How to Write a Compliance Officer Job Description For Your Dealership


Craft an effective, thorough compliance officer job description if you want to find the right person to ensure your dealership is on the up-and-up.

You’re no stranger to high turnover rates in the sales department. You put the time and effort into supporting your sales team, but it just seems to be the nature of the industry. Because of this, you probably have a pretty streamlined hiring process in place, and that includes a standard job description that you put online every time you need to hire a new salesperson.

If you’re finally making the decision to hire a compliance officer for your dealership, though, it’s time to throw that basic job description away. Start from scratch and create an entirely new compliance officer job description.

You can teach someone to be an outstanding salesperson. Even without much experience, some people are just born to sell. An excellent compliance officer, though? You need someone who is already at the top of their field and ready to hit the ground running. As you know, it’s critical to ensure that your dealership is fully compliant — one mistake, and you may not have a business anymore.

01-how-to-write-a-compliance-officer-job-description-for-your-dealershipWhat to remember as you create a compliance officer job description

When you’re ready to post a new job at your dealership, don’t forget that a job description serves two major purposes. The first? Well, that’s obvious — you have an open position, and you’re looking for someone qualified to fill it. The second purpose, however, is to serve as a sales pitch for your dealership. You want your compliance officer job description to be interesting enough to get a candidate’s attention and give them a crystal clear idea as to what you need, what your culture is like, and why they want to work for you.

Even if the person who reads your job description determines the job wouldn’t be a good fit for them, that saves you both the time and effort of an interview and potentially the hiring process. It’s much better for both of you to figure out that a working relationship won’t work before you’re on the job together.

Who has served as the compliance officer at your dealership up until recently? Did you delegate the title and duties to the general manager or sales manager, the way most dealerships do? If hiring a full-time compliance officer is a new venture, do a little homework first and get feedback. Talk to compliance officers (or people with similar jobs) at other dealerships and make sure your job description is realistic and includes the essential qualifications, skills, and requirements.

02-how-to-write-a-compliance-officer-job-description-for-your-dealershipWriting the compliance officer job description

When you sit down to piece together a compliance officer job description, begin with a short but sweet summary of the job. It should only be a few sentences long, tops, and succinctly explain the position. For example, it might sound something like this:

“Our award-winning family dealership is seeking a self-motivated, highly qualified compliance officer to ensure our dealership is always current with outside regulatory requirements and following internal policies. The selected candidate will play a vital role in developing, implementing, and enforcing an effective compliance program.”

After the brief position summary, you’ll move into the meat of the description: essential functions and duties. This is where you need to be extremely clear about what your ideal compliance officer will do on a regular basis. It’s impossible to list every single task he or she can expect to perform, but this section should give them a full understanding of your dealership’s needs so they can determine whether or not they’re qualified (which saves everyone time in the long run). Here are a few ideas to consider when listing specific duties for your compliance officer:

  • Lead the way in developing, implementing, enforcing, and testing the dealership’s compliance program to ensure organization-wide internal controls are in place.
  • Stay on top of the automotive compliance landscape by researching and analyzing new/pending laws, regulations, interpretive rulings, and regulatory agency directives.
  • Mentor and train dealership employees and provide compliance risk expertise to projects and initiatives.
  • Assist with implementing regulatory changes into business operations in a timely and cost-effective manner.
  • Assess compliance risk, correct deficiencies, identify cause of compliance exceptions, and develop corrective actions.
  • Take responsibility for responding to any dealership or department inquiries about compliance issues.

03-how-to-write-a-compliance-officer-job-description-for-your-dealershipFollowing the list of essential functions and duties, create a section for any desired skills or qualifications that you’re looking for. Some might be specific to the compliance officer position; for example, “excellent research and analytical skills” or “in-depth knowledge of legal requirements relating to dealership compliance programs.” Others could be more specific to your individual dealership, like giving preference to candidates who have used your internal software programs before.

Finally, don’t forget to wrap up your compliance officer job description with a section about your dealership. This is prime real estate to sell your business to the job-seeker, so in addition to describing your dealership’s achievements, include any significant benefits you offer that could make the position even more attractive.

Never underestimate the importance of a great job posting. Take the time to create a well-thought-out job description, and you’ll undoubtedly find the compliance officer your dealership needs to run smoothly.

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Patrick H.
Patrick H.