The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

Finding the right talent to develop, deploy, and execute an effective local strategy is a must, and that’s especially true when it comes to consumer goods and retail, where technology is pushing companies to evolve rapidly. RGF Executive Search Japan stands ready to help clients find the right candidates, keep pace with changes in technology, and grow their offerings for more profitable business.

“The consumer goods and retail industries are both evolving and becoming more connected to digital platforms,” said Diego Munoz, director of RGF Executive Search Japan’s consu­mer goods and retail team. “As a result, clients are increasingly adding a digital component to existing roles—or at least looking for people who are digital savvy or compatible with new technology.”

Munoz said that, when companies consider what skills to look for in new hires, functional and industry experiences are still important. But they are also looking for people with experience dealing with global e-tailers and who understand social media and omnichannel, the inte­gration of multiple shopping methods, such as online and brick-and-mortar.

Particularly in demand are leaders who can help grow e-commerce sales, both through their own sites and those of e-tailer partners. “The majority of our business remains executive-level roles within sales and marketing for esta­blished companies as well as startups entering the market.”

While recruiters can get a good feel for the potential of a candidate through their résumé, gauging some of the most important qualities that lead to success in the workplace requires going beyond that traditional digest.

“The major things we assess are communication skills, personal presentation, and overall compatibility with the clients with whom we are currently working,” Munoz said. “Our clients not only expect that each candidate has the capability to do the job, they also expect them to match the company’s team culture. That’s why it is important that we meet each candidate in person.”

Asked what challenges RGF Executive Search Japan faces, Munoz gave an unexpected answer. “It’s the abundance of job openings,” he said. “It may sound counterintuitive to list this as a challenge, but it means that each candidate is flooded with job openings. As a result, they can be very picky about which jobs to apply for. From the perspective of our clients, attracting talent, selling the company’s benefits, and being flexible have all become increasingly important.”

Munoz believes that, moving forward, this imbalance could lead companies to become more flexible—especially when bringing bilingual, non-Japanese talent into their workforce. “And as the digital space continues to mature, there will be more hybrid roles within sales and marketing that combine traditional marketing practices with digital marketing,” he added.

The extent to which a hire is successful or not largely can be designed or mitigated by close attention to detail at all stages of the process. RGF Executive Search Japan has been a trusted partner on assignments for board members, country managers, and senior to mid-level management roles for more than 20 years, and this is why companies looking to keep pace with the digital transformation of consumer goods and retail trust Munoz and his team to find the right talent.

That team has an average 11 years’ experience per recruiter and represents a wide range of nationalities and backgrounds.

“Because they have so much experience, they are really efficient. They already know the industry and all the good candidates in play, and they know the companies where candidates may want to work. This allows them to really leverage that experience to complete a search efficiently and to educate the client so that they really know what is and isn’t possible.”

Through hands-on partnerships with their clients, RGF Executive Search Japan puts that experience to work in order to identify the needs, challenges, and unique value propositions of each company and create detailed and exciting search briefs that evangelize their business and attract top talent.

Particularly in demand are leaders who can help grow e-commerce sales.