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March 2013
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TD Magazine

Multilingualism, Diversity, and Other Japanese Talent Trends

Intelligence6
Using client experience and independent research, Hays Specialist Recruitment Japan KK (Hays Japan) recently determined the most influential talent management trends for the Japanese labor market in 2013.

Multilingual skills: Demand for multilingual candidates remains strong, particularly for overseas sales, call center, and IT support roles.

Approval process: Previously, local company approval for new hires was sufficient, but firms are increasingly requiring global and regional approval as well.

Decline of the expatriate (expat) package: In place of expat packages, employers are offering other incentives such as career advancement opportunities and broader employee responsibility.

Use of social media: Continuing with last year's growing trend, firms will use social media to source and screen candidates.

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Diversity: Employers will focus on hiring more female workers (in response to the Japanese government's recent directive to boost the female workforce during the next eight years) and must make considerations for the nation's aging talent pool.

Attraction of Japanese expats: Companies will encourage Japanese expats to return to the nation to contribute their international experience.

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Investment in training: In light of the aging workforce, firms are seeking younger candidates who are eager to learn, and teaching them the skills needed to fill growing experience gaps.

Contract workers: Because of headcount budgets, employers are increasingly turning to contract workers and "trying out" talent before hiring candidates permanently.

"The Hays Skills Index demonstrates that there is a significant mismatch between available and sought after talent," says Jonathan Sampson, regional director of Hays Japan. Sampson notes that of the eight trends, multilingual skills, diversity, and contract workers are the most critical to consider when making plans in the coming months.

Talent management professionals should define a plan that uses a variety of solutions to address these key trends. "No one solution will be enough in 2013," says Sampson. "With this in mind, we advise our clients to become more flexible in their talent search by broadening their specifications to maximize the source pool."

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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