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What Every Foreigner Needs to Know about Hiring Staff in Japan

By Tim Romero: Serial startup founder in Japan and indomitable innovator

Japanese labor law is very different from what is standard in the US or Europe, and more than a few foreigners have made simple mistakes that have cost them their jobs or their entire companies. Terrie Lloyd has started more than a dozen companies in Japan over the past 30 years and has hired hundreds of people here. Today Terrie shares a number of personal stories and also offers a lot of practical advice for westerners in Japan who need to hire, manage and retain Japanese staff, either for their own startup or as part of a larger organization. Of course, we talk about Japan Travel, Terrie’s latest venture, but we also cover the state of Japanese startups in general, how to best raise money from Japanese VCs, and we go over a few real-world examples of how you can protect yourself when things go horribly, horribly wrong. It’s an interesting discussion, and I think you’ll enjoy it. Show Notes One mistake all founders need to avoid when building a platform business Why Japanese VCs have a blind spot to the travel industry How you know when to bootstrap and when to raise funds Why loyalty points are stronger than blockchain Why Japanese companies are afraid of open data The best way to recruit and manage Japanese staff How to find a startup niche as a foreigner in Japan How to get rid of problem employees without getting sued What you need to watch out for when getting legal advice in Japan Links from the Founder Check out Japan Travel Terrie's Take is a weekly newsletter that is definately worth reading Japanese Labor Law for startup founders A general overview of Japanese Labor Law JETRO's Guide to Japanese Labor Law Some good advice to startup founders from a Japanese Lawyer [shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="7994466"] Leave a comment Transcript Welcome to Disrupting Japan, straight talk from Japan's most successful entrepreneurs. I'm Tim Romero and thanks for joining me. Okay, I want to explain in advance, this one is going to be a little long, but believe me, you are going to be glad you spent the time, and you know, you might even find yourself listening to this particular episode a couple of times. There's so much good stuff coming. Terrie Lloyd has started more than a dozen companies in Japan and he has hired hundreds of people over the past 30 years. Now, Terrie and I have known each other for a long time. In fact, when I was first starting out in Japan, I did some programming for one of his companies back in the 90s. I wrote for one of his magazines in the early 2000s, and you know, I'm not sure what took me so long to invite him to sit down and talk, but I'm glad I finally did. Of course, we talked about Japan Travel, Terrie's latest startup, but our conversation also turns into a brutally practical guide for any foreigner who wants to run a business in Japan. I will warn you in advance, our conversation lacks most of the startup hype and pep talking most founders exude, but you're about to hear some fantastic real-world advice about how foreigners can hire, manage, and occasionally even fire Japanese staff. Japanese labor law is well, different than it is in the US or Europe, and more than a few foreigners have made simple mistakes in this area that ended up killing their companies. Terrie has some great advice both on how to attract and to keep Japanese talent, and a few real-world examples of how you can protect yourself when things go horribly, horribly wrong. But you know, Terrie tells that story much better than I can, so let's get right to the interview. [pro_ad_display_adzone id="1404" info_text="Sponsored by" font_color="grey" ] [Interview] Tim: So I'm sitting here with Terrie Lloyd, the founder and CEO of Japan Travel and LINC Media, and BiOS and quite a few other companies, so thanks for sitting down with me. Terrie: It's my pleasure. Tim: Yes, I'm amazed how long it's taken us to get around to ...

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