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Polarized outlook for recruitment by major Japanese companies, Yomiuri poll of 101 companies

  • April 20, 2021
  • , The Japan News , 3:04 p.m.
  • English Press

The recruitment outlook for major Japanese companies for spring 2022 shows bright and dark extremes that vary by industry, according to the results of a recent survey by The Yomiuri Shimbun and Nippon TV network released on Monday.


The survey was conducted through questionnaires sent to 101 companies in late March and early April. Companies in the tourism and transport industries, which have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, are reducing their numbers of recruits across the board, while many companies in the manufacturing and securities industries are increasing their numbers of recruits.


Of the 101 companies, 21 said they will reduce the number of recruits for spring 2022 to fewer than those newly employed in spring 2021. Although this is eight fewer companies than gave such an answer in a similar survey last year, it remained at a high level.


On the other hand, the number of companies that said they will hire more new employees next spring than this spring rose to 14, an increase of five from the previous year, when only nine companies said so.


Domestic and international tourism demand has almost entirely vanished. Under the circumstances, JTB Corp., which hired 253 recruits this spring, said it will not recruit new employees in spring 2022. East Japan Railway Co., Japan Airlines Co. and other transport majors that have lost a significant number of users will drastically reduce their numbers of recruits. Mizuho Financial Group, Inc., which has been in financial difficulty due to prolonged low interest rates, will decrease its number of recruits by 20%.


Meanwhile, increases in recruits are planned by companies with relatively steady business results, such as Daiwa Securities Group Inc. and Sekisui House, Ltd., as well as companies on a recovering trend in business, such as Kyocera Corp. and Nippon Steel Corp. Some companies have decided to restore the number to the same level as before they reduced it for this spring.


Nearly a half of the companies, or 49, said they will recruit approximately the same number of new employees as this spring. That survey result is not much different from the previous survey. For the sake of numerical balance among employees in different age groups, many companies are trying to maintain the number of recruits at a certain level every year even if their business performance is deteriorating. The recruiting situation is not as bad as it was in the recessions following the Lehman Brothers collapse and the bursting of the bubble economy that resulted in a so-called ice age for employment seekers, when many young people in Japan failed to secure full-time employment.


The number of companies that chose the answer undecided/other came to 17, an increase of five from the survey last year. As the novel coronavirus continues to spread in Japan, many companies find it hard to anticipate a clear timeline for their business recovery, which seems to make it difficult for them to decide on the proper number of recruits. If the pandemic is prolonged, the recruiting situation may become more severe.


On the other hand, online recruitment activities have gained a foothold. About 70% of the companies said they would place importance on online recruitment methods, including those that combine in-person recruitment interviews. As part of the work style reform, about 90% of the companies said they will promote their use of telecommuting to job-seeking students.

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