Fierce competition among Japanese organizations seeking to hire new graduates has reportedly given rise to the use of unprofessional practices among some in a desperate bid to retain students who made informal commitments earlier and began to waver later.
An increase in demand for goods and services has led to a resurgence in recruitment after witnessing a decline during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, Japan’s long-standing demographic issues have increased labor market competition.
Many companies have engaged potential employees in hopes of snagging them ahead of their competitors even before the official interviews began on June 1 for job applicants from upcoming spring graduates and others.
What makes it problematic is the aftermath, where the companies are forcefully looking to retain these recruits through legally nonbinding agreements and thereafter censuring them to the point of badgering in case they show an intent to back out.
For instance, a 21-year-old student, soon to graduate from a private university in Tokyo, who declined to join a major retail company, was pressed for answers by the recruitment officer.
The student has submitted a written pledge in March at the retailer’s request to commit to the company, however, since she received an offer she preferred, she informed the retailer about her intent to back out. After which the recruitment officer harangued her for nearly half an hour over her commitment to the company.
According to a survey conducted by Cabinet Office, in March around 11.6% of graduates faced a similar experience with firms that offered them jobs based above 2.6% points from the previous year.
While the increment reflects that companies are confronting challenges while competing to secure new employees, it also depicts a sense of desperation given their eagerness to lead recruits into joining, possibly corrupting their employer-employee relationship before even beginning.
Disco Inc., an employment information service company, from their survey conducted in May, has stated that 42.2% of companies were experiencing challenges or extreme difficulties in recruiting new employees.
The bottom line suggests that companies are contesting for the recruitment of fresh university graduates from a limited range of candidates.
Even though, Japan’s law to obligate employee harassment and empower the women workforce was initiated in June 2020, it falls short of protecting students from encountering such exposures by only applying appropriate countermeasures to their problems.