Talent crunch in Japan spurs employers to look at Southeast Asia and Taiwan

Irwan Shah
Irwan Shah
February 10, 2023

Many companies have ramped up their digitization efforts over the past years, with its catalyst dating back to the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic. More employers have now embraced the digital world to modernize their business systems. This resulted in a demand boom for tech talent such as Software Engineers, UI/UX Designers, and Product Managers.

However, employers may face the challenge of having a low supply of talent in their home countries, resulting in the high cost of hiring local talent and stiff competition. In such situations, they will need to look for talent abroad.

But it can be laborious at times as most employers are confronted with the task of navigating uncharted territories to find the right talent. Local nuances of overseas markets such as the country’s culture, labor laws, and talent pool capabilities might be difficult to grasp — even for a recently minted unicorn like Tripla.

Source: Tripla

A one-stop center for AI chatbot services and hotel bookings

Tripla is a Japanese SaaS (Software as a Service) provider that specializes in AI chatbot services for a variety of industries. It also has a hotel booking engine, one of the largest in Japan. Since its humble beginnings in 2015, the company has soared quickly and has recently attained its public listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Growth Market in November 2022 — its biggest milestone yet. In between those years, they’ve worked together with over 1,000 clients from many industries in Japan. 

“We focus on conversion for customer success,” Tripla’s CTO Kaku Toriu explains. He points out that most of their resources were invested into their products so that they can continuously provide new services, ultimately making their customers satisfied.

Tripla’s hotel booking engine serves Japanese hotel chains and Ryokans (Japanese Inns), across the country. It has over 400 features that hotels can utilize when interacting with their customers — including loyalty programs, meta-search integration, corporate booking, and more.

Source: Tripla

On the other hand, Tripla’s AI chatbot provides high-quality and accurate answers to queries posed by individuals from different industries. Maintaining and developing such elaborate tech products require a lot of technical expertise, making hiring the right talent ever so important.

“We want to accelerate the development of features to make sure that our customers are happy. We definitely need a lot of new people, including Product Managers, Software Engineers, and Quantity Surveyors,” says Toriu.

“So without the engineers and the product people, we cannot really achieve that.” He also adds that the hiring process can be very challenging since they’re looking to hire talent that are highly skilled and will seamlessly fit into Tripla’s culture.

Source: Tripla

Hunting for skilled talent beyond Japan

Toriu’s observations echoes deeply with the current state of many businesses in Japan. Companies there are facing an overall local talent shortage with skilled tech talent being expensive and hard to come by. A Salary Survey in 2021 conducted by Robert Walters Japan indicated that over 80% of tech employers in the country are concerned about the talent shortage. By 2030, over 270,000 tech jobs will be left unfilled. A country with a traditionally homogenous workforce now needs to adapt to looking abroad in an attempt to solve the talent shortage issue. 

Toriu highlights that the tech situation is similar across many countries. However, he believes it’s worse in Japan because, in addition to the talent crunch, few local tech talent are fluent in English. In fact, an English Proficiency Index survey in 2021 showed that Japan ranked 80 out of 111 countries listed.

For Tripla, it’s vital to have English-speaking talent since it wants to expand beyond Japan. Cross-border teams who are English speakers can sync up much easier with each other. Furthermore, the potential to reach out to clients in overseas markets is much higher as well. 

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To overcome the challenges, hiring in Taiwan became the most viable solution for Tripla. The country is a great place for Japanese companies to kickstart their expansion, thanks to the decades-long strong partnerships between the two nations. Taiwan also ranks higher than Japan in terms of English proficiency level.

These factors will help Tripla get one step closer to achieving its goal of developing and improving its products’ features and expanding to markets abroad. But they quickly realized that searching for the right talent in Taiwan was just as elusive as finding local talent.

Tripla leveraged LinkedIn heavily in the past. They also sought the assistance of their own Taiwanese and Vietnamese employees to search for suitable Software Engineers in their individual local markets. Despite the two-pronged approach, it was a time-consuming process.

Source: Tripla

Tripla and Glints as partners

Tripla chose to engage Glints to be its partner in sourcing suitable tech talent in Taiwan. With Glints as Tripla’s partner, the company was able to tap into a network of interview-ready talent across Taiwan. Our recruiters ensured a customized hiring experience, taking into account Tripla’s needs and pain points. Within a week, curated Taiwanese talent were ready and prepped for interview. 

Through Glints, the company managed to bring several skilled talent from Taiwan into its fold, further expanding its own capabilities and assets. On top of that, Tripla didn’t have to worry about other hiring processes — such as onboarding, employee payroll, and compliance — since it was all taken care of by Glints. In the end, Tripla managed to meet its goal of expanding its workforce into a foreign market and finding skilled talent who can develop and improve its products’ features.

“We are very happy about all the services Glints provided. I think Glints sends a lot of candidates in a timely manner and most of them are very good candidates. We are really happy about that,” Toriu says.

Expanding further beyond Taiwan

Toriu intends to further Tripla’s partnership with Glints to grow the Tripla team in Taiwan. It also sets its eyes on expanding its business into Southeast Asian markets such as Indonesia and Malaysia. The region has one of the fastest-growing digital economies in the world and will reach US$1 trillion by 2030. It’s also home to one of the youngest tech talent populations in Asia. By tapping into the talent pool in SEA, it will help Tripla to improve its tech capabilities and reach out to potential clients beyond just Japan and Taiwan.

“I’m looking forward to searching for candidates in other Asian markets with Glints because I know that Glints has a presence in Indonesia, Malaysia, and other Southeast Asian countries. We are planning to hire engineers in all these markets,” Toriu elaborates. “We’ve been getting very good services from Glints since the beginning of the relationship. So we will look for more collaborations together in the future.”

Fast-track your growth today with Glints

As Southeast Asia’s largest talent recruitment and management platform, Glints can help connect you with skilled talent from Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines – so you can focus on growing your business without the hassle. Find out more about our services here.


Build your workforce from anywhere. Start your remote hiring journey with Glints.

This article is brought to you by Glints TalentHub. Leading companies are actively building their borderless teams in Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and beyond. However, the prospect of going borderless can be daunting due to complex regulations and cultural ambiguities. With Glints TalentHub, you’ll have a dedicated team of in-market legal, HR, and talent experts by your side at every step of the way.

Glints TalentHub offers an end-to-end, tech-enabled talent solution that encompasses talent acquisition, EOR, and talent development. We empower businesses to leverage the strengths of regional talent efficiently to build high-performing, cost-efficient teams.

Schedule a no-obligation consultation with our experts to receive a tailored proposal today. 

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