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Talent / HR Generalist

In a nutshell:

IDEO Tokyo is looking for a HR Generalist and a business partner to our leaders in the business. In this role, you will take care of the two most essential building blocks of our company’s success - our people and our culture.

Our Talent team is focused on building a thriving culture through the design and delivery of human-centered policies, tools and processes as well as delivering top-notch employee experiences to help our teams do their best work.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

IDEO Tokyo’s mission is to help enable change in Japan through design and creativity.

Our purpose is to partner with organisations to help them build resilient and inclusive futures they can own--we do this through a deep focus on empathy, optimism, and a rigorous approach to making strategy tangible by using creativity as a complement to analytical reasoning.

IDEO’s secret sauce is our people. It’s the quality and talents of our people that enable us to deliver futures clients can own. We see our people as our most competitive advantage. And our Talent team works with and for our people to make IDEO the best possible place to learn, work, and grow their careers.

Japanese and strong English verbal and written skills are required for this position.

Once here you will:

  • Act as the first point of contact for people-related concerns, for all employees. Be a confidential and welcoming resource and develop strong relationships.
  • Manage full life-cycle recruitment processes including job postings, coordination of resume flow, diligent candidate correspondence, and maintenance of candidate records via our applicant tracking system.
  • Oversee the performance management process and provide guidance to leaders on employee reviews and evaluations.
  • Manage and maintain our HR systems on a day-to-day basis with a focus on ensuring human-centeredness and optimisation, not simply compliance.
  • Provide guidance to the leadership team on a variety of actions including talent management and development, employee relations, policy interpretation, and organizational design, balancing the strategic and the tactical.
  • Find opportunities to leverage data from our HR systems to evaluate our progress and make recommendations towards better meeting our talent priorities and employee needs including our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion practices.
  • Design and implement necessary HR policies for our employees related to topics ranging from mobility to tax to benefits. You’ll do this with the support of our Talent Team in Asia, in addition to our Global Talent team.
  • Over and above this you’ll expertly balance the day-to-day needs of our employees with making progress towards bigger strategic initiatives that will impact our wider business and in service of a future-fit employee value proposition.

What does IDEO Tokyo offer you?

Ask anyone at IDEO why they like working here, and they will say it’s our people and the diversity of challenges. It’s a place where you can solve complex challenges for people, organisations and society, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism.

We certainly work hard, but we also intentionally create an environment and culture where we’re able to pause, create, and connect.

We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work and respect the need for work-life balance. IDEO provides you support and development throughout your time here, while allowing for autonomy in your daily work and in your career.

This role is based out of our Tokyo studio. However, to manage the health and safety of our teams, our workforce is predominantly working remotely at this current moment due to COVID-19. We hope to return to our studios in a hybrid model when it is safe to do so in 2022.

Relevant Experience, Skills and Mindsets:

We are looking for someone who is excited to turn a traditional HR Operations role into one that inspires growth in others. You enjoy both autonomy in how you work as well as collaborating with colleagues to help integrate data and insights into their workflows to ensure maximum impact across our teams and business.


  • Japanese and strong English verbal and written skills are required for this position.
  • A proven track record, with significant experience and evidence of success, working in HR Generalist or HR Shared Service environments, supporting recruitment, payroll, employee benefit programmes.
  • At least 5+ years of experience, preferably with experience at multinational companies is preferred.
  • Highly competent understanding of the employee lifecycle, including onboarding new starters, offboarding leavers, mobility and employee changes.
  • Working knowledge of HR Systems such as Bamboo, Workday, Zendesk a plus.
  • Continuous improvement outlook to enhance the HR delivery service, automate our processes and improve our overall efficiency.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills with an ability to explain complex concepts to non-HR audiences in writing and verbally.
  • Proven ability to think quickly on your feet, adapt to ambiguity, change scope and focus with ease.
  • Good understanding of Japanese employment law.
  • Thrive in a fast-paced creative environment with a culture of experimentation.
  • Strong attention to detail to effectively check analysis and documentation.

Commitment to Diversity

At IDEO, we are committed to the work of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within our organisation and in the world. Our purpose of having disproportionate, world-changing impact through design is directly connected to our ability to bring many different perspectives to the table. This applies to our candidates, the people we hire, the clients and customers we serve, and the communities we learn from in our research.

As a human-centered organisation, we are committed to working with and designing for people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability or attribute, religion, national origin, or political belief. We recognize that this commitment requires ongoing work and sustained attention, as well as adaptation to new insights and best practices.

Read our most recently updated Commitments to further Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion here.

Application Instructions

Please apply online by uploading your resume and cover letter. In your cover letter, please explain why you are a good fit for this role.

Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

Apply now
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