“number one global integrated HR service provider”
Japanese recruitment giants must not be taken lightly as they expand overseas, the Asia-Pacific managing director of energy and earth sciences recruiter EarthStream Global has said.
Kevin Gibson told Recruiter: “People underestimate Japanese recruitment firms — they’re so big and they’ve got so many resources.” He described having his staff move on to jobs with such firms, and then feed back to him reactions such as “wow, they’re so much more strategic”.
Speaking to Recruiter as EarthStream opened its first Japan office in Tokyo last month, he noted that Japanese recruiters are starting to make inroads into going into international markets, in particular high-margin white collar recruitment sectors.
Demonstrating the muscle of Japanese firms, last September, Japan’s Recruit Co acquired global job site Indeed, saying it was aiming to become the world’s “number one global integrated HR service provider”.
Recruit has over 22,000 staff across its brands, compared with the three largest staffing firms globally: Adecco, which has 31,000; Manpower with 30,000; and Randstad — 29,000.
According to the 2013 annual report from Ciett, the international confederation of private employment agencies, in 2011 Japan had the second-highest number of private employment agencies in any one country at 20,000, behind China’s 56,000, and accounted for 17% of total global industry sales, second only to the US’s 23%.
Gibson, who lived in Japan for eight years leading the local operation of recruiter Robert Walters, said that movement in the other direction is also easier.
“It’s not as strange and exotic as it used to be,” he said, while the ever-increasing use of English makes it more accessible than previously for overseas workers such as the contractors EarthStream will be looking to bring in to the market. And while the Yen is not as strong as it has been, the exchange rate still makes for attractive pay packets, he added.
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