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Official Recruiting Season Begins for 2025 Graduates; Almost 80% already have a job offer


Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Students are seen at a job fair in Yokohama on March 1.

Saturday marked the start of the official recruiting season for college students graduating in 2025. However, due to a labor shortage, hiring schedules have been pushed back and according to one survey, almost 80% of students have already been offered a job.

In today’s seller’s market, companies are increasingly trying to maintain good relationships with students who have not been hired or have rejected offers, viewing them as potential future employees or customers.

MerryBiz Inc., a Tokyo-based company that specializes in accounting outsourcing services, has been providing feedback on how to speak and other areas for improvement to students who failed the interview since it started hiring new graduates last year. The hiring manager expressed hope that these students will remain fans of the company and will think of them when they consider a career change or when they become accounting managers at other companies.

Similarly, Will Group Inc., an HR services company in Tokyo, sends interview evaluation emails to all students who are not accepted.

“Companies have shifted from the voter to the chosen one,” said a spokesperson. “We want to distinguish ourselves by demonstrating a sincere attitude towards job-seeking students.”

This situation has its origins in the severe labor shortage. According to Recruit Co. only 36.1% of companies were able to recruit the planned number of 2024 graduates, the lowest figure since the start of the survey with 2012 graduates.

Many companies focus on mid-career hires. Takayoshi Kurita, director of Recruit’s employment research institute, said companies hope students interested in them will find jobs later in their careers, and are trying to improve their image by showing they care.

Some companies are introducing an accelerated system for those who have rejected a job offer. Starting in 2025, Chiba Kogyo Bank in Chiba will allow students who have rejected offers to reapply in about three years and go through just one job interview, instead of several.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. in Tokyo has also introduced a system whereby graduates can begin the hiring process from the last interview if they reapply within three years. “We expect that people who have experienced different corporate cultures and different jobs will contribute to our business innovation,” said a representative of the recruitment team.

According to Recruit’s research, 78.1% of 2025 graduates had already received a job offer as of May 15, an increase of six percentage points from last year. The government is asking companies to start recruiting fourth-year students in June and make job offers in October, but this rule is increasingly becoming a formality.

Only 49.4% of students surveyed were still looking for a job, down 8.6 percentage points from the same time last year. As recruitment moves up, so does the finish line.

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