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Move to online recruitment sees students in Japan spend less on job hunting

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. interviewers hold online meetings with students in Tokyo on June 1, 2020, the government-set start day for companies to hold interviews with job-hunting college seniors. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Students in Japan spent an average of about 29,000 yen ($270) on job-hunting activities between March and May, about a third of last year's amount, as the move to online recruitment amid the coronavirus pandemic cut their related transport and accommodation expenses, a survey showed.

    Conducted by recruitment services provider Mynavi Corp., the poll revealed 94.7 percent of job interviews in May were conducted online as companies switched to the virtual world during Japan's state of emergency and the government's stay-at-home requests.

    A total of 2,202 undergraduate and postgraduate students due to graduate in 2021 responded to the Mynavi online survey, carried out from May 25-31.

    They spent an average of 28,930 yen on job hunting during the three months, against 89,415 yen last year, as their outlay on related travel and accommodation tumbled more than 50,000 yen.

    During the nationwide state of emergency in April and May, people were advised to refrain from going out, and nonessential businesses to temporarily close.

    "Both students and recruiters know the advantages of online interviews, so they will continue to be adopted to some extent," a Mynavi official said.

    The official added some companies have suspended recruitment due to the economic fallout from the pandemic, and warned students could face a tough future if they are unable to swiftly secure a job.

    In Japan, a large number of companies annually hire new graduates in bulk, and university students apply for jobs about a year before their scheduled graduation.

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