Japanese Startup From Scratch Opens Up About Hiring Foreigners (Part 2)

From Scratch Co. Ltd. Shouta Miura

From Scratch Co. Ltd. Shouta Miura

Part 2 ContinuedIn a country with a historically homogenous racial makeup, many Japanese companies seem to take issue with hiring non-Japanese. Difficulties in communication and time lost to visa processing bureaucracy are just a few things companies consider as unfortunate hurdles to hiring foreigners.We invited the operating officer for From Scratch Co. Ltd., Mr. Shouta Miura to discuss how he addresses the complications that come with hiring such talent, and in this interview, he outlines his first experience with hiring a foreigner and further discusses what companies that seek to hire foreigners should take in consideration in the rather frantic process.(Read Part 1 here)

--What were some of the more difficult parts in the hiring process?

Definitely differences in values and expectations. Money, status and promotions are factors that, of course, function as one type of motivation, but it shouldn’t be principle. Having the inner enterprising initiative to make your own way, to build yourself up and not just accept what society gives you is what is most important. Second most important would be language. This issue doesn’t apply as much to engineers; sophisticated Japanese is not a major requirement. But in a general sense Japanese is, in fact, very important. After all, internal communication is held in Japanese. So we do look into a candidate’s comprehension skills during interviews. 

--What sort of efforts do you see your team making to include those employees lacking in Japanese ability?

We work with good people, so we try to restate and rephrase until they really understand the message, using simpler vocabulary and expressions. The thing is, we do not want people who passively wait for others to help them, that we have to babysit. It’s all about being proactive. The desire to understand and get a job/task done instead of excusing yourself for your lack of Japanese is far more respectable, and is asked for. 

--Are there any stereotypes associated with nationality?

None. We can’t say for all, but we as an organization keep personal subjectivity and business apart. “Stereotypical” characteristics would never affect an interview process or assessment within the company. It’s not about nationality, all things boil down to how you work and get the job done. 

--What advice do you have for companies taking their first step in attempting to hire foreigners?

Nationality is really nothing. You can’t judge anyone through stereotypes. From an anthropological point of view, there might be a correlation of characteristics within nationality and culture, but one would not be able to get an understanding of an individual without face-to-face interaction. Nationality should not thwart you from considering someone. Companies should just go along with the meeting process as they would do with a Japanese candidate. If you like them and want to work with them, employ them. Japanese? Foreign? No difference after all.   About From Scratch Co. Ltd.Established in 2010, and utilizes AI to develop marketing solutions. From Scratch Co. Ltd. additionally supported the development of the marketing program form “B->Dash”.