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Japan – No slowing of hiring activity in 2014

10 December 2013

Hiring activity in Japan during 2014 is expected to be healthy, recording similar levels to 2013 if not slightly better, according to the views of employers surveyed for the Michael Page Japan 2014 Salary & Employment Forecast.

Sharing their expectations on the recruitment outlook for 2014, nearly half of the 755 employers surveyed consider the current employment market to be steady when compared with the last 12 months. A further 21% are more confident, viewing the hiring market as slightly stronger, while 18% believe it is stronger.

Basil Le Roux, Managing Director of Michael Page in Japan, commented: “As the world’s third largest economy, Japan continues to offer growth opportunities for multinational companies across a range of sectors, and this translates into hiring activity. In particular we are seeing some strong demand for technology professionals, digital specialists and retail staff, and this is expected to continue into 2014.”

With an ongoing expectation for a positive employment market, 46% of surveyed employers are expecting a professional skills shortage over the coming year. In particular, bilingual skills (English and Japanese) continue to be a sought-after requirement for many roles yet difficult to find within the talent pool.

Mr Le Roux added: “Japan’s employment market continues to be defined as one where demand is outstripping supply and employers are increasingly competing for the best talent. With the growth in the technology and digital space technical skills are also in high demand among employers, however many face difficulties in finding the talent they need to grow their business.”

While the impact of a skills shortage on business is translating into an increased need to develop more targeted attraction strategies according to 46% of surveyed employers, it is not likely to impact salary levels based on the view of 41% of survey respondents.

Key findings from the survey reveal:

  • 85% of respondent believe the employment market will either improve or stay at its current level in 2014.
  • 46% expect a professional skills shortage in 2014, -12% lower than the previous year’s survey.
  • 44% of employers will award all employees a salary increase based on performance, and 89% will pay a bonus as part of the remuneration package.


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