Simultaneous recruiting of new graduates

Simultaneous recruiting of new graduates or periodic recruiting of new graduates (新卒一括採用 Shinsotsu-ikkatsu-saiyō) is the custom that companies hire new graduates all at once and employ them. This custom was unique to Japan and South Korea. A 2010 age discrimination law enforced in South Korea bans employers from discriminating against job-seekers who have not recently graduated from high school or university.[1] Japan is now the only country practising this custom.

Company Information Session in Japan 001
A company information session for new graduates in Japan. Japanese major companies tend to hold sessions only for students in particular prestigious universities.
Company Information Session in Japan 002
A company information session for new graduates in Japan.

Hiring practices

In Japan, entry-level jobs are classified further into three categories, that is, entry-level positions for students who have not graduated from high school or university yet, entry-level positions for job-seekers who have recently graduated and entry-level positions for those who have less than 3 years' work experience, however, very few employers post jobs for entry-level positions for job-seekers who have recently graduated. That is why job-seekers who have recently graduated want to apply for entry-level positions for students who have not graduated from high school or university yet.

In Japan, most students hunt for jobs before graduation from university or high school, seeking "informal offers of employment" (内々定 nainaitei) one year before graduation, which will hopefully lead to "formal offer of employment" (内定 naitei) six months later, securing them a promise of employment by the time they graduate. Japanese university students generally begin job hunting all at once in their third year.

The government permits companies to begin the selection process and give out informal offers beginning April 1, at the start of the fourth year. These jobs are mainly set to begin on April 1 of the following year. Due to this process, attaining a good position as a regular employee at any other time of year, or any later in life, is extremely difficult.

Since companies prefer to hire new graduates, students who are unsuccessful in attaining a job offer upon graduating often opt to stay in school for another year. According to a survey conducted by Mynavi, nearly 80% of job-seekers who had recently graduated from university had difficulty applying for entry-level positions in Japan.[2] This is in contrast to other countries, where companies do not generally discriminate against those who have recently graduated.

By contrast, potential employees in Japan are largely judged by their educational background. The prestige of the university and high school that a student attends has a marked effect on their ability to find similarly sought-after jobs as adults.

Large companies in particular (e.g. those listed in Nikkei 225), prefer to hire new graduates of prestigious universities "in bulk" to replace retiring workers and groom in-house talent, and the numbers can vary widely from year to year. Employers tend to hire a group of people in a mechanical fashion every year. One example is Toyota; the company hired over 1,500 new graduates in 2010, but this number was barely half of the number employed the year before, and Toyota announced its intention to cut new hires in 2011 further down to 1,200. The company may offer more jobs later on, but those who missed out on the current round of hiring will have a slim chance of gaining a position because they will be overshadowed by fresh graduates.

This practice leaves thousands of young Japanese sidelined in extended studies, part-time jobs, or on unemployment benefits instead of fully participating in the domestic economy and contributes to producing a great number of freeters and neets in Japan.

According to the nonprofit group Lifelink's survey conducted in July, 2013, one in five Japanese college students thought about committing suicide during the job-hunting process.


This custom has been seen to cause many social problems in modern Japan. Students who do not reach a decision about their employment before graduating from university often face great hardships searching for a job after the fact, as the majority of Japanese companies prefer to hire students scheduled to graduate in the spring. In recent years, an increasing number of university seniors looking for jobs have chosen to repeat a year to avoid being placed in the "previous graduate" category by companies. Under the current system, Japanese companies penalize students who study overseas or have already graduated.

Reiko Kosugi, a research director at the Japan Institute for Labor Policy and Training, criticized this process in a 2006 essay in The Asia-Pacific Journal, saying, "If business is in a slump at the point of one's graduation and he cannot get a job, this custom produces inequality of opportunity, and people in this age bracket tend to remain unemployed for a long time."[3] Nagoya University professor Mitsuru Wakabayashi has stated, "If this custom is joined to permanent employment, it produces closed markets of employment, where outplacement is hard, and the employees tend to obey any and all unreasonable demands made by their companies so as not to be fired.".[4]

Yuki Honda, a professor at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Education, has said "Whether they get a job when they graduate decides their whole life". Ken Mogi, a Japanese brain scientist, points out that limiting job opportunities would lead to a human rights issue and that Japanese companies cannot secure non-traditional competent people in the current job hunting system.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Fisher Phillips Korean Labor and Employment Law: Cross Border Employer Blog".
  2. ^ "【大学と就職】8割の企業が採用しない? 既卒の就職活動の厳しい実態 - リセマム".
  3. ^ Youth Employment in Japan’s Economic Recovery:'Freeters' and 'NEETs' The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 11 May 2006
  4. ^ Career Development under the Lifetime Employment System of Japanese Organizations (PDF) Bulletin of the Faculty of Education, Nagoya University, 1988, Vol. 35, 1–20
  5. ^ "茂木健一郎氏が日本の新卒一括採用に「人権問題」と批判 - ライブドアニュース".

External links

Banishment room

A banishment room (also known as a chasing-out-room and a boredom room) is a modern employee exit management strategy whereby employees are transferred to another department where they are assigned meaningless work until they become disheartened enough to quit. Since the resignation is voluntary, the employee would not be eligible for certain benefits. The legality and ethicality of the practice is questionable and may be construed as constructive dismissal in some regions.

The practice, which is not officially acknowledged, is common in Japan which has strong labor laws and a tradition of permanent employment.

Career break

A career break is a period of time out from employment. Traditionally, this is for women to raise children, but it is sometimes used for people taking time out of their career for personal development and/or professional development.

Civil conscription

Civil conscription is conscription used for forcing people to work in non-military projects.

Civil conscription is used by various governments around the world, among them Greece, where it has been used numerous times and it is called πολιτική επιστράτευση (politiki epistratevsi, "political mobilisation"). Temporary conscription for payment, typically of taxes, is known as corvée.

Cover letter

A cover letter, covering letter, motivation letter, motivational letter or a letter of motivation is a letter of introduction attached to, or accompanying another document such as a résumé or curriculum vitae.

Entry-level job

An entry-level job is a job that is normally designed or designated for recent graduates of a given discipline and typically does not require prior experience in the field or profession. These roles may require some on-site training. Many entry-level jobs are part-time and do not include employee benefits. Recent graduates from high school or college usually take entry-level positions. Entry-level jobs targeted at college graduates often offer a higher salary than those targeted at high school graduates. These positions are more likely to require specific skills, knowledge, or experience. Most entry-level jobs offered to college graduates are full-time permanent positions and some offer more extensive graduate training programs. While entry-level jobs traditionally required no experience, the Great Recession produced a surplus of college graduates on the job market and eliminated many entry level positions.

Gap year

A gap year, also known as a sabbatical year, is typically a year-long break before or after college/university. During the gap year a student normally travels or maintains some type of regular work. Students who take gap years typically undergo a growth in maturity and are better prepared to benefit from higher education or decide the form of education they wish to pursue. Gap years usually occur between high school and university or after graduating from undergraduate study and before entry into graduate school. These students might take advanced courses in math or language studies, learn a trade, study art, volunteer, travel, take internships, play sports, or get involved in cultural exchanges. Studies indicate that students who take a gap year perform better academically than those who do not. Many parents worry their students will defer continuation of their education.

Income bracket

Income bracket is the bandwidth from a basic wage towards all possible salary components and is used to give employees a career perspective and to give the employer the possibility to reward achievements.

In governmental terms, entire populations are divided into income brackets. These brackets are used to categorize demographic data as well as determine levels of taxation and benefits.

Japanese work environment

Many both in and outside Japan share an image of the Japanese work environment that is based on a "simultaneous recruiting of new graduates" (新卒一括採用, Shinsotsu-Ikkatsu-Saiyō) and "lifetime-employment" (終身雇用, Shūshin-Koyō) model used by large companies as well as a reputation of long work-hours and strong devotion to one's company. This environment is said to reflect economic conditions beginning in the 1920s, when major corporations competing in the international marketplace began to accrue the same prestige that had traditionally been ascribed to the daimyō–retainer relationship of feudal Japan or government service in the Meiji Restoration.

Job fair

A job fair, also referred commonly as a career fair or career expo, is an event in which employers, recruiters, and schools give information to potential employees. Job seekers attend these while trying to make a good impression to potential coworkers by speaking face-to-face with one another, filling out résumés, and asking questions in attempt to get a good feel on the work needed. Likewise, online job fairs are held, giving job seekers another way to get in contact with probable employers using the internet.

Job hunting

Job hunting, job seeking, or job searching is the act of looking for employment, due to unemployment, underemployment, discontent with a current position, or a desire for a better position. The immediate goal of job seeking is usually to obtain a job interview with an employer which may lead to getting hired. The job hunter or seeker typically first looks for job vacancies or employment opportunities.

List of countries by employment rate

This is a list of countries by employment rate, this being the proportion of employed adults in the working age. The definition of "working age" varies: Many sources, including the OECD, use 15–64 years old, but the Office for National Statistics of the United Kingdom uses 16–64 years old and EUROSTAT uses 20–64 years old.

Marriage leave

Marriage leave is the legal right to enjoy leave of absence by an employee due to him or her getting married without loss of wages. Irish civil servants are entitled 5 days. In Malta, every employee is entitled 2 days marriage leave.

National average salary

The National Average Salary (or the National Average Wage) is the mean salary for the working population of a nation. It is calculated by summing all the annual salaries of all persons in work and dividing the total by the number of workers. It is not the same as the Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, which is calculated by dividing the GDP by the total population of a country, including the unemployed and those not in the workforce (e.g. retired people, children, students, etc.).

No call, no show

A no call, no show is an American term for absence from the workforce without notifying the employer. This form of absence is generally deemed inconsiderate and unprofessional.

Permanent employment

Permanent employees, regular employees or the directly employed, work for an employer and are paid directly by that employer. Permanent (regular) employees do not have a predetermined end date to employment. In addition to their wages, they often receive benefits like subsidized health care, paid vacations, holidays, sick time, or contributions to a 401(k) retirement plan. Permanent employees are often eligible to switch job positions within their companies. Even when employment is "at will", permanent employees of large companies are generally protected from abrupt job termination by severance policies, like advance notice in case of layoffs, or formal discipline procedures. They may be eligible to join a union, and may enjoy both social and financial benefits of their employment.

With exception of South Korea where extensive laws and regulations make firing of permanent employees nearly impossible, rarely does "permanent employment" mean employment of an individual that is guaranteed throughout the employee's working life. In the private sector, with the notable exception of academic tenure, such jobs are rare; permanent employment is far more common in the public sector, where it is often used to strengthen civil service independence from politicians.

Probation (workplace)

In a workplace setting, probation (or probationary period) is a status given to new employees of a company or business or new members of organizations, such churches, associations, clubs or orders. It is widely termed as the Probation Period of an employee. This status allows a supervisor or other company manager to evaluate closely the progress and skills of the newly hired worker, determine appropriate assignments, and monitor other aspects of the employee such as honesty, reliability, and interactions with co-workers, supervisors or customers.

A probationary period varies widely depending on the business, but can last anywhere from 30 days to several years. In cases of several years, probationary levels may change as time goes on. If the new employee shows promise and does well during the probationary time, they are usually removed from probationary status, and may be given a raise or promotion as well (in addition to other privileges, as defined by the business). Probation is usually defined in a company's employee handbook, which is given to workers when they first begin a job.

The probationary period also allows an employer to terminate an employee who is not doing well at their job or is otherwise deemed not suitable for a particular position or any position. Whether or not this empowers employers to abuse their employees by, without warning, terminating their contract before the probation period has ended is open for debate. To avoid problems arising from the termination of a new employee, many companies are waiving the probationary period entirely, and instead conducting multiple interviews of the candidate, under a variety of conditions – before making the decision to hire.

The placement of an employee on probationary status is usually at the discretion of their manager.


A sabbatical (from Hebrew: shabbat (שבת) (i.e., Sabbath), in Latin: sabbaticus, in Greek: sabbatikos (σαββατικός)) is a rest or break from work.

Shūshin koyō

Shūshin koyō (終身雇用) is the term for permanent employment in Japan. It was extremely common in major Japanese companies beginning with the first economic successes in the 1920s through the Japanese post-war economic miracle until after the bursting of the Japanese asset price bubble, the Lost Decade and the following economic reforms.

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