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For whom are we looking?

Which professions are most sought after in the Kazakhstani labor market? In order to answer this question, we carried out a small survey among recruiting companies and personnel agencies within the city of Almaty.

Dinara Shakhar

Those in-demand professions directly depend on the situation within the business sphere and on legislation. As per the results of the research carried out, on the labor market of Kazakhstan at present mid-level managers take the leading position. Included here are those managers specializing in customer relations and sales. Second, are financial and IT professionals. And, third are highly qualified engineers and accountants, as well as marketing specialists, lawyers and economists.
To our question on why top managers and translators were not mentioned, recruiting specialists explained, “Top managers do not usually utilize our services. And, even if they do, it happens very rarely, with their first condition being confidentiality. Concerning translators, this is no longer a separate profession, and is one of the requirements set by companies on one or another specialist.” One can also notice a growth in demand within the service and security sectors. As regards production and manufacturing businesses, here the most sought after professions are welders and electricians.
Driving around the city permits one to see the overall growth in supermarkets, restaurants and bazaars. Such only confirms the higher demand for mid-level managers on our market. Russia has a slightly differing situation. The list of top professions in autumn 2005 included: lawyers, dentists, economists, financial specialists, medical personnel, as well as management and IT professionals.
We also tried to get comments from HR managers at small and large organizations operating in various spheres. Among them are: financial organizations, second-tier banks, industrial enterprises, hotels, and construction companies. 65% of respondents were not satisfied with the level of qualification of job applicants. The difficulties they frequently come across include a shortage of practiced professionals and a lack of experience among young specialists. In order to improve the quality of performance by employees, many companies utilize internal training, including different types of courses, as well as business trips. When hiring a new staff member, an employer first of all pays attention to qualifications, age, work experience and registration within a given city (this refers to a propiska, which is a document issued to those citizens who are living outside of the city in which they are officially registered).
The remaining 35% of respondents were quite satisfied with young employees and their level of education. They believe that together with young and promising workers come fresh ideas and enthusiasm. Many manufacturing enterprises need very specialized employees, and believe that the reason for this deficit is a lack of relevant technical schools in Kazakhstan following the demise of the Soviet Union.
To our question concerning how useful and effective recruitment agencies are, when searching out new employees, 45% of small businesses gave a positive reply. These are satisfied with the operation of the personnel agencies. Large companies often do not use the services of recruiters, as they solve issues on their own with quite a bit of success. Many large businesses have their own HR managers, and even complete departments, which are perfectly aware of the situation and are capable of finding new employees matching the traditions and values of their company.
To my final question as to what conditions companies create for their specialists, namely to keep them from being headhunted, 100% of respondents highlighted their compensation system, various bonuses, and benefits packages.
During this survey, many interesting things were mentioned. From these, we would like to quote two interesting replies to our last question. Here is the first: “If an employee decides to resign from the company, he will do so. No doubt, our best interest would be not to lose him. And, quite often, as it turns out, offering him more is good. However, the point is not so simple, but regards the employee having a desire to leave. This means it is not so necessary to stop him. Continuing to work with such a person is not usually comfortable.”
The second comment is distinguishable by a conservative approach to the issue: “When we say manager, we mean a professional, most of whom are male. And, men are known for their social natures, which already decreases the risk of a professional quitting until having finished his task.”
Speaking in general, in order to find a job in Almaty, one should be capable of finding clients and selling almost everything. While, at the same time, he or she should carry the diploma of a translator.

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