Foreign workers in demand amid tourism surge



Demand for foreign workers has been strong in Japan over the past few years as the number of foreign tourists rises and an increasing number of domestic companies aim to expand their business abroad.

Since its establishment in 2004, Globalpower Inc., a Tokyo-based staffing agency specializing in foreign nationals, especially those with strong Japanese-language skills, has sent its registered workers to over 1,000 companies across a wide range of industries.

The company said department stores and shopping malls are particularly interested in its service, as they hope to provide language services for foreign customers, and that manufacturers seeking to advance into the global market are also searching for foreign workers.

On its job information website, the agency posts tips for gaining employment, including how to write resumes, what to wear for a job interview and comments by foreigners who succeeded in job hunting, in addition to job offers from companies. “I developed a website that should be easy to use, based on my job-searching experience — which was hard,” said President Koichi Takeuchi, who lived in the United States when he was a student.

In June this year, Globalpower added a new service dubbed “Katakotobaito” that dispatches part-time foreign workers with limited Japanese-language skills, to respond to demand from companies struggling with a shortage of workers. Among jobs at client companies are servers at restaurants and factory workers.

Globalpower said it hopes that its workers will learn to hold conversations in Japanese and accumulate experience at these companies, to grow into a competent human resource in the future.

“We have collected data regarding some 40,000 foreigners from about 130 countries who are all fluent in Japanese,” Takeuchi said. “By increasing the number of our registered staff, we will serve the various needs of Japanese companies.”