留学生インタビュー

BACK NUMBER
No01 Alumni working in Japan
Yuwun Chai
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
No01 Japanese Companies employing international students
Yoshinobu Izumi
Taisei Corporation

Human Resources Serving as “a Bridge” between Japan and the Rest of the World

Taisei Corporation is a general contractor specializing in the development of large-scale infrastructure projects, including high-rise buildings, dams, bridges, tunnels, and subways. Since its foundation in 1873, Taisei Corporation has been engaging in a large number of civil engineering works in Japan, building the foundations of society, contributing to the people and their social lives, and supporting the development of Japan.

In recent years, Taisei Corporation has been working on large-scale projects overseas, including the construction of the Palm Jumeirah Undersea Road Tunnel (the United Arab Emirates), the Bosphorus Strait Railway Tunnel (Turkey), and Noi Bai Airport (Vietnam). In response to the increasing importance of human resources who are familiar with local cultures overseas and able to work in cooperation with Japanese staff members while building up a network of local contacts, Taisei Corporation started recruiting new graduates of international students as full-time employees a few years ago.

Taisei Corporation decided to employ them in the hope that they would deeply appreciate that they would be working for a Japanese company, and would not only play active roles overseas but also demonstrate their abilities in Japan. The reason is that what is needed abroad is Taisei Corporation’s technology, and unless employees understand Taisei Corporation’s work in Japan and the know-how that serve as the bases for its technology, it will be impossible for them to explain the difference in technology between Japan and overseas regions clearly and thereby satisfy our customers.

Taisei Corporation welcomes human resources serving as “a bridge” to connect their experience in Japan to overseas projects.

Taking Advantage of the Unique Power of International Students Recruited as Employees

There is no difference between international students and Japanese students in the contents and schedule of recruitment, and they will not be treated differently after they join the company, being expected to work in the same way as Japanese employees. This requires them to have high Japanese language proficiency. Furthermore, they need to understand the employment system and corporate culture of Japan.

They will not be always assigned to overseas workplaces. Currently, employees who were students from Taiwan and South Korea are playing active roles in the head office in Tokyo and branches throughout Japan.

Some foreign employees may feel uneasy working in the same way as Japanese workers, but we hear that many of them who were international students have been working in their assigned destinations by playing to their strengths. For example, a foreign employee who was in charge of risk management of an overseas project was scrutinizing agreements written in the local language, reading the nuances of words which would go unnoticed by Japanese people, and accurately informing the parties about the risks.

We heard that foreign employees who were international students played a major role when there was a request made by government authorities to give a presentation abroad on the difference in quake-resistant requirements between Japan and another country. We understand that they acted as collaborators for both countries and smoothly facilitated the process in such a way that Japanese employees without them could not have achieved it with ease.

Their work is highly evaluated in-house and they have a reputation for achieving great things. We are sure that they are fully demonstrating their abilities in a straightforward manner without ever thinking, “I can’t do this because I’m not Japanese.”

In the Hope of Building a New Culture In-house

Taisei Corporation had not had many foreign employees until it started recruiting international students, and we do not think that Taisei Corporation’s Japanese employees have had many opportunities to be in contact with non-Japanese people. Currently, however, Taisei Corporation has approximately 30 full-time foreign employees, and a new wind is blowing in-house, where Japanese employees work with foreign colleagues and subordinates. In recent years, Taisei Corporation’s foreign employees have established an in-house community of foreign employees and it seems that employees who were international students are increasingly interacting with each other.

In Japan, people often take the overseas expansion of Japanese enterprises as internationalization or globalization. We feel that the time has come to evaluate our efforts to create a working environment where foreign colleagues and subordinates can play active roles and serve as human resources to work together toward corporate internationalization. We hope that international students who intend to work in Japan will stimulate the international sense of Japanese people within Japanese workplaces and create a new culture to lead Japan.