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Japan – Contract work suffers from bad image, finds Hays

26 March 2013

Japanese employees still consider contract work to be less attractive than permanent employment with the industry suffering from a bad image, according to a survey by Hays. This found that 72% of respondents deemed contract work to be less appealing. Only 15% said its appeal had risen in recent years.

“Contracting is still not viewed in the same light in Japan as it is across much of the world – as an attractive proposition for both employees and employers seeking a flexible option or specialist requirement,” said Jonathan Sampson, regional director of Hays Japan.

“This stems largely from the historic cultural perception of the ‘iron rice bowl’ and stability being of upmost importance. This was also compounded in 2008 where a large proportion of contractors were let go as a result of economic conditions. However, contracting remains an excellent opportunity for Japan and the market perception will adapt to this incredibly relevant source of talent and work.”

But employers report high demand for contract workers across the country. Other research by Hays indicates that 66% of its clients plan to use temporary workers in the next 12 months with the firm having doubled its contract offering in the past 18 months due to strong customer demand.

“Temporary work is not limited to entry-level office support roles, professionals at all levels and various sectors are working on a temporary basis. We are seeing employers engage temporary workers as a long-term solution to their staffing needs and candidates are making the most of this trend as there are many advantages for them too,” said Mr Sampson.

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