Updated: Jul 8
WCF Mates is a segment where we feature and showcase the lives of those who have collaborated with WOMENCANFLY.CO. (Commonly used by Australians, ‘mate’ refers to a friend or someone you are close to.)
In Vol. 7, we meet Kazushige Shiba, a human resources (HR) manager at a medical and welfare venture company that has been attracting attention from the media for its successful use of social media for recruitment.
On top of working in HR and public relations, he is building a parallel career as a mentor helping students find jobs.
Kazushige is at the forefront of the recruitment industry and knows a thing or two about the latest recruitment trends including why ‘self-branding’ is now an important asset.
Who is Kazushige?
At a social venture company with about 160 employees, Kazushige is in charge of everything from HR to public relations, including new graduate recruitment, mid-career hiring, internal training, and education. Outside of the company, he works as a mentor for students, helping them with job hunting and career counselling.
Kazushige is an active HR specialist but surprisingly, he didn’t start out in the same industry. After graduating, he was a salesperson at a Japanese beauty manufacturer. After changing jobs twice, he shifted the focus of his career from sales to HR.
Kazushige's specialises in social media marketing. His case study on successful recruitment using Twitter which is still rare in Japan has been attracting a lot of attention by the media.
We love Kazushige’s curiosity and willingness to embrace challenges. Although his Twitter recruitment has been covered by the media and he has made some achievements, he is still not satisfied with that.
His Twitter account which he actively uses as a self-branding tool is a place for him to experiment.
For example, Kasushige is currently tweeting about an imaginary student who shows up at a recruitment interview in a series called, ‘I don't like this kind of student’. This is to instill his followers with the image of ‘What would Kazushige say?’
How can you get more followers? Kazushige's tweets have a logical basis but his tenacity and perseverance are what makes them appealing as he doesn't just think about things, once he makes a decision, he just does it!
Isn’t it time to get serious about self-branding?
Kazushige says that COVID-19 has changed how new graduates not only think about their job hunting activities but also their work and careers.
Now that they can’t move around as much as they’d like, students find it difficult to see and hear things for themselves. When this happens, books and the Internet become their main sources of information and as a result, their thinking tends to become more uniform. Kazushige feels that students should convey their passion more in interviews.
On the other hand, he also feels that the supremacy of the major companies has decreased and more students are thinking more concretely about their own career paths.
In an age where changing jobs is common and you never know when you might lose your job, Kazushige reiterates that this is the age of the individual.
When you take off your company name and badge, who are you and what can you do? This is where self-branding becomes increasingly important.
Collaborating with WCF
The term ‘self-branding’ may sound difficult to understand but it can actually start with something familiar. Social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram are great examples of self-branding.
Even if you don't have anything you want to start right now, it's never too early to prepare for what’s to come.
That's why WCF asked Kazushige to teach an online course on self-branding using Twitter in a scramble seminar held in conjunction with International Women's Day 2021.
Kazushige appeared with a virtual background set to the nostalgic ‘Winter Sonata’. (A popular Korean TV series from the early 2000s) Despite the difficult topic of marketing and branding, he spoke with a lot of humor and made it fun for the participants to learn from him.
Click here for more about Shige’s ‘Introduction to Twitter Marketing for Self-Branding.
Getting ready for Plan C
WCF is based in Sydney and we often receive requests for advice from people who are interested in studying abroad but are hesitant when they think about their careers after returning home.
Kazushige says that studying a language is not a negative thing at all. However, having studied abroad in Canada when he was a student himself, he realised that he could learn a language in Japan as well. In other words, just "going somewhere" isn’t enough to make a positive difference.
Therefore, it’s important to plan ahead. Especially when you’re overseas, unforeseen circumstances will occur so it is recommended to prepare three plans: the best plan, which is a great success, the better plan, which is the only thing you want to do and the bad plan which is the worst case scenario.
It's not only studying abroad that you should have a plan for but also your career. It will be easier to take on challenges if you can always prepare for marriage, childbirth, moving, child care, etc., up until you have a Plan C.
As he is also a mentor for students, Kazushige gave us concrete and friendly advice.
We were reminded that at WCF, we also want to be there for and encourage those who are taking on the challenge to achieve the career they want.
Kazushige's seminars are popular for being funny and informative so we’d love to hold another collaborative seminar with him.
What will be his next virtual background?
Please join us next time!
Born in Toyama and graduated from Ritsumeikan University. After graduating, he worked for a Japanese beauty manufacturer, a foreign product company, a HR company and then a venture company in HR recruitment. Currently, he uses his Twitter account to deliver information related to human resources and his HR recruitment via Twitter has been picked up by the media. He is working on marketing using Twitter.
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