There has been alot written, over the last couple of years about the increasing competition for IT resources in Ukraine. More outsourcing firms have opened up and more US and European companies have opened up their own offices and have been packing them with software engineers. This has been especially true in the last year since visa requirements have been lifted for the US, European Union, Canada and Japan, among other countries, thus easing the way for business persons to travel in and out of the country as they need.
I think there are two sides to the IT resources issue in Ukraine:
1. Companies wishing to employ software developers, HR recruitment firms, etc., need to actually look for the developers. Ukraine has never been a country where you could place a job ad and be flooded with resumes. Most persons found new positions through friends or colleagues or former colleagues. Many persons did not trust that job ads were real, particularily if no salary was listed, or if the job skills listed were not very specific. When there were not as many interesting programmer jobs though, and salary levels were different, it was still possible for a firm to gather many resources to choose from when they placed an ad, or to get many resumes of the friends and former colleagues of their existing employees.
Now HR firms and indeed outsourcing firms, which rely heavily on individuals to provide their services, need to do more work to get the same number of resumes. Just the fact that they have to do work is causing some of the complaining about the competition for resources.
Firms searching for the best resources need to engage in more direct tactics to find the high-end individuals that they may need. This may include calling offices and asking everyone in that offices if they are interested in looking for a new job. In the US this tactic works well when everyone has their own phone on their desk, such is not the case in most companies in Ukraine, but this tactic can be effective in any case.
2. Companies will have to take education of their future employees in to their own hands if the market is that demanding. Twenty something years ago, when I graduated from college, it was common practice for companies such as EDS, IBM, Anderson Consulting to grab thousands of new college grads and put them through 3 month+ intensive training programs during which they would learn the required languages of the day, which were usually COBOL, Assembler for IBM mainframes, JCL, as well as online systems such as CICS. These companies were trying to answer the market demand for resources, not enough of them were coming out of the universities at the time. Not only were these companies looking at computer science and IT grads, but anyone with a logical thinking mindset; mathematics, engineering, even grads with finance and philosophy degrees were taken. These were intensive training programs; 3+ months, 7 days a week, 12 hours a day of training and then additional hours spent by the employee on their own or in teams.
Granted technology has changed, more languages, more complexities, more to know, but I can’t help but think that the concept could still apply in Ukraine. There is no shortage of logical thinkers here, most of whom have a base of technology knowledge with different computer languages they just need the opportunity to work with the in-demand languages and technologies. Companies such as Telesens in Kharkiv and others have taken this on in the past and currently are doing this at various levels, however I believe it can work on the scale that companies did in the US twenty-five years ago.