Case Study

  • Candidates

Know the Players, Even If They’re Not Looking to Change Teams

The Situation

Building relationships is a key in many businesses, and never more so than in recruiting, because the best talent is often not looking.
That was the case for Kazuma Ochi. We’d known Kaz for a significant amount of time and would often exchange market information.On one occasion we happened to be talking about Transferwise, an exciting new fintech startup entering Japan from Europe. Kaz had this company on his radar, but he was a not looking for a job—making him what’s known as a “passive” candidate.

Cultural Balance Is Key

Transferwise is a proactive European startup, and finding the cultural balance is key to growing their business successfully in the Japan market. Given his time in the UK, Kaz had the unique blend of international experience. He also has a sharp technical eye—he started off as an engineer—and strong business acumen through his digital marketing role at Oanda, an FX trading platform. He also knows the pace of Japanese business culture, which is crucial in solving the challenges of regulatory red tape.

Coaxing a Candidate Out of a Comfortable Situation

Kaz really liked their brand and the caliber of the team. Their founders were the original members of Skype, with a great reputation in the tech community. After the offer came out, following a four-month-long process, he accepted quickly. After coaxing him away from a satisfactory situation, Kaz kindly introduced us to Oanda, who were curious to meet the firm that convinced him to leave. They hired his replacement through us a few months later.

Our Network Advantage

Our network includes a lot of quality talent that is not on the market. This is key in a candidate-short market, especially where bilingual candidates are rare. Perfect jobs come along rarely, so we keep always keep passive candidates in the loop.

Key Takeaways

Our tech startup scene expertise allows us to network deep into the fintech community to source the right skills and competencies for companies like Transferwise. In this case, the key screening criterion was finding a candidate that understands the regulatory challenges of launching a fintech business in Japan and partnering with very traditional banks. We also had to ensure that the candidate could shift gears and communicate quickly and effectively with a European HQ and development team, which requires a strong personality and the ability to manage up.

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