Rakuten has a uniquely open and dynamic corporate culture that fosters the exchange of ideas. Our workforce is made up of talented employees and we are committed to hiring the best and brightest from around the world. We believe that this diversity of talent is a driving force for innovation and key to our long-term success. We are committed to creating workplaces where our employees feel safe and respected, and can experience numerous opportunities for growth that contribute to their well-being throughout their career.
Human Resource Strategy
Rakuten has been working on its "Back to Basics" project since 2017, focusing on three pillars: talent recruitment, development and retention. This project brings us back to the core goal of Rakuten’s human resources management strategy, which is to build a winning team with winning people. Numerous initiatives aimed at creating strong organizational foundations have been implemented.
We believe that fostering mutual understanding through effective communication with potential candidates is the key to attracting and hiring the best talent. We have established several communication channels, both online and offline, to accomplish this.
Corporate recruitment pages
The recruitment pages on our corporate website provide details about Rakuten’s businesses, culture, work environment and career development. They also feature select stories from our diverse workforce, helping candidates to imagine what everyday life working at Rakuten is like.
Rakuten Career Conference
The Rakuten Career Conference is an annual recruiting event held since 2019 to provide candidates an in-depth understanding of Rakuten’s vision, businesses, culture and career development opportunities. Attracting approximately 2,000 students every year, the event features a speech by CEO Mickey Mikitani and a panel discussion by employees, providing a wide range of information, from corporate strategies to authentic voices from the workplace.
Rakuten offers internship programs which offer a wide variety of on-the-job experience and a firsthand look at Rakuten’s unique corporate culture. Several different programs for various types of jobs are available to match participants’ career plans, and flexible scheduling ensures that these opportunities are provided to as many people as possible.
Becoming an "Employer of Choice"
Interest in Rakuten as a prospective employer is growing year after year. In its “Top Companies 2021” list, LinkedIn highlighted Rakuten in the categories “probability of promotion,” “acquisition of skills,” “stability of work,” “attractiveness from outside the company,” “connection within the company” and “diversity of employees,” and was ranked second on the list overall. In addition, Rakuten placed fourth overall and first within the telecommunications and information services industry in the "Employer of Choice" ranking published by the career information website, "Kyaritasu Job-Hunting," as a result of the survey conducted for students.
Building a learning organization
Rakuten aims to be a "learning organization," where employees can continuously grow and maximize their strengths. Rakuten empowers the career development of its employees by supporting their self-development and the acquisition of business and technical skills which are useful to daily operations and beneficial to their careers long-term.
Goal setting and evaluation
At Rakuten, all employees set biannual objectives for competencies that they demonstrate throughout their work and performance. Competencies are defined based on "Rakuten Shugi" and the “Five Principles for Success” that comprise Rakuten’s core values and principles, and determine monthly salary while performance evaluations determine bonus allocations*. The system allows employees to receive a fair assessment of their abilities and achievements, regardless of the number of years of service, and for them to progress their career to the next step.
- *Bonus: Variable compensation paid based on business performance and individual achievements.
Talent development is essential in order for Rakuten to grow sustainably. Rakuten provides training programs to improve the individual skills and abilities of its employees, to strengthen the organization and to nurture employees who can thrive in an international business environment. The training programs are provided to all employees according to their grade.
Training programs are organized into three categories: Level-based training designed to help employees take on greater responsibilities in the organization, business skills training for cultivating logical thinking and leadership, and Englishnization Next for improving English communication and cross-cultural management skills.
- Average training hours per employee in 2021: 70.3 hours
- Training satisfaction rate in 2021: 96%
1-on-1 meetings are held regularly between team members and their managers to strengthen communication in the workplace and maximize results as an organization. Team members discuss their concerns, receive feedback on competency development and goal achievement, and gain insights that lead to growth. Similarly, managers receive dedicated training on how to provide appropriate and effective feedback, making 1-on-1 meetings a chance for both sides to grow. It is a system that strengthens relationships and trust between team members and managers, allowing them to continuously learn from one another through mutual feedback.
- Percentage of employees holding 1-on-1 meetings in 2021: 96%
- 1-on1 satisfaction rate in 2021: 91.8%
Internal open position system
The size and diversity of the Rakuten Ecosystem provide a multitude of career and growth opportunities to employees willing to challenge themselves in different positions or industries. The internal open position system has been introduced to support such employees. The Open Job Information portal is provided for employees to find out about opportunities available inside the Rakuten Group and to understand the requirements for those opportunities, including skills, knowledge and the qualifications needed for a smooth transition to the next stage in their career.
Rakuten Digital Library
The Rakuten Digital Library assists our goal to build a learning organization, offering all employees a variety of learning resources for professional and personal development. E-books and audiobooks are available to borrow for free, anytime, anywhere. The selection is updated regularly, constantly increasing the amount of knowledge available to employees and encouraging new ideas and self-improvement.
Fostering a “One Team” culture
Fostering a "One Team" culture where all employees and businesses walk together toward the same goal with a shared corporate philosophy is essential to fully leverage our diversity and capacity to innovate.
Rakuten Shugi workshops
To work as “One Team,” sharing values is vital. Rakuten Shugi workshops play an important role in ensuring that all employees understand and embody Rakuten Shugi, our set of common values and principles. During the workshops, employees learn about Rakuten’s history and how it has shaped our corporate culture today. Employees also have opportunities to share their thoughts on the concepts of Rakuten Shugi, and on how it connects to their personal values, everyday work, or the practices of their teams. In 2020, more than 2,600 employees participated in these workshops.
Business-Do reading sessions
At Asakai, the weekly morning meeting attended by all employees of the Rakuten Group, CEO Mickey Mikitani is leading a discussion series on his book “Business-Do: The Way to Successful Leadership," in which he shares insights on a different chapter each week. In these sessions, Mickey introduces the 89 principles that he has cultivated over the course of his career which have led him to success, citing past experiences and episodes along the way. He also answers questions from employees during these sessions.
Developing tech talent
As an IT company with innovation at the heart of its corporate mission, Rakuten pays special attention to the specificities of the development of our engineers.
A wide range of trainings covering technical and business skills are provided to our team members, and a unique evaluation system is in place designed to help produce world-leading experts.
Expert Certification Program
Rakuten provides an Expert Certification Program aimed at employees with advanced technical skills. The Certified employees elevate the technical strength of the entire Rakuten Tech community. As a company, we encourage employees to support our internal technical training and actively engage in the external expert communities. We strive to produce numerous leading global engineering talents through our Program.
Training for development and engineering teams
The tech teams within Rakuten are exceptionally diverse. Given this culturally diverse environment, our business skill training programs have been designed to transcend the differences in nationality and language and instill the mutual respect required for smooth communication. Technical training programs are also provided to enable employees to acquire the technical skills required to carry out Rakuten's systems development and support employees in improving their existing skills. Employees who have completed the trainer certification program may even have the chance to become trainers themselves. Many of our employees use this opportunity to take the role of a trainer as a way to build on their areas of expertise.
Examples of training
- Managing bias
Training aimed at helping employees to understand their own unconscious biases and develop strategies for reducing the impact of those biases on their day-to-day work.
- AI (Artificial Intelligence) fundamentals
Hands-on training that facilitates employees’ understanding of how to apply machine learning and other AI technologies.
- Agile software development introduction
An introductory, hands-on training course on agile software development.
At Rakuten, we provide our employees with opportunities to get hands-on experience with the latest technologies and trends by offering chances to participate in programs at international technical conferences. Through learning about the latest technologies and networking with other talented engineers, we aim to give all our employees the chance to become successful on the global stage. In addition, we encourage our engineers to speak at conferences to share Rakuten's developments and build Rakuten’s global presence as a technology company.
Programming training for new graduates
In 2018, Rakuten started programming training for all new graduate employees, including non-engineering positions. The introduction of programming training is a way to prepare for a future in which information technology will permeate every corner of society and basic computer knowledge will be essential to thrive in the business world. It also supports smooth communication between business teams and development teams.
The training program covers the basics of programming languages and coding, web applications and data analysis before giving employees three weeks to develop their own services. In 2020, in addition to basic data AI and basic tech skills, a hackathon, a competition-style event where new graduates form a team and develop products, was held.
Rakuten strives to enhance employee engagement and motivation by creating an inviting work environment that encourages employees to grow with Rakuten over the long term, and providing incentives that reward employees who demonstrate high performance.
Flexible work style
Working flexible hours
Our flextime system was introduced to create an environment in which each employee is able to work comfortably. Employees can decide their daily start and finish times while working within the required monthly working hours. They can enhance their productivity by moving their working hours around in line with fluctuations in work volume or project demands. The system also supports employees in achieving work-life balance.
Working time shift
Employees who are not covered by the flextime system can shift their working time to start two hours earlier or finish two hours later than regular working hours.
Working from home
Working from home arrangements for pregnancy, childcare, nursing care, injury and illness are available.
Healthy and comfortable work environment
Employees' health, safety and well-being
Rakuten places great importance on creating workplaces that support each employee’s health and safety, and is promoting initiatives to further develop and maintain every employee’s physical and mental wellness.
A work environment that supports its employees
Rakuten Crimson House, the global headquarters of the Rakuten Group, is not only a place to work but also a place where the daily lives of its employees are enriched. The cafeteria, which provides complimentary breakfast, lunch and dinner, serves healthy meals. The fitness gym and spa offer a variety of equipment to refresh and relax the body and mind. In addition, we have an in-house clinic where employees can consult on health-related concerns, an in-house childcare center that supports balance between work and family commitments, and a nursing room where mothers can store milk to take home at the end of the day.
Reducing excessive working hours
We are making various efforts to reduce excessive working hours. With business intelligence tools connected to our attendance system, employees and their managers are able to visualize the number of hours worked in order to better understand past performance and predict future trends, allowing them to plan their tasks accordingly and avoid excessive overtime.
Long-term incentives and awards system
As part of performance-linked compensation, Rakuten offers stock options to all employees. The compensation received through stock options is linked to Rakuten’s share price and fully exercisable up to four years after their issuance, making it an incentive for employees to contribute to long-term performance improvement and share price increase, while also helping to retain talented employees.
A retirement package was introduced in 2018 to reward employees with longer careers at Rakuten. The package is paid in the event of retirement or resignation in accordance with years of service.
The Rakuten Awards are a system for recognizing outstanding contributions from employees in the Rakuten Group globally. Nominations are made every month and the winners are announced during Asakai morning meetings. By recognizing employees that have demonstrated outstanding performance, Rakuten aims to increase all employees’ motivation while simultaneously sharing stories of success throughout the group.
As a result of these efforts, Rakuten Group, Inc.'s employee turnover rate in 2021 showed a 2.8 point decrease compared to 2017.
Average hours of training
Percentage of employees who
- Data as of December 31, 2021
- Data Boundaries: Rakuten Group, Inc.