5 Qualities We Look For, That You Should Too

Let’s breaks down some of the critical points he looks for in candidates for the team. 

Recruitment is sales – naturally we look for people with traits that help them influence, listen, persuade, negotiate. 

Every job is sales. Engineers need to persuade people their ideas are viable, accountants need to influence the tax authorities, parents need to persuade their kids to eat their vegetables! For any position these traits are important – take a look below to see what we value at Titan.


First and foremost. Honesty is 100% non-negotiable for us. Being true to clients, candidates, colleagues and most importantly, to ourselves is critical. Ours is a people business, and we work in a tight-knit, collaborative team environment – the value of trust that comes with honesty cannot be underestimated. Asking candidates about prior mistakes and even life regrets is a good way to get a sense of someone’s honesty and self-reflective abilities.


Recruitment is tough. Especially in the early days, when you have no reputation, nobody knows you. Rejection rates can be high, deals blow up, learning curve is super steep. Over years of recruitment, I’ve seen some people without perfect ‘sales skills’ become highly successful from their ability to push through adversity time and again. Personally, I like to see people who have a background in competitive sports, or those who have taken a risk, such as moving alone to a new country as a measure of grit.


Of course a recruiter needs to be likable. We need to nail the first impression, and build upon this through our interactions with our clients and candidates. Internally as well, we need to be working together smoothly and have others want to help us. A lot goes into likability, from your handshake, smile (eyes too, not just mouth), how you listen, empathy, humour. Typically in our interview process, we take candidates out in a social setting and meet over lunch or a drink to see how they handle themselves – it can be amazing the insights you get after a couple of glasses of Merlot…


Those who learn are naturally curious. A lack of curiosity generally comes with a ‘know it all’ attitude. Especially important if you are looking to hire someone who has some life experience and has been quite successful in the past. Has their past experience overblown their confidence, or are they really ready to become the beginner again? I love hearing candidates tell me stories of picking up new hobbies – whether this be playing a musical instrument, learning a language, studying a martial art – lifelong learning and a ‘beginner attitude’ is massive.


Not to be confused with ‘cocky’. As a sales professional, I strongly disagree with ‘fake it till you make it’ and much prefer ‘practice until you master’. Confidence does not mean you can make assumptions and ‘wing it’ in meetings or negotiations. Real confidence comes because you have practiced your craft, done your research, taken the time to prepare for game day. Real confidence is born from an attitude of humility – maybe this comes from over 10 years of living in Asia, however I value the quiet confidence over the outspoken confidence every day of the week. 

What do you look for in candidates for your team? 

How good is your interview process at identifying the right traits in prospective talent? 

Are you able to look beyond great ‘hard skills’ to ensure a quality cultural fit? 

If you want to discuss these points, or would like to improve your interview process and increase new hire ‘stickability’ please do get in touch.

Contract Employees VS Permanent Employees – how to mitigate risk?

We see a lot of companies come to Japan and struggle with the concept of Permanent Employment as the “gold standard” of hiring – and from a pure hiring perspective coming from Europe or America it makes sense that companies would be averse to this.

Why? Because it is so difficult to fire a permanent employee. This is without a doubt the biggest challenge facing foreign companies in Japan when hiring. Not all employees adapt to the international business environment or perform as expected which can lead to a lot of money lost.

Unfortunately, while there were a lot of attractive reasons to use contract workers in the past, laws and regulations have changed over the past few years that may change your mind.

Perhaps most significantly, in the past, contract workers would not have required paid leave or being enrolled in health insurance, the laws concerning this have become significantly more strict. Now requiring enrollment in NHS and Pension if passing the 20hr mark.

Another key aspect to take into account is that most employees in Japan prefer, and will even push for permanent employment, going as far as to reject higher paying contractual offers.

If you take into account that the majority of major companies in Japan already are following this standard – most skilled professionals will have their pick of permanent options. So the time and costs required to hire a professional on a contract basis may well outweigh the costs of taking the time to build a solid interview process and screen strong permanent talent..

Not only that, but in Japan if an employee has been on a renewable contract for over a certain number of years, they must be switched to a permanent employee if requested. 

Considering these changes, there is less benefit to hiring contract employees in Japan now than in the past.  To help with risk mitigation when hiring, we find that a clearly designed interview process, with a diverse interview panel that represents each key part of the company results in better onboarding and retention. 

Titan GreenTech is able to support companies to assess and redesign interview processes specifically for Japan, or for specific key positions.