Japanese electronics giant Sony said Thursday it will increase the number of foreign graduates it hires by 2013 as it tries to tap a wider talent pool to remain competitive against overseas rivals.
The move comes with Japanese companies, which have historically favoured choosing their workforce at home, increasingly looking abroad for labour while also seeking new growth markets amid falling domestic demand.
Sony said it aimed to employ 30 percent of its graduates from overseas by fiscal 2013, more than double the 14 percent slotted to be taken on in the financial year from April.
The announcement follows the success of Sony's recent efforts to lure more Chinese and Indian college graduates, said Sony spokeswoman Ayano Iguchi.
"In China and India, so many students are enrolled in science and engineering departments. The number far exceeds the number available in Japan," said Ayano Iguchi, Sony spokeswoman.
"We have long operated in foreign markets and hired talented individuals regardless of their nationalities. But as of late, we have faced an issue of acquiring brilliant engineers," Iguchi said.
Just like their Japanese peers, newly hired foreigners would first work in Japan before the best candidates are groomed for future managerial roles, Iguchi said.
It will expand its scope to other Asian countries, choosing mainly from science and engineering majors.
Sony stands among many major Japanese firms that are trying to expand their foreign operations and increase the hiring of foreigners at the start of their careers.
Electronics giant Panasonic, convenience store chain Lawson and Fast Retailing, known for the Uniqlo brand of cheap casual clothing, are also expanding hiring of foreign nationals.
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