Simon Jelfs


Your last meal on earth, what would it be?

Long Barbecue in my garden with family and friends.

Sectors Covered

Accounting and Finance, HR, Supply Chain and Logistics

Years Recruiting


Years Managing


Specialties / Skills

  • Accounting and Finance Recruitment
  • Coaching recruiters to high performance
  • Developing leaders

Career Path to Recruitment

In Year 3 of the JET Program a recruiter called me about a job he was recruiting for, realized I was not a good fit but offered me a job working for him.  That was 20 years ago.

What You Enjoy Most About Recruiting

  • Helping clients and candidates get their desired outcomes.
  • Face to face conversations with leaders from a wide range of industries.
  • Filling hard to fill positions.

What You Enjoy Most About People Management

Hiring people without prior recruitment experience and helping them build a successful career in the industry.  Getting valuable ideas, insights and feedback from the people I manage which improves the business.

Most important attribute you typically look for in a candidate when hiring for your team/company

When we hire internally we look at 4 main areas – Execution, Customer Service, Team Player, Self Improvement Mindset.

Tell Us a Recruitment or Management Pet Peeves?

Candidates and Clients calling me Jeff, particularly by email.  Guess that could be my fault for having a weird surname.

Candidates emailing me telling me they have singed the offer letter when they mean they have signed the offer letter.

Most Notable Achievements

  • Recruitment taking me to Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Boston (the one in America not Lincolnshire), London and Switzerland;
  • Hiring, Training and Retaining High Performing Recruitment Teams;
  • Running 9 Full Marathons

Most Memorable Placement

Making 2 placements out of one Talent Accelerator.  A Talent Accelerator is when a client meets 4-6 candidates back to back and we facilitate the session.

If you hadn`t gone into recruitment what would you have been?

Opening Batsman for England of course.

Tell us one change you would be very happy to see happen related to recruitment in Japan

More focus on people to people relationships and less reliance on transactional recruitment processes and databases.

Any random thoughts you`d like to share about the Japan TA/Recruitment market?

Japan is a great place to build a recruitment career and recruitment fees in Japan are the highest in the world.  The talent shortage will remain a huge challenge here and will mean that there will always be huge opportunity in building a recruitment career in Japan.

Hobbies: How do you unwind outside of the job?

Coach my son’s rugby team.  Run marathons.  Watch rugby, cricket and football.

Tell us an unusual fact about yourself that your friends might not already know.

In my JET Program days I had the honour of Morris dancing for royalty at the British Embassy

Latest Manager

Charles AY Yoshimura (Charley)

Human Resources Recruiting Specialist

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Alex Lagata Jr.

Human Resources Manager for Japan and Indonesia

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Sonia Totten Mayer

Head of Talent Acquisition, Japan

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Simon Jelfs


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Henry Seals

Manager People & Culture

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Simon Cropper

HR Director, Japan & APAC

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Tom Kiley

Vice-President & Director – Commerce Group

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Games Panprakrong

Partner / Cornerstone

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