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Concerns about moving the start date for corporate screening activities to June

  • 2015-12-08 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

(Yomiuri: December 8, 2015 – p. 2)

 

 Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) has released guidelines for job hunting and corporate screening activities for new university graduates who will join companies in the spring of 2017. The guidelines urge companies to take measures to enable students to focus on their studies and measures to alleviate the burden on students. Such measures were incorporated into the guidelines because the government and universities strongly requested Keidanren do so. This is the first time, however, for corporate screening activities, including interviews, to start in June since 1953 when the agreement among companies fixing the official start of recruiting activities was established, and concerns remain about whether moving the date will result in smooth job hunting.

 

 At a press conference on Dec. 7, Keidanren Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara said, “It seems that all three parties (universities, students, and corporations) lost with this year. We expect that moving the start date back by two months (to June) will resolve the issues.”

 

 The new guidelines not only revise the recruiting schedule, they also call for the diversification of recruiting activities. Regarding the timing for corporate screening activities, the guidelines indicate that “it would be desirable for a variety of application opportunities to be offered.” This suggests the expansion of year-round recruiting in the future.

 

 In recent years, universities in Japan have started to offer graduation dates other than March and to replace their two-semester system with a four-quarter system, like universities in the West. Behind this is companies’ desire to actively recruit students from such universities.

 

 At some large trading companies, which are promoting globalization, applicants with study abroad experience make up more than 10% of their new university graduate hires. Regarding moving the start date earlier to June, a recruiting manager at one large trading company said on Dec. 7, “It is the responsibility of companies to create an environment where students can focus on their academic work by diversifying recruiting opportunities.”

 

 Moreover, the new guidelines encourage companies to make greater use of students’ academic histories, including transcripts, in their corporate screening activities. If corporations begin to do this, it should encourage students to study harder.

 

 There still remain concerns among universities and students, however, regarding the “June start” schedule, which is the result of repeated changes in the schedule over the past few years.

 

 The guidelines state that “companies are to set their recruitment schedule taking into full consideration students’ situations and ensuring that the timing does not overlap with students’ classes, seminars, scientific experiments, and teaching practicums.” A person in charge of career counseling at a private university in Tokyo expressed concern, saying, “Companies are busy in June with their general shareholders meetings. Will they have the extra time to consider students’ academic schedules?”

 


 Issues and concerns about job-hunting and countermeasures in the new guidelines

 

Issues and concerns

Measures in the new guidelines

Next year

It is hard for students studying abroad, who return to Japan in June or July, to participate in interviews and other recruiting activities.

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The guidelines encourage companies to create a separate framework for fall recruitment for those studying abroad and to actively publicize such frameworks.

Students cannot take time for their studies as university classes and corporate screenings overlap.

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Interviews and other recruiting activities will be held on Saturdays, Sundays, and on weekday evenings [in addition to weekday daytime].

This year

Some companies did not comply with the start dates prescribed in the guidelines.

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There are no penalties in the guidelines for noncompliance. The Keidanren chairman and the government call upon companies to comply with the prescribed start dates.

There was a substantial increase in the number of students who declined tentative job offers.

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Will foreign affiliated firms and IT companies continue to implement their applicant screenings early?

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