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back to index backASIAtalk December,  2005

Talent management: Japan overhauls salaryman model to attract future leaders

Japan needs to diversify its executive ranks to offset its future talent shortage, calling for a drastic change in corporate mindsets, reports The Economist.

The country's low birth rate and longer living population could create a serious talent shortage in the future. This has prompted a return to the salaryman model of lifetime loyalty to one employer, but in a different form. Companies are now offering better working conditions to lure women, graduates and the elderly into employment. With many women quitting their jobs to raise a family and a lack of female role models, few have a career and children in Japan. According to analysts, less than 10% of managers are women in Japan, versus 46% in the USA. The government is pushing for more child care initiatives such as company crèches to get women back onto the career ladder.

More young people also need to be recruited for full-time careers to expand the talent pool. According to executives, one solution is to offer a participatory style of management that gives graduates a sense of ownership” in what they do. Companies also need to develop strategies for attracting and retaining older talent if economic growth is to be sustained. The current recruitment drive has already led to improvements in Japan's working environment. Further changes will be needed as the talent supply tightens, conclude experts.

Source: Egon Zehnder International - GAI

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