Updated: May 21, 2021
COVID-19 that has hit us since last year is affecting not only our familiar lifestyle but also our perspectives. Recruiting has also shifted to online, thus there are more webinars, online internships, and interviews. According to the survey by Syusyoku Mirai Institute, about 44.5% of companies say that they will continue their online recruitment activities even after our daily lives go back to normal. So, the coronavirus is making a long-term change in recruitment.
Therefore, what do students think about this change? What kinds of companies will be attractive to students?
Nowadays, students start their job-hunting activities earlier than the previous years. This is due to influence from social media, where many students are encouraged to do so. Also, companies tend to seek and get competent students earlier. Furthermore, students want to get a job offer more quickly so that they can feel relieved in this tough time. For instance, my friends started thinking about their future career during their sophomore years. Also, some of my friends had to rethink their future career early on as some companies that have been financially challenged by the pandemic have stopped hiring new graduates.
In addition, COVID-19 has given us a sense of crisis about the future along with a new lifestyle. This sense of crisis seems to have led students to seek more stability for companies.
According to a survey conducted by the institute, the most important factor for choosing a company for students graduating in 2021 was "I can expect my own growth", but it decreased by about 6 points from the previous year. The factor that showed an increase from the previous survey was "Company and industry stability", which increased by about 3.5 points. Moreover, according to a survey conducted by ZENKIGEN Co., Ltd., about 35% of students answered that the pandemic has made them more aware of companies’ stability. In this unstable era, students seem to want companies to be stable no matter what happened and how society changes, not a dramatic growth in the future. The stability of a company can be characterized by the characteristics of the industry itself and its position within the industry.
In addition to the stability of the industry and the company, many students are trying to achieve stability by acquiring their own skill and experiences. Recently, there have been more students who want to acquire experiences that can be applied to their future career than those who want to specialize in a specific company/position. Jobs which employee can gain general skills are becoming popular among new graduates these days.
As a student graduating next year, I am thinking about my future job on the premise of changing jobs. So, I have come to think about whether I can acquire skills, experience, and networking that will be useful when I change jobs when I look for a job.
In addition, the number of students who want to work in rural areas and remote working is increasing. In fact, few of my friends want to go to urban areas such as Tokyo and Osaka when they get a job. Most of my friends want to get a job near their college campus or their hometowns. Due to the rapid development of remote learning, many students are attracted to working wherever they like or in rural areas.
In the future recruitment activities, it will be important for companies to clearly explain these points at webinars. Furthermore, how to eliminate anxieties of students at an information session is becoming an important factor that strongly affects students’ choices. According to a survey conducted by the Syusyoku Mirai Institute, there is a big gap between how much students think that they can understand the information about training after joining the company, future career path and the characteristics the company seeks for applicants. As mentioned earlier, students are becoming more interested in knowing how much they can grow at the company and whether they fit the image of the company they are looking for. This is because their own growth will make their future more stable. Also, understanding what kinds of people the company are looking for will prevent a mismatch with the company and will give them a lower risk employment. Rather than working for one company for the lifetime, both my friends and I, would like to change the place and company where I work according to my life stage and career plan flexibly.
Therefore, companies may need a more focused approach to students, such as how they can grow and work at the company, rather than what they will do.
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就職みらい研究所. (2021, April 9). 就職白書2021 [Recruitment White Book 2021].
就職みらい研究所. Retrieved May 11, 2021, from https://shushokumirai.recruit.co.jp/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/hakusyo2021_01-48_up.pdf
ZENKIGEN. (2021, March 9). 【2022年卒 就職活動に関する意識調査】就職活動のオンライン化、80.8％が歓迎 〜最終面接まではオンライン選考を希望する学生が多い傾向に〜
[【An investigation of job-hunting activities in 2022】80.8% of the participants welcomed
online recruitments]. PR TIMES. Retrieved May 11, 2021, from https://prtimes.jp/main/html/rd/p/000000065.000035867.html