Client Newsletter – April 2018

  • Client Newsletter – April 2018

    Client Newsletter – April 2018


    Welcome to the Monthly Client Newsletter from Legal Intel for April. With the cold weather now behind us and Golden Week coming up, our image this month takes in Japan’s wonderful wisteria flowers, which can be seen blossoming up and down the country. Whatever your plans for Golden Week, whether you are going away or enjoying a quiet time in Tokyo, we hope you have an enjoyable and relaxing time.


    The Legal market this month has been fairly steady with activity in retail, energy and technology sectors. There is strong demand for qualified lawyers with about 5 years’ experience and strong English, regardless of coverage area, to join large international corporations, such as trading companies or technology and healthcare firms.


    Activity in the Accounting and Finance market has continued strongly into April. There is more movement for Manager level positions compared to Staff level. As usual, Medical/Pharma has been actively hiring, followed closely by FMCG and IT. With Golden Week coming up, we expect there to be a slight pause in recruitment for a week or two, however, some clients are making use of this time to schedule interviews.


    April has seen strong activity for Supply Chain & Logistics, especially for opportunities in healthcare, chemical, and apparel industries. Following on from last month, the healthcare sector is seeing continued demand for candidates with directly related (products and industry) experience in order to facilitate a smoother transition. The current labour demand is pushing salaries up though and making this a challenge to achieve. Strong candidates are able to be more selective in these market conditions.


    Recruiting in the Human Resources area remains very strong, with a heavy need for companies to build up their own recruiting / talent acquisition teams. Operational human resources and business partner recruiting is also “hot”, with active job seekers finding a wide range of opportunities available to them. This makes the hiring climate for clients very competitive as “top talent” will often have two or three job offers to consider when they come to the final decision to change companies.


    We provide some data on recent employment offers made in the market for Legal, Accounting & Finance, Logistics and Human Resources candidates.


    Recent Offers


    – Legal Counsel – European Healthcare – JPY 14M
    – Contracts Manager – US Medical Devices – JPY 10M
    – Legal Specialist – US Fashion Brand – JPY 7M


    Accounting & Finance

    – Accountant – US Retail – JPY 5.3M
    – Finance Manager – US FMCG – JPY 12.75M
    – CFO – European FMCG – JPY 17M



    – Supply Chain and Logistics Manager – US Apparel – JPY13M
    – Procurement Staff – Healthcare – JPY6.5M
    – SCM Manager – Healthcare – JPY14M


    Human Resources
    – Head of HR – European Jewelry – JPY15M
    – Recruiter – US FMCG – JPY8M
    – Training Manager – US IT – JPY11M


    Recruitment Case Study

    Retained or Contingency?

    When choosing to use a recruitment agency for your search you may be presented with a variety of competing business models. How much will you pay? What is included? Are there any guarantees? You may also be presented with the option of a retained or contingency search. Clients often ask us what is the difference and which would be most suitable for their position.


    ” the differences are not only to do with how the agency gets paid but also how the search is carried out and the possible results.”


    Basically, with a contingency search, you would only pay for a successful completion of the search. Typically, multiple agencies would be engaged and there would be a race to contact and introduce candidates first and therefore have the best chance of getting the fee. With a retained search, one agency would be engaged on an exclusive basis and a percentage of the potential fee would be paid in advance, with other payments made on completion of certain stages of the search.


    However, the differences are not only to do with how the agency gets paid but also how the search is carried out and the possible results.


    In a contingency search, the agency is aware of the need to present candidates quickly for the role and will prioritise contacting candidates so other agencies do not get in first. They will also be motivated to send a higher number of resumes to maximise their chances of making a placement.


    ” recruitment agencies may be less motivated to work on roles that are difficult to fill and have a large number of other recruitment agencies… working on them “


    With a retained search, the recruiter will first discuss the requirements with the client in detail and agree on a search methodology. A long list of candidates will be agreed on and presented and, within a set time frame, interviews are arranged with the client eventually choosing from a short-list of around 3-5 candidates.


    For lower level positions that need to be filled quickly and where there are a lot of suitable candidates in the market, a contingency search makes the most sense. For harder-to-fill senior positions where the number of eligible candidates is limited, a retained model, while taking longer, might be the best match.


    Bear in mind that recruitment agencies may be less motivated to work on roles that are difficult to fill and have a large number of other recruitment agencies (as well as internal talent acquisition) working on them.


    Ultimately, the choice about which type of search to use will depend on the company and the particular requirements for the role, and indeed the agents you are working with. A strong recruitment agency will be driven to deliver results no matter what the model and will offer the levels of market knowledge and understanding of the role you would expect from a retained approach, but also work with the speed and flexibility of a contingency search.



    Client Focus – Shiseido

    Image result for shiseido recruitment      Image result for shiseido


    Shiseido is extremely well-known around the world as Japan’s largest cosmetics and personal care company and one of the oldest in the world. We have worked with them for some time and have found them to be easy to work with for the following reasons.


    Very often with large organisations, it can be difficult for the human resources team to keep on top of every particular open position. Naturally, there are many people involved and established procedures also in place which can make it difficult for information to flow freely. Shiseido is a huge company with complex operations in Japan but despite this size, their recruiter has been able to provide regular updates on their hiring situation including feedback on active candidates and news on new openings.


    Another aspect which proved very helpful in sourcing and introducing strong candidates was detailed feedback on not only candidates who interviewed well but also negative feedback for candidates who were not a match.


    Negative feedback can be difficult to handle and no-one enjoys giving out bad news. However, clear and transparent reasons why candidates are not suitable are extremely important to help agents refocus a search and approach new and better candidates. Also, for the candidate involved it is useful for them so they can make any changes to make their job search more successful. For this reason, we are always direct with candidates, without being rude or causing offence, as it really helps to focus on making improvements.


    Added to this, Shiseido has been responsive to enquiries by phone or email. With everyone’s busy schedules this can be a real challenge but this kind of interaction results in a smooth process with few unwanted surprises. What we have noticed with Shiseido in general is that while of course they are a global company, they operate in a ‘local’ style, and this practical approach has given them an edge in having an efficient process and closing the best candidates.


    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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