What skills do young professionals lack in the Russian labor market, according to Headhunter?

What skills do young professionals lack in the Russian labor market, according to Headhunter?

Despite the achievement and maintenance of a historical minimum unemployment rate in Russia, the demand of employers for young employees without experience in the labor market is not actually growing. To partially compensate for the lack of professional experience among university graduates, the Ministry of Education and Science proposes to develop the practice of issuing “competency passports” to them based on the results of testing their level of proficiency in 11 “soft skills” – such as communication skills, determination and result orientation.

The shortage of personnel in the labor market and minimal unemployment (in October its level dropped to 2.9%) were unable to significantly “accelerate” employers’ demand for young workers. According to information from recruiters, it is now much lower than for older employees. Thus, according to the hh.ru platform, over the nine months of 2023, the category of applicants aged 14–19 years old received 4.5 million invitations from employers. This is ten times less than the next category – 20-30 years old, five times lower than the category 31-40 years old, and 2.5 times lower than the category 41-50 years old.

The preferences of employers are also revealed by the dynamics of such an indicator as the number of invitations to applicants in response to their response to a vacancy. In January-September, 37% more invitations were sent to young people than during the same period in 2022, and 62% more to candidates over the age of 41, with the main contribution to the increase coming from invitations to candidates over 50 years of age. The main reason for employers’ reluctance to hire young people is inflated salary requirements and lack of relevant professional experience (For more details see “Kommersant” dated November 13).

Vitaly Terentyev, director of hh.ru for work with government agencies, notes that now an approach is gradually gaining popularity among employers, in which candidates for a particular position are assessed taking into account not only “hard” (professional) but also “soft” skills. “Obviously, you cannot become an engineer without specialized skills. But the higher an employee moves up the career ladder, the more his potential is determined by a set of supra-professional competencies: communication skills, responsibility, the ability to lead others. Now we understand that it is more effective to evaluate this at the start of a career,” notes Vitaly Terentyev.

According to Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education Olga Petrova, the ministry’s project “Passport of Competencies” for the independent assessment of such skills in universities and colleges will speed up the process of youth employment. Deputy General Director of the ANO “Russia – the Land of Opportunities” Dmitry Guzhelya explained that competency centers have now been created in 200 universities and 300 colleges of the Russian Federation. They can evaluate students on their level of mastery of 11 skills, including determination, results orientation, and communication skills.

This year, more than half a million students have already received “passports of competence”, with an annual graduation rate of 1.5 million people from universities and colleges. Approximately 300 Russian employers are already ready to take such documents into account when hiring.

From 2024, explains Vitaly Terentyev, “passports” can be placed as an addition to a resume on the hh.ru platform. According to him, statistics show that candidates who provide information about their skills find jobs several times faster. Dmitry Guzhelya explains that “competency passports” will not be valid indefinitely – on average, data on skills becomes outdated within a year and a half, so they will need to be confirmed.

As Kommersant learned, at the end of October, the government approved a similar project from the Ministry of Digital Development for the IT sector – to create a single certification center for IT specialists on the basis of hh.ru. It should replace the training centers of Western vendors that have left the Russian Federation – such as Oracle, Red Hat, VMware.

Anastasia Manuilova

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