If male employees can take time off for their child’s birth, there’s one simple way to keep them working, he says.

Following a generations-long societal norm of women being almost entirely responsible for child-rearing responsibilities, Japanese men have started showing an increased commitment to helping take care of their own kids. Even some companies have begun offering paternity leave for employees, so that they can perform daddy duties for their newborn children.

That’s actually a rather progressive move for a country that’s long had issues with allowing workers anything close to a comfortable work/life balance. However, while the company which Japanese Twitter user @kir_imperial works at is kind enough to offer paternity leave, he claims that its leniency has led to an unexpected shift in what the HR department looks for in a desirable job candidate.

“In the company I work for, male employees can now take paternity leave with no problem. But because of that, it seems as though hiring managers are being told ‘Hire men and women who can get the job done, but who are also extremely unattractive and unlikely to get married.’”

While this might seem like a refreshing change to the stereotypical scenario of good-looking people getting better jobs, “so obviously repulsive as to be single for life” is also a pretty small set to reserve plum positions for, and online commenters were quick to voice their opposition to such a hiring criteria.

“I think someone who’s not popular with the opposite sex is someone who’s not good at communicating with the opposite sex, and so they probably won’t be able to work as well as someone who’s more popular.”

“Any hiring managers who use that criteria don’t deserve jobs themselves.”

“Couldn’t they just cut to the chase and say ‘Preference will be given to applicants who have been sterilized?’”

“People who want to get married but can’t aren’t good at achieving objectives, and so wouldn’t it follow that they make bad workers too?”

“Just putting this out there: I’m a qualified power plant technician, and I’ve never had a girlfriend in the 30-plus years I’ve been alive, so I think I’m a qualified candidate.”

To be fair, preferential treatment for candidates who don’t seem like they could get a date isn’t an explicitly codified part of the staffing process at @kir_imperial’s company, and it’s possible that what he’s heard amounts to nothing more than rumors. That said, dedication to the job is valued especially highly by Japanese hiring managers, so making sure you come across as a worker, not a player, during your interview is probably a good idea.

Source: Twitter/@kir_imperial via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso