The continuing spread of COVID-19 is affecting students’ job-hunting activities across the country.

While job-seekers are enjoying a seller’s market due to severe labor shortages hitting the country, many firms are busy coming up with measures to deal with the virus situation, including switching to online briefings.

Sony Corp. canceled introductory sessions for job-hunting students scheduled for last Saturday and Sunday in Tokyo, due to concerns about the risk of infection among participants. “We made the decision, putting participants’ safety first,” a company official said.

Instead, students who were slated to attend the events will be able to watch presentations by Sony employees online.

Major video and music software producer Pony Canyon Inc., meanwhile, has decided to call off briefing sessions that were scheduled to be held at its headquarters in Tokyo from Wednesday for students graduating in spring next year. As an alternative step, an online session will be held for some 1,000 students.

Job information providers Recruit Career Co. and Mynavi Corp. are considering hosting their respective joint job seminars in and after March as planned. They will ask participating students and company employees to wear face masks.

As the new coronavirus continues to spread, however, an official at Mynavi said the firm may make changes to its events depending on the situation.

The coronavirus is also starting to take a toll on midcareer recruitment. Smartphone game developer Ateam Inc., based in Nagoya, called off a briefing session scheduled to be held in Tokyo on Thursday.

Although 12 people had signed up for the event, the company made the decision because it considered their health and safety its top priority.

Meanwhile, online marketplace operator Mercari Inc. said Tuesday it will conduct job interviews online in principle, starting Wednesday, in response to the viral outbreak.

Mercari, which has introduced a year-round recruitment system, mainly for midcareer workers, will conduct all interviews up until the final one over the internet.

The measure will be in place temporarily, until Feb. 28, but may be extended depending on the situation, the company said.

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