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Robert Walters Japan Question Market Sustainability

Robert Walters Japan Question Market Sustainability

Employers are revising their hiring strategies due to questions on the sustainability of Japan’s market recovery, according to the 2013 Robert Walters Half-year Market Update. While business transactions increased in 2013 as a result of the Abenomics fiscal strategy, employers prepared for unexpected changes by hiring contract workers and utilising external vendors to avoid over hiring permanent staff.

In quarters one and two, equity transactions rose in the financial sector. Banks and financial firms managed this growth in activity by adding contractors with operations experience to more easily adjust to market conditions. Compliance experience was another area of demand with employers mainly recruiting these contractors on a per-project basis to assist with implementing legislation including the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). However, given the limited number of skilled contractors active in the market, contract rates in these areas rose by 5-10% as competition for workers intensified.

Pharmaceutical companies were also cautious regarding long-term business prospects. To control costs, multinational firms in Tokyo and Osaka expanded their use of research outsourcing vendors to reduce the cost of in-house drug development. The increase in hiring by contract research organisations (CROs) created new and replacement hiring demand for clinical research associates at the junior and mid levels.

Natasha Brooks, Director of Contract said:
"While the positive sentiment created a noticeable increase in recruitment, many employers are worried about over hiring permanent staff in case market conditions change. So in order to handle the needs for immediate projects or day-to-day operations, employers across many industries are increasingly turning to contract professionals to maintain flexible headcount."

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