In July 2022, Kateryna Skibska – GM of DOPOMOGA UKRAINE – wrote an article regarding recent changes in the Ukrainian labor market in the Estonian scientific journal “Sustainable Development: Modern Theories and Best Practices” published by Teadmus.
“The war radically changed the situation on the Ukrainian labor market. Since the end of February 2022, there has been a significant slowdown in all processes. We could observe positive growth dynamics in the labor market in Ukraine since May 2022. The revival of economic activity in the manufacturing sectors of business and the service sector can be associated with the beginning of the adaptation of companies to conditions of war. Some companies have moved their production facilities to rear regions. Other companies have completely transferred their business to online. Some companies adapted their business operations to wartime conditions with flexible work shifts and safety instructions for their personnel. Companies that before war implemented the principle of personnel interchangeability, were able to quickly start work and ensure the uninterrupted operation of their business.
Of course, the general trend continues to be negative. Some companies have ceased operations or moved their business to other countries. Most companies continue to cut staff, cut wages, which today are on average 30-50% below the pre-war level. The number of open vacancies is much lower than the number of applicants, even in the IT specialist market. About 8.8 million people left Ukraine, and most of these people are not going to return. This means a big problem for businesses in the near future. Companies will face the question: where to get enough staff with the necessary skills and supplies? As a result, there will be problems for the state with the payment of taxes and deductions. And as a result - a decrease in the number of potential customers for small and medium-sized businesses. The positive aspect in this situation is that professionals and specialists who return to Ukraine will bring new experience, knowledge, new foreign practices and connections. This should help the restoration and development of business, the number of candidates who speak foreign languages will increase. Companies should be ready to accept and implement this experience.
Employers are faced with the fact that employees are in an unstable psychological state. This requires managers and HR departments to interact individually and search for solutions in manual mode, solving personal, everyday issues of their subordinates. All this complicates the work and increases the load on HR departments, but building an automated solution system is currently not possible.
The issues of staff motivation and retention are becoming "sick" and relevant for companies. This is due to the fact that the issue of personal safety for the employee comes first and his decisions can be emotional and not always balanced. This may lead to the desire of workers to quickly dismiss or change their place of residence. Therefore, companies must daily "keep abreast", "hear" their employees, be ready for any personnel decision.
Managers and HR should be able to maintain their own level of empathy, master new psychological support programs, be able to make prompt decisions in non-standard situations. Companies continue to actively develop and implement programs for rapid training of employees with new knowledge, programs to ensure interchangeability at work. This is important to ensure the smooth operation of the company, mental health programs and the active development and implementation of social responsibility policies in companies.
Due to staffing shortages in the near future, businesses need to continue to build equal work environment programs for employees of all ages, generations, backgrounds and locations. It is advisable for enterprises to develop and support talent pool programs and cooperation with universities. It is especially important to work with students, as this is a chance to prevent an even greater outflow of our youth abroad.
Short-term planning, prompt decision-making and risk assessment come to the fore among the competencies of the management team. We do not have step-by-step instructions for doing business, for working with personnel, for retaining and motivating personnel in war conditions. Professionals in business cooperate, exchange experience, look for answers to these questions. They note that one of the main criteria for the correctness of movement on this path is faith and optimism in an early victory and the beginning of a new economic growth in Ukraine."