“We can now focus on how we can best satisfy our clients’ individual requirements and maintain long-lasting relationships”

Right for the job

Logical Choice combines big recruitment firm expertise with boutique client-focus


FEBRUARY 2021 Business Spotlight / Text by Toby Waters

The past year has been challenging for many businesses as the Covid-19 pandemic led to a dramatic drop in demand for goods and services — and it has been especially worrying for newer SMEs. Survival, not growth, has been the preoccupation of most of these companies, and young recruitment firms could be assumed to be among the most vulnerable. However, that has not been the case for the specialist boutique recruitment firm Logical Choice, founded in 2017.

“We’ve been very stable compared to other recruitment companies,” says partner and co-founder Amine Abbadie. “I think one of the biggest advantages of being a boutique firm is that we’re able to be flexible, and that has really helped us.”

A flexible, client-centred approach

The three partners on Logical Choice’s leadership team all have extensive experience working at major recruitment firms in Japan. In starting the business, they believed that they could more effectively use the skills they cultivated in industry-leading companies at a smaller, more agile business that could better address clients’ needs.

“We wanted to step away from the boundaries of the corporate model and into a more open and flexible environment in which we can focus on serving the client. In a big company, you’re only allowed to work in a certain way, in a certain function, or in a certain area,” says Shah Haque, co-founder and managing partner.

“We can now focus on how we can best satisfy our clients’ individual requirements and maintain long-lasting relationships,” adds Alula Izumi, partner and co-founder.

The firm’s client-centred approach quickly led to strong results. In its second year, Logical Choice saw 200% growth over the first, and it expects more than 300% growth as it closes its third year.

Last year, as it entered its third year of operation, Logical Choice had its approach and its agility put to the test by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The right focus

Businesses in sectors that have continued to grow during the pandemic have been faced with the challenge of needing to meet and evaluate candidates while ensuring staff and job-seekers alike stay safe. The team at Logical Choice — after quickly re-strategising during the first months of the pandemic — has been leveraging its own flexibility to help these firms adapt to the new practices of this unusual time.

“Usually, candidates would have to go to an interview at an office four or five times, because hiring managers liked to see what they were like in person. But now, candidates might have just one or two video calls and be hired soon after,” Abbadie says. “Those companies that can adapt will thrive.”

“So Logical Choice is keeping up with the latest technological developments to support our clients. There are a lot of new applications for audio messaging and video messaging, for example,” Haque adds. “Everything is being digitised, and we are assisting our clients in responding to these changes.”

Another of Logical Choice’s advantages is its focus on recruiting for sectors that have remained strong during the pandemic. It specialises in finding mid-career, managerial level candidates in the technology, professional services, and healthcare industries, and offers a range of services for clients and candidates — including giving informal advice.

“For clients, we cover contingency-based recruitment, and we also do retainer-based placements,” Izumi explains. “For candidates, we are happy to have a casual call to let them know what the current situation in the market is and discuss their next potential move.”

In the healthcare space, the firm has made successful placements of professionals such as medical doctors, regulatory affairs representatives, and marketing experts. It has also filled top positions in oncology, immunology, and vaccine departments. In the technology field, Logical Choice has introduced companies to a wide range of professionals, including software/AI engineers, SAP specialists, and data scientists. For firms in the professional services sector, Logical Choice has found top strategy consultants from all over the world, thanks in part to its extensive overseas network.

To Haque, success shouldn’t be measured solely in terms of revenue.

“Once we make placements for heads of departments at major firms, we’ve built partnerships with these clients and helped them to make hires in other divisions,” he says. “It’s not just about making important placements, it’s really about the people and companies that we can help, and the quality and depth of the relationships we form.”

“A client calling me back to say that they’re happy with our service and asking for repeat jobs — that’s proof of our success. And I think that’s the key to this work,” Abbadie says.

The logical choice

The team takes the time to get to know its clients, their business, and their culture to help them find the best person to fill the vacant position.

“We are committed to helping our clients make logical choices when it comes to choosing a candidate,” says Haque. “And we want to make sure that we help candidates make logical choices for their career, as well.”

Each one of the firm’s consultants comes from a background in recruitment, and they pride themselves on finding people with the qualifications, skills, and personality to satisfy their clients — and they are upfront when they cannot make an introduction to the right candidate.

“We really want to help our clients hire the best person for the job, so there have been occasions when we’ve told clients that a candidate — who may have looked good on paper — isn’t the best person for the role,” Haque says. “If you can empathise with a client, as we do, then you can understand what they need, and you’ll be able to deliver. Then they will keep coming back to you.”

Although the Logical Choice team prefers to remain a boutique recruitment firm, they are always open to hearing from anyone who might be interested in joining their diverse family of consultants.

“We have a very homey, close-knit culture, where we really trust one another,” Izumi says. “We value our different skillsets, and we don’t focus on hiring the heaviest hitters in the market — we focus on people who have the right personality to maintain our culture.”

“In any organisation, it’s always good to have people of various backgrounds who have different ways of thinking,” Abbadie adds. “The most important thing in any organisation is that these people all work together towards the same goal.”