Feb 19, 2016

How to recruit the best peoples in Japan

How to recruit the best peoples in Japan  photo

How to recruit the best peoples in Japan is the most demanding task for management peoples.

I will not be able to comment on Japanese company recruiting system (they have a very well organized recruiting process and mainly recruiting fresh peoples from university).
I will comment mainly on foreign companies in Japan or so-called Gaishikei.

What is your need?

Depending on your need in terms of staff you will have to chose between basically 3 patterns:

The 正社員 (seishain) or full-fledged/proper employee. Fully employed, has a contract, no limit in time in the employment contract, basically 3 months probation period.

The 契約社員 (keiyaku shain) or contract employee. It is a contract which can be limited. I.e. 1 year contract, you can renew and so on, depending on your needs.

The 派遣 (haken) or dispatch employee. You outsource your staff needs to one company and they will dispatch employee to your company. You just pay hourly fee (you can have someone 3 days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM) and you just pay the hourly fee to the company. No need to pay social insurance or other premiums.


The PRO and CON of each system:

The full-fledged employee:

You have to consider him/her as a long term employee in your company. It will be very difficult to fire him/her. Be careful in the interview process and invest in peoples who will be willing to stay on the long-term. One idea to have them stay on board is also to have some part of their compensation based on some king of retirement fund (some part of the monthly salary paid to the retirement fund, if retires before x years, will not get all the amount)

The Contract Employee:

It might be a good idea to have him/her when you have a specific project. For example an IT ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system implementation or other.
You are quite free as the contract is limited on time.

The Dispatch Employee:

They are often used to match with your human resources needs (i.e. short term increase in administration work, or so on)
One big difference with the Full-fledged employee or Contract employee is that you will use a dispatch company and that basically you will have no interview (or maybe 1 but basically on the basis that you will take the person).
The advantage is that you can change the person any time. Basically the contract is a 3 months contract, renewable for another 3 months period.
Some plan also propose to move the Dispatch employee to a full-fledged employee if the person matches your needs.
For an administration person for example expect 1,800Yen/hour to 2,000Yen/hour. Keep in mind that you do not need to pay any social charges (which is in case of a full fledged employee basically 15% of the salary + bonus)

Where to find all those peoples?

The full-fledged employee or Contract employee:

Either use headhunters or local (Japanese) recruiting agencies.
Please keep in mind that you will have to pay 30~35% of the annual salary of the person you will recruit. Better to be on the safe side and work with different agencies. Do not hurry but find the right staff.
A proper hiring process would involve several interview.
In my case I have first interview with candidates. In the second interview I might involved the headquarter (Skype) but keep in mind that it is not because the candidate speaks well English that he/she is the one. Finally I have a last interview more to check on the "feelings". Can we work together or not.
For Sales or Admin, I suggest Robert Walters, CDS, En WORLD. It might be costly but they bring nice peoples.

The Dispatch Employee:

Use either Recruit Staffing or En World, Pasona, Mainichi staff... there are plenty of.
Be aware that 1) you will mostly have to pay some advance money before to be allowed to recruit a staff, do not worry it is only about 2,000USD and 2) you will not be able to really "interview" the staff. They will decide for your company and you might have one meeting but not a real interview.
But still you can change anytime.
I have one "Dispatch" in my company. She has been working for us for already 6 years and is performing well, working 3 days a week.


20 years experience in Japan. running http://directionjapan.com
French citizen in his forties living in Japan and almost 20 years working for foreign companies in Japan.


  • junko

    on Feb 23

    Do gaishikei consider people's age when hiring? I know that for Japanese people looking for a job with a Japanese company, it can get a lot harder once you get past a certain age.

  • DirectionJapan

    on Feb 23

    Hello Thank you for your comment. I would say it depends on the size of the gaishikei. If a large structure (i.e. over 100 peoples) they would prefer to get younger peoples that they can train. If a smaller structure, they could accept more experienced peoples as they want peoples that have experience, can contribute quickly and also as the company has less ressources to train freshmen. I myself recruited in the past year 2 peoples reaching 50.