The Japanese practice of shushoku katsudo, or job-hunting, can be a strict, no-nonsense procedure. College students typically have to change themselves to conform to the same look as everyone else: black and white suit and tie for men; blazer and skirt for women; black hair, with a low ponytail and a side part hairstyle for women; and no frills, sensible makeup and styling. The idea is, presumably, that companies want someone who is a standard, sensible, upstanding member of society, who does nothing to stick out, and therefore, will cause no trouble.
Not so with Japanese cosmetics company Isehan Group, however. This year, for their 2020 recruitment–for graduating students who will start working in 2020–they’re focusing on one thing: seeing the true you.
Their new campaign is called “Face Hiring”, and, thankfully, it’s not about hiring candidates based off of their perceived beauty or attractiveness. Rather, Isehan Group wants you to come as you are, and not in the standard “recruit suit” style.
“We’ve started Face Hiring.
Of course, this does not mean we’re judging candidates based on their appearance. We want you to come in your style of makeup, so that we can hire you based on who you are. We want to meet the real you; we don’t want to see the you that’s restrained by job-hunting makeup. We want to see you in your favorite makeup style, fresh and lively. Whether it’s perfect makeup or no makeup, or makeup inspired by your favorite celebrity, because makeup is a tool for self-expression, we’d love to see you think about how you can use it to convey yourself to us.”
The company says “your style of makeup”, so you might be thinking, any style of makeup? What about cosplay makeup? Visual kei? Clown makeup? Clown makeup may be a bit of a stretch, but based on this promotional video — which says, “There’s no rule that says you have to wear a specific kind of makeup while job hunting!” — heavy makeup, light makeup, cosplay makeup, and whatever kind of makeup you like is fine, as long as it’s an expression of you.
And it’s not only about the makeup: the recruitment campaign home page says that you can also wear whatever you like to express yourself as “you”. “We really want you to come to our interview after you’ve carefully thought about what makes you, you.” The company won’t judge style based on technique or by comparing candidates to any “standard”, and they won’t differentiate between men and women, so candidates can come freely as they are without worrying about perfection or judgment.
Since Isehan Group is a cosmetics company, it’s reasonable to assume that an original, creative mind might be something that they are looking for in a candidate. The recruitment page does specifically mention that they’re a company that covers all of the bases, from product conception to package design and marketing, so they’re probably looking for people creative enough to devise new products and market them efficiently, just as they market themselves with their makeup style.
Japanese netizens were impressed with the new campaign, calling it “modern” and “wonderful”:
“I think it’s great!”
“People who like to dress stylishly would like this. It fits well because it’s a makeup company.”
“This company is keeping up with the times. Impressive! I’m jealous (I’m from the Ice Age period)”
“This will be an interesting test! I think they’ll really be able to understand people better without the mass-produced recruit suits. The applicants will get creative with it and really show their personalities.”
“In times like these, just being flexible leaves a good impression about a company.”
The application period for 2020 graduates and new hires has already started, and will close on March 11. To apply, they want you to send three or fewer photos of yourself in your own style, and a 200-character explanation of your style and how it represents you. What’s more, applicants can even apply via Instagram, or on the web page! For more information, check out the campaign’s home page (Japanese only).
Since Japan is often known as the country where “the nail that sticks out gets hammered down”, it’s nice to see some companies look for individuality in its employees. Plus, it seems like more and more companies are striving to break the mold of austerity, uniformity, and conformity, like the company that recruited anime fans for their ability to sing anime songs. Perhaps Japan is slowly taking steps to become a more flexible and open society!
Source: Isehan Group via Hamster Sokuho
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