‘Young people dreamed of sitting in the office drinking a cup of coffee’

Historically low unemployment rate in the Russian labor market is a bad symptom for the economy

‘Young people dreamed of sitting in the office drinking a cup of coffee’
Photo: Реальное время

There are not enough workers in production, agriculture and construction. At the same time, salaries are rising, as well as the cost of attracting new employees. What is happening on the labour market in Tatarstan and how companies solve the problems of staff shortages — in the review of the analytical service of Realnoe Vremya.

A shortage of job seekers on the market

In the first quarter of 2023, the hh index in Russia was 4.5 resumes per vacancy — this is a moderate level of competition for jobs. In the first quarter of 2024, the index dropped to 3.5 resumes, which indicates a shortage of applicants in the market, commented the head of the hh.ru press service in the Volga region, Yulianna Levashova. In Tatarstan, the labour market situation, according to the hh.index, is more tense than the average in Russia — in the first quarter of 2023, the index was 3.8, from January to March 2024 it was already 3.4.

According to the results of the first quarter of 2024, the demand for personnel in Russia increased by 35%, and the activity of applicants also increased by 27%. In Tatarstan, the situation is similar: the demand for staff in the first quarter of 2024 increased by 29%, and the applicant activity — by 34%. At the same time, the analytical data of hh.ru shows that there is an increased demand for workers in the local labour market, which is not met, even despite the seasonal increase in job-seeking activity.

The median salary offered in Tatarstan, according to the data hh.ru, is 60 thousand rubles. In the republic, the sphere of “Automotive business” is the leader in terms of wages (more than 90 thousand rubles), almost the same amount is paid in the professional sector “Strategy, investments, consulting” and with a small margin (87 thousand), the third place is occupied by the “Agriculture” industry. The most popular professions in the republic are sales manager (8% of the total), sales consultant (6%), and call center operator (6%).

By the way, today employers in Tatarstan offer an average salary of 79 thousand rubles to specialists in the field of information technology, in Russia — about 70 thousand rubles.

Average salary offer increased by 7%

“The labour market in the first quarter of 2024 in Tatarstan shows positive dynamics, and the prospects for employment and career development remain favourable for most specialists," commented Alexander Sampetov, the director of the category “Workers and linear professions” of Avito Jobs. “Comparing the data for the first quarter of 2023 with the same period in 2024, we can note an increase in the number of vacancies in the region by 37%. In conditions of personnel shortage, companies continue to actively search for employees to develop and expand their business.”

Most often, according to Avito Jobs, employers are looking for representatives of scarce working professions involved in manufacturing, agriculture, and construction, as well as workers in mass and linear professions.

In the first quarter, the largest number of ads were placed for couriers and handymen (the vacancy rate on the platform for them was 6% and 5%, respectively), as well as employees of warehouses — packers and pickers (equal shares of 3% each). Such popularity of these employees among employers can be explained by the dynamic development of the retail and e-comm sectors. Besides, freight forwarders (3%) and skilled workers are in high demand: welders (3%) and locksmiths (3%).

Among office areas, stable growth in demand and salary offers remains in the IT sector — the average proposed salaries for new employees increased by 10% year-on-year, and there were 83% more new vacancies, Sampetov notes.

According to Avito Jobs, the average salary offer for new employees amounted to 61,262 rubles per month in Tatarstan in the first quarter, which is by 7% higher compared to last year. In the region, the highest-paid sector for 2024 was the sphere of transport and logistics. Employers are ready to offer 87,986 rubles to specialists in this industry for a full-time job. Also, the automotive business segments with an average salary of 85,813 rubles per month and construction with 77,959 rubles became one of the highest paid.

Cost of attracting candidates has increased

“The labour market situation was more difficult in the first half of 2023. Then Tattelecom company needed to significantly adjust the amount of remuneration for specialists. At the moment, the personnel issue is still relevant, but its acuteness has been noticeably reduced: the revision of salaries continues at a moderate pace, the average number of employees of the company is stable," said Airat Nurutdinov, the director general of Tattelecom PJSC.

“It is important that in recent years the demands and expectations of people from work and employers have changed. The cost of attracting candidates has increased, since the fewer applicants there are on the market, the more expensive the activities related to their selection. Accordingly, the terms of staff search have also increased," he noted.

Since the middle of last year, there has been a shortage of personnel in linear engineering professions. Today, the main vacancies in Tattelecom are the following: mass line staff, specialists of the customer service unit, builders (telecom directions), employees of the contact center. The shortage of personnel in these areas is felt in many companies, Nurutdinov notes.

“In general, Tattelecom's specialists are well appreciated in the market, they are trying to lure them away. We believe that this is the result of the positive HR brand of the company that has been formed in recent years, which we are trying to strengthen," he said.

Tattelecom addresses the job seekers market mainly in the selection of line staff. “We manage on our own, without involving recruitment agencies. The company employs about 17 in-house recruiters," Nurutdinov said. “Since the market is competitive, we focus on retaining existing employees first of all. It is important not only to attract new employees, but also to update motivational programmes for existing staff.”

Payroll is regularly reviewed to motivate employees. For example, in 2023, wages (salary or basic bonus amount) were increased for more than half of employees — 52% of employees. To increase labour productivity, bonus programmes for a number of specialists from mass departments were also revised. New bonuses are in effect from 2024. Among them, a paid day off on the occasion of a birthday (within 7 days before or after the date) and a shortened Friday at the request of the team, the CEO of Tattelecom cited as an example.

It is necessary to react more quickly to the mood of employees

“The situation on the labour market remains tense, which affects us as well — we are following the trends of the general production market. There are becoming fewer candidates. If we compare with the first quarter of the previous year, the overall recruitment figures are slightly lower and generally repeat the downward trend," Alexander Eliseev, Danaflex HR Director, commented to Realnoe Vremya.

There is a shortage of personnel in all categories of vacancies, industrial and office — more efforts need to be made to maintain the flow of candidates at the same level. According to him, the shortage in production positions is felt more acutely, but office vacancies in certain specialties do not lag behind production ones.

“We are rebuilding the stages of candidate selection and adaptation processes. We regularly conduct satisfaction surveys and develop feedback channels (an open window, meetings with the executive directorate) in order to respond more quickly to the mood of employees," said Eliseev.

The company conducted a study of compensation and benefits for competitors and analysed what additional benefits can be introduced. “At the moment, we provide free halal meals, additional medical insurance, rest rooms are equipped in factories," he listed. “Besides, we support the involvement of employees in the company's life: we develop a mentoring system, organise contests, lectures and corporate events, support the sports hobbies of colleagues, involve employees in environmental initiatives. This allows us to form a stable team with a high level of responsibility.”

Shortage of personnel is associated with echoes of past years

Danil Galiullin, CEO of EnergoGazServis PLC, agrees that there is a shortage of qualified personnel in the labour market today. “Our company has a large shortage of specialists such as a locksmith/instrumentation engineer, an electric and gas welder, an operator of a CNC bending press," he listed.

“Now there is an acute problem with locksmiths and instrumentation engineers with work experience. Many people come who want to learn, but most of them are not ready for such work and leave at the internship stage," Galiullin said. “Also, since the beginning of the special military operation, a greater crisis began, perhaps, this was due to the beginning of mobilisation. At the moment, the situation is getting better: over the past 6 months, we have employed four EC&I locksmiths, they have completed an internship and continue to work to this day.”

Galiullin associates the shortage of working professions with echoes of past years, when all young professionals dreamed of becoming managers, hoping to get a good place in a large company, “sit in the office, sipping a cup of coffee, and get a huge salary for it”.

Now, according to him, young professionals and school graduates have an interest in working professions. “We have signed an agreement with the Kazan Power Engineering College to attract students to our company for practice, and in the future — employment," said Danil Galiullin. “We are also ready to pay a scholarship from the company on the terms of guarantees from the student that in the future they will work for the entire contract term at our enterprise. We have also signed an agreement with the Employment Center, our vacancies can be seen at fairs.”

Yulia Garaeva