From Our Members

What should Ukrainian businesses pay attention to when looking for and hiring specialists in Europe?

For more than a year, NovaPay has been working not only in Ukraine but also in Lithuania and Moldova. During this time, we single-handedly formed teams of specialised experts abroad to obtain a license in the EU and to develop business. And we understood that the practice of recruitment in Europe is different from what we are used to in Ukraine. But what exactly is the difference, and what should be taken into account to effectively develop business in new markets together with the team? 

Specificity of proposals 

From the first days, we made sure that everything in Europe should be as clear as possible—from the beginning of selection to the adaptation of a newcomer to the team.

For example, when publishing a vacancy on special HR portals in Lithuania, the company must indicate the salary level, otherwise, a fine from the state labour inspection. Candidates know their rights, speak directly about their expectations, and strictly follow labour laws—they are not late for work, but they also do not like to be late. On the other hand, they pay attention to the goals of the company, and the tasks of the role and immediately discuss practical issues—for example, salary and the number of days off. 

Agreements really work here, and there is responsibility for their violation. If the employer and the candidate have reached a cooperation agreement, and for some reason, the company withdraws the offer, it must pay the person compensation in the amount of one month’s income.

If the cooperation did not start because of the candidate’s fault, then he or she has the same obligations and pays the company half of the salary for the lost time. The employment contract must be signed, as a rule, for one year with an automatic extension. The trial period is the same as in Ukraine—three months. The same specificity is preserved when cooperating with an HR agency. We involved colleagues in one case, during selection for the most narrow and specific position. They had a positive experience that did not differ from Ukrainian practice. 

By the way, contracts usually specify the term of service for an employee who decided to resign on his initiative. This is three to five weeks, not two as in Ukraine. It is necessary to wait up to one month for the candidate after signing the offer if he is employed. 

Freedom from stereotypes 

European workers feel more free not only when changing their place of work, but also when radically changing their profession—from a lawyer to a designer, and then to a financier.

Here there are no stereotypes imposed by society such as, the longer you work in one place, the better. No one is surprised by the large number of previous jobs in a candidate’s resume, or the short period of time at each job, six to 15 months.

This does not deter employers in Europe at all. 

Reputation and respect for personal data 

The reputation factor in Europe works both ways. First, the company’s reputation is really important. At first, they looked carefully at us, at the NovaPay HR brand. However, after the first six months, it became easier, and candidates did not have to talk about the NovaPay business and the NOVA group of companies.

Indeed, what we perceived as a possible limitation for the selection turned out not to be so. Europeans are not afraid of Ukrainian jurisdiction and war. They are ready to cooperate with employers of Ukrainian origin and support the country. Secondly, personal reputation is also very important for candidates. A culture of communication with HR is developed here, candidates leave the right “information trail” and love to recommend the company to colleagues. 

And GDPR takes the question of checking the reliability of candidates and asking for their characteristics to a new level. According to the regulation on the protection of personal data, all information about candidates is closed, and recruiters cannot request references from previous employers. This can happen either with the written consent of the candidate or if he provides reference letters. 

Social guarantees from the state and additional bonuses from the company 

Traditionally, for the EU, these are total social guarantees by the state. There is no point in considering them as something strange because they are relevant for any company and industry.

An interesting trend that appeared during the Covid-19 era and continues to this day is the large amount of social benefits for the unemployed. Therefore, it can be a challenge for employers how to ensure such a level of income that candidates are interested in working, and not just satisfied with subsidies. 

Some moments look advantageous against the Ukrainian background, and there are moments with which Ukrainian business can pleasantly surprise the candidates. Yes, even at the stage of market analysis, we saw that other fintech companies and banks offer employees five days of additional vacation.

At the same time, it became news for colleagues from Europe that employers can provide psychological counselling or gym classes, not to mention yoga and massage, which, for example, are offered to their employees by leading Ukrainian companies. Therefore, the system of additional bonuses helps to form an emotional connection between the company and the employee. This can be a significant competitive advantage for Ukrainian business abroad.

This content has been produced in collaboration with a partner organisation through our Global Visibility Programme. Our programme helps companies boost their digital presence and strengthen the thought leadership of their experts. Find out more here.