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What does second-half hiring have in store for us all?

Overall hiring levels in Tokyo have picked up in 2010. And while progress tends to be steady rather than spectacular, some recruiters are hopeful that the second half of 2010 could see even better demand in certain sectors.

Martin Eastgate, a consultant at CDS consulting, says he is now seeing an increase in openings in real estate, despite it having been one of the slower areas in 2009 and early 2010. The uptick is partly because firms are back-filling positions following downsizing over the past 18 months, but there is genuine growth too.

“With some asset classes having bottomed out in terms of pricing, we do expect to see more business activity towards the end of 2010 and this to be replicated in firms’ recruitment needs. In many cases companies need to secure and execute transactions before they can add additional headcount, but the market should be hotter in 2011, and at least it is beginning to warm up,” says Eastgate.

Guy Howard, associate director at Hays Banking, says in response to the strengthening of regulations and reporting demands, firms will be beefing up their regulatory and compliance capabilities.

And Howard adds that product control, valuation and market risk are also growth areas for the second half. “Firms want to have a proper understanding of the risk they have on their books so they can manage it correctly,” he says.

Not everyone, however, is expecting Q3 and Q4 to be all that good.

Toni Kitchaixankul, a senior consultant at Legal Futures, says although the first half of the year was active for legal, compliance, research and IT positions, bad sentiment in the market following EU sovereign debt issues and other global economic problems might mean the second half of the year won’t be any more active than the first.

“Legal and compliance is steady, and IT and other operations roles are holding firm, but we are not seeing any particular in-demand areas and we are not expecting this to change in the near term,” she says.

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