Japanese tech giant collects job application fee from graduates to narrow the field


We previously wrote about Niconico Douga, a popular Japanese social video platform. With over 30 million registered users and two million paid users, the company behind the site, Dwango is one of the major tech companies here in Japan.

Dwango recently made an interesting announcement regarding employment of fresh graduates. For its 2015 entry exam, the company will charge a 2525 yen (or about $25) fee. (2525 because of ‘Niconico’ douga). This system only applies to those residing in areas around Tokyo, and does not apply to those living in the countryside. This strategy was taken to attract only those who are truly passionate and serious about working at Dwango. The collected money will be subsequently donated to charity.

According to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the employment rate for graduating students is high as 93.9%. With the spread of technology and mobile phones, students can now apply to over 100 companies with a push of a button online. But Dwango explains that the number of available employment spots have not changed. And the increase in the number of application naturally means more work for the hiring side to narrow the field to the best candidates.

Back in April, we introduced a unique startup called Wild Card, which works to ease the job-hunting process for fresh graduates. As we mentioned at that time, the typical job-hunting process for such graduates begins in the fall of their junior year where they spend around six months to a year searching for their dream jobs. For big companies (i.e. those with over 5,000 employess), the job openings to applications ratio can be as low as 0.60.

We can expect to see more startups dedicated to disrupting the traditional job-hunting process, as well as creative tactics from employers to ease the rush on their end.

Recently we have also seen the emergence of a new website called Recme, which allows job-seeking students to post a 30- to 90-second long self-introduction video to appeal to potential employers. Leading Mark, the company behind Recme received funding of 50 million yen from Cyberagent Ventures in November.