Japan seeks more diversity in employment opportunities

The Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) is looking to end the negative image of mid-career hires by rephrasing commonly used employment terms.
By: | November 10, 2022

Keidanren will stop using the “negative” term “chuto saiyo” (mid-career hiring), according to chairman Masakazu Tokura, who said the negative image associated with the term is out of place in the modern age.

Keidanren will also urge its member companies to drop the term. Instead, “keikensha saiyo” (experienced worker hiring) should be used to ensure smooth recruitment, said Tokura, adding that Keidanren will use this term in its documents for member companies. 

In typical Japanese hiring practices, companies offer jobs to “shinsotsu” (recent graduates) during their final year in school, and they start their professional careers in April. This system is predicated on “life-time” employment. 

Those hired in other ways are often called “chuto saiyo.” Although “mid-career recruiting” in English has no negative connotations, the Japanese term “chuto” often carries a negative impression. 

Keidanren is expected to draft a report on its management-labour policy in January 2023 before the spring “shunto” wage negotiations with labor unions. The dropping of the term will be included in the report. 

Many companies are already using the suggested term “experienced worker hiring” when seeking “sokusenryoku,” or industry-ready recruits. 

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To further promote this diversification, Tokura said he wants member companies to also use the terms “comeback saiyo” (re-hiring of former employees) and “referral saiyo” (hiring based on referrals), reported The Asahi Shimbun.