While the notion of the BRICS and emerging economies appeared a few years ago to describe the stage of newly advanced economic development, today the BRICS countries have more differences than things in common, says Roman Tyshkovskiy, managing partner of Odgers Berndtson, Russia.

“Basically we have different natural resources and different political and social attitudes and approaches,” he says. “Each country has chosen its own way of development and today we are at different stages of economic growth: China has already done a lot, India is increasing very fast and Russia still hasn’t fully used its potential. Actually, it means that BRICS countries face the same changes as any other country in the world.”

‘Perfect storms’ and ‘new economies’ make no difference when recruiting executives, Tyshkovskiy believes.

A new economic paradigm

“Companies are looking for top managers capable of taking on the challenge at all times,” he says. “In Russia particularly business depends not only on the local market changes or competitors, but also on the external situation in the world. And there is no possible means of influencing that, so companies always need people capable of achieving goals and smart enough to face any economic situation, political or market challenges.

“Here in Russia we do not talk about a ‘perfect storm’, we consider the current situation as a new economic paradigm. And because of this paradigm companies have begun to reduce their budgets; they have to create ways to find new smart solutions to stay on [top of] the market,” warns Tyshkovskiy.

“First of all, companies start moving to payment by performance and that applies to all business areas. New sophisticated programmes for human capital development are being used for staff instead of dismissal. So Russian business society is changing and this is now becoming a trend,” he says. More and more, companies don’t want to fire people or reduce staff, but prefer to develop them, Tyshkovskiy has found.

“Top executives insist on regular training for middle-management staff so they can assess the rules of the new economy and manage it. And that is what we really are seeing in Russia – while our search business is quite sustainable, our executive development branch is fast-growing,” he says.

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