Client Newsletter – February 2019

  • Client Newsletter – February 2019

    Client Newsletter – February 2019



    This month in the Legal market has seen an uptick in opportunities, mostly for junior to mid-level hires. Manufacturing and technology lead the way for industries and we are seeing more candidates start to consider making a move. Many candidates are looking towards an April start or after the extended Golden Week this year, and this depends a lot on when bonus payments are due. We have heard from some clients who are willing to consider a sign-on bonus to offset any lost bonuses and secure the candidate early.


    In Accounting and Finance, market activity in February continues to increase compared with January. Especially, the healthcare sector is very active but we are handling many opportunities in management accounting across industries. Most of our clients have been focusing on candidates in their mid-thirties but, due to the lack of available talent in this area, they have shifted and have started to consider more senior candidates. Also, we have noticed more pressure to complete searches before the end of April and the extended public holidays in Golden Week.


    In Human Resources, we are currently dealing with several very exciting Internal & Corporate Communications roles – aimed at supporting human resources in areas such as employee engagement and recruiting branding – at senior and Director levels. As a continuing trend, there still is a very strong demand for strategic HR Generalists / Business Partners. Another trend is that while recruiting at both our foreign capitalized and Japanese clients is still very active, even with the competition for “top talent,” it is noticeable that especially with our Japanese clients they are not rushing to make their hiring decisions nor compromise on their hiring requirements.


    The following are some examples of offers out in February 2019:



    • US Logistics – Legal Counsel – 14M
    • European Pharmaceutical – General Counsel – 23M
    • US Medical Devices – Legal Manager – 10M


    Accounting & Finance

    • Retail Company – Finance Manager – 12M
    • US Pharmaceutical – Senior Accountant – 8M
    • European Manufacturer – Controlling – 9M


    Human Resources/General Affairs

    • Multinational Healthcare Firm – Corporate Training Specialist – 10M
    • Sports Apparel Brand – Human Resources / C&B specialist – 6M
    • Japan-based Technology Start-up – Senior Recruiter – 8M


    Recruitment Focus

    What we look for in a CV

    Despite all the advances in recruitment technology and candidate sourcing technology we still rely heavily on resumes or CVs, in use for centuries and old enough to have a Latin name! Especially if you have a large number of job orders to fill, the time you have to screen a resume can be very short, sometimes as little as 30 seconds per resume – you need to be ready for that stand-out profile. We offer some practical tips on what to look for in a strong resume.



    The resume should be clearly laid out, with the relevant information about the candidate’s education and job history in reverse chronological order and easy to access on first reading, you should not have to jump around the page to find the details you need. There should be a maximum of 2 different fonts and font sizes and it should really be no longer than 3 pages at the most. Unless it is a senior candidate then anything longer than this will likely contain some ‘filler’ or experience which is not relevant to the position and gives the impression that the candidate has some weakness at communicating information in a concise way.



    The best resume will be focused tightly on the job description and the candidate will have taken the time to match their experience and achievements to what is required. As a rule, if the last 2 positions the candidate has held do not match up, it is best to reject.



    Well-written resumes will give you not only an outline of responsibilities, but will also highlight achievements. For example, the candidate may have managed a team of 10, but what did that team do? Did they hit their targets? Complete projects on time? Stay under budget? What positive contribution did they make to the company? You should expect to find a lot of detail about these points.



    It should be obvious, but a resume with spelling or grammar mistakes shows that the candidate is not someone who pays attention to detail or who cares about the standard of their work product. Resumes are the candidate’s best effort to sell themselves in the eyes of a potential employer and should be double and triple-checked and proofread before being sent anywhere.


    Logical and Consistent

    Ideally, we would be able to read the resume like a short story with a clear and understandable path from the beginning of their career to the present day. As a result of larger employment trends, it is likely there will be more moves than in the past, but the best profiles will have longer stays and logical reasons for any moves. Of course, there should be very few, if any, unexplained gaps.


    Beyond the resume

    There may be important points that a resume will not tell you about the candidate. In particular, you will never be able to understand the presentation and ‘soft skills’, and whether the candidate would fit in well with your team. Reputation is also important and sometimes it is too late to rely on formal references after an offer has been released – be sure to use social media and the right questions at interview, such as asking about how friends, colleagues and supervisors would describe them, to give you some background before it’s time for formal references.


    So a resume can be seen largely as a method to eliminate candidates from the process. As always, face to face or phone interviews will give you the clearest picture about who is the right person for the job.


    Recruiter View

    Our opinion on clients contacting candidates directly

    When you are handling a search and the interview process is in full swing, there are many different points and pieces of information to consider as you close on your preferred candidate-do you fully understand their motivation? Do you have their current and expected salary breakdown? What other companies are they interviewing with?


    Added to this is the pressure to finally secure the right person and hopefully, you are working with an agent who truly understands this and is working with you to achieve your goal.  It can be tempting however to consider contacting the candidate directly-this way you can make sure there are no mistakes and close the candidate yourself.


    However, doing this will almost certainly complicate things and lead to mixed messages in the eyes of the candidate. To have the best chance of closing highly-qualified candidates, you will need to present a consistent, unified line of communication. If there are even the slightest differences between what you and your recruiter are saying to the candidate, then it is likely that the candidate will lose confidence in the company and the opportunity and choose another option as a result. There really is too much at stake to risk going ahead and communicating directly with the candidate, without consulting your agent.


    If you are worried that your agent may not be communicating with you or the candidate in good faith and may even have another agenda different to yours, this is a more serious issue and can only be fixed by ending the relationship and working with more trustworthy partners. As ever, it is vital that you select the agent as carefully as you would someone coming to work alongside you in your office.


    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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