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How to Hire Remote Software Developers in Ukraine | An Overview of Recruitment Approaches

In 2020, working with developers online is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity. Find out how to hire remote developers in Ukraine, Europe’s major hotbed for tech talent.

Only a few years back having a dispersed team wasn’t unheard of, but still was pretty rare. The pandemic has changed what we consider to be “the norm” when it comes to work. Companies big and small have had no choice other than to allow remote work. Major players, with Google, Microsoft, and Indeed among them, have extended their remote work policies by another year and plan to accommodate remote work in one way or another indefinitely.

With these circumstances in mind, it’s hardly surprising that the demand for remote developers has gone up too along with the growing acceptance of remote work in general. We at Skillers, an IT recruitment agency in Ukraine, have seen our inboxes flood with new requests.

If you’re also interested in hiring remote developers, look no further — our short guide has all the basic information you need to recruit remote developers in Ukraine. You’ll find out about three different hiring approaches you can take, what platforms you can use to post your vacancies, how long it takes to recruit remote developers in Ukraine, what risks you should keep in mind, and much more.

Why Hire Remote Programmers in Ukraine?

Before we get to “how,” let’s take a quick detour to “why,” in case it’s your first time looking at Ukraine as a hiring destination. With so many locations in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America offering attractive cooperation opportunities, why should you choose Ukraine to hire developers online?

  • Vast tech talent pool. There are about 200,000 tech workers in Ukraine, with 36,000 new tech graduates joining the labor market every year.
  • Strong tech skills. Ukrainian developers rank fifth among the best developers in the world, and their tech stacks include all of the most in-demand technologies (JavaScript, PHP, Java, Python, .NET, etc.).
  • Extensive international experience. Most Ukrainian developers are employed in outsourcing companies, so they’re used to working with clients from all around the globe.
  • High English proficiency. 85% of Ukrainian tech workers speak English at an intermediate level or higher.
  • Great cultural fit. This is especially true for EU-based businesses. Thanks to a shared history and geographical proximity, there are very few (if any) cultural differences to account for when working with Ukrainian programmers online.
  • Small time difference. Ukraine is only 1–2 hours ahead of most European countries, which allows for a nearly seamless cooperation. Organizing an overlap in working hours with American businesses is usually no trouble as well. Traveling is easy, too, with direct flights from both Europe and the US to Ukraine’s major tech hubs.

How to Hire Remote Developers in Ukraine?

Once you’ve decided that you want to hire remote developers in Ukraine, there’s a number of routes you can take: 

  • use freelance platforms or contact outsourcing companies,
  • post your vacancies on job boards,
  • work through a local IT recruitment agency.

We go into more detail about each of these routes below.

Freelance Platforms and Outsourcing Companies

Best for short-term work (3–5 months), not cost-efficient and reliable enough if you’re interested in long-term full-time cooperation with remote developers.

When it comes to hiring developers online, the most basic factor influencing your hiring methods is the expected duration of your cooperation with a remote developer.

If you don’t think you’ll need their help for longer than 3–5 months, it’s best that you work through an outsourcing company (they’ll provide you with developers from their existing pool of employees) or use freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer.com, Gun.io, Guru, PeoplePerHour, Weblancer, Freelancehunt, We Work Remotely.

This isn’t to say that you couldn’t use freelance platforms if you’re interested in a more long-term arrangement too. However, the rates offered by freelance developers, provided they’re really good at their job, will quickly add up to a much larger sum than what you’d pay to a full-time remote developer.

Tip: Don’t hesitate to negotiate freelancers’ rates. Some of them might be willing to curb their appetites if they find your project interesting enough.

What’s more, working with freelancers may not be a good idea if you’re looking for someone with a high level of involvement and dedication to your project. Freelancers (and sometimes developers employed by outsourcing companies as well) usually juggle a few projects at any given time, so their attention might be spread too thin between all the different tasks they have to care of.

Don’t get us wrong — it’s not impossible to hire a great remote programmer using a freelance platform or through an outsourcing vendor. But the likelihood of that is significantly lower compared to the following two approaches.

LinkedIn + Local Job Boards + Professional Online Communities

Use a variety of local job posting platforms to get as much attention as possible, and make sure the technical part of your vacancy is perfect.

The quest for development talent in Ukraine isn’t really that special. Like in many other places, you can start by posting your vacancy on LinkedIn. Most Ukrainian programmers use it (unless you want to hire game developers), so you’ll definitely manage to spread the word about the fact that you’re hiring through this platform.

The local platforms you should use include DOU, Ukraine’s largest online tech community, and Djinni, a website offering anonymous job search to developers. They specifically focus on tech jobs, and Ukrainian programmers actively use them. On this website, you can post your vacancy as well as browse through CVs of those developers who are currently interested in new job opportunities.

Tip: If you’re posting a vacancy yourself, make sure the part describing the desired tech stack and experience is perfect. You have to be very specific. If you don’t have the expertise yourself, ask someone on your tech team to help or seek external assistance. Ukrainian programmers will review the technical side of your job posting with an extremely critical eye, and if they come across something too generic or unrealistic, they won’t apply.

Professional Telegram channels and chats also work well for recruitment purposes, however, the languages used there are mainly Ukrainian and Russian, so they may not be very useful unless you speak these languages.

Local Recruiters

A local recruitment agency has a deep understanding of the Ukrainian tech market and a large professional network that will help them find exactly the developer you need much faster than you ever could on your own.

We’re going to be honest: there’s nothing recruiters can do that you couldn’t potentially do yourself. The tools and methods they use aren’t much different from what we’ve described above.

But if speed and quality of talent matter (and let’s be honest, do they ever not matter?), you’ll be much better off with a local representative who has experience on the Ukrainian market. And here’s why.

You’re about to hire developers online on an entirely new market. Even if you already know which platforms to use to advertise your vacancies, you still need to:

  • figure out what salary range to offer,
  • write very clear technical descriptions for the positions you’re hiring for,
  • “sell” your company to prospective candidates,
  • come up with bonuses Ukrainian developers couldn’t say no to,
  • screen the applications that come in,
  • conduct interviews to check both hard and soft skills,
  • send offers to developers you like best before they’re poached by a competitor.

Some of the steps above may be easy to get right if you do preliminary market research. Others only come in the shape of hard-earned lessons based on a lot of trial and error. They take a lot of time, too.

An IT recruitment agency in Ukraine could save you all this trouble because they already know what salary ranges are standard for the position you’re recruiting for, they already know how to write a job posting that would make your company truly shine among tons of others, and they’ll warn you that you shouldn’t take too long before sending an offer to the candidate you like considering how fast-paced the Ukrainian tech market is.

An agency also has the connections that allow them to find exactly the professional you need fast. They can also run background checks, ask their network for recommendations, and meet the candidate in person to see and feel what their personality is like — the latter may be especially hard for you to organize considering the current travel restrictions.

Tip: Once you’ve found a recruitment agency you’d like to partner with, don’t write them long emails with dozens of questions — they’re likely too busy to type extended answers. What you should do instead is schedule a call straight away. This way you’ll get your answers faster and probably learn a few other important things you didn’t even know you had to know.

 

Popular Questions About Hiring Remote Programmers in Ukraine

There’s a number of repeating questions from potential clients that we see pop up all the time. Here are the most popular ones:

How much does it cost to hire a remote developer in Ukraine?

Ukrainian developers might still have the reputation of having low salary expectations, but the reality has long since changed. Any considerable savings for a European company are unlikely because net developer salaries here are more or less the same as in Europe. What you can save on is taxes. Add 6% to the net salary of a Ukrainian developer and you’ll have an idea of how much you’ll end up spending per remote programmer.

To estimate how much it’ll cost you to hire an entire remote development team, have a look at the average salaries of different tech specialists (the figures below are net monthly salaries in US dollars; most Ukrainian development companies pay salaries in US dollars or in Ukrainian hryvnias converted from US dollars based on the exchange rate on day of the payment):

When it comes to senior specialists, the salary range is even wider because it depends on the specific technologies and tasks they’re required to perform on a project. For instance, a senior C# developer’s monthly salary is around $3500, while the salary of a senior JavaScript developer starts at $4500.

How long does it take to hire a remote programmer in Ukraine?

1–2 months on average. A recruitment agency will deliver results faster — you’ll get your first candidates within a week or two.

What does the administrative side of collaboration with remote developers in Ukraine look like?

Most developers in Ukraine are registered as private entrepreneurs. Foreign employers can either sign direct contracts with developers or work through an outstaffing company/a recruitment agency. Getting registered as a legal entity is unnecessary unless you’re planning to open your own office in Ukraine.

If you only need to recruit a few remote programmers, signing foreign economic contracts with them should suffice. However, large companies typically prefer to work through an intermediary (outsourcing or outstaffing companies) that have the legal entity status. This way their IP rights are protected better.

What risks to expect when recruiting remote Ukrainian programmers?

The only risks associated with hiring programmers in Ukraine have to do with IP protection and the fact that you can’t physically see the developer.

The former is easily mitigated by a good contract. Bear in mind that the contracts you sign with remote developers have to comply with the Ukrainian legislature as well as your own.

As for the latter, background checks, references from former colleagues and employers, and a thorough check of candidates’ soft skills during interviews should be enough for you to make sure that the developers you’re considering are great communicators and will fit well within your existing team.

Why Hire Remote Developers in Ukraine with Skillers

  1. We’re an IT recruitment agency based in Kyiv, Ukraine’s largest hub of technical talent.
  2. Our sole focus is filling challenging technical vacancies of middle, senior, and managerial levels.
  3. We’ve already closed 1,500 vacancies in 90 companies.
  4. We have 15 years of market-specific experience.
  5. We’re happy to help large R&D centers, small startups, and everyone in between recruit great remote developers in Ukraine.

If you’re a product company, a service/outsourcing provider, a bank, a telecom vendor, or any other business that has IT at the heart of its operation, please get in touch and let us know what talent you’re looking for.

 

 

 

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