Candidate Newsletter – April 2019

  • Candidate Newsletter – April 2019

    Candidate Newsletter – April 2019



    The Legal market for April has been about filling existing roles, with a number of new opportunities also becoming available. The focus has mostly been on single contributor positions, or hands-on management of small teams, across industries. Clients are prioritizing flexibility and ‘soft skills’ for these roles, as much as technical ability. It is of vital importance that legal professionals can integrate well with business and explain legal concepts and risks clearly.


    The Accounting and Finance market in April is very active and there are a large number of open positions. It remains a seller’s market in terms of talent, with new recruitment and numerous job openings at startup companies. For those who are thinking about changing their jobs, it is certainly a great time to be looking but for the hiring companies competition is very fierce and there is increased pressure on hiring processes. There is recruiting activity across all industries, including pharmaceutical, FMCG, Artificial intelligence, IT, and international law firms.


    In Human Resources, ‘hot to the market’ are a couple of very interesting searches in the recruiting area – for example, a Recruiting Manager job for a Japanese TSE listed firm and a Talent Acquisition Manager level role at a major pharmaceutical company. Related to this we are also dealing with some good, more junior level roles that would deal with both recruiting as well as training and development, with the attraction of joining large, well-established teams and the chance of good career progression. There is also a strong demand for people to fill operationally-focused positions covering payroll, social insurance and compensation and benefits.


    The following are some examples of offers out this month:



    • AI Start-up – Legal Manager – 10M
    • European Manufacturer – Legal Counsel – 12M
    • Japanese Electronics – Legal Counsel – 13M


    Accounting & Finance

    • Foreign FMCG – Finance Manager – 12M
    • Foreign Services – Finance Manager – 12M
    • Foreign Medical – Accountant – 8M


    Human Resources/General Affairs

    • Foreign Healthcare – HR & Office Manager – 9M
    • US Media firm – Talent Acquisition Specialist – 7M
    • Major Marketing/Advertising Company – HR Director – 13M


    Recruitment Focus


    We are coming up to an extended Golden Week, where most workers in Japan will enjoy 10 days of leave, taking the opportunity for some leisure time and catching up with families and other home commitments. What if every week we had a 3-day weekend, is that realistic for the Japanese economy?


    The 5-day/40-hour working week came into common use in Japan nearly 100 years ago when Kawasaki Docks in Kobe (now Kawasaki Shipbuilding Co.) adopted the schedule following worker unrest. It did not become law until 1947 and has been a part of daily life ever since.


    Most of us have never known any other way or working, but recent studies and trials suggested a shorter working week can bring about many benefits for companies and employees, such as increased productivity, improved employee health and retention rates. The suggestion is that the number of hours worked, past a certain point, does not relate directly to the amount of work done.


    In 2012, an Organisation of Economic Development (OECD) report found that some of the most productive workers worked the fewest hours. For example, Greek workers put in about 2,000 hours per year in 2012, compared to their relatively laid-back counterparts in Germany, who worked around 1,400 hours. However, the Germans were found to be 70% more productive than the Greek workers. Hours worked will of course not be the only contributing factor to productivity but there is a good reason to think that the link between productivity and hours worked may be due to workers feeling fresher, more focused and less stressed from working fewer hours and having more leisure time.


    It is well known that working long hours increases fatigue and stress levels, which in turn makes errors and accidents more likely, further harming productivity and decreasing motivation in a vicious cycle. The idea of a shorter working week is not a new one, having been around for many decades, but has become increasingly discussed. Business leaders such as Larry Page of Google and Richard Branson of Virgin Group have argued for an end to the 5-day/40-hour working week, as it is no longer reflective of people’s modern lives. Some companies have gone further and introduced a 4-day working week and reduced hours.


    Such a company in New Zealand, a financial services firm called Perpetual Guardian, trialled a four-day week in March and April this year. The company was studied by academics at Auckland University of Technology before, during and after the experiment and there were noted increases in stimulation, commitment and overall job satisfaction, and stress levels decreased by 7 percentage points. Further, 78% of employees felt they could manage their work and life commitments, up from 54% before the trial. The CEO reported no loss in productivity and speculated that his employees were more relaxed about their life outside of work, which made them more focused when they came to the office.


    It all sounds great, but would the benefits last and are we likely to see this happening in our lifetimes?


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