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How to Become a Recruiter in Japan or Use One to Land a Dream Job!

Japan’s recruiting industry is one of the world’s largest. Tap into its strengths and level up your career with the help of GaijinPot Jobs.

By 3 min read

The recruiting space is one of the more intriguing areas of the Japanese job market. The list of firms is seemingly endless, with a diverse range of mom-and-pop services, global operators and in-house agencies all angling for the best way to help Japanese firms find talent.

It’s competitive, foreigner-friendly and a place you should absolutely be looking if you want to make good money as a recruiter — or if you want to tap into the relationships recruiters manage for a job.

GaijinPot can help job seekers do both with the GaijinPot Jobs “Recruiter” button.

Place Candidates or Be The Candidate

You’ll find two types of job listings when using the Recruiter button: posts by recruiting firms looking to hire new team members (usually staff recruiters or researchers/sources) and posts where companies in Japan have asked recruiting firms to help find an employee.

Not sure about the pluses and minuses of either path? Here are some of the basics.

The Pros and Cons of Working as a Recruiter in Japan

The Pros:

  1. Attractive Compensation: Compensation models, including salaries and commissions, can vary widely, but it’s not uncommon to see ranges of ¥6-10 million, even for beginners.
  2. Language Flexibility: Recruiting is open to individuals without advanced Japanese language skills. Some firms assist in placing foreign talent, while others focus on Japanese talent. The opportunities depend on the specific firm.
  3. Entry-Level Opportunities: Numerous entry-level positions are available, centered around candidate sourcing. This provides an excellent opportunity to showcase skills, especially for those who enjoy networking and research.
  4. Insight into the Japanese Business Market: Working in recruitment offers direct exposure to the pulse of the Japanese business market, providing valuable insights for those unfamiliar with Japanese business practices.
  5. Networking Opportunities: The industry naturally provides extensive networking opportunities.

The Cons:

  1. Sales-Driven Stress: The nature of the job involves either selling or supporting those who sell, leading to high-stress levels.
  2. All-Encompassing Work: While the potential for high earnings exists, the job can be all-encompassing, leaving little time to enjoy the financial rewards.
  3. Competition and Politicking: The sales aspect introduces competition both internally with colleagues and externally with other firms. The market dynamics add another layer of challenge, making selling more demanding when operating in the middle.

Note: The negatives may be subjective depending on individual perspectives.

Pros and Cons of Collaborating with a Recruiter in Japan:

The Pros:

  1. Access to Hidden Opportunities: A skilled recruiter has insights into the hidden job market, spanning tiny firms, startups, and large corporations, offering a significant advantage in job hunting.
  2. Career Coaching: Recruiters can serve as career coaches significantly if they recognize your potential for significant future growth. They guide you to help you ascend the professional ladder.

The Cons:

  1. Dependency on Others: As a free agent, you rely on someone else to secure job opportunities. While working with a recruiter can be advantageous, their time is often reserved for top-performing individuals.
  2. Potential Lower Earnings: You can earn less than if you secured a position independently, although firms often use recruiters for a reason. While not impossible, it’s less likely.
  3. Limited Access to Company Resources: Working through a recruiter may limit your access to company benefits, outings, promotions, and even potential friendships. Expect some restrictions in this regard.
  4. Possibility of Runaround: If you’re not the ideal candidate, the recruiter and the company may provide vague responses. Overall, the process tends to be time-consuming.

In conclusion, insightful books are available on the recruiting industry, with some specifically focusing on the Japanese market. Engaging with this industry in Japan can significantly benefit your career or the careers of others. Happy hunting!

Or if you’re not much of a hunter? You have the wonderful opportunity on GaijinPot Jobs to sidestep the idea by filtering your job search to companies in Japan looking to hire directly!

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