Careful selections must be made to prevent mismatches

Job hunting by university students graduating next spring is in full swing. Although an increasing number of companies are conducting job interviews online, it is important to ensure that the selection process is conducted carefully so that there are no gaps in understanding between students and employers.

Under the recruitment rules that the government requests companies to follow, recruitment activities such as organizing sessions to brief corporate information to students are allowed to start from March 1, selection processes such as job interviews should start from June 1, and job offers can begin to be made from Oct. 1.

In reality, however, the rules have become a mere formality, and companies have started recruiting earlier and earlier every year. According to a private sector survey, the percentage of students who had received job offers from companies as of March 1 exceeded 20%, a record high.

Many companies are increasing the number of hires in anticipation of the post-pandemic situation, with the airline and tourism industries, which had been experiencing a drop in business, also resuming the hiring of graduating college students.

Compared to the period through last year when students were unable to conduct job searches in the way they hoped due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be said that students now have more opportunities.

Virtual company information sessions and online job interviews have taken root. Companies are able to gather large numbers of students without having to prepare a large venue, and students are able to have job interviews with companies located far away, which is said to be beneficial for both parties.

However, there are concerns that this may increase the number of mismatches in which companies and students regret that “it wasn’t supposed to be like this” after students are hired.

Under such virtual processes, it is difficult for students to grasp the corporate culture and workplace atmosphere. Some corporate recruiters say that it is more difficult to evaluate students than when meeting them in person because recruiters cannot fully grasp their personality.

Mismatches are likely to lead to rejections of job offers and resignations early on after starting a job. Companies need to increase opportunities for direct contact with students as much as possible, by partly conducting in-person job interviews.

Most of the students currently looking for jobs have spent much of their university life under the COVID-19 pandemic. Many students may not have had the chance to study abroad or satisfactorily participated in club activities and may be troubled with what to write in their job application documents.

What is important for students in job hunting is to reevaluate what they want to do and clearly convey that intention and enthusiasm to companies.

It is said that cheating such as having someone else take the written examinations and aptitude tests is rampant through online processes. Even if a student earns a job offer through dishonest means, it does not necessarily mean that the company is the right fit for the student.

It is hoped that students will carefully assess whether there are any discrepancies between the job they are aiming for and the business activities of the company, and choose employment with which they can be satisfied.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 27, 2022)