US-Japan joint venture needed multicultural VP to work in remote & highly domestic office
The client, a CA-based printing services and technology firm, is a JV created through the acquisition of a 100 year old Japanese firm specializing in user manuals development. They asked us to identify a Finance VP willing to work in a remote location of Japan.
The client approached and vetted six agencies for the assignment. According to the client, we were the only firm to demonstrate confidence the search could be done within a 3 month timeframe.
Any assignment involving a Joint Venture between disparate corporate and national cultures would be difficult. Needing to identify a westernized candidate willing to work in a highly domestic office environment in a remote rural location would add to the challenge considerably.
Our confidence was based on our track record and the resources we had to methodically map the market for a search of this kind. Upon retention, we immediately dedicated a 4 person research team to craft a target list comprised of several hundred companies.
Within our first month we were able to present to the client a long list of 27 potential candidates residing in the region. Within another 2 weeks we presented a shortlist of 5 from which the Client successfully hired their first priority.
The client more than once expressed surprise at our breadth of market coverage and the relevance of our suggested candidates. The selected candidate has over his first year in the role been able to successfully negotiate the cultural differences between the US-based HQ and the local entity’s conservative DNA.
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There were a couple of positions we didn’t seem to be able to fill long-term. We needed strong candidates who could grow our brand-new enterprise security solutions team. We had made 2 hires so far but both hadn’t even stayed a year. It was really challenging.
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Especially Japan interested us. It was a fertile market without much competition. But, back then we didn’t have a Japanese entity, so we were looking for an agency that could help us get our business up and running…
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