Azerbaijani labour market influenced by international economy

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 18 / Trend / Konstantin Frenkin, President of the Azerbaijani human resources company Diplomat Ltd, specially for Trend

Azerbaijani human resources market is primarily a shortage of high-quality manpower. Emergence of such a deficit in the world has a common peculiarity (low birth rate growth, fluctuations in market supply and demand, changes in production processes), but in Azerbaijan it is dependent on the education system, which in recent years has been in an unsatisfactory condition. Changes for the better began to emerge in the educational system only in early 2008.

An imbalance of supply and demand occurred in the labour market. Mainly middling young people remain in the higher education field, as most prefer to go into business for better-paid rates.

The system of so-called supply and demand in Azerbaijan is for the most a vicious cycle, so the effects of the international financial crisis and resulted unemployment have not yet appeared strongly enough in Azerbaijan in 2008. Deteriorating situation in western markets, due to the downturn in the global economy, entails large-scale reduction of staffs but is unlikely to reach Azerbaijan, which is still quite isolated from the world economy, in near future.

First of all, the crisis affected those business entities that were directly dependent on western partners, which resulted in reduction of the personnel that was not engaged in main production processes.

Effects of the growing crisis will occur in Azerbaijan in 2009, since the industrial and oil sector of the economics is directly linked to international markets, and even small fluctuations can lead to a substantial reduction in incomes of the professionals working in these sectors. The reductions of staffs will lead to a drop in incomes in families and to a decrease in consumer demand.

Today, services and new computer technology has passed to the forefront in Azerbaijan. Software developments will determine economic growth more than industrial production. And our labour market still remains dependent on oil production and industrial manufacturing - higher education institutions were created adequate to these fields in the USSR and they still produce professionals who remain unemployed or go to another business.

Yet, situation in Azerbaijan will not change significantly in 2009, because most professionals do not have a strong attachment to their profession and possess necessary skills in other industries, and can retrain fast enough. This also relates to employers' non-rigid demands for professionals when admitting them.

Shortage of staff is a worldwide phenomenon. The situation in the labour market has changed over the past three years. Our specialists in contrast to those of the U.S. and Europe are ready to constantly change jobs in search of career advancement and higher salaries. And companies, trying to save, in increasing frequency close vacancies by reorganizing internal positions and the redistribution of duties.

Azerbaijani labour market is going through major changes associated with the growth of shortage of skilled human resources, restructuring of the economics and increasing competition in the market. As a result, it is worth noting the increasing demand for financial, sales and computer specialists and designers.

Increasing demand for professionals in the field of finance demonstrates that free funds appeared at enterprises (their own funds or of outside investors for future investing in enterprise development). A shortage of good sellers and designers is due to the fact that the rapidly growing consumer demand made sales depend not so much on marketing but on the quality of services and the outer envelope. Therefore, in 2008 most companies began to pay great attention to organization of business processes.

The forecast for the further development of the situation in the labour market is optimistic - level of wages and demand for highly skilled professionals will be growing in almost all business areas and will rise by 15-20% in the first quarter of 2009. It is evident that various experts in the field of manufacturing, accounting, marketing and sales, engineering and design will be much in demand.

Simple and chief technologists are in particular shortfall. A good chief technologist can earn as much as a department or unit manager. This is particularly true of the food industry which requires international quality standards.

Young people who just choose their career should take a better look at the real economic sector.

Opinions expressed in this article may be different of those held by Trend

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