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Recruitment in Russia

Recruitment in Russia

When you have established your company in Russia your next step is to hire qualified employees. Here you have two choices – to do it yourself or to take advantage of recruitment agencies' services. It depends on the urgency of your searches, the level of staff (it's highly unlikely that you might want managers of highest levels with use of job portals, though who knows ‑ you might be plain lucky) and the budget.


The most cost-effective would be to use free of charge online job portals. You can use either large ones that cover different regions with regions' specific pages, or you can use local ones if you set up your business in one of the regions.

Among the resources you might use are,,,,,,, and others. Yet, do not expect a great response from them, most of the jobseekers use high-end resources because posting of the resume on the website and searching the vacancies database is free of charge for the potential employees. It is always the employer who pays the bill. As one of low-cost options we suggest using They offer you a trial period of posting five vacancies and searching the candidates' resumes' database for free. Another good paid option would be This resource offers you two free job postings per month and access to the database. Each job posting other than the initial two would cost you 200 rubles. You can purchase packages of job postings which is reasonable if you have many vacancies to fill. They will be cheaper than paying for each job posting separately.

One of the best resources, and the most popular, too is Depending on the region the cost will vary. For example, if you search for employees in any region other than Moscow and Saint Petersburg one job posting would cost you 200 rubles (less if you purchase them in packages). However, if you want to include Moscow and Saint Petersburg into your target areas the cost will be tripled (600 rubles per job posting, and again less if you purchase the packages of 5, 10, 50, 100, 200 job postings).

If you prefer the services of the recruitment agency you should keep in mind that they will ask you for a fee in the amount of the employee's month salary.


The terms of your agreement with an employee, including salary, and termination causes and conditions you define yourself. The salary should be based on the average salary in the region for the same position. It should not be less than the minimum salary set by the state and the region you are hiring in. At the same time it should remain competitive. Check the job portals to see how much other companies offer for the same position and see if your idea of the salary is consistent with market requirements. Salaries even for the most challenging positions are not as high as in Europe and the US. So, you should take care not to underpay and not to overpay the employee.

A period of probation is not uncommon in Russia. Usually companies offer a smaller salary for probation period with the promise to raise it if the probation period went successfully. While it is understandable and most employees would not raise any complaints, it is still not really legal as the salary for trial period and after should be the same. Still there are many ways to process documents for trial period in the way that it does not break any laws and you still can pay the employee less for this period. You should consult your HR specialist or a labor lawyer regarding the way to process documents in this case.

Working Time

You should remember always to comply with the Russian Federation Labor Code. According to this document an average working week can't exceed 40 hours, or 8 hours per day. Traditionally most companies offer a five-days working week Monday-Friday from 9am to 6pm or from 10am to 7pm. Six-days working week is possible, too, with Sunday being a weekend. If you opt for a five-day week you should remember that it does not necessarily to be a traditional Monday-Friday week – your only obligation is to give your employees Sunday off, the second day off can be any day of the week.

Based on the labor law the employees are entitled to breaks during work time (not less than 30 minutes and not more than two hours, with one hour being a corporate standard). The time of the breaks does not count towards the 8 working hours of the day. The days before official national holidays and Fridays are usually one day shorter but it is only a recommendation of the Labor Code, not an obligation, though many employers follow it.

Official holidays in Russia are the following:

January 1-5 ‑New Year holidays,

January 7 – Christmas,

February 23 - Fatherland Defender's Day,

March 8 – International Women Day,

May 1 - Holiday of Spring and Labor,

May 9 – Victory Day,

June 12 – Russia's Day,

November 4 – National Unity Day.

Overtime hours, work on the weekend and night hours are usually paid for based on the signed agreement between you and your employee but not less than double pay for the hours worked.


In case of the sickness an employee has to present a sick leave certificate signed by the doctor and stamped by the clinic/hospital. For the period of sickness confirmed by the certificate the employee will receive the salary (60-100% of the average salary for two years based on the total duration of employment). The salary for two days of the sickness period will be paid by the employer itself and the rest by the Social Insurance Fund).


A little more complex is the situation with pregnant employees. The state has implemented a number of measures to protect pregnant women. First, you can't fire them under any circumstances, you can't send them on business trips; make them work overtime or on weekends. They are entitled to part time working day/week (you pay only for the time they work, though). Besides, they are entitled to maternity leave, usually 70 days before the labor and 70 days after with 100% salary paid for these periods. Besides, they can take a child-care leave for 18 months with receiving child-care allowance from Social Insurance Fund. After the initial 18 months the woman can take another 18 months with no allowance. For the entire period of three years the employer is obligated to keep her job's position which is filled by hiring temporary workers.

Social Contributions of the Employee

The employer's staffing costs include mainly two categories:


  1. Wage and salary bill
  2. Social contributions
  3. Expenses not related to wage and salary bill and social contributions

Wage and salary bill will include the following cost items:


  • Salary
  • Bonuses
  • Compensations for overtime and work on the weekends, for health hazards
  • Compensation for annual holidays
  • Compensation for lunches, transport, communication

Social contributions in 2011 include the following items:


  • Mandatory health insurance fees (3.1% of wage and salary bill)
  • Mandatory pension insurance fees (10 to 20% of all the payments made to the employee within a specified period based on the entity form and tax scheme of your company)
  • Social Insurance Fund fees (2.9%)


Other than that the employer can also pay (can be included into the social package offered to the employees):


  • One-time allowance for retired employees
  • Voluntary medical insurance fees
  • Reimbursement of kindergarten fees for employees' children
  • Transport fees
  • Welfare assistance


Other things you should consider when hiring employees in Russia:

  • The employee should present the following documents when being hired

§ Job application

§ Work record card

§ Photocopies of all passport pages

§ Photocopy of State pension insurance certificate

§ Military registration documents for those liable for military service

§ Photocopies of education certificates, diplomas


  • The language of the labor contract is Russian; in some cases it can be bilingual with Russian having a priority. The samples of standard labor contract can be found here (website in Russian).

These are the most important factors to consider when going through the process of hiring employees in Russia.


Dania International S.M.B.A. * Raadhuspladsen 16 * 1550 Copenhagen V * Denmark * Telephone: +45 70272677 * Skype: dania_international * VAT: DK34048142

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