Michael Page International round table - "Reduce or hire: the practice of financial departments of Russian and International companies."


At the end of February, Michael Page in partnership with the Institute for the Development of Financial Markets and the Community of Financial Professionals "Sapfir" held a round table event "Reduce or hire: the practice of financial departments of Russian and International companies." The event was held in the conference hall of MICEX-RTS, and brought together representatives of the stock market, recruitment agencies, business and universities. Olga Emelyanova, Executive Manager (Finance & Accounting Division of Michael Page) acted as a moderator of the round table. The speakers were Olga Zaharyascheva, "A&Z Securities", Irina Korableva, Musa Motors and Natalia Annenskaya, "Metropol". The honored guest was Anatoly Gavrilenko, Chairman of "ALOR."
The round table was held as an interactive forum with the active involvement of all participants. The event was divided into the following topics:
- challenges to business in a time of rapid change;
- universities as a source of talent;
- reduce or hire: the practice of financial departments
Challenges to business in a time of rapid change
Olga Emelyanova raised the question: "How should a leader act in a time of rapid change: hire or fire?" A. Gavrilenko spoke first, suggesting a universal formula: at the end of the year you should fire 5% unsuccessful employees and hire 10% new employees. "This is the development recipe for any company," - he explained. He also compared the present personnel situation with the annual musical chairs with employees and when the music stops there is an inevitable parting with the loosers of the game.
Olga Zaharyascheva named additional challenges of the external environment. There is the process of  leaders change in a company that take place due to the fact that the former leadership redistributes the resources, however, in the current environment it is necessary for them to find out and develop new ways and methods, but the former leaders are not capable to do this, and this leads to a crisis of leaders in  companies. The lack of the leadership leads to a lack of ideas, which in its turn leads to a reduce of  jobs. The process of business compression continues, and in companies only the people who stay are those who can ensure the survival of the organization.
Another characteristic of the market today is an urgent need for professional Risk Managers, which were rarely required before the crisis. You should be aware  of the recent  increase of controls at all levels. However Olga considered the entering of it to be the dead-end way out of the situation. Tamerlan Larionov, Banking Consultant Michael Page, shared his vision of "the musical chairs" in the Banking sector. The fact that there are many chairs in this business, but only few specialists. The way out of this situation, according to A. Gavrilenko, may be the correct interaction of recruitment agencies, companies-employers and universities.

 Universities as the source of talents

"The main problem of graduates today is their self-orientation as not as specific specialists but abstract masters," - Anatoly Gavrilenko continued. To solve the problem of employers who have chairs and are tired of searching for professionals, recruiting agencies carrying out this search, and universities having lost their guarantee of graduate employment, it is necessary to implement a  certain package of measures:

- clear advance planning at company level, what type of professionals the business will need in the future;
- cooperation with recruiting agencies in search of talented students studying at universities;
- scholarship system, formed by companies-clients in partnership;
- exact specialization of term projects (the company should form the requests to students);
- restoration of the target distribution;
- providing chance of communication between teachers and the market on an ongoing basis.

This idea was picked up by N. Annenskaya. As a teacher of the Financial University, Natalia frequently participates in seminars, conferences and round tables organized by business representatives. But this participation is provided by her main job in the "Metropol". It would be good to implement such a practice for all teachers who want to acquire knowledge from the market. Then students graduating from  universities, could demonstrate not their theoretical knowledge only, and the question: "Reduce or hire?" would have sounded differently, as well.
Reduce or hire: the practice of financial departments
The third topic, that was discussed by the invited speakers and audience, was "What are the most difficult jobs to fill in the financial department." This question was raised and covered by Irina Korableva, CFO of Musa Motors. Based on her extensive experience, the most difficult vacancy to close has recently become the Head of Shared Services. This is due to several reasons - not every specialist can handle the processing of data of several entities at once, and also be sociable and open to new initiatives. The main objective of the CFO in this situation is the ability to teach group leaders, to be their coach. You should not solve the problem by removing old employees and hiring new ones, but you should build a proper personnel strategy, helping subordinates to become your business partners. Irina herself uses the methods of specialist movement from one division to another, of career planning together with the employee and transparent reward system.
"Thus, the representatives of four elements: Stock Market, Recruiting Agencies, Universities and Industry, which gathered to discuss the question: "Reduce or hire personnel" in the current situation, came to the conclusion that we should be prepared for any crisis in advance: work with students, graduates, employees, develop our own personality and professional skills, so that we will not have to run around the chairs, but take sensible cooperative decisions with everyone, sitting in the one of them. "- Olga Emelyanova concluded.
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