Interview - May 10, 2019
Interview with Hiroshi Ogasawara, President of Yaskawa Electric Corporation
Yaskawa Electric is a company in which employees feel rewarded
Yaskawa Electric is a world-class builder of industrial robots, servo motors, and inverters. President Hiroshi Ogasawara is responsible for employees’ development and he focuses on the utilization and training of human resources. Ogasawara has been promoting the reform of working practices and the key points he says, “it is important to introduce an evaluation system that balances rights and obligations, equality and fairness, freedom and responsibility, and to make employees feel a sense of worth when working for the company. This is why our evaluation system should be digitalized.”
―― How do you recruit employees?
We don’t need to do anything out of the ordinary because we are located in Kitakyushu City, which is advantageous when recruiting students. We recruit between 70 and 80 new employees each year, and many of them are people who went to universities out of the Kyushu area and wish to return and work in the Kyushu area. About half of all our new employees come from the Kyushu area.
―― Please tell us about employee education for new recruits.
Three years ago, we launched Yaskawa Fresher’s Technical School for science graduates. It has three main objectives: they need to learn about our business activities, acquire basic knowledge, and decide where they would like to be assigned over the course of a year. The school also offers classroom studies and paper tests, allowing new employees to choose their desired department; those with the best grades choose first.
―― This sounds quite unique.
First, new employees receive regular training and on-the-job training in the plant for three months after joining the company. After that, they learn basic knowledge about our business as part of a general training course and work three-month internships in various departments. We also have basic training, for example, in electrics. Usually, those who majored in electrics would be considered to have an advantage. However, there is no correlation between which department they belong to and their results in the tests given during training. People who have studied hard during internships have better scores since the classroom content is a little more difficult than learning at high school. After then, they have a professional four-month-long internship course. Finally, they can join the department they want, depending on their performance at the end of the internship.
―― Why did you introduce this system?
We select only a limited number of candidates from around 10,000 to 20,000 applications. It is therefore very tough to be selected. However, if they have to take part in classes, tests, and rankings after joining the company, they have to keep on their toes even after joining the company. We believe this is a good way for them to get know our company.
Source: SEISANZAI MARKETING Magazine May 2019 issue
This article was translated by “T-4OO”.
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