Around 20 percent of white-collar workers at major companies that responded to a Labor Ministry survey were hired midcareer, according to a report released Friday.

Of the 448 large companies that responded to the December survey, 10.2 percent said that more than half their employees were recruited from other companies. The ministry sent questionnaires to 2,100 listed and over-the-counter companies for the survey.

The survey further found that 80.8 percent of the responding companies require these employees to follow the same career course as those employed immediately after graduation.

This may indicate an inability to adapt to midcareer recruiting because of the deeply rooted system of seniority-based promotion in Japan’s corporate society.

Of the responding companies, 74.3 percent said they had engaged in midcareer recruiting in the past three years. Most companies actively recruiting midcareer workers are good profit earners in the service and manufacturing industries, the report said.

The survey found that 28.1 percent of the responding companies intend to continue recruiting from other companies rather than hiring new graduates.

More than half the companies that responded cited age as a major condition for intermediate recruiting. A majority of the firms said the age limit is between 40 and 44 for managerial personnel and between 30 and 34 at a lower level.