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The labor market collapsed

The whole world suffers from quarantine restrictions. Analysts say the global economic recovery could take 12-18 months. Meanwhile, the average unemployment rate in the world is already 10%. In turn, according to the statistics of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, today in our country about 1.3 million people, including 277 thousand private entrepreneurs have lost a job. At the same time, the number of vacancies on job search sites has halved than before quarantine. Promote Ukraine has learned from experts what is happening in the labor market and when it is stabilizing.

Maria Kvitsinska, an analyst at the Center for Joint Action

Businesses that continue to operate during quarantine lay off employees and reduce salaries. In particular, at the end of March, only half of the entrepreneurs said they did not plan to cut staff and only a quarter was confident that they would not reduce the salaries of their employees. In such circumstances, informally employed Ukrainians are particularly vulnerable, as they are not legally protected and cannot pretend on social assistance from state anti-crisis programs.

However, with the easing of quarantine restrictions, the situation has stabilized somewhat. From the beginning of May, the number of new vacancies began to grow. Most likely, this is due to the fact that the business has begun to prepare for the gradual removal of restrictions. Some institutions in a limited format have already started operating. To restore the business sector, it is necessary for the Government to continue easing restrictions. And the sanitary requirements for the facilities were feasible and understandable. It is also important to restore public transport.

Galyna Hailo, founder of the financial-analytical center “Transformation”

After the introduction of quarantine, many people lost their jobs, in whole or in part. Small and medium-sized businesses have suffered the most, and some will not start working after quarantine.

The tourist industry was most impressed. Representatives of the service sector (beauty salons, cafes, and restaurants, cinemas, etc.) and retail (shopping malls) lost their jobs. Therefore, businesses have shifted to online sales: restaurants and cafes have switched to delivery, cinemas have started selling certificates for future movie screenings, and beauty salons have made kits for self-dyeing hair. Cashiers, couriers, pharmacists, and taxi drivers became in demand.

In the future, many Ukrainians will go to work when our “granaries” open: Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany.

I believe that today our government has only the utopian idea of ​​building roads by the unemployed to solve the problem. Therefore, you still need to rely on yourself and spend this time training and gaining knowledge, competencies for new employment.

Serhiy Panchenko, trademark owner

Quarantine has build frames for entrepreneurs – change or close. As an employer and a large number of colleagues with whom I communicate, I have not reduced the salaries of my employees. Analyzing the labor market, I can say that manufacturing companies have suspended the search for new staff.

What can be done to easily find a job today? Don’t be afraid to change. For example, we retrained some factory workers for online sales (which, by the way, we opened during quarantine and they now account for about 40% of the company’s Sunday turnover). This helped to avoid cuts.

Now the demand for highly qualified personnel in Ukraine has grown especially. Specialists who are ready to deliver goods, place orders, etc. Today, employers are willing to pay 30-50% more for this work than before quarantine. I think this is due to the risks of communication between people through COVID-19. They also actively invite to work “Internet gurus” – those who can quickly make a website, online store, set up chatbots, run ads, pack a product, and more. But at the same time for “intellectual” work  now pay less by 10-20% than before quarantine.

According to job search sites, in 2019 there were 3.8 people for each vacancy, and according to the statistics of the first 4 months of 2020 – 8. This indicates an increase in competition in 2 times for each job.

Julia Drozhzhyna, head of the expert-analytical center of personnel portal grc.ua.

For those who need to change professions (at least temporarily to make a profit until the situation stabilizes), most employment options are offered in such professions as sales, administrative staff, telecom, transport, and so on. Novice candidates or those who are currently forced to change their profession can get a job:

  • Seller. This profession is quite open to beginners. And also allows you to choose the specialization that you like best. In such vacancies, work experience requirements are often not set. However, employers emphasize that they would like to see in the team sociable, competent, tactful, punctual, and responsible employees who can work in a team and focus on results.
  • Call-center operator. Roughly speaking, vacancies for call center operators can be divided into two categories: with outgoing calls and without. In the first case, it is more about selling products and services of the employer. In the second, the employee must answer incoming calls, advise customers, help solve their problem, and record such appeals.
  • An employee of the warehouse or logistics sector. Logistics and warehouse workers are among the least vulnerable occupations under quarantine restrictions. Moreover, with the increase in demand for delivery, the need for such specialists has only increased. There are employment options for candidates without experience: freight forwarder, loader, or warehouse manager. The advantages will be well-developed communication skills, punctuality, and attentiveness.

In general, to the TOP-10 most popular professional areas of quarantine according to our data include: IT, telecom, sales, marketing, accounting, banks, administrative staff, manufacturing, transport, early career, medicine.

Olena Zhurochkina, Managing Partner of Opeople recruiting

I will note that today most companies have reduced the rate for employees by 30% and partially reduced bonuses. And the labor market has made a somersault towards the employer. Now they have the opportunity to change their specialists to stronger and more qualified ones.

Moreover, negotiations with key candidates are now very detailed. Employers need 3-in-1 specialists with a large number of competencies. At the same time, employers dictate the conditions and wait for super-valuable professionals to become cheaper. However, this does not apply to the IT sector. But everyone should understand that, for example, a unique export specialist with knowledge of two foreign languages ​​and Asian markets will not reduce its price. Although now 99% of employers still hope that such professionals will be willing to work for minimal money. However, real practice does not confirm this.

Natalia Tolub

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