- Mikhail, how many people from Western Europe and America look for work in Moscow every year?
- We have the figures for the rate at which candidates whose native language is one other than Russian or the languages of the CIS countries, are posting their CV’s. In other words, we have the rate at which expats are posting their CV’s on hh.ru. The rate of growth of such CV’s on hh.ru grew right up until 2010. In 2010, it decreased by 60%. This doesn’t mean that there were fewer CV’s: on the contrary, the number grew in absolute terms, despite the fact that the rate of growth fell by more than twice. In 2011, the rate of growth grew in comparison with 2010 but was, nonetheless, lower than in 2009. Judging by the figures for this year, the rate of growth will increase a little.
The top western countries from where most come to work in Russia are: Britain, America, Germany, France and Spain.
- From which Western countries do most people come to work in the Russian capital?
- First place is occupied by expats from English-speaking countries; second by native German-speaking professionals; French-speakers third, and Spanish-speakers fourth (not counting other countries). So, roughly speaking, the top western countries from where most, in absolute terms, come here are: Britain, America, Germany, France and Spain.
- In which fields are Americans, English, French and Germans most in demand in Moscow?
- The fields in which most qualified foreigners are hired are: consulting, banking, manufacturing, oil and gas and, possibly, retail. In 2011, Russian companies found over 2,000 highly-qualified managers and experts from other countries through hh.ru (our partner TheNetwork) alone.
Top Russian executives are holding their own against those from abroad: they have experience of running successful companies.
- Large Russian monopolists with their headquarters in Moscow buy expensive footballers for the teams they sponsor. Are they interested in the most expensive senior executives from abroad?
- In recent times, in Russia, interest in expensive western Europeans has decreased significantly. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, top Russian executives, to a large extent, are holding their own against those from abroad: they have great experience of running large, successful companies; secondly, hiring foreigners is always a more complicated and costly process; thirdly, the salaries demanded by the most expensive foreign managers appear, to a large extent, inflated to Russian companies. And also, there are virtually no businesses in Russia for which expensive foreign managers are absolutely essential.
- But why, all the same, do Russian employers want to attract foreign employees?
- Interest in them is more out of pragmatism and necessity. Foreigners have what many Russians do not. If it’s a matter of specialists, for example, technicians and engineers, then it is to do with their up-to-date knowledge and practical experience of working to the latest technological standards. Those who are hired are those capable of implementing here the knowledge and skills they have acquired, and training their Russian colleagues. If it’s a matter of managers, then their main advantage is experience of effective management in the kind of conditions which are only just coming into play in Russia, and for which, as yet, there aren’t enough people with that kind of experience. For companies wanting to enter the international market (or are there already) it is still to do with contacts and improving the profile of the directors.
HeadHunter is Russia’s leading internet recruitment company, developing business in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. It was founded in 2000. The company’s greatest asset is its website hh.ru, helping to build successful careers with its database of 208,000 current vacancies and 8.5 million CV’s. 270,000 people a week are invited for interview through hh.ru. HeadHunter also owns the site Career.ru, and manages Rabota.mail.ru (“Rabota” is Russian for “Work”).
- What about competition?
- Competition for jobs between Russian and foreign managers is growing. If 4-5 years ago a job as the head of a bank or pharmaceutical company would go, most likely, to a foreigner, then now it would depend on the strengths and weaknesses of the actual candidates. Our company has its own universal indicator to measure the level of competition between candidates: the hh.index. For top executives in Moscow, the hh.index is 8.9. This means that for every vacant position there are nine applicants, which is one of the highest levels on the employment market.
- What can foreigners thinking about working in Moscow expect?
- They can, most likely, expect a salary larger than they would receive at home. But it won’t be so immeasurably larger that they will be dripping with gold after a couple of years. In Russia, those days have gone. And anyone who thinks that they will make an absolute fortune as a senior executive here should think again.
Those who are hired are those capable of implementing here the knowledge and skills they have acquired, and training their Russian colleagues.
- Moscow is a fairly expensive city. How do foreign specialists deal with the issues of living expenses etc.?
- An employer can undertake to deal with many everyday issues if that is stipulated in the contract, and if the employee is truly valuable and able to bring in more than he costs.
- What is the average length of a contract?
- According to the research carried out in 2010 in collaboration with our partner network of recruitment sites, TheNetwork, the majority of people wanting to work in Moscow and other Russian cities can expect a contract lasting for five to seven years.
For top executives in Moscow, the hh.index is 8.9. This means that for every vacant position there are nine applicants.
- You often hear of Russian companies obliging foreign employees to learn Russian, and that this is written into their contracts in a separate clause...
- In principle, this is a perfectly reasonable requirement from the side of the employer. If a company hires someone to work in Russia for a large fee, then it is perfectly within in its rights to expect them to learn Russian, even if only at a basic level. I don’t think that employees complain about this seeing as it increases their value on the Russian job market.
- What should someone from Europe or America do if they are considering looking for work in Moscow?
- Get feedback from their professional circles on working in the Russian capital, come here as a tourist for a few weeks, decide on the kinds of companies they would like to work for, start learning Russian, and post their CV in both languages on hh.ru.