Japan heats up recruitment with employment-linked internships

Intense competition in Japan is driving organisations to innovate, with internships emerging as the new battleground for attracting young talent.
By: | April 1, 2024
Topics: Japan | Mobility | News | Recruitment

Major organisations in Japan are revamping their recruitment strategies, with 70% now offering employment-linked internships according to a new survey. This approach allows organisations to identify and nurture top talent among graduating university students well before the spring 2025 hiring season kicks off.

The intense competition for skilled employees in Japan has been pushing organisations to get creative. Internships are rapidly becoming the new battleground for attracting young talent. These programmes offer valuable pre-employment experiences, allowing organisations to assess potential employees for cultural fit and skillset, while students gain practical knowledge and hands-on experience in a professional setting.

The survey, conducted by Jiji Press among 100 organisations, revealed a significant shift. A total of 68 organisations have implemented employment-linked internship programmes. Among these, 57 organisations offer programmes lasting at least five days, exposing students to real-world scenarios, and allowing them to apply their academic knowledge in practical settings. Four organisations went a step further, introducing specialised programmes for graduate students. Specifically, seven organisations, including Toyota, implemented both types of internship programmes.

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The number of interns accepted into these programmes varies widely, ranging from a handful to several thousand. Nippon Life Insurance, Sekisui House, and Hitachi stand out as leading the pack, accepting approximately 2,000, 1,000, and 930 students respectively.

Moreover, the scope of work experiences offered through these internships was diverse, ranging from on-site construction management to customer visits and data analysis.

Looking ahead to the spring 2026 hiring season, the survey revealed continued enthusiasm for employment-linked internships. While 48 organisations confirmed plans to offer such programmes, eight opted out, while 38 were undecided, reported The Japan Times.