Japanese companies have over the last years stepped up activities to hire fresh non-Japanese graduates from oversea and Japanese universities to begin their careers in Japan. Companies justify these activities with the need to acquire specialist skills or to develop personnel for overseas business and markets, yet also with the need to inject diversity into headquarters in Japan or to just cope with shrinking numbers of Japanese graduates. Once hired new employees need to be integrated into corporate cultures and human resource management practices that still display high levels of distinctiveness. This presentation explores this development at a relatively early stage. Through interview research with young foreign employees, human resource managers, recruitment agents and university career offices, it traces motives, expectations and experiences from the hiring process to first experiences in companies and hereby arrives at proposals about the factors that determine the success or failure in the recruitment and employment of young non-Japanese employees.
Hendrik MEYER-OHLE is associate professor and head of department at the Department of Japanese Studies of the National University of Singapore. He is teaching on Japanese business, management and consumer culture and his research has focused on marketing and retailing as well as human resources management in Japan. He is the author of two books “Innovation and Dynamics in Japanese Retailing” (2003) and “Japanese Workplaces in Transition” (2009). He worked for the DIJ as a senior research fellow from 1995 to 1999.
Harald CONRAD is Sasakawa Lecturer in Japan’s Economy and Management at the University of Sheffield. He teaches on Japanese business and economics and his research has focused on human resource management and social policy in Japan. His recent research on Japanese occupational pension reform was published in the International Journal of Human Resource Management and the Journal of Social Policy. He is the co-editor and author of “Human Resource Management and Ageing Societies” (2008). Harald was a DIJ senior research fellow from 2000 to 2007.