Graduates fear dispute will hurt job chances
Updated: 2012-10-17 01:22
By LUO WANGSHU and CHEN XIN (China Daily)
Graduates fear Japanese companies will reduce recruitment opportunities because of tension over the Diaoyu Islands.
Recruitment drives at Peking University and Tsinghua University will not feature Japanese companies.
A staff member at the Student Career Center at Peking University, who declined to be named, said Japanese companies have canceled campus sessions in October and November.
The companies may return in December, but there is no clear timetable, she said.
A staff member at Japanese electronics giant Panasonic in Beijing, who declined to give his name due to company regulations, confirmed its campus recruitment has been suspended this year.
Thousands of people took to the streets in September to protest Japan's decision to "purchase" the islands, which belong to China.
Although some campuses still have openings for Japanese companies, there are fewer information sessions this year than before.
Nankai University in Tianjin will have two sessions for Japanese companies this month.
As a senior graduate student at the college who majored in Japanese, Liang Xiaoqing started to focus on recruitment in September, when the hiring season began. Compared with previous years, she said she had found there are "extremely few" companies this year.
"I feel lost. I assumed I'd be hired by a Japanese company and I've been preparing for the goal during the entire master's program. But all of a sudden, the whole job market has changed," she said.
Liang said she now has to broaden her horizons and look for other job opportunities. But she will still go to the on-campus recruitment drive by the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, one of Japan's leading financial companies, on Oct 24.
She has already sent out 10 resumes and is waiting for responses.
Wei Guihong, a counselor with Nanjing University's School of Foreign Studies, said students are also concerned about shrinking recruitment plans of Japanese companies.
Chen Jing, another counselor at the school, said 20 percent of last year's graduates in Japanese majors were hired by Japanese companies.
"Fewer graduates went to Japan to study compared to previous years. Instead, more prefer to go to the United States," she said.
Japanese companies still have information sessions planned for Nanjing University.
Instead of going on campus, Panasonic has posted recruitment information online.
"Safety is the priority," the worker at Panasonic in Beijing said, adding that no Japanese boss will fly to China to join recruitment drives.
"Since the latter half of September, some Japanese companies have been asking us to move their recruitment advertisements to less noticeable places," said Meng Guang, a senior officer in charge of campus recruitment at zhaopin.com, a popular job website.
Meng said his organization has seen more Japanese companies buying campus recruitment advertisements this year than last.
"Japanese companies still have a comparatively big demand for Chinese graduates," he said.
Similarly, Feng Lijuan, chief consultant at 51job.com, another job website, said she noticed no evident decrease in vacancies.
About 80 percent of employees at Japanese companies in China are locally hired, Feng said.
"Our Japanese clients told us in August that they plan to recruit almost the same number of university graduates next year as this year," she said. "They are executing their plans."
Clients include the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Toyota, Uniqlo and Nissan.
"But Japanese companies want to soft-pedal right now, maybe that's why they withdrew some campus sessions,'' Feng said.
Looking at websites, rather than campus sessions, would be a better option for graduates wanting to work for Japanese companies, Feng said.
"Graduates should better understand the target company's market status and development potential in China as well as any training programs it provides," she said.
The Work In Japan project, hosted by RGF, a recruitment company in Beijing focused on Japanese information services, is holding information sessions across China.
A staff member from the project, who declined to be named, said instead of reduced recruitment plans, more Japanese companies have joined the network to recruit Chinese graduates to work in Japan.
Contact the writers at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Cao Yin contributed to this story.