2021.02.26 Release

Persol Holdings and ExaWizards Jointly Launch a “Study Group on the Utilization of Personal Data/Technologies in HR”
—According to an awareness survey on the use of data in job hunting, students expect “improved matching with companies” and “no use of entry sheets”, but they are also concerned about “prejudice based on data” and “the objective of information use and their rights to choose”—

Persol Holdings Co., Ltd., which provides total human resource services (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masamichi Mizuta, Representative Director, President and CEO; hereinafter referred to as Persol Holdings), and ExaWizards Inc. (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Ko Ishiyama, President & CEO; hereinafter referred to as ExaWizards) will launch the Study Group on the Utilization of Personal Data/Technologies in HR (hereafter the Study Group) in February 2021. The Study Group publishes its first findings of a students’ awareness survey on the use of personal data/technologies in the area of recruitment of new graduates. It will widen its thematic scope to cover the entire HR area. Surveying and publishing individuals’, including students’, opinions on the use of personal data/technologies will improve their convenience and understanding and promote the appropriate use of personal data/technologies in companies, thus aiming to realize a society where every person can play an active role.

Background of the launch of the Study Group
<Social background>
Recently, advanced technologies, including AI, IoT, and big data, have been developed, and the Cabinet Office has proposed Society 5.0. As these examples show, there have been active moves aiming for realizing a super-smart society that will enhance people’s lives. We believe that services that use personal data and advanced technologies will be provided in every industry or every aspect of life.

<Students’ expectations and concerns>
According to the survey the Study Group conducted on students, many had expectations for the use of data in job hunting as it could show whether they are compatible with companies, provide clear reasons for or results of selection, and abolish entry sheets. But they also voiced their concerns that it might cause prejudice and prioritize AI in judgment, that its use and objectives were unclear, and that it might be used in cases where they do not want it to be used. This shows that data must be used in such a way that individuals’ understanding of the use of data is compatible with its convenience.

<Status quo of the use of data in HR>
Presently, the use of personal data is not actively promoted in the area of HR, such as recruitment. According to hearings the Study Group conducted with people in charge of corporate HRs, we heard several opinions: e.g., “we want to increase time to share with students by using technology to improve productivity” and “we want to realize scientific recruitment on the basis of the use of data.” In the present-day recruitment of new graduates particularly, there are issues of transparency of the use of students’ personal data or of how to guarantee their rights to choose, hindering the active use of personal data.

Outline of the Study Group on the Utilization of Personal Data/Technologies in HR
We will launch the Study Group on the Utilization of Personal Data/Technologies in HR to resolve individuals’ concerns regarding the use of personal data/technologies, improve understanding and convenience, and promote their appropriate and active use in companies.

We will begin with the area of recruitment of new graduates where we hope to enable both students and companies to safely and actively use personal data/technologies appropriately. Through a students’ awareness survey and interviews, we will listen to every voice. Through seminars and information that we provide, we will also promote the appropriate use of personal data/technologies in companies so that we can work to build a mechanism and system for recruiting new graduates, which will help every student understand the use of data and choose a better first career.

Although the Study Group continues participatory discussions with students, we call for experts and member companies to set discussion and case sharing and periodically publish information. Please note that it does not handle the personal information that the member companies have and will be run according to relevant laws and regulations.


  • Conduct interviews and discussions with and awareness surveys on students
  • Organize discussions by member companies on the use of personal data/technologies
  • Gather cases of corporate use, provide information for, and hold study meetings and seminars for companies

Persol Holdings and ExaWizards

 <Students and companies participating in discussions>
*In no particular order and honorifics omitted
Students and graduate school students, graduates, graduates from graduate schools
Sony, Softbank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Benesse Holdings Inc., en Japan Inc., Attorneys, Tomomi Hioki and Tsuyoshi Omura (Miura & Partners)

<Scheduled event>
On Tuesday, March 30, 2021, we will provide an overview of the Study Group and hold a study meeting for companies.

We will begin with a study meeting on the area of the recruitment of new graduates and expand our themes to cover the entire HR area, thereby aiming for a society where as many people as possible can realize a better workstyle through the use of both personal data and technologies in the area of HR.

Results of the Survey on the Utilization of Personal Data/Technologies in Recruiting New Graduates
<Outline of the survey conducted>
Survey period: Wednesday, January 6, 2021, through Friday, January 8, 2021
Survey method: Online survey
Target: 1,270 respondents (men and women aged between 18 and 29 years, respectively, across the country; individuals; students and graduate students who are planning or finished job hunting while at school)

<Overview of survey results>
Although several students found job hunting in new graduate recruitment problematic, the survey resulted in a wider margin for their resolution or improvement through the utilization of personal data/technologies.

More specifically, they had expectations for improved matching with companies and less effort, but they were clearly concerned about prejudice based on data and about the objective/freedom of choice of information use.

The survey has shown that the following constitute the important processes in using personal data/technologies. We have to sincerely listen to every student’s voice; we have to carefully explain the objective and use of personal data/technologies beforehand to obtain their prior consent; and we need to explicitly show them that they have rights to use information and choose freely.

<Summary of survey results>

<Details of survey results>
We will report details of the survey and its findings at the study meeting due on Tuesday, March 30, 2021.

Comments from member companies
<Masamichi Mizuta, Representative Director, President and CEO, Persol Holdings>
I believe that the utilization of personal data/technologies not only improves both individual and corporate convenience but also leads to the realization of a better employment environment, such as more opportunities to find employment and improved matching. I aim for a society where many people can safely deposit personal data/technologies while asking for the cooperation of companies and experts.

<Ko Ishiyama, President & CEO, ExaWizards>
Recently, the methodology for open innovation where users participate has been spread in the use of AI. For example, in the nursing care sector, we find a case of the Society of Citizen Informatics for Human Cognitive Disorder where persons with dementia study how to use AI as members with AI researchers. Similarly, by running the Study Group where students also take part, I intend to discover how to use personal data/technologies in cooperation with them and incorporate their opinions in a really happy way.

<Tomomi Hioki, Attorney, Miura & Partners>
As technology advances, the use of data is expected to solve HR issues, giving rise to a better environment for both job seekers and recruiters. We can also see, however, from social reaction to the recent use of data on new graduate recruitment how transformations caused by the utilization of technology and data have brought about new issues. I will support this Study Group to ensure that changing recruitment activities will comply with rules, including the Employment Security Act and the Act on the Protection of Personal Information, and to enhance social acceptance.

Past activities
In launching the Study Group, we began by conducting interviews and having discussions with students to listen to the voices of those who had experienced job hunting and who have some misgivings about future job hunting. Furthermore, since May 2020, we have taken the following actions in collaboration with companies that share similar issues on the utilization of personal data in HR:

  • Pre-interviews with students: May 8, 2020, and June 24, 2020
  • Discussions with individual companies since July 2020
  • The first roundtable on October 28, 2020: “Let’s think about the use of data in job hunting, together with students”
  • The second roundtable on November 11, 2020: “Let’s think about the way companies should be for ideal job hunting”
  • The third roundtable on November 25, 2020: “Let’s think about the utilization of data by companies for recruiting new graduates in response to students’ voices”
  • The fourth roundtable on December 3, 2020: “Let’s think about the way the use of data should be in the recruitment of new graduates, learning from experts”
  • The fifth roundtable on January 14, 2021: “Let’s think about the future recruitment of new graduates”

About Persol Holdings Co., Ltd.
Since 1973, when the company was established, it has rolled out total human resource services, including temporary staffing, employment agency, outsourcing, and re-employment support. In October 2008, it established Temp Holdings Co., Ltd., a joint holding company. In July 2017, the corporate name changed to Persol Holdings Co., Ltd., and listed in the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (securities code: 2181). As of March 31, 2020, its sales reached 970.5 billion yen.

About PERSOL <https://www.persol-group.co.jp/>
Under the Group vision of “Work, and Smile,” the Persol Group rolls out Persol Tempstaff, temporary staffing services, doda, career change services, IT outsourcing, design and development, and other diverse businesses that involve people and organizations. By promoting businesses along with the Group’s management philosophy and sustainability policy, the Persol Group contributes to the realization of a sustainable society and the achievement of the SDGs.

The Persol Group also actively works to develop next-generation innovations through the integration of human resource services with technology and provides the following services: MIIDAS, career change services in which to discover market value; TECH PLAY, which supports empowering technology-savvy human resources and constructing DX organization for companies; and cloud-based mobile POS register, POS+ (POSTAS).