Candidate Newsletter – August 2019

  • Candidate Newsletter – August 2019

    Candidate Newsletter – August 2019



    As expected for August, there has not been a lot of activity in the Legal market but things are starting to get busier. Law firm hiring has been picking up lately and other sectors such as technology (particularly AI), consulting and healthcare are also adding to or replacing their legal teams. We have many clients who are considering an IPO and requesting candidates with this experience and who can organize their legal function.


    From the candidate side, this is usually the busiest time of year as people come back from holidays and start to plan job changes for the next year and beyond. The Obon holiday period often gives candidates some time to discuss their careers with their families and they can then make some decisions about whether to move.


    August is the most peaceful period for those who are working in Accounting and Finance.

    Many candidates take this quiet time to think about their careers and potentially changing their jobs.  For the client-side, in the first half of August the number of job openings was very low but after Obon things have started to pick up again and we are seeing active recruitment in Japanese venture companies, particularly for internal audit and taxation roles.


    The following are some examples of offers out this month:




    • US Data Analytics – International Counsel – 12M
    • US Software Firm – Legal Manager – 9M
    • Luxury Brand Company – Head of Legal – 20M+


    Accounting & Finance


    • US Pharma – Head of Finance – 18M
    • European Pharma – Senior Accountant – 8M
    • Japanese Startup – CFO – 18M


    Recruitment Focus – What are your Salary Expectations?

    The salary question is one of the most sensitive topics and can be a difficult and stressful topic to discuss. How you answer can have serious consequences on the outcome of the interview process and what the potential offer is like.


    The reason companies will ask this question is basically to see if you will fit their salary budget and if your skills and experience level matches the role. Things get tricky when you realize that giving too high a number may ‘price you out of’ the role as being too expensive, and going too low may mean leaving money on the table or giving the impression that your experience is not at the right level for the position.


    So how to answer this question effectively, valuing yourself at the right level without appearing greedy?


    Firstly it pays to do your homework and go into the interview ready for this question and knowing how you will answer. You should gather as much information as you can about the salary range for the role – ask your recruiter to give you their assessment and go online to see what similar positions are paying. Take the whole opportunity in mind and think about a value you will be comfortable with should you join.


    When answering this question, there are a few main points to consider. If at all possible, try to avoid giving a fixed number. There are several reasons for this:


    • It will make it very difficult for your recruiter to negotiate a higher salary for you later on in the process if you have already given your number
    • There will be other candidates in the process, they may give a higher or lower number than you and, while it is natural to compare by salary, it better the company considers your particular skills and background when making a decision
    • As mentioned above, you may place yourself too high or low and miss out on the role or leave money on the table
    • During the process, you have the opportunity to show your worth to their organization and you may do such a good job that their salary offer will be increased, in order to convince you to join – if you have already given a number, it is less likely they will change


    So what are some examples of how to answer these questions? Below are some typical answers we would recommend:


    “At the moment I am very interested in learning more about the company and what the opportunity will involve and haven’t decided on a number. (My current salary is JPYxxM and) I would expect to receive a fair offer based on my skills and experience”


    “I would be very interested to hear what you would have in mind for a candidate with my experience for this role. I think if we have we have a match in terms of the position and fit for the company, I am sure we can come to an agreement.”


    If you are pressed for a specific number, it is best to give a range, based on your research and what you know about the budget for the position.


    As long as you are prepared and can give an answer which will put you in the right range, and give you the salary you need for your career development and to support your family, you should have nothing to fear from this kind of question.



    We provide a free consultation and training session to help clients improve recruitment activity and perfect their agency relations.
    For further information on this topic or any other recruitment-related questions, please contact 

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