The Art of Laziness

By Taisa Bandarenka, manager of WageIndicator websites in all NIS-countries

Mojazarplata in Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan joined the WageIndicator family at the end of 2008. In Ukraine and Azerbaijan two versions of the sites were created – in native languages and in Russian. Actually in few months’ time the Mojazarplata sites gained popularity in the NIS-region and took the leading positions both in traffic and number of collected surveys among all WageIndicator sites.

A Lazy Team which Does What it Likes

We have been asked time and again how we managed to maintain our sites all those years in such complicated countries successfully? Rather there is not one unique recipe. Maybe the secret lies hidden in the words of Bill Gates who once said, ‘I choose a lazy person to do a hard job because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it’. But also, partly because of our living in a tough environment, we should be stronger and smarter to survive in a decent manner. And, of course, because we do what we like and we like what we do.

Indeed, we have a small yet smart, dedicated and highly productive team used to work under pressure. To describe working under pressure is boring and not interesting. That’s our life and for us there’s nothing extraordinary in meeting different challenges. Nevertheless, we try to anticipate any kind of problem before they actually do present themselves. And until now it worked.

I will not say though that it was an easy task to launch and promote the project. We have heard a lot of skeptical remarks directed at us. Honestly speaking, we were skeptical ourselves, especially as regards the filling in of that long Salary Survey. At the same time however we liked the idea of WageIndicator and believed that the people in ‘our’ countries really need such information.

Keep it Straight Instead of Going Around

Being lazy we hated doing and then redoing something again and again. We tried to find the straight and shortest way to reach our ambitious goals:

  • To create and promote cool sites with exclusive information
  • To find smart motivations for readers to fill in the Salary Survey
  • To create a Salary Check asap to be more attractive for partners.

 

However, to reach these goals we had to devote quite some time to a deep analysis of the products’ strengths and weaknesses, evaluation of how it would fit people’s needs regarding work and pay best, and be region-specific too.

Based on that knowledge, the main tasks for local teams were identified as:

  • keep learning what readers want to know about salary (SEO)
  • draw a relevant editorial line (format) with regional focus
  • design marketing and business plan
  • follow effective management (including human resources organization)
  • identify potential partners on the market
  • maintain effective team communication at all levels.

 

Effective work performance also needed thorough planning. It would have to be – and has been - updated now and then, based on a just as thorough monthly results analysis. And of course, our priority remained the focus on marketing and SEO. In hindsight it can be said that this working algorithm appeared to yield quick and high results.

170,000 Surveys During 2009-2015

Traffic in all countries grew pretty fast. After the launch early 2009, Salary Checks appeared already in mid-April. In all countries the biggest media portals, including Yandex which is the largest search engine in Russian speaking countries, became partners of Mojazarplata. During the period of cooperation with Yandex nearly 2100 Mojazarplata stories have been exported to Yandex-News.

Though in all countries the sites were developing pretty dynamic Mojazarplata in Belarus soon took the leading position and caught up with WageIndicator top- sites. 8405 surveys were collected on Mojazarplata.by during 2009 alone. Taking into account the population of Belarus, i.e. less than 9.5 million, its sample size remains one of the best and holds a stable second place after the Netherlands.

Table: Data, Visits and Population July 2014-July 2015

 

 Data

Visits

Population, mln

Netherlands

16387

7360661

16.8

Germany

10009

1406124

80.62

Ukraine

6785*

1193846

45.49

Belarus

4951

2146688

9.46

Indonesia

4573

2637374

249.9

Kazakhstan

4268

932144

17.04

Russia

791

399687

143.5

Azerbaijan

739*

122107

9.41

*Statistics in these countries include data of national and Russian language sites.

We did our best so that the other NIS-countries might catch up with Belarus. As seen from the table above, both Kazakhstan and Ukraine now have a very reliable sample size and are also among the top-sites. Azerbaijan for many reasons is still lagging behind, but we try to support it as much as we can.

Though Mojazarplata.ru was launched in 2006, our team started to supervise it only in 2012. Despite all our efforts it still needs a lot of attention, especially in terms of collecting Salary Surveys. Anyway, for the whole period of existence Mojazarplata in sum collected 170,000 Salary Surveys which serve to create the Salary Checks in the countries.

Encouraging People to Protect their Rights

With growing traffic we surprisingly got a lot of questions from employees asking for help on different labor law issues. We were amazed that they addressed Mojazarplata and not the trade unions or any other related organization.  Actually, we were the first to establish a Legal Help Desk for employees, already in 2009. For the whole period since then Mojazarplata has got some 2700 questions from its visitors, most of which (on Labor Law) were answered in FAQs, stories or directly in mails. Free for visitor use are also Compliance Forms and applications for suing employers, addresses of legal consultancies by region, etc. Presently the legal sections are top-pages in most countries.

Although our earnings are a far cry from those at Bill Gate’s company,  compensations and benefits for the Mojazarplata-team are the numerous compliments in the comments and feedback it receives:

‘Hello! Accidentally I learned about the existence of such a remarkable source. Thank you for your work. Just keep it up and keep us updated’.

‘It looks I spoiled you statistics with my miserable salary. But I was really inspired and I am now ready for some serious talk with my boss. Thanx a lot!’

Reading such words makes us feel proud of what we do.


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