COVID-19 Changes Hiring at PayPay

2020 – the year COVID-19 changed everything.

At PayPay, there was a rapid shift towards teleworking, and all the things that were done face-to-face are now being done online.

PayPay’s talent acquisition team has been greatly affected by how candidates are being interviewed as well. The following is based on an interview on how the team has responded to the necessary changes in the hiring process.


An unexpected emergency

We have always hired engineers from all over the world. Interviews were held online even before COVID-19, so we did not feel much of an impact there.

However, we were unable to respond to requests such as “Can I take a look at the office?” or “Can I have a peek at the actual work environment?” Instead, we had to attempt to put the general atmosphere of the company and the environment of the office into words. It was difficult to communicate everything, and we were worried that we might not be able to provide enough information to the candidates.

As for the orientation we used to provide on the first day, it was no longer possible to do at the office, so we had to make a rather rushed decision to hold it online as well.

We had to organize a network that would allow our employees to connect to our internal system, arrange meetings with our department members, and deliver PCs to the homes of our newly hired employees, so they could start working smoothly right after the online orientation. In order to reduce the stress they might feel by not actually coming to the office, we used Zoom​ to make sure that the employees received a warm welcome from their teams after the orientation.

The biggest problem was that some of the employees from overseas who had been offered jobs were unable to come to Japan. Due to the travel restrictions in their countries, visas weren’t being issued. As a result, there were significant delays in the process, and we had to address many ad hoc issues that occurred. It was a lot of hard work that required unprecedented decisions and support.

Reversing an idea can lead to success

Unfortunately, some of the people who were planning to join the company have still not been able to come to Japan, which is something unavoidable under the current circumstances.

As such, we decided to change our policy to focus more on hiring domestic candidates. Given the COVID-19 outbreak, everyone refrained from going out during the Golden week holidays, so we decided to make the most of the situation. Along with the mentality of “do what we can from home,” we held a one-day online recruiting event.

We told the PayPay managers, who are usually too busy with their own duties to take the time for interviews, “It’s only one day. You can do it if it’s online, right?” The screening and interview processes would normally take a couple of days, but we made arrangements to speed things up as much as we could and finished everything in a single day.

Some candidates were able to adjust their schedules with the interviewer and were able to receive a job offer the same day, which was a win-win for the candidates and PayPay.

In this way, we were able to turn a problem into an opportunity by adopting a completely different selection process from our usual one. The advantage of an online interview is that neither candidates nor the interviewers are limited by time or place. We will continue to overcome the challenges that come our way and use them to strengthen our hiring process even further.

Ways to eliminate fear of COVID-19

The anxiety that “nobody knows exactly what will happen with the COVID-19 situation” is a concern shared by people all over the world. It is natural for candidates to have those anxieties, and it’s okay because we are all dealing with the same things. This is what we communicated to the candidates, letting them know that this was the reason for our active focus on online orientations and hiring events.

For example, at PayPay, we did not have a telework system in place before COVID-19, and we were a little worried about how it would turn out when it got into full swing. We ended up discovering that it was much better than what we had anticipated. Of course, there are new challenges, including expensive communication costs, but we realized that “it’s easier to do something than worry about it.” We just had to move forward as a team and see how things worked out. This is what we learned and is what we try to communicate to our candidates.

We were very happy to hear candidates say “I feel a bit relieved now.” or “I’m still concerned, but I feel up to taking on the challenge if I’m part of the team.”

The hiring team hopes to continue to be the one that helps support the candidates when they are in trouble, and at the same time, stand by them as their friends to help them face whatever may come their way.

Don’t be afraid to take on challenges, and you’ll surely find a way

Anton Todo joined the hiring team at PayPay amidst the COVID-19 outbreak from the group company.

“I​ joined PayPay​ from the group company in May 2020. As a new employee myself, many concerns were on my mind when I was making the decision to join the organization.​ However, I got passed those worries and am happy to be a part of the team.

For important steps in our lives, like changing jobs, we have to carefully look at how we can succeed and grow in our careers.​​ ​

Due to the current situation, we might find a wall of doubts that is difficult to climb and is keeping us from our goals. We are looking for the people who want to climb that wall and overcome the obstacles in these hard times.

As a company, we are looking towards a new normal after Covid-19 for all our employees and will continue to provide support for the newcomers who want to be part of the payment revolution that has fundamentally changed the Japanese commerce and payment landscape.

If you are ready to take on the greatest challenge of your career, no virus should stop you from achieving your dreams. We can keep working hard to get through this situation together.

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[Cooperation]Recruiter Yukie Kanemura
Recruiter Anton Todo

Editing: az (PayPay Inside-Out editorial department)
​ ​*Employees’ affiliations are as of the time of the interview.