Tokyo Olympics fails to boost hiring activity in Japan, finds GlobalData

Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics games are back at the world center stage after delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The mega sporting events do not seem to impact hiring activity with active jobs not seeing significant growth in Japan. However, it’s business as usual for companies that are partnering the event. From product launches, customer engagement, providing hospitality support, and business development, companies are making the most of sporting extravaganza, observes GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Ajay Thalluri, Business Fundamentals Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Hiring in Japan did not see a boost in the run-up to the event, which is usually expected for a high-stakes event. Active jobs grew through H2 2020, mostly with the easing of lockdown norms but since 2021 hiring activity remained relatively flat. The country is hosting Tokyo Olympics under heightened health and safety restrictions and limited visitation.”

However, GlobalData’s Job Analytics Database reveals that in the backdrop of Tokyo Olympics, hiring reflects multiple strategies adopted by various companies.

Visa Inc and its affiliate Payworks are expanding acceptance for contactless and digital payments during Tokyo Olympics. ‘Senior Director, Head of Data Solutions – Japan’ job shows Visa is running a project with its analytics group to analyze payment behavior tied to Tokyo Olympics campaigns, including government cashless initiatives. The company is also collaborating with Olympians and Paralympians for ‘You + Visa = Everywhere You Want To Be’ program.

GMR Marketing’s ‘Account Supervisor, Olympic Partnership Marketing’ role provides for hospitality programs while supporting logistics. Aggreko Plc’s ‘Procurement Manager – Indirect’ is assisting for global mobility team in areas relating to people mobility for Tokyo Olympics.

Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s affiliate AliExpress is tracking competitor marketing strategies while designing campaigns to increase old and new buyer conversion rates. Comcast Corp and NBCUniversal Media LLC posted jobs for ‘News Desk Writer’, ‘Researcher, Olympics Research Room’, and ‘Digital Inventory Analyst’ to track the event.

Companies such as Coca-Cola Co is launching new variants of Costa’s ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee platform. The company is looking to expand Costa RTD through new channels by running marketing campaigns through Q3 and Q4 2021, including Olympics, in Japan. Also, Nike Inc is developing media and marketing strategy for Asia Pacific Latin America (APLA) markets. Through ‘Brand Media Manager’ job in Japan, the company looks to execute seasonal omni-channel media campaign by leveraging tentpole sports moments such as Olympics.

Travel and tourism sector has taken a hit and not seeing much hiring activity, which ideally should have been otherwise when such event takes place in normal conditions. Major hotel chains such as Marriott International Inc and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc are seeing dampened hiring activity and job postings by the two companies reduced by 50% from 251 jobs in January to 130 jobs in June 2021. Moreover, with concerns raised, especially around fourth wave of COVID-19 in Japan, hospitality companies may not increase hiring activity.

Mr Thalluri concludes: “Going by H1 2021 hiring trend, Tokyo Olympics may not impact recruitment especially with curbs on international tourism and limited visitation. But the sporting event is turning to be a platform for companies to drive business outcomes.”

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