The Ukraine IT industry has consolidated and adapted to the current wartime realities.

“Most companies have retained customers and the volume of their contracts,”  the IT Ukraine Association stated. “As a result, the industry remains financially stable, provides regular foreign exchange earnings to the economy of Ukraine and the state budget, and pays taxes in advance.”

The Association represents more than 110 companies and 77,000 Ukrainian IT specialists.  According to the association’s new data, 77% of IT companies have already attracted new customers during the war; 56% of them expect to grow by 5% to 30% this year.

State of Ukraine IT Industry

In the first quarter of 2022, Ukraine’s IT industry reported a record $2 billion in export earnings. The volume of IT exports increased by 28% year over year, according to the Association.

“Today, the IT industry is one of the few that provides economic support for the state and the future recovery of the national economy based on digitalization and the competitive advantages that crystallized in wartime and arouse open admiration of customers and partners: resilience and effective crisis management, leadership and social responsibility, team cohesion and high efficiency,” said Konstantin Vasyuk, executive director of the IT Ukraine Association.

Recruiting Activity

The Society for Human Resource Management reported recruiting activity within Ukraine has fallen significantly since the invasion and is currently at about 50% of the pre-war level, according to the Ukrainian online recruitment portal Djinni. As a result, job candidates have become more open to new offers regardless of location and type of work, with the number of online applications rising by almost 100%, according to recruiters, who say that Poland has become a prime destination for new assignments.

However, recruiters report that the number of job offers is rising every week, although job seekers with minimal experience are most vulnerable to changes in the market and are having the toughest time finding assignments.

During job interviews, it’s common for Ukrainian candidates to research an employer’s stance on the war before accepting a position, according to Julia Fedosova, a lead technical recruiter with KitRUM in Gdansk, Poland.

“Since March, we have hired several Ukrainian engineers,” Fedosova told SHRM. “Developers from Ukraine are now interested in the attitude of the companies [regarding] the war, whether they continue to cooperate with Belarusian companies and whether they work with Russia. During the interview, we describe our attitude.”

IT Spending Plans

Gartner recently updated its Worldwide IT Spending Forecast, which found geopolitical disruption — as well as rates of Inflation, and talent shortages — are not expected to slow IT investments.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is not expected to have a direct impact on global IT spending. Price and wage inflation, compounded with talent shortages and other delivery uncertainties, are expected to be greater impingements on CIOs’ plans in 2022 but will still not slow down technology investments.

“CIOs anticipate having the financial and organizational ability to invest in key technologies throughout this year and next,” said John-David Lovelock, distinguished research VP at Gartner. “Some IT spending was on hold in early 2022 due to the Omicron variant and subsequent waves but is expected to clear in the near-term.”

Lovelock continued, “CIOs who keep their eye focused on key market signals, such as the shift from analog to digital business and buying IT to building it, as well as negotiate with their vendor partners to assume ongoing risks, will fare better in the long-term. At this point, only the most fragile companies will be forced to pivot to a cost-cutting approach in 2022 and beyond.”

Nearly 6.6 million people have fled Ukraine since Feb. 24, the beginning of the Russian invasion, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Many others have relocated within the besieged country seeking safer locations. But throughout the war, Ukrainians have demonstrated unbelievable fortitude; the workforce may be disrupted, but it has not been eliminated.

In an upcoming issue of CWS 3.0, we will examine how talent platforms are supporting their Ukrainian workers and maintaining reliable pipelines of talent for clients.