Recruiters in Japan

What are they looking for?

Most recruiters in Japan are looking for candidates whose background and skills match the ones they think a client will want. If you contact a recruiter or a recruiter contacts you, they are looking to understand if you fit that profile. Depending on what area they specialize in (industry like IT, Finance, or Life Sciences) and the level of the candidate they handle (Junior, Mid-level, and Senior), you can try to tell if you are in their target area.

Videos on Recruitment and Major Recruiting Companies

  • One example of how a Recruiter explains what they do
  • This is a little long video from an Executive Search firm specializing in Senior roles, but it does give a generally good overview of the search process Thinking of becoming a Recruitment Consultant? See this video to check out one company's pitch
  • So by sending a resume/cv to the recruiter and having a phone interview, you can set the stage for how they will view your strengths and weaknesses. Typically, a junior researcher will contact you to do an initial screening, and then schedule an inperson interview with one or more recruiters. Or you go to their office, have a language or skills test, and then review some sample opportunities.
  • Ambition, a look at a boutique recruitment consultancy
  • You should see if the opportunities they show you match your expectations, or what your career has been. If it involves a new field or skill, can you do the job and are you interested? If you get an interview with the hiring manager, can you reasonably explain how your background and skills help them to succeed? Hays Japan Recruiter talks about her career
  • Getting feedback on the interview process is really helpful, but it is not always the focus of recruiters. You can judge a recruiter by the aftercare they provide, in that, if you tell them how you think the interview went, along with types of questions and focus, then the recruiter should give you feedback on the company's reaction to the interview.
  • Example of a Japanese language explanation of recruitment workflow
  • Sometimes the recruiter doesn't get that from the hiring company if the interview wasn't successful, and there are no specific feedback points that they share; but responsiveness to your questions can help you to decide when to focus on other job opportunities.
  • Recruiters and Functional Teams

    Many recruiters have their teams broken up into functional teams, such as Healthcare/Life Sciences, Accounting and Finance, Banking, and other industry practices. Here is a link to a list of 80 Recruitment companies.

    Life Sciences Industry

    You should conduct searches for recruiters that have specialized teams in the industry you want to work in. Here is a link to an article with life sciences companies where you can check open positions on their websites.

    Accounting and Finance

    Here is a list of 100 accounting companies in the US, for reference. All of the big recruitment companies have a Finance and Accounting team, who would have open positions in companies and specialized consultancies. There are local certifications in Japan for Accounting, as well as demand for people with international certifications like the CPA.

    Information Technology

    Information Technology positions are typically the largest section of the bilingual job boards in terms of the number of positions open at Japanese and foreign firms. More and more there are positions open for mid-career positions available for bilingual IT professionals and also professionals who don't speak Japanese. Depending on the certifications and experience, there is more need for foreign professionals by global companies in Japan to help with their dispersed teams across Asia and the rest of the world.

    Sales and Marketing

    There are different positions for sales and marketing across industries, but a common point is whether they are customer-facing or not. In general, sales positions pay more depending on whether they directly face a customer, and then what type of customer it is. If you enjoy dealing with customers and helping them solve problems, then explore sales and marketing positions. There are more available that require Japanese ability, but depending on the customer profile, there are some that are specifically focused on international customers who communicate in English or another language.

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