Human Resources Management
We now employ about 7,500 people, including those from group companies, as of November 30th, 2021.
Looking at the environment surrounding the IT industry, Japanese working-age population is about 9.4 million, and it is said that by 2030 there will be a shortage of 0.8 million IT workers within this population.
On the other hand, as the shift to Digital Transformation advances and the demand for IT development explode year by year, the division of labor between development and quality assurance will become a matter of course in the development field. With such market needs in mind, what growing companies are expected to have an overwhelming ability to acquire human resources, as well as “compensation” and “motivation.” SHIFT believes that companies with those qualities are like social infrastructures and will grow overwhelmingly.
Against this backdrop, SHIFT has established Behavioral Guidelines for employees since its founding in order to “pursue the growth of both corporate value and themselves together,” and has been recruiting, developing and organizing human resources who can understand and implement these guidelines. We have also created a unique personnel system that covers from recruitment methods to organizational design so that each employee can work energetically while raising their own market value.
SHIFT hires approximately 1,000 human resources each year. We have positioned the acquisition of talented personnel as one of our key focus areas in order to strengthen and expand our supply capabilities in response to the ever-increasing demand for services.Therefore, we implement a variety of measures that go beyond our existing recruitment methods to create innovative ideas and take on new challenges.
SHIFT actively recruits personnel who are suited to SHIFT business domains and who share our corporate vision and philosophy regardless of their background (educational background, occupational background) or characteristics (gender, race, nationality, ages, religion, beliefs, sexes, physical handicaps, or other personal characteristics).
２．Aggressively Reruiting Non-IT Personnel with an Unique Examination
In addition to hiring IT personnel with knowledge and experience, SHIFT actively recruits human resources with material qualities from a wide range of non-IT industries. What makes this possible is SHIFT’s original recruitment exam, so-called the “CAT examination,” which determines whether they have indeginous talent in software testing.
In the past, software tests, which form the basis of quality assurance services, were thought to be feasible only for software developers and human resources with development expertise. However, SHIFT has changed its common sense. Regardless of whether they have knowledge or experience in programming or in the IT industry, we select personnel with the necessary aptitudes and talents in software testing (such as endurance or mathematical thinking) through this CAT certification and built a system to be active after joining the company.
The percentage of people who pass the CAT examination is around 6%, but we are targeting not only one million people working in the IT industry, but also 76 million of working-age population in Japan. Today, talented personnel who have changed jobs from a variety of industries, including the service, food and beverage and apparel industries or the civil servants, are active on the frontline, and this fact is one of SHIFT’s strengths. (Formmer non-IT human resources recruited in FY2021: 81 second graduates, 66 part-time workers, and 434 game testers)
３．Thorough Use of “Video Interviews” and “Online Interviews”
In order to reduce the lead time from application to recruitment, SHIFT holds a video interview. “Video interview” is a unique interview method of SHIFT that records the whole interview scene with permissions of applicants. This enables the person in charge in the relevant department to check the video interview on the same day or the next day to determine whether or not to accept the applicants.
The general recruitment flow in Japan requires several face-to-face interviews for several times by making applicants come visit to the office. By introducing video interview, on contrary, it has become possible to make decisions in nearly one interview. For this reason, we have reduced the number of interviews required before hiring, and by doing so we have dramatically shortened the lead time from application to informal decision making. From the perspective of human resource-related business partners who cooperate with SHIFT, it is attractive that in-house decisions be made immediately. This is a meaningful measure for three parties, candidates, human resource-related business partners, and SHIFT.
４．Expansion of Recruiting Channel
In addition to publishing information in each recruitment medium, we are focusing on increasing the number of recruiting channels and the recruiting population by implementing a referral system, developing recruiting methods that make full use of social medias, and making effective use of mass advertising.
Through these activities, the number of monthly applicants has exceeded more than two thousand. The increase in the number of applicants has made it easier to recruit talented personnel and has greatly contributed to business growth.
Going forward, we will work to expand new recruitment channels in pursuit of real value.
Assuming a high security and productive environment, there are a certain number of orders from customers with which we can work at home. This means that employees can undertake these projects regardless of their location. For this reason, we began to hire people who are able to work at from throughout Japan, if they meet certain environmental requirements.
We believe that advancing this policy will contribute to the creation of jobs in various regions, where we do not have sites yet, as well as that in areas where we do.
SHIFT ASIA is one of our group companies based in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. SHIFT ASIA employs a large number of highly skilled engineers.
In offshore development, companies generally hire engineers at low wages and reduce costs. However, SHIFT is building a system for acquiring highly talented engineers by paying high-level compensation for their capabilities. The policy of providing high remuneration to talented employees remains the same regardless of whether they are located in Japan or overseas.
SHIFT is implementing a number of initiatives to ensure that each employee continues to improve their skills and work comfortably. In particular, we strive to manage working hours and physical/mental health, based on the belief that mental and physical health should be a key factor in enhancing performance.
SHIFT started to prepare remote work system from the end of March 2020, when the COVID-19 started to spread. We officially began to work at home at the same time as the Emergency Declaration, in April 2020. For employees, we prepared an environment in which employees can concentrate on their work while ensuring safety during the COVID-19. For customers, we created an environment in which our service quality remains. During COVID-19, we did our best efforts to respond flexibly and swiftly to all the changes happening, and to give the top priority to the safety and health of employees, their families, customers, and partners.
This highly-secured remote work system will be continued even after COVID-19, as one of our work styles. This system enabled us to expand our recruitment potentials, such as personnel who work only remotely.
In addition to establishing remote work environment in terms of infrastructure, we have also organized it in terms of communications, such as the distributing e-learnings to prevent remote work harassment.
2．Reducing Overtime Work
In order to reduce overtime, SHIFT voluntarily complies with 36 agreements, introduces an application system for overtime, and expresses overtime hours for the month on its own personal portal site. As a result, overtime performance was as follows.
Note: 36 agreement is an labor management agreement set by Japanese government, which limits the number of overtime work hours or holiday work to improve the work condition in Japan.
Note: Due to 1) changes in definitions of each item in the survey and 2) change in SHIFT’s business scope, we have changed the items that we use to quote (as of October, 2021).
In addition to maintaining the physical health of employees through annual health checkups, we also actively manage risks related to employees’ mental health. One such measure is a mental check test conducted once every 6 months. The results are accessible to each promptly so that they can maintain a balanced psychological condition.
4．Working Styles Aligned with Life Stages
We are working to develop a variety of personnel systems tailored to the life stages of our employees, including maternity leave, parental leave, and reduced work hours for employees who have children.We also partnered with a nursery school near our sites for employees (full-time employees, contract employees, and part-time workers) who need the support. We also provide supports to resolve a variety of concerns that may arise outside of daily operations but within their daily lives, such as preferential interest rates for housing loans.
In particular, the reduced working hours system for those who have children can be applied to employees with children under the fifth-grade. As a matter of course, the use of this system does not have any impact on the evaluation.
5．Employee Training Curriculum
SHIFT initiated employee training curriculum called “Top-gun education” from January 2020. Top-gun education is a unique training system for employees who wish to improve their skills and careers. This system is designed to raise their unit price presented to customers and their salaries accordingly. Building an educational system that closely links skill-enhancement, sales force, and assessment system enables employees to feel not only about rise in their salaries, but also about the improvement of their own marketplace value. This system is a win-win system for both employees and SHIFT, in which we can continuously create highly motivated, high-value-added human resources.
In addition to the “top-gun education,” that we developed only for a certain range, we have created a comprehensive training program for all employees, from executives to managers and members, who seek to attain higher engineer unit price. With “top-gun education” as a trigger, we developed various types of exams including PM (Project Manager) exam and Sales exam, to encourage trainings for employees in any kinds of jobs.
Salary and Personnel Evaluation
Since SHIFT believes that employees are at the core of its business activities, we work actively to raise salaries. Performance-based evaluation and compensation decisions are thoroughly implemented, in which we do not evaluate their background (educational background, occupational background) or characteristics (gender, race, nationality, ages, religion, beliefs, sexes, physical handicaps, or other personal characteristics). We have established an evaluation system that does not cause discrimination on personnel evaluations and compensation decisions, such as seniority-based compensation and the gender pay gaps.
１．Rate of Salary Increase
SHIFT constantly strives to raise fees from customer by enhancing its technological and service capabilities to provide high-value-added services ranging from software testing to consulting. Engineers in SHIFT are able to engage in high-value-added work by enhancing their technological and management capabilities. One of the distinguishing features of SHIFT is that it has a personnel system in place that is closely linked to salaries.
As a result, we have achieved increase in average annual salary by approximately 10%.
(FY2021: 10.4 %; Industry average: 3.2% (Quoted from comparison of Basic Survey of Wage Structure 2018 and 2019)
Evaluation meetings are held once every 6 months to clarify personnel evaluation criteria, with the aim of setting targets and reviewing them. Mid-term interviews were also conducted in addition to the target-setting interviews. We strive to be highly persuasive by clarifying progress toward targets and the expected values of each other, and updating the target items if necessary. The salaries of full-time employees are finely distinguished into a total of 200 levels, comprising 10-level for X axis and 20-level for Y axis. This system clearly defines the skills required for each position and promotes the growth of each employee as it indicates the career advancement model. As a result, we maintain a high level of satisfaction with our salaries and personnel evaluations.
SHIFT has introduced ESOP system from 2016, giving it as a part of bonus to employees whose increase rate of annual income is placed in top 5%. We regard this system as the one bringing benefits for four perspectives: HR system, employees, financial management, shareholders. For example, we recognize benefits for HR system and employees.
- Incentivizing employee to improve performance with a rise in the price of SHIFT shares
- Contributing to improvement in retention rate of employees who achieved the highest increase rate of annual income
- Major improvement in productivity of the entire organization in conjunction with the improvement in motivation of top management
- Building asset linked to performance improvement
In addition, from a financial perspective, we believe that this will be a beneficial measure for both SHIFT and our shareholders; the issuance of ESOP is expected to realize compensation benefits in excess of the amount recorded in the income statement; the share buybacks is anticipated to influence the share price.
As we were able to recognize this as a very effective measure, we extended the trust period, which was scheduled to end at the end of February 2021, for 6 years to continue this system.
In order to maximize employee performances, we are also focusing on welfare programs designed to create comfortable working environments. Specifically, in addition to the provision of employee benefits such as the elective defined contribution pension plan and general welfare benefits, we have developed in-house massage facilities to maintain health capital, and has introduced a bicycle commuting system to reduce the stress of commuting by trains.
１．Compensation Benefits for Optional Defined Contribution Pension Plans
We have introduced a optional defined contribution pension plan to encourage employees to think about their own life plans and to lead better lives. This is a system that allows employees to choose whether to fund the future (as a pension) or to receive now (as an income).
SHIFT has a private massage room at its headquarters that all employees, regardless of its contract type, can use at any time. There are two types of SHIFRe: a 40-minute service and a 15-minute service, the latter one is called “Quick SHIFRe.” Employees can use it during business hours according to their work conditions. The masseurs are people with disabilities. Therefore, this is a welfare benefit that not only enables them to make full use of their own strengths, but also contributes to maintaining the health care of employees.
３．Furusato-Nozei (Hometown Tax System)
In order to make it easier for employees, all employees, from full-time to part-time workers, to use Hometown Tax System, SHIFT has established an internal portal-site called “Mampuku (which literally means “I’m stuffed” but also implies “full of happiness” from its kanji character).”
This site is affiliated with “Furusato Choice,” one of largest sites which list gifts available for hometown tax system. Also, SHIFT has put its huge efforts to improve employee satisfaction with the system by focusing on its UI/UX and by making it easy for anyone to use. Furthermore, since SHIFT implements some of the procedures required to pay taxes to local governments and temporarily pay the amount of donations, required to use “hometown tax system,” employees can easily use the system only by selecting gifts.
*Furusato-nozei, or hometown tax system is one of Japanese tax system which targets to increase tax income of municipalities in rural areas in Japan. With that system, people will donate money to those local governments, through which they can receive local gifts in accordance with the amount of donation. People who have donated money to the local governments can also deduct income and resident tax.
４．Other Welfare Programs
Benefits that we provide includes followings:
- Benefits that we provide includes followings:
- Maternity leave, parental leave, and nursing care leave
- Fully covered social insurance
- Commutation allowance
- Skill improvement support (support for acquiring qualifications)
- Internal recruitment system
- Use of nursery school affiliated with SHIFT
- Technology study meetings and internal exchange meetings
- Use of facilities affiliated with health insurance association that SHIFT joins
- Club activities
- Various in-house events (athletic meetings, year-end parties, general meetings of employees and awards), etc.
“Openness” is an indispensable element in expressing SHIFT’s corporate culture. In addition to valuing the horizontal links between employees, we are striving to create an environment in which employees can communicate individually, from the president to part-time employees.
１．Human Resource Management Concept based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
In order to create an open culture, various human resources measures are designed based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. For all employees, business partners, and stakeholders in SHIFT, we are preparing personnel measures for each level of desire.
Several events are held annually that all employees would participate in order to enhance employee sense of belongingness and engagement. These events include athletic meetings to raise the sense of unity among employees, and general meetings of employees to appreciate employees who have played an outstanding role during the year. These events are vital to SHIFT. We also believe that the cooperation of families is essential for employees to achieve high performance in their work. In order to convey their daily appreciation to their families, we hold events in which they can participate with their families, and also provide books on child-rearing from the President, Masaru Tange.
“89 Festival” (Bug Festival, it is possible to pronounce “bʌ” for “8” and “gu” as “9” in Japanese as word play ) is held in August as one of SHIFT’s major external events, inviting current and potential customers. Every year, we set a theme, hold seminars and talk sessions with prominent people in the IT industry, and organize other ingenious events to provide fun and meaningful time and convey our daily gratitude to our customers.
Shifted from real events to online events, triggered by quarantine period for COVID-19. Using a system developed in-house, SHIFT have organized a system where both speakers and viewers feel a sense of unity even at online events. This system is used for both external and internal events. In external online events, we have managed to increase the number of participants of this event in FY2020 grew 7.5 times compared to that of the previous year and to expand customer contacts. In addition, in internal online events, we were able to increase employee satisfaction with the events, which was 88% recorded before COVID-19, to 97%. Now we use online events to improve the quality and quantity of communications towards becoming a company with 10 thousand employees.
5．Utilization of In-house Social Media
SHIFT operates in-house social media that can be used by all employees regardless of the type of employment. This social media encourages each employee to freely express their opinions and respond/comment on them. This enhances interaction among employees and the creation of ideas, which also helps managements to make the workplace more open.
6．Interactions between Executives and Employees
One of characteristics of SHIFT is that our executives interact with employees quite often. For example, there are many initiatives and events that make all executives and employees get closer, such as lunch time with executives for new employees of each month, active exchanges at various internal events, broadcasting internal radio by executives, distribution of in-house content which features words of the president, and the establishment of a hotline through which employees can report directly to the president. For this reason, a corporate culture has been cultivated in which the voices of executives are easily communicated to employees and employees can casually convey their voices to executives.
Employement of Persons with Disabilities
In order to create an environment where everyone can work with pride and satisfaction regardless of whether they have disabilities, we have established the Business Support Group, a special department for employees with disabilities.
１．Business Support Group
Employees belonging to the Business Support Group support the day-to-day operations of SHIFT Group by leveraging their areas of expertise respectively. A massage service called “SHIFRe” for employees, which encourages employees to refresh their minds and bodies, is one of unique welfare systems to increase productivity. Or, employees in that department can edit videos, compile data and tables, and perform text-based operations to support for anyone and anydepartment in SHIFT who/ which need them anytime.
2．SHIFT Challenged Art Public Exhibition 2021
“SHIFT Challenged Art Public Exhibition 2021” is a public exhibition for artists with disabilities who possess great sensibilities and talents for art. The event was held with the aim of creating a society in which all people can demonstrate their talents and abilities by communicating widely the appeal of the works produced by the artists and the message embedded in them, and by acknowledging all kinds of diversity.
Following this public exhibition, SHIFT added “Art” as a new job category in the Business Support Group. At the same time, we also conducted recruitment activities for members who can play an active role in the art jobs. We hope that the recruited members will instill flexible and creative ideas in SHIFT through art. As of the end of October 2021, 596 entries had been received.
１．Respecting Human Rights
SHIFT respects thourough compliance. SHIFT complies with all laws and regulations in Japan, including the Constitution of Japan, the Labor Standards Law, and the Law Concerning Securing, Etc. of Equal Opportunity and Treatment between Men and Women in Employment (the Equal Employment Opportunity Law) and respects human rights of employees.
- Guiding Policy
We respect the human rights of all people, strongly oppose any sort of discrimination or harassment, and foster a workplace environment that facilitates fair and equal corporate activity.
Note: Excerpted from Compliance Policy
- Specific Codes
Ensuring compliance is paramount in an open corporate culture. Each of us works together to create a better corporate culture.
- (Ban on Discrimination)
Employment and treatment must be evaluated fairly in accordance with individual work details and performance. We do not tolerate discrimination based on sex, race, nationality, age, religion, beliefs, gender, physical handicap, other personal characteristic, or any other aspect. Please also refrain from any behavior that may not exactly be discriminatory but could be construed as such. Jokes based on an individual’s physical characteristics are contrary to the objective of creating a rewarding workplace.
- (Ban on Sexual Harassment)
The company endeavors to create an appropriate workplace environment in accordance with the Labor Standards Act and other related laws and regulations. Accordingly, the use of one’s own position or standing to force sexual relations is impermissible. Furthermore, repeating jokes that are offensive to others are also prohibited as acts that debase the working environment.
- (Ban on Workplace Bullying)
The company aims for a sound working environment. Accordingly, in no circumstances is a person permitted to use superior rank or position to engage in inappropriate behavior. However, conventionally appropriate encouragement is permitted. Please do your best to always be considerate of others and behave appropriately.
- (Ban on Other Sorts of Harassment)
We prohibit all other forms of harassment, in addition to the sexual harassment and workplace bullying mentioned above. We strive to respect the values and diversity of people around the world, be considerate to others, form equal interpersonal relationships, and create a rewarding working environment.
- (Protection of Personal Information)
The company rigorously manages the personal information it possesses and does not use such information for purposes other than that for which it was intended. We do not disclose personal information to third parties unless ordered to do so by a public agency for an appropriate reason or upon receiving the individual’s consent.
- (Compliance with Labor Laws and Regulations)
The company complies with the Labor Standards Act, the Industrial Safety and Health Act, the report of agreement on overtime and holiday labor (the so-called “36 Agreement”), and other labor laws and regulations, giving the greatest possible consideration to the safety and health of its employees. Doing everything possible to prevent death from overwork, we engage in timely and appropriate efforts to determine and manage employees’ hours. At the same time, we provide guidance and support on highly productive working practices to ensure against long working hours—particularly for personnel at the management level. We encourage people to take their annual paid leave, create an environment making it easy for them to do so, and put in place other necessary measures.
- (Freedom of Opinion)
In all circumstances, the company encourages the free expression of opinion, both in vertical relationships (from superior to subordinate and from subordinate to superior) and in horizontal relationships. We aim for an open and positive working environment in which all are free to voice their opinions to others, and work to create such an environment.
Note: Excerpted from Compliance Matters -5) Our Code of Conduct to Create a Better Corporate Culture
2．Hotline and Whistle-blowing System
SHIFT works to prevent sexual harassment and power harassment and provides equal opportunities. If such cases were to happen, the hotline and whistleblower system can be used to report anonymously, when they wish. This system is widely announced on the intranet of SHIFT and is thoroughly announced. Employees who wish to use this system can use it anywhere, regardless of the type of employment contract. External stakeholders, such as business partners or customers, can also report anonymously. We acknowledge that we must protect confidentiality and anonymity of reporters and that we must prevent any kinds of influence on their evaluations from happening.
As SHIFT strives to be an indispensable presence in the IT industry, we are aware of our social responsibilities to the environment surrounding the IT industry or the one within SHIFT. Therefore, we are determined to promote the following.
１．Elimination of Multi Subcontracting Structures
One of SHIFT’s missions is to deconstruct multi-subcontracting structure of IT industry through our business activities. Due to that structure, engineers working as “subcontractors” in the industry, which have a long trade flow from the original orderer, are unable to receive an appropriate amount of compensation for their achievements. Also, this can cause overwork. SHIFT is working to resolve these issues through its business activities, which we believe will ultimately serve as a means of protecting the human rights of engineers.
２．Thorough Prevention of Harrasment
SHIFT strives to thoroughly prevent harassment by conducting regular and repeated e-learning on human rights issues from the perspective of sexual harassment, power harassment and SDGs for all employees.
(FY2021 Actual rate of participation in sexual harassment and power harassment training: 100%)
We will not neglect efforts to enable our employees to work with enthusiasm, by creating such an environment.
３．Equal Employement Opportunity
As practiced in recruitment policies, SHIFT has established a recruitment method that determines whether or not to recruit personnel by seeing their own talents and abilities as the most critical requirements.
In addition, we have established a highly transparent personnel evaluation system that clearly links with salaries, and have adopted salary system that determines annual income solely with their capabilities and performances of the past 6 months. For this reason, we have established a system in which inequality does not occur not only because of nationality, race, religion, beliefs, birth, hobbies, or education, but also because of differences in gender, educational background. It also prevents the inequalities which typically happens in Japan, including inequal opportunities to raise salaries due to difference of age, and opportunities to recruit permanent employees.