Demand exceeds supply in shortage of bilingual talent
If you are looking for a job in Japan, now is a good time to do so, according to a recent report from recruitment consultancy Robert Walters Plc. In its “Asia Job Index Q2 2014” report (for calendar 2014), the firm reported an overall 28% YoY increase in job advertisements across the continent.
The study examines the number of executive appointments listed in national newspapers and leading job boards in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore. Of these countries, Japan scored particularly well, with an 11% increase on the first quarter of 2014, and 32% YoY growth.
David Swan, managing director for Japan and Korea with Robert Walters Japan K.K., attributes the stimulation of the jobs market to general economic improvement.
“Both locally and globally, Asia has the most positive economic environment”, he said. “The entrance and expansion of shared service centres in the region continues to have a positive impact on hiring, and the consistent growth of the manufacturing sector in most countries has increased the number of jobs available”.
Domestically, the job market has seen a rapid rise in hiring activity across a number of industries, which is thought to be largely due to the economic upturn. Swan believes the uptake in employment opportunities is thanks to the increasing number of Japanese firms expanding overseas, as well as both foreign and Japanese firms growing their businesses in Japan.
He pointed out that, continuing last year’s trend, “in this quarter, there was particularly strong demand in the IT, medical, retail and engineering sectors”.
The Asia Job Index report for the second quarter of 2014 shows that retail sector demand—the biggest sector by volume—rose 31% YoY, with a particularly strong requirement for staff in the consumer and luxury sectors.
Reflecting the growing globalisation of firms, the need for staff with experience in overseas projects has been increasing.
However, the government announcement that the number of jobs available exceeded the number of job applicants, speaks to the shortage of talent in Japan.
The gap between supply and demand is even more pronounced in the job market for bilingual talent. This is becoming a serious trend, especially in urban areas such as Tokyo and Osaka, according to Swan.
“Looking to the future, we can expect a continuation of this talent shortage, meaning increased competition for bilingual professionals”, he said. “So firms need to be flexible to the requests of candidates”.
In this increasingly competitive and challenging environment, firms looking to recruit bilingual professionals should seek advice to find the right candidate, he added.
As one of the world’s leading professional recruitment consultancies, with 53 offices in 24 countries, Robert Walters believes it is ready to provide that expert support. The firm boasts 14 years of experience in Japan, with extensive knowledge concerning Japanese and English bilingual recruitment.
“We can offer a comprehensive database of mid-career bilingual professionals. Our candidate sourcing activity is based on headhunting and referrals, allowing us to access candidates that other firms cannot”, Swan said.
“Furthermore, the recognition and credibility of our brand itself attracts high quality candidates who are actively seeking career opportunities”.
Swan believes it is this kind of focused jobseeker that firms are looking for when filling an appointment, and the kind who Robert Walters is ready to provide.
“As our consultants specialise both by industry and skill set, they get to know their particular industry, companies, jobs and candidates thoroughly”, he added. “In this increasingly talent-short market, we can therefore offer the key: industry-specialised consultancy that is tailored to our clients’ needs”.