Client Newsletter – April 2019

  • Client Newsletter – April 2019

    Client 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

    Bias In The Recruitment Process


    Whether we like it or not, our own bias, or preference for a particular kind of person, influences our judgment during the hiring process and can contribute to bad hires and entrenched company culture. Very often, we are not even aware of our own bias and the effect it has on us, and it can take a lot of effort to recognize and control it. These days many companies are dedicating time and resources towards eliminating bias from the hiring process; the goal is to protect the company from bad hires and increase accountability and objectivity in decision-making. Removing, or at least minimizing bias will also improve diversity, retention and promotion efforts. Some companies are even removing names and other identifying data from resumes to avoid bias which might come about from name, gender or ethnic group.


    This month we look at bias in the recruiting process, what it is and how it happens, and some remedies to minimize the influence it has.



    Recognizing Bias


    We all carry with us certain biases, no matter how fair-minded we believe ourselves to be. The first step to eliminating these biases is to recognize and understand them. Listed below are some of the most common traits which affect the interview process:



    Confirmation Bias

     ” hiring decisions happen in the first 5 minutes of the interview “

    This is to do with that all-important first impression. It has been shown in various studies that many hiring decisions happen in the first 5 minutes of the interview. Indeed, a 2000 Toledo University study found the outcome of the interview could be reliably predicted based on judgments made in the first 10 seconds by the interviewer. The bias works like this – if you like the candidate when you first meet them, for example, if they make a positive impression by the way they introduce themselves and their meishi exchange, then you will spend the rest of the interview looking for reasons to like them. Conversely, if they make a bad impression, say their tie doesn’t match their shirt or they don’t give a polished introduction, then you will look for reasons to reject them during the interview. In both cases, you have stopped assessing the candidate fairly and are instead searching for evidence to confirm your first impression. The rest of the interview is just a waste of time. Is that first impression really so important?



    Non-verbal Bias


    This is concerned with your judgment of the candidates’ appearance and covers body language, hairstyle, weight and how they are dressed, for example.



    Expectation Anchor


    This is where we have met someone considered a strong candidate (maybe because of the above biases) and are now comparing every other candidate to this one. You may unconsciously rate a candidate stronger if you see them straight after a candidate who gave a bad impression, than if you had seen them in isolation. Also, if you meet a candidate after one you rated negatively, they would do better than if you had met them alone. If both cases the candidate is being judged not on their strengths or suitability for the job, but in comparison to other candidates in the process. You are ‘anchored’ to a strong candidate and not assessing others fairly.



    Similarity Bias


    We tend to like people who are similar to ourselves and are more inclined to go easy on candidates who act in the same way as we do or who have something in common, such as hometown, education background or hobbies. Those with whom we have nothing in common, regardless of whether they are suitable for the role, often get overlooked, and dropped because they are not a match. This type of bias is especially common when a company is focused on hiring for ‘cultural fit’.


    What can be done to avoid the kinds of biases we have described?  It is impossible to eliminate them completely from how we work, but the hiring team for any position should be made aware of their potential biases and should design the recruitment process to minimize their effects. The interview process should be structured, consistent and measurable so that each candidate is judged by the same criteria and you can hire candidates who will perform better in your roles and contribute to a healthy and diverse company culture.


    Next month we will look at what structured interviews are and how they can help your hiring process.



    Recruitment 101









    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 

    Comments are closed.