Kyiv Post Em­ploy­ment Fair gives boost to job seek­ers


It was an un­usual start to the week­end for Zhenya Ha­lych, the lead singer of rock band O. Tor­vald, which will rep­re­sent Ukraine at Euro­vi­sion 2017 in Kyiv this May.

Ha­lych took to the stage of Olympic Sta­dium on March 25, but didn’t sing. In­stead, he shared his ad­vice and mo­ti­va­tion with the at­ten­dees of the Kyiv Post Em­ploy­ment Fair – a bian­nual re­cruit­ing event with a 12-year track record in ca­reer match­mak­ing.

“Be­lieve in your dreams,” Ha­lych said. “We’ve been play­ing in garages for years… and al­ways had to prove (our worth). Our dream fi­nally came true. (Our) rock band will rep­re­sent Ukraine at Euro­vi­sion.”

But dream­ing is not enough to land a good job. Per­sis­tence, the right qual­i­fi­ca­tions and stamina are im­por­tant too.

These are some of take­ways from the ca­reer fair, which al­lowed some 30 lead­ing com­pa­nies to meet up with hun­dreds of job seek­ers and get to know each other. Al­to­gether, more than 400 peo­ple par­tic­i­pated.

The list of par­tic­i­pat­ing com­pa­nies was long and im­pres­sive: Porsche Group Ukraine, ACCA, Auchan, AIT, KPMG, ProCredit Bank, Con­trolPay, B. C. Toms & Co, Dia­mant Bank, Baker Tilly, Brain Source In­ter­na­tional, Brain­ware, Coca Cola, EBS, EY, Em­ploy­ment Cen­ter of Free Peo­ple, L’Oreal Ukraine, Mazars, Nielsen Ukraine, life­cell, PRSM, PwC, Rab­ota Plus, Smart busi­ness, FM Lo­gis­tics, Ukrt­ele­com, Uniqa, Viker Plus, Win­ner.

Good ca­reer ad­vice was also in abun­dance.

Ro­man Bo­ry­senko, a deputy gover­nor of the Na­tional Bank of Ukraine, said that im­prov­ing prac­ti­cal skills dur­ing var­i­ous in­tern­ships is a key to a suc­cess­ful ca­reer and they are ready to work with the stu­dents.

“We are open for the gen­er­a­tion Z,” Bo­ry­senko says.

Dur­ing the panel dis­cus­sion, Kil­ian Wa­woe, a Dutch psy­chol­o­gist and pro­fes­sor at Univer­sity of Am­s­ter­dam, said: “Find­ing a job fol­lows the same logic as find­ing a part­ner in life. So if you go to some­body that you don’t know and start of­fer­ing your­self, nor­mally that doesn’t work.” Wa­woe sug­gested to get to know the place one wants to work first, and then send a CV.

Ukrainian restau­ra­teur Dmytro Bo­rysov shared his life story with the at­ten­dees. Bo­rysov started work­ing in the advertising busi­ness at the age of 15, and he later got into the res­tau­rant busi­ness. His first eatery – Bar­suk – opened its doors in 2009. That first ven­ture is a high­end beer and food joint of­fer­ing a wide se­lec­tion of tasty food, beer and wine. Now Bo­rysov’s “fam­ily of restau­rants” in­cludes 10 venues.

There’s no se­cret strat­egy that he fol­lows, Bo­rysov said. “Look, now I raise five chil­dren and own 10 restau­rants. Usu­ally I have to wake up at 6 a. m. to do every­thing.” Bo­rysov works on the menus of his restau­rants and com­mu­ni­cates with farm­ers who sup­ply fresh meat, eggs and dairy prod­ucts to his venues.

There was some good news from the in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy in­dus­try as well. Bear­ing it was Swedish en­tre­pre­neur An­dreas Flod­ström, the CEO and founder of the Beet­root IT com­pany, which spe­cial­izes in build­ing teams of de­vel­op­ers and de­sign­ers from Ukraine, ar­rived in Ukraine four years ago.

He sees great po­ten­tial within the coun­try: “For an en­tre­pre­neur, Ukraine is like a land of op­por­tu­ni­ties. Be­cause in every­thing that is dys­func­tional, there is a busi­ness op­por­tu­nity, right? And if you can, then com­bine a busi­ness op­por­tu­nity with mak­ing an im­pact that ac­tu­ally drives so­ci­ety for­ward.”

Driv­ing so­ci­ety for­ward is Flod­ström’s goal and that’s why he also founded the “Beet­root Academy,” a Swedish school that pre­pares stu­dents for a ca­reer in IT.

The first group of stu­dents com­pleted the course in 2014 and cur­rently cour­ses are be­ing of­fered in five Ukrainian cities: Ch­erni­hiv, Kyiv, Poltava, Kram­a­torsk and Odesa. But Flod­ström has big­ger plans. They aim to ex­pand from 5 to 20 academies by 2018. This will al­low them to ed­u­cate 2,000 peo­ple ev­ery year.

His mis­sion is big: “What we re­ally want to do is to help to build up the Ukrainian mid­dle class. That is why we go in the re­gions and build up these IT schools be­cause the IT-field is such a dif­fer­ent world. So the more you can help peo­ple to come closer to this field, the more peo­ple you kind of have en­ter­ing the mid­dle class.”

As for his own ca­reer, Flod­ström has de­cided to leave his home coun­try for a cer­tain rea­son: “Here in Ukraine, I just feel that I get more im­pact from my work than I get at home in Swe­den. …I like this sort of dy­namic here. For me, when I go back to Swe­den, I feel a lit­tle bit lim­ited. I feel like I am in a box be­cause every­thing is so planned, and I am quite spon­ta­neous.”

The main ad­vice from many speak­ers, in­clud­ing lawmaker Mustafa Nayyem and Yu­lia Ty­chkivska, for­mer vice pres­i­dent of Kyiv School of Eco­nomics and co-founder of Ben­dukidze Free Mar­ket Cen­tre, is to fo­cus on ed­u­ca­tion – even on­line cour­ses might be of big help.

Denys Zhadanov, vice pres­i­dent of mar­ket­ing at Ukraine-based Read­dle, known for iOS apps like PDF Ex­pert and Scan­ner Pro, said find­ing men­tors also can boost one’s ca­reer.

At the end, Busi­ness on­line mag­a­zine to­gether with SIC Group and the Kyiv Post awarded sev­eral com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Ge­fco, a lo­gis­tics com­pany, SmartFarm­ing, Jus­cu­tum law firm, BASF chem­i­cal com­pany, EY, Veter­ano Pizza, Bo­ryspil Air­port, Ex­porters Club of Ukraine and SUN InBev Ukraine, the largest do­mes­tic beer pro­ducer as one of the Best Em­ploy­ers.

Kyiv Post in­terns Is­abel Lerch and Toma Is­tom­ina con­trib­uted to this story.

Vis­i­tors look at the maps on sale dur­ing the Kyiv Post Em­ploy­ment Fair on March 25. (Anas­ta­sia Vlasova)

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