The Yomiuri ShimbunCompetition to acquire talent with high professional knowledge and know-how on information technology is intensifying. On Aug. 8, Fujitsu Ltd. announced it would introduce a personnel system that allows paying salaries of tens of millions of yen to employees regardless of their age. With U.S. IT giants’ GAFA and others trying to attract highly skilled workers from around the world by giving them good treatment, Japanese companies are stepping up efforts to secure individuals who can take the lead in IT businesses that are positioned as the growth area.
Fujitsu President Takahito Tokita said on Aug. 8 to The Yomiuri Shimbun and others, “We will set income for employees having digital skills mainly in such fields as artificial intelligence and security according to their professional levels and market value.” The company aims to implement the new personnel system before the end of fiscal 2019 and some employees could receive an annual income of ¥30 million to ¥40 million, according to Fujitsu.
Moreover, Fujitsu will review its recruitment system under which new graduates are hired en masse once a year and begin hiring new employees throughout the year. Until now, the company has been ending accepting applications for employment around August, but it will accept such applications throughout the year in principle from now on. As some students studying abroad are not able to return to Japan before the August deadline for application submissions, the new system will make it easier for such people.
Regarding high salaries, NTT Docomo Inc. started in April a system to enable payment of an annual income of up to ¥30 million. Since fiscal 2019, Sony Corp. has raised salaries for new employees having high skills in cutting-edge areas by up to 20 percent. NEC Corp. will introduce a system in October under which employees, including new hires, can receive an annual income of over ¥10 million if they have achieved great research results in academic societies or other places.
According to an estimate by the Cabinet Office, an additional 50,000 highly skilled personnel is expected to be needed in the IT industry in 2020. Under such circumstances, the competition over highly skilled talent will inevitably intensify among IT companies.
Comparatively, in the U.S.’s Silicon Valley, it is not unusual for top-level engineers to receive income over ¥100 million. According to local reports in China, leading communications equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co. will pay up to about 2 million yuan (about ¥30 million annually) to newly hired graduates in 2019.