A bonus for bringing an acquaintance to your company. This sponsorship system called “Bring Your Friend” is one of the tricks used by a large consulting firm in Moscow to attract qualified employees. “It works very well,” says the hiring manager, who uses all available channels to hire.
The very tight job market in Russia forces companies to compete by being ingenious in their recruitment methods. “Today, there is a trend to change employers every three years. You have to know how to spot these stars,” smiles the seasoned professional. “Some professions, such as computer specialists, and programmers in particular, are particularly difficult,” he continues.
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Deportation of computer scientists has increased since the invasion of Ukraine
Experts estimate that the IT sector suffers from a shortage of two million people. “Behemoths such as the search engine Yandex, the online bank Tinkoff Bank or the software publisher Kaspersky do not really experience difficulties, as they offer excellent working conditions, but small and medium-sized structures are worth it,” Alexey said. Lebedev, an independent human resources consultant.
The shortage is not recent. It has existed for many years in Russia, as in many countries of the world. But it has escalated in the last fifteen months, with the deportation of thousands of computer scientists following the invasion of Ukraine. Only in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, 50,000 to 70,000 specialists in the field of information technology will be settled.
affected military production
IT is not the only sector grappling with manpower shortage, far from it. Almost all areas of activity are affected. According to a recent study by the Institute for Economic Policy Gaither, “the industry is facing the most severe labor shortage crisis” since records began in 1993. As a result, nearly 50% of companies believe that they will be unable to increase production to cope with the increased demand.
Light industry, engineering and food are the most affected branches. In February, the Ministry of Construction reported a shortage of about 200,000 people in its sector and 90,000 people in housing and communal services. Even military production, a capital for the Kremlin, has been affected. “Personnel shortage hinders the execution of the state’s defense order,” Vladimir Putin said in March during a visit to an aeronautical factory in Olan-Ude in Buryatia.
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Usually reluctant to acknowledge the weaknesses of his economy, the Russian president reiterated his remarks a month later, calling for a solution to the problem by “using the potential of personnel in areas where high unemployment rates persist”.
a strong demographic decline
The problem is that the poorest regions are the ones that send the most men to the front. Departures that have led to difficulties, particularly in the agriculture sector, which is struggling to fill vacancies for workers or tractor drivers. “Mobilization is partly to blame for the situation,” said judge Irina Khmelevskaya, recruitment manager at Agrocomplex, a large agricultural company in southern Russia, as quoted by the Bloomberg agency.
There is no dearth of only blue collar workers in the country. In the face of Western sanctions, the government launched ambitious “import substitution” policies. But this requires qualified personnel. Russian economist Vladimir Gimpelson said, “Many people have diplomas, but very obsolete skills.” In question, the level of continuing education is much lower than in Europe. “In Russia, each worker is trained once every ten years. In Germany or the Nordic countries, it is every two years”, underlines this labor market expert, University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States Professor in, a little over a year.
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Difficulties are compounded by the smaller size of the incoming generation in the job market, due to demographic decline. “The 20- to 24-year-old group currently numbers no more than seven million people, explains Natalya Danina, head of analysis at Headhunter, one of the largest Russian recruitment sites. An aeronautical factory in Olan-Oud on March 14. As a result, The market has never had more workers under the age of 35, who represent barely 30% of the country’s workforce.
Added to this natural demographic deficit is the loss of hundreds of thousands of people who have left Russia since the start of the war, mostly highly qualified profiles. A brain drain that is not without consequences for the future. “This is a huge reduction in the country’s human capital. This means the loss of sources of long-term growth, which will result in economic stagnation and technological decline,” predicted Vladimir Gimpelson. Who adds: “Many analysts say that the Russian economy is very flexible. You should observe not only the volume of GDP, but also its composition and quality.”
by Estelle Lavreci (in Moscow)