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Russia – Recruitment review of 2013

04 December 2013

Despite heightened concerns about another recession, the Russian labour market was stable in 2013 with recruitment levels remaining consistently high. Jobseekers have been raising their expectations of employment conditions and benefits. While Europe saw a drop in recruitment, Russia ranked high among the world's leading countries for hiring rates, reports The Moscow Times.

One of the market trends seen in 2013 was a policy of making counter offers and rehiring former employees. While in 2012 making counter offers was a common practice among employers in Moscow and St. Petersburg, in 2013 it has spread throughout Russia. The counter offer situation has clearly demonstrated that the market remains candidate-driven: current employers have to retain key performers, whereas new employers have to outbid their competitors to acquire top talent.

The financial factor is important, but it is not the only one to consider. However, when it comes to negotiating a counter offer, pay increase remains the prime motivation. In order to retain high performers, employers offer them various incentives: training, new projects, career counselling. Counter offers are most often made to specialist and middle manager positions in sales and engineering fields. These are usually the key employees, with unique knowledge and experience in managing crucial projects.

In attracting and retaining employees, companies have faced yet another challenge. The benefits package has undergone several changes in the past two years. In 2011 the top three benefits included training at the company's expense, voluntary medical insurance, and food allowance. In 2013 food allowance gave way to such benefits as partially covered vacation expenses and interest-free loans. Jobseekers tend to be less concerned about traditional employee benefits. Nowadays, flexible hours and home based jobs are considered to be the most attractive benefits.

The statistics show that 88% of companies repeatedly hire former employees back — the ones who were laid off, or left the company voluntary. Four out of ten (42%) of employers hired the same employee twice, and the majority of those who never resorted to such a practice are not against it (54%).

These recruitment practices have become more commonplace as recruiting adequately skilled/trained staff has become more difficult. A problem that has intensified over the past couple of years.

As for trends in recruitment sources and methods, in 2013 it is very popular to use social networks: more and more recruiters use them for work. Training agencies also came under this new tendency influence by implementing additional course focused on using social networks in HR sphere.

Other interesting recruitment trends in 2013:

• Very often recruiters give precedence to Skype or video conferences instead of personal interviews. This method allows them to speed-up selecting process and to extend search area by including more regions.

• In recent times more companies have started using emotional quotient tests (EQ test) in order to build a cohesive team.

• Candidates often apply info-graphics to their resume or creating video CVs for improved readability.

Looking forward, according to expert opinion, the outlook for 2014 remains stable. Employers will follow moderate HR policies without wholesale redundancies or heavy growth of recruitment processes, on the condition that there are no economic fluctuations. Staff shortage, especially of technical employees, will still be affecting companies, as they continue to compete for talent.

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