Energy and Engineering – how Progressive Recruitment can help you succeed in the massive ever-changing markets
Progressive Recruitment was newly launched on 1st October 2021 as a specialist recruitment brand with its primary focus on the Energy and Engineering sectors. We sat down with Yuji Nozaki, Director of Progressive Recruitment to ask about the brand, markets and his ambition to serve as one of the best recruitment and job change agency in the Japanese market.
About Yuji Nozaki
After an internship at a start-up founded by a Sony alumnus, Yuji started off his career at Bosch Japan, a major player in the automotive industry. He moved into the recruitment industry subsequently and since stayed in recruitment for over 10 years. During this time, he had worked in Singapore and Japan, and gained a wealth of experience in recruiting across multiple industries, positions, and seniority in over 10 countries. He is able to offer recruitment as well as consulting on talent strategy with both Japanese companies who are looking to expand overseas and foreign companies who are looking to enter the Japanese market.
In 2021, Yuji joined SThree, a global specialist STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) recruitment organisation, as Director of the Enterprise Division of Computer Futures, which focuses on the IT industry, while preparing for the launch of Progressive Recruitment which focuses on Energy & Engineering recruitment.
Tell us about the newly launched Progressive Recruitment
Progressive Recruitment is a global specialist recruitment company with over 30 years of experience within the Energy & Engineering sectors. It currently operates in over 10 countries around the world. As part of our strategy, we’ve decided to launch Progressive Recruitment in Japan to ensure that our specialist brands can cater to the right industry.
In Japan, we will be focusing our services on the energy (particularly renewable energy) and manufacturing sectors with a focus on automotive, mechanical, robotics, electronics and electrical. We will serve as a strategic recruiting partner for companies looking to hire in these areas, and likewise, as a dedicated career consultant for job seekers looking to change jobs or advance their careers, by helping to connect leading companies in the industry with skilled professionals.
Progressive Recruitment will add to our three other brands that already operate in Japan – Real Life Sciences which specialises within Healthcare and Life Sciences Recruitment; Computer Futures which specialises within IT & Technology Recruitment; and Huxley which specialises within Finance & Accounting and Professional Services Recruitment. The launch of Progressive Recruitment means that we can now cover all areas of STEM, which marks a major milestone for the company.
What are some of the trends you're seeing in the energy and engineering industry?
Manufacturing is one of Japan's most traditional industries and is currently undergoing a period of once-in-a-century change. The automotive industry is a prime example. If OTA technology (Over-The-Air, or remote updating of in-vehicle computers) offered by US electric car manufacturer Tesla becomes commonplace, cars will need to be updated to improve their performance even after they have been bought, just like smartphones. As this happens, the value of cars will depreciate even further as they get replaced by newer technology.
On another note, the automotive industry has always been dominated by OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) who have been involved in every step from the development and manufacturing of cars to the establishment of sales networks. However, with the emergence of giant companies such as Hon Hai Precision Industry, the world's largest EMS (Electronics Manufacturing Service) company, and other companies that offer platforms for EVs (Electric Vehicles), there is a possibility that OEMs will be forced to separate "planning and development" from "manufacturing", i.e. dismantle their existing processes. How companies respond to these changes will be critical in how they continue to remain competitive in the automotive industry in the future.
In a market with many competitors, what are the strengths of Progressive Recruitment that companies like working with us?
In the automotive industry, there is an increasing demand for people with knowledge and experience in cyber security, vehicle data analysis, image recognition and signal processing algorithm development. There is also a growing need for engineers, particularly data scientists, in the manufacturing industry outside of the automotive sector. While we have a database and network of mechanical and electrical engineers, we also have a strong team in Japan who specialise within IT recruitment, which enables us to find IT engineers who are otherwise difficult to find.
In the energy sector, Progressive Recruitment has a global presence and experience which allows us to tap into insights and networks within the US and European markets which are far more mature, especially within the renewable energy industry. This will enable us to support the growth of companies in Japan, offer them cross-country talent advice as well as help in the career development of job seekers who may have transferrable skillsets looking to enter the energy sector.
Are there any particular areas of the energy and engineering industry which you see a lot of potential in?
Renewable energy is where we can see a huge potential of growth in. Alongside global trends, the Japanese government and the society as a whole have put a lot of effort towards SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), and the clean energy industry is a key driver to achieve these goals. We are looking at the main renewable energy sectors such as solar, hydro, wind, geothermal and biomass power, as well as wave power and green energy, which have yet to be established.
The SThree group (which Progressive Recruitment is part of) is also working on a number of initiatives to help achieve a sustainable society, and investing more in the renewable energy field is one of our main goals.
What kind of team are you hoping to build?
Even though I’ve been in the recruitment industry for a long time, my first job at a car manufacturer had sparked my passion for manufacturing since. As the energy & engineering sectors go through a period of great change, I would like to leverage the strengths that I’ve developed in the past alongside the knowledge I have within manufacturing. I aim to build a team that can partner and grow with our clients, which I believe is 100% possible because my members are equally passionate about the industry we work in.
What is important to you in providing recruitment and career support?
It may sound cliché but changing jobs can easily be one of the most important decisions you make in your life, similar to finding a lifetime partner or purchasing a house. Who you work with can contribute greatly towards your job satisfaction and career development. Likewise, it's also a big decision for employers, as it involves cost, resources, and investment.
We recognise the investment and decision that both employers and employees need to make and this is why we make sure to understand job seekers’ motivation, and organisations’ business goals and culture so that we find them the right fit.
Get in touch with Progressive Recruitment
We have an experienced and highly specialised team, who possess deep insights into Japan’s local Energy & Engineering sector. Each consultant is well-equipped with the unique practices and challenges of the industry, and can focus on understanding your requirements and needs accurately and quickly.
If you would like to speak to our local and experienced team, feel free to contact us using the form below. If you would like to find out what are the immediately available roles, feel free to visit our job search page here.