Top 3 Challenges for Companies in Japan for 2020 (and our solution to them)

This is an article that I wrote at the end of 2019 but wanted to repost and update with our new website and services we are launching later this month.  The contents really hit on key areas we are looking to help companies achieve during the rest of 2020.

Companies will be facing the on-going challenges of a candidate-driven market and the fierce battle to attract and retain talent here in the Japan market. We have a new Emperor and a new era but will have the same headaches we did in 2019 unless we approach the challenges with a different mindset and a clear strategy.

Below is my list of the challenges companies in Japan will face and some advice on how to approach them and what we are doing at Motionworks K.K. do help companies with these challenges in 2020.


In the recruitment sector, we all basically offer the same thing to clients and candidates so how do we differentiate ourselves?

Simple. Tell your story.

This was our concept when we started the Coffee for Closers series and is still where we can help companies brand themselves better. Some companies are trying to do that with posts of team dinners for hitting targets or a group of new hires but that is not telling a story; that is leaving an image for people to judge and leaves more questions than answers.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but I would say that a picture raises a thousand questions. The answers to those questions are stories and the best way to share them is through video.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but I would say that a picture raises a thousand questions. The answers to those questions are stories and the best way to share them is through video. That’s what companies need to show in order to create a brand, build a culture and differentiate themselves. That’s our aim in 2020. We want to help companies tell stories better and attract the right talent to their brand.

Some companies are doing a good job of this, other fall short and some don’t do it at all. That should be the aim for companies in 2020 is to show candidates your culture through stories. Videos work best, but there are other ways that are effective and we are happy to sit down and help you build those strategies and create great content.


Many companies spend more time on the look and feel of a website design than on designing a clear social media and marketing strategy.

Developing a clear social media and marketing strategy should be first, then the website second.

We don’t do web design, instead we help companies develop a social media and branding strategy that can attract talent and early next year we are going to launch a platform to help companies brand themselves better without creating a new website.

We understand companies have already spent a lot of time and money on developing their websites. But what happens when the market changes and your website is outdated? We have created a platform that allows you to share content (that we help you produce) and push it back to your website. This means that you don’t have to spend more money on designing a new website, however, it does mean you have to rethink your budget towards branding.


As recruiters, we spend a majority of our time on active positions; the ones that are hot now and need to be filled soon. And while that pattern will never go away, we need to actively broadcast and reach out to as many people in the market for those roles to close them quickly. But companies interview and interact with a lot of people during the interview process but only hire a select few.

99% of candidates that companies do not hire are sent back into the market and never engaged with again

By developing a better, more engaging interview process and strategy to attract active and passive candidates along with content that engages those candidates is crucial to creating a candidate pool (or audience).

Companies need to treat every candidate they interact with as a potential follower of their content and brand. But if companies don’t have a brand identity, that will never happen.

We have a lot of great ideas that we are launching next year to help companies brand themselves better and we look forward to working with companies to deliver great content for their audience.

If you are struggling with any of these issues or just want to chat and talk through what we can offer, give us call.

We will be posting a video covering this blog post soon so stay tuned for more great content from Motionworks K.K.