Job recruitment timeline becoming a mere formality

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. officials in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, interview students online on Wednesday.

Wednesday marked the official beginning of company job interviews and other selection procedures for university students who are scheduled to graduate next spring, but such guidelines are becoming a mere formality.

The selection process has been accelerated amid intensified competition to secure employees, as companies that have recovered from the spread of the novel coronavirus have increased their hiring compared to the previous year. Despite the government’s request that companies refrain from interviewing candidates before June 1, one survey shows more than 60% of students have already received job offers.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. started online interviews at its head office in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on Wednesday. Aiming to hire approximately 200 people for career-track positions, the company is scheduled to conduct its first, second and third round of interviews online, and hold the final interviews in person.

One interviewer asked students about their reasons for applying, through such questions as “What kind of challenges do you want to take on at an insurance company?”

All Nippon Airways Co. also began interviews on Wednesday, having resumed hiring for career-track positions for the first time in three years. The interviews were conducted online, with one interviewer asking things like, “What led you to apply for a position in the airline industry, which is struggling [amid the spread of the coronavirus]?”

Under the recruitment guidelines that the government asks companies to follow, activities such as organizing sessions to brief students about a company are supposed to start from March 1, selection procedures such as job interviews should start from June 1, and job offers can begin to be made from Oct. 1.

However, according to a Recruit Holdings Co. survey, 65.4% of university students scheduled to graduate in the spring of 2023 already had job offers as of May 15, up 6.2 percentage points from the same date the previous year.

This year’s rate was the highest since the percentage of job offers as of May 15 began to be checked in 2020.