In recent years the issue of labor migration in Ukraine has been one of the hottest topics for discussion. The question “What shall be done to retain qualified specialists” is the subject of concern for many companies. In this regard, PJSC ArcelorMittal Kriviy Rih is a unique company. It does not have problems with loss of personnel; it even has a constant pool of candidates for employment. HR Director of PJSC ArcelorMittal Kriviy Rih Elena Pilipenko speaks about the key to such a success.
“Yes, labor migration of qualified employees is a serious problem for big and medium businesses in many respects, if not to say even a disaster. Thus, each company puts efforts to develop a program to retain valuable employees. We have an efficient set of measures in this regard. As of June 1, the level of personnel loss at ArcelorMittal Kriviy Rih is only 2.5% of the total headcount since the beginning of 2018, and as of year-end 2017 – 1,3%. While the critical point is considered to be the level of personnel loss exceeding 10%. Thus, ArcelorMittal Kriviy Rih has no labor migration. It is the result of our day-to-day work aimed at retaining of labor collective,” she said.
“So, what we do to resist the labor migration. First of all, way of soft, gradual separation of non-core functions and services – farms, catering, etc. But even today we still have all social sphere; we have our own medical staff, drivers, repair staff. We were one of the latest among mining and steelmaking companies of Ukraine who started outsourcing of repair staff – this year in spring we created a new company Casting and Mechanical Plant (CMP), the total headcount of which is slightly less than 2 thousand people. Accordingly, AMKR headcount became less by the same 2 thousand people. Ten years ago, in 2008, the total headcount of AMKR staff was about 41 thousand people, but now we have 20,600. What does it mean? First of all, it means the effect of big numbers. One thing when you have turnover of 4,5% with 40 thousand employees and absolutely different with 20 thousand. You see, there is a difference”.
“Secondly, ArcelorMittal Kriviy Rih pays good, competitive salary to its employees. While the average salary in the country is 7,711 UAH, it is more than 12 thousand UAH at our company. And we regularly increase it. This year, the salary was increased up to 25% depending on the staff category. Moreover, we still have the so-called thirteenth salary and even “payment for utilities”, which is paid to most employees during heating season to compensate for part of their expenses for utilities. None other mining and steelmaking company has such payments”.
“Thirdly, we focus on subject-oriented training, as we understand that the country is lacking some needed workers. Thus, we prepare specialists in advance. Many years ago we created ArcelorMittal University in Ukraine, which is certified to train people at 373 jobs. It has an important function – retraining staff in various areas, including those, which might be demanded soon. In this case it is very important to forecast the situation. Moreover, it has to cover significant number of staff. Last year 69% of PJSC ArcelorMittal Kriviy Rih employees were trained at least once. 19,635 employees improved their qualification at production and technical courses and training courses. It is quite a lot, taking into account the present headcount. Besides, 1,076 employees were retrained and 913 employees were trained for the second job. Training for the second job does not always give possibility to eliminate particular HR tension, but sometimes it can be like a safety boat in case of heavy deficit. That is why while shifting to grading system instead of soviet industrial-category one, we extend the functionality of many employees in order to make it possible for them to do not only their job, but some similar jobs as well. On one hand, it allows to improve the employees’ qualification, to extend their professional opportunities, and on the other – to motivate them and to earn additional money. To attract young specialists, ArcelorMittal Kriviy Rih cooperates with 11 educational establishments – four universities and seven vocational technical schools. Last year 1,542 students had a professional practice in main subdivisions of the company – mining, sinter and BF, steelmaking departments, coke plant, energy department, etc. The best of them – 138 people – were employed by AMKR”.
“The fourth key to success is a unique social package for the employees of PJSC ArcelorMittal Kriviy Rih. We try to maintain social benefits, which people got used to have for many years and even decades. It might look extraordinary for western companies – they usually just pay the salary and provide medical insurance – but here it is very important from psychological point of view. When there are difficulties in the country, we need to create some positive atmosphere and not withhold the things people got used to. It is important to support health atmosphere in the collective. We try to focus our new projects not only on the employees themselves, but also on the members of their families and children. It includes free-of-charge rest at our rest camps and participation in entertainment shows and events. For example, this year we’ve launched a new project for the whole summer “Holidays with AMKR!”. Every week we arrange mass events for children and partially for their parents – like foam and paper parties, soap bubbles show, chemical trials, bicycles, roller skates, kick scooters and carting races, sand master classes, etc. Arrangement of such events and different shows requires certain costs, but it results in a lot of positive emotions we are currently lacking in Ukraine. Another point – we put efforts to succession. That is why a lot of initiatives and projects including educational ones are focused on kids. Few years ago we launched English School and IT School. And this year we have also started Young Engineers School. Not only children, but also their parents appreciate such attention. Someday these children can become our employees”.
“Finally, the fifth component is corporate culture of ArcelorMittal. Transparency and democratic nature of management of the collective are at the root of it. We do not limit the rights and opportunities of our employees. They can freely join trade unions and we have ten of them at the company. They can openly raise different issues and claims. We do not oppress anyone. Our employees have legal rights and we respect them. We listen to and hear our collective. And this is one of our main competitive advantages”, Elena Pilipenko said. (AMKR/Ukrainian metal)