The number of companies considering Ukraine as a primary destination for outsourcing their engineering needs or starting their own offices is constantly growing.
The country has ranked as the first in CEE by outsourcing volume (CEEOA), the first outsourcing market in Eastern Europe (Outsourcing Journal), one of the top 20 offshore locations in EMEA (Gartner), and one of top 50 countries by volume of outsourcing activities (A.T. Kearney).
And yet, despite the excellent price/quality ratio Ukraine has to offer, a number of myths continue to make business owners and other stakeholders cross this country off from the list of potential outsourcing destinations.
In this article, we take a closer look at the five most widespread misconceptions about outsourcing to Ukraine, and prove that they have very little to do with reality.
Myth #1: I Won’t Find Top-Level Experts in Ukraine
With over 90,000 tech workers (including more than 50,000 software developers), Ukraine has the largest tech talent pool in Europe, and fourth largest globally, preceded only by the US, India, and Russia. It’s expected that by 2020, Ukraine’s engineering workforce will have reached the 200,000 mark.
This impressive number of tech workers is a guarantee that you’ll definitely be able to find the right kind of expertise here, whether you’re looking for people with entry-level skills or decades of experience.
Myth #2: Cultural and Language Differences Will Make Effective Communication Impossible
Close to 80 percent of Ukrainian tech professionals speak English at an intermediate level of higher, so it’s very unlikely that you’ll experience any problems related to language barriers.
And don’t expect any significant cultural differences either. Most Ukrainians, especially the younger generation, share the Western mentality, and many tech workers are used to working with partners and clients from Europe and the US.
Here’s what Marieke de Ruyter de Wildt, the Director of a Dutch AgTech startup AgriPlace, has to say about her experience with a Ukrainian developer: “I find Ukrainians very close to our culture. They’re very upfront and honest in their way of working, and quite ambitious.”
When you start cooperating with Ukrainian engineers, you might notice that they seem somewhat reserved at first, but that would be the case with any other new hires. So give them time to get to know you a little better, and rest assured you’ll find yourself in good company.
Myth #3: The Only Reason to Outsource to Ukraine Is to Save Money
It’s true that engineering salaries in Ukraine are definitely lower than those in Europe, the US, or Australia, but don’t expect to hire a top-shelf Ukrainian professional ready to put in 40 hours of work a week for $1,000 per month. $2,500–$4,000 is a much more realistic figure. After all, quality work never comes cheap.
However, if you think outsourcing to Ukraine won’t help you increase your profit margins, remember that having a full-time employee in-house also means spending on insurance, bonuses, social contributions, office space, hardware, and a lot of other things on top of the monthly pay. In Ukraine, these infrastructure costs are significantly lower or covered by your outsourcing/outstaffing partner.
Myth #4: Ukraine is Too Far Away, and the Time Difference is Too Great
Ukraine is only 1 hour ahead of most European countries, which allows seamless communication and workflow between geographically distributed teams. Traveling is also easy as there are many direct flights connecting Ukraine’s largest tech hubs with European cities that don’t last longer than 2 hours.
American companies that work with Ukrainian tech specialists also enjoy a much more convenient overlap in working hours compared to popular outsourcing locations in South-East Asia, as the time difference between Ukraine and the East Coast is only 7 hours.
Myth #5: Outsourcing to Ukraine is Too Risky Because the Country Isn’t Politically Stable
There’s no denying that a part of Ukraine is very unstable at the moment. But keep in mind that Ukraine has an area of over 600,000 sq. km and is the largest country located entirely within Europe. The unstable regions are 700 km away from Ukraine’s capital and major tech city, Kyiv.
Boeing, Oracle, Siemens, Ericsson, Magento, Aricent, and Wargaming are only a few of the multinational tech giants that have R&D centers in Ukraine. And if this isn’t enough proof that outsourcing to Ukraine isn’t as risky as you might imagine, the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest is also going to be held here.
Margarita Winkler is a marketing assistant and content writer at Daxx, a company focused on building and maintaining top performing development teams for clients from all over the world. In the company’s blog, she covers latest tech trends, Ukraine’s IT industry news, and gives tips for effective remote team management.