More foreign students choose to work at Japanese companies while in school

An increasing number of foreign students in Japan take up temporary work at Japanese companies while in school, according to a recent study by Recruit Staffing. But after graduation, finding a job often proves difficult. ‘Japaning’ can help them.

Trend Forecast Presentation Session

Recruit Staffing presented the social trend during the annual Trend Forecast Presentation Session, an event that parent company Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd. has been organising since 2010. At the event Recruit Holdings proposes solutions for the labour market and addresses social issues while interacting with clients and users.

15 percent more foreign students

Recruit Staffing found that the number of undergraduate and postgraduate foreign students in Japan has been increasing, and saw a significant increase of nearly 15 percent between 2015 and 2017. Many of these students develop and prepare themselves for a career after graduation by working at Japanese companies while still at university.

Finding a job after graduation is not easy

Such work experience is very valuable, since finding a suitable job in Japan after graduation is not easy. Although 85 percent of foreign students are willing to work in Japan after graduation, only 36 percent of them find a job. Some of the biggest challenges they face during their job hunt are communicating in Japanese, and understanding the Japanese corporate culture as well as complex business etiquettes.

By working for Japanese companies while still at school, students can increase their chances of success. However, the study showed that many students worry about whether they can balance working and studying and whether they can find a job which matches their skills and future career.


Recruitment companies in Japan have addressed this trend by developing services to support both foreign students as well as Japanese companies who are looking for work-ready people, regardless of their nationality. This service, called Japaning, provides foreign students with wider opportunities. For example, in addition to sales and customer service roles, they may also be able to take up administrative positions. In total 500 foreign students at around 120 companies are employed through Japaning, since it was launched in 2015.

[Photo by Naassom Azevedo on Unsplash]