HeadHunter: partial mobilization has changed the job market :: News

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Exactly two months ago, on September 21, 2022, a partial mobilization was announced in Russia. Natalia Danina, Head of Customer Efficiency at, the largest online recruitment platform in Russia, spoke about how this affected the labor market and what changes have taken place in employment against the backdrop of partial mobilization.

Today, the difficult situation for employers on the labor market remains: the severe shortage of specialists that persisted over the past year has once again come to light. Neither a special military operation, nor partial mobilization, nor the withdrawal of foreign companies from Russia have made the market more competitive among applicants. Candidates are not eager to look for and change jobs in uncertain times. At the same time, there was a gradual increase in employer activity.

Women are more likely to receive invitations for job interviews

We have noticed (and employers confirm this) that male job seekers are now less responsive to calls from recruiters, as they are calling from unknown numbers. According to our data, we can talk about a missed call in almost 50% of cases! As a result, women were more actively invited for interviews. This is confirmed by analyzes of in the first week of September, in 59% of cases, invitations were received by women, in 41% – by men. After September 21, the number of invitations for women for interviews increased by 3.6%, while men were called less often by 5.3%.

The labor market was already reasonably balanced between men and women: about half. In our country, employment among workers of both sexes remains high and there is no abundance of unemployed women, hence the conclusion that there will not be more women in the open labor market. The same story with the demographic situation, which exacerbates the tightness of the labor market. My prediction is that the market will migrate to an even more “feminine” side.

Workers needed

Working staff is one of the most actively mobilized categories of applicants. As with many other occupational groups, the number of vacancies for workers’ representatives fell sharply in the spring, rose rapidly in the summer, and in the fall analysts note an unprecedented increase in demand for workers, much higher than it was before the start of the special military operation.

We predict that the demand for such applicants will grow, but the supply of people will not. The activity of people on the labor market in this occupational group is declining. If there is another wave of mobilization, the labor shortage will become even greater. Although even now the level of competition among workers remains critically low – 0.8.

Emigration wave

So far, it is rather difficult to say how many working-age job seekers have left the country, as people cross the border and then return for various reasons. These numbers are not even in the official divisions of Russia and other states where the Russians went. According to the most optimistic expert estimates, the minimum number is close to 300,000.

Analysts at have identified the top countries with the highest relative increase in CVs of candidates with Russian citizenship. That is, most resumes appeared in the resume databases of these countries[1], where Russian citizenship is indicated. In absolute terms, this is about 66 thousand. In percentage terms, the situation is as follows: the increase in resumes in Kazakhstan was 81% (compare the indicators from October 10 to 22 with the indicators for the period from September 10 to 22), in Georgia and Uzbekistan – 59%, in Kyrgyzstan – 55 %, in Armenia – 44%, in Azerbaijan – 38%, in Turkey – 33%).

If you look at the absolute numbers, the rating looks slightly different. In the period from October 10-22, compared to September 10-22, the number of CVs of applicants with Russian citizenship increased the most in the following countries: Kazakhstan (with 44 thousand CVs), Georgia (with 8.6 thousand CVs ), Uzbekistan (with 4.5 thousand CVs), Turkey (with 2.9 thousand CVs), Kyrgyzstan (with 2.8 thousand CVs).

Digital nomads

The situation has not yet affected the labor market as most of these 66,000 candidates are smart representatives of the digital nomad category who use the internet to perform their professional duties and lead a mobile lifestyle. These are mainly IT specialists (19%), sales and customer service representatives (10%), marketers, advertisers and PR specialists (9%), job seekers from professional construction and real estate groups (8%), manufacturing and service (7% ), working staff (5%). The preference for white-collar workers is striking, and it can be assumed that working-class specialists simply left for their native country at the outbreak of the crisis.

Another fact is also interesting: it is clear that a large part of the same IT specialists, marketers and consultants continue to work remotely for Russian companies. This leaves a certain imprint on the work of the HR department – specialists need to study more information on how to comply with the law and at the same time not lose valuable “outside” employees.

Exit of foreign companies

Throughout the year, we debunk the myth of the huge influence of foreign companies on the Russian labor market, as the media often greatly exaggerate the magnitude of the effect of their departure from the country. Our labor market has approximately 73 million people, more than 2 million of whom are employed by foreign companies. Taking into account all supply chains, this number could be as high as 10 million people.

Since the start of the special military operation, most foreign companies suspended work until mid-summer, but continued to pay workers, albeit in reduced amounts. At the same time, many people had a glimmer of hope that the businesses would return, so they tried not to enter the open labor market. From the second half of the year it became clear that the dreams of the majority were not destined to come true. At the same time, another trend has emerged: foreign companies have begun to transfer assets to new shareholders or Russian management. As a result, people nominally began to work in new companies, but in reality – in old, but under new management.

If we talk about people who nevertheless lost their jobs in foreign companies, many of them received 8-12 salaries in compensation. So they also have no motivation to enter the open job market here and now, it’s important for them to reboot and survive all this stress that has built up since the pandemic. We predict that the trend may change six months from now, closer to spring, but again, the number of candidates will be small. So it remains important for companies to do everything possible to attract the attention of job seekers, especially when we are talking about blue collar, line and highly qualified personnel.

Brief summary

Possible negative effect:

  • Continuation of the turbulent period. In companies, the planning horizon will be further shortened, which does not contribute to strategic development – it is long-term investments that act as drivers of economic growth.
  • The mobilized can “fall” out of the economy for a long time.
  • There are not enough human resources to replace the mobilized, in any case they are affected by this whole situation in terms of uncertainty and fear.
  • People have not yet recovered from the post-COVID syndrome, because new stress has appeared. All this affects the efficiency and productivity of labor.
  • Disagreements create tensions, leading to conflict in the team and a decrease in productivity.
  • People who have left the country will be able to maintain ties with Russia for some time by continuing to work remotely, but it is not clear what will happen next.

Possible positive effect:

  • In the short term, the labor market may become more mature – there will be more demand for mature candidates.
  • Employers may consider women for positions previously considered “masculine.”
  • Retail, an important sector for the Russian labor market in terms of mass hiring, will continue to operate even in the current environment.
  • Less turnover: people keep the job and realize that it is a value.
  • It is possible to quickly restore active vacancies.
  • Companies start or continue to organize meetings with experts: financiers, psychologists, lawyers to support employees. The importance of the feedback system is growing.

By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at