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Bilingual contract recruitment in Japan

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In today’s candidate-short market, skilled bilingual professionals are in great demand. RGF Professional Recruitment Japan is a bilingual recruitment arm of Recruit Group, the biggest in Japan and Asia, and the world’s fourth-largest recruiting and information service company, fulfilling global staffing needs for both international and domestic companies.

In January 2018, Recruit Global Family launched the Contract Business Division to offer complete staffing solutions to their clients. “Our goal is to become not only the No. 1 recruitment company in Japan, but also the No.1 recruitment company in Asia,” said Director Benjamin Cordier who joined RGF PR specifically to launch the contract division.

RGF PR’s business has achieved significant growth, leading to an increase in the number of consultants from 83 to 150 within a year. “I believe the job-changing market is getting richer and more prevalent. Younger people are more willing to change jobs now,” said Manager Takuya Sakamoto, who also joined RGF PR to establish the contract division.

RGF PR places bilingual Japanese professionals, as well as non-Japanese with excellent language and technical skills, in international companies, as well as Japanese enterprises looking to internationalize or expand overseas.

“Being part of the Recruit Group here in Japan is obviously a very strong advantage for us, over our competitors,” said Cordier. “The fact that we are part of the Recruit Group earns us initial trust when people are looking to change jobs. We are also benefiting from the size of Recruit in terms of the number of candidates in our database, which is by far the largest advantage we have compared to our competitors,” he said.

In Japan, the Recruit brand is recognized for its credibility and trust of candidates. Access to Recruit’s candidate database allows RGF PR to provide highly qualified candidates to clients. RGF PR’s international recruiting expertise along with a network of 45 offices throughout Asia allows access to many skilled bilingual and bicultural”returnee” candidates before competitors.

“RGF Professional Recruitment’s objective is to become the No. 1 recruitment company in Japan. And we don’t think we can achieve that by just doing permanent placement. We have to offer clients our full, more flexible solutions. Permanent positions, contract positions, or haken, was the driving force behind building the division,” said Cordier. Based on the first year’s very strong growth, he foresees that with continued momentum, RGF PR will achieve within 4 years, what took competitors 10 years. They plan to have a big summer party to celebrate this success with all of their haken staff.

“In terms of the number of placements made in the Japan market, contract is double that of permanent positions, which means big potential,” added Sakamoto. Contract hires offer more flexible, faster hiring options for clients when budget is temporarily tight, with reduced fallout from mismatches. Some candidates tend to focus on permanent employment especially under a strong economy, however, “both the client and RGF PR need to understand the benefit of contract employment, which often pays better than permanent jobs or flexibility in terms of working hours or duration,” said Sakamoto.

Cordier also touched upon changes where some “people prefer to be contractors, especially in IT, where you may have a quite senior-level person who prefers to work 3 to 6 months to do system implementation, and then take 3 months off and go surfing in Bali, knowing that because of their skill set, there’ll be offers upon return. Some people prefer the gig economy style of working.”

“As consultants, we need to educate our clients on the market and increasingly more flexible work styles for people such as working mothers. The way people work is changing, with more mobility and flexibility,” said Cordier.

In regards to the two big sporting events, RGF PR is already working with various clients on project-based hiring or contracts for the Rugby World Cup 2019 and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Lastly, Cordier mentioned the company tagline, “Unleash Potential,” is something they strongly believe in. “We want to help our clients realize that potential in our market, but also want to help our candidates to achieve the potential within their careers.”

Sakamoto shared an impressive story. “Usually we use our database when we look for bilingual candidates, but database is not always how we find candidates. There was a convenience store clerk from Uzbekistan, fluent in Japanese with amazing customer service skills. I put him up for a job at a data center that needed bilingual engineers. He was hired and eventually became the center leader. It was a win-win situation. On top of using our database, we need to come up with creative ideas when searching for good candidates.”

For more information ; https://www.rgf-professional.jp/en