Best employers in Russia — who are they?

Forbes has announced the start of work on the fourth rating “The best employers in Russia”. The experts of the publication promise to evaluate companies not only in terms of salaries and social package, but also their commitment to the sustainable development agenda and best corporate practices. Galina Akhmerova, the founder of Darwin Foundation for the Development of Accessibility of Modern Education, former top manager of BARS Group and creator of the Round platform, writes more about who can meet these criteria in the author's column for Realnoe Vremya.

Best employers in Russia — who are they?

And most importantly, who determines them and by what criteria? Is it marketing or useful information for the labour market? How can an employee choose “his” company? And does it make sense now?

Let's start in order. At the moment, applications are being collected in the two largest ratings of companies.

  1. Forbes has been working on the rating of the best employers in Russia for the fourth year in a row. Its main difference is that it is not exclusively an HR award, but a significant part of the evaluation methodology is occupied by a block of issues related to the environmental footprint of participating companies. Weight distribution in the assessment: Corporate Governance (10%), Environment (40%), and Employees and Society (50%).
  2. The HeadHunter rating is one of the most authoritative ratings of employers in Russia, which is compiled on the basis of three key metrics:
  • effectiveness of HR department;
  • level of involvement of company employees;
  • opinion of applicants.

The project involves companies from all industries and regions of the country. For example, in 2021, more than 750 companies from 20 industries reached the final of the rating.

The results in the ratings depend on the choice of the expert jury, as well as open voting.

At the same time, the absence in the rating does not say anything bad about the company: it just did not apply. That is, to get into the assessment, you need a will from the employer. Small companies, for example, usually do not focus on this, but attract with flexibility and recommendations.

At the same time, the employer's brand and its presence in the ratings give a more objective idea of the real working conditions, corporate culture, and values. This is a kind of guarantee of stability, which has become even more important in 2022.

How urgent problems of employees are solved

Forbes plans to evaluate employers according to the following criteria in the sections:

  • for corporate governance, they will be the gender and age diversity of employees, digitalisation of processes, strategy in simple language, working with the market and the control environment (corporate governance code, risk management policy);
  • under the item “Employees and society”: training, social support, vacations, VMI, additional remuneration, salary level, labour safety, charity, infrastructure investments and turnover;
  • peculiarity of this year — the main thing in assessing the company's interaction with employees is how their pressing problems are solved: development of direction of caring for psychological state, corporate volunteering, tasks to maintain staff and salary levels, assistance in preparing for retirement.

Compared with the elaboration of the other points, “Environment” at first glance seems to be just a fashion statement. However, everything is not so simple — we mean the expanded ESG agenda (ESG: Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance).

There are also ratings in this area, for example, the RAEX-Europe rating, which determines the ESG leaders among 155 Russian companies in 12 key sectors of the Russian economy by 200 parameters, or the national ESG ranking among 75 Russian industrial companies.

Obviously, this agenda is especially relevant in industrial and raw materials industries, where the environmental safety of production is important both in terms of environmental impact and for the health of employees. ESG agenda should cover not only the problems of business responsibility, such as pressure drop and leaks on the Nord Stream or the Druzhba oil pipeline, which have already caused damage to the eco-structure, but also local problems: in this case, it is worth remembering the cities of the presence of large enterprises, where employees not only work, but also they live permanently with their families.

Also here it is possible to pay attention to the work with the social direction (charity) in single-industry towns and city-forming enterprises. Eco-volunteering, subbotniks, beautification of parks and squares are now forming the image and reputation of the company.

Active development of intra-corporate interaction

Public open presence is now becoming extremely important even for small companies (it is especially valuable on behalf of managers). Both in the open information field and in the inner contour.

Everyone knows about the developed corporate culture in IT, but now we are seeing that even traditionally closed areas, such as metallurgy, oil and gas and chemical industries, are actively developing intra-corporate interaction. They develop their telegram channels and topical pages, and large companies even launch their own social networks for employees. Such already exist, for example, at Norilsk Nickel, NLMK and Rusal.

Round is also involved in this process. Having reviewed the capabilities of our platform, we understand that the platform solution allows companies to minimise staff turnover and increase the capacity of corporate culture. In conditions of instability for business, working on an existing resource makes it possible to strengthen human capital.

For example, the words of Mikhail Arkhipov, NLMK Group's Vice President for Human Resources, are very responsive to me: “It is the employees who allow the company to achieve its goals and sustainable results, and the company, in turn, helps them to continuously develop and become leaders.”

No matter how much may seem unimportant and insignificant at the moment, life consists of routine decisions. And it is by the way the employer conducts a dialogue with society on a daily basis that the idea of them is built.

Galina Akhmerova, photo provided by the author

The author's opinion may not coincide with the position of the editorial board of Realnoe Vremya