Finding a job in Ukraine

Searching for a jobFor many expats in Ukraine, the most accurate and useful resource for finding a job or reading up on employment law is…. the Forum itself. Its members are business-oriented and sociable, and many members will be able to give you first-hand advice.

Frankly, since 2009 it has been not the best time to search for job in Ukraine. A big number of foreign companies have left the market or downsized their business here. The vast majority of Ukrainians work without contracts and get both official wages (low) and the remaining money in envelopes therefore avoiding taxes on salary. Only respectable, and mostly international, companies adhere to the corporate standards by offering legal employment, fringe benefits, comfortable office conditions, etc..

Where to search for a job

If you decided on trying your professional fortune here, the following ideas may be of use:

  • Start with the local web resources on job search. Though all of them are in Russian, the companies interested in English-speaking candidates post their announcements correspondingly.
  • If you aim to occupy middle+ and top level positions, you’d better to address the executive search or head-hunting agencies with strong reputation and proficiency in handling international clients.
  • The leading Ukrainian English-language business edition – Kyiv Post – issues employment application each Friday. It is also placed on the edition web site.
  • Use social media  - LinkedIn and other social networks are very helpful.
  • Apply to the selected companies directly.

In our Cost of Living section you can find out an approximate level of salary for foreign employees.

A few more useful tips as regards local peculiarities in finding a job in Ukraine:

* To start with addressing recruiting companies, apply for definite positions, which correspond your goal or are relevant your professional expertise at least. It is pointless to send CV to the general mailbox of the agency – they are commonly buried under mail shot spam and candidates’ CV’s.

* If you pretend to the top-rank position, you’d better focus on head hunters or the international recruiting companies, which have offices in Ukraine. The above mentioned web resources target middle management and rank and files mostly.

* Due to high level of unemployment and additional efforts the company should take to hire non-resident legally, you should be ready to justify your advantage against local job seekers. Notice, a few of the new generation of specialists have good command of English and European professional diplomas.

* There is barefaced age and sex discrimination in Ukraine.

* Even if you aim to work for the international company here, comprehend basic Russian at least.

* Pay attention to your dress-code. The Ukrainians are very status conscious and your casual European look may be perceived in wrong way.

* Be ready to justify your decision on swapping welfare for working in one of the poorest countries in Europe.

* Never deal with the recruiting agencies or private consultants which ask for commission either as admission fee or as charge for their service. Just an employer pays for that.

Head hunters and the international recruiters

The human resources sphere and head hunters in particular are very healthy. As you make some Ukrainian friends and find out what they do for a living, you may come to the conclusion that half of them are recruiters or HR managers (the other half, it seems, are computer programmers). Ukrainians specialize in the employment sphere – coupled with its more-than-fair labour laws, so this means that you are sure to be in good hands.

Headhunting feeds freelancer contractors and agencies: both local (e.g. Comilfo Executive Search) and the international companies’ offices (e.g. Ancor SW, HeadHunter, Ward Howell, Brain Source International, Pedersеn & Partners, World Staff, Edelweiss Management Consulting). The market of highly-qualified specialists is rather narrow. Most small companies and private consultants specialize on a particular business area: law, IT, FMCG etc. Offices of the international companies (especially from Russia) may be also interested in searching top-rank specialist for the neighbour markets: Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Moldova… All these countries have common Soviet past, so still have similar mentality peculiarities and Russian as a common language to communicate.

Good luck in your search for a job in Ukraine!

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