global recruitment specialists
Legal Market Overview
A year in review…
Over the past year, we have seen how the continued emerging global enforcement market has impacted the Hong Kong legal market; Companies are becoming more mindful of the impact regulations such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the UK Bribery Act (UKBA) may have on their business. This has brought about an increase in demand for lawyers with litigation, investigation and regulatory experience.
A challenging market…
A shortage of good candidates within select practice areas such as financial litigation, financial products (funds, derivatives, and insurance) and regulatory (both financial regulatory and general regulatory) is starting to affect many businesses. This scarcity of candidates has made the recruitment of such positions highly challenging for companies across all industry sectors.
On the other hand, candidates with experience outside of the above mentioned areas are finding that their job market outlook has been less favourable due to the focus on these disciplines. In particular, lawyers with general corporate and commercial experience have faced higher job competition which has led to a higher bar for new job openings.
As the regulatory environment continues to evolve, demand for lawyers with litigation, investigation and regulatory experience will increase further. In particular, lawyers with FCPA, anti-bribery, financial services fraud or white-collar crime experience are especially sought after.
The overall improvements in financial markets since last year have benefited the legal job market gradually. However, the recruitment market is still generally slow, as companies remain cautious about the economic outlook due to the uncertainty surrounding the US Congress' fight and renewed questions about Eurozone economy.
Stand out from the competition…
Whilst finding and connecting with candidates has become much easier compared to the old days (thanks to social media sites such as LinkedIn), the challenging part of the recruitment process is to identify the best approach to make the top talent want to join your company.
A trusted recruitment partner can answer questions about your business and show a candidate why an opportunity should be considered and how it will benefit their career. This service becomes invaluable in the current market, where the pick of the talent in certain areas, with the best skill-set, will have many opportunities for finding the role they want.
Candidates also need to choose wisely which recruiter they should work with when looking for new opportunities. A good recruiter will be able to persuade their clients to think outside the box and consider candidates from outside the norm. These opportunities will be based on the recruiter's relationship with their clients. The stronger the relationship, the more likely the client will adopt their suggestions.