On the market

The deficit of highly qualified specialists in Russia may reach about 3 mln people by the end of 2030. Representatives of Moscow companies shared their opinion on the main hr problems.
DO YOUNG SPECIALISTS MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS AND THE NEEDS OF THE INDUSTRY?
ARE THERE HR PROBLEMS IN YOUR INDUSTRY?
WHAT IS THE WAY OF SOLVING THE PROBLEM? DO YOU RAISE THE NECESSARY PERSONNEL YOURSELF? IS THIS PROCESS DIFFICULT AND CAN IT BE JUSTIFIED?
IN WHAT AREAS DO YOU NEED TO DEVELOP THE EDUCATION OF SPECIALISTS WHO COME TO YOUR PRODUCTION AND THOSE WHO ARE ALREADY EMPLOYED? WHAT ARE YOUR EMPLOYEES' WEAKEST POINTS AS SPECIALISTS?
DO YOU AGREE WITH THE STATEMENT THAT HUMAN RESOURCES ARE THE KEY ASSET, OR IS NOBODY IRREPLACEABLE?
Oleg Loginov,
the sales development manager of the Ventilation Plant GalVent:
As a production company, we experience difficulties in HR research, we even try to relocate non-resident workers. Today it is quite difficult to find a person with a sufficiently high qualification for a working position. Besides they often have high salary expectations, but for many positions it is no longer a question of money, but of professionalism.

For example, there are plenty of electricians who can screw in a light bulb and check that the cable is not broken. But if you need an electrician who can check and do the wiring on a machine or, e.g., restore a machine, then these tasks require higher level of qualification, and proper specialists are quite rare on the market.

We looked for a chief mechanic for more than half a year. There are more than 800 machines in our machine park, and we needed someone who was not only a good mechanic, but also a manager to some extent. We found it difficult to hire such a person. Even ordinary mechanics who come to our plant are of fairly low qualification. We need a person who knows both how the plant works and how to manage it all. But, as a rule, they are either people of retirement and pre-retirement age, not ready to keep with our pace and requirements, or those who think they are able to cope, but a couple of months it becomes obvious that it is not true.
— FOR INFORMATION —
Ventilation plant GalVent is a leading Russian enterprise in the production of ventilation systems for industrial premises.
It is also quite difficult to find designers: we need people who are experts in conveyor equipment, and we still can't find "the proper people" for this position. Of course, we employ young designers, but they are so poorly-trained now that it's just too risky. They don't always even know the necessary software. And the company is already prepared to retrain them at its own expense to get them working. Due to the pandemic situation, there is another problem: designers want to work remotely, rather than stay in the office. But we are talking about production, so, the employee has to see everything and get a result in close contact with production workers and mechanics.

When I studied at the technical college, we were assigned to obligatory internships at industrial enterprises. We worked with mentors who understood what knowledge we had and if it was practical. If such a system could be revived, it would help to understand the real skills and knowledge of students, and how applicable they are in today's fast-growing industry.

If we talk about blue-collar jobs, the easiest option for us is to take low-skilled personnel and train them. Our company has a two-stage training system. At the first stage, we teach a person simple operations: the functions of a tinsmith and an assembler. If he does well, he takes a certification exam afterwards. If the employee shows good results and desire, he moves on to the second stage. This stage implies mentoring: a mentor trains a person to work on the machines. After getting familiar with the working process and some practice they have exams: two or three intermediate and a final certification. Also, all specialists at our plant have to take quarterly and semi-annual further training courses as well as participate in competitions within their specialties".
Vladimir Kolin,
the CEO of DNA-Technology:
I admit that there is a shortage of personnel in the industry, and I can find several reasons for it. One of them is staff turnover, which is an eternal issue, and you have to replace these employees with more qualified ones. After all, if the company is developing, you need to find experts in new areas, people with broader skills, which is often a big problem.

Our company has a very low staff turnover rate: it is 28 years old, and about half of our staff are specialists who have worked here for 10 years or more. Nevertheless, the company is developing, and we need people. It's very difficult to find specialists in a new field, and it's a problem not only for our company or Russia. This is a much wider issue, and there are different options to handle it. Often the only way to obtain the necessary skill is to buy an entire company or poach leading specialists who are able to plan the right course and launch us on it, and implement innovative technologies in the production process.
— FOR INFORMATION —
The company DNA-Technology is a manufacturer of medical equipment and reagent kits for PCR tests.
We tried to contact one of the leading universities which trains specialists in the medical industry. But it turned out they focus on the trendy direction - robotics. The university does not teach traditional specialists in optics, thermodynamics, and microfluidics. But we need these experts, which is why we are ready to train young specialists in-house. At present that is the principal way of solving the HR problem in our company.

Some of our employees teach in universities and colleges, assessing and attracting talented young people to our company. Also senior students do their internships in our company when writing their thesis, learn technology and stay to work with us after graduation. That is a great experience for both parties. We welcome it, but haven't managed to do it on a regular basis".
Denis Ivanov,
CEO of F. Korotkov R&D (Research and Development) enterprise Temp:
Of course, we have HR problems, like any hi-tech industry. But, I think, the situation is getting better thanks to government efforts. Our company and most similar enterprises have more or less the same age groups among employees. The group of middle-aged specialists (40-55 years old) is few in numbers, and that is the result of the 90-s crisis. Young people, aged up to 35-40, going to outnumber the elders, who are more than 55-60, in the enterprise.

Slowly but surely our company start recruiting young specialists. As a rule, they can't do everything, but it doesn't matter much. The most important thing is that they want to work in engineering, to learn the subtleties of production, to understand design peculiarities of specific products. Our task is twofold. On the one hand we want to give them an opportunity to approach the tradition of a unique research and technical school, which was created 80 years ago. And on the other hand we make it possible for them to put their talents into practice using modern approaches to design, new technologies and prospective customers' requirements.
When a university graduate gets to the real production process, he usually faces a situation where his theoretical knowledge is not enough to independently solve the tasks at hand. And one shouldn't blame poor education. It rather shows that at any enterprise there are peculiarities that can be mastered with experience.

Naturally, we raise our specialists in-house: indeed, it is the only possible way for some of our jobs. We try to support any employee's aspiration for self-development, for additional practical skills in every way. And we also encourage any initiatives of our specialists to mentor or raise young people's interest in engineering.

At present one of the challenging issues is the lack of knowledge and skills in managing innovative engineering, creating new products and mastering new technologies in a given timeframe. Such projects involve great technical risks. They also require constant analysis and adjustment of working processes, developed technical intuition, and coordination of many cross-subject simultaneous processes. Our experience tells that an efficient manager with good skills in management will not achieve the necessary technical results if he/she is not familiar with the project's peculiarities and only mechanically follows the rules. In the Soviet time that was the reason why design-engineering bureaus were headed by chief designers, who had a comprehensive technical background and profound experience to manage the team. Unfortunately, today's economic model of industry is too demanding to easily find suitable professionals. Such specialists with the necessary skills and relevant managerial experience are the exception to the rule.
— FOR INFORMATION —
F.Korotkov R&D enterprise Temp is an enterprise of the defense-industrial complex, a developer of hydromechanical and electronic units of automatic control and fuel supply systems for aircraft engines.
Universities of applied sciences graduates should be involved in the problems in some particular enterprises during their studies. In that case they will be ready for work in real-life conditions. And both the institution and the enterprise should be truly interested in this cooperation. The government must support this interaction, and also make suitable conditions for research enterprises and manufactures to be able to provide good working terms and salaries for engineering and production specialists.Moscow, for example, has a very high level of competition for creative engineers. Such non-production technology giants, as Sber, Yandex etc compete for HR with research and production enterprises, and, as a rule, industry players lose in current circumstances and economic trends. The service sectors of the economy siphon off the best human capital from the industry. These risks are partly compensated for hi-tech production enterprises by the active industrial policy of the Moscow Government. It provides different measures of complex support, which affects our company's life greatly.

Complex tasks are solved not by individuals, but by a strong team of top specialists, competently managed to achieve goals. At the same time some individuals are of great importance in long-term or breakthrough issues. For example, we can't deny the key role of A.Tupolev or S.Korolev in development of aviation and space systems. But unique airplanes and rockets were created by huge teams of design-engineering bureaus and plants under their guidance, and not by some isolated individuals. Thus, the desired result demands both strong leaders and an appropriate team".
E-mail: pressprom@mos.ru
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