Trade compliance careers certainly look very different to how they did five - or even two - years ago.
The typical route which professionals follow has changed, and so have employer expectations. The focus is now heavily on data analytics, with every aspect of trade compliance now driven by a sophisticated suite of powerful tools and technology.
In this blog, we will explore how AI, automation and data analytics revolutionise the way in which organisations navigate international trade regulations and how trade compliance professionals have no choice but to embrace these new technologies. We will also look at how the route into trade compliance jobs has changed – and why.
How are AI, automation and data analytics used in trade compliance?
Enhancing accuracy and efficiency
Trade compliance involves managing vast amounts of data, such as product classifications, country-specific regulations, embargo lists and customs requirements. Human analysis alone is prone to errors, leading to compliance risks and potential legal consequences. AI and data analytics tools can process immense volumes of data quickly and accurately, reducing manual errors and improving outcomes, enabling companies to achieve greater efficiency and be confident of adherence to trade regulations.
Risk assessment and monitoring
AI and data analytics can analyse patterns and trends in trade data to identify potential compliance risks, such as irregularities in shipping documents, suspicious transactions, or discrepancies in product descriptions. Using AI algorithms, businesses can proactively detect and address potential compliance violations, preventing costly penalties and reputational damage.
Streamlined documentation and reporting
Trade compliance requires meticulous documentation and reporting. AI and data analytics simplify these tasks by consolidating data from multiple sources, validating information and generating comprehensive reports for regulatory purposes, thereby helping businesses to streamline their compliance processes, saving them time and resources.
Trade insights and decision-making
AI and data analytics tools can identify market trends, customer preferences and potential risks or opportunities. For example, analysing import/export patterns may help optimise supply chains, identify cost-saving opportunities, or assess the impact of changing trade policies. These insights empower businesses to make data-driven decisions, develop effective compliance strategies, and seize competitive advantages.
Proactive compliance management
Trade regulations are constantly evolving, and AI and data analytics enable proactive compliance management by monitoring regulatory updates, flagging relevant changes and assessing their impact on business operations.
What does all of this mean for the recruitment market?
Trade compliance has always been a candidate-driven market, with demand for skilled professionals outstripping supply. However, as companies adapt to increasing regulations and complex geopolitics, this need for trade compliance candidates with technical skills and know-how has fuelled demand even higher. As such, we are now seeing professionals follow a more direct path into trade compliance.
With universities now offering more vocational degree subjects, such as geopolitics or international trade, many will actively choose to focus on trade compliance as a career from the outset, rather than moving sideways into it, as is the more traditional route.
Graduates will then commonly gain experience in one of the Big 4 consulting firms, before moving in-house and taking a lead on trade compliance. The Big 4 offer a very structured and intense training programme, which nowadays focuses heavily on the technology which drives the very heart of a trade compliance function.
AI, automation and data analytics have revolutionised how organisations navigate the complexities of global trade regulations, providing accurate data processing, risk assessment and streamlined documentation, as well as valuable trade insights. As such, candidates with strong experience working with these technologies are at a huge advantage when it comes to applying for trade compliance jobs.
To find out more about current trade compliance recruitment trends and market data, please contact Jamie Browne for a friendly chat.