Client Newsletter – August 2018

  • Client Newsletter – August 2018

    Client Newsletter – August 2018




    Our picture this month is of the toro nagashi, to celebrate the obon holiday. We hope you were able to enjoy a relaxing holiday period and are ready for the remaining months of the year. We look forward to assisting you as things get back up to speed.


    The Legal market in August has been surprisingly active, with many interviews scheduled as clients have worked their way around the holiday period. There have also been a decent number of new positions opening, in traditionally strong areas such as consumer goods and healthcare, as well as in newer industries such as internet and communication technology. We are also seeing an increase in focus on public policy and regulatory relations positions as companies want to prepare themselves well ahead of new laws concerning data usage.


    Logistics/Supply Chain has been steady recently across many industries. As can be seen from some of the recent offers this month, the automotive industry is seeing a number of roles closed. We are also experiencing a continual demand in consumer goods, medical, and logistics service providers for candidates with 3-5 years’ experience in a similar industry. Although things have slowed a little with obon and summer vacations there have still been a healthy number of new openings coming through across most industries.


    The obon holidays has caused a slow down in recruiting activity in Accounting & Finance this month. There is a steady demand for staff level Accounting candidates across all industries and in particular, fashion and retail.


    In Human Resources a number of our clients are expanding their businesses and looking to hire “growth” positions in such functions as administration, operations and recruiting. There is also a steady demand in the job market for experienced, strategically focused HR Business Partners. In addition, recently a range of talent management / learning and development roles have become available in the corporate training area.


    The following are some data on recent employment offers made in the market for Legal, Accounting & Finance, Logistics & Supply Chain and Human Resources candidates.



    – Japanese IT/Fintech – Deputy Head of Legal – 15M
    – European Consumer goods – General Counsel – 20M+
    – Major US IT – Legal Counsel – 14M


    Accounting & Finance

    – European Luxury – Accountant – 5M
    – US Manufacturer – Accounting Manager – 12M
    – Top Audit Firm – Finance Director – 18.5M


    Logistics & Supply Chain Management

    – Indirect Procurement Staff – Marketing/Consulting Group – 5M
    – Buyer – Japanese Automotive Manufacturer – 5M
    – International Logistics Staff – Japanese Automotive Parts Supplier – 6.5M


    Human Resources/General Affairs

    – International Automobile – HR Director – 18M
    – Major Corporation – Talent Management & Acquisition Specialist – 7M
    – Global Cosmetics – HR Business Partner – 13M


    Recruitment Focus

    Don’t Ask These Interview Questions!

    The time you have to spend with a candidate at an interview is relatively short and there are many steps to get through before you make a huge commitment to each other. For the company, this could be a crucial hire to really push the business forward – for the candidate, it is where they are choosing to spend a major part of their life.


    So it makes the interview itself extremely important and the questions you ask vital in finding out the right information, and ultimately if the candidate will be a match and will have a successful, long-term stay with your organisation. It thus makes sense to consider carefully what information you are aiming for and what questions you will use to get it.


    When we follow up with candidates and discuss their interviews, some of the most common questions they are asked by clients match these two main types:

    1. Tell us about yourself


    This type of question comes up very often and can be useful to see how a candidate expresses themselves. However, the problem is that it has almost no focus and no target for a particular response. In the worst case, it will come across as showing a lack of preparation and will give the impression that there is no real plan for the interview. Instead, the interviewer is waiting to hear some information before gaining an impression, and will direct the interview from there – there is no plan or goal.


    2. Why are you interested in this role/our company?


    This type of question again can be useful but every candidate is ready for this one and you will likely receive standard answers based on information found online. These answer will not give you an authentic picture of the candidate’s personality and motivation. Also, they will probably learn better and better answers as the process goes on and they meet more people, so by the end of the process, at the often-crucial final interviews, they can give the perfect answer but it may not be genuine.


    So what are some better types of question to ask?


    Many companies these days are using the interview to not only check for technical ability and experience but also for soft skills and a strong cultural match – up to a point, skills can always be learnt but culture and values are more difficult to change.


    Basically then, the questions you should ask will tie in closely to your company’s values and will require the candidate to give specific examples, positive and negative, of situations from their past to demonstrate if they are a good fit. These may not even be at work, as long as their answers can be linked to a professional setting.


    Some examples of value-based questions are:


    • Tell us about a new skill you have learned in the past 6 months

    If your values are centered on curiosity and self-development this is a great way to find out if the candidate shares them.


    • What has shaped you as a person outside of education and work?

    A very good question to find out more about the candidate’s character and how they see themselves. From their answer to this and any follow-up questions, you can investigate further for a match to your company culture.


    • Explain your most significant accomplishment at work

    Even though you are checking on values and soft skills it makes sense to check the candidate’s professional achievements. The key here is how the candidate answers this question. Many will be tempted to talk about the largest, most exciting projects but, in fact, they may have played only a small part which didn’t really show their skills. Careful follow-up questions will show if this was their own accomplishment or if they were just part of a much larger process.


    The main goal with these questions is to find as much as you can about whether the candidate will fit with your company and can have a lengthy and productive career. You should look carefully at what values are most important to your company, and then shape your questions to let the candidate show if they share these values. For the candidate, it will mean a better experience for them and they can get a clearer impression of the company. For the company it means you can hire someone who really fits, not just someone who excels in typical interview situations.


    Recruiter View – Publishing Salary Information



    Do you include your salary on your job description?


    It is a fact of life that for every role there is an ideal budget which matches the responsibilities, required skills and the market and will appeal to and attract the right kind of candidate.

    … by including this information publicly, you may be making life difficult for when it comes to the offer stage.

    It makes sense then, as part of your advertising strategy to include your salary range with your job description and post on job boards and your website. This way it’s clear what kind of candidate you are looking for and expectations are clear from the start.


    However, by including this information publicly, you may be making life difficult for when it comes to the offer stage. This is simply down to human nature. Once we see a particular value and associate it with something as important and emotive as our salary, it is very difficult to move from this first impression; it stays with the person and strongly affects later decisions. This is used a lot in bargain sales – when you see a price has been reduced from a higher price, you may feel more comfortable about paying.


    For example, if the job is advertised at 10-12M candidates will naturally focus on the higher number, and start to imagine 12M as their next salary. Of course, it is extremely rare for the offer to be right at the top end, it is almost always in the middle or lower end and inevitably the candidate will be disappointed and may reject the offer, or at best have some negative feeling before joining.


    Salary is usually one of the top 3 things for a candidate to consider in an offer and when expectations have been set by what they have seen it is almost impossible to control. They will wonder why they are not getting the higher number.

    … if you must include the salary information, it is best just to restrict it to your website and not advertise publicly

    As recruiters, we work carefully throughout the process to manage candidate expectations to match the salary budget, and we face a huge challenge when it comes to offer stage if the candidate is already focused on a high number.


    Our advice would be, if you must include the salary information, it is best just to restrict it to your website and not advertise publicly. Then work closely with your agent and manage the candidate from the beginning to the right number.



    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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