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Trends by industry and job function and the key to success in mid-career recruitment in 2021 【Legal and Compliance​​​】

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Posted by en world Japan

2 months ago

Recruitment has slightly recovered since autumn with tightened selection criteria​

There were no significant changes in the trend for insourcing in the company of experts in legal affairs that continued from the previous year. The economic boom of the former year continued until February 2020, then was impacted by COVID-19 from March, at which time many foreign capital companies stopped recruiting. Some companies resumed recruiting in the autumn when we started receiving new deals; however, companies tightened their selection criteria since they requested applicants who were qualified lawyers, had English skills, or had experience in industry or management. On the other hand, Japanese companies continued to recruit as they expected to recruit top talent but urgent needs were on a decreasing trend.​

Labor demand increase in the IT-related industry centered on young to mid-career level workers​

Many recruitment deals were observed in the IT, Web service, FinTech, and life sciences industries targeting young and mid-career level workers. Human resources with advanced compliance and financial crime preventive measure skills in the financial industry were continually in demand, followed by the demand for talent in the compliance sections of the pharmaceutical and medical equipment industries. Besides, recruiting started in the manufacturing and trading companies at the same time as the trend toward enhancing governance with a move in demand for intellectual property professionals for the IT, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries. Many people looking to change jobs were more cautious than before, saw information but did not actively take action, and are now just collecting information for the future. The key factor in deciding to apply for a position is whether flexible working styles such as tele-work or flexible time system are available.​

Economic trends have a decisive influence on the number of job orders. The move to insourcing is expected to continue​

In 2021, recruitment to increase the number of employees will not grow unless there is an improvement in the economy but demand for launching and one-person legal affairs through insourcing is expected to continue. The potential number of qualified lawyers wanting to change to an in-house position from public relations law firms is substantial, but the actual moves will significantly depend on economic trends. For highly talented professionals, the significant points for choosing a company will be remuneration, such as the attractiveness of the flexibility in working styles and so on.​

An increase in demand for compliance professionals with the launch of divisions in venture companies​

Continuation of the need to recruit Japanese and foreign nationals qualified as lawyers is possible, but the assumption is the demand for one-person legal affairs and the launch of divisions in venture companies, rather than recruitment to increase employees. In addition to the qualification as lawyers, strong demand will be for human resources with hands-on experience in the industry who can respond as a business partner. As for fields, just as before, recruitment will increase for M&A, investment-related positions, international legal affairs, and compliance, including personal information and data security, as well as research on irregularities and responses to scandals.​


Flexibility and a sense of speed in the screening method and casual interviews are keys to success in recruitment​

As is often the case, top-performing talents receive multiple offers from companies. Companies that are flexible, speedy in the hiring process, and explain the details of the position by the division member from the first interview are more likely to proceed well and win the competition. When facing difficulty in recruitment, we suggest a review as to whether the eligibility requirements, years of experience, and experience in the industry are truly necessary for the job. Turning attention to practical senior persons who are seriously thinking about changing jobs is an option. Currently, many casual interviews during the selection process or before the official selection are effective. Deepening the understanding of a company vision while confirming the matching of the job seeker's preference and the needs for the position, company culture, the chemistry with department members will also lead to the prevention of mismatches.​

The trend in the number of job orders and YoY comparison​
(Legal and Compliance) ​




Legal and Compliance Division​
Principal Consultant​
Kayo Hayashi​



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How to succeed with mid-career recruitment with COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 (English)
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