Thousands of companies worldwide have organized fundraising campaigns for humanitarian aid for Ukraine. Still, it is also essential to support the country’s economy so that the Ukrainian government can continue to move forward despite the ongoing war. Investing in Ukrainian services and startups and hiring Ukrainians is one of the best ways to help as a foreigner.
Named Offshoring Destination of the Year in 2017, Ukraine is home to highly-skilled developers, designers, marketers, and product managers who speak English at an intermediate level or better. Such specialists will help companies fill the demand for remote jobs, given the particularly strong pace of job growth in the US.
This article will talk about how business is working in Ukraine amidst the war and share a list of job boards and hiring platforms. At the end of the article, you can find information about charitable initiatives supporting Ukraine.
Why is it important for Ukrainian businesses to continue operating?
TLDR: To earn money for their families and help Ukraine recover from a devastating Russian attack.
Even though President Joe Biden signed a bill providing Ukraine with $13.6 billion in additional military and humanitarian aid on March 15th, it is, unfortunately, still clear that it’s not enough to help boost the country’s economy.
According to the Ministry of Economy, as of March 13th, 2022, the country suffered $120 billion in damages from the Russian invasion. Hopefully, the United States and its allies will use $350 billion of Russian foreign exchange reserves held in central banks outside the country and frozen by their governments to hold Russia accountable.
Even in that scenario, Ukraine’s recovery will take time, so Ukrainian citizens are motivated to earn money for their families and replenish the state budget.
What are the top Ukrainian industries?
Awarded with the title of the offshoring destination for 2017 by Global Sourcing Association (UK), Ukraine is home to 300,000 high-quality tech specialists, 80% of whom speak English, at least at an intermediate level. Front-end, QA, Java, .NET, and PHP specialists are in the greatest demand. High interest in technological fields and publicly-funded education with remote learning an option will increase the number of graduates to an expected 23,000 by 2025. In the medium term, the number of graduates in computer science may increase to 35,000 as the birth rate peaked between 2008-2013.
According to the Ukrainian IT Association, computer and information services exports increased from $5 billion in 2020 to $6.8 billion in 2021. A study conducted in January 2022 shows Ukraine’s IT industry will generate at least $37 billion in export sales in the next four years — even under a worst-case scenario. The association conducted the research accounting for the possibility of a Russian invasion.
Apart from outsourcing software engineers, Ukraine is home to other digital professions. Certified specialists in Design, Digital Marketing, SEO/SEM, PR, Copywriting, Customer Support, and Project Management are willing to work remotely and most often speak English at an upper-intermediate or higher level.
Is it safe to hire from Ukraine now? How do businesses in Ukraine work amidst the war?
In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic reshaped the workflow as many companies in the tech industry switched to hybrid or full remote work. This approach allowed IT companies to keep their workflow intact even as the war broke out. Software development companies from Kharkiv, Kyiv, Dnipro, and Odesa—cities that are among the top 10 in terms of income and career development for developers—were forced to temporarily relocate employees to safer regions. Businesses moved to Western Ukraine (mainly Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk) and other European countries (Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia)—programmers can write code from any location with internet access.
The top Ukrainian IT teams expanded their social packages and list of benefits. They allowed developers to work at their own pace, get mental help, participate in volunteer work, and join the territorial defense forces with pay. The top priority for companies’ management was to adjust to the “new normal” and get out on a continuous workflow. “Of course, we all understand that working conditions now have their specifics. Therefore, team members support and back each other up,” writes Luxoft’s HR director. Specialists from Ukraine who can work are the most motivated. First, they provide for their families, and second, they are the ones who support the country’s economy, while many other local businesses have suspended operations.
Moreover, having switched to a war economy, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted a bill that reduced the single tax for private entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized businesses to 2%. This bill may encourage companies and technical engineers who choose to stay in Ukraine to continue their business.
However, globalization is the most crucial factor that allows Ukrainian software developers to continue operations. It has brought many transformative changes, and the recruiting field is no exception. Businesses that were once tied to local labor pools now have global options and will use them to hire vetted software engineers, designers, project managers, and marketers from Ukraine within a matter of days.
Tens of millions of Americans quit their jobs in 2021 as part of the “Great Resignation” while workers continued to look for better opportunities. Still, US companies suffering from staffing shortages can reach global, highly motivated tech talent looking for better jobs.
Where can I find and hire Ukrainian candidates? Search job boards and hiring platforms
On March 14th, Ukraine’s most prominent tech job board, DOU, peaked with a record number of job openings since the war began. On that day, software developers responded to 1,362 job openings, 33% fewer than the peak values before the war but still an impressive number.
The resurgence of the domestic job market indicates that outsourced projects and contractors are also moving toward sustainable work models. Let’s look at the four most popular ways of hiring Ukrainian developers and other talents.
Hiring options depending on your budget and business needs
Hiring Ukrainians as in-house employees
Best suited for: big companies that are ready for a long-term commitment.
Here are the most popular Ukrainian job boards for hiring tech professionals:
If you’re not just looking for IT specialists but also other creative talent, doctors, or professionals in the financial sector, these platforms can be helpful:
You can also search among the 3 million Ukrainian LinkedIn Profiles by filtering industry and service categories.
Contracting (Staff Augmentation) Ukrainians
Best suited for: companies looking for long-term cooperation but that don’t have experience with international employment practices.
Contracting is not regulated as strictly as employment, so it is an easier way to give Ukrainians long-term projects in foreign countries.
As this method is very similar to in-house hiring, it demands attention from managers during onboarding. You will need to align the workflow and establish communication between the in-house team and remote worker(s).
Contracting from Eastern Europe is a popular option for engaging tech talent among foreign businesses. Ukrainian specialists (especially in the IT sector) usually work as private entrepreneurs who provide their services to clients/companies on a project basis. Ukrainian programmers who work on foreign projects widely use this contracting collaboration model.
Platform to look for full-time contractor developers: YouTeam.
YouTeam has software engineers from Eastern Europe and Latin America in its talent pool, but most of the network is from Ukraine. Additionally, to help with recruitment, the platform fee is waived for companies contracting developers from Ukraine while the war continues.
You can also find a candidate who is looking for a full-time job from the list of platforms from the above section (in-house hiring) and engage them as contractors via services that help to manage international hires and payrolls. Such companies become the employer of record (EOR) for your international expert and receive a monthly fee for these services.
Companies helping to regulate international hires:
Outsourcing to Ukrainian companies
Best suited for: hiring a party outside a company to gain expertise and fill an in-house void.
Typically, companies outsource their marketing activities, accounting, web and software development services from Ukraine. In the latter, an outsourced development team may include a project manager, QAs, and designers.
In contrast to the contracting model, you don’t need to manage the software development team directly or communicate directly with each developer in the workplace, as it’s very likely that your outsourced team will have a PM.
Tech companies use this type of practice to focus on the business’s core aspects, spinning off the less critical operations entirely to outside organizations.
You can also outsource your marketing, sales, or UI/UX design teams to Ukrainian agencies specializing in this field.
Best platform to search for outsourcing companies: Clutch.co
Hiring freelancers from Ukraine
Best suited for: short-time projects, small tasks, and companies with limited budgets.
Hiring developers from a freelancer platform is the easiest and quickest way to cover urgent needs, but it’s not financially sustainable for long-term projects. Remember that a freelancer’s hourly rates can be higher than on other hiring platforms since the freelancers also pay a commission. In contrast to dedicated development teams, freelancers are responsible for a number of contracted jobs, and the quality of their output could be subpar to that of the client’s specifications.
Platforms to find freelancers: Upwork, freelancehunt, Remote Ukraine
Other ways to help Ukraine
If you’re looking for other ways to help Ukrainians, here are a few options:
- Join the IT Army of Ukraine, the global initiative of the Ministry of Digital Transformation, to help fight disinformation and Russian cyberattacks;
- Help Ukrainian software engineers with projects designed to support Ukraine, provide free English lessons, or help marketers create graphic content about the situation in Ukraine;
- Use your website, app, or social media to organize a humanitarian response. Never underestimate the power of LinkedIn and other social media (and word of mouth) — even a little help can save people’s lives.
Protest and show solidarity
Join the protests against the war in Ukraine in your city, show your solidarity through social media posts and make a statement against Russian aggression on your official website.
- YouTeam members’ initiative to help purchase life-saving equipment for specific units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
- Air to Ukraine – Medical supplies to the Ukrainian defense forces in a partnership with YouTeam. Registered in the USA as a 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit organization
- United Help Ukraine – Life-saving medical supplies. Registered in the USA as a 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit organization
- Nova Ukraine – General humanitarian aid. Registered in the USA as a 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit organization
- National Bank of Ukraine’s special account for the support of Ukraine’s armed forces
- National Bank of Ukraine’s special account for humanitarian aid
- Come Back Alive – Non-lethal military assistance to Ukraine’s armed forces (SWIFT & crypto donations available)
- Blue & Yellow – Handmade marketplace with Ukrainian-only artisans aimed to generate income for relocated Ukrainians
- You can also send Putin to Jupiter.