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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Western Firms Seek Russian Workers

Representatives of major Western firms in Russia say they still see the hiring of local employees as a bargain, and are actively trying to boost the Russian content of their staffs.


To that end, several large Western firms including Procter & Gamble, Arthur Andersen, Ernst & Young, Xerox, and Bayer, attended the International Association of Scientific and Commercial Students, or IASCS, Career Day this week at the State Management Academy, seeking to recruit Russian students as employees.


"They are ambitious, creative, aggressive, they know a lot of languages and are very interesting to talk to," said Scott C. Antel, tax manager with accountants Arthur Andersen, referring to Russian employees of his firm. "And they are relatively cheaper."


He said that the ultimate goal of the company was to set up an office with totally Russian staff and a few expatriate directors. Arthur Andersen now has 24 Russians among its staff of 170.


At last year's Career Day, Arthur Andersen hired five Russians, who Antel said have worked out very well. This year, he said, the firm's 200 application forms were gone within two hours.


Oleg Valerius, general deputy director at the consultancy firm Ernst & Young, said his company had found Russian students to be motivated employees.


"I don't know how they manage it, but they work a full day, they go away on business trips, and they study and defend diplomas at the same time," Valerius said.


Anna Mashintseva, 21, a third-year student of the academy's international management faculty who came to the Career Day looking for work, said she would rather work with a Western company than with a Russian one.


"When you work with a foreign firm you start realizing the importance of marketing, you can learn a lot," said Mashintseva, who presently works for a British market research firm and studied for half a year at Freed-Hardeman University in the United States on a student exchange.


Mashintseva said she only manages to attend classes at the academy twice a week because of her work with the market research company. But she said that the academy administration did not object to her schedule, and had even introduced a free attendance system starting with the third year to facilitate outside employment.


Denis Matveyev, 17, a first-year student of industrial chemical management who speaks English and dabbles in computer programming, said he came to the Career Day to get acquainted with Western firms and to find out about their demands. He said he regularly reads the job opportunities columns in newspapers and visits computer exhibitions to get acquainted with people and firms.


"I don't care now what kind of job they offer me, but I want to have as much choice as possible," Matveyev said.


Valentin Sevrukov, a member of the Russian national committee of IASCS, said that new graduates formerly were obliged to work in a predesignated job for at least two years. When that obligation was phased out in 1992, Russian students had to look for jobs themselves.


He said only Western companies had responded to invitations to take part in the Career Day, though he had invited over two dozen Russian companies.


"They don't realize the necessity of cultivating good specialists for themselves," he said.