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Computer Futures as a technology focused company, concentrates on bilingual recruitment for predominantly Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) as well as foreign based technological firms who wish to enter the Japan market. In this article, Porters Magazine has interviewed Grant Habgood, director of Computer Futures in Japan who will be able to share more on his experience and insights on the hiring of this industry as well as trends of the market.

 In 2013, Computer Futures opened its first office in Japan. Founded in the UK in 1986 under SThree Plc, it has since opened multiple offices around the world. Computer Futures concentrates on the technology industry in Japan while SThree’s other business unit, Real Life Sciences, focuses on the pharmaceutical industry.

Trends in the market
The current focus markets in Japan would have to be security and financial technology (FinTech) where hiring is increasing. The attention for cyber security companies have grown vastly as organisations in Japan are trying to counter cyber threats by increasing their investments on security solutions or security service providers. Even within the FinTech market, Computer Futures have placed around 10 candidates in the mobile payments sector as FinTech inches its way through the Japan market.

How do you attract your clients?
With more investment in Japan from the number of start-ups you witness, more funding is given to them as well in order to out-compete another. At Computer Futures, we show our commitment to the industry as a sponsor in Tech in Asia last year as we take part in the most exciting event of the year for all start-ups within the technology space. We work with wide-varied roles such as sales, marketing, engineers, architect, developers, and many more within the technology industry. Hence, we are able to cater multiple roles to foreign companies who wish to start their business in Japan. 90% of our current clients are foreign companies, while 45% of these are start-ups who are trying to enter Japan. This explains the experience we have in dealing with start-ups as well the expansion of companies within Japan.

How do we work with our clients?
It is a very competitive market in recruitment within Japan and candidates are often in high demand. However, we differentiate ourselves with a satellite office in Manila, Philippines to assist the office in Japan with resourcing and market mapping. As a global firm, we boast of one of the largest candidate database in the world. With the headquarters in the UK, they often drive online marketing campaigns, candidate events, networking sessions, and constantly active on social media channels such as LinkedIn. At Computer Futures, we have a 360 model where consultants work with both candidates and clients. There is a very structured team where each consultant is a vertical market specialist of the roles they work on. For example, there would be one consultant working on enterprise technology which focuses on cloud and software while another consultant deals with the online and mobility space. The functions they deal with within each space differs as well.

How do we analyse KPI?
We have our very own database which allows us to generate weekly and monthly analytics and results. This allows each team to understand their targets and the action to be taken for targets to be met. In fact, we have recently migrated to Salesforce, in an attempt to keep up with technological trends that would benefit the organisation to improve in their workflow. It may be a very challenging move for such a large organisation to migrate its operating systems but this is an example of how we look to partner with technological companies at the forefront of the industry and how as a company, we are willing to improve with technological advancements.

How do you nurture your consultants?
The right training is needed in order to grow your consultants. And often, it is the combination of the will to do it coupled with the right guidance and mentorship. We have to take a look at the strategy the consultants have been using if targets are often not met. Be it a skills gap, or simple issues such as matching of resumes, client commitment problems, and many other possible reasons, there is a need to resolve this by checking what could have went wrong. It is a matter of drilling them down into meeting their KPIs and assisting them in their ability to do so. One way to encourage our consultants is through office swaps for training purposes so that they get exposed to what our counterparts are doing in other offices around the world.

What is the direction of the future for Computer Futures?
Computer Futures is definitely looking to sponsor Tech in Asia again, to further strengthen our commitment to the industry. There will be other online marketing spaces and candidate acquisition strategies that would be put forward. The satellite office in Manila would be of increasing importance as well in the resource and market maps that they would be able to offer to our clients. Instead of opening up new offices, Computer Futures Japan is going to concentrate on the technology industry by increasing the focus on our vertical specialism markets. We love to strengthen our business lines to better service our clients.

If you have a hiring need within the technology space in Japan, please feel free to reach out to Grant and his team to find out what he can do for you.

*The above is a summary of the interview in Porters Magazine that was written in Japanese.

Click HERE to read the original article in Porters Magazine (in Japanese).

Grant Habgood
Director of Computer Futures, Japan
+81 3 4520 4016
g.habgood@computerfutures.com