Services & Business

Becoming No.1 in human resources worldwide by 2020

The core employment service where it all began for the Recruit Group

One of our goals at the Recruit Group is to become the No.1 in human resources by 2020. And in keeping with those words, we have devoted our efforts towards a vision of being a business that not only provides core human resources services, but is also a pioneer in other services related to life events and lifestyle such as education, housing, travel, automobiles, wedding, cuisine, beauty, and healthcare.

The Recruit Group was born in 1960 as an information media business for job seekers. An influencing factor in this was the unique state of the job market in Japan after the end of the war in 1945. For instance, at many major Western companies the standard practice was hiring by job type, which emphasized hiring employees who had the necessary skill and abilities for the position. However, in Japan the mainstream approach was a "membership" employment system in which graduates fresh out of college with no prior experience were hired all at once and guaranteed a position until the age of retirement (currently the age of 65).

We at the Recruit Group have worked through the years to provide support for this uniquely Japanese employment system and the ever-changing needs of both job seekers and employers with what is now known as the Rikunabi brand, which offers multifaceted support for individual careers through services such as the new graduate-oriented Rikunabi and Rikunabi NEXT, which is optimized for those changing jobs.

Japan's first vertical media pioneer for the hiring of new graduates


A job listings magazine for students published in 1962

A job listings magazine for students published in 1962

Before 1960, there existed a "designated school" system in the job market for college graduates in Japan, in which companies would choose certain universities and only students with connections to those schools would receive employment information. However, Hiromasa Ezoe, the founder of Recruit, launched an advertisement business (now known as Rikunabi) that printed job listings from a student's perspective in school newspapers. This business would also later go on to contribute to the opening of employment activities, allowing any student to choose their own career path, as well as become a forerunner of private job search media. Recruit eventually became an intermediary between students and businesses offering jobs that provided various services connecting supply with demand in the job market. Now we've reached an era of universalization where everyone has access to an enormous amount of job listings and choice among places of employment.

A job listings magazine for students published in 1962

A job listings magazine for students published in 1962

Joji Miyoshi Recruit Career Co., Ltd.

Rikunabi now features job listings from over 10,000 companies, which its over 600,000 registered users (120% greater than the expected number of college graduates) can apply for freely. It is Japan's first and most widely recognized vertical media for the hiring of new graduates, and continues to function as a tool for maintaining a low unemployment rate among young people.

Joji Miyoshi
Media & Solution Strategy Business Unit Department, Media & Solution Strategy Business Unit
Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd.

Previous Position
Territory Planning Director, Executive Officer, Graduate Affairs Office Department, Recruit Career Co., Ltd.

Joji Miyoshi Recruit Career Co., Ltd.

The largest career change website in Japan with the highest number of successful placements


A magazine connecting prospective career changers and businesses published in 1975

Up until around the 1970s, once a person was hired it was par for the course in Japan to stay at that company until one reached the age of retirement, so almost no one understood the concept of career changes. The only ways to switch jobs were to find listings in certain newspapers or be introduced by an acquaintance. It was under this status quo in 1975 that we launched a printed publication (now known as Rikunabi NEXT) in order to unite companies seeking to convey their message and find optimal personnel with hopeful career changers looking for a wide range of detailed listings. As the Internet reached prominence in the late 1990s we switched over to online media and later added functions allowing prospective transfers to run simulations at their new place of employment based on their experience and skills, as well as other services that allowed companies to scout specialists and engineers.

A magazine connecting prospective career changers and businesses published in 1975

Shingo Hosono Recruit Career Co., Ltd.

In 2003 we began to create articles meant to deliver company messages, guidelines for applicants, and any other information a business may want to convey in an original feature to those looking to change careers. We have evolved to become the best matchmaking media possible, and we now lead the market as Japan's largest career change website, with the highest number of successful placements*.

* Survey on Job Changing Experience (Fieldwork: January 2015, Target: Employees who had changed jobs within 2 years, Method: Online Survey, Panel Source: Rakuten Research, Inc.)

Shingo Hosono
Executive Officer, Midway Media Production Department, Product Planning Headquarters
Recruit Career Co. Ltd

Shingo Hosono Recruit Career Co., Ltd.

We have led the HR market by consistently offering the best methods for Japan's unique employment conditions and the evolving technology of each era

Rikunabi, which contributed to opening employment activities in Japan, experienced a major turning point in the late 90s as the Internet rose to prominence. With the economy taking a turn for the worse as the Bubble burst, Japan was faced with a time where it was difficult to find employment. It was also at exactly this time that the numbers of college and high school graduates in new graduate employment reversed, with the market also becoming more free as recruitment agreements disappeared. As one of the first services to make the shift from print media to the Internet, Rikunabi was able to provide businesses with a framework for job listings at a cheaper price than in the days of print. This is also when a "common ground" where both businesses and job seekers can work consistently became a keyword in our ongoing drive to improve the accuracy of our job matching.

The shift to online media in the late 90s was also a turning point for Rikunabi NEXT. The history of Rikunabi NEXT had always been closely tied to the ever-evolving state of hiring practices in Japan. Back when the service launched in the 1970s, Japan had an estimated 1,000,000 new graduates per year, with an approximately equal number of mid-career job seekers. Unlike America or Europe, however, Japan did not have a culture of changing employers in order to advance one's career, and in fact it could be said that society here viewed changing jobs or place of employment in a negative light. For that reason career change information was almost nonexistent, and there was an oversaturation of supply and demand. It was Rikunabi NEXT that raised questions about this status quo as a job matching service specializing in career change information. But, once the late 90s arrived the social structure towards hiring made an about-face as employment rapidly became more fluid due to the worsening economy. This led to the once highly criticized topic of career change becoming common knowledge. Mean while the spread of the Internet changed the nature of career change information as well as made it easier to send and receive. As a business that has never failed to recognize the nature of the times, the state of the career change market, and technological innovations, Rikunabi NEXT became an early adopter of the Internet in the late 90s, and in fact discovered at this time an even greater sense of purpose in providing even greater service than before. This is also when the goal of being the best job matching media possible that is the basis of our current business model, a model that continues to evolve to this day, was born.

Creating the information, knowledge, and opportunities that both applicants and employers truly need

Rikunabi has provided various career choice services for students in each era. We offer a truly broad range of content so that students can learn about internship opportunities (from the most company listings in Japan), joint conferences, and employment activities that will help them encounter the companies and career choices that are best for them while still in school. In recent years we have also begun to offer services that allow students to undergo SPI personality tests in order to gain some self-analysis and learn more about their character so that they can gain an understanding of the place of employment that best suits them. Rikunabi can gauge their nature and inner strengths, and then use these results to provide even further support by recommending the best companies that fall outside prospective employers that the newly graduated applicants may have thought of themselves. In this way we are able to truly serve as a platform for helping new members of society find the employment information and opportunities they need.

Opportunities for Life

We designed our logo in the shape of what we call an opportunity bridge.
This bridge expresses our role of connecting people and opportunities.
Connecting the present and the future.
Connecting individuals and the wider world.

As a best matching media service that went into full operation in 2002, Rikunabi NEXT has never simply listed job listings received from companies so much as used communication engineering to draw out our clients' target work style and requirements. This information then becomes the basis for appealing hiring articles that present the data those hoping for a career change need using photos and catch copy. We now have a five-stage plan based upon amount of information and order of presentation, along with a system that includes optional services that allow us to post job listings in a manner that meets the respective needs of each of our clients. Rikunabi NEXT's breakthroughs have led to it becoming the model to follow for a subsequent career change websites.

The strengths that Rikunabi and Rikunabi NEXT share include the ability to take charge in thoroughly deducing human resources requirements and issues in acquiring personnel associated with our clients' business strategies. We are then able to present this information as output thanks to the experience we have cultivated since our days as a printed publication. Furthermore, we can also create the real points of contact that job providers and applicants want by handling a variety of services such as offering council in narrowing or expanding target ranges or ideas for improving working conditions. Building bridges between clients and users is a business model shared by all services within the Recruit Group.

A multifaceted lineup designed to support diverse hiring requirements

In addition to the student job listing service Rikunabi and the career change service Rikunabi NEXT, the Rikunabi brand also includes the temporary staffing website Rikunabi Haken, Rikunabi Yakuzaishi, a job change site for pharmacists, and Rikunabi Shingaku, which provides enrollment information for universities, junior colleges, and technical schools. Each of these services adapts to the unique values, abilities, and skills of each user in order to provide them with them with the opportunity to find a place where they can shine.

Our sights are set on becoming the No.1 HR service in the world, capable of perfectly matching the wills and intents of businesses and individuals

For many years, Rikunabi has led the market in employment, a major crossroads in the life of anyone that continues to evolve in each generation. As Japan is a developed country facing new problems such as a declining birthrate and aging population, we continue to move forward as an infrastructure capable of supporting a system for cultivating as many young people as possible in the future. We hope to build an even better employment system that will give rise to the next level of hiring conditions where students can find what they want to do, or the company they want to work for, from an early stage. This will allow them to become "voyagers" rather than the "drifters" seen so often now who seek employment but only begin to search for what they want to do after entering society.

Rikunabi NEXT has been a source of many innovations since the era when Japan had no career change culture. The service has now grown to have Japan's largest database of people looking to switch employment, with 5.95 million registered members (as of January 31, 2016). One of the reasons we have been successful in top-quality matching of businesses with prospective employees and thus achieving a high level of satisfaction from our users is our original service that makes it possible for businesses to make offers directly to 2.5 million people looking to change jobs. We will continue to make use of the knowledge, experience, and data we have accumulated at Rikunabi NEXT and ask ourselves "What type of business will hire what type of person?" so that we can come up with services that offer new ideas of how to find work opportunities and thus lead directly to high successful hiring rates.

Our goal at the Recruit Group is to become the No.1 worldwide in human resources by 2020, a goal that includes the Rikunabi brand. The inexhaustible challenges on the road to achieving this are still underway.


Rikunabi: The largest job information web site in Japan for the future graduates. * Compared with the other Japanese major job information Web sites for future graduates, Investigated by Recruit Career Co. Ltd., March 1, 2016.


Rikunabi Next: A job portal site for people looking to change jobs.

See also