(the third from the left is Mr. Otake, the director of Benesse i-career.Inc)
We interviewed Mr. Otake, the derector of Benesse i-career.Inc, to get insight on the condition of employment of foreign students and how to support them. The company is a joint venture of Intelligence, Ltd. (employment company) and Benesse Holdings, Inc.(education company) since Apr. 2015.
Start the business considering the increase of the number of foreign students in Japan and the difficulty for Japanese companies in employing
Benesse i-career aims to solve problems for Japanese companies and for foreign students.
These days Japanese companies had difficulty in finding excellent students and started business in overseas, so they want students who are familiar with foreign cultures. At the same time even diligent foreign students have trouble to get jobs in Japan. Intelligence, Ltd focused on this gap and started their job offering business to foreign students.
Focus on ASEAN students
Otake told us that he focuses on ASEAN students because they account for as much as 10% of all foreign student and are not familiar with Kanji culture. Most of foreign students are Chinese, but they can do job huntings in the same way as Japanese using existing services understanding Kanji.
Moreover, 60% of ASEAN students study science, so they can make up for the shortage of science students in Japanese companies.
One to one support of agents
Benesse i-career.Inc. has two excellent features.
The first point is that one agent is responsible for both students and companies when he introduces job to foreign students. In the case of Japanese students,agents of students are different from the agents of companies. In the case of foreign students, exchanging information from the agents of students to the agents of companies may lead to misunderstanding of foreign students’ Japanese skill and personalities. Therefore, Benesse i-career.Inc makes agents contact with both students and companies and they can understand ’ preference of both students and companies. This system lead to more satisfying matching.
The second point is the agents` familiarity with foreign students’ conditions. They understand foreign students better, so they can match foreign students with suitable companies cosidering their Japanese language skills, religious problem, personalities, and so on. For example, when the company reads the resume which includes N1, it might not understand how well the students really can speak japanese. The agent can explain the detail to the company and solve this problem.This can make the company focus on foreign students’ essential abilities and personalities.
In addition to this service, Intelligence, Ltd holds the job fair for ASEAN students. Last year, about 500 students join the event. Since that is limited for ASEAN students, they don’t hesitate about Chinese students and can become satisfied with the job fair.
We recommend the job fair to ASEAN students who are doing job huntind now!
Level of Japanese language skill which Japanese companies need
Otake said that the number of foreign students working in Japan is increasing. However, Some Japanese companies tend not to employ foreign students positively because they are not sure that they can manage foreigin students who are not good at Japanse skill. To solve this situation, some companies decided to speak only English in the office, but it is not major.
Conversely, if you can speak Japanese language well, you have a great advantage over other foreign students. Otake said that if the number of such foreign students increases, the adoption rate of foreign students will improve greatly.
Problems with job hunting of foreign students
Otake said that the biggest problem with job hunting of foreign students from ASEAN is lack of Japanese language skill. There are many foreign students who can’t apply to Japanese companies because they can’t write a resume in Japanese on the Internet. Cultural difference between Japanese and foreign countries’s is also big problem. In Japan, it is common that people act punctualily and pay particulary attention to grooming and appearance when they meet someone who employs them or who helps thier job hunting. Some foreign students are often 5 or 10 minutes late and don’t pay attention to their grooming and appearance. Such behavior is one of the reasons that Japanese companies lower their reputation. Foreign students should learn the right way to do job hunting in Japan.
The specific solution to the problem is to make an oppotunity to communicate with Japanese people away from your country’s community as soon as possible. If you communicate with Japanese people, you are forced to be exposed to Japanese language and culture. That helps you learn Japanese language and culture.
Intelligence, Ltd ,which we interviewed focuses the service where its agents teach each of foreign students Japanse culture and common sense kindly.
You should increase the chance of communicaton with Japanese people
As already mentioned, the best way to enter Japanese companies advantageously is to improve your Japanese language skill. Otake said that foreign students in Japan tended to communicate with people who have the same nationality, so they lost the chance to improve their japanese language skill. Such people are likely to fail to enter Japanese companies, because there is little time to prepare the Japanese interview. So you should make many Japanese friends as soon as possible and improve your Japanese language skill !
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