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Japan – Abe-nomics little effect on hiring

14 March 2013

Improved business sentiment in Japan due to the election of a new government has not yet affected hiring levels according to recruiter Robert Walters. This found that the hiring outlook for 2013 is set to remain similar to 2012, despite anticipated pro-business policies from the new Abe government dubbed ‘Abe-nomics’.

Current Prime Minister Shinzō Abe came into office in 2012. His government plans to defeat deflation and weak external demand which have dragged down the economy.

Lanis Yarzab, from Robert Walters Japan said: “It is still far too early to determine any discernible movement in recruitment levels as a result of the anticipated policies of the Abe government.

“From our perspective, we expect businesses in Japan to remain cautious and recruit predominately on a replacement basis, rather than filling new headcount. To improve their existing teams, employers will look for workers with specialist skills when hiring for attrition.”

Companies in Japan will remain generally cautious and are set to focus on existing business rather than initiate expansion plans in the coming year. As a result, firms will look to improve or ‘up-skill’ their workforces by hiring more experienced professionals with a stronger compliment of skill sets when replacing departing staff.

Multinational firms will also continue scrutinising global staffing costs, which will create more difficulty for line managers to obtain local headcount approvals for incoming staff. Due to the lengthened hiring process, employers are expected to seek more experienced, non-managerial staff who are able to contribute immediately with minimal training. However, the availability of these professionals will remain limited in Japan, which may lead to wage inflation later in the year. 


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