Client Newsletter – May 2018

  • Client Newsletter – May 2018

    Client Newsletter – May 2018


    Welcome to the Monthly Client Newsletter from Legal Intel for May. This month’s image takes in many koinobori celebrating children’s health during the holidays. Coming back from Golden Week we hope you are all feeling refreshed and looking forward to the summer months ahead.


    In the Legal market this month most activity has been in pharmaceutical and manufacturing. New heads of department are making changes to their teams and bringing in new people – demand is still highest for qualified lawyers.


    Activity in Accounting & Finance has picked up sharply after Golden Week for all junior to senior level positions. There is a lot of competition in the market, and the best candidates understand they can be even more selective and are taking more time to continue their job search, in order to get better offers.


    This month has seen a spike in demand for Logistics Coordinators/Specialists across multiple industries, including some very powerful brands in consumer goods. This is great news for mid-career logistics candidates and a mild headache for HR managing these searches! Warehouse professionals with good ERP/WMS skill are also in demand.


    Recruiting in the Human Resources area remains strong, as with needs at the senior staff or specialist level in human resources operations, including payroll and/or compensation and benefits.


    The need for experienced and very strategic HR Business Partners remains “hot.” In the market, there is tough competition for the roles, but candidates are also having a wide range of opportunities shown to them.


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



    • Senior Counsel – US Software Firm – 17M
    • Legal Manager – Consumer Credit – Counsel – 10M
    • Legal Counsel – European Medical – 14M


    Accounting & Finance
    • CFO – US Consulting – 20M
    • Senior Financial Analyst – Luxury Brand – 8.5M
    • Business Planning Manager – Japanese Global Holdings – 17M


    Logistics/Supply Chain
    • Product Manager (SCM) – Global Chemical Company – 12M
    • SCM Director – US Pharma – 18M
    • Warehouse/DC Manager – International Footwear Brand – 12M


    Human Resources/General Affairs
    • HR Manager – IT company – 10M
    • HR Assistant – European healthcare-related firm – 6M
    • HR Operations Specialist – European medical products manufacturer – 9M


    Spotlight on Fintech Recruitment Trend


















    Recruitment 101: Should Clients Discuss Salary Expectations Directly with Candidates?

    A common mistake we see from some clients is the idea of discussing salary expectations directly with candidates. This can be face to face, during an interview, or by a questionnaire where candidates are asked their expectations for compensation. It is understandable that clients need to know if they are within the right salary range, but this simple question almost always causes a problem during the offer stage.


    How to ask – wording is crucial!


    One of the areas we always focus on when managing a candidate carefully for our clients relates to salary expectations. If this question is not asked in a controlled way, it will likely cause problems because the answer a candidate provides may not match what the client is willing to offer. Consider the following 2 questions for a candidate who is earning JPY 8M per year and try to see how changing the structure and controlling the answer makes a difference:


    (1)     The hiring manager is very positive and would like to proceed to the next stage. How much do you want or need for your next position?

    (2)     Your current salary is 8M, which is a little high. This opportunity is very good and the hiring manager seems to be positive, but we think it will be very difficult to get more than your current salary. If they would like to proceed, what is the minimum amount you can consider?


    In most instances, a candidate in this situation will answer 8.5 ~ 9M+ for (1) and either ask for our opinion or say 8M ~ 8.3M for (2). The difference may not be so big but can tip the balance between whether they accept an offer from company A or company B! Also, even if the number they give is within the budget, it may not be really what a candidate is willing to accept in the end, so it is important to confirm and close the candidate on this point more than once.


    So the way to ask the question verbally has to be very carefully considered. As for using paper or online questionnaires before an interview, we would strongly recommend against this because there is no control, and candidates may think their request has been accepted if they are invited back for the next interview, when in fact the question has not been resolved.


    When to ask – the right timing makes all the difference!


    Even if we know a candidate is willing to accept what the client is proposing, we still try to lower their expectations.

    We also need to think in depth about the timing of salary discussions. We check many other things such as the candidate’s situation with other applications, their interest level in our client for example and even their family situation. We look at why they are changing their job and the potential for a counteroffer from their current company when they come to resign. For salary, we begin talking about this very early in the process – generally after the 1st interview – and continue touching on this point until an offer is provided.


    Even if we know a candidate is willing to accept what the client is proposing, we still try to lower their expectations. This is because, in reality, even after a number has been agreed, people naturally wonder if they can actually get more than what is being offered to them. If then the official number is a little higher than expected, it is very likely the candidate will be happy to accept quickly.




    There are many factors and situations to consider but, where possible, our basic recommendation is to never discuss salary expectations with a candidate and to trust the agency or recruitment consultant you are working with. The consultant’s job is to manage this side of the process well so trust them to do this correctly. If, on the other hand, you think the agency may be working for their own ends and is trying to increase the salary simply for a higher fee, or they are not experienced enough to handle this kind of negotiation, you may be better off finding another agency to work with.



    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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