Client Newsletter – September 2019

  • Client Newsletter – September 2019

    Client Newsletter – September 2019



    We have seen a lot of activity in the Legal market for surrounding developing technologies, particularly in the areas of payment technology and digital publishing. As businesses have forged ahead, legal issues such as consumer protection and the proper description of offerings have come up which has lead the government to introduce regulations. Companies have to catch up and retrain or hire new legal counsels to protect themselves. There is now a strong demand for legal professionals with experience in data-related and finance issues.


    The job change market for Accounting and Finance in September remains almost unchanged and there are still many jobs. There is still high demand for financial planning, FP&A Manager positions and in September, in particular, there are many positions in tax accounting. Language skills and experience in international taxation are much sought after in this area.


    As usual, the focus is on candidates in the 30s and 40s age group for manager-level positions. Another continuing trend is an increase in the number of opportunities with full-flex time and remote working companies are increasing, creating an easier working environment.


    The following are some examples of offers out this month:




    • US Healthcare – Legal & Compliance Manager – 12M
    • Japanese Technology Firm – Legal Manager – 10M
    • European Pharmaceutical – Legal Counsel – 14M


    Accounting & Finance


    • US Consumer – Accounting Manager – 11M
    • European Manufacturer – Controlling Manager – 12M
    • Japanese Global Company – Senior Accountant – 8M



    Recruitment Focus – Employee Perks & Benefits

    As lifestyles change and the competition for employee talent gets more intense, we often hear about companies offering incredible perks, such as a years’ paid parental leave at Netflix, or free food and yoga classes at Google, which would have been unheard of for non-executives just a few years ago.


    So what is behind these amazing offers and how do they serve the companies which offer them? The main reasons for companies coming up with these kinds of perks cover several areas and are concerned with improving conditions for current employees so they will perform better and stay longer and, externally, building the company brand and attracting the best talent.


    The most obvious reason for offering perks is to increase employee engagement, which is vital to improving a company’s performance. Happy employees are more productive, less likely to move away and more likely to recommend your company to their friends or post positive reports about your company on social media. Perks and benefits, over and above salary, can be an effective way to do this, and these days they are more than just financial with employees looking for rewards which can improve or complement their lifestyle and well-being. What kinds of benefits and perks do employees value most?


    According to many surveys on the topic, things like free food, on-site ping pong and games rooms rank pretty low when employees consider what will make them stay at their company for the next 5 years or more. In a LinkedIn survey of US professionals, the benefits that would keep employees most engaged with the company were to do with healthcare coverage (the US does not have universal healthcare of course), paid time off and parental leave. In support of this, other surveys have found that employees most value time-related benefits such as flexible hours, vacation time, work from home options, onsite childcare and maternity/paternity leave.


    Perks like these are proven to increase job satisfaction and we have seen candidates turn down job offers which would involve giving them up. Benefits and perks which are tied to work-life balance contribute a significant part to the decision-making process for the candidate making a move, whether they stand to gain or have to give them up by moving.


    On their own, however, perks may not be enough to keep employees engaged if they are not tied to a strong and positive culture which promotes the values and beliefs of the company. Very often it is not just the benefits themselves which engage employees, but the message they give to people both inside and outside the organization. For example:


    • By giving employees flexibility over their schedule and more control about when they are in the office, the company is showing that it trusts employees to make mature decisions about how the work; insisting they must be at their desk from 9-6, on the other hand, shows a lack of faith. Employees who feel trusted are more likely to act responsibly and portray a positive image of the company to people outside the organisation


    • Offering learning and training opportunities by funding outside study or setting aside time for education each month can be interpreted as a company investing in the future skills and development of its employees and support ongoing personal growth. The return on investment here for the company is perhaps most obvious, you will have engaged employees who have acquired new skills and knowledge to use for the company’s benefits, plus they will be more likely to stay and remain loyal


    • Having company-wide health and wellness benefits and focusing on work-life balance also gives a clear message that the company is interested in the physical and mental well-being of its employees. The benefits here are obvious for both sides, healthier, less-stressed employees will be more focused and can contribute more to the company


    For huge companies like Google and Amazon, for example giving benefits like these is possible but how can smaller companies use benefits to promote their culture and keep their employees engaged? Healthcare and long-term parental leave are certainly expensive but there are some lower-cost options which may be accessible to smaller companies, such as casual Fridays, company lunches, pet days and flex time.


    The benefits will not only be felt by those within the company, but word will also get out and when it comes to recruiting you will have a better shot at bringing in the best talent with a positive story about your company and its culture.



    Recruitment 101 – Candidate Ghosting

    Halloween is next month but ‘ghosting’ is something affecting the recruitment industry all year round. Ghosting is the situation where a candidate drops out of a process without warning and does not respond to any attempts to communicate. This can happen at any stage in the process, in some cases even on their first day, and affects in-house and external recruiters alike.


    Obviously this is a disaster to be avoided at all costs, especially when the candidate is at final stages and while, in our experience, it is still rare in Japan, it is increasing in other markets; the Washington Post reported that in 2018 incidences of ghosting had increased around 20% in the US. Here are some areas to focus on to prevent it from happening in your process:


    Speed up your process
    Moving slowly, whether it is arranging interviews or providing feedback, will increase the risk of a candidate ghosting on you. Hold fewer interviews, offer more options for scheduling and make sure you can manage the timing of your process to match any other offers your candidate is holding


    Be responsive

    One of the best ways to avoid ghosting from candidates is not to ghost them yourself by not giving feedback or responding to enquiries. Candidates will drop out, lose interest or push your opportunity down their list if they experience a negative process. Make sure you are set up to deliver prompt feedback to applications and after interviews. As much as possible, outline what to expect through the process – whom they will meet and how long it will take.


    Personalize your approach

    Strong candidates will have many companies to choose from so it will pay for you to take a personal approach to their interview process. Respect their situation and try and eliminate any inconveniences such as late feedback, cancellations or rescheduling, last-minute changes to interviewers. Also, minimize the amount of time they need to take off their current job by scheduling appropriately. With your recruiter, be aware of this candidate’s particular situation and specific concerns and address them in the next interview.


    From what we can see; ghosting is still uncommon in Japan but in an increasingly candidate-driven market where there is a lot of choices we may expect it to happen more often. The younger the candidate, the more acceptable it is seen to be, so if you are hiring candidates in their 20s be prepared for this to happen.


    Until the power balance comes back in favor of the recruiters we may expect this kind of self-centered behavior to continue; top candidates are more picky and happier to wait for the perfect opportunity and they see no problem in ignoring roles which don’t match them exactly. It can be very frustrating, but perhaps it is a lucky escape to miss out on the kind of candidate who thinks not responding is acceptable behavior.

    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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