May 26, 2010
“Russia’s Lying Employers”
by Igor Bakharev
From Johnson’s Russia List
(Hat Tip: SWP reader “Mossy”)
Eighty-four percent of Russia’s workers have been deceived by their employers during recruitment. For drivers and vendors, this indicator reaches 95%, learned HeadHunter.ru (a recruitment agency). In fact, during job interviews, job seekers often hear something different than what they were told by a recruiter, and perceive possibilities as promises.
Deceit during the hiring process is a norm in Russia, HeadHunter analysts have learned, after surveying more than 4,000 Russians from all of the country’s regions. Two thirds of respondents said that they were misinformed about their pay rate. Most frequently, employers indicated that bonuses will be a part of the pay structure. In reality, however, they are virtually impossible to obtain. Others, after being presented a certain pay range, were compensated on the lowest level or even less than what was indicated. Often, employers conceal the fact that the promised salary is the sum before taxes are reduced.
More than 60% of respondents were misinformed regarding their working conditions or the job-related tasks. Often, the amount of responsibility is much greater than what was initially suggested. Head of the “Rabota@Mail.Ru” project Alla Seregina says that many other “hidden agendas” exist. For example, paycheck deductions are given out for disciplinary violations, such as tardiness and fines for customer complaints. Some companies deduct wages for corporate events (to which attendance is mandatory) and insurance.
People are often offered to work without filing any paperwork; while those who do manage to sign a contract find that it specifies a salary that is inconsistent with the actual pay rate.
A total of 84% of respondents complained to researchers about deceit on the part of their employer. At the request of Gazeta.Ru, HeadHunter determined in which field this problem arises most frequently. Most complaints come from people working in the retail sector. Almost 95% of them say they have been lied to by their employer. Almost as many drivers and shipping agents (94%) complain about deceit on the part of their employer. Nine out of ten wholesale experts, waiters and waitresses, and business trainers have also come across dishonesty in the recruiting process at least once in their lifetime. Medical professionals (82%) and IT specialists (73%) were somewhat luckier. “Bonuses are often underpaid to sales people, drivers are not compensated for gas and car maintenance, and the salaries offered to waiters and waitresses include tips,” said Seregina.
Moreover, low-skilled workers are not the only ones who are exposed to misleading information on behalf of their employer: translators, copywriters, and commercial specialists often find themselves in a similar situation. They are offered to complete large-scale test projects; and, in the hope of obtaining the job, people translate dozens of pages, write texts, and design ad campaigns, after which they are told that they did not pass. Meanwhile, the fruit of their labor remains with the “employer”. Moreover, a person could accept a lower pay rate for the duration of the probationary period, after which the employer terminates his employment, which he explains by saying that the trainee did not pass, added Seregina.
For employees, such work experience results in serious psychological trauma. “People who are in a transitional phase in their life are especially vulnerable to deceit. And change of job is one such transitional step,” says president of HeadHunter Yury Virovets. But such an attitude toward employees also negatively affects the employer. When asked what they did after they learned the actual terms of employment, one of the most popular responses was “left for another job”, although there were other answers such as: “blacklisted the employer”; “began sabotaging ‘additional’ tasks”‘ and even “got pregnant and went on maternity leave.” However, there are those who said that they “accepted the situation.”
According to the statistics of SuperJob, misleading information regarding pay scale or working conditions, has led to 20% of newly hired staff to quit their job.
Often, HR managers deliberately exaggerate the conditions which the company guarantees to its employees in the hope of finding the best man for the job, say analysts. However, job seekers, who felt that they had been deceived, often perceive the possibilities outlined during their interviews as fact, says head of the research center SuperJob.ru Natalya Golovanova: “Therefore, we are always telling job seekers that these things need to be very carefully clarified during the interview.” Such a high percentage rate of deceived employees is mostly explained by the subjective perceptions of each party during the hiring process, agreed Timur Sokolov, managing partner of Club Consult Development. “One should also consider that each person has his own unique perception of the world. For example, for a job seeker, an irregular working schedule consists of nine hours, while for an HR manager it is up to 14 working hours,” adds Sokolov.