Experts named the reasons for the shortage of housekeepers in Russia

Experts named the reasons for the shortage of housekeepers in Russia

“The pattern is obvious: the demand for domestic staff is twice as high as the number of responses from potential applicants,” says Irina Aleynik, head of the Family Staff agency. — The fact is that previously a considerable part of the housework was made up of immigrants from Ukraine - both women and married couples worked. Now there are practically none left.

Ukrainians would be happy to come to work in Russia - especially those who had experience of employment in Moscow or another large city, but left for one reason or another two years ago for their homeland. Now it's hard to go back. If a Ukrainian does not have a residence permit in Russia, he can only cross the border through Sheremetyevo. Since there is no passenger air service in Ukraine, its citizens get to the Russian capital most often through Turkey or Serbia, which is not cheap. Having arrived at the Moscow airport, people sometimes sit for two days waiting for an interview with the security service. And it’s not a fact that they will get the go-ahead.

According to HeadHunter, the growth in demand for housekeepers and cleaners in the first two months of winter doubled compared to the same period last year. But, despite the labor shortage that has arisen due to geopolitical factors, newcomers who have settled in Russia have enormous uncertainty about the future.

Turnover in this area is minimal. Household staff hold on to good jobs with high salaries. At the same time, people with work experience who are in search are in no hurry to grab the first offer that comes their way, but are looking for a more profitable salary option. They won’t go for 4–5 thousand rubles a day, at least 7 thousand.

The most “dear” employees are Russian women with work experience. They initially want to receive 10–12 thousand a day, but if they cannot find a suitable family, they agree to 7–8 thousand rubles, which, however, is also worthy.

“For employees with a salary of 200 thousand a month, the requirements are the same as for staff in five-star hotels,” says Irina Aleynik. “They need to spin on one leg: to be agile and invisible to their master’s eyes. Such a super-professional needs to understand all the nuances without prompting and not ask unnecessary questions. The house should always be perfectly clean and have a full refrigerator. You need to be able to take care of a VIP wardrobe and figure out which buttons to press on expensive household appliances. Knowledge of English is preferred.

Over time, such a professional can move to a higher level: he stops cleaning, selects household staff himself (for example, a maid and a cook), orders the delivery of flowers and groceries, organizes trips for family members and accompanies them, takes on the organization of large celebrations and etc. The salary of a universal house help reaches 300 thousand rubles per month.

“Fifteen years ago I started as a simple housekeeper, received about 20 thousand a month and lived in a tiny room,” says 50-year-old Oksana, a native of Novosibirsk, and now a full-fledged Muscovite with her own apartment near the Third Transport Ring. — Gradually, the owners began to give me assignments that were not directly related to my work. I went to parent-teacher meetings for their son, bought plane tickets, and once even went with the owner’s mother to Italy for a month. But first, I personally selected a housekeeper (from Kharkov) and a cook (from St. Petersburg) for this month.

Upon returning, Oksana learned that the staff she had selected had proven themselves excellent and were staying in the house. And she herself officially becomes a housekeeper with a salary increase to three hundred thousand rubles a month.

“Now I take more care of the wardrobe, pack and unpack suitcases, and travel with my owners to India and Dubai,” the interlocutor continues. “I’m always with my family, I live according to their schedule, I work with one or two days off a month, and I often stay overnight at my owners’ house.

Oksana's friend, Saadat, was not so lucky. Ten years ago she came to Moscow from Tashkent and also first got a job as a housekeeper, and then became a house manager. However, a year ago, her owners lost their main source of income, and Saadat found herself on the street. On Oksana’s advice, the woman turned to a specialized agency, stating that she was applying for a vacancy as a housekeeper with a salary of two hundred thousand rubles, the same as in her previous position.

The potential owners did not know Saadat, and besides, the story of her dismissal seemed strange to them, and the woman was offered to undergo a polygraph test (in principle, any applicant for a high salary is doomed to confess to a lie detector test). Saadat failed the test: a third of the answers turned out to be false. Of course, the lady could have gotten a job as a cleaner and dishwasher through another agency, but 70 thousand rubles a month seemed humiliating to the recent housekeeper, and she left for her homeland.

“There are very few adequate staff among visitors from Central Asia,” continues Irina Aleynik. — Therefore, usually citizens of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are paid no more than 70–80 thousand rubles per month (with accommodation in the employer’s house). And they manage to achieve an income of hundreds of thousands of rubles in exceptional cases. There are, of course, hardworking and smart workers from Central Asian regions, but there are literally only a few of them.

The demand for chefs is also high - wealthy people are not very inclined to use delivery even from expensive restaurants. In rich homes, especially with small children, teenagers and old grandparents, “chefs” cook from morning to evening. It happens that a family is satisfied with the situation when the cook comes for the whole day and prepares lunches and dinners for two or three days in advance.

“I’ll be honest: chefs now have fanned fingers,” says Irina Aleynik. — They now want to receive at least 12 thousand rubles for going on shift. But I’ll tell you more: people are willing to pay chefs a lot of money. The other day I saw a vacancy on a job search engine: the customer is ready to pay the cook 18 thousand rubles a day. But there are corresponding requirements: knowledge of ten cuisines of the world and experience working as a “chef” in restaurants.

Basically, the services of domestic staff on a permanent basis in Moscow are used by residents of mansions in New Riga and Rublyovka, in St. Petersburg - by houses on the central embankments and in the Petrogradsky district. There is also demand among apartment dwellers, but it is small, we are talking about several hundred requests. As a rule, people call housekeepers and cooks one-time - for example, if they need to do general cleaning or celebrate the birthday of a small child.

— The profession of a housekeeper is relatively easy to enter, and candidates can change the field of work quite freely. Given the serious shortage in the blue-collar market and rising wages in the economy, those same housekeepers could quite easily leave for other fields with much higher salaries. The peak interest of job seekers in housekeeper vacancies in cities with a population of over a million occurred in the period from June 2022 to March 2023, says Yuri Mikheev, head of the analytics department at — Moreover, the number of responses to one vacancy directly depended on exchange rates (this is due precisely to the fact that a significant proportion of applicants are migrants). In January-February 2023, the surge was likely due to families returning from abroad.

Not the most obvious reason for the growing demand for housekeepers’ services is demographic changes in Russia. A decrease in the birth rate and an increase in the number of lonely people encourages people to look for help in everyday life. By the way, there are almost no housekeepers under 35 years old. As a rule, women 40+, who have adult children and elderly parents, come to work. You have to choose: either spend your life close to your parents, or earn money for them, but far away. The latter, due to the weakening of the ruble, no longer seems like a good idea.

“The main reason for the shortage of specialists lies not in the growing demand for their services, but in the migration crisis,” comments career consultant Ekaterina Starodubtseva-Kalacheva. — Labor migrants from Central Asia and other neighboring countries, who previously made up the largest portion of specialists in this segment, continue to leave Russia. This, of course, is influenced by the economic situation. It has simply become unprofitable to work in Russia and contribute part of your salary to a family living in another country. The salaries of domestic staff will now rise rapidly, but this will not solve the problem of a shortage of hands. I predict that, where possible, their work will be robotic and automated.

Source link