This article is originally published in Business Media Makoto, a Japanese business website and translated by Yoshifumi Go, who wrote the original Japanese article （転職先は“世界”――そうした時代がやって来る）.
Who are the leading Japanese in foreign countries?
In the Baseball world, they are Ichiro, Darvish, or Matsui the Comeback? In soccer, Nagatomo, Hasebe, or Shinji Kagawa traded to the big team?
“In soccer and baseball, working environment has changed drastically in this 20 years. Now what news on TV sport news programs? Euro 2012, Bundesliga, Kagawa, Nadeshiko in soccer. Lots of major league news in baseball. There were a few sports and business pioneers in the past who tempted them to abroad.”
Mr. Soichiro Minami said. He tried being an independent sports producer and worked for Rakuten Golden Eagles, a professional baseball team, during its startup period. Now he is CEO of BizReach Inc., and expands a breakthrough model in the recruit business with a catch phrase ‘Exclusively for 10 million JPY + Jobs’, gives an opportunity for black-eyed Japanese who hope to work in ‘right value’ and be a leader in foreign countries.
【BizReach as a Recruiting Platform】
“We have three points to do. First, we want business professionals to know right choices and potentials. BizReach receives fee from applicants but this is not for job hunting. We hope they meet many headhunters and companies.”
BizReach is a job-seeking website, established by Minami in 2009, and operated by membership fee paid by registered job-seekers. In general, companies pay fee, 30% of his/her salary on recruiting, to headhunters or recruiting agents, while BizReach asks job-seekers to pay the monthly fee. It varies to membership periods; 4,980JPY for 30 days, 12,940JPY for 90 days, 19,880JPY for 180 days.
Applicants can make contacts with registered companies (650 as of June 2012) and headhunters (740 as of June 2012) in the BizReach database in order to seek the right position. Applicants are selected by annual salary screening, limited to 7.5 million JPY or higher, and the help-wanted positions are 10 million JPY or higher.
Reversed money flow, knowing the right value, and large selection. Why they reached the unique business model?
【Living in ’Galapagos Recruiting Island’】
”30% in annual salary is very expensive as compensation. It is 15% in US, 20% in Asia. A help-wanted ad is around 300 USD in US at most but 4,000 USD in Japan. Why so expensive? Because management and personal section staff in Japan have no ability in recruiting.”
He says they should know more about recruiting, and they have no choice but to ask the outsiders. On the other hand global companies put up an antenna and recruit by themselves. Then the compensation rate lowers globally but not in Japan.
“Second, we want to help Japanese companies regain the ability in recruiting. For this, we open our 120,000 applicants database to membership companies fully. Companies can be put in the same position as headhunters. But most of them can not use the database so we teach how.”
“Third, we want to give options of working abroad for Japanese. Regretfully when we recommend Japanese applicants to Asian and Western companies, they say ‘why Japanese?’. Japanese who don’t speak English can not reach outside Japan.”
【Global from Asia】
Then Minami has just started up ‘Asian BizReach’ called RegionUP. It is all English website. The catch phrase is ‘Find US$100K+ Regional Jobs in Asia.’ Minami has been flying all over Asia during most of a month recently for the startup. The number of headhunters registered have reached over 100. Employment positions spread from Hong Kong to Singapore.
“They have no interest in ‘database only Japanese job-seekers’. We want to realize the situation like ‘Japanese Job-seekers are also in the database, it’s quite normal’,”
Look back postwar Japan. The nation planned two strategies for the sake of reconstruction for the country. One is to focus manufacturing. For manufacturing industry, internal reserves of technology is highly important. Technology means human resource and the brain drain to overseas is not welcome. To reserve them, lifetime employment and the seniority system, the famous Japanese employment were systematized.
Now the strategies are out of date. In the service industry trend, human resource swims globally.
“Working only in Japan is easy. But is it OK to you? Pioneers who said NO were existed.”
【Changed from Tornado and King】
History of Sakoku or close-door-policy have been changed by some pioneers.
In baseball world, that was ‘Tornado’ Hideo Nomo. He retired voluntarily Japanese Baseball and jointed LA Dodgers in 1995. He won 13 in the season and proved Japanese can play in the major. Ichiro and Matsui and others followed him. How about in soccer?
“It was not Hide Nakata but King Kazu, Kazuyoshi Miura.”
King Kazu was traded to Genoa, a team of Serie A in 1994. Though he scored only one goal and pitched 21 games, he proved Japanese can play in Europe. His ambitious was a turning point and many Japanese players have been traded. In the business word there were pioneers such as Akio Morita (Sony) and Soichiro Honda(Honda). The time the world envied Japan.
They proved black-eyed Japanese could be leaders overseas. It actually is a ‘Swimmy lifestyle’ Minami embodies.
【a black-eyed Swimmy】
His book, 絶対ブレない「軸」のつくり方, ‘How to be a unwavering person’, describes that he was boldly trying to advertise himself to sports agents in US with no appointments. There were the letters he sent to agents. I noticed the sender name ‘Swimmy Minami’. What Swimmy is?
There is a picture book titled ‘Swimmy.’ Swimmy is different from other fishes because of its black color. In the ocean, his fellow fishes are eaten by a Big Tuna and he is alone. During his traveling, he meets new fellow fishes. He wishes he live with them. But how we survive against Tuna attack? Yes! Swimmy has a good idea. Why don’t we going to swim together! Black Swimmy becomes an eye. Tuna runs away seeing ”what a big fish’.
When Minami moved with his family in Canada, he didn’t understand English. Then his teacher gave him the picture book. As nobody couldn’t pronounce his Japanese first name, Soichiro, because it was long, he looked for English name. Swimmy, started from S, was the one.
“Everybody can be a leader even if color is different. You should decide by yourself because you are the driver in your life. ”
He himself is indeed the Swimmy and of course you also have a chance, if you say “I will be an eye!” and prepare for swimming in the world sea.