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Finding a Job Through Recruiters in Japan


Do you want to change careers but do not have time and energy to do the job hunting? Try to find a job through a recruitment agency. There are more than 20,000 agencies ready to help you find a job in Japan.

What is a Recruiter?

Recruiters' job is to find the most fitting candidate for a hiring company. They received detailed information about the available vacancies, the candidate qualifications, how many talents are needed, and so on from their clients.

There are two types of recruiters: in-house and agency. In-house recruiters work for one company, known as the human resources (HR) department. Their duties are to share information about available positions, interview candidates, and select suitable ones.

If they struggle to find candidates, in-house recruiters sometimes work with recruitment agencies. It usually happens when the talent pool is small and cannot meet the demand. Recruiters in the agency work by commission. They often receive a percentage of the employee's starting salary when their introduction is successful.

In this article, we focused on recruiters from agencies.

Recruitment Agency in Japan

The history of recruitment agencies in Japan goes back to the mid-seventeenth century. In 1872, the government started to regulate the professional practice of recruiters. There were thousands of private recruitment agencies until 1938 when the government made a single national agency. Only some private agencies remained due to strict regulations.

The number of private recruitment agencies rose after World War II ended. The national agency could not supply the labor needed despite mass unemployment at the time. The law for recruiters gradually loosened and prompted an increasing number of private agencies. From 1996 to 1999, the number tripled from 300 to 947 companies.

The recruitment agencies keep growing until now due to situations in Japan. In-house recruiters usually hire new graduates for lifetime employment. Employees in Japan do not often change jobs, although it is slowly changing. This culture made in-house recruiters get troubled to find mid-career workers.

There is also a worker and talent shortage in Japan. Finding qualified employees is difficult if they only rely on internal recruiters. Great talents are usually already comfortable in their position in a company. Therefore, it is easier for companies to commission recruitment agencies as they can reach wider.

Can Recruiters Help Me Find a Job in Japan?

A recruiter can indeed help you land a job faster. However, they cannot help everyone as their criteria depend on companies. If you have some of the criteria listed below, you should consider contacting a recruiter.

  • Experience

Recruitment agencies usually do not work with fresh college graduates. In-house recruiters handle that because it is easy. Japan is one of the countries with the highest college graduates. It is also hard to obtain a work visa if you do not have one.

However, Japan has a special category visa for high-skilled workers. The recruiters also can help if you have enough experience. They will give you lots of options, especially if you have a rare skill set that is highly demanded in Japan.

  • Fluency in Japanese (and English)

Recruitment agencies in Japan work by commission from companies. They usually target candidates with business-level Japanese. Being bilingual is a big plus to finding positions in multinational or global companies.

However, some jobs have low Japanese level requirements. When you have the skills they really want, the employers do not mind your limited Japanese. It is possible, but remember that higher fluency in Japanese will give you way more options.

  • Residency in Japan

For the most part, recruitment agencies in Japan prefer working with candidates living in Japan. No matter what visa you hold right now, it is easier to change the type than to get one.

Some recruitment agencies are specialized in hiring foreign workers from abroad. They accept applications from wherever you are and help you find visa sponsorship. However, it is usually limited to some professions with a huge labor shortage in Japan.

Should I Use a Recruiter to Find a Job?

Now that you know you meet the criteria, you may be wondering about the necessity of recruiters. Here are some benefits you will get if you use recruiter services.

1. It is Free Assistance

The recruiters work for companies, not candidates. The company compensates them for bringing talents over. You do not have to pay anything when reaching out to recruiters.

2. Supports for Candidates

Recruiters understand the market and companies like no other. They can help you by giving insight and tips, arranging interviews, and negotiating salary. The recruiters get paid by the amount of your wage. So, naturally, they will help you get the job with an attractive paycheck.

3. Access to Non-disclosed Job Openings

Many companies in Japan prefer to hire talents through recruiters. It is easier and faster for them than posting job ads by themselves. Contacting recruiters means uncovering the hidden iceberg.

4. Time-saving

Recruiters save time not only for companies but also for candidates. If you are still working, you may find it hard to do job hunting on your own. The recruiters only need your resume to do the work for you.

Some recruitment agencies even give interview training to their clients

Where Do I Start?

First of all, look for recruitment agencies. There are thousands out there, but you can sort by their specialty. Some agencies exclusively work in certain industries. Some firms specialized in executive-level jobs. Choose the ones that fit your needs.

Prepare your resume and go talk with recruiters. You can consult them about anything about your career. The good ones will match the available jobs to your preferences, skills, and experiences.

However, recruiters can be assertive sometimes. Remember, they get their paycheck if you take the job. In doing that, sometimes they will push you towards a job solely for their benefit. You can always say no if the job doesn't meet your needs and expectations.

Reaching out to multiple recruiters at the same time is totally acceptable. That way, you can compare the offers and expose yourself to more opportunities. Happy job hunting!





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