Client Newsletter – October 2018

  • Client Newsletter – October 2018

    Client Newsletter – October 2018



    The Legal market in October continues to be very active, in general the number of jobs compared to last year is higher, and we are seeing roles come up from junior to senior level. My impression is that, across the board, companies in Japan are taking the legal function more seriously; it is not just seen as a cost centre anymore. Of course, if everything is fine you never notice legal, but when things go wrong the consequences are very tough, so it pays to have a strong legal team.


    As the economy strengthens, recruitment in foreign venture companies for Accounting & Finance is on the rise. These companies are offering a number of conditions to attract candidates. In particular, things like flex time, work from home, and less overtime work. The number of companies with more flexible working environments like these is increasing. In general, there are a lot of job openings, and the market for accounting and finance is very active. There are number of positions available for certain candidates and strong candidates have received multiple offers.


    In the Human Resources market at the moment the greater part of hiring is for generalist to all levels, followed by recruiting / talent acquisition, then training and development / talent management, and then by remuneration. From this, recent requests have included very operational roles such a HR Generalist, Senior Recruiter, Training & Development Lead and Junior / Senior Payroll Specialist. Also, we have seen some very strategic, project-focused roles such as HR Business Partner Director, Head of Talent Acquisition, Talent Management Manager and Compensation and Benefits Director.


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


    • Japanese IT – Privacy Counsel – 15M
    • US Technology – General Counsel – 25M
    • Japanese FMCG – Legal Staff – 10M


    Accounting & Finance

    • US Consumer – Accounting Manager – 12M
    • US Medical – Finance Controller – 16M
    • Europe Services Company – Finance Manager – 14M


    Human Resources/General Affairs

    • European Healthcare – HR Manager – 13M
    • Multinational Fashion – HR Assistant – 10M
    • International Healthcare Firm ­– GA Administrator – 7M



    Recruitment Focus

    Live to work or Work to live?

    In September and October, there are a number of national holidays on a Monday or Friday, meaning we can enjoy a three-day weekend, more leisure time and can catch up with our families and other home commitments. What if that was every week?


    The 5-day/40-hour working week came into common use in Japan nearly 100 years ago when Kawasaki Docks in Kobe (now Kawasaki Shipbuilding Co.) adopted the schedule following worker unrest. It did not become law until 1947 and has been a part of daily life ever since. Most of us have never known any other way of working, but recent studies and trials suggested a shorter working week can bring about many benefits for companies and employees, such as increased productivity, improved employee health and retention rates. The suggestion is that the number of hours worked, past a certain point, does not relate directly to the amount of work done.


    For example, a 2012 Organisation of Economic Development (OECD) report found that some of the most productive workers worked the fewest hours. For example, Greek workers put in about 2,000 hours per year in 2012, compared to their relatively laid-back counterparts in Germany, who worked around 1,400 hours. However, the Germans were found to be 70% more productive than the Greek workers. Hours worked will of course not be the only contributing factor to productivity but there is good reason to think that the link between productivity and hours worked may be due to workers feeling fresher, more focused and less stressed from working fewer hours and having more leisure time.


    It is well known that working long hours increases fatigue and stress levels, which in turn makes errors and accidents more likely, further harming productivity and decreasing motivation in a vicious cycle. The idea of a shorter working week is not a new one, having been around for many decades, but has become increasingly discussed. Business leaders such as Larry Page of Google and Richard Branson of Virgin Group have argued for an end to the 5-day/40-hour working week, as it is no longer reflective of people’s modern lives. Some companies have gone further and introduced a 4-day working week and reduced hours.


    Such a company in New Zealand, a financial services firm called Perpetual Guardian, trialled a four-day week in March and April this year. The company was studied by academics at Auckland University of Technology before, during and after the experiment and there were noted increases in stimulation, commitment and overall job satisfaction, and stress levels decreased by 7 percentage points. Further, 78% of employees felt they could manage their work and life commitments, up from 54% before the trial. The CEO reported no loss in productivity and speculated that his employees were more relaxed about their life outside of work, which made them more focused when they came to the office.


    Everyone can agree that our lives are vastly different from those in 1919, shouldn’t our work schedule also reflect that, or is it too difficult to change?


    Recruiter View

    Do we need recruitment agencies?

    Recruitment in the ‘old days’ was pretty simple – you put your job advert in the newspapers and industry magazines and waited for resumes to come in. The recruitment agents, armed with industry connections, Rolodexes and telephones came along promising access to candidates hidden for the usual process.


    Many things have changed since then, of course, the end of lifetime employment means people move more often and you have so many different ways of reaching potential candidates: LinkedIn, job boards, social media for example, and candidates likewise can access multiple streams of information about the companies to which they are applying.


    With so many tools to directly reach candidates now, is the recruitment agency model dead? Who needs them anymore, when direct sourcing is easier and cheaper?


    We will answer next month, in the meantime, your comments on this would be greatly appreciated!


    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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