|RUSSIA STARTS IMPORTING “GOLDEN
MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Alexander Yurov)
According to the official statistics, some 50,000 jobseekers annually
leave Russia, but the International Labor Organization says more than
500,000 Russians have immigrated since the reforms began.
Russia has long been an exporter of “good brains.” However, few people
are aware that a large number of highly qualified professional foreigners
come to work in Russia. Russia is both a supplier of human resources and
an importer of “golden heads.” The country is also more firmly
establishing its presence on the executive search market.
An international conference on the globalization of the recruitment market
has just finished in St. Petersburg. HR experts from across Europe
discussed labor market problems and found that vacancies for heads of
local offices of global corporations are the most popular in Russia.
However, foreigners are also invited to head separate branches of
international companies and as independent directors to supervisory boards
of Russian companies.
The globalization of the labor market not only manifests itself in the
removal of barriers to employment in other countries. After entering a
foreign market, international companies seek to adapt their businesses to
the local environment. Russia is not an exception, and local professionals
are invited to work for international companies with roots in Russia.
Russians are also employed abroad. A large mining company active in
Australia, Canada and Chile, has lately launched a search for Russian
candidates to fill vacancies in South Africa.
The borders on the market of top managers and high-level experts are also
becoming more vague, says Yulia Nikitina, a managing partner with the
Boyden international HR agency. However, it is mostly multinational
companies that attract foreign managers. And in such companies a manager
is always international. As soon as his experience and skills comply with
certain corporate standards, he or she can be transferred to any
department of the company abroad that may require his services. Russian
managers who have lately gained experience of reorganizing and
establishing new businesses at home and introducing new products and
technologies on the market are often required in other developing
economies. For example, a chief engineer from a St. Petersburg-based
company was recently invited to head a factory in Europe, Nikitina said.
However, multinational companies are not the sole contributors to the
globalization of the labor market. Russian enterprises also seek to
attract highly qualified professionals from abroad. Financial companies
have been quite successful in this area. They have traditionally borrowed
on western management and recruitment experience, and English is often
spoken in Russian offices now. Today, foreigners almost everywhere control
departments handling management of foreign customers’ assets. Many
foreign analysts and brokers are also employed in Russia.
The reasons why Russian entrepreneurs prefer employing foreign staff are
easy to explain. This is a professional necessity, rather than fashion. A
businessman who has been trained in the West is disciplined, professional
and predictable. Almost every such professional is an expert in a certain
narrow business sphere. These qualities are quite rare in Russia.
In addition, the heads of Russian companies often regard foreign
specialists as instructors to train Russian staff. Under the guidance of
an experienced foreign manager local stuff can be trained to become
high-class professionals within two to three years. This is perhaps why
some ambitious Russian companies even have foreign HR managers.
Russians are also wanted on the global labor market. When a foreign HR
manager chooses a Russian professional among other candidates, he does so
because most of them share certain valuable features. Russians’
adaptability, flexibility, talent, team spirit and academic knowledge are
appreciated in the world. Russian people are almost always more proactive
than their foreign counterparts, though, unfortunately, less predictable