A team with diverse member
Japan’s foreign residents are increasing every year. There were 2.76 million foreign residents at the end of 2021 according to the Japanese Ministry of Justice. Some foreigners come to Japan to work, among other reasons.
Many foreign workers came under Technical Intern Training Program or Specified Skill Worker visa, where some industries in Japan suffer most worker shortages. However, that’s not all. Some foreigners work as teachers, lecturers, engineers, or other white-collar jobs.
Some international workers studied in universities or collage and stayed in the country after their graduation. A survey conducted by Disco in 2019 showed that 50.6% of 494 companies in Japan planned to hire international students through shukatsu. However, in the same study in 2020, the intention to recruit international students dropped to 39.2% because of the pandemic.
Now that the situation has gotten better and the travel ban lifted everywhere, you can start building an international team in your company. Here are some benefits of recruiting international employees.
Skillful and talented human resources
Based on a government survey in 2015, more than 50% of the companies hired international students because they simply passed the selection process. They are not different from their Japanese peers, or even better than some, skillswise. This finding remains true nowadays. Many companies hire international talents because of their impressive skill set.
New and creative perspectives addition
People from different backgrounds have different points of view and approaches. Those differences are crucial for creating fresh and exciting products. The more diverse your team is, the more varied alternative ideas you will get.
Multicultural employees meeting
It is a guaranteed advantage if your company hires international talents. Multilingual employees will help you a lot in communicating with clients and customers. Moreover, language is a door to knowledge. Multilingual employees can access information and find solutions from various sources, resulting in faster and better results.
Local market insight and overseas expansion assistance
International staff is a great asset when your company is doing overseas business. Not only do they speak the language, but they are also familiar with the local market. They can give you insights and assist with market research.
Better company reputation
Companies with international employees will gain a positive reputation among clients and customers. They are seen as tolerant, progressive, and modern. The company also can build emotional relationships easier if its representatives come from the same culture as the clients.
Having foreign employees will also affect other employees in the company. They have to know each other to work together. It’s a given for foreign employees to learn about Japanese culture, but Japanese employees can also learn about new cultures, gain different viewpoints, and broaden their horizons in the process. These intercultural interactions will result in global-minded employees.
How to create an international team successfully?
Creating an international team isn’t just about hiring foreigners. It is the first step, of course, but managing them afterward is more crucial. Here are a few tips to help your company unlock all the benefits above.
Get ready for new challenges
Putting people with different backgrounds on the same team is not easy. You can’t expect everyone to click immediately because they need time to adapt. During those periods, coworkers must learn each other’s communication and working style.
A foreigner learns Japanese language and culture
A common problem in international teams is miscommunication due to different perceptions. Here’s an example: when an international employee says they will be a little late, a Japanese manager may expect 1-2 minutes late while they mean 5 minutes or more.
Managing the differences is inevitable and challenging, but you can make it to your advantage. Embracing diversity and changes equal to an opportunity to learn and grow. Therefore, be patient and keep aiming toward the big picture.
Don’t expect the foreign staff to act like Japanese
Some may think that making foreign workers follow all the Japanese rules and habits will make it easier. However, expecting people to act and think like the Japanese will defeat the global purpose itself.
There won’t be any changes if the company forces everyone to do everything in Japanese style. No change means no improvement. It’s not about comparing which style is better but finding common ground and compromising to reach the same goals.
Where to find international talents?
The advantage of hiring international students is that they are already familiar with the Japanese language and culture. Based on 2018 government data, there are 25,942 international students accepted to Japanese companies after graduation.
Recruiters will do the hard work of finding suitable candidates on your behalf. Using a recruitment agency is best if you are looking for experienced talent.
Online job portals
You can post your jobs online and wait for candidates to apply. If you write the postings in English, it may attract more foreigners. Posting on popular websites among foreigners will also help.
International job fair
Discover promising candidates directly through a job fair. As the name suggests, hundreds or thousands of international talents interested in working in Japanese companies will attend this event and find your company.
More and more foreigners come to Japan to work. The opportunity to hire international talents is wide open, more than ever before. So, take your chance to be a global company now!
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