Finding and Keeping Qualified Staff in Russia


Russia is on track for yet another year of above average GDP performance. But while economic growth promises great prosperity, it also brings a of new challenges such as a shortage of qualified labour.

The lesson we learned over the last decade is that qualified Russian staff are just as expensive as in the West. Today, the lesson we are learning is that there is simply not enough qualified labour available on the market which is especially felt by compaines in need of technicians, engineers, sales and finance staff.

So how can companies in Russia cope with the shortfall? Here are some tips for finding, assessing and keeping employees in the finance sector – our area of excellence.



In the fast changing Russian labour market, professional networks have gained more importance when it comes to finding the right employee. When searching for candidates with special qualifications, an innovative approach to advertising vacancies should be considered. At RUSSIA CONSULTING, we make use of networks such as LinkedIn to identify qualified candidates who may not see or respond to traditionally advertised vacancies. In contrast to labour markets in many Western countries, personal contact is more important in Russia. Career and professional fairs are another source recruiters should be looking into.


When asking for references, the recruiter should be aware that references may be friends or relatives of the candidate. This should not be seen as a sign that the candidate lacks integrity though, as this procedure is new to the business culture in Russia. Also, the understanding that a reference should be independent has not yet been fully incorporated into business conduct. Due to the fact that people tend to overestimate their own abilities and qualifications, it is important to check essential qualifications such as university degrees.


Russian employees are aware of the value they bring to the company and they know how buoyant the demand for qualified employees is. Most can immediately pick up a better paid job opportunity should they become frustrated or lose interest in their current position. The best way to address this risk is to have a focused training plan which takes into account the needs of each key employee. If they are the kind of employee you will want to retain, they will value this more than a little extra money in the short-term. Having left behind the disastrous lack of motivation often associated with the Soviet period, management staff on all levels are very keen to improve their skills and move on. Western companies have a unique advantage here and a lack of required language skills should not necessarily stand in the way of recruiting the right candidate.

In the Russian market, it is important to use a variety of techniques to find, assess and retain talented staff. While this may seem like a daunting process, RUSSIA CONSULTING has the knowledge and expertise to assist in the search for the right candidate.

Michael Spaeth

Director of Business Development

+7 / 495 / 956 55 57

[email protected]