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Job Survey Compares Foreign, Local Firms

Russian managers see higher salaries and quicker promotions as some of the advantages of working at a Russian company, while multinationals offer stability and good benefits, according to a survey published this month by Antal Russia.

The staffing agency polled 200 Russian mid- to senior-level managers about the pluses and minuses of working at a Russian firm versus a multinational.

The advantages of working for a Russian company include a familiar mentality, higher salary, more responsibility, wider span of authority and comparatively faster vertical career growth. The disadvantages include "gray" salaries, a lack of benefits packages, weak corporate culture and the absence of a means of subordinate decision-making.

Conversely, the main advantages of working for a multinational are stability, reliability, transparency, a wider scale of opportunities for professional development, the chance to gain international experience, strong corporate culture and work ethics, the observance of labor laws, a "white" salary and good benefits packages. The disadvantages include bureaucracy, the necessity to get approval from the head office for all decisions, limited opportunity for career growth and a comparatively lower salary.

The previous period of rapid development has plateaued, which is leading to more effective means of personnel management at Russian companies, such as career growth opportunities and competitive bonuses, said Dmitry Gasten, senior manager of management advisory at KPMG Russia and the CIS. At the same time, Russian companies encounter difficulties delegating authority, he said.

"The companies are hierarchical, with final decisions on a wide range of issues made only by the senior management," Gasten said.

As a result, the scope of authority wielded by middle managers suffers, he said.

On the other hand, a large multinational business can offer corporate culture and traditional ethical standards, the opportunity to get a better corporate experience and, in a variety of cases, a wider range of career growth, Gasten said.

"Although the era of multinational companies offering salaries twice as high as at Russian companies is over, the authority of foreign employers remains rather high," said Asya Kolosova, director of recruitment at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Russia. "I think that it probably has much to do with the characteristics of the corporate culture that exists at many multinational companies."

According to Kolosova, transparent career-growth plan, broad benefits package, good atmosphere in the office, regular payments of a "white" salary, education paid for by the company and the reputation of a global brand constitute the stability that is consistently provided at many multinationals operating locally and that candidates are actively seeking in an unstable time.

Candidates are also lured to multinationals by the opportunity to work abroad at a branch or the head office, to work in a multicultural sphere, to exchange experience and to perfect their knowledge of the English language, she said.

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