interviewA corporate culture that values people, helps us to grow. Success stories and visions of two people who have the same dream.
Cameron Brett, Kunihito HagitoFormer and current Managing Director, Professionals Division
- Cameron Brett: Graduated from Queen's University in Canada and came to Japan in 2002. He started his career with a Japanese boutique recruiting firm in Osaka, Japan. He specialized in the life science industry for both Japanese and US based recruiting firms. He joined Randstad in 2014 with the aim of establishing a career change support business. Currently Group President of Randstad Canada. He holds an MBA from Hitotsubashi ICS. Kunihito Hagito: After working for a major staffing and recruiting company specializing in foreign capital, Kunishi joined Randstad K.K. in March 2016 and was appointed Managing Director of the Professionals Division in July 2022. He holds an MBA from the University of Wales, UK.
He was inexperienced at the time he joined, but soon began discovering his own talent in the HR services industry. Grasping new challenges throughout 8 years at Randstad.
Coming to Japan in 2002, Cameron had engaged in recruiting and executive search business over the last 20 years or so. He came from Canada, and his first job in Japan was to work for the Osaka branch of a Japanese recruiting company led by a British owner.
Cameron 'Everything started when I met Paul Dupuis (Randstad Japan Chairman & CEO) at a party I attended. Now, Paul is my boss in Randstad, but at the time he was a headhunter for another company headquartered in Japan. Although I didn’t know about headhunting at the time, I said “I’m interested” and we eventually started working together'.
Cameron started his career with Paul as an associate consultant. He worked his way up to consultant, then senior consultant, and later moved to Tokyo to become a team manager.
Cameron 'In the previous company, I launched two teams. One was a team for manufacturers in Osaka, the other was a team for life science businesses in Tokyo'.
In 2011, Cameron was headhunted by one of the big-five global search firms. He worked for the firm, building his experience for 3 years.
After the global search firm, the next workplace was Randstad. He was called on by Paul as was the case in Cameron’s first job in Japan. After six months of deliberation with Paul who had already been working for Randstad, Cameron decided to join in January 2014.
Cameron 'I got into the human resources industry by chance, but when I actually tried it, I found it interesting. I thought it was the right job for me. On top of that, both the first company and Randstad had incentive programs. The harder you work, the more you earn. The incentive motivated me to work hard'.
As time passed, the job became increasingly rewarding for me. It is challenging to contribute to clients, but it’s rewarding to support candidates in their precious moment for career change. After I was promoted to leader, I have engaged in team management. Since then, the team management has also been a challenging and rewarding job.
In Randstad, Cameron has been instrumental in launching a recruiting business for executives.
Cameron 'Staffing service had been the main business for Randstad. Paul was invited to launch a recruiting business and he asked me to work as his right-hand-man. Everything began from scratch. The first sector was life-science followed by manufacturing and IT, and now the recruiting division has about 150 employees'.
After joining Randstad as an associate director, Cameron has steadily worked his way up to new positions. It was the corporate culture that supported him in realizing his true potential because Randstad has a people-oriented culture that encourages growth.
Cameron 'It is a great place to work. Since Randstad is a big company, as long as you deliver performance there are many new opportunities of leveling up to new positions. I am very grateful for Randstad which gave me a lot of chances to try something new. In my 8 years at Randstad, I was never involved in the same job for more than 2 years'.
In 2020, Cameron was assigned to manage a staffing business for entry level IT engineers as well as the recruiting business. In January 2021, he was promoted to director to engage in management of Randstad as a whole.
I decided to join Randstad because of people who share the same dream. With Randstad, I can still grow!
When he was a university student, Hagito studied abroad in Canada and had an internship in Ukraine. After graduating from university, Hagito entered a staffing company in 2004.
Hagito 'I thought about what I should do and found that my wish is to have an impact on people. Finding a job and a career is a very important turning point in people’s lives. I considered that the people business is challenging, but more rewarding than the product business because people have emotions and intentions. That is why I decided to enter the HR services industry'.
In his first company, Hagito achieved great performances such as MVP of the year, top sales 2 years in a row. In 2010, he changed his job to work for a recruiting company and met Paul and Cameron.
In 2016, Hagito joined Randstad. He recalls that Paul and Cameron were the reason behind his decision to join Randstad.
Hagito 'When I choose a company to work for, I focus on people and their dreams. Paul and Cameron really respect individual employees and strive to make them happy and successful. They think that the best team provides the best services to clients and candidates, and therefore HR service contributes to society. I believed that Paul,Cameron and I shared the same dream'.
Hagito has achieved a lot including high performing results in Randstad, however, he wants to do more because the rewarding jobs in HR service are unlimited.
Hagito 'Since each and every person has a unique story, the HR service business is always exciting. Also, the IT industry, which I specialize in, is changing rapidly, with the domain expanding through crosstech and the rise of new services, so I never get bored'.
Right after he joined Randstad, Hagito was assigned to be a member of the Professionals Division which is in charge of the recruiting business, and involved in the launch of the IT technology team. Although the division had 20 employees, the IT technology team had only one member, Hagito.
Hagito 'Now, the IT technology team has 50 employees. But my first job back then was to secure resources. I also set up a manufacturing team and SCM team. My current assignment is to manage the B to C team. In 2022, PCS (Professional Contract Specialist) , a high-end professional staffing business, was also launched. I have been working on it with Cameron'.
Of all the jobs he has been involved in at Randstad, Hagito says he feels he has grown especially in the area of management.
Hagito 'Randstad has a training program called FEP (Future Executive Program), which is a collaboration with a business school, and I think that learning management through such opportunities has led to my significant growth'.
Both were promoted through an internal selection process, entering their new chapters as leaders.
In 2022, Cameron was promoted from Managing Director at Randstad KK to Group President of Randstad Canada, Hagito from Senior Director of Randstad KK to Managing Director, taking over Cameron’s position.
Cameron 'In Randstad, we have a system called “Great Conversation”, where you receive feedback from your supervisor, based upon which you create an IDP (Individual Development Plan) for your self-growth. Through the Great Conversation, I identified my next step would not be in Japan'.
One of the reasons why Cameron came to feel that way was because of Hagito, Cameron’s subordinate back then, had been growing to the extent that Cameron believed he could delegate his position to him. He speaks on.
Cameron 'Since I left Canada, I have worked in Japan for about two decades. I have never worked in any other countries. Since it was the best timing for my career and my private life, I decided to take up the opportunity for a new experience'.
After two years of waiting for the opportunity, he finally found an attractive position that fits his preceding career achievements.
Cameron 'My predecessor was moving to the U.S. and the position of Group President for Canada was open, so I thought this was a unique opportunity. It took a long process of several interviews with internal executives and outside consultants, and a three-hour online test before I was successfully approved for promotion to that position'.
A variety of challenging opportunities await Cameron, including the need to speak French at his new position.
Cameron 'People don't grow in a comfortable environment. I have a desire to keep growing, so as soon as I am somewhat comfortable in that job, I immediately start thinking about the next one. There is still a lot that needs to be done in this business so I want to keep taking on new challenges'.
Meanwhile, during a Great Conversation, Hagito mentioned that he would like to manage the entire professional recruitment division in the future. That opportunity came suddenly with Cameron's promotion.
Hagito 'I was merely one of the candidates in the beginning. After several interviews and thorough assessment, I was selected as a successor of Cameron'.
At Randstad, not only supervisor’s but also the team’s desires are reflected when a decision of promotion is made.
Hagito 'I think one of the best things about Randstad is that there is a highly transparent promotion process regardless of gender or age'.
Hagito, who has been working with Cameron, wishes to play a new role while retaining the good qualities of the teams that Cameron has cultivated.
Hagito 'What I want to continue to honor is people and culture. As for people, I will prioritize developing and growing people. In terms of culture, I will keep the stance that delivering a result is a given as a professional. With that being said, it cannot be achieved alone. It is also important to value teamwork'.
What lies ahead of him is a goal of delivering a three-times bigger result in three years. It is seemingly a reckless goal to attain, but Cameron has no doubt in the future that the goal will be accomplished.
Cameron 'Hagi (Hagito) walks the talk. When he says “I will do this”, he will get it done no matter what. To the extent I don’t even need to confirm the result, I have absolute faith in him. Hagi is good at strategies and numbers, but more importantly, his strength is understanding the frontline better than anyone else. He is not a person with either strategies or insights in the field. He has both and is great at both, which makes him a capable leader'.
Hagito also says he has “absolute faith” in Cameron, who has supported him to grow this far.
Hagito 'If I had not met Cameron, I would not be here now. Thanks to his guidance on my development, I have been able to acquire my current leadership skills'.
What is important is the balance between confidence and humility, and the ability to believe that you can do it.
According to Cameron, there are two things that are commonly seen in people who become successful at Randstad.
Cameron 'One is having a motivation within him/herself. There is a time when motivation is brought from outside, but more importantly, they have clear reasons why they want to do this job, which leads them to success. The other one is a balance between confidence and humbleness. If you are too confident, you don’t see your weak points, therefore you cannot improve them. You can’t be too humble either because that makes you look unconfident. Being confident and humble as much so that you can look into your weak points and improve them is important.
Agreeing with Cameron, Hagito has one more point that he values.
Hagito 'Third one is to persevere, to stick through to what you are doing. In other words, it means to have faith in yourself that you can accomplish it. These three points are more valued than your experiences or skills in the recruiting process.
Turnover rate of the Professionals at Randstad Japan is about 5%, which is exceptional as the average rate is as high as 20% to 30% in the HR services industry.
Cameron 'We have a great culture here, so as long as this fits you, you can work here for a really long time. As a company, we should grow even more in the future, so there is only potential. If you are interested in working with us at Randstad, I hope you will actively communicate what you want to do in this blessed environment and seize the opportunity'.
Hagito 'If you keep communicating your thoughts and ideas, through initiatives such as Great Conversation with your manager; opportunities will surely present themselves. Randstad offers a wealth of paths to new careers and opportunities'.
Randstad generously provides its employees with opportunities to support their growth. In this culture, Cameron and Hagito have stretched their potential to the fullest extent. The two leaders will never stop moving forward in their new stage and for their further growth. and will continue to grow.
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