We always hear that “money isn’t everything,” but salary presents a unique challenge for recruitment. For Watanabe-san, one of our recent candidates, he faced this particular obstacle himself. No longer happy in his current job, he worked till midnight every night, putting in 14-hour days while managing an endless stream of midnight meetings with his HQ on the East Coast.He was missing his family while his health and wellbeing rapidly went downhill.Watanabe-san had already worked a long career, putting in long hours to get where he was today, and he wondered – shouldn’t there be more to it than just a pay check? He’d hit a point where the marginal returns of a few extra million yen weren’t worth the trade-off in his life. And it was at this point we found him a new opportunity. He was a better fit for the position, and it was one where the company president was incredibly excited about the pipeline. It was a fantastic job.The only trouble was the salary.
Watanabe-san was already on an impressive package, one that was already far above the market. Despite knowing the new offer couldn’t come close, he wanted to proceed. As you can imagine, he sailed through the interview process, and it was a perfect fit. He had even worked with the new country manager in a previous role, which only further kindled his interest in the company. I’ve seen it time and time again, one of the most critical factors in attracting top talent is the people they’ll be working with – because it’s more than just a job to them.
After breezing through the interview, meeting headquarters, and getting the green-light from the key stakeholders in Japan, it was time for the offer. Watanabe-san knew it would be lower, but the final number was a shock. I could see it on his face. Faced with a 20% reduction, he told us he would need to explain it to his family, and he’d get back to us. For ten days, he was unreachable, it happens with some candidates, and when I finally got him in the office, I sat down with him to run through the offer.
Working through the specifics, from his base to the bonus and the long-term incentives like housing and other benefits, we unpacked the numbers to give some clarity on what the new salary would mean for his family. Factoring in tax implications and all the extra perks, the real difference was not quite as stark as it first looked. You could almost see the relief in Watanabe-san’s eyes. He had desperately wanted the job, and it was this confirmation that was the last piece of the puzzle, the assurance he was looking for so we could continue the hiring process.
I’m pleased to say that Watanabe-san took the offer, and the last we spoke, he told me how much his life has changed for the better. Working in a role that’s both exciting and fulfilling, without the harsh demands many corporate offices ask of their staff. His family is grateful to see more of him, he’s able to take a more active role in his kid’s lives, and he’s finally happy again. And how about you? Are you satisfied with your current job, or are you interested to learn if there’s a better fit out there for you?