“Russia is Russia”. For those who have visited, lived, and/or worked in this country, this saying is very obvious – and not so much so to those who don’t know Russia. As the largest country in the world (at roughly 17 million square kilometers in overall area), it covers about 1/8th of the world’s land mass and spreads across both Europe and Asia. It spans many different climates which is more obvious when you consider that Russia borders many countries; including Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, and South Korea. The 18th and 19th centuries brought the Industrial Revolution and, in the eighty (80) years post World War II, Russia has grown to have one of the largest GDP’s both in the region and the world.
While there is a tremendous geographical spread in Russia, Cities and businesses are joined together by a “very involved” government that has been more open to international investment in Russia over the past 30+ years. Given the very deeply-rooted, nationalistic DNA in Russia, it is critical for business people to understand, respect, and, quite often, admire the cultural and political aspects of doing business in Russia. Maccabeus understands and respects those differences having worked in Russia for over thirty (30) years. In AutoMobility, for example, Maccabeus has worked directly and/or indirectly with various Russian OEM and Supplier Companies in Russia; and the names and brands are almost as mysterious to someone who doesn’t understand Russia as to someone who doesn’t understand Russian. We’ve also worked directly and/or indirectly with most Automotive OEM’s in the region; including AvtoVAZ, GAZ, AZLK, KAMAZ, NAMI, Aurus Motors, and UAZ (as well as most of the international OEM’s and their corresponding Suppliers doing business in Russia).
Part of what makes Russia so unique is the common cultural thread that runs throughout the various Cities and Regions. While there can be major cultural differences, they are anchored in a strong government and national foundation “uniting” them all. Thus, doing business in each is very similar whether one is working in Moscow (the capital of Russia), St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Krasnodar, Novosibirsk, Rostov, Astrakhan, Veliky Novgorod, or Saratovdur. These cultural similarities (with minor differences) are critical for Companies and Clients to both consider and understand when they are hiring external Executive Talent – regardless of where a Company and/or Client are located from a headquarters’s perspective – including the added geographical factor and how that relates both to the overall Company’s, Client’s, and Executive’s cultural make-up.
Culture, Culture, Culture
Realtors and related real estate investors will regularly talk about the most important decision for making an real estate investment is “location, location, location”. At Maccabeus, we say executive recruiting comes down to three (3) words, as well – “culture, culture, culture”. Specifically, the culture of the Company (or the client), the Executive, and the City, Region, etc.
Again, while there are some differences in how to recruit City by City and Region by Region, the corresponding Russian culture (anchored in a rich history and communist government) is both consistent and different. Russia has more than 150 ethic groups, but almost all speak and write Russian. As with many Southeastern Asian countries, many non-Russian Executives find it very hard to understand the Russian language – even when it’s written due to it’s own unique characters and alphabet. So, as a result, International Recruiting Firms and expatriated Executives need to have a profound respect for and understanding of the Russian culture (and how that translates into doing business in Russia). And without understanding the culture aspects of doing business in Russia in the various Cities and Regions, even the best “functional” Executive Recruiters will get it “wrong”.
Understanding all of these recruiting complexities is absolutely critical in Executive search. At Maccabeus, we understand the Russian City and Regional similarities and differences and how to apply those unique qualities across the cultural aspects of both Companies (Clients) and Executives (and their Families). We have recruited across the broad spectrum that is Russia. We know the cultural differences between the Russian and international Corporations and their corresponding Executive make-up. And we know the differences not just from an Executive Recruitment Firm’s perspective, but also as Executives who have considered relocations and/or new career challenges directly for ourselves and our Families. While we have counseled hundreds of Executives to not take an opportunity based on their concerns around cultural differences (based on location and/or the company), our Partners and Staff have also declined offers ourselves as Industry Executives – opportunities that just weren’t the right “fit” for either ourselves and/or our Families. We get it.
Finding the right Executives takes a tenacity to see through the surface of experiences and to look into the intangibles behind who a leader really is as a person. To get to know the companies, clients, Executives, Families, etc. behind the search project. Maccabeus LLC is committed to and has a strong track record of recruiting and placing Executives across a diverse landscape of industries and locations.
We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with you and your Board.
“The more a man uses moderation in his life, the more he is at peace, for he is not full of cares for many things.“St. Anthony the Great