Job Hunting and Fairness in Japan

On Your Mark, Set . . . Bang!

That’s how job hunting of Japanese college students starts. All of them are made to wait for the “Bang”, which date is set by Keidanren (Japan Business Federation), a very powerful business association. The date, therefore, is not mandatory, but a consensus made by a group of prime Japanese corporations.

The idea of setting the date comes from the Japanese sense of fairness that all companies have the same chances to employ good students. This is the reason why not just member companies (about 1,300) of Keidanren, but also many others follow suite. It is not too much to say that jumping the bang is like going rogue in the Japanese business arena.

Talking about the Japanese sense of fairness, the new employees fresh out of 4 year colleges will receive the same monthly salary independent of what they are capable of, which college they graduated from, age or their initial positions. You maybe surprised to hear that “the initial monthly salary” of  each company is made public, and that on their first day of employment, 1st of April, the new employees do not know to which department or position they will be assigned. It is usually finalized after months of orientation and training period.  Here again, on-your-mark-set-bang thing is going on, this time to climb up the corporate ladder.

So you see, the students in the above photo are not actually doing “job” hunting, but rather “company” hunting. My guess is that this company is one of financial sector’s.