Human Resources Development, Fair Evaluation and Treatment

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Human Resource Development Policy

Making investments in human resources is essential to implement our mid- and long-term strategies, and we will strengthen the foundation to expand our business through the development of global and frontier human resources while pursuing customer value.

To enhance corporate value in the long run, we need to ensure that employees clearly understand their role and make efforts to develop their capabilities. We expect our employees to show initiative with respect to refining their skills, and at the same time we encourage them to effectively leverage their respective strengths in the global business arena as part of our team.

Moreover, exceptional management ability to harness combined group capabilities plays a crucial role in turning innovative ideas (innovation) into products and delivering them to the market.

Therefore, Advantest strives to develop human resources based on the three following policies in our Human Resource Development Policy.

We focus our efforts on developing an adventurous spirit among our workers, providing our workers with a cosmopolitan outlook, and upgrading management skills as the key points for producing a professional workforce that is capable of navigating the global business environment, and we actively support employees who work consistently to refine their skills, acquire greater expertise, and broaden their knowledge.

Development of globally competitive professionals

Approach to Sustainability Target for Training and Development

To continue making contributions to our customers and society and to enhance corporate value, we need to ensure that employees clearly understand their roles and make an effort to develop their capabilities so that they can maintain their competitiveness. We recognize training and development as an important CSR theme based on these needs.

Supervising division Human Resource Department
KPI Average number of hours of training per employee per year
FY2019 target To enhance training reflected in the character of every employee who joins the company each year and the policies of society as a way to cultivate the fundamental skills of junior employees.
Results achieved in fiscal 2019 11.5 hours (training hours: 32,889 hours)
Boundary Advantest Corporation (non-consolidated) in Japan
Relevant policies Human Resource Development Policy
Relevant commitments -
Responsible department/division Human Resource Department
Management resources Education training budget for human resource supervisors: 100 million yen; Seven staff (three from Human Resource Department and four from Advantest Academy)
Relevant complaint processing policy Handled based on surveys conducted after training is held
Assessment

Education and Training System and Implementation Status

Advantest has prepared a training program that anyone can participate in, and where a wide range of topics can be learned, from basic knowledge up to the latest technology trends. In addition, we will continue to make improvements to adapt the training program to the changing environment, and to provide industry-leading superior human resource training through this program, in cooperation with Advantest Academy, which specializes in employee education.

To adapt to the business environment that is drastically changing due to globalization, we are strengthening the human resources development training system in line with the above-mentioned human resources development policy. To make this training even more effective, we are forging and implementing new programs, including the expansion of our global training program. New programs will be delivered by specialists to make them more effective, and we will selectively use in-house or external lecturers depending on the program content.

At each Group company, we will also provide a wide range of education to increase the skills and expertise of individuals based on the needs in each country and region in addition to education through day-to-day operations.

For example, Advantest (China) Co., Ltd. regularly holds events under the name of Training Day. Several seminars based on themes are provided by internal instructors. These seminars create a culture of mutual learning through both instructor assessment and a commendation system. We aim to develop a system that boosts the level of the entire Advantest Group by sharing information on these efforts between Group companies.

Main education system

At the Advantest Corporation (non-consolidated) in fiscal 2019, a total of 2,851 employees received training of some kind, and the average number of training hours per employees was 11.5 hours for 33,897 hours of total lesson time.

Training category Target Number of trainees Lesson time (hours)
Business Training (human resource management, etc.) Managers, General employees 897 7,755H
Technical Training (technology) Managers, General employees 1,125 4,719H
e-learning (human resource management, etc.) Managers 24 1,200H
New Employee Training (by job level) General employees 30 14,066H
English (global) Managers, General employees 245 3,026H
TOEIC (global) Managers, General employees 408 816H
External Seminars (business skills, etc.) Managers, General employees 122 1,307H
Total   2,851 32,889H

* Data range for tabulation: Advantest Corporation (non-consolidated) data

* Figure marked with the symbol is assured by KPMG AZSA Sustainability Co., Ltd.

Development of Engineers

We place particular emphasis on educating engineers, with the aim of ensuring that our products continue to underpin leading-edge technologies.

We have created a training program accessible to every employee of the Group and covering a wide range of subjects, from basic knowledge to the latest technologies.

In fiscal 2019, approximately 1,125 engineers participated in the various technology seminars and technical training that were provided.
The program now includes seminars hosted by Advantest's senior engineers. For example, one of the seminars featured a lecture on design quality by an employee in charge of design, thereby shedding light on the basic technologies required to maintain and improve product quality based on the speaker's first-hand experiences. Courses are held with invited instructors based on requests from engineers or management-level personnel, so as to support them in adapting to a rapidly-changing business environment.

The program acts as a means of imparting not only technical knowledge but also Advantest's corporate DNA to future generations.

Software-Related Education

We have been conducting software engineering forums six times a year for the past 20 years. In these forums, cutting-edge information on topics such as agile, deep learning, and continuous integration (CI) development methods is provided by internal and external instructors. In October 2019, Advantest Engineering Friday was established as a place where employees can share their findings with each other on a continuous basis. Multiple subcommittees have been started from here, and they regularly meet up on Friday afternoons as a separate community from the organization where they can learn from each other.

Other Courses on Advanced Technologies

Approximately ten times a year, we invite external instructors and provide courses on the latest technological trends such as advanced memory devices and 5G, as well as courses in which experienced instructors share their breakthroughs.

In fiscal 2019, we developed an environment that enables our employees to participate in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on AI on a trial basis. Forty-two engineers participated in the deep learning and machine learning courses provided by Coursera, on which courses are provided by Stanford University and other renowned universities and organizations, and 37 of those employees have acquired certificates. In order to solve problems in these courses, programming and English skills are required. Therefore, the participants are working on the courses while helping each other, which contributes to improving the levels of engineers.

We are planning to increase the number of participants in such courses inside the company, including new employees, as well as to establish an environment that supports participants so that they can utilize the content that they have learned.

In addition to in-company training, we are also providing support for on-campus courses, so as to support the motivation of employees who have taken the initiative in continuing to pursue their education.

New Employee Education and Training

Advantest's training program for new employees starts with one month of basic business training covering the basics of working life. After that, the new recruits are put into one of two occupation-specific training regimes, depending on whether they have been hired for engineering or administrative job assignments.

Engineering employees first learn the basics of design, and then go on to learn the necessary skills as Advantest engineers through basic technology training to obtain the basic knowledge required; hardware training, software training and device test training to experience basic development tasks; and manufacturing training to learn the basics of manufacturing. New administrative employees undergo basic training for administrative operations to learn the basics of manufacturing and brush up on their administrative skills, while learning the contents of the Group's business and how the divisions are interrelated.

We review the training programs each year to ensure that they reflect the characteristics of new employees and the policies of the company as a way to cultivate the basic skills of junior employees. In fiscal 2019, we added team building training, management analysis training, logical thinking training, and English writing training to the program.

By having new employees experience various types of training in this way, we are able to ensure that they will clearly understand their own roles, and will recognize the importance of teamwork with other divisions. Our training period for new recruits acts as a key formative phase in their professional development as Advantest employees.

New employees training

Global Human Resource System

Advantest treats its employees appropriately by engaging in initiatives based on cultures and customs that are unique to each country in the common global system, in order to develop global and frontier human resources.
Regular Global HR Meetings are held to share the status and efforts in each country and to create a place for debates about solving personnel issues shared throughout the Group.
In fiscal 2019, a face-to-face Global HR Meeting was held once in Japan and once in Germany, and human resource managers from each group company announced the endeavors and challenges of each country. We have also deepened exchanges through discussions about further globalization such as the introduction of Group-wide human resource policies as well as new systems.

Fair Evaluation and Treatment

We evaluate and develop the career of the employees by reflecting the goals set at the beginning of the period, communicating with superiors during the period as necessary, and conducting an evaluation interview at the end of the year. This interview is carried out for regular employees and some contract and temporary staff.

Advantest Resource Management System (ARMS)

At present, our overseas sales ratio is over 90%, and among our 5,503 employees, more than 53% (2,891) are in overseas affiliated companies, making Advantest a global company. Given this structure, we introduced the Advantest Resource Management System (ARMS), a unified human resources system, in April 2012. ARMS promotes cooperation among multiple bases around the world, as well as smooth personnel exchanges and transfers.

Global human resource system

Under ARMS, the unique job classification systems decided on by Group companies in each country have been replaced by a new 10-level job system that is common to all. In this system, job levels 1 to 6 are for general employees, while levels 7 to 10 are for management positions. There are two management paths in this system: one for "people managers," who manage budgets and deal with staff merit and labor issues, and one for "functional managers," who tend to business and ensure that operations are carried out properly. Line managers with subordinates are assigned to the first path, and all other specialists are assigned to the second. With these two lines for advancement, we ensure that our diverse personnel have opportunities to develop as managers.

We also apply common global rules to our pay scale, including basic pay and bonuses. Previously, for example, bonus payments in each country mainly reflected the performance of Advantest's subsidiary or affiliate in that country, but under the new system, bonus payments reflect the Company's consolidated earnings. Starting in fiscal 2012, we have applied a new system of evaluating employee performance. No matter where Advantest employees work, they can now be evaluated and rewarded according to the new common global system, with every employee receiving an evaluation/cultivation interview at least once a year.

Seven years have passed since we introduced our global human resources system, during which time efforts have been made to increase the number of employees seconded from Japan to overseas postings and the number of personnel exchanges with overseas affiliates; this system has contributed to invigorating the organization and improving corporate performance.

Global job level and title

Meanwhile, the new human resources framework offers labor management flexibility in setting up working hours, telecommuting arrangements and other job specifics, so that managers can more aptly address such matters directly in accordance with the laws and regulations of their respective nations and in line with local employment practices.

Starting from fiscal 2014, we have established a global personnel database, which is effectively utilized for project team composition and smooth personnel changes on a global scale. Beginning in fiscal 2015, we began using a new global personnel evaluation system to replace the existing personnel evaluations. In the future, we will be setting up human resource development schemes with a worldwide reach, promoting employee diversity through active efforts to hire and promote employees with different backgrounds, and taking decisive steps toward forging an employee recruitment strategy that is in accordance with the business strategies of our operations in diverse countries.

In the spirit of establishing ourselves as a truly global company going forward, Advantest will continue to work hard to create a professional business environment where every member of a diverse Advantest Group workforce can make the most of his or her individual capabilities.

Pension system

Domestically, Advantest has introduced a point system to determine retirement benefits. In addition, Advantest has introduced a fund-type defined benefit corporate pension system as part of the retirement benefit system, where the retirement benefit can be received as pension under certain conditions.
In fiscal 2018, Advantest incorporated a defined contribution corporate pension system as part of its defined benefit corporate pension system and started the defined contribution corporate pension system in addition to the point-based retirement benefit system.
As a result, retirement benefits will be divided into a retirement lump sum paid by the Company, the benefit from the fund which can be paid out as pension according to the years of service and the defined contribution.