White Paper: en world
While there was optimism that 2021 would see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and a return to normalcy, unfortunately, the multiple new variants of the virus and subsequent responses by governments around the world continued to disrupt day-to-day life. However, optimism for 2021 was not entirely misplaced, as the business world continued to adjust to the new climate and to new working styles. The global economy—as well as those of the major industrialized nations, including Japan—saw recovery and GDP growth. The economic recovery, combined with persistent job growth—despite a talent shortage in Japan—has meant considerable demand for recruitment and talent acquisition-related services. This year should see further optimism, as vaccines and boosters are widely administered and COVID-19’s impact on public health is minimized. Despite the uncertainty due to various geopolitical and socioeconomic factors, this should positively impact the economy and job market, and economic forecasts indicate continued growth and recovery.
It is reasonable to expect that, in 2022, companies in Japan will try to capitalize on economic recovery, which should mean a buoyant job market in general, as competition for top talent increases. This year, companies will need to pay close attention to job seekers’ expectations, as well as to the engagement and retention of key employees. Finding the right balance between flexibility, particularly in companies’ requirements for in-person work, and office environments’ attractiveness to employees is more important than ever. Management will need to explore new ways to onboard new hires, cultivate company culture, and promote collaboration in hybrid environments that combine both physical and virtual interaction. Those companies that can offer the best working environments, employee engagement, and development opportunities, as well as financial and nonfinancial benefits, will gain an edge in what is sure to be fierce competition for talent.
Job seekers in 2022 will find a favorable market. Although the “Great Resignation”—a phrase that has become common parlance globally—has not been as extreme in Japan, there is still an increased willingness within the labor force to consider new opportunities, and this trend is sure to continue. Bilingual talent with highly specialized skills will continue to be sought after and, while these candidates will command premium compensation, other factors related to employee engagement, such as health, safety, and employee well-being, will be key considerations as well. Also, Japan has not shifted to a “gig” economy to the same degree as other industrialized countries have, but there has been an increasing trend of workers migrating away from metropolitan centers and looking for more flexibility, in terms of working hours and location as well as employment type. As a result, it is likely that contract and freelance employment arrangements will continue to grow at an accelerated rate.
Going forward, en world will continue to focus on our mission of enabling our customers’ success. We will continue to take a more consultative approach with our clients and candidates, aiming to tailor our services to their specific needs, given the variety and flexibility of the services we can offer. By finding creative opportunities across our permanent, contract, and recruitment process outsourcing services, as well by leveraging HR technologies across the en Japan group, we aim to meet whatever talent needs our clients may have and to provide the best opportunities to the candidates who place their trust in us.