Ms. Mai Okamoto(System Friend K.K. General Affairs)

  • English (United States)
  • 日本語
  • 한국어

Ms. Mai Okamoto takes charge in the general affairs department of System Friend K.K. She is an active recruiter of international employees for her company. Here is an interview with Ms. Mai Okamoto on foreign recruitment. (JIKOPY)

Company System Friend K.K.
Position General affairs department
Name Ms. Mai Okamoto (岡本麻依)
Industry Information & Communication
Location Hiroshima (Main office), Tokyo (Branch office)

Why do you recruit foreigners into your company?

We want to expand our services not only in Japan, but all around the world as well.

When did you decide you want to start hiring foreigners?

We started from February 2015.

Are there any particular struggles you faced when you first started recruiting foreigners?

Acquiring the visa approval for my employees were a little tough.

How about now?

To this day, we sometimes receive referrals of talents from acquaintances. We do not currently have an established route for foreigners’ employment, but we will be heading towards that direction for the future.

What are the advantages of having a foreigner as your employee?
  • Having them working with us breaks the communication barrier between the local employees and the foreigners. We do not hesitate to recruit international college students as our interns, as this means that everything around us one step closer to globalization, every time.
  • Exhibitions where there a considerable amount of international visitors, such as Tokyo Big Sight, etc., having an in-house international employee helps the process go a lot smoother and easier.
  • Our visiting customers/clients are often surprised when they notice a foreigner working in our company. Having foreigners work with us is a positive evaluation to me.
Will you plan to continue recruiting foreigners in the future?

Yes, we are envisioning a proportion of 20% international employees for our company, so we are expecting the number to grow.

In terms of Japanese language skills, what is the lowest requirement in order to be considered into your company?

At the initial stage, understanding and being able to speak the daily basics of Japanese is fine (JLPT N3 level). If you are officially employed, we have in-house Japanese language training for the staff that needs it, and we would like our non-native employees to pass the JLPT N1 exam after sometime.

Any advice you would like to say to international job hunters that are interested in Japan?

In the case of our company, if you are excellent in programming or design, we are open.

Other than that, firmly assess the merits and dismerits when it boils down to accepting the customs and mechanisms of the Japanese corporate culture. Of course, it is always recommended to find a company that works in the way that suits you.