Galina Akhmerova: ‘Russia is losing its human resources, and the country's economy will suffer’

Labour market expert — on the transformation of employers and job seekers this year

The labour market in Russia is undergoing serious changes. There have been a number of interesting trends, for example, a decline in demand for top managers and an increase in the number of vacancies with easy entry. Besides, the popularity of the hiring and freelancing model has grown, and the number of Russians with a second job or part-time job along with it — there are already 30% of such working citizens, or almost twice as many as last year. However, among the long-term factors is a decrease in the birth rate and an increase in mortality, which will negatively affect the country's economy, warns Galina Akhmerova, the former top manager of BARS Group, founder of the Darwin Foundation for the development of modern education accessibility and creator of Round platform, in an author's column for Realnoe Vremya.

Russia is losing its human resources

The personnel market in Russia continues to undergo a powerful transformation. Among the long-term factors influencing this: a decrease in the birth rate and an increase in mortality. According to the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat), 1 million 398 thousand people were born in Russia in 2021. This is the minimum number since 2001 and by 38 thousand less than in 2020.

Mortality in 2021 amounted to 2 million 441 thousand people. This is the absolute maximum in the entire history of modern Russia, by 303 thousand more than in 2020.

There are fewer of us: Russia is losing its human resources. And, unfortunately, the country's economy will suffer.

Certainly, the coronavirus pandemic has already significantly affected the labour market, strengthening the position of remote work and leading to increased demand in the segments such as online retail, pharmaceutical industry, non-ferrous metallurgy, and food industry. Partial mobilisation has also shaken up the market. Now it is already possible to identify certain strategies of employers' behaviour in the new conditions:
  • the interest of employers has shifted in favour of less popular categories of Russians in earlier times.

Hiring temporary employees — in trend

According to, in October employers began to invite women to interviews by 3% more often: compared to the first week of the month, the share of female resumes that interested recruiters increased from 59% to 62%, and the share of male resumes decreased from 41% to 38%.

  • Some employers are planning to return some of the employees who retired not so long ago;
  • A larger number of employers are now ready to consider attracting students to work practice and their further employment;
  • The trend of hiring temporary employees under fixed-term employment contracts is gaining popularity;
  • The number of part-time job offers is increasing.

Search and hiring specialists note the following points:

  1. The problem is with the profitability of candidates at all stages of the interview: from an invitation to an interview to an offer and consent to go to work.
  2. Intensive work on the initial stage of the funnel: cold search/сalling applicants.
  3. Reduction of the evaluation criterion in relation to professional experience and work experience.

Zoomers are changing the rules

The job seekers market is also changing:

  • Among the employed categories, the activity of finding and changing jobs has decreased;
  • New requirements of safety and guarantees from candidates to employers are imposed: reservation, relocation;
  • The employer's brand is becoming more important (it is more difficult for small and medium-sized businesses);
  • The new generation is entering the labour market. All over the world, employers are faced with how Zoomers are changing the rules. But, given the demographic pit in Russia, the situation will develop differently in our country. Already today, many employers interact separately with the categories of “youth” (under 35) and “experienced”, and in the future we are waiting for a widening gap between teams of different ages and backgrounds.

In the near future, I think, the demand for mothers on maternity leave will also increase, and companies will be forced to work out the appropriate conditions for them.

Both employers and job seekers are facing a large number of challenges, as well as the state as a whole. All these factors will affect not only the first stage of hiring and competition for personnel, but also the further internal corporate environment and its transformation.

We will watch the development of events together with you: which of the trends will be forgotten in the near future, and which will become part of our lives.

Galina Akhmerova

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