4 trends of the IT labor market during the war: research

12 October 2022

The war hit all areas of Ukrainian life. Industry, the economy, and the financial sector are all suffering. It was not possible to avoid a negative impact in the IT sector as well. Despite the fact that the digital industry is practically the only one that continues to work for exports, the rating of the labor market has significantly decreased.

According to the portal Work.ua, the sharp decrease in the number of vacancies at the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine has already slowed down. The resource switched the activity to manual mode. Vacancies are currently posted after the employer confirms its relevance at the current moment.

Regarding the applicants, we have: at the beginning of the military operations, the number of resumes decreased by about three times. In six months, the indicator rose to the pre-war level and continues to grow. Analytics of the “OLX Job” service shows that the number of posted vacancies is three times higher than the number of current resumes.

Resume trends have changed, but IT specialists remain in demand on the labor market. Among the total number of offers, vacancies for programmers make up 15.5%, according to grc.ua. Recruiting agencies state that there is a gradual recovery of the labor market compared to the first months of the war in Ukraine. This shows that the industry is coming to life and is actively recruiting new employees.

4 main trends in the IT market

The main change in the digital sphere was the ratio of supply and demand. If before the war there was a constant shortage of specialists and Javascript vacancies were constantly open, now there is an advantage in favor of employers. The so-called employer’s market is back. World solidarity with Ukrainian society played a big role in this. Companies are trying to attract developers from Ukraine as much as possible, thus expressing support and desire to help restore the country’s economy.

Ukrainian developers are invited to work for foreign companies, offering European-level salaries. Poland was the most active country in this regard. According to the IT market research, grc.ua, Polish employers account for about 31% of all foreign offers.

Next, we will discuss the main trends formed under the influence of the war.

Risks and precautions for employers

Many companies, especially foreign ones, despite their strong desire to help Ukrainians, are afraid of the risks associated with mobilization and the lack of security guarantees for potential employees. Most programmers are men who are subject to military service. Haitians cannot leave for other countries, so relocation is not relevant for them. Remote work is also not a panacea, since, firstly, there is a constant threat to life in Ukraine, and secondly, a developer can be drafted into the army at any moment. Employers are very concerned about the risk of unprofitable employment.

Course to Western Ukraine

After six months of military operations, the IT industry is gradually adapting to new conditions. The western regions of the country are considered safer, so there is a relocation of many companies in this direction. Powerful IT clusters have already been created in Lviv and Transcarpathia. Ukraine’s most popular job site reports that the number of developers in the western regions has more than tripled during the war.

The rise of outsourcers

The experience of outsourcing agencies has shown that they are able to implement projects without reducing quality and productivity. At the same time, some customers left the food companies invested in the local market. Many people from the Ukrainian IT industry temporarily stopped their activities or closed their businesses altogether. Some are waiting for new projects. The unfavorable situation forces developers to look for other options for earning.

Recruiting agencies have frozen the search for candidates in Ukraine, but continue to hire programmers abroad. Product companies that continue to look for new IT specialists in Ukraine either have an office in the west of the country, or are looking for highly specialized personnel that are difficult to find. That is why they continue their activities. The vast majority temporarily stopped hiring employees.

Reduction of developers from the staff of non-core companies

Programmers, who worked before the war in non-specialized organizations and in other areas of the economy, were the first to be cut. As markets have shrunk, the economy has tanked, companies are scrambling to streamline their businesses to stay afloat. At the same time, development, introduction of new technologies, improvement of technological support are not priority directions in business. Therefore, it is difficult for an increasing number of developers to find a job in Ukraine with a high salary.

It is easier for large international corporations to adapt to wartime conditions. In such companies, the hiring process does not stop. The withdrawal from the Russian and Belarusian markets helps Ukraine, as companies strengthen their positions here by opening offices in safe regions.

As for programmers, employers note a relaxation of requirements for working conditions and wages. Currently, the work of a tester in Kyiv can be estimated cheaper than before the war. There is an increase in the number of middle-level specialists who are ready to cooperate.

When the market will recover

The IT sphere is dynamic, rapidly transforming and adapting to new conditions. After the end of the war, the industry will recover in a short time. Experts from the companies Skillers, EPAM, and SoftServe claim that the number of foreign businesses willing to work with Ukrainian developers will increase many times.

Also, the rapid recovery of the labor market after the crisis will be helped by low dependence on infrastructure, in contrast to the agricultural and industrial sectors. Therefore, after the end of military operations, it is expected to reach the indicators of January 2022 in a short period of time.

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