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Japan is the third largest economy and in 2020 alone, over $18.23 billion dollars was invested into clean energy in Japan. The country is emerging as the global test hub for digital GreenTech to address the journey towards a more sustainable tomorrow. Japan is a place of opportunity for any GreenTech looking to expand into the Japanese market. However, Japan is one of the most difficult countries to hire in, with an estimated 81% of employers in Japan facing hiring difficulties.

The difficulty of hiring grew directly proportionate to the company’s size. Many of the clients with whom we’ve communicated have expressed frustration with the difficulty of finding qualified candidates in Japan. The following are some major reasons for the difficulties in hiring in Japan:

  1. Language Barriers

  2. Passive Job Candidates

  3. Traditional Japanese Values and Beliefs

  4. High in Life-Time Employment

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Barriers To Hiring In Japan

Language Barriers

It is important to note that many Japanese individuals have reached success in their respective fields and are highly qualified. However, English proficiency in Japan is somewhat low when compared to the rest of the world. Putting English as a high priority in their hiring criteria resulted in a massive 85% decrease in the talent pool, according to our experience with our customers.

Tip: Keep your checklist short and be open to candidates with transferrable skill sets.

Being bilingual is a major need, but less than 10% of Japanese people are thought to be fluent in English, which makes it more challenging. If you’re an employer, you should think about whether your candidate would be successful in their position without excellent spoken English abilities. Additionally, it’s critical to be extra considerate when pre-screening applicants to account for the possibility that Japanese applicants may have greater reading and writing than speaking abilities in English because English isn’t their native tongue. As an alternative, you may think about spending money on your employee’s upskilling by enrolling them in English lessons. When an individual is placed in an English-speaking environment, his or her English speaking skills improve significantly. If communication in English is necessary for success in this role, your company may want to consider hiring a Japanese professional and collaborating with an interpreter or translator. Being flexible in one set of criteria, such as language, will allow you to attract a larger candidate pool for your role.

Tip: Fluency in English should be your secondary criterion when finding your ‘ideal’ candidate.

Passive Job Candidates

Over time, the lifetime employment rate has fallen. However, it is normal to come across Japanese workers who have stayed for the same business for a long period. Candidates from Japan prioritize their families and are most worried about job stability. Recruitment for these positions may be more challenging due to the candidates’ loyalty and risk-averse outlook. They are more difficult to reach out to since they do not want to be seen as “open to new chances,” thus when they are seeking for job, they frequently turn to renowned employment agencies.

Tip: Share detailed information about the hiring company and job scope while being open and honest with Japanese candidates.

Despite the difficulties of hiring in Japan, Japan is still an attractive place to hire due to its size and highly educated workforce.

Tip: Utilize the skills of a specialized recruiter like Storm4 that maintains a strong database of Japanese candidates by actively headhunting and building relationships with candidates.

Traditional Japanese Values and Beliefs

High-risk adversity and strong corporate loyalty are two characteristics shared by almost all Japanese people. In Japan, loyalty, respect, and honour are highly prized. Japanese job seekers are hard to find since they prefer to keep their employment hunt a secret. Throughout the interview process, hiring managers should be polite, understanding, and encouraging of prospects since doing so will assist ensure that you encourage the best candidates to stay with you.

Tip: Be culturally aware when dealing with Japanese candidates.

When establishing and maintaining business relationships in Japan, trust and respect are vital. Because the Japanese are very careful about whom they talk to, they rarely respond to emails or phone calls from recruiters they do not know.

Tip: Build trust with Japanese candidates by going through recommendations and referrals.

High in Life-Time Employment

Because of their pride in their culture, traditional Japanese people think that they must work for a company with a “strong” and “excellent” reputation. You should use your worldwide branding as a new and foreign HealthTech brand in Japan to persuade Japanese job seekers to apply for your position.

Tip: Improve your company’s employer branding to increase your attractiveness to potential Japanese candidates.

How Storm4 Can Help

Hiring in Japan is a completely unique experience than in other places because of their values and beliefs. Japan’s recruitment process can be challenging and complex. Similar to this, breaking into new markets may be tricky but essential to your GreenTech’s success.

We at Storm4 are specialized recruiters committed to collaborating with the best businesses across all GreenTech industries. We are able to assist you in the success of your entry into the Japanese market thanks to a team of expert recruiters and a large pool of qualified individuals residing in Japan. Storm4 is here to assist you in locating the ideal senior talent for your particular area of expertise. If you are looking to expand your team, contact us.


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