11 November 2014

Nikolay Oseyko interview to Delo.ua online edition



According to different estimations, the labour market has decreased by 25% in 2014 across Ukraine. Was it caused by crisis events in Ukraine or by continuing trend of earlier period?


I don’t have exact figures but decline of the market (reducing number of vacancies) is exactly related with the whole economic situation. In 2013, we had certain signs of economic difficulties for coming period but we could not even imagine the scale of problems we would face this year.


What is the difference between current crisis and events in 2008?     


On the whole we cannot compare present crisis with crisis in 2008. Current crisis is unprecedented and risk analysis is much more intensive. Increasing role of the crisis management this year’s trend: you have to respond to the situation ‘for yesterday’. Group DF employs over 100,000 people. Two of our enterprises (Crimea TITAN and Crimean Soda Plant) are located in annexed territory, another two enterprises (Concern Stirol and Severodonetsk Azot Association) are situated in zone of anti-terrorist operation. We worked on difficult complex problems before, but it was planned work. Now we are regularly facing different force majeure situations: from seizures to acute technical problems. In that regard, we conduct regular real time crisis simulations of situations and scenarios taking into account economic, political and technical risks. In that way we create a map of risks that can be used depending on changing situation.


What new present-day skills are important for a candidate today? What skills does employer estimate closely: stress resistance, efficiency?..


Stress resistance and efficiency have always been important and we always have estimated them closely. At the same time, communicative skills are really important today. I mean interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence. It is a must-have for every specialist. Employee with lack of personal communication skills, even though being a good expert, can inflict harm to business.


What professions will be in high demand in the nearest future?


Increase of operating efficiency will be closely related to implementation of new technologies both in energy saving and in management. People with experience in these areas can get a great advantage. Role of engineering and technical professions will enhance. That’s why I advise students and high school students to participate in STEM activities. No doubt, it will increase their chances of being employed in the best companies.


Does the employer’s brand remain important in such a difficult period?


Crisis is always a test for company’s stability. Demand for stability on the part of an employee or a candidate increases during difficult times. Some companies could not withstand and had to provide unpaid leave for employees or cut wages. Their employer’s image was harmed. I would say that stability today is an essential part of employer’s brand.


Have approaches to employees’ motivation changed taking into account extremely difficult situation in Ukraine?


Certainly, such factors as wages and working conditions are important nowadays more than ever. On the other hand, I can say confidently that companies should attract the best employees not only with money. An employer should show a candidate a path of development for a few years. Besides, it is important to maintain prolonged contact with an appropriate candidate: make an acquaintance beforehand, discuss long-term prospects – afterwards it will give invaluable result.


Currently it is said that the role of online instruments in recruiting is increasing. How efficient is this instrument in attracting personnel for an industrial group of companies?


10-15 years ago, when the first vacancy websites appeared in Ukraine, the internet was used for recruitment of mid- and high-level managers. Currently the situation has changed. It is caused by demography as well: the younger generation which grew up with tablets and smartphones enters a labour market whereas people, who don’t use the internet, retire. The role of online instruments in recruiting will increase from year to year filling not only white collars job vacancies but also other (cashier, account manager, fitter etc.).


Are services of external recruitment consultants in demand today? What vacancy percentage do they provide for the Group?


Social networks, in particular LinkedIn, change foundations of labour market operations. We close all vacancies in the Group’s corporate centre on our own, without involving recruitment agencies. This emphasises the growing influence of online in recruitment once more. Recruitment agency, as a mediator on labour market, used to be a keeper of information about candidates before. Nowadays any contact is a matter of a few words and pressing a ‘send’ button. Response is rather high considering that we, as a Group, have developed certain reputation on labour market.


Are there any positive effects of the crisis for Ukrainian labour market?


Unambiguous positive effect of the crisis is that Ukrainians’ consciousness has increased as never before. At the same time people have realized that they have huge reserves. We see our employees involved in volunteer initiatives. They make significant additional efforts and it doesn’t harm work process. In our turn, we encourage them understanding that it is very important for people.