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Established in Tokyo in 2019, Cornerstone Recruitment Japan Co., Ltd. is actively recruiting recruitment consultants. In an environment where employees with diverse backgrounds can demonstrate their abilities, the company is also achieving significant growth. In this feature article, employees from various positions, from founders to young employees, appeared and talked about their thoughts about their work.

Matt Nicholls
Managing Director and Co-Founder of Cornerstone Recruitment Japan Corporation

He was from England and came to Japan after graduating from university. After serving as an English teacher in Aichi Prefecture and Nagoya City, he returns to the United Kingdom and gains a career in the human resources industry. Later, he established his own human resources business and returned to Japan after selling his business. After working in the Japanese human resources industry, he founded Cornerstone Recruitment Japan with Mr. Alex Zoboli.
Startup:Has already succeeded in the human resources business

—What made you come to Japan? I originally wanted to be a rugby player and coach. I had an experience of temporarily working as an English teacher in Japan, but that was also the way I found it when I was looking for a way to stay in Japan, where I was highly interested in rugby. I have also played rugby in South Africa and Australia, but my life as an English teacher while playing rugby in Nagoya was a very wonderful experience. After my first visit to Japan, I once returned to my home country, England, but since I couldn't forget my experience in Japan, I came back to Japan again, until now.

—What motivated you to do your job in the human resources industry? About 20 years ago, I was returning from Japan to the United Kingdom looking for a job, but the human resources industry at that time could never be called a popular job. However, I have a friend who works in the human resources industry, and he introduced me to the company where he works, and I decided to have an interview with that company. That's what I'm good at, and it was a job I could really enjoy. That was very lucky. It is a fun moment above all to see the growth of people who succeed in changing jobs through this job. It's wonderful to see that the person I first met changed jobs, and two years later, they dressed in a completely different way, changed their looks, and became affluent financially, too.

—Please tell us the reason why you decided to start up a "Cornerstone" Alex, my co-founder, was originally working with me in the same human resources company. We have also experienced human resource businesses, which we have succeeded in expanding from the start of a company with 19 employees to 220 employees prior to Cornerstone's founding. Alex is a business partner whose way of thinking and approaches related to human resources business are the same as mine, and which makes me want to work with him always. So I wanted to launch another company with him, and the company I founded was Cornerstone. We have also succeeded in obtaining investments from Morgan Stanley. In the human resources market that I know, with the presence of a reliable business partner, I was able to start a new company in perfect timing.

Growth:What is the secret of a company that grew up in the COVID-19 pandemic?

—How does the Japanese human resources market feel compared to overseas? Compared to the U.K., the U.S., and Australia in particular, the human resources market in Japan is still growing. In particular, the market for bilingual human resources is very small, so I think we can grow more in the future. We are developing unique businesses by successfully mixing Japanese and Western business methods. Moreover, the Japanese human resources industry is more profitable than other countries, and if you are a good recruiter, you can earn a lot. Our Japanese-based recruitment services do not necessarily match the Japanese market, so we have great advantages.

—Your company started with four employees in 2019, and now has more than fifty employees. What is the key to rapid growth? I think this is because we are familiar with the expertise of the human resources industry. We are good at recruiting talented people who match our clients, and we have enhanced in-house training so that our staff turnover rate is very low. Companies with high turnover tend to face the reality that it is difficult to grow. We are proud that our employee training is the best in the human resources industry, and we are continuing to improve it. We have been cautiously doing business in the wake of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have continued to grow in the COVID-19 pandemic, so we are ready to move on to the next stage.

Diversity:Teamwork in Diversity

—We have been affected by a Covid-19 pandemic in the past two years or so, so are there anything changes in your company? We try to be just as normal as possible. As in the past, it has become difficult for employees to travel abroad, and it is difficult for them to return to their home countries on vacation. However, we are working with a variety of IT technologies. In addition to our business, we plan to have a “HANAMI(flower viewing)”, a barbecue, a Halloween party, and a Christmas party, depending on the conditions of the Covid-19. Every Friday, We sometimes take a break from work and drink it lightly with employees in the company. We work with great enthusiasm, but we continue to create an environment in which employees can understand each other by distinguishing between on and off.

—Multinational people are enrolled. What do you value when welcoming employees? Our business is a job about dealing with people. So there's not one type of approach which can be successful. Some people are aggressive, some people are great relationship builders. Therefore, what we look for when hiring people is a person who can do business as a team. If you're a selfish kind of personality even If you're a great recruiter you're not going to fit in our business. I think it is important to challenge work with an open mind and communicate with people from various cultures. People who are flexible and can work on their jobs without fear of change suit our company.
One of the strong points of our company is giving people the right level of responsibility early. This kind of flexible organizational design is one of the reasons for our rapid growth. That's one of the strong points of our business. And it's not just about training, it's also about giving people the right level of responsibility early.

Future:Aiming to be the Top 3 in Tokyo

—Please tell us about your future prospects. We want to be a major recruitment business in Tokyo as soon as possible. We want to really be a top three recruitment company by revenue in the next two years. I think we can do it. In 2022, we moved our offices to a large location, increasing the number of employees and increasing the size of our company, letting the market and our competitors feel our presence this year.
Going forward, we will develop our business on two axes: full-time employees and temporary employees, as we are refraining from developing our Temporary Staffing Business. The need for temporary staffing services has also increased from many clients, and I and Alex have already succeeded in the temporary staffing company at their former companies, so we will work as the next step.

—Please send messages to those who are interested in Cornerstone. Our philosophy is very difficult to assess what we want to assess based on somebody's CV. So we really meet nearly everybody who is interested in our company. We probably meet between 10 and 20 candidates per week. It may not be easy to actually join our company, but I would definitely like to meet with those who are interested in our work.

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