Published 02 November 2016 Category: Compass Client

Compass Chats with Eximius Asia

Welcome back to #CompassEntrepreneurs, where entrepreneurs share their stories and insight on operating a business in Asia.

In this edition, we chat with Kate Reid, Associate Director and founding member of Eximius Asia. This global search firm, founded in London in 2008 was started to supply expert talent to the energy, legal and financial services sectors. The firm has three focus regions: Europe, MEA and APAC.

Within the APAC division, Eximius collaborates with local and global businesses across Asia, primarily making placements into Hong Kong, Singapore and China. We are also proud to have Eximius Asia on board as a Compass resident.

Reid takes us behind the scenes in the world recruitment in Asia, working within a fast paced, sought after industry.

I’m sure many people will want to know: what are the three most sought after skills in the legal industry, based on your experience in APAC?

  • Middle management (8-12 years) across

  • Financial crime

  • Legal advisory & regulatory compliance. 

What are some challenges in the recruitment industry in APAC? How does Asia vary from other regions?

We have been kept extremely busy in Asia with the dynamic regulatory environment. Businesses operating in Asia are cursed with the triple burden of local, regional and global regulatory demands.

For example, the staff and customers of an American bank in China will not only have to navigate the ever changing  regulations being created for an immature local market but also adhere to the iron clad and mature regulations set in the US and/or EU. This has become an challenging aspect of legal and compliance functions – if done wrong they can leave the bank uncompetitive to local competition, facing an enormous fine and/or suspended by the regulator.  

It takes a new type of legal and compliance professional to manage this environmentand to mitigate the risks upon the global business while acting in a commercial manner locally.As recruiters, we are tasked with bringing a range of innovative techniques to support these business critical hires.

Is it difficult to screen candidates fairly while also factoring in diversity and inclusiveness?

As recruitment firm dealing with senior mandates across the industry, we are absolutely committed to the support and promotion of diversity & inclusion efforts in the region.

We commit to providing diverse shortlists to the mandates which we are engaged. We provide both quantitative and qualitative market intelligence to our clients as they develop and implement their D&I initiatives internally. We bring global intelligence to local challenges through our global network of consultants and commitment to the share of information.

How has the process for setting up shop been in the APAC region? What strides has the company made?

In Hong Kong we were proud to have been awarded “Newcomer of the Year” in 2014 at the Recruitment International Awards, an award voted for by our peers. We were grateful for the acknowledgement to the hard work that went into our first year of business in the region. 

What kind of initiatives has Eximius taken to connect, on a deeper level, with the region? 
We [participate] in many philanthropic initiatives in the region. The business sponsors and supports many charitable initiatives – for example, Suits for Success & Project Share – giving our team an outlet to “get involved” in meaningful work outside of the office.

How did your company, one that has grown since initial launch, look for office space? What criteria did you set out with, and what attracted you to Compass Offices?

With our launch in Hong Kong in 2013, the two primary criteria for housing the business was maximizing the space in relation to controlling the cost.

The second major factor in year two was flexibility to grow the business’ headcount strategically. Compass has been fantastic in supporting out headcount growth, additional charges per head as opposed to per period in the larger office.

The third factor for us was to be perceived as a mature business when clients visited our office confident  they will be welcomed warmly and treated professionally by the front desk staff. Compass place a great deal of effort into hiring & developing fantastic front desk staff, my experience of these men and women has been very positive equally so when working on easy tasks as more challenging conversations. 
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