In the beginning there was no money, no office, and no colleagues. Hideki Tomita started the business from scratch with just a "dream, ideas and passion". For two and a half years he battled to raise funds, and finally was able to create the recruiting industry's first portal site despite the fact that only 18% of Japanese households had an Internet connection at the time.
Starting a challenge to make our dream come true
1995 Started preparations for business
Tomita had the passion for venture business. He started with the basic idea that consumers require information in order to make good choices, and that access to information should be free and equal. The first incarnation of the business was rather simple; through a network of public terminals consumers could request catalogs and pamphlets on services such as English schools and wedding venues. The information would be sent to them free of charge in exchange for their personal information which would then be provided to those companies for marketing purposes. Unable to secure a loan in Aichi, his home prefecture, he moved to Tokyo to pursue his dream. The new chapter began in a small studio apartment lacking even an air conditioner.
1996.10 Certified as an individual under the Law Concerning Measures for the Promotion of the Creative Business Activities by Small and Medium sized Enterprises
1997.3 Incorporated in Nagoya with a capital of 29 million yen
Overcoming difficulties in raising funds
1997.3 DIP Corporation founded
Chancing to see a program on Japan Incubation Capital, a fund established by Mr. Nambu from Pasona Group and Mr. Son from Softbank to assist young entrepreneurs, Tomita submitted his business plan. It was approved and he was able to secure funding and a workspace at Pasona's office from which, at last, he was able to establish DIP Corporation.
Finding a ray of hope and overcoming difficulties
1998.1 Signed a content partner contract with IBM Japan
While conducting sales calls to expand the network of terminals, Tomita became aware that IBM Japan was working on a similar service. In a bold move, he determined to approach IBM about a partnership rather than attempt to compete with them directly. However, as a condition IBM stipulated that DIP bear the cost of system development – a heavy burden indeed for a fledgling enterprise with limited capital. While the system was still under development, Tomita and a few employees began to pound the pavement promoting the planned service with such dedication that they literally wore holes in their shoes. The effort paid off and DIP was able to secure some contracts with up-front payment. Upon completing the system, the company focused on the large number of requests for information on dispatch work and launched the first online "staffing job information service" in the job advertising industry, the predecessor to "Hatarako.net".
1999.2 Received award from IBM Japan for the best content of the year
1999.8 Approved for SME startup subsidies from the Japan Small and Medium Enterprise Corporation (now known as the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation Japan)
2000.2 Certified as the first member company of the Marunouchi Frontier
Creating a society in which everyone has access to the same information
2000.10 Official launch of Hatarako.net
At this stage DIP was facing an urgent need for a further injection of capital so Tomita went to Silicon Valley to raise funds. After several months, he returned to Japan empty handed yet even more determined to realize the vision. Looking to expand the reach of the temporary job service to include access for the 80% of households that did not have an Internet connection, DIP opened negotiations with Lawson Inc, which at that time had about 7,500 convenience stores across Japan. Utilizing Lawson’s network of storefront terminals ‘Loppi’ in conjunction with the Internet, DIP was able to take the first step toward creating a society where everyone is able to find the same employment information.
Responding quickly to client and user needs
2001.2 Started to provide information on part-time and contracted jobs
Part-time and contract job information that was added to the temporary employment offerings on Hatarako.net was later moved to an independent site called Baitoru. *
* Baitoru was established in August 2002 to handle the growing need for a site dedicated to part time employment postings. The name Baitoru is a compilation of the words ‘baito’, meaning part-time job and ‘batoru’, the katakana rendering of the English word ‘battle’ – a reference to DIP’s early sponsorship of martial arts events.
2001.9 Submitted patent application regarding method of providing recruiting information
Overcoming the sudden cancellation of the partnership with Yahoo! JAPAN, DIP was listed on the TSE Mothers. With the aim of expansion and increasing corporate value, DIP commenced large scale recruiting of new graduates and made a bold investment in advertising. The strategy proved successful as DIP achieved the top growth rate in the industry.
Gaining a foothold on the track toward becoming a listed company
2001.11 Established partnership with Yahoo Japan Corporation
Efforts begun in 1998 finally came to fruition and DIP began providing part-time, contract and dispatch job information under the ‘jobs’ tab on the top page of Yahoo! JAPAN. By partnering with a major portal site, DIP saw a sharp increase in the number of users and customers, and sales were strong. Yet there was a feeling of uneasiness knowing that it would be impossible to depend indefinitely on traffic driven through Yahoo! JAPAN.
2003.3 Relocated headquarters to Minato, Tokyo
Realizing the necessity of independent business model
2003.12 Received notification of cancellation of partnership with Yahoo Japan Corporation
Three days before the scheduled listing on TSE Mothers, Yahoo! JAPAN abruptly informed DIP of the termination of their partnership. Although becoming a listed company had been a long-cherished goal, given the circumstances, the extremely difficult decision was taken to postpone the IPO. DIP had originally planned to hold a party onboard a yacht to celebrate the IPO. Instead the party was held as a graduation party from Yahoo! JAPAN, and together all the employees renewed their determination to grow the business without further assistance from Yahoo! JAPAN.
Recognizing quickly the importance of mobile networks
2004.4 Achieved featured status for DIP websites on the official sites of the three major mobile phone carriers
2004.5 Increased capital to 977.7 million yen
Turning difficulties into opportunities
2004.5 Listed on TSE Mothers
The decision to postpone the IPO in order to protect existing investors bolstered their confidence, and in an impressive comeback, DIP was able to go ahead with the IPO just five months later.
2004.7 Obtained Privacy Mark
Offering the first search engine in the industry to find and display the internal job postings of various corporate websites
2004.10 Launched Job Engine service
2005.10 Certified for information security standards, BS7799 and ISMS certification standards
Creating a unique corporate culture
2006.4 Started large scale recruiting of new graduates
In the ten years since being established, DIP had become a listed company and developed a sound and independent business model. During this time DIP had placed the focus on staff training, and the development of sales know-how. But at this point management realized the need to add more staff in order to develop and nurture corporate culture. The determination was taken to undertake a large-scale recruiting of new graduates. Although having only approximately 200 employees at the time,198 new graduates were recruited to join the company in 2006. These employees who would inherit the corporate DNA were the most critical assets that would drive the fantastic path of growth on which the company was about to embark.
2006.12 Certified for information security management system, IS027001(JIS Q 27001)
Deploying a comprehensive promotion strategy under the slogan: “GO MAJOR”
2006 Aired first TV commercial
The airing of the first TV commercials featuring Baitoru services marked the next milestone in the aggressive advertising stance adopted by DIP. The company also continued to sponsor sporting events including “TAKE ACTION” - a sports charity program. These efforts greatly improved the awareness of DIP services and strengthened the brand.
DIP overcame its most severe challenge to date facing down the Subprime Crisis through the combined efforts of all employees and turned the difficulty into an opportunity for growth. DIP updated its Corporate Philosophy and started to promote unique initiatives aimed at making a positive contribution to society.
Believing that talent shines through, DIP overcame the difficulties with the combined effort of all employees
2008~9 Faced a most critical challenge in the Subprime Crisis
As one by one our competitors underwent massive restructuring in the aftermath of the Subprime Crisis, DIP continued to hold fast in the belief that the best way to overcome difficulties was through the combined effort of our most important asset, the employees. Cost cutting measures - such as turning off the lights during break times - were implemented, and with great reluctance, DIP also reduced the salaries of managers and transferred some employees. The remaining employees made innovative proposals such as the “Application Guarantee Service” to support clients who were struggling with reductions in recruiting budgets. DIP also broadcast TV commercials to encourage the dispatch agencies and dispatch employee community that had been painted in a negative light due to extreme media coverage of the ‘Haken Mura’* Our market share increased, and through the concerted effort of all of our staff, DIP was able to turn difficulties into opportunities.
* Meaning ‘Dispatch Village’, Haken Mura was a public assistance facility built by MHLW and the Tokyo metropolitan government in Hibiya Park in Tokyo. During this time of crisis approximately 500 unemployed and homeless dispatch workers converged there to receive support.
2009.2 Obtained Employment Agency License
Recognizing the responsibility to make a social contribution and to protect DIP employees during difficult economic times
2009.9 Launched Nurse de Hatarako
Medical and nursing are two fields that are not adversely affected by fluctuations in the economy and are in fact expected to expand as society grows. With this in mind, DIP launched a job change site specializing in nursing based on a management stance of considering social good over mid to long term, while at the same time creating a buffer against possible future large-scale shock to the economy.
Continuing to offer our users the most innovative functions
2010 Added Video Service and Application Barometer features to job postings
DIP on-line recruiting services, created in response to the needs of the job seeker, were completely different from job postings run by competitors that were still mainly paper based at this time. Posting video clips in conjunction with the job ads was highly innovative in the era of the flip-phone, and although the technical hurdles were high, as a pioneer in providing Internet services, DIP was able to apply our unique skill set to the challenge.
Sharing the values that DIP cherishes with all employees
2011.3 Renewed Corporate Philosophy “Here at DIP, we want to tap into our dreams, ideas and passion to create a better society”
Improving working conditions for non-regular employees and making a contribution toward economic revitalization
2013.5 Launched Raise the Salary Campaign
DIP conducted a large - scale campaign to encourage its client companies to raise salaries when recruiting new staff. DIP conducted this campaign under the umbrella of Abenomics, aiming to make sure that the benefit of government policies to break through deflation would extend to part timers and allow all working people to contribute to the revitalization of the Japanese economy. DIP received cooperation from many clients, and our efforts were noted by the four major newspapers in Japan.
2013.7 Certified August 10 as Baitoru Day by the Japan Anniversary Association
As DIP achieved new standing as a public institution with its listing on the TSE First Section, we determined to advance into new business fields and create a better society.
Committing to move forward as an entity that strives to create a better society
2013.12 Listed on the TSE First Section
With the combined effort of all its staff members DIP was able to see off many difficult challenges, including the Subprime Crisis, and reach the long-cherished goal of listing on the TSE First Section. DIP made a new start with a message from President Tomita. ‘I think this is a valuable stage on which we must aspire not only to generate large sales and profits but also to create a better society’.
Covering all types of employment and supporting employment for women
2014.9 Launched Hatarako index
2015.3 Certified Nurse de Hatarako as a Superior Employment Agency
Supporting employees in their efforts to reach the next stage in their careers
2016.5 Rebranded Baitoru shain as Baitoru NEXT
Focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) as a key technology in tackling declining population
2016.6 Launched AINOW, AI specialized media
2016.12 Entered the Gendai Yogo no Kiso Chishiki (Encyclopedia of Contemporary Words) with the selection of ‘Seichi Junrei’ as a top ten U-CAN buzzword for 2016
2017.3 Celebrated 20th anniversary and relocated headquarters to Roppongi Grand Tower
Cultivating new business opportunities in different sectors to create a better society
2017.4 Launched AI Accelerator, an AI specialized incubation program
Rather than embarking on a new business from scratch, DIP fostered partnerships by assisting and developing startup companies through AI.Accelerator, an AI specialized incubation program, and Startup Times, an AI news media. The challenge of developing new businesses and services starts through investments in, and collaborations with, other companies.
2017.6 Established LIMEX Division in partnership with TBM Co, Ltd.
DIP started a partnership with TBM Co, Ltd which produces LIMEX, a paper substitute material made from limestone. Aiming to make a social contribution through environmentally sound products, the partnership has also begun to research biodegradable plastics. DIP America commenced marketing to expand this business to the United States.
2017.11 Acquired shares of BANQ Co., Ltd. and consolidated as a subsidiary
2017.11 Acquired shares of Jolly Good Inc. as affiliates under the equity accounting method
2017.11 Acquired shares of GAUSS, Inc. as affiliates under the equity accounting method
Releasing new and unique features one after another
2018.3 Launched Job Experience / Workplace Visit features
Job Experience/Workplace Visit feature created to allow job seekers to get a firsthand understanding of a company before committing to contracted employment.
2018.7 Launched iScout service
Taking on the challenge of expanding to new solutions
2018.5 Established wholly owned subsidiary Dip America, Inc. in the US
2018.8 Acquired shares of hachidori, Inc. as an affiliate under the equity accounting method
2018.9 Selected as one of Asia’s Best 200 Under A Billion by Forbes Asia for the fourth year
2019.1 Acquired shares of Marketing-Robotics Inc. as an affiliate under the equity accounting method
2019.3 Acquired shares of Trunk Inc. as an affiliate under the equity accounting method
2019.3 Selected as a component of the Nikkei 500 Stock Index
2019.3 Launched AI/RPA business
DIP took the decision to expand beyond our internet-based job advertisement media business and reposition ourselves as a ‘General Trading Company Dealing in Labor Force’. In addition to the traditional human recruiting services we were well known for, we launched a business to develop and provide automated solutions to various labor-related issues such as staffing shortages. We leveraged AI/RPA (Robotic Process Automation) technology to evolve into a ‘Labor force solutions company’ that was able to offer new ways for our clients to meet their challenges and innovate solutions to the societal problems facing Japan today and tomorrow in the labor market.
2019.5 Acquired shares of appArray Inc. as an affiliate under the equity accounting method
2019.8 Selected as a component of the JPX Nikkei Index 400 for the fourth year, and as a component of the PX-Nikkei Mid and Small Cap Index for the first time
Launching new products and services to meet demand for AI/RPA solutions
2019.9 Launched FAST RPA service KOBOT
FASTRPA was a new service which was designed to allow small and medium-sized enterprises – those most affected by the shortage of human labor, yet not able to take advantage of RPA services as needed because of financial and operational burdens - to utilize these tools in their business models. KOBOT was launched under the concept of FAST RPA in that they could be quickly and easily utilized by anyone.
2019.10 Renewed Corporate Logo
As a symbol of our evolution and the expansion of our business domain beyond the existing human resources services into the development and sales of AI/RPA services, DIP was presenting a renewed logo and website.
2020.02 Opened the new office "DigiLeva" in Shibuya, Tokyo
"DigiLeva" (shortened and phonetic form of the words "Digital labor force") opens a new office in Shibuya, Tokyo, as the business base for "Digital labor force" projects.
2020.4 Launch of "Interview KOBOT for Part-Time Jobs
The service "Interview KOBOT for Part-Time Jobs”, which specializes in adjusting interview schedules for part-time jobs in the restaurant and service industries, is now available.
2020.5 Launch of "Interview KOBOT for Career Change," an RPA service specializing in mid-career recruiting
In response to the market demand for simplified recruiting processes, not only for part-time workers, but also for mid-career employees, the company will begin offering "Interview KOBOT for Career Change," which streamlines the hiring of mid-career employees.
2020.6 Began offering “Real Estate KOBOT for Property Acquisition”, a real estate specialized RPA
FAST RPA KOBOT series will expand to offer a new service specializing in the real estate industry, "Real Estate KOBOT for Property Acquisition" which can add new vacancies and update existing property information.
2020.6 Launch of "RPA Consulting Service"
In order to better serve the needs of each customer, we will start providing one-stop support services covering each stage of RPA implementation from product selection to development, operation and maintenance.
2020.7 Began offering "HR KOBOT for Application Support," an RPA for staffing agencies
The HR KOBOT for Sales & Back Office Pack is launched as "HR KOBOT for Application Support" with enhanced and revamped features to address changes in lifestyle and work environment.
2020.8 Launch of "HR KOBOT for Sales & Back Office Pack"
The company will begin offering a package of tools to improve sales efficiency and services to streamline back office operations.
2020.9 Launches KOBOT Platform, an RPA service
The company will begin offering the KOBOT Platform, an RPA product that focuses on delivering usability, cost performance and full support.