【Link Japan Careers Inc.】 Part1 – Support foreign talents who want to work in Japan from the same perspective
Link Japan Careers Inc. (hereinafter “Link Japan Careers”) is a company which offers employment and living support for foreign talent, focusing mainly on English teachers in Japan. It also supports other customers, companies and local governments, for employment or training of foreign talent. In this first article, we interviewed Mr. Ishikawa, who has been with the company since it was founded.
Kazuki Ishikawa｜Product Planning Group, Group Manager
Rhys Wallace｜Marketing & Recruiting Group Consultant
Please tell us about the company’s profile.
Link Japan Careers is a company established in 2016. Interac, Inc. (currently Link Interac Inc. and hereinafter “Link Interac”), which was engaged in dispatching ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) established a new company under Link and Motivation Group for the purpose of leveraging its know-how on employment and management of foreign talents to various companies. Link Interac employs around 3,200 foreign talents as ALTs and dispatches them to municipalities nationwide. Through this, they accumulated knowledge in recruitment, training, living support, and labor management.
Link Japan Careers aims for expanding the environment for foreigners to be active in Japanese society through accessibility. For various companies, they offer a matching service (recruitment support), policy proposal and implementation for managing foreign employees, as well as consulting on personnel systems. For foreign talent who want to work in Japan, in addition to recruitment matching, Link Japan Careers can provide living support and training for working in a Japanese company.
Many foreign employees seem active in Link JapanCareers.
Around 50% of all employees are foreigners. The Marketing & Recruiting Group, which Rhys(who talks in the second article) belongs to, consists of two Japanese and nine foreign employees. Their work is mainly focused for the talent who are seeking jobs and serving as a hub for their overseas operations. Meanwhile, many Japanese employees are engaged in the living support section and sales section.
Do you have any criteria for recruiting foreign talents?
We adopt those who understand the feelings of the talent who seek our support. It should be a person who understands what kind of troubles they face through personal experience. It is also important whether the person wishes to contribute to others. Currently, we provide three months internship opportunities for ALTs of Link Interac so that they can experience office work in Link Japan Careers. There are some cases we recruit the talents during the internship. We mainly adopt mid-career professionals compared with new graduates currently.
How are you conscious of creating an environment where foreign talents can be active at the work?
I pay attention to how to communicate with them. I am trying to communicate as clearly as possible when I make any requests or instructions. When I want them to cooperate, I tell not only the reason but also the background of it. Also, when they have any doubts or questions, I share all my thoughts clearly so that we can understand each other. By doing so, I think it will be easier for foreign employees to show their value.
For example, before Link Japan Careers was established, I was managing ALTs at Link Interac. At that time, rather than just telling them the method of teaching at a school, I shared the history of Japanese education and explained the background in detail.
Please tell us about the language spoken in the office.
We use about 50% Japanese and 50% English. Because the Marketing & Recruiting Group has a lot of foreign talents, English is mainly used. However, our foreign employees can understand Japanese and our Japanese employees can understand English. Even if it is not perfect, they can communicate with each other.
In addition, as our company’s rule, we use Japanese and English alternately at the monthly general meeting. By changing the language every month, we try to get used to each other’s language. In the English meeting, Japanese employees also make presentations in English.
Could you give a message to international students who want to work in Japan?
I think it is unnecessary to become Japanese to work in Japan. It is more important to take advantage of your own strengths, cultural backgrounds, and individuality that you have naturally. It might not be in your best interest to adapt to the Japanese culture to an extent that your originality doesn’t show. You need to recognize how you are different from them and what you can show as a strength. Companies seeking international students wish to develop a business which cannot be offered by the Japanese-only environment. Therefore, you don’t need to become Japanese. Please just understand your strengths and go job hunting with confidence.
(Interviewer: Eri Watanabe, Kazuya Tamura, and Takuya Ohsawa Translator: Yusuke Murata)