Robert Walters Japan: Rate of Foreign Candidate Hiring Increases

Written by BCCJ
April 16, 2024


Written by BCCJ
April 16, 2024

TOKYO – Specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters announced trends in the hiring of foreign national candidates on April 10. In recent years, as the domestic workforce has been shrinking, companies have been focusing on boosting diversity in their hiring process. In this release, we take a look at how the rate of foreign national candidates hired has been increasing.


Foreign Nationality Candidates – Hiring Ratio

According to our placement data between 2017 and 2023, the percentage of foreign national candidates hired for positions through our company was 19% in 2017 and 30% in 2023, there has been an 11% increase in the last seven years. The hiring rate was flat in 2020 and 2021, when there were strict travel restrictions due to the pandemic but has been increasing since 2022. The recruitment rate of foreign nationals is expected to increase over the long term in the future due to the impact of the chronic labour shortage in Japan, therefore driving a need for companies to implement more diverse hiring practices.

Foreign Nationality Candidates – Permanent vs. Contract Employment

Looking at the employment rate of foreign national candidates in terms of permanent and contract employment, we see that the percentage of foreign national candidates who have been placed in permanent employment positions through our company has been slowly increasing. The increase in the number of permanent positions indicates that foreign national candidates are becoming more sought-after in the long term, rather than filling shorter term contract positions. The overall trend for contract employment is also on the rise.



Foreign Nationality Candidates – Career Change by Industry and Discipline

Next, we will look at the industries and disciplines in which foreign national candidates have actually changed jobs. As shown in the chart below, many foreign nationals are working in the IT industry, which has always had a serious talent shortage, and the need to utilize diverse human resources has been more urgent than in any other industry, making it the top industry in which foreign national candidates are changing jobs in. It can be predicted that foreign national candidates are more likely to change jobs as temporary employees, especially in industries and occupations where talent are replaced on a project-by-project basis.

Although the number of foreign national candidates changing jobs is still limited to a few fields, this result indicates that companies are beginning to hire a wider range of personnel in light of the serious talent shortage with specialised skills in the IT industry and other industries. It is expected that the employment of foreign national candidates will expand to various industries in the future.



The above findings indicate that this trend of increased hiring of foreign national candidates is not a temporary one but one we expect to see continue. The same trend is also seen in the utilization of senior-level talent, suggesting that companies are promoting the use of diverse human resources and accepting diverse skill sets and ways of thinking. The deployment of a more foreign nationals, which has been increasing as a result of the talent shortage, is playing an active role to bolster a more diverse and inclusive work environment, making it easier for everyone to work. Research has shown that companies that are more diverse have a higher potential for growth when compared to other companies, and this trend can be predicted to lead to future growth for companies as well.




About Robert Walters Japan:

Established in London, United Kingdom, in 1985, Robert Walters is a specialist recruitment consultancy with operations in 31 countries around the world. Robert Walters Japan established its Tokyo office in 2000 and Osaka office in 2007. For over 20 years, we’ve been a driving force in the Japanese bilingual recruitment market, providing high quality candidates for our clients and access to the best jobs. Our consultants are experts in their respective industries and work in teams to provide recruitment consultation services across a wide range of industries and job categories.

Press contact:
PR & Communications, Robert Walters Japan
Phone: 03-4570-1500 E-mail: [email protected]