Client Newsletter – January 2019

  • Client Newsletter – January 2019

    Client Newsletter – January 2019



    January has seen a slow and steady increase in activity for Legal hiring since we returned from the holidays. There are vacancies remaining from 2018 as well as new roles which have opened in the new year in sectors such as life sciences, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and retail. Compared to last year it seems a little quieter, but we should expect this to change in February and March.


    In Accounting and Finance, from January through to February the number of job opportunities has been increasing, but we have not seen a similar increase in the rate of hiring as the number of available qualified candidates remains low. We have seen some roles remain open for 3-6 months as a result. At this time of year, many candidates are also too busy to consider their job search or to actively apply for new positions. 


    With the start of 2019 there are a number of very interesting job opportunities in the Human Resources area, such as a Head of HR Operations position that will work as a human resources operational and business partner at the executive level for a large European-based manufacturer. There are also a few very exciting HR Manager roles that have come to the market – at both our foreign capitalized and Japanese clients – and in such industries as healthcare, fashion and manufacturing.


    Many trends from last year though still remain true, with, for example, there still being a very strong demand for strategic HR Generalists / Business Partners.



    • US Medical Devices – Legal Counsel – 10M
    • US IT Software – Corporate Counsel – 11M
    • European Pharmaceutical – Legal Counsel – 10M


    Accounting & Finance

    • US Pharma –  Accounting Manager – 12M
    • US Consumer Brand – Accounting Manager – 11M
    • US Medical – Senior Accountant  – 8M


    Human Resources/General Affairs

    • European Luxury Goods – HR & GA Manager – 11M
    • Luxury Shoe Brand – HR Coordinator / Assistant – 7M
    • Multinational Japanese Manufacturer – HR Leader/Director – 15M


    Recruitment Focus

    Writing a Great Job Description

    Writing a great job description is a must these days, and is the first step in catching the attention of passive and active candidates, but with so many available it can be difficult to stand out. In November’s newsletter, we looked at how important it is to tell a story to your candidates about your company, and this idea is also very useful for writing your job description and setting yourself apart from other companies in the market.


    Your job description, on its own, is a sales pitch, a direct tool to market your company and opportunity. It has to contain enough information to attract the right candidates and allow them to qualify themselves, but not be so long that it puts them off reading it in the first place. With so many competing job descriptions out there, we give you the following advice to help yours stand out from all the others.


    Job title


    Keep it simple – the job title is how most candidates will search for the job description so you must avoid buzzwords or amusing job titles. Real candidates are looking for ‘Legal Counsel’ or ‘HR Manager’, not ‘Legal Unicorn’ or ‘HR Guru’, for example.


    For your job description to be picked up by search engines such as Google and Bing it is good to include keywords which are most popular with searchers. Using search-friendly terms is vital to getting your job description in front of the right candidates – try to include specific, multi-word terms in the job description to get noticed by serious job-hunters.  You may see a lower number of hits using the more detailed terms, but those that do find you will be more serious about the role and probably a closer fit.

    To check which words get most clicks there are a number of applications you can use, such as Google Keyword Planner, Wordtracker and Ahrefs, for example.




    Here it is best to try and personalise your role as much as possible. A list of responsibilities can be very cold and make it difficult for the candidate to engage and imagine themselves as an employee at your company. Try to use phrases such as ‘you will‘ or ‘as part of your position’ or ‘you are good at’, instead of just a subheading such as ‘Responsibilities’.


    Try to imagine the profile of the ideal candidate and write the job description from their perspective – if the position is more junior, then highlight and detail the career path, if it is a management position, underline the responsibilities and how the role fits with the company structure.


    To make sure your requirements are realistic, have someone who has done this role before, or someone outside the organisation who can offer advice, check your content. They will be able to help you set realistic expectations depending on the market, which requirements are a must, and which requirements you should be more flexible on (i.e., ‘nice to have’).


    Tie in this role to your organisation and your story. You should say what the report line is and how they will function within your company. It is also very important to indicate what the potential career path is for someone who joins and becomes successful. All this helps the reader imagine themselves working at your company and encourages them to apply.


    Further, you must include what makes your company special – do you have an incredible benefits package? Do you offer equity or stock options? Do you have a beautiful office? Can employees work from home?


    Candidates will most likely be viewing your job description on their mobile phone so you must avoid very long, detailed paragraphs and instead break things up with bullet points and easily- scrollable subheadings.


    Writing a great job description is indeed tricky, it is a balance between storytelling, providing information and making sure to include key search terms to attract the best candidates. Include these points and you should improve your candidate pool and recruitment process.


    Recruiter View

    Personality Test

    Psychometric assessments such as skills tests and personality questionnaires have become popular with a number of clients recently, while overseas in Europe and the US for example, they are even more widely used.  When you have scientifically-based, high-quality psychometric assessment the results can be very useful in predicting performance in a particular job, often out-performing more traditional methods such as resume screening and interviews.


    However, it is best to take some care about when and how to introduce these tests into the process. Some candidates, particularly for senior management positions, may not understand the need for a test and feel their experience more important. Taking a test feels like going back to school and may put them off compared to other opportunities. So it is important to handle this information in the right way.


    As early as possible, it should be communicated to the candidate that there will be a test as part of the interview process, there is nothing worse than a test suddenly being thrown in between interviews as a last thought.  Secondly, the candidate should be informed of the structure and the purpose of the test – is it online or on paper, how long will it take to complete, does it test language and thinking skills or is it function-specific (i.e., like an “in-basket test” such as reviewing a legal contract or financial report)?


    Lastly, some information about why the test is used and how it will be assessed is always helpful in reassuring the candidate that it is a normal part of the process and should not be seen as a specific comment on their potential.


    Used carefully, skills tests and personality questionnaires can be extremely useful in predicting performance for a particular job, but they should be introduced carefully to avoid a negative image from candidates. As agents, one of our main roles is being able to manage the flow of sensitive information between client and candidate and maintain a positive image throughout the process, and we can certainly assist in handling this.


    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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