Staying on top of the trends

Recruitment firms adapt to the ever-changing world of work


JUNE 2022 Industry Perspectives / Text by Alexandra Ziminski

The world of work has changed dramatically over the past couple years. In addition to employees’ desire for greater flexibility and firms’ push for greater diversity, new technology and digital services are continually being developed. Recruitment firms are staying on top of the trends to ensure they can continue matching businesses with the right talent in the midst of the constantly changing employment landscape.

Higher expectations
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the creators of, an online job board and blog, have observed a shift in what candidates and companies want.

“The pandemic has made both employers and employees recalibrate their processes and expectations,” notes Himanshu Jain, co-founder and managing director. “Candidates now expect a better work–life balance and more flexibility, and employers have to focus more on employees’ communication, self-management, organisational, teamwork, and leadership skills, which all play a vital role when they are working remotely.”

Robert Walters Japan highlights the increasing need for employees who are self-sufficient.

“Beyond bilingual and technical skills, firms are looking for independent, autonomous talent who can bring their own ideas and take initiative to really drive business,” says Jeremy Sampson, managing director. “These days, candidates desire challenging, interesting work and a culture that motivates them to excel. It also goes without saying, but greater work flexibility is a must.”

According to en world Japan K.K., the move to a more flexible work system has given companies the option of looking for talent all across Japan.

“It is now normal for candidates to expect a flexible work environment from firms and, with the rise of remote work, companies have also started to look for candidates from outside of Tokyo,” adds Yu Sato, senior vice president. “There is a candidate shortage in the job market, so firms that offer remote work and flexible hours have a competitive advantage.”

Online connections
PAL K.K. has noticed an increase in online recruitment services and technology over the last couple years.
“When Covid-19 hit, companies started transitioning from traditional job advertising to internet advertising. Due to this trend, there has been a boom in adtech,” says Brian Hu, communication lead. “The talent pool online is quite competitive, so firms that are hiring need to be agile and think outside the box. We help firms make the right hire, every time.” is one firm that uses digital technology to connect candidates and employees from around the world.

“ was created by ReachExt K.K., a leading recruitment company,” explains Jain. “It is a new service to help our clients with branding, exposure, as well as local and international reach, while also offering a cost-effective way to help them with their hiring needs. Candidates can browse an ever-growing library of up-to-date educational content about IT and working in Japan.”

As the hiring process continues to go digital, en world Japan K.K. is using new software to better support its clients.
“We have started to offer an online reference service called ASHIATO, which means footprints in Japanese,” says Sato. “As clients conduct more online interviews, they are increasingly relying on data to hire the right talent, and ASHIATO offers them easy and efficient reference checks. It also benefits candidates, because it keeps a record of positive past performance.”

A clear vision
With the smaller pool of candidates in today’s job market, Robert Walters Japan explains how important it is for companies to find their unique selling point.

“With the competition for talent fiercer than ever, now is a critical time for firms to re-examine their values and strengths,” says Sampson. “Once a clear vision is reached, they should strengthen and promote their employee value proposition to make the organisation stand out. It’s also critical to add a human touch to the hiring process, especially in the digital age.”
PAL K.K. offers advice from the candidate’s perspective.

“Candidates’ desires have not changed; they want to work in jobs where they feel fulfilled, with people they enjoy working with and who share similar values. At the end of the day, employees ask themselves one simple question: “Do I love working here?”, says Patrick McWilliams, managing advisor. “We recommend engagement, active listening, and action to retain the best talent.”

Japan’s recruitment firms keep adapting to the needs of the job market and the changing times.