Business Strategies for Recruiting In Japan

This presentation is about the business strategies for recruiting in Japan. It will include factors that require consideration during recruitment in Japan. In the past few years, Japanese firms adopted new strategies for personnel management that match the economic environment that is rapidly changing. There have been a lot of employee-company mismatch in most of the Japanese employment sector for a long time. Most of these companies have found it necessary to reevaluate their personnel management practices following the 2008 global financial crisis (Bamberger & Biron, 2014). With the current technological advancements, movement of international talent has become simplified due to the existence of modern logistics. Owing to these developments, expansion of business in Japan has prompted companies to start searching for foreign workers whereby implementing an effective global recruitment strategy can be helpful for them to leverage global talent that can enable them realize profits. While conducting recruitment for global operations in Japan, the Japanese companies consider global competitiveness as observed from the current and potential applicants.

There are four main business strategies for recruiting in Japan: ethnocentric approach, regiocentric approach, geocentric approach, and polycentric approach. With respect to ethnocentric approach, the companies prefer recruiting employees from the parent nation (Japan) to work in various host nations. While embracing this strategy, the Japanese companies ensure that all high ranking foreign positions are occupied with expatriate employees from Japan. This approach operates on the principle that employees from the parent nation are more likely to present an effective representation of headquarter interests. Considering this approach, Shinn and Wolford, (2014) outlined four significant stages in the recruitment process: self-selection, establishing a pool of candidates, evaluation of technical skills, and mutual decision making. Self-selection entails the potential employee making decisions about his/her future interests in the context of international arena. The next phase entails preparation of employee database with respect to the company’s manpower requirement for international operations. Technical skills assessment is then conducted where persons most suited in global assignments are chosen to analyze the database. The last step entails identification of the most suitable candidate for foreign assignment. This approach, therefore, ensures that the natives of the parent nation are placed in key business positions both locally and internationally.

In regard to regiocentric approach, the company ensures that its international business in divided into various global geographic regions. This approach allows managers from different nations to be utilized within different business’s geographic region. Such managers are not usually transferred to the headquarters of the company even though they operate independently within the region. This strategy has been found to be adaptable to product and company strategies. In the event that there is need for regional expertise, preference is given to the regional natives during recruitment (Shinn & Wolford, 2014). Besides, nationals from the parent nation, who can easily access to sources of corporate information, are only involved whenever product knowledge becomes crucial. However, in regard to this approach, research indicates that the differences in the views of the managers at headquarter and regional levels may be a serious limitation (Shinn & Wolford, 2014). Besides, there may be inadequate regional managers with global experience for the corporate headquarter to recruit.

Geocentric approach is a recruitment strategy where the best candidates are allowed to fill the available positions without regard to their nationalities. In the context of Japan, this strategy is followed by companies that are truly global in nature. This approach; however, has never been easy to implement due to various factors like government laws and ethnical and political factors that constrain human resource operations (Shinn & Wolford, 2014). Only a few large global companies have been able to follow geocentric approach and remained considerably successful. In Japan; for instance, manpower consultants and agencies with reputable international connections play a key role in assisting companies find the best candidates. Besides, regarding this approach, it is significant for international organization, companies, or firms to have a well-developed employee database as well as an efficient tracking system for identifying the best candidates that can suit global postings.

In embracing a polycentric approach, the company limits recruitment to the citizens of the host nation (only the local people). Most of the Japanese companies prefer adopting this strategy in order to decrease costs of operation in international settings. In fact, most companies that follow ethnocentric approach end up adopting the polycentric approach. Such global companies transfer management positions to the local people in order to increase their understanding of the local legal and cultural requirements, political scenario, and market conditions (Boxall & Purcell, 2011). Companies, therefore, successfully follow this approach by having a localized human resource department for overall management of human resources in the host nation.

During recruitment Japanese employers consider a number of factors that include: technical skills that are well developed; proper communication skills (language proficiency); high levels of tolerance towards other the new culture, values, habits, colour, creed, and race; goal-oriented behavior; ability to resist stress; and high motivational level (Boxall & Purcell, 2011). Technical skills are significant for helping an employee to accomplish the core objective of the business. Recruiting candidates into positions that match their technical skills is significant for enabling easy execution of the operations of the company. Besides, it enables the company to provide quality services that can enable it achieve a competitive advantage in the highly competitive environment. Language factor is an essential consideration in the Japanese recruitment process. The employers require all foreign job applicants to understand and become masters of Japanese language in order to work in Japan. The rationale is that mastering the local language enables an individual to acquire improved communication skills that can facilitate effective service delivery. Goal-oriented behavior is a significant factor in the sense that it is a measure of the employee’s level of personal discipline. Employees who portray goal-oriented behavior are naturally productive at work and, therefore, can lead the operations of the company into success. High level of tolerance towards other values, habits and culture is a significant factor in the sense it enables a person to blend well in the foreign culture. This is essential for triggering psychological stability that can enable an employee to become productive.

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