• Strategic Consulting Japan G.K.
  • Level 18 Yebisu Garden Place Tower, 4-20-3 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-6018
Japan Market Articles
I hope these articles give you deeper insight into the Japan market and help you to understand how to hire the best talent for your Japan business. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require further information.

hiring top leaders japan scj

Set the Tone

  • Introduce your company, the business status, future aspirations and business challenges.
  • Clearly outline what you are looking for, and why this position is currently open.
  • Note: sign an NDA in advance so sensitive business matters may be discussed.

Challenge the Candidate

  • Strong business leaders like to be challenged in the interview, they are proud of their accomplishments and should be guided through the interview so they can express these accomplishments without bragging, which is culturally unacceptable in Japan.

Utilize Performance-based Hiring Methodology

  • Utilizing this interview methodology ensures a pattern of success, strategic thinking, ability to learn and grow…etc.
  • Be consistent when interviewing all candidates. (Diversity and Inclusion should always be taken into consideration)
  • Most interviewers utilize standard hiring questions, and to make matters worse, they make judgments early in the interview and validate this decision throughout the interview.
  • Contact Strategic Consulting Japan to learn more about Performance-based Hiring in Japan: https://www.consulting-japan.com/about/performance-based-hiring 

Provide an Exceptional Candidate Experience

  • If the process is poor, this is an indication of things to come, I’ve had Business leaders say to me, “XYZ Company approached about a CEO role, the experience was so poor I did not proceed as I question their execution capability.”
  • Hiring is sales so ABC “Always Be Closing”, e.g. It’s ok to say “we really enjoyed meeting you and to be perfectly honest we are interviewing other candidates; however, we view you as a strong potential, are you interested in proceeding? Competition is good and if they are interested, they will fight for the job. Say nothing and they will talk themselves out the job, this makes closing in the future difficult or in some cases impossible.

Timely and Professional Feedback

  • Regardless of your initial impression, offer feedback and what the potential next steps are or would be. If the feedback is slow or no feedback is offered, the candidate will move on to other opportunities or stay with their current firm.
  • Clearly outline the entire interview process and steps, estimated timeline…etc.
  • Think about attracting at top baseball player, would you wait to follow up or not offer any feedback after they agreed to meet with you? They would never join your team; you need to make them feel important.
  • “C-level” professionals deserve respect, give it to them, in fact all professionals that interview deserve respect, after all they have invested their valuable time to prepare for the interview and meet with you.

Offer Competitive Compensation Packages

  • Your agent “should” know the candidate’s current compensation package including base salary and bonus (did they receive their bonus last year (110%, 100%, 90%), stock options (and vesting period), 401K contribution, company car, housing allowance…etc.
  • Do not pre-judge current compensation packages as I’ve moved professionals for less than their current package due to other factors.
  • Have your agent pre-close the candidate, this will bring up any potential objections that may have come up throughout the interview process, these objections may be handled in future / final interview stages.

Do NOT discuss compensation in the first interview, inexperienced interviewers often do this and it very unprofessional. Compensation should always be handled by the agent or at offer stage. The point of the initial interview(s) is to determine if the candidate can do the job and is a good fit for your organization.