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Talent Trends 2021

Japan Talent Trends 2021:

Salary Guide for the New Normal

The Michael Page Salary Index has traditionally been our annual salary guide that allows business leaders, hiring managers and job seekers to make informed employment decisions in Japan. However, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic disruption around the world, we recognise that our annual salary index needs to do a whole lot more.

Enter Talent Trends 2021, a new report that features insights and market sentiment for areas that have experienced major upheavals in the past year. Expect topics that cover prominent recruitment- and talent-related concerns, including digital readiness, organisational design, flexible work, leadership, performance management, as well as diversity and inclusion. The results draw from a survey of 12 Asia Pacific markets, with responses from over 5,500 businesses and 21,000 employees, of which over 3,500 replies are from directors or business leaders.

With advice and recommendations from Page’s consultants and leadership, the report is the definitive guide to hiring trends across the Asia Pacific region in 2021.


Japan's Key Statistics


of companies believe that things would change for the better from Q2 2021 onwards.


of companies in Japan are looking to increase their headcounts in 2021


of those employed anticipate themselves looking for new job opportunities

Report Highlights

1. Future workplace trends

Learn from our findings, the top priorities for business leaders in 2021, key investment areas in technology and digital tools, employees’ preference on workplace flexibility, and how performance assessment has changed.


2. People-first strategies

From leadership communication to mental health and wellbeing, the report highlights the best people strategies to engage your most valuable asset – talent.


3. Salaries and bonuses

Find out how your company offer to new hires match up with your competitors and the expectations from top talent.


4. Attracting and retaining top talent

Remuneration may be important, but it is not everything in talent attraction. Learn non-monetary aspects of attraction and retention strategy top talent value most.


2021 Salary Guide: Driving forward in the new normal


Toby Truscott
Managing Director, Japan

Despite pandemic’s severe impact, we’ve seen initial signs of Japan’s economy bouncing back as domestic consumption slowly returns. With this comes an improvement in business sentiment and importantly, confidence.

Although we initially saw downtrends within animal health and medical device, talent demand within the Healthcare & Life Sciences fields have remained strong overall throughout 2020. In the technology space, we’ve seen increased demand in PC, data center and cloud infrastructure as a result of the pandemic. We expect this demand to remain high as service companies specializing in migrating clients on-premise systems to cloud systems continue to have a backlog of projects in their pipeline. Other key hiring areas in 2021 are data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

In H2 2020, we saw a sharp rise in not only requests for highly skilled contract resources but also a proportionate increase in candidate availability. At present, the contracting market is the most active it has ever been. Many companies that initially reduced their staffing levels have quickly returned to pre-pandemic levels. We expect both the supply and demand of highly skilled contractors to remain at record levels in 2021, as companies seek lower-risk recruitment strategies and take advantage of the growing pools of highly skilled candidates.

While the market conditions remain uncertain, organisations in Japan are looking ahead and securing high potential talent to help drive future recovery and growth. Our Talent Trends 2021 report reflects key market insights for the next 12 months ahead of us.

Download Talent Trends 2021