You may have read in the news recently that we have seen a sharp rise in the number of Japanese speaking roles in the financial services sector. We have found that the roles we recruit for in this sector are largely determined by the stability of the market, to see so many coming our way is a clear indication that the recovery is in full swing. We are also hearing from our Japanese clients that the strength of the Yen is encouraging more companies to invest in Europe.
However it is apparent that Japanese companies are not just looking for employees that can speak the language; equally as important is the ability to understand the culture and the way business operates. Candidates are now required to understand the pace of business in Japan and also how to interact with people. In fact there is a well known story of a multi million pound business deal in which an American supplier did not present business cards to Japanese managers in the correct manner, and toyed with them throughout the meeting. A major sign of disrespect in Japanese business culture, the deal fell through!
It is important therefore for applicants to understand a country’s culture– just speaking a language will not always get you the job.