Corporate Japan is reaching beyond its shores to attract new talent, offering lucrative training programs to recruit employees as far away as the U.S. and Europe.
Bolstered by favorable immigration policies as part of a new growth strategy by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, companies including banking majors like Mitsubishi UFJ and consumer electronics giant Toshiba have become heavy participants in a flurry of job fairs that have sprung up globally in recent months.
Carrots dangled included an opportunity to work overseas in Japan and detailed on-the-job training. But what has proven most attractive is the lack of requirement for specific skills. Unlike other countries, most Japanese firms put their new hires into general job roles before relegating them to specific departments after a training period.
That resonated with Toh Chen Yang, a final year student at the National University of Singapore, who has accepted a general job offer with a Japanese bank after a series of interviews conducted in Singapore and Japan through a third-party middleman firm
"There are better prospects in Japan for me based on my arts degree," says Toh, who will begin his career in Tokyo in September. "In Japan your path is not fixed, it's an opportunity to learn and receive training."