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Russia still leads in recruitment activity in Europe

Russia still leads in recruitment activity in Europe
According to Antal Russia, Russia remains the leading country by recruitment activity in Europe (71% of surveyed companies are currently hiring at managerial/professional level) with the closest contenders being Switzerland (64%), UK (59%), Czech Republic (57%), France (55%), Romania (55%), Germany (51%), and Poland (48%). India and China have come in neck and neck with Russia in recruitment activity, with 71% of those polled currently hiring.  The global survey of hiring and firing trends, conducted by Antal Russia together with Antal International group of companies, covered over 6,000 organisations in 30 countries, including over 200 companies in Russia across many sectors.
The number of companies hiring managers in Russia continues to grow constantly. In January 2009 only 42% of surveyed companies were ready to open new vacancies, but the number of employers ready to take people on board has risen by 29% for the year. Also employers in Russia remain optimistic and 70% of those who took part in survey are planning to hire middle and senior managers in coming quarter compared to a global average of 55%. The percentage of organisations letting people go has decreased from 58% in January 2009 to 40% in January 2010, but in Russia it still higher than the global average figure 28%.
Michael Germershausen, Antal Russias Managing Director comments: Answering why it is so, we need to look back a couple of years to understand that Russia was hiring at much higher speed than many other countries. Prices, salaries, profit rates were also rising much more quickly. During the recent crisis, the bubble burst much quicker and more severely than in other countries which meant that companies also had to react much quicker and more drastically than in other countries.
 Although most companies have now already got their restructuring behind them in the first half of 2009, there is still an unhealthy number of companies who suffer lack of working capital and investment to expand, adds Tremayne Elson, Antal Russias Regional Managing Director. Inefficient companies, unable to compete, will lose market share and there may be a forced reduction in staff. Russian labour law is easier in practice to circumvent for many firms than in other markets, its easier to get rid of people in Russia. So companies in other markets tend to be more cautious in there hires and  hold onto to people longer unless they are going through rapid cost cutting as we saw in the first Quarter of 2009. 
2010 will see an increase in hiring activity throughout the year, says Tremayne Elson. Its generally accepted that the global markets are returning to recovery mode and those that can need to be gearing up, so expect to see some modest features of the market heating up, more than one offer for good candidates, bidding for the best in market, the return of headhunting. Russia still suffers from a skills shortage in most sectors and this is most felt in the mid management grade, lets say 5 - 10 years post qualification. Within 2010 there will be a shift in the market where there are not enough good candidates to fill all the good jobs.
Who is in demand?
In the Russian FMCG sector weve seen a renewed need for managers responsible for optimization, support and development of the sales processes has appeared at the end of 2009. Key account managers and sales managers at all levels are in demand, as are trade marketing managers.
Pharmaceutical companies are less active in hiring managerial staff, some companies optimized the number of managers during restructuring of their business. The demand in product managers and professionals in the field of registration however continues to grow. There are also new vacancies of senior level regional managers in Russian regions.
Retail chains continue to replace less effective managers with more experienced ones. The companies are unfreezing budgets for recruitment, comments Lilia Maslova, the head of Antal Russia sales dealing with retail. They are starting to think about development and there is a renewed trend to search outside of Russia for foreign talent. Retail business mostly requires purchase managers, merchandisers and operations managers. More companies regard Kazakhstan as a perspective market for expansion. 
The slight increase of the number of vacancies in automotive sector is linked with the growth of activity of production companies in Russian regions, which mostly require middle production managers, according to Antal Russia experts. Suppliers of automobile components and spare parts are optimising their staff and mostly require people to fill such position as sales director because automobile plants start to change suppliers more actively, Says Vera Filatova, Principal Consultant of Antal Russia B2B department. New international suppliers are entering Russian market, which also open vacancies of general directors and sales managers.
There is a growth of number of vacancies in IT and Telecoms. IT vendors are looking for sales managers and engineers to implement and support products. At the end of 2009 the demand in middle level IT professionals to work in companies of different industrial sectors has grown noticeably. Telecommunication companies need in strong sales people as well as engineers.
Employers in Retail banking are looking for strong professionals in such fields as risk management and bad debts restructuring and collateral. Strong market players are looking for managers to develop new products. Banks targeted at development hire personnel to open new branches. Some banks which fired too much of front office personnel now fill these gaps with new people, comments Tatiana Bartiouk, Senior Consultant on the Antal Russia banking team.
Elvira Chekmareva, Principle Consultant on the Antal Russian IB team tells: The demand in professionals in the field of deals structuring returns in the end of 2009 beginning 2010 in Commercial and Investment banking. A row of Russian banks are developing Corporate and Investment banking departments as well as some western banks restructure it. Therefore strong managers, able to build up a team and implement new products are in demand. Investment Banks need professionals with strong sales skills, able to originate new business, at the same time with entrepreneurial mind able and creative approach. The number of vacancies is growing in back and middle office (risk, control). Small companies entering Russian Investment Banking market open new vacancies. The growth of recruitment activity in Private Equity Funds is expected by the middle of 2010.


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