Tokyo-based employment matchmaker targets Southeast Asian students

Kyodo

A Tokyo-based job-matching company is pairing students from Southeast Asian nations, including Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, with Japanese employers via an online service.

More than 2,500 students from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations — which also includes Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Singapore — are registered with the ASEAN Career web service operated since 2014 by Node Inc.

Kenta Watanabe, the 28-year-old president of the company, said, “ASEAN economies are moving dynamically and have outstanding talent, including foreign students (in Japan).”

At the time the company was founded, Watanabe said there was no major avenue for businesses to search for job seekers in Southeast Asia, even though they were eager to hire people in the region.

The website allows free registration for current and former students, both graduate and undergraduate, in and out of Japan. Businesses can also post job offers for free. Node earns a fee when a company hires an applicant matched through the site.

A recruiter is given access to the online profile of an applicant for a job offer and may proceed to an interview after contacting him or her via email.

The types of jobs offered through the site are diverse, ranging from machinery components and industrial materials to tourism and distribution. Node says around 150 job offers have been made through the service.

“We have seen around 50 people recruited so far,” Watanabe said. “We are aiming to broker the recruitment of 100 people in 2017.”

The company says it has received positive feedback from both students and businesses.

One student studying in Japan said he could not visit companies during a typical recruitment season because of his studies and research, but was glad to find offers through Node. Some recruiters said they found it easy to look for the kind of people they need.

Node has also sponsored five rounds of job fairs for Japanese businesses and job seekers from the ASEAN bloc in Tokyo, drawing around 10 companies per session. Around 1,500 ASEAN students learning in Japan took part, according to the company.

“A growing number of businesses are angling for opportunities to stretch into overseas markets,” Watanabe said. “We would like to share personnel information with leading small and medium-sized companies in (regional) cities as well.”