IT, Finance to Hire in 2011

The labor market may grow 20 percent in 2011 on the back of GDP growth. Igor Tabakov

With online jobs portal HeadHunter.ru placing five ads for information technology and telecoms in the past week, you can say the labor market is healthy enough that even recruiters themselves are hiring.

The company, advertising nine jobs for Moscow, plus positions from Yaroslavl to Vladivostok, is far from alone in its enthusiasm for new hires. Moderate growth in the overall economy and the labor market in 2011 is expected by economists and other market watchers, with hires in some of the areas hit hardest by the economic crisis: retail, finance and production.

In fact, there already has been a pre-crisis resurgence of sorts. The number of available jobs in the pre-crisis period already was surpassed earlier this year, with vacancies in 2010 outnumbering those in 2008, said Yury Virovets, president of HeadHunter.ru.

Yet, with economists predicting an annual increase in gross domestic product that is modest compared with pre-crisis figures ― projecting a range of 3 percent to 5 percent for 2011, versus the roughly 8 percent growth in 2007 ― the labor market growth in Moscow, as well as in Russia overall, will be considerable but not wild.

The labor market will expand 15 percent to 20 percent in 2011 compared with this year, Virovets said. Vacancy figures advance more than GDP figures, he noted, but the labor market is, of course, tempered by overall economic growth.

A 20 percent increase in vacancies is expected by brick-and-mortar recruiter Kelly Services CIS, an international professional services firm with offices in 22 cities throughout Russia.

That's coming after a 30 percent to 40 percent drop-off caused by the crisis, said Irina Kondratova, director of Russian operations for Kelly Services CIS.

In 2011, there will be more job growth in the regions than in Moscow and St. Petersburg, she added, as regional projects and ventures such as construction for the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Krasnodar region add jobs.

Among Russian online recruiters, HeadHunter.ru is just one of many in a sphere that includes Jobs.ru, Superjob.ru and Rabota.ru. While the volume of resumes added to their sites outstrips the number of positions posted there, sometimes by three times or greater, the sites offer tens of thousands of positions between them.

Research by HeadHunter.ru for November, the latest that is publicly available, suggests that there was an uptick from October and a robust return to growth from the year-earlier period. The overall number of vacancies went up 3 percent from October to November, the research found, and almost doubled in comparison with the November 2009 figures.

"If you were looking for work in November, you couldn't help but notice that vacancies overall became greater," the HeadHunter.ru report says.

Compared with January 2008 ― which was before the global economic crisis fully swept the national economy later that year ― the number of job vacancies has risen 41 percent.

The number of resumes in Moscow has gone up almost three times since then, HeadHunter.ru says.

Some fields are flinging open their doors to new staff, however. Sales, information technology, finance and manufacturing are some of the areas that will demonstrate the most substantial growth, Virovets said. As for manufacturers, the biggest increase in orders ― and jobs ― will be at the major producers, especially the state corporations, he said.

Kelly Services also believes that sales and service, including the finance sector, will provide the most noticeable growth next year.

In sales, the hires will come from chains such as X5 Retail Group. It is planning to open more stores before the end of this year and perhaps open up more branches next year. The latter is likely given the company's recent agreement to purchase competitor Kopeika announced earlier this month.

No matter what job or position candidates are applying for, recruiters have standard advice on mistakes to avoid. The most obvious, and easiest, mistake for many applicants is expanding or embellishing their resumes. That has its own risks: Vedomosti reported this fall that job seekers increasingly are being scrutinized by prospective employers.

Kondratova said that for many applicants, a major trap is providing what prospective employers don't want. Job seekers "give too much information, personal information," she said.

They also fail to tailor their interview talking points to the company's job description. "When you sell something, you have to understand what people want to buy," she said.

HeadHunter.ru's Virovets had a similar caution, saying the most common mistake is failing to match your application documents to the job ad. Be "more accurate," he advised.

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