What's Happening with the IT Industry of Ukraine During the Russian Invasion? by@chisoftware

What's Happening with the IT Industry of Ukraine During the Russian Invasion?

Ukrainian IT companies were ready to protect and support their land and business – as much as they could. Most of the northern and eastern regions along with the capital Kyiv are now the conflict’s hot spots. Most companies needed a week to stabilize internal processes and help team members with relocation. Around 75% of IT specialists are males, so the number of experts abroad is relatively low now. Around 5-7% of employees left Ukraine before the war started, and now this number is expected to grow.
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CHI Software

CHI Software provides consulting, designing, engineering services, and evolving various software types worldwide.

In January, we published a blog post about the state of the Ukrainian IT market. It is a prosperous industry that reached 6.8 billion USD in 2021, strongly supporting national exports. When the war knocked on the doors of millions of Ukrainians, the IT companies were ready to protect and support their land and business – as much as they could.


This new post is about Ukrainian IT companies coping with the Russian invasion. It is wrong, it should be stopped, and we are in this fight together.

How Many Specialists Got Back to Work

On average, Ukrainian companies report that 85%-90% of employees have returned back to their regular working schedules.


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Most companies needed a week to stabilize internal processes and help team members with relocation. At the same time, some specialists were ready to restart their activities almost immediately to get away from the disturbing news.


For obvious reasons, companies from western Ukraine took only a day or two to get used to the new reality. This region is the least affected by the invaders.

Relocation

Most of the northern and eastern regions along with the capital Kyiv are now the conflict’s hot spots. People there live in shelters for the most part, so IT companies have taken measures to relocate their employees.


Chats and hotlines

This is the first support stage. Volunteers (mostly HR managers and recruiters) sort out various requests from employees and provide consultations. The hotline and supporting chats in Luxoft started to work within the first hours of the invasion. They are still 24/7 active for all team members.


Shelters in the office buildings

Most companies with offices in western regions or abroad offer temporary shelters for employees and their families. While they are safe in the office building, the company is looking for accommodations to stay for a longer time.


CHI Software opened a new office in Lviv and now it serves as a full-fledged hostel for people and their pets. Two offices of GlobalLogic in Lviv turned into 24/7 coordination hubs where employees can get everything they need.


Coordination hub at GlobalLogic

Coordination hub at GlobalLogic


Transfers across the country and abroad Many companies organize bus transfers to various countries and regions. For example, during the first two weeks of the war, Sigma Software helped 1140 people to relocate. Astound Commerce transported its team to Slovakia, Bulgaria, Poland, and other countries. At the moment, mostly women and children can freely cross Ukrainian borders.


SoftServe set up a coordination process for each bus trip and created a list of recommended things to have on the bus.


In most cases, companies announced relocation opportunities before the invasion. Early preparations helped businesses to start relocation immediately and avoid panic among employees.


Office of the Levi9 company

Office of the Levi9 company


In critical circumstances, centralized coordination helped a lot. Intellias created the Emergency Response Team that includes managers of different levels who can quickly react to changing conditions and act accordingly.

Where Are Ukrainian Developers Now?

Now Ukraine is under martial law. Around 75% of IT specialists are males, which causes certain relocation tendencies. Men aged 18 to 60 can’t flee the country, so the number of experts abroad is relatively low now.


In small companies, only 5%-7% of employees left Ukraine. In bigger companies, more people were working abroad before the war started (10%-20%), and now this number is expected to grow. In Infopulse, 57% of employees are now in more secure Ukrainian regions, and 20% are working abroad.


Some specialists made a conscious decision to stay in hot spots. Companies keep in contact with them to help in case of an emergency.

Team Productivity and Adaptation

It is the most stressful time for most Ukrainian people, and working productively in such circumstances could be tough.


IT businesses have done everything to provide a secure environment for their teams. Now it’s time to get productivity back.


Around 60%-75% of IT specialists are fully involved in their tasks, while others are still in the relocation process or work part-time due to other issues. There is no exact number of people who work steadily because circumstances are always changing (location, stable internet connection, emotional state, etc.).


Workload management To manage working processes, companies created special documents where all employees share their location, traveling, and the amount of time dedicated to their responsibilities at the moment.


Dev.Pro created a chatbot where team members check their location and request necessary goods and equipment.


For obvious reasons, productivity now is strongly connected with general emotional stress and trauma. Companies provide training programs and webinars to help employees cope with the most common issues and find “the firm ground” to stand on.


Home shelter of KitRum’s employee

Home shelter of KitRum’s employee


Considering the situation, small and middle-sized companies stopped performance review activities and partially suspended their benefit programs.


No matter what, physical security is the foremost priority for the IT business. By providing it and taking care of the psychological background, the industry will get back to work in the shortest possible time.

Hiring Policy

Recruitment and onboarding are still an essential part of the continuous working processes in IT. A lot of businesses are getting back to their pre-war routine to keep the ongoing projects running. These are the most common scenarios in the industry.


  1. Putting recruitment on hold. Some companies stop hiring altogether, considering the military invasion a force majeure.


  1. Renewing recruitment on the Ukrainian territory. The companies that keep hiring specialists in Ukraine inevitably face workflow challenges. For example, GlobalLogic hired 60 employees during the first two weeks after the Russian invasion, but it’s difficult to deliver tech equipment to some regions. The same issue was mentioned by SoftServe representatives.


One of the inhabitants in the CHI Software office in Lviv

One of the inhabitants in the CHI Software office in Lviv


  1. Hiring personnel abroad. Some companies pay special attention to specialists abroad, especially those who lost their job after fleeing Ukraine. CHI Software is looking for engineers in Poland, Georgia, the Czech Republic, Romania, the Baltic states, and others.


  1. Sustaining pre-war recruitment processes. Several firms haven’t stopped or changed their hiring policies. Now they communicate with candidates both in Ukraine and abroad.


The common tendency for IT businesses is expanding global presence and opening new offices in Europe, Northern and Southern America, and Asia. Everyone is developing a plan “B” for emergencies in the future.


All Ukrainian IT companies have already set up remote work policies after the start of the Covid pandemic, so now they only make several arrangements to adapt it to the international market.

Response to the War

Due to the established collaborations with clients worldwide, IT companies actively share the news about the war in Ukraine and let the world know what is truly happening in the country.


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The majority of IT businesses refuse to collaborate with Russian or Belorussian organizations. Also, the IT industry actively supports the state’s resilience (both military forces and volunteers) by providing financial assistance and humanitarian aid.


Some engineers join the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and employers compensate their fees in full for the time of service. Those who don’t have any military experience join the IT Army.


The IT Army is a volunteer initiative for all kinds of experts involved in the digital sphere (developers, designers, copywriters, marketers, etc.). Specialists can join the army’s Telegram channel and pick a task from the list that matches their expertise level.

Conclusion: Ukrainian IT Companies Are Supporting Ukraine

The world will never be the same after February 24. We all have to reevaluate what we have and unite with people in Ukraine and worldwide to resist aggression and protect our right to a peaceful life.


CHI Software, among other Ukrainian IT companies, is getting back to work and supporting our country at the front and the rear. All our thoughts are on the future of Ukraine. By providing financial assistance now, we help our economy and thousands of people in need.


Our power is in our cohesion. Let’s build a bright and strife-free future together.

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by CHI Software @chisoftware.CHI Software provides consulting, designing, engineering services, and evolving various software types worldwide.
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