Ukrainian recruiter speaks of turning her attention to life-saving issues

Recruiter speaks exclusively with a Ukrainian recruiter for an international recruitment firm.

Safe in Berlin as her home city of Kyiv explodes into a war zone, Ukrainian recruiter Vlada Liashchenko is busy co-ordinating essential supply support efforts for friends, family and colleagues in her country, filled with worry for their physical safety.

“I went to Berlin with my husband for vacation,” Liashchenko told Recruiter in a Zoom conversation. “On 24 February, my husband woke me up and said, ‘The war has started.’ We had tickets back to Kyiv – but the flight was cancelled.”

Liashchenko is the managing partner – business development for the international recruitment company CNA IT. Her operation of “all recruiters, researchers, marketing team and financial team” numbers about 35, with five currently looking after the business and others “hiding in shelters and underground”.

Local companies in Ukraine have generally put recruitment on hold, she said. However, international clients based outside of Ukraine – “we have clients from Canada, the US, Africa, Asia, Australia” – are supporting the business by hiring Ukraine-based candidates on a remote basis and also recruiting EU-based Ukrainians and relocating them to other countries.

Under the current circumstances, it is nearly impossible for Ukraine-based recruiters and the rest of the population to focus entirely on work, she said: “You cannot sleep during the night because they are being bombed, and during the day, there are also some [military] actions.” 

Liashchenko went on to say: “It’s really stressful and it’s really scary, but I do believe that together with the support which we receive from other countries… it’s really good to know that people are willing to help in such ways.”

Ukrainians have received permission to stay in EU countries for three years. However, Liashchenko wants to go home, “to try to help to rebuild all that was destroyed and to build a better place. I love the EU, I love the culture, I love the people – but I want to live in my own country”.

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