The FINANCIAL — The representatives of top companies in Georgia say they are going to keep their current employees but hire less new people because of the global financial crisis. If the situation gets worse, companies will either start the reduction of salaries or give more unpaid leave to its staff.
“The financial crisis has caused a lot of uncertainties in the market. That’s why many companies, especially banks, have stopped the recruiting process for a couple of months to be on the safe side. We are getting a very small number of offers on internship programmes and almost no inquiries for full time employment of last year’s students,” Olena Stepanchenko-Crouch, Career Development Centre Director of Caucasus University (CU), told The FINANCIAL.
“Young specialists are more and more afraid of losing their jobs and are not trying to look for new ones,” says Lili Bibilashvili, Nikora, one of the leading companies in Georgia. Bililashvili who also works at Caucasus University says young specialists are trying to hold onto to their current positions.
“These processes have maybe affected the market increase potential which we expected in September. Banks reduced their vacancy postings in Georgia by 50% in September-October. We’ve had approximately 1,200-1,300 new vacancies added since August. Because of the recent events our company has changed its strategy by switching more to analyzing clients and market demand,” said the representative of HR recruitment agency based in Tbilisi.
It is becoming evident that students should look in several areas to improve their chances, rather than set their course on a single field, like investment banking. The global financial crisis provoked the reconsideration of interest in finance students in elite universities like Harvard, Princeton and Stanford.
HR recruitment agency says that the war and global financial crisis influenced the dynamics of vacancies, but there was no decline tendency in figures. Through 2007-2008 the agency added from 10,000 to 12,000 vacancies to its website.
From the surveyed 112 third and fourth year students of CSB the majority think that they should choose finance as the main subject of study. Some of them think that because of this crisis the country will need more finance specialists who will help it in recovering.
“The global financial crisis has not made me doubt my choice of finance because I think that the global crises will not continue for a long time,” said one of the students.
Wall Street recruiters have cancelled or postponed visits to elite universities like Harvard, Princeton and Stanford, citing the turmoil in the markets, The New York Times reported.
“At Caucasus University (CU) we did not feel any considerable changes, we are still one of the top universities in Georgia. To retain the quality we are not growing so fast. The number of students recruited this year did not change considerably (+15%) in comparison with the year 2007. This year we do not expect big changes in students’ preferences despite the crises.”
During the last couple of years Finance was undoubtedly the leader, mainly because of the great job opportunities offered by the banking industry. Banks were growing fast, sometimes too fast, they needed personnel with good knowledge, and job experience was not so important, so in the labour market students were quite in demand.
“Since the work of the Career Development Centre focuses not only on students but alumni as well we regularly receive job ads in marketing and finance. The main requirements are high education and 2-3 years job experience. And this is quite predictable. Those companies that feel the shortage of consumer demand are trying to employ good marketing specialists to cope with the situation when a consumer choice is not only between different brands but sometimes between different product groups. For the last two months we did not receive any job ads from developers and advertising agencies when last year they were quite active in hiring personnel. On the other hand there are many newly established companies in other industries that are looking for experienced accountants, financial managers, lawyers etc,” Olena Stepanchenko-Crouch says.
The top employers in Georgia in 2007-2008 were from the finance sector.
According to the Statistics Department of Georgia in 2007 the level of employment of people over 15 years old was 54, 9%.
The total average monthly nominal salary of those employed in the business sector in 2008 Quarter 2 was USD 376. Mining and quarrying workers get the highest average monthly nominal salary which is USD 652, while health and social workers get the lowest USD 216.
The average monthly nominal salary of those employed in the non-business sector in 2008 Quarter 2 was USD 392. The highest salaries here went to Financial Intermediators who get USD 992 monthly on average. The lowest salaries go to education sector workers who get USD 164.
The average monthly nominal salaries of women have been increasing by average 15% over the last two years. Despite this men’s salaries are still higher. In 2008 Quarter 2 the total average monthly nominal salary of employed men in Georgia equalled USD 496; women were left with USD 258.
According to one of the top job listing websites Jobs.Ge from the 4,700 ads published on their website in 2007 the top 5 most advertised jobs were Top/Middle Managers, Finance Professionals, IT/Software Professionals, Loan/Credit Professionals and Programme Management Professionals.
1. Top/Middle Manager – includes CEOs, directors, chairs, general managers, branch managers, heads of departments, etc.
2. Finance Professional – includes (chief) accountants and finance directors, officers, controllers, consultants, managers.
3. IT/Software Professional – includes IT, system, network administrators, managers and software developers, programmers.
4. Loan/Credit Professional – includes loan, credit administrators, experts and officers.
5. Programme Management Professional – includes project managers, officer, coordinators.
According to The New York Times since August, the U.S. economy has lost 651,000 jobs – more than three times as many as were lost from May to July. So far, 1.2 million jobs have been lost this year in the USA.
Written By Levan Lomtadze