Every spring, hordes of young people dressed in matching dark business suits descend on workplaces across the country. They have not yet joined the ranks of the country's ubiquitous salarymen and women but rather are university students beginning a monthslong job hunt.

But as companies face intensifying competition for young workers due to labor shortages driven by the declining and aging population, the country's biggest business lobby is signaling it is time to revamp a system that has proven ineffective in Japan's new demographic reality.

Although many see the long-standing recruitment system coming to an end as only natural, some students and college administrators worry that changing the system will prolong the already brutal job-hunt process.