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Japan Team Buildout at a Data Center Operator

Seeking to enter the Japanese market, a young data center company struggled to build a local team.

Client Background: 

The client, an upcoming data center company, encountered critical roadblocks in its ambitious expansion plans into the Japanese market. Despite initial success in hiring a few individuals independently, they faced difficulties scaling their team quickly. This challenge led to high workloads for existing employees, leading to employee departures and negative perceptions about the company as a strong employer brand, particularly as they were still establishing themselves in the market. 

Challenges Faced: 

  • Slow hiring process leading to employee exits, damaging employer brand perception and further hindering recruitment efforts. 

  • Pressure from investors to expedite project commencement.  

  • Potential loss of revenue due to hiring delays. 

Our Approach: 

We partnered with the client as an extension of their HR team to address their talent acquisition and employer branding challenges. Our strategy focused on representing the client positively in the market, clarifying misconceptions, and aligning candidate motivations with the client's long-term goals in Japan. Our approach focused on four key areas: 

Key Steps and Solutions: 

  • Understanding Client's Intentions: We highlighted the client's long-term investment plans in Japan to emphasize their commitment to the Japanese market, dispelling misunderstandings about a “trial and error” approach. This reassured candidates and positioned the client as a stable and growth-oriented employer. 

  • Deep Candidate Engagement: Instead of surface-level job pitches, we engaged candidates in meaningful conversations to understand their motivations and career aspirations. This approach helped us match candidates' needs with the client's requirements, leading to more aligned placements. 

  • Strategic Placements: Initially focusing on critical roles like Country Head, we gradually expanded our support to fill 15 roles across various functions in Japan. This swift team-building allowed the client to kickstart their projects without further delays.  

  • Advisory Role: As part of our long-term commitment to the success of our clients, we didn't just focus on filling immediate vacancies. Leveraging our experience, we advised on additional necessary roles to build a well-rounded team across different functions. This proactive guidance ensured that the client had the right talent mix to support their operations effectively. 


  • Successful accelerated placements in critical roles, enabling project commencement, thereby mitigating revenue loss risks. 

  • Improved employer brand perception and positive market narrative as the brand is now seen as a desirable employer in the Japanese market, attracting top talent around the region. 

  • Complete team establishment in Japan and expansion support in other markets. 



This case study demonstrates how a strategic executive search firm can act as an extension of a client’s HR function. By focusing on employer branding, targeted candidate engagement, and strategic team building, we empowered the data center company to overcome its initial hurdles and achieve rapid growth in its new market.

Data Center Operator

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