What companies are doing to help and hire Ukrainians — Quartz at Work


Just days after Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine, Val Voshchevska identified a need: companies, universities and other institutions were trying to hire Ukrainians, but with little or no coordination, which made it difficult for Ukrainians – fleeing war, sheltering from shells or reeling from their new refugee status – to seize opportunities.

Voshchevska, a 29-year-old digital manager at a UK-based charity, sprang into action, rallying support from friends and other volunteers. Less than two weeks after the invasion, they launched Jobs for Ukraine, a simple site that collects all the jobs and other job offers they manually find online. They could have made the site “shiny and pretty,” Voshchevska said, “but instead we were like, we just need to throw in whatever we can and see where it goes.”

There are already over 2,000 vacancies for positions ranging from graphic designers to tattoo artists, and growing rapidly as the founders work on further automation of the site. “We get about 200 new opportunities every day,” Voshchevska said.

Visas for Ukrainians remain difficult to obtain

The rise of remote work is contributing to the availability of roles, but obtaining visas for those trying to flee Ukraine remains a tricky business in many countries.

“Many of the companies that we contact or that visit our website are [asking] how to do it concretely? How can I hire someone to move to the UK or freelancers from outside the UK? Voshchevska said. One of the volunteers of the Jobs for Ukraine project is a lawyer in a London law firm with a team specializing in business immigration. She is working on a guide for businesses that will aim to answer some of these questions.

Of course, not everyone in Ukraine who needs a job will want to move from their country, so Jobs for Ukraine is trying to find more freelance opportunities.

“Nobody knows how long this will last,” Voshchevska said. “Not everyone wants to move forever, for a permanent job, to San Francisco, or London, or Dublin.” But they still need to earn money, she says, often more than they need anything else.

Instagram is a major referrer

Jobs for Ukraine has had around 100,000 page views since its launch. Instagram sends more people to the site than any other route, suggesting the demographic that uses it is younger than the average internet user.

Jobs for Ukraine is in itself a coordinated effort. It was co-founded by Severija Bielskytė, a Lithuanian freelancer living in London and an expert on gender-based violence, and Nikita Logachev, a Maltese IT manager now based in Prague, who built the site. Voshchevska negotiated time off from her job at Amnesty International so she could focus on helping Ukraine and her family.

The site is not alone in trying to coordinate job postings. Fuzzboard, a site originally from Portugal, now lists tech jobs specifically for Ukrainians. The Job Offers For Ukrainians Instagram account also shared a few opportunities. Jobs4ukr.com, on the other hand, shares jobs more focused on countries close to Ukraine. And of course, existing charities and NGOs helping refugees have also extended their aid to Ukrainians since the war began.

Looking for Ukrainian Software Engineers

Individual companies also tried to publicize their efforts to hire Ukrainians.

Cutover, a British startup with a tech team of about 80 people, posted job ads specifically targeting Ukrainians shortly after the war began. “All of our vacancies are open to applicants from Ukraine, but as a software development company, we know that Ukraine’s software engineering talent pool is one of the best on the planet,” wrote Ky Nichol, CEO of Cutover, on its website. . While many tech companies are used to hiring in Ukraine’s active industry, Nichol clarifies that the effort is now also humanitarian: “We have opened a separate ‘fast track’ software engineering position specifically for displaced Ukrainian engineers.” Cutover offers a package that includes a job, airfare, visa support, two months of accommodation, and language lessons.

The biggest companies are also reaching out. Dept, a digital agency with more than 2,500 employees worldwide, told Quartz that because it was “fully equipped for remote work”, its 250 open positions were available to Ukrainians, and the company would also help them with the visa process. such as offering support where possible for things like travel costs for those hired and their families. It offers all Ukrainians in the technology sector who need a place to work to use its more than 30 offices, the closest to Ukraine of which are in Germany and Croatia.

Do Ukrainians apply? “We are delighted to see that in just one week of posting opportunity information, we have 10 great candidates who are now being considered in our recruitment process,” said Amanda Schmidt, Human Resources Manager at the Dept. .

Academia helps Ukrainians

Universities were among the first to offer openings to Ukrainians, perhaps because they already have a clear pathway for visiting fellowships and other forms of academic exchange.

The International Task Force for Displaced Academics met virtually for the first time three days after Putin moved against his neighbor. He keeps the minutes of his meetings on a public Google Doc. According to the doc, the inaugural meeting brought together 45 students and scholars representing eight countries and dozens of institutions. Their first action: start identifying potential funding and organizing to hire Ukrainians.

“Scholars are highly privileged in their ability to move around and overcome international and language borders, as well as visa limitations,” said David Zeevi, senior fellow at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. “In this context, it is very easy for us to help our peers when they are in a bad situation like Ukraine.”

“I think what touched me here was how fragile things are,” Zeevi told Quartz. “One minute you’re going about your business, and the next a nuclear superpower is rushing towards your capital. It’s hard to imagine, and I want to do what I can, as an individual, to help.


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