Types of recruitment agencies in Tokyo

There are a lot of different types of recruitment agencies here in Japan, but we can categorize the companies into 3 groups listed below. Generally speaking, whichever agency you decide to join you will focus on 1 industry and become a recruitment expert for that 1 industry.

Major Japanese Recruitment Agencies

Japanese recruitment agencies focus mostly on Japanese candidates and Consultants work entirely in Japanese. For most English-speakers, focusing on this market is not recommended because the commission is lower and competition is more fierce. We won’t focus on this type of Agencies in this topic.

But for your information, some of the notable companies are Recruit Holdings and Persol, with Recruit Holdings being the largest HR and Recruitment company in Japan and being the market leader here. 

Major International Recruitment Agencies

Major International Recruitment Agencies, including international brands of Japanese Recruitment Agencies like RGF & BRS, focuses mostly in Bilingual talent, with consultants working often in English and Japanese being a nice-asset, but not a requirement. Some of the notable companies are Michael Page, Robert Walters, Hays, RGF, and BRS.

International Recruitment Agencies are characterized by

  • Bilingual Talents: The focus candidate pool is people who speak both Japanese and English at a business level. Often, other languages such as Mandarin are a huge asset as well.
  • Industry Specialist: Recruitment Consultants will be focusing on a highly specific industry, such as focusing on Digital Roles for BtoB companies. Recruitment Consultants will be focusing on a highly specific industry, such as focusing on Digital Roles for BtoB companies.
  • Covers Multiple Industry: Consultants focus on sepcific industry, but the company covers dozens of industries, ranging from Healthcare, IT, Sales and Marketing, to a lot more.

Boutique Recruitment Agencies

Boutique Recruitment Agencies are smaller recruitment agencies that also focus on Bilingual talents and consultants often work in English as well. Compared to Major Recruitment Agencies, often Boutique companies only have offices in Japan and focus on only one or two industries.  

Boutique Recruitment Agencies work similar to Major Recruitment Agencies and are characterized by

  • Bilingual Talents: The focus candidate pool is people who speak both Japanese and English at a business level. Often, other languages such as Mandarin are a huge asset as well. The focus candidate pool is people who speak both Japanese and English at a business level. Often, other languages such as Mandarin are a huge asset as well.
  • Industry Specialist: Recruitment Consultants will be focusing on a highly specific industry, such as focusing on Digital Roles for BtoB companies.
  • Focuses on 1 or 2 Industry: Unlike Major International Recruitment Agencies, Boutique Agencies as a company only focus on 1 or 2 industries, such as Healthcare or Hospitality.