Business

Keidanren arranging talks over review of graduate hiring rules

JIJI

Keidanren is arranging talks with the government and universities to review its guidelines on the hiring of university graduates, it was learned Wednesday.

The country’s biggest business lobby, also known as the Japan Business Federation, hopes to discuss whether to introduce year-round recruitment for university students to be hired in spring 2021 or later, along with revisions to the current hiring rules, informed sources said.

Earlier this week, Keidanren Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi expressed the group’s hopes of abolishing the guidelines on the graduate recruiting schedule for member companies.

Keidanren hopes to kick off full-fledged talks with the education ministry and organizations linked to universities at an early stage, the sources said.

At a news conference Wednesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government is ready to listen to what Keidanren has to say on the issue.

Currently, Keidanren’s guidelines call for member companies to start explanatory sessions with prospective university graduates in March and job interviews in June.

This schedule, which is aimed at giving university students more time to focus on their studies, will remain in place until spring 2020.

But the hiring rules could put Keidanren member companies at a disadvantage in the competition for talent with nonmember businesses, such as foreign companies.

The guidelines have also been regarded by some as being a dead letter as there is no penalty for breaching them.

For officials of companies and universities as well as students, there are pros and cons to the review of the regulations on recruiting activities.

Within the government, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko has said that he “would welcome” the review if it is meant to discuss the advisability of year-round recruitment. Finance Minister Taro Aso has said that the review “deserves consideration.”