More and more foreign students choosing to work temporarily at Japanese companies while in school, according to findings by Recruit Staffing

On December 19, Recruit Holdings Co. Ltd hosted a briefing session to reveal its forecasts about upcoming social trends in 2019. At this event, major staffing agency, Recruit Staffing Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Recruit Holdings, announced that “ryu-biz-daigakusei” is the keyword to describe this recent trend in the staffing business.

A ryu-biz-daigakusei is a type of foreign student who joins a Japanese company with the intention of developing their career while still being at university.

The number of undergraduate and postgraduate foreign students in Japan has been increasing since 2016, and saw a significant increase of nearly 15% from 2015 to 2017. At the same time, the Ministry of Justice revealed this October that the number of foreign students in Japan who applied to change their residence status to work reached 27,926 in 2017, which was the highest ever, an increase of about 6,000 compared to the previous year.

However, during their presentation, Recruit Staffing highlighted a tough employment situation for foreign students, stating that 85% of undergraduate and postgraduate students are willing to work in Japan after graduation, while only 36% successfully found a job. They also indicated big challenges foreign students face during their job hunting in Japan, such as understanding Japanese corporate culture and complex business etiquette, as well as communicating in Japanese.

Therefore, it is important for foreign students to acquire language proficiency and familiarize themselves with the Japanese work ethic by getting some work experience at Japanese companies at the same time as studying. Some staffing agencies are taking note of these kinds of ambitious foreign students who wish to gain valuable work experience in preparation for successful job hunting, together with the needs of Japanese companies who look for work-ready individuals, regardless of their nationalities.

According to Recruit Staffing, the number of foreign students looking for haken work (temporary employment where workers are dispatched to companies by staffing agencies) through their service, as well as the number of companies accepting those students, have been increasing over the last two years. Recently, these students have also started getting haken work in administrative positions, in addition to sales and customer service work.

If you wish to remain in Japan for work after graduation and are looking to work in a company where you can communicate in Japanese and learn the Japanese work ethic while at university, it is advisable to consider joining a Japanese company as a temporary staff member. You would feel more confident and have a clearer image of working in Japan so you can give yourself an advantage in the job hunting process too.

[Reference] 2019 will be a year of ryu-biz-daigakusei in the staffing business.