Tokyo (SCCIJ) – The Switzerland based “The Adecco Group”, the world’s leading provider of workforce solutions, has repositioned its permanent placement business in Japan under the Spring Professional brand. Its number of consultants in Japan will be effectively doubled to 500 until 2020 in order to accelerate the expansion of the business in one of the world’s toughest labor markets. Spring Professional is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Adecco Group and focuses on recruiting middle- to senior-level management and experts in IT, engineering, finance and other professional services. The re-branding in Japan is the outcome of a revision of the group’s overall brand strategy worldwide in January 2017.
Japan is “candidate-driven market”
About 40 percent of the Japanese workforce is either on flexible contracts or works part-time, which makes Japan a very relevant market for Adecco. Its 2,000 local employees cater mainly to Japanese companies and find jobs for over 33,000 people in Japan every day. Sales turnover is about 1.3 billion euro per year in Japan. Last year, revenue grew 3.5 percent. The re-branding should support the business of Adecco Japan.
“We will be able to grow at a faster rate by leveraging on the Spring Professional brand,” Kenichiro Kawasaki, President, Adecco Group Japan, said. “In our mid-term business plan we positioned permanent placement as one of our most important focus areas.” According to the Yano Research Institute, the permanent placement market for fiscal 2016 in Japan was worth about 230 billion yen, a seventh consecutive year of expansion with an increase of 9.5 percent compared to 2015.
Demographic changes are impeding strong growth. It is not easy to find qualified employees, Christophe Duchatellier, CEO Asia Pacific of Adecco, told the magazine Eurobiz Japan: “In Japan there is little unemployment. It’s really a candidate-driven market.” For example, there would be six job offers for every applicant in IT, and four job offers per applicant in engineering. Also, average candidate age has gone up from 24-35 to 45-55 years old due to the scarcity of younger people.
Crowded HR market in Japan
A second challenge is the hot competition in the staffing market which is crowded by 6,000 local HR companies. Adecco Japan reacted by becoming more specialized over the last three years, told Keiichiro Itakura, who heads Adecco’s permanent placement business in Japan and just became head of the Spring Professional brand in Japan, the magazine Eurobiz.
According to Itakura’s ‘360-degree consulting approach’, a single consultant has the propensity to offer solutions and proposals to companies and is also able to provide career counseling to job seekers. The Spring Professional teams are separated by occupation type, with industry-specialist teams formed in each department. “Thus, we achieve the best matches and results between companies and job seekers,” Itakura said. Spring Professional offices have been established in Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.
About The Adecco Group
With more than 33,000 employees and around 5,100 branches in 60 countries and territories around the world, The Adecco Group, based in Zurich, Switzerland, offers a wide variety of services, connecting approximately 700,000 associates with its clients every day. The group posted 22.7 billion euro in revenue worldwide last year. The services it offers fall into the broad categories of temporary staffing, permanent placement, career transition and talent development, as well as outsourcing and consulting.
Text: Martin Fritz (partly based on Adecco Japan material) for SCCIJ; Photo: The Adecco Group