Press release

12 Apr 2024 Kyiv, UA

Best Employer 2023 survey: new priorities and challenges for Ukrainians when looking for a job

The labour market remains optimistic despite all the challenges faced by its participants.

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EY Ukraine

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

Related topics Workforce

The labour market remains optimistic despite all the challenges faced by its participants.

More than half of the companies report employee relocation (56%) and changing priorities of job seekers (54%) as the main challenges in working with the employer brand over the past year.

At the same time, the share of employers increasing their employer branding budget has increased significantly (11% vs. 2% last year, although the vast majority, 55% of survey participants, still keep it unchanged).

Most often, the participating companies identify the following initiatives to work with the employer brand:

  • Taking care of employees (88%);
  • Increasing employee engagement/loyalty (62%);
  • Assistance to the Armed Forces / volunteering (60%).

In turn, candidates (both students and professionals) feel less vulnerable in the labour market this year, despite the shortage of vacancies and high competition. Compared to the previous year, they reported that they faced fewer difficulties in their job search (12% fewer among student participants and 17% fewer among experienced candidates).

Nevertheless, students were almost twice as likely to experience difficulties in their job search as professionals (62% vs. 33%, respectively), mainly due to a lack of work experience (80%), which is a fairly typical situation.

Where do experienced candidates and students want to work?
  • IT and FMCG have remained among the top industries to work in over the past few years, both for experienced candidates and those just starting out. This may reflect a favourable corporate culture, as well as the opportunity to work remotely and on a flexible schedule (factors that are gaining in popularity every year, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic and amid the war, and were more often mentioned by candidates who want to work in these industries);
  • Manufacturing has also been gaining popularity in recent years, ranking third in terms of attractiveness for professionals and fourth for young professionals this year. The industry is mainly represented by companies of strategic importance for the country (energy and defence companies), which indicates that candidates are very conscious and willing to support the country in difficult times;
  • Marketing and communications is rapidly gaining popularity among both groups of respondents (up 5 positions among professionals and 11 among students in the ranking based on independent mentions). The industry is also among the top three most attractive for young and more experienced professionals (based on the ranking of the proposed choice);
  • The list of the 20 most desirable employers consists of more than half of well-known international and Ukrainian IT companies (according to both categories of respondents). The ranking for professionals also includes leading FMCG companies, while for students, audit and consulting companies are more often found in the list of the most desirable employers;
  • Interestingly, more than a third of candidates with work experience (35%) have not yet decided where they would like to work. The share of such respondents among students is almost twice as high and reaches 60%, which leaves a lot of room for conscious and active employers.
What determines the attractiveness of employers for candidates?

There is a significant difference in the perception of employer attractiveness factors by the companies participating in the survey and the candidates themselves. For example, employers point to formal labour relations, the company's image in the market and corporate culture as their key advantages. At the same time, professionals choose employers for competitive base salaries, development opportunities and corporate culture, while students choose employers for career development opportunities, attractive salaries and flexible working hours.

By the way, the level of relevance of the Employer's Value Proposition (EVP), according to the companies themselves, averages 7.7 points out of 10 (0.54 points better than last year). At the same time, it is worth noting that 60% of the participating companies do not have a developed and executed HRD at all.

Interestingly, in addition to the most important factors of employer attractiveness listed in the graph, the importance of flexible working hours and additional benefits and compensation for both categories of respondents is increasing every year (by 5 or more points).

This year, young professionals somewhat less frequently mentioned the readiness of companies to employ students as an important criterion for choosing a job, which correlates with their increased confidence in their capabilities in the labour market.

The previously popular factor of personal and professional development opportunities has become significantly less important (by 5 positions). This may be due to the desire of students to find a job that would satisfy their basic needs (e.g. financial) to begin with.

Where do candidates look for information about employers?
  • Social media is the main source of information about employers among students and experienced candidates. However, their priorities differ slightly - LinkedIn and Facebook are used more by professionals, while Telegram and Instagram are popular among young professionals;
  • Employment websites are also a very popular source of information, outstripping even corporate websites for both groups of respondents;
  • Experienced candidates are more likely than students to learn about employers from relatives and friends. Students, in their turn, form their perception by gaining direct experience through internships and work experience directly in the company;
  • Interestingly, the online media have significantly lost their popularity this year. This may be due to the rapid development of alternative sources of information and changes in readers' habits (preference is now given to video content, podcasts, etc.), along with increased trust in relevant and authentic sources of information.


The basic principles of interaction between candidates and employers in the labour market are consistent, although the market itself is changing very dynamically.

There is a significant difference in the perception of the EVP by employers and candidates, which should be taken into account by employers.

A fairly high proportion of candidates do not yet understand where they want to work, and this opens up many opportunities for companies that are currently looking for their candidates.

At the same time, candidates' confidence in their own employment opportunities is slowly growing.

Therefore, employers should monitor and understand labour market trends and candidate preferences of each target audience (especially the changing priority of attractiveness factors and the popularity of employer information sources) to remain competitive and be heard by their target audience of candidates.

About the EY Best Employer Survey

EY Ukraine Best Employer Survey has been conducted annually since 2005. Its methodology allows clients to better understand the preferences of candidates in the market, as well as to formulate a plan for the development of the employer brand. This year's survey was adapted to the current realities in Ukraine, including questions about the potential plans of respondents in Ukraine to move abroad and respondents who are abroad to return to Ukraine, as well as new factors of employer attractiveness and reasons for changing jobs. The survey was conducted from October to December 2023 through our own database of contacts, partners and social networks. About 550 students and more than 1800 candidates with work experience took part in the survey. The most represented regions: Kyiv and the region, Lviv and the region.