Niche hiring with lightning speed for a global automotive equipment maker
Since 2013, Boyd & Moore Executive Search (BMES) has been partnering with one of the world’s leading automotive components companies. We spoke with their Head of HR about his experiences with Boyd & Moore Executive Search (BMES) and Japan as a hiring market.
That’s a good question. I actually got my current position as Head of HR & Operations thanks to Boyd & Moore Executive Search. Around 4 years ago, when I was looking for a new challenge, BMES supported me closely.
Back then as a candidate I was deeply impressed by the professionalism and expertise that Victor – who is heading the Consumer Goods and Professional Services divisions at BMES – showed throughout the search. I felt that I could trust him fully. And since that day BMES has never broken this trust.
Which is not a given! I myself have spent several years as a consultant in recruitment and know how many professionals in this industry work (laughs).
Throughout my career I have been working with many different consultants as both a client and a candidate. However, only with BMES I feel that I can leave everything in their hands without worrying about the outcome.
The biggest issue for us is a shortage of internal resources. We’re a small team compared to many other HR teams of foreign companies here in Japan.
In addition, we’re wearing many different hats so that we’re not able to fully focus on talent acquisition. I know that recruiters always wonder why we HR folks respond so slowly but we have a lot on our plates (laughs).
But in reality, we would need to focus much more on talent acquisition. Many of our positions require not only a deep technical expertise in a very niche industry but also good English skills since we need to be able to smoothly communicate with overseas. All of these requirements narrow the talent pool we can hire from down significantly. And even if we identify the right people, it often requires a degree of education to spark their interest. Although we are a leader in our space, we’re still not that well known in Japan.
So, all of this – our stretched internal resources, a small pool of qualified candidates and our level of brand awareness – makes acquiring talent for us here in Japan rather challenging at times.
First of all, for my team and I everything is much easier and less stressful thanks to BMES.
I know that if I ask Elsie – the leader of the Industrial team at BMES and my main point of contact – for help, she takes care of everything. From identifying the right candidates to engaging and onboarding them, she has our back. She also keeps us in the loop with regular updates and reports. Since we don’t have much time to spend on vendor management and making sure that results come in, this is a huge help for us.
Although I’ve been working with Elsie for some years now, I am still surprised by her speed. Where others take months and sometimes years to present one or two suitable candidates, Elsie comes back with a proper shortlist in under 4 weeks for even the hardest roles. Thanks to her we could reduce the time we need to hire drastically, even for niche roles.
I remember the first time I worked with her. We were growing extensively here in Japan and I had to fill 20 positions at once. All of them were extremely challenging since they required technical skills and industry experience. Elsie delivered great candidates for each and every single one of them, fast. She also provided market intelligence that helped us get a much better understanding of the market we were targeting.
Last year, we were looking for a Chief Engineer. It was an urgent, high priority search. Unfortunately, there was some miscommunication between us and our overseas HQ regarding the position, so the hiring process got delayed. To check on the search progress the Head of HR Global announced he would come to Japan. This was a difficult timing since our Japan HR Manager had left and his replacement had just joined us. So frankly, we weren’t prepared to present any results.
That’s where Elsie came in. She joined the meeting with the Global Head and helped us kick off the search successfully with market insights as well as sample candidates from previous similar searches. When our Global Director came back to Japan several weeks later Elsie was able to present a selection of fantastic candidates including the one we eventually hired.
To be honest I was very happy to have Elsie by my side during this time. I knew that she was committed to supporting us and I fully trusted her to deliver the results we needed.
We will continue to grow in Japan and APAC so we’ll be needing a strong and reliable search partner. Until now, Elsie and the BMES team have never failed to deliver results, always combined with surprisingly high speed and quality.
Knowing that BMES supports us even if we need to hire for difficult roles under time pressure gives me and my team peace of mind. That’s what I want to see from them in the future as well.
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