Employers in Japan grapple with difficulties in finding globally-aligned human resource heads and managers, as professionals prefer to join small companies.
According to recruiting experts Hays Japan, there is increasing pressure on multinational companies to secure qualified “next generation” HR leaders for their Japanese operations following a massive loss of professionals who move to new opportunities.
“More assertive and proactive HR professionals are in demand as global giants look to align their HR system with operations across the world,” says Marc Burrage, Managing Director for Hays in Japan. “They are facing a candidate-short market since local candidates prefer to join small firms nowadays.”
“The trend that local HR talent moves to smaller firms will continue, widening the gap between supply and demand.”
In its latest Quarterly Report for October to December 2016, Hays finds that the need to hire professionals for replacement sake increases as organisations scramble for high-skilled talent to fill vacancies, but a slowing hiring process may cause them to miss preferred candidates.
“An aggressive hunting for strong and proactive HR managers is often not well received by the senior local Japanese management and the conflict often leads to a delay in the hiring process,” says Marc. “Nonetheless, it’s an inevitable trend that global organisations will continue to chase HR managers with global perspective in this quarter.”
“HR business partners will be another hot area where we expect to see strong hiring. Those candidates with finance industry background will be highly sought after by companies after a few new positions hit the market.”
Also larger numbers of learning and development roles at various levels are also available, particularly in the retail industry.
“The lack of bilingual learning and development professionals will force employers to set their eyes on more junior-level candidates,” says Marc. “Companies are also set to recruit more business partners as the need for replacements arise.”
See: Japanese Talent Locked In Low Salary Jobs: International Monetary Fund
In terms of candidate trend, HR professionals turn out to be fully aware of their market value and they will take more time in assessing offers before making final decisions to move.
“They will look for the best places to work as they expect better benefits,” says Marc. “After all, HR professionals are highly in demand in the Japanese job market.”
For Head of HR openings or HR Managers, there is increasing pressure from regional and global headquarters to hire more assertive, proactive HR leaders for Japan. This may often conflict with the judgment of local Japanese management or cause a delay in the process.
Nevertheless, successfully hiring a globally-aligned HR leader is deemed as an inevitable step for the globalisation of Japanese business. Large firms across the industry tend to look for senior-level HR Business Partners (HRBPs) when the need for replacements arises. Less transactional, senior-level HRBPs are needed to coach fellow junior HR members and deal with more complex matters.
The number of candidates with both recruiting and agency recruiting background continues to rise. They are also highly in demand and recruiters with in-house job or short in-house experience know their market value and look for better places to work with better benefits and conditions.
Also read: Japan’s Talent Mismatch is one of the Most Acute in Asia Pacific
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