EDITORIAL: Ensure That New Job-Hunting Rules for Students Are Not Meaningless

The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), April 2, 2013 | Go to article overview

EDITORIAL: Ensure That New Job-Hunting Rules for Students Are Not Meaningless


Creating an environment for university students in which they can concentrate on their schoolwork will contribute to fostering talented human resources. It is therefore appropriate to shorten the job-hunting period for university students.

The start of job-hunting activities, which are currently banned until December of university students' third year, will be delayed until March of their third year under new rules. Also, the start of screenings by companies, including job interviews, will be delayed until August of their fourth year, four months later than now.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday asked leaders of three economic organizations, including Hiromasa Yonekura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), to observe the new rules. The business leaders agreed to do so.

The new rules are expected to be applied when companies hire graduates now in their second year.

Students skipping classes

Keidanren stipulates job-hunting rules in its charter on ethical recruitment, a gentleman's agreement among member companies. Currently, when the ban on job hunting ends in December, third-year students become busy preparing statements of reasons for wanting to join companies and going to orientation meetings organized by companies for prospective employees. In the process, they often skip classes. It is only natural that universities are highly dissatisfied with the current situation, which is hindering students' studies.

Screenings such as job interviews currently start for fourth-year students in spring. However, many universities abroad offer classes until summer. For fear of starting job hunting too late, many students decide not to study abroad.

If the start of the screening process is delayed until August, university students will be able to focus on their studies longer, and it will be easier for them to study abroad as well. This would also benefit companies seeking internationally oriented human resources.

The fact that Keidanren's charter is nonbinding and has no penalties for violators is problematic. Furthermore, only 830 companies among about 1,300 member companies have endorsed the charter.

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