Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

Japan recruiting scene goes pink

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Tokyo’s first Pink Slip Party, held this week in the Roppongi Hills complex that used to house Lehman Brothers’ Japan operations, was certainly a success in terms of the number of media organisations that showed up. But whether the event, based on the Wall Street gatherings where laid-off bankers and recruiters network over drinks, worked by Japanese cultural standards was a little hard to tell.

In Japan’s conservative recruitment culture, you don’t usually hear people openly admitting to having been “restructured” out of a job, even amid the current financial crisis.

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“There is a sort of stigmatism associated with being laid-off,” said Rajiv Sawhney, a former Lehman Brothers employee in Tokyo now looking to get back into the finance industry. Sawhney was one of only a handful of job-seekers at the party who was willing to speak to me on the record.

“Especially in Japan where it’s so rare for a Japanese company to lay people off, they don’t really want to tell people. They don’t want to network and find out if people can help them,” he said.

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