The ten commandments (and myths) of staffing your company in Japan

In this Summary of an article by Joe Peters; managing director and recruiting specialist for insurance, e-commerce, and consumer goods at I Search Worldwide K.K., Joe gives us the 10 commandments… on what you shall not do when hiring in Japan.

Check out these summarized myths, mistakes and suggestions below, and/or click through to read the whole article at the iSearch Blog.

        1. Thou shalt hire only bilingual (Japanese – English) speaking staff.

Is it really necessary to hire bilingual staff instead of the non-bilingual best candidate when most interactions will be in Japanese? In that case iSearch is sure that it will not always turn out well; English is not always a must have.

2. Thou shalt not hire anyone over the age of 45.

In addition to being illegal, age discrimination can hold you back from hiring a valuable employee. With Japan’s aging population it will be easier to find the best candidate over the age of 45 now.

3. Thou shalt hire everybody on a contract.

Contracts can be really convenient to hire staff but japanese prefer the security of being hired as a sei-shain. Also when using contracts you should have a lawyer who knows about labor regulations to ensure that you will not end up in court for breach of the contract.

4. Thou shalt hire only men for sales positions.

For a long time sales included drinking nights and golf on weekends, that made it men’s business in opposition to office ladies, but those are not common practices anymore. And companies are realizing that women are as good as men regarding sales and maybe even better.

5. Thou shalt hire quickly after only one interview.

One interview can be enough but scheduling a second one in the next days is the guarantee to make the right choice. Don’t forget to do it fast, if it is the best candidate you are certainly not the only one to think that.

6. Thou shalt hold numerous interviews.

On the contrary running too much interviews can make you miss the right candidate and get you blacklisted as an hiring company.

7. Thou shalt cast thy net wide.

You think aiming wide is good for recruiting ? First you should use firms specialized in your industry so that they bring you relevant candidates. Second instead of hiring 5 recruiting firms to bring you the same candidate for the same job refer to only one firm that will bring you the best candidates without other firms as an obstacle.

8. Thou shalt recruit from thine home country using LinkedIn ©

LinkedIn can be pretty useful but with less than 1.5 million people listed for Japan, recruiting from abroad is complicated. A lot are not even living in Japan, some are updates of old accounts or japanese speaker only accounts and good candidates will be more likely to not answer a message coming from overseas.

9. Thou shalt not pay a higher recruiting fee than thou pays in thine home country.

Even if you are used to certain fees in your home country, japanese recruiting firms are evolving in a more difficult market: there are less people with all the necessary skills and they are harder to approach.

10. Thou shalt just do it on thine own and use an advertisement to attract good candidates.

Running advertisements for your open positions might seem like a good idea but you will have to deal with both qualified and unqualified candidates. Even if you get a recruiting firm to handle the ad the chances of success are really low.

In the end the best solution remains to hire a specialized recruiting firm with a proven history placing the type of candidates you are looking for.

To find out more read the original article here or connect with Joe on LinkedIn, letting know the article led you to reach out.

This Summary was written by Jason Ball, a “Fixer” and people Connector, in Tokyo