In today's people behind the brand, the series where you get to know the Orbis team, we sat down with our Senior Compliance Officer, Zeena D’Souza-Veigas.
We chatted all about working in Compliance, what it’s like being a working parent in a fast-paced work environment, and the culture at Orbis!
To hear more from Zeena, read below.
Tell us about your journey to Compliance…
My very first job just after I finished my Bachelors was as a Learning & Development coordinator within the Insurance industry. There was quite a lot that I learnt here; designing training material, coordinating with stakeholders of the business, and arranging tests. I thoroughly liked doing what I did and wanted to explore more and I always dreamt of doing something different so that’s when I took a big leap of faith and travelled to London to complete my Masters.
As part of my curriculum in business management, I needed field experience and this is when I started working in the UK. It was difficult at first trying to adjust to new ways of life, work culture and overall meeting different people.
Compliance has always been part of every other job that I did as I always worked in the recruitment sector and started as a Resourcer for a Locum company and ended up being a recruiter. Back then my knowledge was only limited to checking if someone could work legally in the UK but as I progressed, compliance seemed to be the most interesting aspect of my job.
What attracted you to Compliance in Recruitment?
The fact that it still isn't right even if you have followed the whole process, there is always something you haven't done correctly. It is a continuous process of scanning for changing laws and regulations, identifying risk areas that might affect your organisation, policy changes, monitoring and auditing - that’s what staying compliant means.
There is so much to this role and it's so versatile.
Looking back at when I started as a Resourcer and how I came into a compliance role just feels like it was so natural to me. In recruitment, it's so different as there are so many aspects to consider and working with different sectors and industries, there is always something new to do. For me, it was all this that kept me growing within this role and I stuck with it.
What’s the best part of the job?
The Orbis family have such a young and dynamic mix of people, right from management to the front office - everyone here is so unique and filled with knowledge.
It’s refreshing to work with a company that nurtures growth and gives you the flexibility to work towards your professional and personal goals. I am delighted to have met them all and work with them, and of course, my team is a very supportive bunch.
What's the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge I have faced over the years is trying to reason out with someone about why things have to be done in a certain way, explaining to them how we can minimise risks and also help us remain compliant.
The compliance team often comes across the Barrier (Recruitment Police) and when it comes to us delivering such news, it's not always taken onboard that easily. This is when it gets challenging as you don't want to let your emotions get involves and try to deal with it in the most professional way.
What’s something you wish you’d known at the start of your career?
That there could be a lot of days when things don't go according to your plans and expectations but don't give up, try harder the next time, have patience, and the right attitude and it will work for you.
You’re a working mum of two, how do you find juggling a career and a busy home life, and does the flexible working that Orbis offers help with that?
Being a full-time working parent was definitely challenging at the beginning but I wouldn't have it any other way.
With the help and support of my partner, we built a routine and it really helped to have a work-life balance. Orbis has played an important part in this, the support they provide to working parents is something most employers should provide. They are also big advocates for mental health and promote flexible working.
What attracted you to Orbis, and would you say there’s something different about our culture?
It's the people behind the brand, everyone here has a vision and a goal to achieve it, and this is what they encourage within the company.
The fact that Orbis have people celebrating their 5th & 7th work anniversaries speaks a lot as the recruitment industry can be very challenging in this competitive world. Management understands this and they have tried to incorporate every way to make it a less stressful and fun environment for all.
In another life... If you weren't in compliance, what would you be doing?
If not compliance, I don't think there would be much of a difference in comparison to what I am currently doing - I enjoy working in an environment of risks, analysis and finding solutions.
So possibly something in Forensics, but I also had a keen interest in journalism and almost enrolled myself on the course but just didn't know if it was for me, so it’s possibly something I would consider in another life.