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Talking Points: Recruiters Tackle Hot Topics

The Special Report section did not involve the reporting or the editorial staff of The Moscow Times.

Marina Simonova
Ventra employment

Russian companies now fill most positions with nationals. Is there still a market for expats?

"In Russia the peak of the expats' popularity was in the mid-1990s. Today there is not such a big interest. The reason for this is primarily the high qualifications of Russian mining specialists. Such specialists are in high demand in a number of the CIS countries. In addition, a lot of Russian specialists have worked with expats as team members on projects and gained experience through this work. So now, they are competent enough to manage tasks without the involvement of expats.

"If we are talking about Russians who left the country in the '90s to work in the field and gain relevant Western expertise, then it should be noted that many of them want to come back to Russia. The main motivation is the opportunity to come back to a new role and participate in new, large-scale projects."

Alexei Razhev, director of metallurgy and mining at Cornerstone


"Foreign specialists in Russia have a whole range of benefits that are not enjoyed by the local staff at the same level: more social benefits and a higher salary. This is why foreigners win from working in Russia. At the same time, there are now more opportunities for Russians to get managerial skills and obtain an MBA qualification, so there are now more Russians in top managerial positions, which before had been filled with expats."

Tatyana Dolyakova, general director of Penny Lane Personnel


Andrei Chulakhvarov
Coleman Services

"Unlike Singapore, Russia is not well-advertised and, therefore, attractive to Western candidates. Russia still has a stereotypical image, so it is not at the top of peoples' minds when looking to work overseas. But it is competitive in terms of personal income tax, which is considerably lower than elsewhere."

Alex Shteingardt, managing director, Hays Russia


Why do companies insist on holding so many interviews, nowadays, for a single job?

"The cost of the wrong hiring decision is higher. In order to rid himself of the sole responsibility, the hiring manager may want a second opinion. That is why a candidate will meet not one or two people in the company, but may go to three or four interviews."

"What remains is more psychological: It is much easier to impress two people than to impress four. You have a better chance of finding a common language with one person than with two. The more interviewers, the less chance you have of being liked by them. At some point someone comes in and says, "Well, actually I'm not convinced," and everybody else will start looking at that candidate as a risky decision. And it is very rarely that one person will bang their fist on the table and say, "I insist," because if that were the case, this person would not have needed a second opinion in the first place. So that is how many candidates just fall off during these multi-stage interviews."

Andrei Chulakhvarov, head of general staffing at Coleman Services


Alexei Razhev
Cornerstone

Why do adverts for the same jobs, at the same companies, keep reappearing?

"A simple answer is that they do not need anyone at all. They may just be seeing if their salaries are enough, or more or less than the market. They also may not be able to afford a specialist provider who would do a salary survey for them, so maybe they just do it themselves."

Marina Simonova, general manager, Ventra Employment


"Another factor is that you could advertise your vacancy and get 30 responses to your advert, but the quality of the candidates would be so poor that you would be wondering what these candidates were thinking about. You can't have a nurse applying for a brand manager position. But that is what will happen if you advertise on the Internet. So companies post again and get two candidates they like, but they are not fast enough. Or your staff decides not to leave after all."

Andrei Chulakhvarov, head of general staffing at Coleman Services


Should all candidates have social media skills?

"Young people are very good at social media and modern technologies, but they lack corporate experience. While middle managers know corporate functions very well, but modern technology for them is not the easiest field of expertise. HR has to understand the merits and drawbacks of the different employees and be good at managing them. Indeed, all employees are different and have different views of particular processes, so HR should be aware of that and be good at managing it. Today, it is a challenge to work with generation Х and Y, and HR has to see their peculiarities and make a united picture of it."

Alexei Mironov, director of strategic development, ANCOR


"Two-thirds of young graduates do ask, when choosing a job, about the employer's social media policy, because this is a part of their life and they drive this trend. As they are at the same time consumers, it should not be neglected. But a more experienced manager who has not spent half of his life on Facebook still needs to observe this trend from the angle of how he can use it, as a marketing, sales, PR or internal communications specialist, regardless of the level of responsibility."

Alex Shteingardt, managing director, Hays Russia

The Special Report section did not involve the reporting or the editorial staff of The Moscow Times.

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