In this blog series, we are going to interview all our Partners and learn how the pandemic is affecting different countries around the globe. Today we are in Ukraine where we had a chance to talk with Mr. Emir Asanow, the Country Manager of M-HUNT.
First of all, how are you? We hope that you and your family have stayed healthy during this pandemic.
Thank you, everything is fine with us. Some of my friends got sick with COVID-19, now everything is fine with them. This did not happen to my relatives, thank God!
How’s Ukraine at the moment, or how has it been the last 6 – 7 months?
The peculiarity of Ukraine is that the pandemic’s first wave was not as terrible as in Italy or Spain, for example. The government applied very tough restrictions, and the whole country stopped for three months. Unfortunately, we have a weak economy, and people do not receive financial support. Many have lost their jobs, and this is a big problem. Now the situation with COVID-19 is difficult, but the restrictions are no longer as strict as they used to be. This is our reality, and we get used to living with it.
And what about business and the general atmosphere? How the companies are holding up, have there been a lot of layoffs?
Everything that happens is quite logical. The closure of small restaurants, for example, was the result of strict quarantine at the beginning. The business related to the production and sale of food products is stable. There are problems with foreign economic activity. Manufacturers lost contracts in Europe, business travel became impossible. However, everyone is determined to keep jobs and hope that the situation will improve every day.
How do you see the end of 2020? And what about 2021?
At the end of this year, we will finally get used to the new conditions. The business will get enough certainty to plan for the next year. Even if a new quarantine comes, it will not be very long and will be the last. Therefore, 2021 will be better for sure.
What do you think about the future? What will be the most significant difference in Ukraine if you compare the situation before the pandemic and the possible situation after?
I am a great optimist. The whole world is working on a vaccine and soon, we will get protection against COVID-19. Evolution has been challenging humanity from time to time. But we didn’t disappear like the dinosaurs did.
The peculiarity of Ukraine is that about 5 million Ukrainians work abroad, according to experts. Ukrainians do seasonal work using short-term visas. In the last seven months, charter flights have been organized for them, but the needs of farmers have not been fully met. The agriculture and economies of many countries have been affected by this.
Many Ukrainians have worked in other areas, especially in countries sharing a common border with Ukraine. Of course, now there are not enough workers in construction sites and factories in Europe, which has a negative impact. Also, many Ukrainians lost income, which also supported the Ukrainian economy.
It’s incredible, but this situation has a positive side as well. Many Ukrainians traveled to Europe as tourists but worked in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, etc. This kind of work is outside of legal employment. Also, many left their legal place of work in Poland, for example, and went to work in another country, which is also illegal.
Currently, the border crossing by tourists is limited, and workers with work visas come under strict control in Europe.
We have two sides of the same coin, in this case. Yes, COVID-19 is slowing down the economy, unfortunately. But the labor market is better regulated and controlled, and after defeating COVID-19, we must maintain this effect in 2021.
What kind of roles do you think companies are going to need the most after the pandemic? Do you think there’s some big difference before and after COVID regarding recruitment and headhunting?
I think little will change qualitatively. All areas of our life will continue to develop. The tourism industry will not recover as quickly, but we know that the sun always comes up after a storm. Headhunting is not very dependent on the pandemic because good specialists are always in demand.
What tips would you have for foreign job seekers who would like to come and work in Ukraine?
Our country has excellent growth prospects for all markets. Consumption of goods and services has great growth potential. We are at the very beginning of a journey that other countries traveled many years ago. Using this experience, we will move faster. We need high-level managers who can promote Ukrainian products and goods, both domestically and abroad. I think whoever has courage has a good perspective.
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