Sorry, but there is just not that much hiring in Russia

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It's with great regret that we pop the bubble of anyone who thought that Russian hiring might be coming back. It isn't.

The main source of optimism appears to be an article from Financial News last week, which cited local headhunters and said VTB Capital, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, Barcap, Sberbank Capital and Troika Dialog are all 'actively hiring.'

However, two leading Russian headhunters cast aspersions on claims of big recruiting.

"The market hasn't turned at all. Any hiring is very opportunistic and circumstantial," says Olga Selivanova at recruiters Morgan Hunt.

"There are a few replacement hires, but that's about it," says Taru Oksman-Ison at Principal Search. "It's about unique situations rather than any full scale return to hiring."

The only banks that are definitely looking to build in Russia are apparently VTB, which is interested in sales people, and Sherbank Capital, which is looking to hire 120 people to help manage distressed assets, only a small proportion of whom will be in the front office.

Troika has made one investment banking hire, but is said to have put anything else on hold while it finalises its partnership with Standard Bank. Morgan Stanley is said not to be hiring, and Nomura cut a lot of people as recently as April.

Optimists also point to tangible signs of Russian hiring activity, in the form of William Donovan going to Deutsche and UBS hiring a new head for its Russian oil and gas research team.

However, UBS has also made a large number of Russian redundancies, and big name hires are doing little to mop up surplus talent. "There are a lot of unemployed people around and the most mature among them have given up on finding jobs and are trying to do something on their own," says Selivanova.