The Complete Handbook for Hiring Teams in Ukraine

Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers: The Complete Handbook for Hiring Teams in Ukraine

As an employer, you’ve likely struggled to find top talent without blowing up your budget. Pay heed to Ukraine, a hub of highly educated, multilingual professionals. When hiring remote workers in Ukraine, you’ll discover some of the world’s best engineers, tech-savvy developers, and design and illustration specialists galore, ready to put their skills to work for you – all at a fraction of the cost of their Western counterparts.

Ukraine’s talented workforce remains an untapped goldmine for companies seeking a competitive edge. According to various world rankings, the country’s coders and freelancers are among the very best globally.

So, how to hire remote workers in Ukraine from the USA and other countries? Where to look for talent in Ukraine? Has the ongoing Russian aggression stopped the nation’s development and the IT industry in particular? This handbook provides insights into Ukraine’s labor market and IT landscape and helps you discover why hiring Ukrainians now is a win-win.

HR in Ukraine: A Hub of Bright Minds

The country’s tech market, with over 200k proficient IT professionals, is undoubtedly one of its most vibrant and promising industries. It covers various specialties, from cutting-edge nanotech to blockchain wizardry to AI and gaming.

The Silicon Valley of the East has no shortage of brain power hitting the job market each year. With more than twenty thousand students graduating with technical know-how, companies in the country get a vast pool of young, bright-eyed newbies willing to jumpstart their careers. Professionals in Ukraine receive high-quality technical education and training, with many obtaining degrees in engineering, computer science, and other in-demand fields. White collars in Ukraine are also often multilingual, fluent in English and Russian in addition to Ukrainian.

Number of IT specialists in Ukraine

The Ukrainian tech scene is garnering more and more attention from global players, allowing the country to solidify itself as the number one outsourcing destination on the rise. Many big hitters in the Fortune 500, like Nasdaq, Amazon, Adobe, and Microsoft, have picked Ukrainian teams as IT service providers.

The IT behemoths choose to hire teams in Ukraine for:

  • Abundance of skilled professionals. Ukraine has a well-developed education system with 800 HEI, including top technical universities. This results in a steady supply of candidates with degrees in software engineering, web development, data analysis, and related areas.
  • Available talent. The war has increased the number of job candidates open to pursuing new professional opportunities as online applications significantly increased. Most Ukrainian software developers relocated to safer locations and can sustain full-time work.
  • Lower salaries. In Ukraine, monthly income expectations are typically 2 to 4 times lower than in Western countries, even for highly skilled roles. This allows companies to tap into the skills of Ukrainian professionals at a lower cost.

Russian aggression has not considerably impacted the ability of businesses and individuals to conduct work from outside office settings. Before the invasion, the country had already established itself as a global hub for technology professionals performing remote work for large firms worldwide. This trend persists during the ongoing war.

Where to Offer Jobs for Ukrainians and Find Augmentation for Your Team

Job search

First, companies must decide if they seek full-time personnel or outsource roles individually as needs arise. But regardless of the purpose, each of the alternatives below is a good way to spot a vetted specialist.

1. Traditional recruitment agencies

Working with recruiters who specialize in hiring Ukrainian IT helps you get access to an extensive network of candidates. They can help companies identify, screen, and hire people tailored to even the most specialized positions.

2. Freelance marketplaces

Independent contracting portals like Upwork, TopTal, and Freelancer are popular with Ukrainian freelancers and remote workers. They help find individuals and crews on a project-by-project basis. Posting jobs for Ukrainians on these platforms allows you to receive applications from a large number of candidates.

3. LinkedIn

The major professional network is popular and used by many Ukrainians when searching for a job. It is also an excellent option for companies to locate potential permanent or temporary hires. It allows direct communication with specialists regarding your current purposes or future opportunities.

4. CleverFleet

This recruiting platform stands out from the bunch and focuses on hiring Ukrainian IT professionals for remote positions. It boasts a pool of thousands of developers, engineers, PMs, and more and ensures:

  • Guidance of the full onboarding process. When hiring remote workers in Ukraine, the platform crew delivers a suite of services, including sourcing and qualifying candidates, scheduling interviews, and performing reference checks.
  • Boost in employee retention rates. Their solution offers support throughout onboarding to ensure candidates are well-prepared and informed about the role and company.
  • Streamlined payment processing. The platform accepts all major cards, ACH, and bank transfers. Users can easily track payments and view payment history to facilitate expense management and budgeting.
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HR in Ukraine: Legal options

The options for legally hiring talent in Ukraine range from minimally involved (outsourcing) to high control (subsidiary). By understanding the available entities and their implications, you can choose an approach aligned with your priorities and resources.

So, the most common opportunities are:

  • Outsourcing companies. Working with an outsourcing company is a straightforward option. You contract with such a company; they employ the talent and handle HR, payroll, and legal compliance.
  • Outstaffing firms. You offer jobs for Ukrainian individual contractors or a team and manage them directly. You find and vet candidates, negotiate rates, and handle payments while the outstaffing firm formally employs the contractors and pays their salaries.
  • Local subsidiary. When seeking to establish a direct presence, setting up a Ukrainian legal entity like LLC or PJSC can be a way to go. This provides more control but also more responsibility.
  • Employer of Record. The option allows you to legally employ talent in Ukraine without setting up a local entity. The EOR acts as the official employer, dealing with HR, payroll, and compliance while you direct and manage the employees.
  • Independent contracting. The option implies hiring talent using freelance portals and social media, as mentioned above. You manage the whole process, from finding and vetting candidates to handling logistics and payments.

Common concerns about hiring remote workers in Ukraine

When hiring employees from this Eastern European country, it is crucial to regard current geopolitical factors. They have some impact on HR in Ukraine. However, while these challenges do exist, many local companies take proactive steps to manage risks.

Common concerns about hiring remote workers in Ukraine

1. Russian aggression

The ongoing war has undoubtedly affected the country. But circumstances at present are not as grim as one might suspect, and the job market appears to be holding firm. Compared to the time before the invasion, when there were several vacancies per candidate, today, the number of offers has undoubtedly decreased. However, most tech ventures based in Ukraine have fully or partially maintained their current client relationships, kept giving jobs to Ukrainians, and developed new projects.

2. Electricity outages

While Russia’s attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure have significantly damaged related facilities, the Ukrainian IT sector (and citizens overall) is effectively adjusting to current conditions. In case of blackouts, businesses use Starlink satellite antennas, various generators, and portable power stations. These tools are now common, and combined with flexible work schedules, they help sustain adequate productivity levels.

3. Drafting to army

The country’s government understands the importance of preserving the IT sector for the economy and the victory of Ukraine. When you hire a team in Ukraine, relying on an open communication and understanding approach can help mitigate risks for employers and potential employees.

4. Inability to meet in person

While in-person meetings can be valuable, advances in video conferencing software enable remote teams to connect virtually. Many companies successfully build camaraderie between international teams using video chat and collaboration tools. With the right technologies, a lack of in-person interaction should not deter you from hiring specialists in Ukraine.

The art of integration: post-hire tips for your ukrainian workforce

It’s essential to understand working with remote teams and with Ukrainians specifically. We suggest reading this article for a broader understanding of the cultural differences. As TL&DR, we can point out the following:

  • Share well-defined expectations. Discuss job requirements, priorities, workflow processes, and KPIs to establish clear expectations upfront. Share documentation on standards and best practices. Ukrainians tend to be shy about showing initiative at the start, so clarifying expectations will help both sides.
  • Offer constructive and direct feedback. Be specific and share examples. Discuss small wins and highlight their strengths while addressing any areas needing improvement. Ukrainians usually have issues understanding US-style feedback, “Everything is great except this small detail,” and lean towards directness and transparency.
  • Schedule regular check-ins. Plan to meet with your new team frequently, especially in the beginning. Scheduling video calls several times weekly is a good rule of thumb. Discuss how things are going, review challenges, and provide encouragement.

In conclusion, employing a team in Ukraine can be a rewarding experience for companies looking to scale their teams with top tech minds. With vast expertise, lower Ukraine monthly incomes, and eager candidates, the country has positioned itself as an ideal destination for distant hiring.

For companies serious about building world-class engineering teams, looking at Ukraine could be one of the most intelligent decisions. The future is global, so start breaking down barriers and giving Ukrainian talent a chance.

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