How to Source Talent in Japan
If you are an absolute beginner to step foot in the Japanese market for recruiting, it helps to understand some basic things about Japanese culture. Japan is one of the toughest markets to find, attract, and hire talent. Both hiring and firing are difficult in Japan. Let’s see some of the reasons:
Lifetime employment: Japanese prefer a high degree of job security, that’s why many Japanese prefer ‘‘lifetime employment” where they get employed right after their graduation.
Job Change decision: In Japan, sometimes a job change decision is not just an individual one. They discuss with family members, extended family members, and friends before making a job change. Many are not active job seekers.
Privacy: Privacy is very important in Japan.
English: Japanese English level is low compared to other nations. Japanese study the English language for several years in school, however, many still do not have fluent English conversation skills.
Ways to find and attract talent in Japan
- Recruitment Agencies: If you are a non- Japanese company and going to make your first hire in Japan, it is the most recommended way of hiring. But, recruitment agencies’ fees are relatively very high compared to other nations.
- Job Posting
- Direct Sourcing Channels: We can use the following Social media channels to source passive candidates
Use the Facebook Search bar to source candidates. We can just use simple sentences to run a search on Facebook, no need for constructing a Boolean search. The following is the best guide to learn more on Sourcing on Facebook
Some useful tips to find great talents on Facebook:There are some useful professional public groups(Japanese) where you can join and post jobs. Following are some examples of professional groups you can try to post jobs, follow the people who are very active and engage with them and build trust.
Some groups for example:
- International Japan Jobs
- Software Developers and Programmers in Japan (IT jobs in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya)
- Japan Jobs
- IT jobs in Japan
site:facebook.com inurl:people (“UX designer” OR “User experience designer” OR “User experience *”) “lives in Japan” (Japanese OR “日本” OR Japan OR “日本人” OR 東京)
We can search for candidates on Twitter using the Advanced search feature. You can filter your search results by location, Hashtags, languages, keywords etc. Read the following article to learn more about Sourcing on Twitter
Most effective way to source on Twitter is searching using Hashtags. Find Tech/Non tech or any other industry specific conferences in the particular locations and find tags related to the conferences. Search on Twitter using the Hashtags related to those events and search for people who are following or commenting related to those events/ conferences. Make sure to look at the followers of those event organizers as well.
X-Ray search strings
site:twitter.com tweets “Java developer” (“japan”|”japanese”|”日本”|”日本人”) -job -jobs -hiring -career
Once you find a great candidate, Like or Retweet some of their interesting tweets for a while and then send a message regarding the opportunity. Draft the message very interesting -Short, simple and intriguing. Make sure to cross reference their profile in other social media sites as well.
Japanese professionals are less active on LinkedIn. Try to connect with those candidates and grow your network to source from a wider network.
Use LinkedIn Search Bar and search candidates using filters like Location, Current company, people, groups etc. Use the following guide to learn more about recruiting on LinkedIn.
X-Ray search Examples:
- site:jp.linkedin.com (inurl:in OR inurl:pub) -inurl:dir (developer OR programmer OR Engineer) python
- site:jp.linkedin.com/in (Developer OR programmer OR engineer) python
Note: Make sure to change the country code for better results. For example, site:jp.linkedin.com ( which is specific for Japan) Refer the following article to find Country codes on LinkedIn.
Meetup Groups are created by Organizers. There are many groups that focus on specific topics that professionals want to learn.
Run a Google search to find tech/non-tech meetup groups or you can use your meetup account to find groups near any locations.
Some Meetup groups will be private and some you can just click and join. You can look at the members, Organizers, etc, and cross-reference them across other social media sites to get more details and connect with them on LinkedIn / follow them on Twitter / GitHub, etc. In most of the Meetup groups, you cannot advertise roles.
X-ray search example
site:meetup.com “Open Source” (Tokyo OR “東京”)
Read the following article to learn more about sourcing on Meetup.
It is a Code sharing platform for Developers. They can share Open -Source Development projects they are working on. Read the following article to learn more about using GitHub to find super talented Developers.
We can use the search bar as shown below:
Click on the profile and you can get the details related to their projects. Most of them might have added their email addresses just below their profile which will help you to reach out to the candidates. Some might have added their personal websites and as well as their CV.
StackOverflow is a Q&A site for Developers. To find the best Developers, find the top Tags associated with that user. This will help you to find out what languages/ Tech stack he is an expert at.
This is the most recommended way to search for candidates on Stack Overflow. Use the following search strings to start the search.
Just click on the profile you want to view. Many developers might have added a personal website link, link to social media sites, location, Last seen (It helps to understand if they are active on Stack Overflow) and many more details under the ‘bio’ section. Down the page, we can see “Top Tags”, which will help you to assess what language he is an expert at.
Reach out to them through their Social media sites or Personal website ( find out their email address and reach out). The following article explains more about sourcing on StackOverflow.
We have learned some of the useful strategies to find and attract top Japanese talent. The most important thing to do after, is to draft a stunning message that will intrigue them (Remember to use simple English sentences to contact them). It will yield great results if done with the right techniques. Have a look at this article to learn more about Recruiting Cold Email templates that yield the best results.
Mathi has a huge passion for Sourcing. She is an expert at sourcing for both tech and non-tech roles across any sectors. Previously she has built and managed a remote Sourcing team from scratch across various European locations. She is an expert at building and executing the sourcing plan; Design, Develop and Drive research and sourcing strategies to hunt for top talent for very tough to fill roles with any type of startups. Anything related to startups excites her. Mathi is originally from India and earned an MBA in Human Resources & Marketing from Bharathiar University (India). She currently lives in Dallas, Texas with her family.
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