Changes in recruitment styles under the pandemic

The effects of the pandemic on the job-hunting prospects of our students

In the academic year of 2020, some students were successful in their job-hunting, and others could not secure a position by the time they finished their degree. Many students who looked for their jobs in airlines, tourism, and hospitality industries had a difficult time in their job search as these industries were severely affected by the pandemic of COVID-19 and stopped recruiting new graduates. This trend may continue for students graduating in 2023 and 2024. 30% of students who are graduating in 2022 have already received job offers before the normal recruiting process starts.

Preparation for job hunting is especially intense from April to June for 3rd year students

From April to June 3rd year students will need to start preparing for job-hunting activities, this includes applying for internships. This year summer Internship opportunities will be more vital and the first step to obtain informal job offers. Many companies want to secure promising and talented candidates as early as possible. 

Students may begin attending company info sessions from March 1st of their 3rd year / Interviews start June 1st of their final year

Kendanren, the leading Japanese business lobby abolished the traditional and predominant recruitment practice of new graduates across Japan which had been in place since 1953. However, the former recruiting schedule still exists under the government’s initiative; the date of the start of seminars and recruitment information is March 1st of 3rd year at university, and interviews start June 1st of final year at university. In 2021, Job Information Websites introduced booking systems for job applications. Students can make a list of companies which they want to apply for in advance, such as MyNavi from mid-January and Career-tasu from early February, and all listed companies were automatically registered on March 1st. More than 20,000 job postings are currently available on these sites. Students apply to around 20 to 30 companies on average. 

Introduction of online recruitment and internship opportunities

 On the other hand, the pandemic of COVID-19 has changed the recruitment process and the situation of job-hunting activities. Medium to large-sized companies have introduced online recruitment and internship opportunities. Students have to get used to new selection methods such as recorded entry sheets and online group discussion and interviews. For example, applicants are asked to send a recorded one-minute self-introduction and a short video of the reason for applying to the company. They found it a practical way to screen the right candidates at early stage. 

Importance of helping students to increase their IT literacy and exam preparedness

To prepare for applying for internship opportunities, it is important for students to increase their IT literacy and prepare for exams such as SPI3 and Tamatebako. The format of these exams changes from company to company. These include Language ability, Figures (math), English and Personality-check. Not all questions will be the same on each exam and some companies may choose to only use some exams. Major trading firms and consultancy firms require higher scores as they have thousands of applications. Every year many of our students fail to achieve the required scores in these exams. It is a good idea to practise answering these questions within a limited time.

Most common questions in job applications and interviews

On job application forms, there are three common questions; what your biggest strengths and weaknesses are; your reason for applying for the job; what the most important activity in your university life is. Rather than applying learnt job-hunting techniques, students are required to think and act proactively. Furthermore, this technique encourages catch up on the news and information, and improve the skills needed to select the right information on their own. 

[This text was provided to us courtesy of 出口裕子 | Hiroko Deguchi of the 青山学院大学 進路・就職センター. The subtitles were supplied by Joseph Dias for emphasis.]

NOTE: This text was prepared in late March 2021 so after that time some points may become irrelevant or out of date.