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Japanese compliance hiring is not dead

Compliance recruitment may be sluggish in Japan, but Tokyo’s recruiters can still see opportunities out there for strong candidates.

Alan Graves, division manager, Robert Half Financial Services Group, says although demand for compliance is not as strong as it was earlier in the year, compliance remains an area where firms are usually open to considering hot candidates. In particular, Graves points to risk compliance and product-related compliance as areas of enduring demand.

Abhi Kumar, senior associate, banking recruitment, at People Services International (PSI), says despite hiring levels being down, firms cannot afford to bring a complete halt to recruitment. “With the FSA (Financial Services Agency) continuing a normal level of inspections, audits, sanctions and suspensions, even during the current weak market when the wrong type of shock has been proven to have the ability to cripple or even kill a bank, firms will obviously always need to be replacing essential staff or management in this essential regulatory function,” he says.

Those firms that are looking to hire are after experienced individuals with strong academic backgrounds, excellent communication skills, good audit and inspection experience, and strong industry experience, Graves adds. But despite the high bar, many firms don’t seem willing to splash the cash on talent.

“Firms are not able to offer attractive compensation packages at present and some are trying to bring professionals in at a lower base salary then they are on now,” Graves says. “The strong financial status of a firm may be enough to attract a talented individual from a firm whose status is weak. Since supply is high overall, firms feel it is fine to offer average or below-average salaries at present.”

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