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Bushidō spirit: Attracting talent by showing value alignment

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Understanding Bushidō

Bushidō means ‘Way of the Warrior’ and refers to the code of conduct followed by samurais in ancient Japan. In Japanese, ‘bushi’ means warrior and ‘do’ means way and by the mid-19th century the principles followed by the samurais became the basis of ethical training for Japanese society.

The principles central to Bushidō are honor, loyalty, courage, self-discipline, kindness and respect for authority. These ethics were influenced by Zen Buddhism, Confucianism and Shintoism. A samurai was expected to live by this code of conduct both on and off the battlefield, or risk significant disgrace or dishonor. The ethics and principles of Bushidō have been passed down through generations and remain deeply ingrained in Japanese culture, even though the samurai class no longer exists.

How Bushidō Spirit impacts work culture in Japan

Given the powerful influence of Bushidō spirit, it’s no surprise that it has an impact on business culture as well. Many Japanese companies believe the key to maintaining a harmonious workplace are the values of teamwork, loyalty and respect. Likewise, many Japanese employees want to be part of an organization that embodies these principles.

This is clearly seen in the ‘job-for-life’ model, where the virtue of loyalty is at play. The expectation is that new graduates will remain with a company until they retire. This is slowly shifting, with younger generations calling for greater flexibility and autonomy especially in light of remote work options following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The crucial importance of value alignment in recruitment

In a competitive labor market like Japan, a way to stand out from the crowd and attract top talent is to demonstrate that your organization values the same things they do. Here are some reasons why value alignment is so important in the hiring process:

  1. Make better hiring decisions: by attracting candidates who align with your company values they are are more likely to be committed, motivated and productive
  2. Stand out from the competition: this is especially relevant for companies entering the Japanese market, they are going to have to work even harder to present themselves as the workplace of choice.
  3. Increase retention rates: reduce turnover rates by hiring employees who share your values. They will feel a sense of purpose and belonging and there’s a better chance they’ll stay for the long term.
  4. Improved collaboration: by building a team who share values there will be better team dynamics which results in better business outcomes.

How to clearly explain your organization’s values to candidates

If you’re convinced that you need to show value alignment in recruitment, you might be wondering how to go about doing that. Here are some things to implement:

Define your values: you won’t be able to share or explain them if they aren’t clearly defined within your organization.

Incorporate values into job descriptions and postings: priortise the core values of what your organization stands for and use language that reflects that. Explain the unique perks and benefits that stem from the company’s values. For example, if teamwork is a core value then mention the team-building activities they will participate in and use phrases like “work together for a common goal”.

Share employee stories: provide examples of how your organization embodies its values through powerful testimonials that demonstrate the positive impact you are having. Real life examples will show that your values are embedded in the work culture.

Engage a recruiting partner: Morunda can help you crack the code to hiring in Japan. We leverage our combined 60 years experience working in Japan to be your voice in the market, finding you top talent that align with your values. Book a discovery session today.

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