Most Japanese employers still dependent on temporary staffing solutions despite a decrease year-on-year


Over half of Japanese employers (53 per cent) used temporary staffing in the last year, according to the 2017 Hays Asia Salary Guide. This is however, a decrease on the previous year when 74 per cent of employers across Japan engaged in temporary staffing arrangements.

The annual Hays Salary Guide is based on candidate and employer research including a survey of more than 3,000 employers across China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore representing over six million employees. The Guide, now in its tenth year, also provides the salary ranges for more than 1,200 roles.

The 2017 Guide reveals that of the employers in Japan making use of flexible staffing arrangements, 75 per cent engaged contractors or temporary staff through a recruitment firm and 37 per cent employed part time staff. A further 28 per cent hired employees casually whilst seven per cent of employers hired employees on a job sharing basis. Three per cent used some other form of temporary staffing.

This year, 18 per cent of respondents in Japan expect to increase their use of temporary staff while 72 per cent plan to maintain current levels of flexible staffing. Just 10 per cent of employers plan to decrease their use of flexible staffing.

Across all countries, 21 per cent of the employers surveyed expect to increase their use of temporary and or contract staffing while 65 per cent expect their level of engagement to remain the same as last year.

Approximately 40 per cent of Japan’s employers use temporary staff on an ongoing basis while 31 per cent use temporary or contract staff in “exceptional circumstances”. 23 per cent bring in temporary and contract staff just to work on special projects with only six per cent have never utilised flexible staffing arrangements.

Despite the decrease in numbers of employers utilising a temporary staffing approach, the number reported in Japan is still greater than other countries across Asia. As Marc Burrage, Managing Director of Hays Japan explains, “this year promises to be fast moving and characterised by expected and unexpected change making it more important than ever for employers to be able to tap into the contingent workforce when needed”.

“It’s significant that 18 per cent of employers expect to increase their use of temporary staff and contractors this year and a further 72 per cent plan on maintaining their current level of flexible staffing.”

“Flexible work options are also highly valued by employees and 76 per cent of employers in Japan currently offer flexible work practices, but there is still room to grow as 24 per cent of employers are yet to introduce flexibility at work according to the results of our 2017 Guide,” says Marc.

The most commonly offered flexible work options in Japan are:

  • Flexible working hours/compressed working weeks (offered by 76 per cent of the employers surveyed)
  • Flex-place, such as working from home or alternative location (48 per cent)
  • Part-time employment (31 per cent)
  • Increased maternity/paternity leave (29 per cent)
  • Career breaks/sabbatical (seven per cent)
  • Phased retirement (four per cent)
  • Flexible leave options, such as purchased leave (three per cent)

Get your copy of the 2017 Hays Asia Salary Guide by visiting, contacting your local Hays office.

Contributed by Hays, the world’s leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.