Client Newsletter – January 2018

  • Client Newsletter – January 2018

    Client Newsletter – January 2018


    Legal & Compliance

    The year has started quite strongly with more hiring activity than this time last year. In particular we have seen strong demand for legal professionals with a background in technology, this is caused by candidate movement and new companies entering or expanding in Japan. Healthcare as usual is a very active market. Law firms have recently become more flexible in their recruiting and are now taking candidates from in-house backgrounds. From candidates we are seeing more interest in companies offering flexible working conditions.

    Accounting & Finance

    Demand is particularly strong for accounting roles with Japanese technology and manufacturing companies. The market remains very candidate-focused, the strongest applicants can usually receive 3 or 4 offers, and so timing and management is vital. One ongoing trend is the demand for candidates in the 29-35 age bracket. It is however difficult to attract these candidates as they are cautious about the job market in general and see changing companies as very risky. Companies which have some flexibility here are usually more successful in hiring.

    Supply Chain Management/Logistics

    Due to companies growing their Japan operations, indirect procurement positions are becoming much more popular. There are a large number of passive candidates in the market, and they are being particularly selective about what they apply for. Looking ahead, candidates who have strategic skills, rather than just operational, will be in strong demand to keep up with technological changes affecting the industry.




    Why don’t the resumes I am receiving match our requirements?

    We are all told that too much screen time is bad for our and our family’s health – it also seems to be an issue for many of our clients – however we are not talking about spending all evening in front of the TV or mobile devices but rather too much time spent checking resumes which do not match job requirements!


    We were speaking with one of our retail industry clients recently and they raised this point, and it is one we often hear. They told us that when they open their search and work with agents, the agents come back quickly with a large number of resumes. This seems great but, unfortunately, on opening the attachments many of the profiles bear little relation to the job requirements. This inevitably means more work for the HR in charge and a reduced efficiency in the search. The job description is clear and the agent may even have spoken with the hiring manager to clarify the specifications, so why does this happen?


    One reason may be to do with how the agents work and how they are assessed by their managers. Many agents have specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which are used to evaluate their efforts, and one of these usually measures how many resumes they send for each job they are working on. Agents may then focus on achieving this KPI and not worry so much about matching the candidate to the company and the job requirements. Our client noticed a high number of profiles coming in on a Friday evening – a sure sign of weekly targets!


    To get the candidates’ permission to apply, the agent may even have to misrepresent the job and the company which is obviously not helpful to anyone.


    In order to avoid this kind of situation, our advice would be to check with your agent whether they have this kind of KPI, and what their criteria are for sourcing and submitting profiles. Of course working closely with your agent to educate them on your minimum requirements will bring better matches and cut down on unhealthy screen time!




    HSF has long been one of our favourite clients to recruit for over the years for a number of reasons.


    The first, and probably most critical of these, is their transparency. From the start of the process HSF clearly lays out not only the job requirements but also how the position fits in with their team and the reason for the hire. Also we are told in advance the hiring process including interviewers and interview schedules.


    We speak with candidates before and after their interviews and this information is vital for us as agents. Very often the candidate will be interviewing for other positions and have other options, so knowing the interview process well gives us a great chance to keep the candidate close and increases the likelihood of a smooth offer stage.


    When it comes to the actual interviews, another way HSF performs so well is that their interviewers are carefully selected and well-prepared before the candidates come in. They usually have a clear plan of how to approach the candidate and what role they will take in the interview. For example, one interviewer may get into the details of the job; one may talk about their firm and the benefits of working there, while another will ask questions about the candidate’s job history. The result is that we have never had any negative feedback from candidates; they all liked the people they met and came away with a positive image of the firm.


    Overall the most important factor in what makes HSF’s hiring process different is their consistency. Throughout the process we can expect and predict a similar experience for each candidate. This means we can build a strong relationship with the candidate based on reliable information and ensure they are prepared for their interviews, and motivated and excited about the role and the company. As a result, when we get to offer stage we can expect a smooth conclusion without the need for lengthy negotiations or a higher salary offer.


    For these reasons we always enjoy working with HSF and are able to close their preferred candidates quickly and without any fuss.



    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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