Job-hunting season begins for university students in Japan

The job-hunting season has begun for university students in Japan who are set to graduate next year. Companies began offering job briefings to prospective graduates on Wednesday, in line with government rules.

In Tokyo, students attended a job fair hosted by the employment data site Mynavi Corporation. Some 200 companies took part in the event.

A major non-life insurance firm explained features of its flexible work system, such as allowing employees to simultaneously take on jobs in multiple sections.

In a survey by Mynavi last month, 27.7 percent of responding companies across Japan said they planned to hire more students of humanities and social sciences who will graduate next March, up more than 8 percentage points from the previous year, while 29.8 percent said they planned to hire more science graduates, up nearly 7 percentage points.

A female student at the job fair said she is making a decision that will set the course of her life, so she wanted to talk to recruiting officers and convince herself.

Mynavi's Takahashi Makoto said companies seem eager to respond sincerely to students, because they are of a generation that has been making exchanges online. He's advising students to practice interviewing for jobs beforehand.

Companies will start selecting potential recruits in June.

Meanwhile, more firms are opting to scout out new recruits rather than wait for students to come to them.

Job-hunting university and technical college students register their profiles and career visions on scouting-type employment sites.

Companies look at the registries, and directly contact students they are interested in.

Nearly 30 percent of companies use the system, according to a private-sector survey.

One major site, OfferBox, is used by more than 13,000 companies. The figure reportedly grew by more than 5,600 over the past two years.

The site is also popular among students who have become familiar with online job hunting during the coronavirus pandemic. Some 133,000 prospective graduates were registered as of the end of January.

More companies are also raising new recruits' starting wages to secure young personnel.

Fast Retailing, which operates the UNIQLO clothing chain and other brands, is raising its starting monthly salary from 255,000 yen, or about 1,880 dollars, to 300,000 yen, or about 2,200 dollars, from March this year.

Firms in various industries, such as All Nippon Airways, East Japan Railway and telecom giant NTT, have made similar decisions.