From no experience to full-fledged engineer
In 2014, Staff Service launched a new temporary staffing service model that was designed to seamlessly hire and train inexperienced personnel and aspiring engineers. This model supports both customers and clients to success by finding clients motivated personnel who go on to learn about engineering through client-organized training programs. Staff Service even offers a program where a career counselor regularly supports the new temporary staff in planning their careers during their work assignment period. Since the service’s launch, over 12,000 motivated engineers in training have been dispatched, mainly to assist with projects that require strong interpersonal skills. We interviewed Junji Hayashida and Ryo Yamasaki who launched this service, to discuss the challenge that they were facing, as well as the team’s future prospects.
How did Japan's manufacturing crisis and workforce shortage inspire Staff Service’s new recruitment model?
Junji: As the economy gradually recovered from the 2008 financial crisis, manufacturers, who had been hiring a limited number of workers, suddenly became so busy and needed any help they could get. However, hiring experienced engineers was difficult as Japan was facing a shortage of manpower.
Ryo: It was a very difficult time, but there were some signs of hope. When we posted a job opening, we received a flood of applications from inexperienced candidates who wanted to become engineers.
Junji: When I asked them why they applied for the job at the interview, the candidates were more passionate about manufacturing than I had expected. Several told me that they did part-time work on production lines and enjoyed it very much. Others simply enjoyed tinkering with and making things as a hobby. They didn’t have an academic background in technology or engineering, but they demonstrated the capability and motivation to become full-fledged engineers. So the challenge became how to match these people with manufacturers that needed them.
What was it like trying to pair the aspiring engineers with the client companies?
Ryo: The reaction of the personnel managers at major manufacturers was reluctance. They wanted experienced candidates. So we went to the client's site to get a firsthand look at the human resource requirements for hiring workers, where we got some unexpected feedback. One on-site manager we spoke with said, "I'd rather have someone who is motivated to come to work every day, even if their skills are average, than someone with high technical skills and is more likely to be absent from work.” These discussions were really eye-opening for us in discovering that motivational workers bring a lot to the table, even if they don’t have the necessary experience.
Junji: I believe that the solution lies in the workplace. ”The 100 Voices of Clients,” an internal document with 100 feedbacks from our clients, summarizes the results of our on-site interviews and helped us understand the needs of our clients and their on-site teams. The document also serves as a starting point for our sales representatives when they make proposals to corporate HR recruiting departments.
Ryo: We've had some clients say that they simply need people to begin working right away, regardless of their skill set. There would be cases where it would take more than six months for a candidate to be hired and assigned. In this case, we thought that dispatching motivated and inexperienced personnel who were interested in building skills would be a great value proposition for our clients.
What emerged was a new model of hiring and training inexperienced candidates. One of our clients, a developer from a global housing equipment manufacturer, was very impressed with this model, saying: "Our department is involved in a wide range of processes, from new products and functions planning to mass production, so we need to work with various collaborators. For this reason, we cannot accomplish our work only with highly specialized technical workers. By supplementing communication and management aspects with workers who are willing to learn about the technology, and by having them participate in product specification discussions and idea meetings, we can explore different points of interest and expand our department’s range of ideas. It is not an easy task to acquire the basic knowledge needed to become a full-fledged engineer while simultaneously working, but I expect Staff Service to guide our new staff to learn about their interests and strengths so they can successfully take on engineering challenges in other fields."
What are your proudest takeaways? Do you have any future endeavors and goals with this project?
Junji: The origin of this service was realizing that if our clients had a training system, people without the necessary skills could start working. When I hear the voices of happy engineer employees who received training at a client company and obtained an in-house qualification, I can see how successful our training-based recruitment service is. The concept of “getting a job with no experience but with an aptitude for work and learning”, is still very new for many people around the world and this service is still at a starting point. My future goal is to make sure that the work experiences our customers gained through this service lead to their growth and help them in their next jobs and future lives. I would like to continue to evolve our services by seeking the best solution for customers and clients.
Ryo: We have been working to create a platform that helps customers become what they want to be. It is difficult for inexperienced applicants to be hired by manufacturers as engineers. By granting the opportunity for those individuals to work as engineers in the form of "temporary staff," they can enhance their skill sets and discover their strengths. If more and more people have the opportunity to try something they have never done before, this phenomenon will spread throughout the manufacturing and engineering industries, making it natural for both customers and clients to take on new challenges regardless of skills and experience. I would like to do my best to realize such a great future.
Sales Planning Department, Engineering Operating Division, Staff Service Co., Ltd.
Junji joined Staff Service in 2001. After working as a manager in the Office Operating Division, he moved to the Engineering Operating Division in 2008, where he served as sales manager. In 2009, he transferred to Aichi Prefecture, and served as manager of the HR function for human resources and labor management, and as sales manager for the Chubu area. He was responsible for the HR Center at the Recruit Headquarters in 2014, and became the current department manager in 2018.
Chubu/Tokai Area, Engineering Operating Division, Staff Service Co., Ltd.
Ryo joined Staff Service in 2008. He started his career as a sales representative at the Osaka branch office and worked as an area manager in charge of major manufacturers in the Ibaraki and Aichi Prefectures. He has served as sales manager of his current department since 2017. He is also involved in the content production for new graduate recruitment programs.