Use of AI in job applications frowned upon in Japan

Several firms in Japan have raised concerns about graduates using generative AI tools in job applications, with some calling for a ban.
By: | June 28, 2023

Students using generative AI when applying for job positions is fast becoming a concern amongst companies in Japan and risked being overlooked.

According to a Jiji Press survey of 38 respondents in 60 major domestic companies, nine respondents were “generally negative” about generative AI, as the use of the technology did not allow the companies to assess and grasp the students’ personalities, unique characteristics, and qualities from the employment applications.

“We want students to express their thoughts about our company in their own words,” a spokesperson from East Japan Railway said.

“Making decisions on whether to employ someone or not based on materials that do not reflect students’ thoughts won’t benefit the companies or the applicants,” a staffer at a manufacturing company said.

While most of the respondents (27) said they were neutral on the use of generative AI tools, some were concerned that they could not overlook the usage in job applications, saying that it would “weaken the wills and personalities” of the applicants.

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Some of the companies have decided to impose complete bans on generative AI tools detected in job applications from graduates starting from spring 2025, with others only imposing some restrictions, or warning applicants not to use the software. Yet, other companies have currently no plans to restrict AI, citing lack of resources to monitor and detect AI in the applications.

However, views about AI have not all been negative. Some companies have been positive about the use of AI, calling it as good industry research for these applicants, and that the use of generative AI when job-hunting will become inevitable in the future, reported the Japan Times.