How to Find the Best Candidates in Ukraine

I recently came across a great article: How to Recruit in the Moldavian Market, and decided to share some tips and tricks about sourcing and reaching out candidates on the Ukrainian IT job market.

Facts About Ukrainian IT Market

Context and Numbers

According to UNIT.city report there are 4,000 companies and about 185,000 developers in Ukraine. Worth to be mentioned, Ukrainian developers rank 11th in the list of the best engineers in the world (according to HackerRank report 2016). Thus, one can find talented software developments in Ukraine.

Not only are there four cities with a high concentration of IT specialists: Kyiv, Lviv, Odessa, Kharkiv, but in smaller towns like Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernivtsi, Cherkasy you will undoubtedly find several IT-companies or even local IT-clusters. A majority of Ukrainian IT companies follow the outsourcing business model. World-named product companies like MacPaw, Readdle, Petcube, Ajax, People.ai, and others are based in Ukraine.

Our technical specialists attend numerous hackathons and meetups where they share experience, create communities and expand the network. What is essential, high-quality conferences like IT Arena, JEEconf, RubyC, local Women Techmakers Days regularly take place in Ukraine.

Popular Technologies

According to Stackoverflow report 2018, the most popular programming languages were JavaScript (69.8%), Java (45.3%), Python (38.8%), C# (34.4%). If we analyze the distribution of technology stacks on the Ukrainian market on Github by location, we can see the same technologies with JavaScript on top followed by Java, PHP, Python, C#.

Source: Internal search by location (Ukraine) on Github

“Game rules”

Since the market is known to be candidate-driven, it is expected that the demand for experienced developers exceeds supply. Fifty biggest IT companies in Ukraine grow for ~35% for the last two years according to Dou.ua half-yearly report 2018. And this trend will continue.

“A war for talent” is the reality for Ukrainian recruiters. To attract qualified employees, they write personal emails, negotiate details with candidates for months, organize meetups, create IT schools and launch multiple referral programmes.

It is true that skilled developers might receive dozens of proposals within a week or even in a day. We search for candidates in the midst of competing for attention.

First Contact with Candidates

Ukrainian recruiters rarely use the phone as the first contact. The most popular way to start a conversation with a candidate is a short message on Skype or a long proposal via email or LinkedIn InMail.

A new practice is to use social network services for sending follow-up messages. The candidates’ reaction is positive, and they provide feedback pretty often. Using a social network service is not a good idea for the first contact. But if you used all professional tools like LinkedIn, Skype, personal emails and don’t receive a response, you can experiment and use Facebook or Telegram.

We usually do not contact candidates via their corporate emails.

Popular Online Platforms for Sourcing

LinkedIn

You might have heard that some of the developers have started to delete their profiles from LinkedIn. Nevertheless, it remains the most popular resource for candidates searches in Ukraine. Thus, your research is better to be started here.

Dou.ua

Dou.ua is an integrated resource with several sections. The convenience is that one can find here a list of Ukrainian companies and their description, along with the list of vacant positions in each company, technical articles, and posts about the Ukrainian IT market. You can search candidates’ accounts using X-Ray boolean search (it is not an internal search besides filtering of companies or vacancies by cities), but candidates rarely update their profiles here.

Dou.ua might be useful for market research. It provides results of their yearly analyses with a detailed report about the IT Market and “candidates’ profiles.”

Djinni.co

Djinni is a website for anonymous job searching. Now, there are 11,750 profiles in the active job search. Candidates create a profile where they add essential information about their hard skills, achievements, professional goals what they expect from a new job and their salary expectations.

Recruiters do not see contact information and CV of a candidate before a small-talk takes place and a candidate is interested in continuing. Upon candidates agreement, they can have a conversation via another platform and start an in-house recruitment process. A company pays the website a fee of 25% from a candidate’s monthly salary if they approve the offer.

The djinni.co website can be used for salary research. But one should keep in mind that due to a limited sample for some rare technologies the data may be non-representative.

Stack Overflow

Stack Overflow is not a very popular resource in Ukraine, so it is not recommended to start sourcing from the platform in question. Still, it can become of use in your sourcing strategy to find someone with the help of SQL query. For example, 100 Java software engineers in Ukraine have profiles here.

Github

Github is a resource that is more popular than Stack Overflow in Ukraine. You are welcome to source Ukrainian developers and automation testers here among 34,000 specialists. Candidates often share their email addresses in profiles. If not, you can always try searching it with the help of the .patch hack or find some Ruby and JavaScript developers on Gitter in Frontend-ua chat where 2665 people are registered.

Facebook + Facebook Communities

A large number of candidates are actively using Facebook. You should use Intelligent Search with different types of keywords such as company name, primary technology, city or occupation.

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Searching candidates in Facebook groups is useful as well. Same as Boolean strings and internet sourcing community, developers have spaces for knowledge sharing. Great examples are Ukrainian Data Science Club, .NET Core Ukrainian User Group.

Meetup.com

Although Ukrainian organizers usually use Facebook to create events, it is possible to find quite a lot of candidates here. The communities like Ukrainian Python User Groups, Ukrainian Golang User Groups, Women Who Code Kyiv) have multiple users. Do not forget to authorize in the resource to see all the information about the participants. Sourcing in meetup.com has some benefit even if it is not as popular as Linkedin.

Job Sites

We have a few popular job sites like rabota.ua, work.ua, hh.ua. The sign-up process is free of charge, and you can find three to five candidates (according to sites rules) with contact information, which is open for new opportunities. All CVs you see is without limitations, and the skilled recruiter can find candidate’s contact in other places.

Experienced Ukrainian developers seldom use these resources. But if you’re looking for junior developers or non-technical specialists, you can add job sites in your sourcing strategy.

Offline

If you’re looking for junior technical specialists or want to strengthen HR brand, you should go offline. Some candidates deleted their LinkedIn profiles. Some candidates don’t have social media and Github profiles with location, so communication on professional events is a good idea for hiring in Ukraine.

References are an appropriate hiring instrument too. We have a few Skype-chats for recruiters where colleagues share opened positions and information about the candidates in active search in Ukraine.

What Ukrainian candidates are looking for

Working on the Ukrainian Ruby market, I receive requests from candidates who are interested in remote full-time work or relocation abroad.

Remote work is a new practice on the Ukrainian market. Some companies give opportunities to work from home a few days in a week, month or year, or offer opportunities to work remotely when the employee is sick. But remote work is a new trend, and not every company is ready to manage it.

Dou.ua organizes the yearly research and creates the “Portrait of Ukrainian IT specialist.” Salary and benefits, new tasks and opportunities for growth are the winners in the specialists’ priorities. Naturally, it matches with preferences of developers worldwide.

Source: Stack Overflow Developer Survey Results 2019

Ukrainian developers seek to work with the newest technologies, design the architecture, work with skilled technical leaders, make decisions about the technologies and approaches, and have an impact on the growth of the product rather than “just write the code.”

Thanks for reading this far! I hope that you have a general understanding of Ukrainian tech industry and the local job market. The ecosystem is growing. The candidates are skilled and talented. The fact that the market is candidate-driven adds some peculiarities, but armed with “game rules” you’ll find your next dream team!

 

Main photo credit to Dmitry A. Mottl, CC BY-SA 3.0

Iryna Sulatska is a Tech Recruiter at Matic, Lecturer at Lviv IT School and Public Speaker who has been in the tech industry for five years. She falls in love with creating sourcing strategies, recruitment analytics, and collaboration with tech teams. On her conviction, a professional recruiter is a networker, interviewer, strategist, detective, amazing sourcer, content manager, marketing manager, business analyst, sales manager, analyst, negotiator, all rolled into one. Recruiting for her is teamwork and a two-way street. 
 
She knows how to build professional relationships with different kind of stakeholders, and how to strike the correct balance between business needs and candidates goals. She believes, that recruiter can't help with teams growth without an understanding of the business idea, business model and companies strategy. 
 
Her main value is honesty. She's all for tactful frankness, respect for other people, equal treatment of different people and thoughts. She sees in every person, first and foremost, a person, not a profession, social status, location or achievements.
 
Iryna is an open networker and encourages you to connect with her.

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