New Ways of Interacting With Students

It’s not a secret that the labor market is slightly overheated at the moment and the demand for personnel, especially in such big cities as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk, exceeds the number of people available for employment.
According to the Russian Federal Service of State Statistics, this situation will not only improve but most probably will worsen because of a demographic crisis. It is very likely to lead to a situation when in a few years there will be a lot less people of employment age and the number of young specialists aged 18-25 will decrease even more.
As the economy heated up, it became more challenging to hire experienced specialists than it was 10-15 years ago. At that time, dozens of people were immediately knocking on the door whenever an international company placed a job advertisement. International companies offering good compensation package and other benefits were able to select the best of the best.
However, today the situation is absolutely different, and Russian companies have become serious competitors for international business. They often offer higher salaries and provide an opportunity for very fast career growth. In addition, competition for human resources in the FMCG sector is very intense. More and more FMCG companies are willing to hire and invest in young people who are little more than university students.
Hiring graduates and students differs from hiring experienced professionals. Most of the major international companies, including ours, participate in youth career days, open door events organized by universities and various online events. The latter is a recent trend.
It’s something like online job fairs, where employers place information about themselves, publish job ads, and hold online Q&A sessions, forums and chats on popular student websites. Online contests, business cases and economic games for students are quite popular practice as well. The goal of these activities is to establish relations with students, selecting the best and hiring them later. Although these programs certainly take time, money and efforts from employers, they pay off by providing a unique chance to get in touch with students and see their intellectual potential or competences. Students are also fond of these activities as it allows them to test themselves, see their capabilities, and to participate in something exciting.
Another way of interaction with students is internship programs. They are a wonderful opportunity for students to see a company from the inside, decide whether this company is interesting and get a feeling for real business. Quite often students write their diploma work based on their internship results.
Internship is beneficial for employers as well, as it enables them to evaluate how students work, whether they fit in the corporate environment and what their potential is.
We organize internship at our Kuban and Izhora factories, summer programs that are approximately two months long.
We hire around 30 interns every year, starting from 2005. Our interns work in different departments, from HR to Engineering. The interns are also offered to participate in various projects, i.e. each of them may receive a task to work on and then report their results to a supervisor. At the end of the program, our interns present their projects to the factory management. For most of them it’s a great chance to practice speaking in front of a large audience. For some, it is the first opportunity of this kind and they really appreciate it.
To summarize, although all kinds of student programs require significant investments, they are mutually beneficial for students and employers. Ultimately, both groups have the same goal — to find an ideal match in one another.