DSJ Insights


As we approach the final months of the year, we reflect on a scorching summer that not only brought high temperatures but also a bunch of opportunities for job seekers. The momentum from this summer's job market is still palpable, and we're witnessing a surge in job openings as companies gear up to bolster their workforce for the upcoming year, 2024.

In Japan, foreign investment banks faced significant hurdles in obtaining approvals for hiring, unlike their domestic counterparts who encountered fewer obstacles in attracting top talent. Fortunately, many individuals who were affected by layoffs earlier this year managed to secure new positions during the summer and are now settling into their new roles. It's worth noting that Japan achieved a record-high number of foreign workers in 2022, and we've observed a steady influx of young professionals entering the job market during the first half of 2023, which was not entirely unexpected considering the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the robust performance of the markets, we hold an optimistic outlook for the remainder of this year and the first quarter of 2024. We anticipate that this period will witness some of the most active hiring in years. In the technology sector, there is a renewed emphasis on automation and cloud computing. Moreover, the demand for skilled developers remains consistently high. Positions such as project managers, engineers, as well as Site Reliability Engineers (SRE) and DevOps professionals are in particularly high demand, prompting firms to prepare for gradual expansions of their tech teams.

It’s been a tough year for investment bankers with fees and deal activity falling significantly and not surprisingly this has led to layoffs at all levels across Corporate Finance, M&A, DCM / ECM particularly among the large global investment banks. This has given many smaller boutique IBD firms a great chance to upgrade and expand their teams with experienced hires. Many former investment bankers have also found new opportunities with PE and VC funds particularly as new players enter the Japanese market with some also moving to hedge funds. Mutual fund companies have been quite conservative in their hiring activities this year unlike hedge funds who have been aggressively hiring talent in research, portfolio management and specific operational functions. We expect this trend to continue and also foresee mutual fund hiring activity picking up next year.

As the year draws to a close, we anticipate an exciting and dynamic period for hiring, reflecting the ever-changing needs of the financial industries and the determination of individuals to find their place in this landscape.