Japan’s second-largest brokerage, Daiwa Securities, is planning to increase new-graduate hiring by almost 40 percent in 2011.
In an interview with Bloomberg, a spokesperson for Daiwa said the firm plans to hire 490 university graduates for the year starting 1 April 2011. The 2011 intake will include a number of foreign students studying in Japan. It also represents the firm’s first increase in grad hiring since 2007.
But what are the chances of other Japanese firms following suit? Fairly good, says William Brooks, director for Japan at Hays Resource Management.
“I think this is a trend that other banks will be following here in Japan; but not all. Mizuho has announced quite a hefty cutback in graduate hiring from last year with a decrease from roughly 1,300 new graduates for 2010 to 900 slated for 2011. Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ on the other hand has announced a 30 per cent increase in new-graduate hiring for 2011,” says Brooks.
So what kind of grads will most be in demand? Lionel Kaidatzis, operations director at Morgan McKinley Tokyo, says graduate applicants with a background in quantitative subjects such as engineering or mathematics often suit financial services roles because they have already started to develop the skills that financial institutions require.
“This is likely to continue to be the case for hiring this year,” says Kaidatzis.
A little experience could go a long way too, as many Japanese banks appear to be interested in dainishinsotsu (literally “second-generation graduates”) – those who have had two or three years of work experience.
“Many firms are keen on these graduates because of their ability to hit the ground running where the traditional new graduate takes six months to get up to speed. It is interesting because traditionally dainishinsotsu candidates were often looked down upon over the years as second class-quality candidates,” says Brooks.