Galina Akhmerova: ‘We used to advertise goods, but now jobs’

Expert — about new requests in the labour market and employers’ offers

Galina Akhmerova: ‘We used to advertise goods, but now jobs’
Photo: provided to by Galina Akhmerova

Today, the Russian job seekers market dictates its own conditions, and the first thing that experts notice is that it is levelling off in terms of wages. How employers are reviewing salary amounts and what they are ready to offer — in the author's column for Realnoe Vremya by the founder of the Darwin Foundation for the Development of Accessibility of Modern Education and the creator of Round platform, Galina Akhmerova.

Number of job offers has increased by 61%

The number of vacancies in all industries has increased recently. . . .

The main topics of outdoor advertising in subway cars are devoted to real estate, logistics (taxi and delivery), local companies, retail and services. On average, 25% of the posters in the car are a search for personnel.

The observations are confirmed by the analytics of well-known recruiting platforms. According to Avito Work, in August 2023, the number of job offers with a salary above 100 thousand rubles increased 3 times compared to the same period last year. An analysis of vacancies on the HeadHunter(HH) portal has showed: in the summer of 2023, the number of job offers increased by 61% compared to the same period in 2021.

What I've noticed: everyone is looking. If earlier it was possible to fix trends in some specific sectors — IT, retail, banks and others, now the competition is unfolding not within one segment, but between them. Literally in one subway car in the neighbourhood there are ads for banks, retail, logistics, transport workers, and production.

Interest in representatives of working professions

Who are wanted?

  • Drivers/machinists;
  • locksmiths (of various specialisations), plumbers;
  • sales/customer/partner managers;
  • logistics specialists;
  • engineers;
  • millers;
  • electricians;
  • operators/masters of production line

In general, it can be clearly determined that in 2023, interest in representatives of working professions prevails. It is not for nothing that the state, employers, and educational institutions are actively solving this problem now. One of the innovations is the Professionalism federal project, which was launched last year. Advantage of the new programmes — short training time (2 years).

More than 40% of companies have revised salaries

What are employers doing at this time? Now that the job seekers market dictates its terms.

The first thing that becomes noticeable is that the market is levelling off in terms of wages. Here, of course, many enterprises in the manufacturing sector should have done this for a long time and reached at least a “hygienic minimum”, but better late than never.

A confirmation, again, is analytics from job offer sites.

Chief Expert of HH.RU, labour market expert Natalia Danina reports that, according to the survey, more than 40% of companies revised salaries during the first half of 2023 (mainly in January and April), and 39% are going to do it during the second half of 2023 (mainly in December).

There is a significant difference in positioning between companies that have been involved in the race for personnel for a long time (oil and gas sector, banks, IT), and those that have recently entered the market again (industry and manufacturing).

Companies from the industry focus on their positioning on:

  • duration of work in the market;
  • learning opportunities (including from scratch, free of charge);
  • payment stability;
  • payment for meals, travel;
  • sanatorium-and-health-resort treatment;
  • care of employees' children.

More “media” companies, for example from the financial and oil and gas sectors, attract to themselves due to high meanings:

  • for those who want to constantly develop, move forward;
  • improve the quality of life and create new opportunities for society;
  • who are leaders in the field of sustainable development;
  • innovation character of technologies;
  • career trajectory;
  • VMI.

In fact, the same thing comes out, but in different words. These are the packages of marketers — who knows how and who wants to “catch” whom.

For my taste, it is necessary to speak with applicants for current open vacancies in simple words that everyone understands.

Perhaps, the returning trend for ads in the subway is not the worst story. Being closer to the people is the key to a wide funnel of applicants.

It is important for companies to show advantages and tell about themselves honestly

Unfortunately, it is still difficult for us to talk simply about complicated things: either they overdo it with creativity and meanings, or they even cover the ad under the format of the 90s. In fact, it turns out that the employee needs to learn a lot about the employer itself: the pros and benefits are shown in template phrases and do not reveal the truth about the company.

There is a big gap between PR, recruitment (HR service) and production. For example, recently communicating with one large employer, finding out its advantages for employees, I found that the company has pleasant opportunities for an employee that have remained since Soviet times: its own children's camps (almost free of charge), its own qualified medical service, preferential queues for kindergarten, its own canteen. For example, on average, it costs about 50,000 rubles to send a child to a camp for two weeks without benefits.

But in the ads — only the salary, just below the market. And if all indirect financial opportunities are digitised into real money, then a very good increase comes out.

It is fair to note that companies understand their growth zones: they are looking for PR specialists and marketers, the garbage operator of Tatarstan UK PZhKH, KAMAZ Digital, Tatneft, TransTechService, Institute for Urban Development of the Republic of Tatarstan Foundation and others. Moreover, most of them do not name wages, but give a solid list of tasks: to make the company recognisable, build a friendly image, conduct social networks, engage in internal communications, copywriting and speechwriting, organise events and develop personal brands of managers. A great load on one person, considering that, in a good way, these tasks are the work of different specialists. It turns out to be a vicious circle: if you want to hire new employees, you run into hiring other employees with the same mistakes.

At a time when tonnes of ads with approximately the same financial conditions are falling on a person, it is important for companies to show corporate advantages, to tell about themselves honestly, transparently, firsthand. Advertising should no longer be on behalf of companies, but on behalf of employees. You need them to want and talk about your culture inside, about their achievements with you. The task is difficult, but it's about a longer-term and strong interaction with your future employees. It is not for nothing that large companies now organise the work of the HR department together with the PR department.

When choosing a new job, I recommend that applicants pay attention to reviews, watch employee groups on social networks or messengers. There's more or less real about your future employer.

What are the conclusions?

  • The number of vacancies has increased again.
  • Industries are competing with industries.
  • Working specialists are a priority.
  • Financial offers have equalised.
  • Employers make a similar, not unique, trade offer for potential job seekers.
  • The market is in search of new tools for the employee-employer dialogue.
Galina Akhmerova

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