How can you make those two align?

If you would like to be an FD/CFO in the future, then make sure you align your skillset to financial auditing areas, not to neglect operational audits of course, but know what you need to be stronger on. Equally if you have an amazing ability around data analytics within Internal Audit – could you consider looking into a more tech led route?

Working with a specialist consultant, like myself, means we can take time right at the start of your search to do some career planning (something I offer to all my candidates) to work out the answers to these 3 questions and work together to make it happen.


What guidance and benefits can clients gain from our specialised approach in internal audit and risk recruitment?

Any hiring manager in this space will know Internal Audit and Risk is very niche – which has its positives but can make it very tough to find great talent in a crowded marketplace with a smaller number of active candidates, largely owing to the wider economy.

Working with a specialist recruiter provides access to the active candidate pools I spend all day, every day speaking to – meaning they can be found quickly and be properly screened; but also access to the passive market, who aren’t on typical job boards, so won’t see direct web advertising. They are likely to be individuals I maintain contact with over time, waiting on the ideal opportunity for them.

Unlike a generalist agency, or even a finance recruiter who occasionally delves into IA – I have the time to nurture these relationships, meaning my clients gain access to a wider talent pool, with the assurance that they have been screened by a specialist before their CV gets to you.


Looking ahead, how do you see the internal audit and risk recruitment market evolving over the next year?

This is potentially a blog post of its own – and one which the best and brightest in the industry can’t fully agree on! However, I think it is safe to say that AI is going to become increasingly important – it will in every facet of our lives. This may mean candidates need to become equipped with the skillset to utilise new tools in their day-to-day role, HR professionals might need to work out how to fully utilise the power of AI in their ATS, and hiring managers are likely to need to be able to get to grips with the tools available to select the right software for their IA functions.

The Internal Audit and Risk profession will always be grounded in a human-first approach. After all, no amount of AI can walk around an office to spot a document laying open on a desk, prompting an auditor to delve into the subject within.

Posted by: Robert Warwick