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Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category

You may have read in the news recently that we have seen a sharp rise in the number of Japanese speaking roles in the financial services sector. We have found that the roles we recruit for in this sector are largely determined by the stability of the market, to see so many coming our way is a clear indication that the recovery is in full swing. We are also hearing from our Japanese clients that the strength of the Yen is encouraging more companies to invest in Europe.

However it is apparent that Japanese companies are not just looking for employees that can speak the language; equally as important is the ability to understand the culture and the way business operates. Candidates are now required to understand the pace of business in Japan and also how to interact with people. In fact there is a well known story of a multi million pound business deal in which an American supplier did not present business cards to Japanese managers in the correct manner, and toyed with them throughout the meeting. A major sign of disrespect in Japanese business culture, the deal fell through!

 It is important therefore for applicants to understand a country’s culture– just speaking a language will not always get you the job.

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It seems that even in a recession, some companies are struggling to attract and retain talent – but not for the reasons you may think.

It makes sense that clients have become fussier in this tough economic climate (which reports suggest that we’re moving out of now – let’s hope they’re right.) With so many more candidates on the market, clients now have the upper hand and they want as much value as they can get. Whilst recruiting for trading / broking houses over the last few months, I’ve seen a growing trend for clients asking not just for professional and experienced candidates, but ones with their own transferable client lists. Because that way the candidate can hit the ground running and start generating revenue as soon as possible, can’t they?

Well, it’s not proving to be that straightforward. The problem seems to be that many agency brokers don’t have an in-house research department – a service that will look at market trends, what people are investing in, market prices and publishing research and advice on issues in this area. But many companies want just that – an agency that offers a full brokerage service. I recently had one candidate who was offered a job in this area and had their own client list that they could use in their new position. After talking to their clients about the new company, many were not happy that they wouldn’t be working with a company with its own in-house research department that could offer the fully incorporated package. Although the candidate ticked all the right boxes for the job, their new employer didn’t meet the criteria required by the candidate’s clients. Despite being offered above average commission and bonuses, the candidate ended up declining the position.

Organisations may think that financial rewards are enough to retain talent in a recession but it seems that this remains a secondary concern. The bottom line is without the best service offering, companies are losing out on the best talent – and with talk about the upturn increasing, this is something that they cannot afford to do.

 Entry by Maurice Christie of the Euro London banking and finance team

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