The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

What if you could hire staff for just a 10-percent placement fee? What if that low fee decreased each time you hired an additional employee? In the world’s most expensive recruiting market, that could change the course of your business. With Fidel Consulting’s Head Hunter Outsourcing (HHO), it’s a reality.

Finding staff can be time consuming and costly, and recruiters in Japan charge, on average, 30 percent of a new hire’s salary. Making sure your budget brings you the best talent is critical, but, unless you have an in-house recruiter, it can be tough and expensive.

In many countries, human resources (HR) staff can turn to LinkedIn to find candidates. But the platform is not so popular in Japan, where just 1.6 million people—a mere 2 percent of the workforce—share details of their work and career through the service.

Because companies with an HR team or in-house recruiter typically devote a majority of their time to LinkedIn, this is a real problem. But what other approaches can they take?

Lawrence Kieffer, chief operating officer of Tokyo-based Fidel Consulting, believes that recruiters must apply a wider range of techniques to identify and source the best candidates.

“A dedicated headhunter has all the resources they need to contact candidates and make introductions. They do the whole end-to-end process, just like a regular headhunter would. They source, recruit, screen, introduce, coordinate interviews, help negotiate salaries at the end—everything up to making sure the person started on the right day. It’s just like working with a headhunter, but they are 100 per­cent dedicated to your company only and at a fraction of the cost.”

That’s what Fidel’s HHO service provides.

While the approach casts a wider net, it doesn’t cost more. In fact, it costs less. Regardless of how many positions you fill, the fees never balloon. The experienced headhunter works only for you, providing tailored, concentrated, focused energy to fill that key single vacancy or assembling an entire stellar team.

The annual fee structure is unique in the market and offers flexibility not found elsewhere. With Fidel’s HHO, there’s no need to think on a candidate-by-candidate basis. Your recruiter is available for a full 12 months to assist with talent acquisition on a broad scale. This means you can hire as many candidates as needed—when needed—without worrying about a high cost per hire. The more people you hire, the more money you save; and even if you hire only one person you still come out ahead because the fee is often less than any other Japanese recruiter’s per-candidate rate.

That’s because contingency-based recruiters get paid per place­ment, a model that can also lead to a limited pool of candidates and difficulties filling some positions. High-profile openings often require a lot of legwork and research beyond the recruiter’s own database. Because the likelihood of success is less certain—and the time requirement greater—contingency recruiters are more likely to move on to easier roles that are quicker to fill so they can be sure to make money. How often have you heard this familiar refrain from a headhunter: “I am working really hard to find the right people for you!” Yet, no resumes coming through?

This is another area in which Fidel Consulting’s HHO approach solves traditional recruitment problems and provides greater value. Without concern over getting paid per placement, your dedicated recruiter is happy to tackle the most difficult assignment.

Staleness is another problem that can surface when working with traditional recruiters. People change jobs and résumés become dated. The information in the recruiter’s database may not provide a true picture of the current market. Fidel Consulting’s HHO process gives you fresh results and direct access to candidates, and it extends that access to those not registered with recruiters or LinkedIn.

In the end, Fidel Consulting’s HHO puts less pressure on company staff—particularly those in HR—and allows smaller, younger companies to build a strong team more quickly and affordably.

For larger companies, multiple hires cost far less and those high-level positions get the tough legwork needed to identify the best candidate. The service can even be scaled up by adding more headhunters for a limited period when multiple positions need to be filled in parallel. It’s a winning combination of retainer-level dedication and want-ad-level costs for employers.

We find people who work. With a local and global pool of candidates, Fidel addresses business needs by delivering tech-savvy human capital. Contact us at: or 03-3351-3160.