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Japan – Money vs security for Japanese professionals

05 September 2013

Remuneration is central for professionals in Japan moving to a foreign firm, while workers largely seek job security when joining a Japanese company, according to the Robert Walters Employee Insights Survey. The 2013 Survey examined worker sentiment on career progression and international opportunities in a rapidly globalising Japanese market.

Globalisation has created more choice for bilingual job seekers pursuing an international career. Globally-minded professionals are now able to move more easily between foreign and local companies as the skill requirements for employees standardise. However, differences between these two groups continue to create competition for the market’s top talent.

According to the Survey, 49.7% of workers switching from Japanese companies to foreign firms were mainly motivated by remuneration. Additionally, 25.3% of workers preferred to work in a foreign office environment, while 16.4% of respondents were attracted by career progression opportunities.

In contrast, most professionals making the opposite move from a foreign company to a Japanese firm were attracted by the perceived job security (38.6%). A Japanese office culture was the second most common reason for professionals to make a switch (23.0%), followed by remuneration (15.8%).

Tomokazu Betzold, director of IT for Robert Walters Japan, commented: "The rapid globalisation of local businesses has created more opportunities for professionals looking for the stability of a Japanese environment while continuing an international career. The number of these opportunities will continue to grow as more local companies expand into markets outside the country.”

“When job seekers do decide to move, soft factors such as a company’s office culture can be just as influential as salary when choosing a company to join. Particularly in Japan, family members can also weigh heavily into a worker’s decision on which firm to join and whether to join a domestic or foreign firm," he added.

Respondents were asked: what was your main motivation for moving from a Japanese company to a foreign company?
-- Remuneration 49.7%
-- Office environment 25.3%
-- Career progression 16.4%
-- Job security 2.4%
-- Other 6.2%

What was your main motivation for moving from a foreign company to a Japanese company?
-- Job security 38.6%
-- Office environment 23.0%
-- Remuneration 15.8%
-- Career progression 14.1%
-- Other 8.5%

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