Message from the CEO

Masumi Minegishi CEO, President, and Representative Director of the Board

Masumi Minegishi

CEO, President, and Representative Director of the Board

Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by the global spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and our sincere gratitude goes to the many people around the world, including medical professionals and frontline workers, who are working tirelessly to prevent further transmission of the disease.

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered two forms of behavioral change: one temporary, and the other a complete, permanent transformation. Individuals and enterprises have been forced to adapt their ways of life to a socially distanced world. To curtail the spread of COVID-19, people are temporarily avoiding crowded spaces and close contact, and enterprises are adjusting their businesses in response.

These changes are building toward a larger structural transformation. Social distancing and the prioritizing it necessitates have eliminated many of the inefficiencies caused by habits and traditional ways of thinking, accelerating societal changes that herald a new way of living.

Work style innovations are one such indication of lasting change. In the face of various restrictions such as shelter in place orders, many enterprises have transitioned to fully remote operations. This change has brought to light many of the inefficient practices that are deeply ingrained in our work culture. To be successful, enterprises have had to fundamentally reconsider the values that underpin traditional ways of working, such as the importance of being physically present in an office and equating time spent working with performance.

Our Company has implemented various work style innovations over the years. Many of our employees already work remotely. This structure has allowed our businesses to continue operating during the pandemic without major disruption.

The changes brought about by COVID-19 have created a chance for us to transform ways of working across the globe. Governments, enterprises, and individuals must work together to continue promoting these positive changes in society.

Reflecting on FY2019

In fiscal year 2019 (April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020), our HR technology and Media & Solutions segments recorded solid growth, achieving record-high consolidated revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and adjusted EPS, which are our key management performance indicators. However, our revenue and profits have been negatively affected in the short term due to restricted economic activity in many countries around the world in response to COVID-19.

In this time of unprecedented change and uncertainty, we will continue to provide efficient matching solutions using advanced technologies to meet the emerging needs of individuals, enterprises, and society.

The progress of our mid- to long-term strategy

Our mid- to long-term goals are 1) to become the global leader of the HR Matching market with advanced technologies, and 2) to improve the productivity of our clients' businesses with SaaS solutions.

The need for our services has become greater now in light of the pandemic's effects on the world's economy. The changes we had planned to undergo gradually are now being accelerated so that we can execute our mid- to long-term strategies even under these circumstances.

We aim to achieve our primary strategic goal, becoming the global leader in the HR Matching market, by using advanced technologies and innovation to make job searching and recruiting simple and easy. Our HR Technology segment leads our efforts to discover new ways to help job seekers and employers.

The main HR Technology platform we operate is Indeed, which matches millions of job seekers and employers instantaneously in over 60 countries. Indeed enables job-seekers and employers to find a job or hire people in a most effective way. Glassdoor, another HR Technology platform we operate, provides job seekers with extensive company information, improving the transparency of the global HR market.

Indeed had been developing a new service, Virtual Hiring Events, before the pandemic hit, and when COVID-19's effects on employment and hiring processes became apparent, the company decided to accelerate the launch. Virtual Hiring Events became available in April 2020, bringing the recruiting process - from searching for a job and applying for a position, to arranging and conducting an interview - entirely online. Many enterprises and public sector organizations, including those in healthcare and retail, are currently using the service to hire quickly and effectively at scale.

COVID-19 has triggered changes in job seeking and recruiting behaviors worldwide. We will continue to search for ways to serve job seekers and employers and improve efficiency in the HR Matching market, even in the midst of COVID-19.

We aim to achieve our other strategic goal, improving the productivity of our clients' businesses, by expanding our operation and management support services through SaaS solutions. This effort is exemplified by Air BusinessTools, a comprehensive suite of cloud-based solutions for day-to-day management and operations, including support for reservations, payments, workforce management, and other areas. Air BusinessTools help enterprises maintain the health of their businesses during COVID-19 by enabling safe, secure, and simple operations.

AirREGI, an online sales and inventory management tool, is equipped to manage the reduced taxes on restaurants' take-out orders, enabling restaurants to more easily start their own take-out services. Many healthcare businesses are increasingly relying on AirPAY, a cashless payment tool, to reduce or eliminate the need for high-contact cash transactions that contribute to the spread of COVID-19. Many hospitals are installing AirWAIT, a reception process management tool, to prevent crowds.

We are confident that Air BusinessTools will continue to not only help our clients implement safe business operations during COVID-19, but also improve their long-term productivity.

Governance and contribution to the society for sustainable corporate value improvement

Our Company aims to realize its Basic Principle of "creating new value for our society to contribute to a brighter world where all individuals can live life to the fullest" and create corporate value for all stakeholders in a sustainable manner. In order to achieve the Basic Principle, we undergo a continuous cycle of long-term business growth focused on contributing to society through our business activities, and we monitor this process through corporate governance.

Recruit Holdings' Board of Directors keeps us accountable to the Basic Principle, and as a publicly traded company, we take corporate governance very seriously. We are constantly evolving in order to strengthen our governance structure so that we are effectively monitoring our businesses' contributions to society. One such development is the improvement of our risk management processes. We supervise and instruct our businesses on data usage best practices, such as conducting thorough employee education around handling personal information in recruitment activities.

The Board of Directors structure as of June 30, 2020 was decided during the Annual Meeting of Shareholders 2020. There are six Directors on the Board; two of them are Independent Directors and one of the six newly appointed Directors is female. We will continue striving to ensure diversity of the Board of Directors.

We are committed to contributing to the achievement of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and spreading awareness of the importance of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) standards. We are collaborating with various stakeholders to challenge ourselves and our communities to create new value in line with these goals and standards.

In a rapidly changing global environment, we will accelerate our actions to execute our mid- to long-term strategies by offering matching solutions for individuals and enterprises that are faster, simpler, and closer. In this way, all of the Company's employees will continue to create new value for our stakeholders by solving dissatisfactions, inconveniences, and other concerns for our customers and clients. Through these activities, we hope to build toward a society where everyone is free to follow their heart and contribute to a brighter future.

September, 2020

Masumi Minegishi
CEO, President,
and Representative Director of the Board
Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd.

Masumi Minegishi