Demographic challenges in Japan have prompted the company to look overseas to address the impending recruitment crisis, with Vietnam and India creating a number of new hiring opportunities.
“In the future, it is clear that many Japanese companies will come to understand that employing a diverse workforce is a necessity.”
Masaki Seki, President, Sekisho Corporation
A general trading company with over a century of experience, Sekisho Corporation is using all its business know-how to respond to Japan’s well-documented demographic challenges.
With the population in Ibaraki Prefecture expected to decrease by 150,000 people annually by 2030, the company’s latest recruitment drive has focused on the potential offered by Vietnam.
A representative from the corporation’s highly-skilled HR team explains: “Japan and Vietnam established diplomatic relations in 1973. For political, cultural and historical reasons, there are many pro-Japanese people in Vietnam who wish to work in Japan.”
Since 2016, Sekisho has been running a job fair in Vietnam in collaboration with the Hanoi University of Science and Technology, one of the leading science universities in Vietnam. The aim is to address the overlapping needs of Japanese companies dealing with a shrinking workforce and high-level Vietnamese workers who want to relocate to Japan. To date, 124 exhibiting companies and over 5,625 Vietnamese students have participated, and plans are afoot to extend the scheme to India.
Recruiting personnel from overseas comes with its own unique set of challenges, of course, including, but not restricted to, communication issues and cultural differences: “It can be very difficult for overseas personnel to adjust to the Japanese business style or culture, language and living environment.”
To help with the adjustment process, therefore, Sekisho not only conducts recruitment activities but follows up with companies and recruits after the hiring process is complete.
Foreign nationals are increasingly important for Japanese industry, and Sekisho’s aim is to establish a model that other domestic companies can follow in the years to come.