Broadly speaking, in Japan there are two approaches to recruitment: new graduate recruitment and mid-career recruitment. New graduate recruitment is used by companies which need to secure new personnel on a regular basis. The timing of and schedule for this type of recruitment is fixed; exceptions aside, new graduate recruits will start at companies in April.
Mid-career recruitment is carried out irregularly, in accordance with changes in the business environment; human resources are acquired on an ‘as needed’ basis. As such, in many cases specific professional experience is required and, consequently, candidates are expected to complete and submit resumes detailing their existing professional experience. In some cases, candidates are expected to hold specific qualifications.
The periodic recruitment of new graduates is an approach unique to Japan. Carried out during the same period each year, it targets only those students who will be recent graduates by the time their employment begins, with successful candidates taking up positions simultaneously upon graduation. Recruitment tests are conducted while the candidates are still students, and successful candidates are given informal job offers (naitei) which represent the conditional right to join the company. This type of recruitment does not look at specific professional experience, and is characterised instead by its focus on a recruit’s potential. In recent years, there has been a movement towards ‘secondary new graduate recruitment’ (daini shinsotsu), which takes the same approach as new graduate recruitment but instead targets candidates who have graduated from university within the past three years,
It is also of note that, in this type of recruitment, the jobs offered are often described as ‘general staff role’. The culture here is to train new employees as management candidates by having them build experience in a variety of departments and roles.
The periodic recruitment of new graduates is a distinctive feature of job-hunting in Japan. Although all JET participants are by definition already working, in some cases it will be possible to apply for new graduate jobs if fewer than three years have passed since graduation from university. When researching employment opportunities, more and more job-seekers are using new graduate or mid-career recruitment websites. On these websites, it is possible to review company profiles, look at application requirements, and even submit applicantions. These sites can be a great resource for JET participants seeking to find out more about any companies of interest.
*Joint Information Sessions / Briefings
Joint Information Sessions
These are events attended by multiple companies, across various industries and for various positions, with the aim of providing job seekers with information about various companies. In many cases, these sessions are run by companies operating new graduate recruitment or career change websites, and the sessions are therefore promoted through such websites. In most cases, there is no need for attendees to prepare or submit resumes and no interviews are carried out. Rather, they are opportunities to find out details about available positions, as well as to learn more about the culture of each company. The main objectives of such events are to express initial interest and exchange information. The JET Programme Career Fairs run by CLAIR fall under this category. That being said, please be aware that in some cases interviews can be conducted at the JET Programme Career Fair. For further details on JET Programme Career Fairs, please see the following link: http://jetprogramme.org/en/careerfair/
These are events held by individual companies to introduce the company to job seekers. In some cases, attendance is required in order to receive an application form, while some do not hold briefing sessions at all. Briefings will be advertised on recruitment sites, but applicants may also be notified directly by the recruitment manager, by e-mail or telephone.
There are Employment Service Centers for Foreigners located in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. These centers offer dedicated employment support services to foreigners, including employment guidance and seminars, interview sessions with companies, and information on job opportunities. They can be a great resource so it is important to make good use of them.
●Tokyo Employment Service Center for Foreigners
21F Odakyu Daiichi Seimei Building, 2-7-1 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-0721
TEL: 03-5339-8625 FAX: 03-5339-8654
●Osaka Employment Service Center for Foreigners
16F Hankyu Grand Building, 8-47 Kakuda-cho, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0017
TEL: 06-7709-9465 FAX: 06-7709-9468
●Nagoya Employment Service Center for Foreigners
12F Chunichi Building, 4-1-1 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya 460-0008
TEL: 052-264-1901 FAX: 052-249-0033
●Fukuoka Student Employment Center (Fukuoka New Graduate Support Hello Work)
12F Elgara Office, 1-4-2 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0001
TEL: 092-714-1556 FAX: 092-717-6276
*Other local authorities may also provide career support to foreign nationals residing in Japan. Please enquire at your local government office.