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InHunt World is a Global Headhunting Network that is currently active in over 40 countries. During this autumn, we are going to go through these countries one by one, usually interviewing the Country Manager or the CEO of the country in question.

Businesses in the developed world are struggling to find workers as economies recover from the worst of the Covid-19 crisis. This has been less of a challenge for those in big emerging markets, which have larger pools of labour, with one notable exception: Russia. Millions of migrant workers fled the country when it sealed its borders last year, and it’s shown little success in corralling the virus within its own population, creating a labour shortage that’s dragging down the recovery.

“To fill new jobs, there needs to be either an influx of migrant workers or a redistribution of the existing workforce between regions, industries, and enterprises,” Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina warned last month.
“In some regions, we haven’t been able to hire enough workers for a year already,” says Maxim Basov, chief executive officer of Ros Agro Plc, one of Russia’s largest agricultural companies. Ros Agro has had to increase wages as much as 10% and is investing in harvesting machines for use in areas where it can’t get enough workers. Other desperate employers are recruiting soldiers, students, and even convicts to help fill the gaps.

Russia ranked No. 4 among destinations for international migrants in 2019, according to statistics compiled by the United Nations. But the number of foreign-born workers, mostly from Central Asia, has dwindled to about 3 million, from a pre-pandemic 4.5 million, according to the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Although border restrictions have been eased, many are reluctant to return for fear of getting stranded in a new round of lockdowns.

With only about 40% of the population fully vaccinated, Russia has recorded almost half a million Covid deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the federal statistics agency, contributing to the biggest spike in mortality since World War II. By a metric that compares overall deaths with historical trends, only the U.S. and Brazil look worse. And while officials say most of the victims are of pension age, employers say they’re still affected. One of Russia’s biggest retailers, X5 Retail Group, said last month that “labour supply continues to be influenced by high mortality rates among the Russian population.” ( source )

Headhunting and Recruitment Market in Russia

Unemployment is at a record low of 4.3%. Median wages across the economy are up 9%, according to Sberbank data, with jobs in IT, finance, trade, hospitality, and construction paying about 13% more than before the pandemic. That’s feeding into inflation, which reached 8.1% in October, the highest in more than five years.

Alexei Zakharov, president of SuperJob, a jobs listing website, says the Covid crisis has fueled demand for unskilled labor, pushing up pay in some parts of the gig economy. “There’s a real war on for taxi drivers,” he says. SuperJob also recorded an almost 900% increase in vacancies for delivery couriers this year.

Alexei Zakharov, president of SuperJob, a jobs listing website, says the Covid crisis has fueled demand for unskilled labor, pushing up pay in some parts of the gig economy. “There’s a real war on for taxi drivers,” he says. SuperJob also recorded an almost 900% increase in vacancies for delivery couriers this year.

The challenges will get worse with time, says Madina Khrustaleva, an analyst at TS Lombard, a London-based research and consulting firm. “In Russia in the future there will be two problems,” she says. “They already have a declining labor force, but also a structural problem with the decline of workers aged under 40. Between 30 and 40 years old, Russians reach maximum productivity, and the share of this strata will shrink by 25% by 2030.” ( source )

Next, we are going to interview the Head of Executive Search of UNITY (U-Team), Mr. Rustam Barnokhodzhaev. Rustam has been leading the Executive Search team of Unity (U-Team) for more than 8 years with incredible international results. We have the pleasure to interview him today regarding the situation of the Labour Market in Russia.

How are you today Rustam? How are you and how was the summer?

Thank you, everything is fine. The summer was very hot and atypical in every sense, including for our labour market.

Usually, in the summer months, there is a lull in the personnel sphere, the holiday season takes its toll.
But not this time: Russian employers have demonstrated unprecedented activity, the number of new vacancies exceeded the figures of 2020 and even 2019.
So there was no time to relax and enjoy the excellent weather.
The work was in full swing, despite the pandemic and restrictions, the number of recruitment orders in U-Team was really a record for the summer season.

How would you comment on the first half of 2021?

I would describe the first half of 2021 as a period of intensive recovery: businesses were able to adapt to new conditions, once again demonstrating the ability to survive against all odds. According to the estimates of the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia, GDP growth in May amounted to 10.9%, in June – 8.5%, and in general for the second quarter – 10.1%, reaching the pre-crisis level.
The worst predictions did not come true. And the fact that companies are actively hiring new people, and not to replace the departed employees, but to develop is a very good symptom, the economy is recovering.

U-Team practice shows that in the conditions of the new reality, employers need specialists with unique experiences, many are interested in people with backgrounds in foreign companies.

In solving such problems, it is impossible not to note the role of InHunt World, thanks to you, the borders between countries are getting erased.

How do you see the second part of 2021? And what about 2022?

Firstly, everyone is used to living and working in conditions of a pandemic and restrictions, secondly, there has been an obvious upward trend, and thirdly, during the pandemic, demand has accumulated for literally everything, from vouchers to resorts and ending with production.

In this regard, we can expect economic growth and further business development: for sure, new personnel will be needed who will already have a “pandemic bias”, that is, accustomed and knowing how to work under restrictions.

What are the industries that are hiring the most?

The most hiring industries in recent months were retail, IT, and construction. Retail and construction are among the most popular areas, moreover, today they are actively developing.
The construction industry has good support from the state, for example, the preferential mortgage program at 6.5% had a good effect, the demand for housing has increased significantly due to this.

Retail is going through a very interesting period today, as it adapts to work both offline and online at once: there is a great need for couriers, pickers and packers.
Finally, the IT industry in Russia has always felt pretty good, but the massive remoteness and the development of online services have further spurred the demand for the services of such companies.

What are the roles that companies are needing the most?

The key feature of the most popular and promising vacancies is high requirement for the level of expertise and multifunctionality: for example, a recruiter with knowledge of IT, a sales manager with a technical education, a German-speaking accountant. So a successful specialist of the future is a person who is able to work at the junction of the profession and a single narrow industry. More specifically, among the most popular and promising specialities are b2b sales managers, marketers, developers.

Another point: the pandemic, remote and ”hybrid” employment have changed the approach to hiring managers. According to the U-Team study, stress management (found in 79% of vacancies), resilience in a period of uncertainty (70%), change management (68%), team inspiration (60%), as well as the ability to build communication (53%) were added to the classic triad (managing yourself, tasks and people).

What about the candidate market?

Applicants have definitely become less flexible, began to devote more time to finding and considering job offers.

We had several cases when applicants, before leaving one company for another, took a vacation and went to a new place for a few days, conducted a kind of test drive and only after that decided to quit their previous job. In addition, many candidates are not ready to enter the market in principle: stability is valued more than perspective.

Thank you for your time Rustam!

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