Dramatic Change on the Recruitment Culture in Japan



Nov 15, 2018


Japan has a unique and some people may say a difficult recruitment culture. This country has a traditional recruitment practice that includes lifetime employment and mass hiring of graduates. What does it mean?

Japan used to use the Japanese Lifetime Employment System. This is where the company hires graduates straight from the University, train and take care of these employees until retirement time. These companies recruit fresh graduates only once in a year and that makes such an intense work for both job seekers and recruiting teams in a short period of time (only for a couple of months a year).

It means, when someone just graduates from the university, they will apply for a job, got accepted and then work on the same company for many years to come until retirement time. This is an old tradition that still stick to this day, and that what makes it unique and different from the rest of the world.

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Back in 1953, the Japanese government created a simple guideline aimed at limiting early recruitment of graduates so it won’t clash with university schedule and exams. The thing is, many firms and companies use this simple guideline as their point of reference and it starts the tradition of the mass hiring of graduates that people can still found up until this day.

But time is changing and the new wave is rising. Keidanren, The Japan Business Federation, has announced that they are going to ditch this traditional recruiting practice right after the graduates of class 2021. Keidanren, along with other parties including universities and the Japanese government will discuss more about the new recruiting guidelines.

That is not the only change that was happening right now in the recruitment culture in Japan! Right now, Japan has pushed through changes to make sure foreign talent will enter Japan’s workforce and help this country from its domestic manpower shortage.

The demand for manpower is increasing but there are not enough people to do the job. For that reason, the Japanese government will update its country’s visa system to make it easier for foreign workers to come and work there. It was stated that this new visa work system will be available in April 2019.

The manpower shortage happens in various business sectors. Up until this day, the business sectors with the high demand of manpower are the restaurant, fisheries industries, nursing, hotel, agriculture, construction, and shipbuilding industries.

There are more and more changes that happen in the Japanese recruitment culture. Ditching the mass hiring process that usually occurs once a year and creating new visa work system is only a small example of that. Other changes are also happening right now, for example, there are more referral based recruitment, industry-focused recruiting, and also direct and ongoing recruiting within the internet sectors. It is obvious that the new wave is rising and sooner or later, the traditional recruitment method in Japan will be a history.

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