1. Can you tell me about your current position?
I'm an IT developer at a global FMCG company. I was initially contracted for only a short period of time, but my company realized the project was going to last longer than expected, so I've actually been here for a little under 5 years. I mostly develop but I'm also responsible for the system assigned to me.
2. What do you enjoy most about it?
I enjoy the freedom of being able to choose how to enhance the system. We have defined requirements, but the company is open to suggestions, and I can present my own improvement proposals. I really feel this project is like my baby (laughs). My colleagues are also friendly and my manager is very understanding, which is nice.
3. Why did you decide to join Skillhouse as a working staff?
When I came back to Tokyo from England, I wanted work with a company I could easily communicate with. Skillhouse seemed to support both foreigners and Japanese workers, so that was my main reason for choosing Skillhouse.
4. Did you have any reservations about joining as a temporary staff versus a permanent employee? If so, what are they?
Yes. At the beginning, I wasn't interested in Haken work and was only looking for permanent roles. However, the pay offered to me for this job was a big step up from my previous salary. I was also working to rebuild my life at the time, so I initially accepted the job, thinking I would see how it goes and continue only if I liked it.
5. Do you think there are benefits of working as a temporary staff versus a permanent employee? If so, what are they?
One of the major benefits of working as a Haken staff, is that you have more flexibility and freedom. For example, if I want to take a day off, working as a Haken staff allows me the flexibility to do so. As long I apply in advance, I can easily take a vacation day or take an unpaid holiday. There's a woman at my current company who has been working as a Haken staff for a while. She's refused to be converted to a permanent staff because she prefers the benefits of Haken work. You feel a little bit less connected to the company, so you have more freedom and flexibility in some aspects.
6. How is the working life different? How does the pay compare?
I would say there aren't many notable differences, but when there are big events or important meetings, Haken Staff don't have to participate. Another difference is some of the benefits permanent staff receive versus Haken staff. If we're sick, we have to take a vacation day or forfeit a day's salary, since Haken staff don't have sick leave. I think the pay is quite good compared to permanent staff though. Haken staff don't work as much overtime, but if we do, we receive overtime pay, so I think the benefits pretty much equal out in the end.
7. Are there any downfalls of working as a temporary staff?
At the beginning, I feel it's easy to ignore the downsides of being a Haken staff, but as time goes by, it might affect you in ways you didn't realize. I know the government has been advocating improvements to better our conditions, but there are still a few downfalls here and there. For example, it was more difficult for me to receive a home loan from the bank because I'm a Haken staff, and the process was quite complicated. In my opinion, it's fine to work Haken staff, but you still need to think about the different ways it may affect you.
8. How are your relationships with the other employees at the company you are placed at?
Very good! However, I've heard other people's stories, and I think it really depends on you and the company you're at. In my company, permanent staff mostly tend to eat lunch with other permanent staff, but the relationships are all pretty equal.
9. How has your experience been so far with the Skillhouse personnel team? Do you have any feedback for us?
I've been in contact with a total of 3 Skillhouse personnel staff, and my relationships with each of them have all been fantastic. Every time I meet a new staff, they're always so nice! The Personnel team is very helpful. Whenever I ask for advice or have a question, I receive an answer very quickly, even with personal things I perhaps shouldn't have asked (laughs). Somebody always tries their best to support me.
10. What advice would you give to anyone considering “Haken” work with Skillhouse?
I actually don't know what advice to give because I assume people are generally aware of what it's like to work for a Haken company. I've worked at two staffing firms before; the first, was for a staffing firm in Nagoya, but Skillhouse has definitely been the most open and supportive of the two!