How to Use Japanese Recruitments Agencies to Find a Job in Japan


「転職サイト tenshoku saito」, or job change sites, or career change sites, are the first place many Japanese people look to when looking for a job. Registration is easy with a smartphone, and most of them are free to use. In recent years, the number of recruitment agencies and job sites exclusively for foreigners have started to appear. 

In this article, we introduce the different types of recruitment agencies in Japan, and how to best utilize them.

First Published: 2022/11/28
Updated : 2024/04/18

Table of Contents

  1. Types of Japanese Recruitment Agencies
  2. How to Use Japanese Recruitment Agencies in Japan (Make the most of them!)
  3. Recruitment Agencies for Foreigners in Japan
  4. Get Help Finding or Changing Jobs in Japan with WeXpats

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Types of Japanese Recruitment Agencies

3 types of japanese recruitment agencies

There are 3 main types of job posting sites and recruitment agencies in Japan. We will introduce how to use each of them below, have a look and choose the one that suits you best. 

Direct Application Type (直接応募, Chokusetsu Oubou)

The direct application type of job service allows you to directly apply for job vacancies from a wide range of available job postings. Job seekers can select and apply for job postings based on their desired occupation, work location, and work conditions. Communications are done through the website, including sending documents (resume, etc.) and scheduling job interviews. 

The appeal of this type of job site is the ease of checking job information. It is good for people who think “I’m not changing jobs right now” and “I’m just browsing.” However, since there are tens of thousands of job postings on large-scale job sites, people who do not have specific job conditions tend to get lost. We recommend only using this type of job site after you’ve decided what type of job and what conditions you are looking for

Headhunt / Recruiter Type (スカウト, Sukauto)

Called 「スカウト sukauto」in Japanese, from the English word “(talent) scout” and “scouting” as in headhunting. Compared to the above job listing site service, this is more of a recruitment service. This type of recruitment service in Japan works by allowing job seekers to set up a jobseeker profile and be approached by companies and recruiters (headhunters). Many companies that offer so-called “high class” jobs for executives and high-income earners usually choose to use this. 

Users of Headhunter / Recruiter type job sites have a higher chance of receiving a job offer than direct application type. This is because once approached by a company’s human resource team, it usually means that the company is already interested in hiring you. However, the first step, which is getting a headhunter or company to approach you, is the hardest. Unless the job seeker has an attractive profile, with relevant educational backgrounds, work experience, and qualifications / certifications to the company and the relevant position, an approach is hard to come by. 

As a foreigner who intends to use this method, it is recommended to appeal to the company by describing the languages you can speak, your Japanese language proficiency, and qualifications in an easy to understand manner - clear and concise. 

Agent Type (エージェント, E-jento)

A recruitment agency or service that assigns you an agent to help with all job hunting related matters. When a job seeker registers and enters information on a career change site, a career change professional called a career advisor will begin a search for the most suitable job. The greatest advantage is that you can receive individual support regarding your job search, and can communicate with your career advisor through telephone or online consultations. 

In some cases, depending on the recruitment agency, the career advisor will also help with checking your resume and practicing job interviews with you. Some of them will even accompany you to the interview so you can feel at ease. 

Note that since the career advisor will be working closely with you the whole time, it is ideal for those who want to change jobs within a few months, or ASAP. For those who are not sure about whether to change jobs, or when to change careers, the other 2 types are better options. 

How to Use Japanese Recruitment Agencies in Japan (Make the most of them!)

make the most of japanese recruitment agencies

Tips for using recruitment agencies in Japan. Benefit as much as you can from these services. 

Register Your Information in Detail 

Write as much, and in detail, as possible about yourself when registering on a job site. Especially for headhunter (scout) type sites as the number of hits you will receive will change depending on how much information you have registered. 

For example, “starting up a new business” alone does not provide much information and is not a particularly appealing point. It is important to convey facts, and even figures, such as “We launched a new business called “〇〇” with 〇〇 members, and achieved 〇〇 results.” Do not leave out important details from your resume just because it is a hassle to enter. 

Collect Information by Means Other than Job Sites

It is recommended to collect information about the job hiring company by means other than job sites. Information about company operations and benefits provided on the site may be scant or biased. Look for reviews from current or former employees on the internet, and check the company’s reputation on social media. This way you can get information from different perspectives. 

Find the Right Job Site for You

There are several types of job sites and many recruitment agencies offering the same services, but it is best to choose one that suits you best. For example, if you are looking for an IT engineering job, there are recruitment agencies in Japan that specialize in IT recruitment. 

Another example is that if you have no clear idea about what job you want next, then direct application type services are not suitable for you as you will be stuck at the initial stage, which is what job to look for. In addition, if you do not know how to appeal to yourself, then scout type (headhunt / recruiter) will put you at a disadvantage and you will find yourself not receiving any scout emails. In this case, a recruitment agent may be helpful to advise and find jobs that match your needs. 

Do Not Just Use One Site

We recommend using more than one job site. Different sites often have different job listings. There is a possibility that your ideal company is posting jobs on a site you are not registered at. Job sites are often free to use, so registering to as many job sites as you possibly can increases your chances of finding a job that you are interested in. 

Apply to a Manageable Amount

There is no problem to register at multiple job sites, but do not overdo it and apply for too many jobs. When you submit an application, you will receive an email from the company. If you receive a lot of emails, it will be difficult to manage, and communicating with companies you really want to work with will become difficult as well. There is also a chance that you will miss an important email offering you job opportunities. 

Do Not Stop with Just Registering

Do not grow lax and satisfied with just registering at a job site. Check the website frequently to see what’s new. Jobs with good working conditions are usually quickly flooded with applications. It is important to keep your radar alert to apply for good jobs ASAP. However, it is not professional and bad etiquette to look at them while working at your current job or when using a company-issued computer, so please refrain from doing so. 

Recruitment Agencies for Foreigners in Japan

recruitment agencies for foreigners in japan

We recommend using job sites and recruitment agencies exclusively for foreigner employment in Japan for those who want to change jobs smoothly. Since the service is exclusively for foreigners, job postings are guaranteed to hire foreigners so you do not need to check one by one whether the job hires foreigners. In addition, hiring companies usually have experience hiring and working with foreigners, which increases chances of finding a company that is easy to work for.

Many of these recruitment agencies offer multi language support, so even job seekers who are not confident of their Japanese can use them. Do note though that since the number of job postings is lesser than that on regular job sites, it is a good idea to use it in combination with several sites. 

Here are the names of some recruitment agencies and job sites exclusively for foreigners in Japan:

  • Daijob
  • GaijinPot
  • Hays Japan
  • Jobs in Japan
  • Michael Page
  • Robert Half
  • Robert Walters
  • WeXpats Jobs / WeXpats Agent (our career support service for foreign nationals living in Japan)

Get Help Finding or Changing Jobs in Japan with WeXpats

japanese recruitment agency for jobs in japan

WeXpats operates a service for foreign nationals who want to work in Japan. There are jobs in a variety of industries. There are 2 services available on WeXpats - WeXpats Agent for full time jobs and WeXpats Jobs for part time jobs. 

Looking for a Full Time Position? Leave it to WeXpats Agent!

WeXpats Agent is a career support service that specialises in employment for foreign nationals living in Japan. 

Recruitment agencies in Japan are a service where dedicated career advisors will assist you with your job hunt for free. In addition to introducing open positions, we also provide support to help you create your Japanese resume and practice for interviews. Worried about job hunting in Japanese? We are here for you. 

Features of WeXpats Agent

  1. We have many job openings that are a good fit for foreign nationals to work in, such as translation, interpretation, inbound, etc. jobs that make use of your language skills, as well as engineering etc. jobs that do not require Japanese skills.

  2. Our career advisors support and help you prepare your resume and practice job interviews with you. Clearly communicate your strengths to the hiring company.

  3. We will handle communication with companies on your behalf, such as arranging interview dates and negotiating conditions. And thereby reducing your stress and time spent. 

Finding a Part Time Job? Browse on WeXpats Jobs! 

japanese recruitment agency for part time jobs in japan wexpats jobs

WeXpats Jobs is a part time job site for foreign nationals living in Japan. You can search for jobs in 11 languages (English, Vietnamese, Korean, Indonesian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Burmese, Thai, Spanish, Portuguese), including Japanese. Find jobs that suit you by specifying your Japanese language level, occupation, location, and etc.

※ You can register from outside Japan, but only those living in Japan can apply for jobs.


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