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38. Embracing the Entrepreneurial Spirit at Recruit Group

38. Embracing the Entrepreneurial Spirit at Recruit Group

Ring / Forum

One of Recruit Group’s values is “Bet on Passion,” because when one person’s wild idea is backed by data, research, and a supportive team, it can become the best bet. Every year, Recruit hosts two events—Ring (formerly New RING) and FORUM—that embody this value.

Ring is a new business proposal contest that began in 1982 and has resulted in some of Recruit’s most innovative and successful services, such as Zexy Brand and Study Sapuri. Anyone—Recruit employee or not—is invited to come up with out-of-the-box ideas for new lines of business and pitch their concept to the Recruit executive team. In order to reinvigorate employees’ entrepreneurial spirit each year, the contest has evolved to include workshops and tools that help people search for teammates, draft proposals, and solicit executive cooperation. In 2019, 971 people submitted 927 proposals, eight of which entered the preparatory stage for business implementation.

While Ring is an opportunity for RG employees to engage in active, collaborative, blue-sky innovation, FORUM is an opportunity for Recruit employees to share innovations that have been successful in their every-day work. Since its founding, Recruit has nurtured a culture of reciprocal encouragement, asking employees to share business processes and best practices across departments. FORUM is a celebration of Recruit’s approach to knowledge-sharing, with the idea that employees would benefit from a better understanding of the novel and versatile ways their coworkers have optimized their jobs. Each year, 10 teams from each of four divisions of expertise—sales, engineering, management, and business development—are nominated to share their day-to-day best practices with the rest of the organization through presentations and panel discussions during a large-scale, live-streamed event.  

FORUM’s success is due to the fact that every innovation, no matter how seemingly small, can help transform a business and create more enjoyment at work. For example, in 2016, the Staff Service Business Support (SSBS) team adopted a cloud-based working style in order to accommodate employees with physical disabilities who cannot commute to work. The division, called “Cloudwork,” has transformed the way employees with disabilities live by enhancing their social involvement and enabling their financial independence. Today, Cloudwork employs 617 people and is the largest organization focused on hiring people with physical disabilities.

It’s exciting to see events like Ring and FORUM give rise to innovative business solutions, but even more exciting and inspiring to see how they unearth the entrepreneurial spirits of Recruit employees at every level across every department. Recruit believes everyone should have the freedom and responsibility to express their ideas, regardless of job title or tenure. By betting on passion, Recruit chooses to believe that each discovery, no matter how seemingly preposterous, has the potential to improve the business.

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“Together, we can do more”