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Business

Recruiting agencies innovate to find local talent abroad

Exclusive interviews, support services help Japanese companies hungry for qualified workers

Job-seekers in Taiwan gather for interviews arranged by Neo Career.

TOKYO -- Japanese companies are keen to hire more foreign employees, but many of them do not have the know-how to find the right people. Responding to this growing need, recruiting agencies have begun offering unique services.

Neo Career in October last year began a service to arrange intensive interview opportunities so that client companies can meet dozens of local candidates abroad for exclusive interviews. Recruiting agencies often hold "hiring fairs," inviting a number of companies and job seekers to meet. But inviting candidates exclusively for a single company can be more effective for the best matching of candidates to jobs, according to the agency.

Neo Career recently arranged such sessions in South Korea, and plans to expand the service to India by the end of this year. In the first six months since the service started, some 600 foreigners have been selected through the service and came to Japan. The business aims to increase the number to 4,000 over the next three years.

After a company asks the agency to arrange interviews abroad, the agency takes two weeks or so to select 30 to 40 local candidates. It first seeks people who can speak good Japanese, through social media networks, and performs preliminary interviews to screen them.

Once a company and a foreign candidate agree to employment, Neo Career also provides support for the new employee, such as applying for visas and finding a place to live. For humanities graduates, Neo Career receives from the hiring company about 400,000 yen ($3,628) for each new employee. For science grads, it charges 30% or so of the employee's annual salary.

Fourth Valley Concierge, meanwhile, is organizing an online computer programming competition, starting later this month. It sent out information about the event to some 5 million potential participants. During the first round, some 200 will be selected to proceed to the final round. The best 100 participants will be invited to visit Japan for job interviews. The competition is free for participants, and the top three finalists will win a cash prize.

There is strong demand among Japanese companies for talented engineers, especially artificial intelligence specialists.

According to an estimate from Tokyo-based Parsol Research and Consulting, a Temp Holdings subsidiary, Japan will be short more than 5 million workers in 2025 -- not only in the technology sector, but also in areas such as retail, transport and construction.

(Nikkei)

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