Golden opportunity to adapt to changes amid a pandemic

Claire Wu
Claire Wu
Sep 19 · 3 min read
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Leading Japanese staffing company Pasona NA, Inc., which began its operation in the United States in 1985, welcomes its 35th anniversary this year. Starting as a temporary staffing service, Pasona NA transformed into the leading human resources outsourcing firm it is today by responding to rapid shifts in customer needs.

Kenji Furushiro, President & COO of Pasona N A.
Kenji Furushiro, President & COO of Pasona N A.
Kenji Furushiro, President & COO of Pasona N A.

“Being able to meet our customers’ needs is what kept us in business,” said Kenji Furushiro, President & COO of Pasona N A. “Opportunity was given to us to adapt to changing customer needs as the world continue to evolve, and I am grateful for that.”

Since its foundation in 1985, Pasona has continued to live up to its core philosophy of “Solutions to Society’s Problems (社会の問題点解決する)”. Starting with its initial form of a traditional recruiting agency, Pasona transformed its operations by responding to the needs of its customers.

While the company focuses on providing Human Resource services, Business Process Outsourcing services and Business Process Re-engineering services, Furushiro believes that Pasona N A has to prepare for the new business model in the post-pandemic world.

Furushiro said people have begun to notice what remote workforce can offer, “Full-time employment will just be one of the options to make a living.” The concept of distances and locations has changed as technology advances. We’re living in a world where people living on opposite sides of the world talk like they’re right next to each other, and it’s is even more so after what we’ve been going through with the pandemic.

After the pandemic, there will be more freedom when it comes to how we work and where we want to work. Although it won’t be a fast process, Furushiro thinks that people have already noticed that full-time employment is not the only way as independent contractors are becoming a popular option. More people are willing to provide their knowledge and expertise on separate projects and to different employers.

“Don’t take for granted the things that are taken for granted,” Furushiro said. “When ordinary things fall apart, it creates a perfect chance to adapt to the changes.”

When speaking of the actions Pasona N A has taken after the pandemic, Furushiro recounted how Pasona N A was affected by the outbreak just like any other industry. However, he saw new opportunities opening up. This pandemic allowed companies to regroup amid the situation they’re forced into. “Corporates are learning how to work with people who don’t come to the office,” Furushiro said. Since the outbreak, Pasona NA has been optimizing the workflow through training and communication.

Furushiro also said he thinks “It is the company’s responsibility to take care of employees’ physical and mental wellbeing.” He also mentioned that he thinks it’s important to keep the three-way satisfaction (三方良し, a Japanese principle that refers to “what benefits you, should ultimately also benefit your partners and society at large.”) between the world, the company, and oneself.

“I wanted to create a company people want to work for, not a company they joined just to get through a transitioning period,” Furushiro shared his vision when his first became the COO and president.

Furushiro said Pasona N A’s goal is to be half a step ahead of its customers by providing guidance so that customers can adapt to changes in the event of problems. At the same time, providing services that build on the connection with its customers.

Published on Kigyo Gaikyo August 2020
*Access Japanese version of this article here *

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