The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

The window through which we view the world is in some ways smaller today than in the past. As Generation Z—those born since 1995—becomes more reliant on digital devices and apps, small screens have become something of a new sensory organ—one which we can’t live without.

Through these devices, disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics are changing the world and the job market. Demand for engineers, software developers, and many other specialists in these developing industries will continue to increase. And with the talent shortage in Japan growing, recruiters are looking abroad to fill the gaps.

Adil Driouech, senior director of the technology, digital services, and internal IT teams at RGF Executive Search Japan, spoke to The ACCJ Journal about current trends, the company’s advantages over competitors, and how RGF Executive Search delivers the perfect hire to its clients.

Where technology leads, recruitment trends follow. According to Driouech, recent develop­ments in tech-related industries—including augmented reality, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things—are impacting the Japanese talent pool and job market. “There are so many trends, and there are increasingly more businesses that are digitally driven. This is forcing tech­nology companies to come up with ways of improving their services, which, in turn, has increased the demand for industry-trained professionals.”

Adil Driouech
Senior director of the
technology, digital services,
and internal IT teams at
RGF Executive Search Japan


Driouech also pointed out a key obstacle: a limited pool of local talent. In Japan, he said, there is a huge shortage of talent—especially bilingual talent—and, as new technologies such as AI become more prominent, that pool will need to become more diverse. “AI engineers are not people you find every day on the street in Japan; you have to look overseas,” Driouech explained. “We see, more and more, that the key players especially are looking for talent outside of Japan, regardless of language. They are looking for a skill set that is difficult to find here. As technology develops, it pushes Japanese companies to open up and see global talent.”

RGF Executive Search is part of Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd., the largest recruitment company in Asia. Connections throughout the region give the company an advantage. “If you are a client looking for AI engineers, we will know where these people are to be found both in Japan and overseas,” Driouech explained. When a client needs to fill a position and there is a need for local or foreign talent, RGF Executive Search is able to tap into a global pool. “We can coordinate with our offices overseas whenever we need to. Say a client needs engineers from India or China. We reach out to our sister companies based there and coordinate with them on projects.”

RGF Executive Search uses a variety of approaches to deal with industry change. “Having an in-house research team focused on mapping each and every sector and industry—checking who is there and what their goals are—is just a totally game-changing level of service,” Driouech said.

The company’s experience hiring for both specialist and execu­tive positions is extensive, and most of the technology team have long worked in the industry. “We have many more collective years of experience than other companies of our size,” said Driouech. “We have a lot of people with a lot of experience. They have been through market cycles and industry challenges—both good and bad—and have learned to refine their service quality and value proposition. About one-third of our consultants have more than a decade of experience recruiting in their specific industry.”

That length of time, he said, increases the consultant’s dedication to clients. “The level of commitment doesn’t change between teams, it’s just something we have at the company that sets us apart.”

As technology develops, it pushes Japanese companies to open up and see global talent.