What will happen to IT recruitment?

Honest interview with Lucky Hunter CEO Tatiana Melnichuk
What is the situation with hiring now, what can be expected in the future and how will this affect IT recruiting? We talked with the founder and CEO of Lucky Hunter Tatiana Melnichuk.

— Tanya, hi! Thank you for taking the time to chat. To begin with, please tell us what is happening now with the IT market and hiring in general?

Hi! I will be happy to share everything I know. To be honest, the situation is very unstable and changes every day, so this question cannot be answered unequivocally. I can say that it is difficult for large companies now — for example, Amazon — because it is difficult for them to adjust to the current realities. They have grown quite a lot, and now, in a crisis, they are forced to drastically reduce staff and fire people.

In addition, the global crisis is particularly painful for certain industries that are now not very relevant to the consumer: for example, entertainment content in the form of movies or games. People have changed their focus of attention, they are just not up to it now.
One of our clients, a large game development company, noted that what is happening now is the first such large-scale crisis that the game development field has faced in the last 10 years.
Now it's easier for small companies, it's easier for them to reformat, so recently, despite the crisis, many startups have reached a new level of investment and continue to actively develop.

— And what is the situation with IT in general in different countries? Lucky Hunter operates on the international market, so you can probably share information on different regions with our readers.

— Well, things are predictably not very good in Russia right now: because of the war, most companies have left the Russian market and relocated their offices to other countries. In addition, a lot of IT specialists left, and even those who initially did not plan to leave the country, but in the current situation were simply forced to do so. Therefore, if the market was in its prime 2 years ago, now IT in the Russian Federation is experiencing a complete decline.
Considering that many people go to the most popular countries, the most active IT community is being formed there now. For example, this is Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Serbia, and Portugal: not only do specialists themselves leave there, but also many companies open offices there.

In England, where I live now, the IT industry is also actively developing: everything is very technological (for example, cash is almost a thing of the past) and digitalized, although a couple of years ago there was a different situation. Now even the state actively helps the tech field and promotes projects related to it.

— It turns out that the large-scale migration of developers from the Russian Federation, Belarus, and Ukraine has had a strong impact on the markets of the countries to which they left, right?

— Exactly. In addition, due to the nuances of tax residence in the Russian Federation, many companies have opened businesses abroad, which also has a positive effect on the economies of countries.

— Now many specialists are trying to be sent back to offices instead of the already familiar remote. Is that the case? How much does remote work remain a priority for candidates now?

Sometimes an office can be more of a plus than a minus
— It is difficult to get people back to the offices, so many companies who understand this either offer a remote job or a compromise in the form of a hybrid format with office visits 1-2 times a week. If a few years ago everyone was envious of those who flew away to spend the winter and work from Goa or Bali, now this is the reality in which we live. People like to be mobile and be able to work from anywhere in the world, so it would be difficult for companies to find someone for full-time employment in the office now.

To be fair, sometimes an office can be more of a plus than a minus: for example, if an employee has relocated, then working in an office can help them socialize faster, get to know colleagues better, and more actively integrate into life in a new country.

— If we talk about changes in hiring, what has changed? Maybe the professions in demand have changed?

Most of all, the crisis affected junior talents: if earlier it was easier to hire them because of the shortage of personnel, now many are cutting budgets, companies simply do not have the opportunity to raise employees from scratch, it is too expensive for them.

In general, all professions remain in demand, rather, those who are now hiring have changed. For example, among our clients, most large companies (for example, in the game development industry) have put hiring on hold, they almost do not hire new team members, reduce staff and try to minimize costs to survive.

At the same time, there are more American or Arabian startups from travel tech or health tech who are developing and expanding teams.

— How did the crisis affect IT recruiting?

— At the very beginning of this nightmare, there was complete chaos, no one understood what to do, and the market was very stormy. As a result, many large companies have put hiring on hold or completely abandoned the costs of cooperation with an IT recruiting agency. However, some understood that this was a great opportunity to quickly fill a job opening with an experienced specialist because candidates also rushed to look for options for themselves in a panic.

As I have already said, at some point there were fewer large companies among our clients, but more startups who prefer to work with us instead of creating in-house recruiting, because it is more profitable: you do not need to pay salaries to the whole department of recruiters, pay them access to CRM and recruiting services, and you can just pay for the service one-time selection upon the candidate's exit.
For example, our old client, after the start of the war, began to optimize processes to survive the crisis, as a result, he reduced the entire staff of recruiters and completely switched to cooperation with us, because it was more profitable for business.

— What did Lucky Hunter do to survive the crisis?

— We opened 4 legal entities in different countries, not only retained, but expanded the team, began to talk more about ourselves in the media, and hired a business developer to attract even more customers. I also moved to London and now I am developing networking here.

This year, not only have I reached a new level as an entrepreneur, but also my whole Lucky Hunter: on lead generation (we started cooperating with contractors, and this is bearing fruit), large-scale publications in the media, cool collaborations.

All this helped us not only to survive this difficult year but also to come out of it as winners: we stood up in the market when many IT recruiting agencies were closing down, unable to withstand competition and storms.

I often say that to survive in a crisis, you have to be the best of the best and provide the best service — this is what has always helped us to hold on.
So, in COVID, we made x3 in terms of financial turnover, and even in 2022, having first lost revenue, at some point, we increased our indicators again.

— Now the agency is working with a variety of countries. If we talk about those where Lucky Hunter has offices, which country is the most difficult to work in and why?

— So far with the British and Germans, the interaction is very slow: sometimes you have to wait two weeks for an answer to a letter. Or, for example, we already have a candidate for the customer's company, an invoice is being prepared for payment, and the VP of HR has not yet signed a contract.

In general, the fastest way is to work with Russian-speaking founders who have relocated their business abroad: we have a single mindset, the same speed of work, and similar views on many business processes.

— It turns out that Lucky Hunter's ideal client is Russian-speaking founders, right?

— Any clients with interesting cool products from legal fields and market conditions of vacancies are ideal for us. It's just that we find a common language faster with Russian-speaking founders because of a similar mindset, as I already said: we have a minimum of differences in mentality or expectations from cooperation.
So, for example, when I told an American client that we fill job openings on average within three weeks, he took it as a marketing ploy, because in the US, hiring takes about three months on average.

— Have the requirements for some key skills for IT recruiters changed now?

Now the recruitment of recruiters is generally slower than it was before
— I can't say that any requirements for recruiters have changed, rather, the situation with their hiring has changed. Now the recruitment of recruiters is generally slower than it was before (for example, before the war many recruiters tried to "steal" my stuff), plus many recruiters are being fired, but at the same time, if you are a good IT recruiter, then, like a good developer, you will find a job.

— What advice can you give to the founders now?

  • Reduce the degree of tension
    No events are worth the deterioration of your mental health and the death of a couple of thousand nerve cells that are not restored. When I went to Armenia to open my first legal entity, I was in a panic, I didn't understand anything and didn't know what to grab. After that, I opened the second, third, and fourth legal entities in different countries and I know that, if necessary, I will open the fifth — everything can be learned, so exhale and do not panic.
  • Be sure to take care of the team
    Because this is your main resource.
  • Don't blame yourself
    If you made the wrong decision. You cannot predict and foresee everything in the world: in any case, nothing goes in vain, because a bad experience is also an experience.
  • Set ambitious plans for yourself!
    Surviving a crisis is a so-so plan, but making $100,000 a month is a cool plan.

— What do you think will happen to Lucky Hunter in a year?

— I'm sure everything will be fine. We have set ourselves a plan to achieve a turnover of $ 2 million per month and I do not doubt that we will achieve this goal.

Also, we will break into all the hangouts in the UAE and London, and also in a year we will enter the Chinese market — I plan to continue studying Chinese, so full speed ahead!

I suggest we meet in a year and summarize :)

— Super plan! That's what we'll do. Good luck!

Thanks! See you.

Have questions about the tech role you need to fill, the market situation or other questions? Book a free 30-minute consultation with Lucky Hunter CEO – Tatiana Melnichuk and solve your issue!

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