CONSORT Group’s contribution to the success of 2018 FIFA World Cup

In summer of 2018, CONSORT Group team completed the 2018 FIFA World Cup project.

Within its framework, CONSORT provided recruitment, interpretation outsourcing and temporary staff services as accredited by Rostrud.

In 13 cities of Russia, over 1000 interpreters from various languages as well as transportation team, supervisors and other administrative support staff, and project managers with unique experience of hosting sporting events were selected.

Such was the scale of CONSORT Group’s contribution to this country’s overall success in organizing one of the best football championships in the world history.

It was the biggest project in CONSORT Group’s history, with work being conducted since last autumn. To find 1000 interpreters, at least twice as many candidates had to pass through selection interviews, assessment centers, testing of foreign language skills, and onboarding process. After the recruitment, CONSORT team coordinated and administered the work of the selected staff.

It included a colossal responsibility for each of these hundreds of younger people. The project brought a lot of positive emotions for the selected staff, and a sense of pride for CONSORT team’s success.

Our customer, a British company Lapwing, was satisfied with CONSORT Group’s services, same as a year ago when they first contacted us for assistance during the 2017 Confederation Cup.

The IESF is among Hunt Scanlon Global 25

Hunt Scanlon, a highly-reputed research publication, has listed the International Executive Search Federation (IESF – among the world – leading Executive Search groups, with 200 consultants force working from 80 offices throughout the world.

Since 2005, CONSORT Group has been responsible in the IESF for operations in Russia and CIS countries. The Group’s consultants have successfully executed more than 50 search projects for our IESF partners’ clients, some of them acknowledged to be exemplary by international standards.

CONSORT Group’s expert opinion on Russian consulting market

What does the Russian consulting market look like following the results of 2017? Michael Bogdanov, Chairman of the Board of CONSORT Group, became one of the experts for the famous English annual SOURCE Global Research report.

The report experts agreed that in 2017 there was a slight improvement in the situation on the Russian market of consulting services, in comparison with the crisis period that began in 2014, when the Russian economy was simultaneously hit by a fall in oil prices, devaluation of the ruble and international sanctions.

However, despite modest growth, the Russian consulting market is still far from the shape it was in until 2014. Small and medium-sized companies suffer most from this as they clearly do not have enough money not only for development but also for maintaining the current level of business operations.

Nevertheless, things are still looking better than two or three years ago, and experts hope that this trend develops further in 2018.

You can find the English version of SOURCE Global Research expert report on Russia here.

Executive Search is in demand across the world

On April 18-20, 2018, the annual European conference of the International Executive Search Federation (IESF) – of which CONSORT Group has been a partner since 2005 – took place. It was hosted by Romania this time, and the event was held in the beautiful city of Timisoara.

The conference was imbued with an extremely positive atmosphere – all countries (except, unfortunately, for Russia) reported on the record – the best ever in their respective histories – year of 2017. The largest revenues, most expensive assignments – colleagues from Germany, France, Spain, Romania, Poland, Israel, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland etc kept talking about those. Normand Lebeau, President of the Federation, and the IESF’s Canadian partner from Madrake search firm, also spoke of the same trend in North America and the best year for their business in Canada. On the first day of the conference, his company signed the largest contract during nearly thirty years of Mandrake’s history. The Executive Search service globally is experiencing a stable growth and is in high demand. We hope that the growth of the Russian economy will return, too, and with it the prosperity of our industry.

Eti Katabi, a Partner from Israel, presented her first book on management consulting entitled The Fastest Way to Corner Office which is available on Amazon. Victor Carulla, a Partner from Spain, shared his joy and pride: his search firm Headway was included in the list of the best Executive Search companies in Spain, along with international giants of the search industry.

Among major issues discussed during the conference were new progressive methods of marketing and promotion of services as well as increasingly sought-after searches conducted simultaneously in different countries (and even across continents). Also discussed were additional services other than Executive Search offered by partner companies. Our colleagues singled out as the most demanded services those of Interim Management, management audit and talent management.

The conference concluded with a successful seminar that brought together over one hundred and fifty guests, on the topic of Humans and Technology in the Age of Innovation.

And after the conference was over, our friendly IESF team went on a tour of Romanian castles and the capital Bucharest. In our opinion, Romania is clearly underestimated from the point of view of tourism potential – amazing nature, rich history, delicious food and wine, and affordable prices can attract a lot more of Russian tourists!


To catch the firebird is absolutely possible!

On March 2, an exclusive practical seminar of an expert with twenty-five years of experience, Chairman of CONSORT Group Mikhail Bogdanov, took place at the Moscow Savoy Hotel. The topic of “Catching the firebird is not easy” was all about the secrets and techniques of Executive Search and headhunting. “Personnel Management” magazine was the seminar’s information partner.

It is a common belief that when searching for, negotiating with, discussing the range of targets and compensation package for top managers, Executive Search consultants use some privileged technologies. In general, it is so. However, those who think that those are not accessible to “mere mortals” are mistaken! They can and should be applied in any company but how this should be done was explained at the master class.

What are the requirements for the senior executives that help cut off “personnel trash” (burnt-out, disloyal, single-task candidates, potential criminal characters …)? What are the techniques for evaluating candidates and ensuring their success? What if, on the eve of signing the contract, the final candidate changes terms and conditions or, conversely, the company has a major force majeure? What is to be done if the General Director and the HRD have differing opinions on an ideal candidate? And also, when a search assignment is formulated like this: “Go there — I do not know where, and bring that — I do not know what”?

Before you plan the search stages and apply evaluation methods, you must correctly understand the search mandate, determine the “habitat” of those who are being headhunted, and decide on methods, recommended Irina Schavinskaya, CONSORT Group’s Project Director, and an experienced psychologist.

And in order to increase the probability of “hitting the bull’s eye”, one should master the art of establishing and maintaining useful contacts (Social Networking) of which Mikhail Bogdanov told the master class participants.

HRDs and HR specialists from a number of large companies shared their opinions and experience in searches. According to Pony Express CEO Georgy Alikoshvili, the right choice does not always lie in the obvious professional segment for which the top manager is needed; his own professional experience speaks for just that. It is better to rely on the candidate’s personal qualities: leadership, balanced judgments, structured thinking, inner core, ability to manage the ambitions of subordinates … And Dmitry Vasiliev, the CEO from St. Petersburg’s TA Vostok company, following up on that idea, adds the candidate’s pronounced motivation to work in that company to the list of advantages of the said candidate — in particular, it can indicate readiness to relocate from another region of the country.

Elena Ozertsova, Zeppelin Russland’s HRD, brought forward a case on how to timely determine the candidate’s weaknesses. This, perhaps, will help avoid mistakes and a feeling of guilt towards the person who was headhunted, and who did not fit in afterwards. And Natalia Gruzdova, Itella’s Head of Recruitment Department, shared her “adventurous” experience when, in order to reach out to the right person, she had to invent legends and feel like a scout behind the enemy’s lines.

Author: Elena Mamontova, “Personnel Management” magazine

For contribution to the development of personnel search industry

Mikhail Bogdanov, CONSORT Group’s Chairman of the Board, was awarded the title of an Honorary Member of the Association of Search Consultants (AKPP —

Established in 1996 by a number of leading Russian personnel search companies, AKPP has been continuously carrying out a lot of activities to shape up recruiting profession in Russia and improve the civilized nature of the local labor market.

Mikhail Bogdanov was one of AKPP’s founding fathers, was elected five times as its President, and for many years served on AKPP’s Coordination Council, as well as Chairman of its Expert Board.

Once again among Russia’s best managers

Congratulations to all of our business partners who were included in the Kommersant Russia’s TOP 1000 Best Managers ranking list! CONSORT Group’s senior executives Mikhail Bogdanov and Julia Balakina are among them, too.

Being listed in the TOP 1000 in this vast country is, undoubtedly, a huge personal achievement for everyone included which signifies their highest standing and recognition in the professional community.

We are particularly pleased that, at our initiative as rating experts in the TOP 1000, a number of representatives from our client companies were listed there, mainly HR Directors. We put them forward as nominees — and many other rating experts supported their nomination!

The best 100 HR Directors make up a significant part of the elite club which is TOP 1000 of the country’s best managers. Being members of this club since 2002, Mikhail Bogdanov and Julia Balakina have more than once been convinced of the wide opportunities for interaction between its members, their readiness to build business relations with their “ranking neighbors”. And this is not surprising: there is hardly a more reliable reference point than the opinion of a large number of experienced market players who are independent in their assessments.

We hope we are able to prove useful to all of the winners of this ranking on a wide range of issues related to personnel search, recruitment and outsourcing, both in Russia and abroad.

Killer Robots and Oil & Gas

On 14-15 September 2017, Yury Mikhailov, Head of CONSORT Group’s St Petersburg office, took part in the discussions within the framework of the Federal IT Forum of the Russian oil and gas industry “Smart Oil & Gas: Digital Transformation of the Oil and Gas Industry”.

This large-scale industry event was held for the third time already, having proved to be a unique platform for discussing and exchanging best practice experience on major issues of IT and industrial automation in Russia’s oil and gas sector.

Yury was a speaker at a special session called Killer Robots that was devoted to the question of what could be done about those employees who would be gradually replaced with info-bots and automation systems.

The session participants tried to take a look into the future and offered their vision on the following issues:

• Was it possible to completely substitute humans in certain jobs with robots and info-bots

• How could people and robots coexist comfortably in a business environment

• Were special acts and regulations on the work of robots required or should they obey human laws

• Who would be held responsible for the robots’ mistakes (especially those that led to serious consequences)

• What could be done with the employees in non-complex jobs who would be replaced by robots and who were not capable of a more skilled work

• If the predictions that within the next decade robots’ IQ score would increase to 1,000 or more (as compared to 100 for an average human or 200 for a genius) were true, would not people become an oppressed minority

The speakers agreed that in the near future it will be possible to digitize and robotize those processes that can be easily algorithmized and represent a set of simple actions that are not based on deep analysis but rather provide general information or do a quick analysis to set key criteria. Where the role of thought processes for making comprehensive and weighted decisions was still great, and understanding of customer/consumer psychology was of paramount importance, digitalization would take place at a slower pace, and so, perhaps, despite the emergence of various chat bots and Vera personnel search bots, the recruiter’s position was not yet threatened with extinction.

For Civilized Labor Market

On 18 April 2017, the office of welcomed CEOs of Russia’s leading recruitment firms who met to brainstorm an issue of how to further develop the Association of Personnel Search Consultants (APSC).

APSC — the oldest association of professional recruiters in this country — was created in 1996, and since then has done a lot both for establishing the recruiter profession and making the domestic labor market more civilized overall. AKPP’s major achievements have been formulating “Recruiter’s Professional and Ethics Code”, organizing training across Russia, creating professional standards and getting them approved at the state level, and much more.

Michael Bogdanov, CONSORT Group’s Chairman and CEO, acted as one of the founding fathers of APSC, was elected its President for five years, and for a long time was Chairman of the APSC’s Expert Council.

The meeting unanimously agreed on the need to continue APSC’s activities. The brainstorming session results will be used to develop soon a new strategy and approaches that will reflect the interests of a wider range of employment agencies under the new conditions of doing business that changed dramatically in the past few years.

Russia’s Best Commercial Director

Dozens of experts, who took part in compiling the 15th rating of The Russia’s TOP-1000 managers, ranked Julia Balakina, CONSORT Group’s Business Development Director, number 1 in 2014 Commercial Director (Professional services) category. This is the highest mark of recognition ever received by any member of CONSORT Group’s team throughout the years of the rating (since 2002).  

It is no coincidence that Julia Balakina’s professional activities have been so highly appreciated on the market: under her leadership, CONSORT Group won two thirds of the many search tenders announced by corporate clients.    

Michael Bogdanov, CONSORT Group’s Chairman of the Board, took 4th place in 2014 Top Manager (Professional services) category. The rating’s experts have included him among the market’s “best of the best”,  putting him ahead of all other search industry competition.  

CONSORT Group’s IT Director Andrey Vengerov has also kept his position in the rating.

 The Russia’s TOP-1000 managers rating is conducted annually by Russia’s Managers Association and Kommersant Publishing House. This ranking is by rights considered the most objective survey for evaluating professional reputation of the leading Russian top executives.