min read

How to find and hire Ukrainian refugee talent (remotely)

Working with Ukrainian tech talent brings value to all parties involved. This is how to find and hire them.

September 29, 2020
Yuma Heymans
June 1, 2023

Ukraine is in a challenging situation with war and continuous threat to life for Ukrainians. Also work and the prospect of work is affected by the situation. 

But the Ukraine is an important source of talent. Especially a lot of technical talent is from Ukraine.

Some of them are still living in Ukraine and others left the country and are now building up a life elsewhere.

Ukrainians make for 300,000 IT talents which is growing by 25-30% every year.

Ukrainian refugees can be a great addition to your team and an extra benefit is that you help a group of people who are going through tough times with a great job and better (financial) security.

It’s important to understand that, since you are looking for refugees, you are not looking for Ukraine as your location parameter, rather you are looking for refugee host countries and keywords that indicate that they are Ukrainian.

You need to include two things in your search to find Ukrainian refugee talent based on their profile:

  1. The right keywords that identify Ukrainian refugees
  2. Countries that host a lot of refugees

1. Use keywords that identify Ukrainian refugees

For the keywords you have to include a keyword that identifies Ukrainians. You can include a keyword like Ukraine OR Ukrainian

You don’t use the location field to identify Ukrainians since you’re looking for Ukrainians who are not living in the Ukraine anymore (otherwise they wouldn’t be refugees).

2. Use countries that host Ukrainian refugees

Some countries are more likely to host Ukrainian refugees than others. This especially has to do with the proximity to Ukraine and policies around taking refugees.

These countries are the most likely to host Ukrainians:

Estimated amount of refugees per country. Source: UNHCR, October 4, 2022.

You can include the countries of preference from this list in the location field of the talent search engine that you use.

Example of a search for Ukrainian refugee talent

Here’s an example of a search for Ukrainian refugees:

  • Job title: developer
  • Keywords: ‘Ukrainian’ OR ‘Ukraine’
  • Location: Germany, Poland, Czechia, Spain, Italy
Keywords to identify Unkrainians in HeroHunt.ai
Using locations in HeroHunt.ai

Consider Employer of Record (EOR) for hiring

If you don’t have a legal entity in one of the countries where you can find Ukrainians this doesn’t have to be a problem.

An Employer of Record (EOR) is a service that can be used to employ talent legally in countries where you don’t have a legal entity. 

How it works is that the EOR employs the talent that you recruited and pays them according to local standards. The EOR has the legal entity in the country where you are hiring and you don’t have to set up an entity in that country and also don;t have to worry about figuring out local regulations regarding employing and paying people.

It’s like outsourcing an almost entire HR function to another company, except that you are still responsible for the performance of the employee and the employees still do the work directly for you as a company. The EOR does the administrative work. 

Here’s a list of EORs that you can look into:

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