Streamlining Manager Recruitment Process For Zwilling J. A. Henckels (Japan)

February 20, 2024


Zwilling J. A. Henckels is a renowned company in the kitchenware industry, known for its exceptional craftsmanship and commitment to quality. Like many organizations, Zwilling J. A. Henckels faced challenges in hiring talent, which had a direct impact on their operations and growth. To address this issue, the company sought the assistance of FocusCore Group.


Zwilling faced an ongoing challenge in hiring a qualified manager for a crucial role. Despite dedicated efforts over an 8-month period, the company was unable to secure a suitable candidate. The prolonged vacancy not only impacted the department’s performance but also had a ripple effect on employee morale and overall productivity. Also, the position is one in Japan that constantly is in high demand, but challenging to find bilingual/bicultural talent for.

Approach and Methodology

Upon engagement, FocusCore initiated a comprehensive approach to address Zwilling’s challenge. The initial phase involved in-depth consultations to understand the company’s specific requirements, culture, and growth objectives. Through a thorough needs assessment, FocusCore Group gained valuable insights into the position’s critical skills, qualifications, and organizational fit.

Solution and Implementation

FocusCore collaborated closely with Zwilling to implement a tailored solution that would accelerate the recruitment process. Together, they refined the candidate screening and selection process, incorporating best practices in talent acquisition. This involved revamping job descriptions, creating targeted interview questions, and establishing clear evaluation criteria.

The firm not only looked at active candidates, but also considered passive talent of people who were not searching for a new job and in a normal contingency search be ignored. By thoroughly mapping the Japan market of active and passive candidates, nearly 100 potential candidates were identified and approached, which led to a longlist of candidates the Zwilling management wished to meet.

Results and Impact

The collaboration between Zwilling and FocusCore yielded remarkable results. Within a mere 2 months, a highly qualified manager was successfully placed in the key position, exceeding the client’s expectations. This significant achievement saved the organization 6 months compared to their previous efforts, accelerating their progress towards meeting strategic goals.

The selected candidate possessed the required skills, experience, and cultural alignment, contributing immediately to the department’s performance and overall company success and has since been promoted. The successful recruitment not only filled a critical gap but also rejuvenated employee morale, fostering a positive work environment.

Lesson Learned

Throughout the project, the importance of leveraging external expertise to streamline a recruitment process, map the entire Tokyo (and Japan) market of passive talent, and a a clear focus to expedite hiring all contributed to the hiring of this key position. In turn, Zwilling has since trusted FocusCore to exclusively engage in other specialized positions.

Strategic Partnership in Executive Search

Our clients partner with us because of our best in practice executive search methodology and deep specialist knowledge of the Japan market