Client Newsletter – November 2018

  • Client Newsletter – November 2018

    Client Newsletter – November 2018



    The Legal market for November has been reasonably busy and some moves at a senior level are creating demand for replacement hires. There is a high demand among candidates for roles which can offer cross-border or overseas coverage, but this kind of position is rare in Japan. Most foreign companies ask their legal teams to focus on the Japanese market only and use their own teams to cover foreign law matters.  As ever, candidates with commonwealth or Japanese attorney qualifications and good English skills are in high demand.


    The number of opportunities in Accounting and Finance in industries such as pharmaceutical, manufacturing and consumer goods continues to increase. This situation started from the summer and shows no sign of slowing down. Another situation that has not changed is the shortage of available talent, and it really is a ‘seller’s market’ for strong candidates. Many foreign-affiliated companies are also introducing work-life balance measures to attract and retain the best talent, such as flex-time system and work from home arrangements.


    Clients with job searches in Human Resources and general affairs have found the labour market very competitive, with active job seekers being presented with a range of career options – and many roles still open after considerable periods of time. The roles themselves vary, but in particular, there are a number of senior-level positions such as HR Business Partner Director, Head of Talent Acquisition, HR Director and C&B Director still open from earlier in the year. Progressing forwards into 2019 this competitive situation is likely to continue, if not, in fact, become more noticeable.


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


    • Global Auto Manufacturer – General Counsel – 25M
    • US Logistics & Supply Chain – Legal Counsel – 16M
    • Global Auto – Compliance Manager – 10M


    Accounting & Finance

    • Foreign Consumer Company – Finance Manager – 11M
    • Foreign Pharma Company –  Assistant Accounting Manager – 8M
    • Foreign Retail Company –  Senior Finance Manager – 14M


    Human Resources/General Affairs

    • Multinational Software Company – HR Director – 14M
    • European Medical Devices Company – HR & GA Assistant – 5.5M
    • International Luxury Goods Brand ­– HR & GA Manager –10M



    Recruitment Focus

    How Storytelling Gets The BEST Candidates

    We have discussed before recruiting in a market where candidates are scarce and the best of them are likely to field multiple job offers.


    Because of this competition, it is increasingly important for companies to make themselves stand out and appeal strongly to increase the chances of attracting the best talent. All companies are posting job advertisements on the usual sites with similar descriptions of their companies and the attractive working conditions on offer. However, it has become very difficult to tell them apart, and so it is unlikely you can really stand out.


    So what tools can you use today to attract and retain the best, passive candidates? The most effective way to help people remember you is to just tell your story – to reach the high-performing, already-employed talent they really need to imagine themselves happy and successful at your company, and your company’s story is a great tool to do this. Everyone can use similar information about how great it is to work for them, but your story is unique and cannot be copied by others.


    Further, according to a well-known study, people remember and act more strongly based on stories, or personal anecdotes, rather than when presented with statistics and cold facts. As an example, after a presentation, 63% of attendees remembered stories in the presentation but only 5% could recall the statistics. Stories resonate because people tend to put themselves in the shoes of the subject and imagine what they would do in that situation.


    Creating a story about your company from scratch may seem like a big challenge, and often when people try to discuss what makes their company special, they come up with standard phrases and nice words which don’t relate to anything real and sound a lot like all of the other company descriptions out there. So as a quick guide, please see below a basic framework of elements you should include in an effective story. You don’t have to use all of them, and you should remember to tailor each part of your story as they apply to you and the particular candidate.


    1. People – talk about your team, the leaders and the candidate’s potential teammates. Why would a candidate enjoy working here and what chance is there to learn and grow?


    1. ‘Wow’ Factor – this is the unique thing about your company that makes people talk about you and attracts a lot of interest


    1. Learning & Development – what does your company do to promote learning and professional development? Is there a structured career ladder for mid-career joiners?


    1. Work Practices & Routines – this is about how your company works day-to-day, internal communications, procedures, meeting style and so on


    1. Values – this can be a very strong attraction for candidates and can help them identify with your company and pull them away from other companies. What is important to your company? Where do your values come from and how are they put into action?


    1. Social side – does your company have a fun side? Maybe your company often arranges events for the staff or gets together for CSR activities in the community


    1. Office and location – is there anything special about where you are based or the design of the office?


    1. Perks and compensation – for this ideally you should link any perks you offer to another part of your story – for example, if you are an automotive company, perhaps you offer driving courses. Also, you should try and tailor any perks to the situation of your candidate – if they are studying or have childcare responsibilities, for example, then flexible hours or working from home would be a big influence.


    Often the best place to go to for material for your company story is to your colleagues. Speak to successful people in your organisation and ask them about their story and experience in the company – difficult moments, challenges, successes and what it took to get them where they are now.  You can then use these stories to help attract and recruit future candidates; again they can imagine themselves in their shoes and start to picture themselves working at your company.


    By including storytelling in your recruitment strategy you will have a good chance to improve your ability to attract and recruit high-level, passive candidates, and make your company stand out from your competitors. It’s also a great opportunity to look at your company and how it works and advocate for any changes to make it even better. Stories will always beat statistics!



    Recruiter View

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    To Offer FIRST or SECOND?

    We know strong candidates these days will often be holding multiple offers. There are many factors of course in deciding which to choose and we look at one today that be controlled and can have a large impact on the ultimate decision – timing when your offer is released.


    Many of our clients feel that it is best to present the offer as early as possible, and before the others the candidate is also considering. We understand the reasons behind this; it may create a good impression on the candidate by showing real commitment and also there may be practical issues with backup candidates waiting for news, for example.


    Is it always best to go first in this kind of situation? In our experience, it pays to look at the whole picture before deciding and work with your agent to get information about such issues as:


    • The timing of the candidate’s other opportunities/offers – are they at 1st, 2nd or 3rd stage interview? Do they have a written or just a verbal offer?
    • Where does your opportunity rank compared to the others, are you the number 1 preference, number 2 or even number 3? Also, how accurate is this ranking? Candidates may want to get as many offers as possible and so will say the company they were asked about is their #1 preference – a good agent will be able to get the real story.
    • How does your budget compare to the others? Is it higher or lower, and how important is this to the candidate? If you know the other offers, do you have the budget to go higher?


    A competent agency will advise you on this and will have accurate information on the candidate’s real motivation and situation. Many clients are wary when we advise them to wait before giving the offer. From our experience though, 90% of the time it is best not to go first, and wait until we know the candidate will fully accept your offer and, crucially, reject the others. Rather than settle for just a signature or seal, we aim for full acceptance, ahead of any other offers.


    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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