Client Newsletter – July 2019

  • Client Newsletter – July 2019

    Client Newsletter – July 2019


    The Legal market for July has been a little slow compared to last month, which is fairly usual as we approach the holiday period. Companies with overseas hiring managers especially are slowing down their interview processes, and new jobs are on hold, probably until September. Candidates are also a little difficult to confirm for interviews, but telephone or Skype interviews are usually feasible.


    For job activity, compliance for healthcare remains an active area, with the number of opportunities exceeding candidates at all levels. One trend with our clients has also been to look for candidates with no legal experience, who have just graduated or been with a company a short time, and then offer training. This reflects a general need to strengthen legal teams and have them adapt to business needs as well as legal risk.


    For the Finance and Accounting market, we are seeing a lot of roles open at growing companies in the IT and Healthcare sectors. We are seeing roles in start-up companies where the accounting section needs to be built from scratch, which allows a lot of scope to take on new tasks and expand your responsibilities.  In addition to in-house roles, there are several open positions at accounting, tax and auditing firms. These offer a great chance for candidates to acquire more specialized skills. Tax experience is in great demand in-house and with specialist firms.


    As usual, the market has a high number of in their 40s and early 50s. We feel these type of candidate offers great value in the market, many of our clients seek candidates in their late 20s/early 30s but they are very difficult to source. Overall the job market in accounting area this month is still active, especially with business planning and financial analyst positions.


    The following are some examples of offers out this month:




    • European Pharma – Associate Counsel – 12M
    • US Data Company – Legal Counsel – 12M
    • Japanese FMCG – Legal Specialist – 8M


    Accounting & Finance


    • US Service Company – Accounting Director – 15M
    • Europe manufacturer – Senior Accountant – 7M
    • Europe Consumer Goods Company – Senior Accountant – 7M


    Recruitment Focus – Expectations vs Reality

    Managing expectations throughout the interview process will help your company beyond ensuring a smooth offer stage and securing your preferred candidate. If your company and interview process matches or exceeds expectations, then this will have a positive impact on your brand as an employer, making future candidate sourcing easier.


    As for the interview process itself, we have seen many times where a candidate has become negative about a company or opportunity because something in the process did not match what they expected to happen. It may happen straight away, or it may come later on when they think back. It could be to do with the interviewers, the job description, type of office and, in the worst and most damaging case, the offer.


    Managing expectations properly is vital in maintaining a strong candidate pool and being able to close the best candidates. We will look at the recruiting process, from the job description to offer and onboarding, and highlight the most common areas where reality can fall short of expectations, if not managed correctly.


    Job Description

    It is very important to use the job description as a tool to improve your image in the market and attract great candidates; however you should also ensure that you work closely with the hiring manager to establish minimum requirements for each position, for example, number of years experience, knowledge of particular industry standards or academic qualifications. This will prevent applications from unqualified candidates who may well be disappointed to get rejected and perhaps then post online about it – or at the very minimum tell their friends. Getting the job description right, of course, means that the candidates who do apply will understand what you are offering and be a close match. Taking time to confirm the responsibilities with the hiring manager will help avoid any late changes which could cause disappointment or confusion once the candidate is emotionally involved in the process.


    Interview Process

    As much as possible, the candidate should be aware of all aspects of the actual interviews they should expect to attend if their application is successful. For example, who will they be meeting? What are their job titles? How are they involved in the decision-making and what is their position in the company, in relation to the open position?


    Also, the candidate should know what to expect as to the timing. Sometimes candidates can be caught by surprise if the process moves very quickly and they are not ready to make a decision when an offer comes. Or they may lose interest in the company because the time taken to arrange interviews or provide feedback is much longer than they thought. From a recruiter’s point of view, it is much easier to manage expectations for a fast process than a slow one!


    Candidates need to know whether to expect face to face meetings, Skype or videoconference calls, pre-recorded video interviews or online tests. Not having a clear interview plan or not communicating this with the candidate will set you in a negative light and put you in danger of losing the candidate to other companies they are interviewing for.



    The area where it is most important to manage expectations is oof course to do with the offer. Firstly, the offer itself should be provided very quickly after the interviews are completed and you have decided on your preferred candidate. Any delays or hold-ups here will be very difficult to manage to a positive outcome.


    This is the most critical stage, any miscommunication or missed expectations here would probably result in rejection, so it is very important to have all the information about the candidate you need. Starting from the first interview, you should be aware of the candidate’s current salary and benefits, their hopes and also recent offers in the market for similar roles at your competitors.  Our advice here is to have a clear salary range and work closely with the agent to manage expectations from the start. You should know what is important for the particular candidate outside of salary, for example, flexible working conditions, management responsibility or career path, and be prepared to talk about your offer in total, not just the salary portion.


    Ideally, you would have some flexibility so you do not lose the best candidates but the main thing here is to work with your agent to manage the candidate to your budget and to exceed expectations when the offer comes out, which guarantees a quick acceptance and smooth resignation procedure.


    The number one thing about managing expectations is transparency. The more information about your company, the job and the process you can share with your agent and the candidate the better. Perhaps your interview process is long and exhausting, or your salary budget is not the highest in the market, or your building is not so modern. No company is perfect and it is best not to worry about things you can’t change, as long as you are clear and open about them, you have the chance to manage the candidate’s expectations and avoid disappointment. Candidates who have a feel badly treated are much more likely to share their experience online – it is best we do not give them any reason to.


    Recruitment 101 – Candidates With 3 – 5 Years Experience

    By far the most common request for mid-level positions we get from clients is for candidates with 3-5 years’ experience. We understand the request here is for someone who is not a total beginner, who has some real-world experience, but not so much that is it difficult to integrate them to the team or fit them within the budget.


    However, when we consider someone with 3 years of experience, particularly for legal positions, we are looking at candidates who are in their late 20s. From the people we have met at this age, very few have actually gained enough experience or confidence in their abilities to consider moving to another company, we do not really see the right kind of attitude until they are in their mid-30s, when they have over 10 years’ experience and may be considered to be overqualified.


    There are several reasons for this and we will look at two of the most common reasons affecting candidates in the Japanese market. Firstly, candidates at law firms tend to be very loyal and are very unlikely to leave their firm before their 6th year of employment, it would be very unusual to see associates willing to move at 3-5 years. Also, if they are in a large firm, at this stage they will probably be considered for overseas training and education and will likely be locked into their firm for many years or face the prospect of paying back their (hefty) tuition fees.


    For legal candidates in a company, you will be most likely looking at candidates coming from large Japanese companies. The training they get at these companies, typically in limited areas, is probably not going to prepare them for a career within a smaller company, where they have to do a variety of tasks and think for themselves.


    So the chances of finding a candidate within this ‘golden range’ are going to be very difficult, especially if you think about all the other companies going for the same thing. Probably there is already some flexibility about what the hiring manager can consider, but we would recommend spreading the search wider and consider candidates with more maturity or adjust the hiring plan and team structure to suit the lack of available candidates with 3-5 years’ experience. Interestingly, we find most clients who start out looking for the 3-5 year range end up hiring candidates with 10+ years’ experience.


    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.