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Nearly 70% of top companies feel recruitment timetable necessary as methods diversify


TOKYO -- Sixty-nine percent of major businesses covered in a recent Mainichi Shimbun poll say rules for the timing of the start of recruiting are needed.

However, the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), a powerful business lobby, announced in October 2018 it would abolish its recruitment guidelines, which had covered hiring up to spring 2020. The results of the survey, complied on Jan. 3, indicate that deep-rooted demand for such guidelines among member companies continues.

Under Keidanren's current timetable, member companies can begin recruitment seminars and other explanatory sessions in March for third-year university students. Job interviews and other selection activities can start in June for students in their fourth year. As some universities and students have expressed a strong desire to stick to the current framework, the government has decided to keep the set dates after 2021.

Out of the 85 leading companies that said recruitment rules were desirable, insurance giant Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. responded that current guidelines should be kept to "prevent confusion among students and businesses to minimize their burden." Telecommunications firm KDDI Corp. replied that "students can engage in job hunting activities without hesitation, and businesses can efficiently make contact with students" under a set timeline. The two companies suggested the framework benefited both students and businesses.

On the other hand, 26 companies or 21 percent said such timetables were unnecessary. Nissan Motor Co. described the current system as "inappropriate for the actual conditions of the diversifying learning styles of students, such as studying abroad." Teijin Ltd., a major apparel maker, explained it supported Keidanren's decision "to eliminate the sense of unfairness between (member companies) and businesses that are not members of Keidanren, including foreign firms."

As for new graduate recruitment methods, 41 companies or 33 percent said they will keep hiring students simultaneously -- the most popular option. Security services firm Secom Co. stated that the practice "is efficient for both businesses and students," echoing many other companies.

Meanwhile, 29 companies or 24 percent said they are mulling a year-round recruitment system that does not limit the timing of employment. East Japan Railways Co. replied that "it's necessary to secure diverse human resources as businesses are becoming globalized and digitalized." Food giant Ajinomoto Co. also explained that "it's becoming increasingly difficult to secure diverse human resources just by simultaneous recruiting of new graduates." There were many similar responses. Diversification of recruitment methods can be expected, as there were 19 companies or 15 percent that said they have already implemented a year-round recruitment system.

(Japanese original by Mikako Yokoyama, Business News Department)

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