Client Newsletter – May 2020

  • Client Newsletter – May 2020

    Client Newsletter – May 2020

    Photo: Japan News Yomiuri


    For this month the Legal market has continued to be quieter than usual, but new roles have come up in markets such as technology, fintech and computer entertainment.


    One area we have seen sustained activity is for senior, leadership positions. These roles are critical for the long term and need to be filled, no matter the current conditions. Candidates are naturally more cautious, but where there is a valuable opportunity, i.e. with a company with a strong brand and a large operation, there is a high level of interest. Roles which can offer cross-border coverage are particularly attractive for current heads of legal who cover only Japan, for example.


    Normally, the number of vacancies increases from around the beginning of Golden Week, and the Accounting & Finance market is active, but this year more people have stopped or postponed job hunting activities due to the emergency situation.


    On the client side, some foreign-affiliated companies are refraining from recruiting activities, and the number of vacancies has been decreasing. On the other hand, many companies are actively recruiting through Web interviews, and they are adapting their recruiting policies.


    This month was a special and unprecedented May, but we are looking forward to more activity as the emergency declaration is lifted.


    Recruitment 101 –  Video Interview Tips

    A natural consequence of social distancing and shelter-in-place is that all interviews we now handle have shifted online. The good news is that there has never been a better choice of videoconferencing applications available: Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, BlueJeans, Google Hangouts and Cisco Webex, for example, all offer reliable platforms and many are offering trials of their premium services free of charge during the pandemic.


    However, replacing in-person interviews, a key part of the hiring process, takes some preparation to get things right. We have seen many companies efforts at handling online interviews, some good some bad – here are some tips to make sure your video interviews are top class


    Communicate – Let your candidates know exactly what to expect through the process – who they will speak with, what kind of technology you prefer to use. Tell them what kind of interviews they will have and whether they will need to have a test or produce some work example.


    Offer a connection test – this could be a quick 5 minute-chat just to make sure the connection is strong and there are no issues. You may also take this opportunity to offer advice to improve the candidate’s presentation before they speak with the hiring manager. This could be something unusual about their background or lighting or anything that will help them come across better in the interview.


    Replicate the office environment as much as possible – choose the background, space and lighting carefully. You are still representing your company’s image so make every effort. It is easy to use the emergency as an excuse to relax your presentation, but it is now more important than ever to exceed expectations and make sure you are competing well with other job offers the candidate is interviewing for. Dress as you would usually for an interview and be sure to maintain eye contact, smile and use body language to communicate.


    While you are doing your best to remain professional, be understanding if your candidate’s life interrupts their interview. They may be living with young children off school or have demanding pets that can jump in at any moment, just go with the flow and don’t mark them down. Again, this is an opportunity to show your compassionate side.


    Practice your pitch – with a standard interview, the candidate will learn a lot from the office itself and what they see when they visit. Now, this is all missing, you will need to fill in with a detailed pitch about your company, the story, the culture and the goals. Take some time to practice before the interview, and prepare any visual information such as charts or employee testimonials to help your presentation.


    Have a Plan B – we can’t always rely on the technology to work perfectly, so make sure the candidate has your phone numbers in case the connection lets you down. Also, be sure to have the candidate’s cell phone number so you can switch the interview to a phone interview or easily reschedule for a time when the connection may be better.


    If you can pull off a solid video interview, you will show the candidate all the strong points of your company as you usually would, as well as demonstrating your ability to be flexible and adapt to challenging situations. Please do contact us for our view in what works and what doesn’t for the best video interview candidate 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 


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