From system engineer to recruitment

Meri Koda

Meri Koda previously worked as a system engineer in telecommunications before making the move into recruitment in 2015. She now works as a consultant in our automotive division in Tokyo.She discusses the culture in our bustling Tokyo office, current opportunities in Japan, and what makes Robert Walters an employer of choice for recruitment in the Japanese market.

How did you get into recruitment?

"I initially came to Robert Walters as a candidate. I had been working as a system engineer in the telecommunications industry and was looking to move into a sales role that was more client facing. After speaking to the consultants here I was introduced to the idea of recruitment and thought it sounded exactly like what I was looking for.

How were your skills transferable into recruitment?

While my previous role wasn’t sales based, I did gain a lot of experience working with customers which has really helped me in my current role dealing with clients. Also, as I hire for engineering and systems roles I have a good understanding of what my clients are looking for as my background is in that area.

What are some of the benefits of working for Robert Walters?

There are lots of opportunities to meet and work with a diverse range of people from different companies and industries. The office is well located in the Shibuya district, so it’s easy to get out to meet clients. As a company, it’s very meritocratic so if you work hard you will see the rewards. There is an organised structure in place in terms of opportunities to progress – there is a clear path to promotion.

How is the training at Robert Walters?

It’s really good and you’re supported in your role from day one. In fact, we’re well known in the Japanese marketplace for providing best in class training in the recruitment sphere. When you start with us you receive training on our internal database system, dealing with clients and candidates, and on how to use our systems and processes etc. Training is generally delivered by consultants so it’s relevant and easy to understand.

What do you like most about your role?

It’s a really interesting role because you need to be aware of what’s happening in the market and you learn a lot. I particularly enjoy working on engineering roles, because it gives me the opportunity to use the experience and skills that I gained in my previous job. We work as a team and there’s a strong culture of support and helping each other out. We also operate a team based commission structure which is one of the main things that sets us apart from a lot of the other consultancies in Japan, who tend to work on an individual commission basis.

What’s the culture like in the Japanese office?

It’s very international so it’s great to get the opportunity to work with people from different countries. The culture is energetic and social - there are lots of events and nights out which makes it very fun. The management really support and care for the staff’s wellbeing, for example, the business recently introduced a healthy snacks initiative, where fresh healthy food is delivered to the office kitchen daily.

Why would you recommend a move into recruitment?

For ambitious professionals, who enjoy a social environment and working with people, recruitment could be the perfect next step. You don’t need to come from a sales or recruitment background, in fact we actively hire from industry and have people from a number of different industry backgrounds. Robert Walters offers exceptional training, a meritocratic culture and the opportunities to work abroad in our global offices once you have a proven track record of success.

Currently we’re hiring across the Japanese business in our offices in Tokyo and Osaka and are particularly looking for bilingual domestic Japanese candidates to join our teams here."

Robert Walters is the most stable international recruitment consultancy in the Japanese market; we offer exceptional training, a meritocratic culture and the opportunities to work abroad in our global offices.


Interested in a career in recruitment? Please send your CV to or call +813 4570 1779.

Set up a targeted
job alert

Read more »

Latest jobs