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The impact of Russia’s invasion on Ukraine-based

Shelby Konkel AvatarShelby Konkel
February 23, 2023

Create, manage, and work with Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces.

Each week, Steven Rothberg, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of College Recruiter, and Peter M. Zollman, Founder of the AIM Group, along with guests from the world’s leading job sites, analyze news about general, niche, and aggregator job board and recruitment marketplace sites.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 20, 2014, capturing strategic sites across Crimia. Within weeks, Russian forces and militia allied with Russia controlled not just Crimia, but also substantial portions of eastern Ukraine.

Six years later on February 24, 2022, Russia again invaded Ukraine but this time its goal was to conquer the entire country. Ukraine, with substantial aid from other nations, fought back but at a terrible price with tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands killed and wounded on both sides and likely hundreds of billions of dollars in property losses. Yet, despite the war, there have been heartwarming stories. Some of those involve the adaptation by Ukrainian businesses and ordinary citizens in how they lead their lives and help their friends, family, and neighbors., a Ukrainian job board for those seeking to work in other countries, is a prime example, as is its founder, Andrew Stetsenko. The business continues to operate under the leadership of Andrew even while he spends a substantial amount of his time procuring humanitarian supplies at border crossings and then delivering it to Ukrainian citizens, many of whom would have suffered greatly and perhaps even died without Andrew’s volunteer efforts.

In today’s episode, our hosts talk to Andrew about what business and life was like before and since the invasions and what those of us outside of Ukraine can do to help.

Support Andrew’s efforts in providing humanitarian aid to the citizens of Ukraine by donating HERE.

Subscribe here to follow the Inside Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces podcast and stay up to date with new episodes!


Steven (00:09):

Welcome to the Inside Job Boards and Recruitment Marketplaces podcast. I’m Steven Rothberg, the founder of College Recruiter Job search site at College Recruiter. We believe that every student in recent grad deserves a great career.

Peter (00:22):

And I’m Peter Zollman, founding Principal of the AIM Group, the leading global business intelligence service for marketplaces and classified advertising companies. We consult with recruitment marketplaces, companies, and publish AIM group, Recruitment Intelligence, and a free weekly digest. We also host the annual Global Rec buzz Conference.

Steven (00:44):

This is the podcast for you to learn more about how to create, manage, and work with general niche and aggregator job boards and recruitment marketplaces. Today’s guest is Andrew Stetsenko, this chief relocation officer for Relocate Me. Andrew, welcome to the show.

Andrew (01:04):

Hi, Steven. Thank you so much for having me.

Steven (01:06):

It is a pleasure and I, I so appreciate you joining us today on, on what is definitely gonna be a really important episode. So in a, before we get into why it’s so important take a minute or two and, and tell the listeners a little bit about, about your background. Who’s Andrew?

Andrew (01:25):

Yeah, well sure. Steven. I’m the founder of This is the tech job board for IT professionals around the world who willing to relocate. And actually my background, I’m also engineer more like a civil engineer, but I started my career as a tester, and then probably around 12 years ago, I switched completely to recruitment.

Peter (01:47):

My understanding is that relocate me is about a hundred thousand users strong niche job board for tech roles with relocation before the war. What percentage of those about were Ukrainians looking to relocate versus residents of other countries? And how has that changed?

Andrew (02:09):

Thanks Peter, for your question. Actually among this 100,000 users since right now, probably even more we have over 120 nationalities around the world. So it’s, it’s really diverse in terms of geography of our users. And I can’t say that the, the audience of Ukrainian users have significantly changed in any other direction or either increase or decreased since the war started almost a year ago. And based on the data that we have, probably Ukraine was country number eight or nine from the top 10 countries that we have users from.

Steven (02:51):

Interesting. So Andrews is the revenue model for relocate Me, typical for a job board meaning that employers pay pay to advertise their job openings, search the cv or resume database. Does it work like that?

Andrew (03:05):

Yeah, absolutely. We are completely driven. The revenue is completely driven by the employers who are placing their job ads the website and all the content. All the services are completely free for the job seekers. And actually right now we’re planning also to pilot with a few job seeker boot camps for our candidates. They also will be free, but the goal is just to support job seekers from around the world with the better preparation for their job hunt. Hmm.

Steven (03:37):

So select they’ll go through a bootcamp, get a certification, and then that’ll help you better place them or, or for them to be of better interest to the employers.

Andrew (03:49):

Kind of it’ll be the, the more specialized groups of some technologies like Java cohort or DevOps cohort, et cetera. So then in, in having this specialization for the group of, of of users, it’ll be gathered to also pre-select the, the employers for them as well as support them with making their resumes pat the interviews matching the, the culture differences if you apply overseas. So all this stuff together

Peter (04:20):

Obviously this is a very difficult time for Ukraine. Russia first invaded Ukraine about nine years ago in 2014 when it captured and later enact Crimea and some of the territory in the eastern provinces. A year ago, Russia and Ghana invaded, and this time it’s trying to take the whole country or destroy whatever is there. How has that impacted relocate me and the work you are personally doing on a daily basis?

Andrew (04:50):

Yeah, thanks for the question, Peter. Actually, yeah. When, when the, we call it like the, the, the big war started like in on the 24th of February, 2022. It was a great chaotic insight our team because actually no one didn’t know what will happen next. So definitely like probably the first week all of our Ukrainian team members were completely shocked and unprepared. But later on, actually, yeah, we were managed to, to arrange the, the workplaces for all of our employees. Safety first questions were kind of really important that time. And based on, on my experience I started heavily involved in, in the volunteering probably since the first days of the war. So during the day I was mostly volunteering, but still, I have some nighttime where I, I spent more for, for work and business related topics.

Steven (05:47):

Hmm. And yeah, let’s, let’s talk, if we can, about that volunteering. You and I really connected little over, little less than a year ago last and we worked together, I think it took a few weeks to kind of figure things out, but right to worked with GoFundMe, we had to figure out what the rules were. Everything was very fluid. It was changing all the time with what GoFundMe would work with, what they wouldn’t, what they would allow fundraisers for what they wouldn’t. I think you had another GoFundMe with a, a friend or something in, in, if I’m remember correctly, in in the Netherlands. But we wanted to create, and we were able to a GoFundMe that would make it safe and easy for those who wanted to donate to support your humanitarian efforts. And, and by the way, for the listeners who, who want to participate in that if they go to www two, the number two, the the number two www that’s the GoFundMe that we’re referencing. But once we got that set up last spring, it, over the next couple of months over the couple of months, it, you then were able to use the funds from that and other sources to purchase humanitarian supplies. Maybe you can tell the listeners about the, the foundation you created, the, the, the funds that come from GoFundMe, the kinds of humanitarian supplies that you’ve been buying. Like, how does that all work? Like, where do you get them from and who do you get them to?

Andrew (07:33):

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, first of all I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who has contributed to our Stevens GoFundMe page. And all your donations and your kind of generosities is going towards a really, a very worthwhile cause I would say. And the idea of, of the, the getting the donations started also with my linkin posts. And actually Linkin was, and still is my, my main tool for fundraising. And it started just with the text message where I, I, I shared with my audience there that, yeah, it seems like I want to start volunteering and start to collected funds to, to support Ukrainian citizens. And I’ve received so many positive feedback and suggestions, how to get started. And I guess the ball started through all since the time. So actually I just spread the word about my intentions first I’ll link it in.


And then I got, as I said, like tons of feedback and helpful advices. And then the things started actually in terms of the, the nations where they going at the beginning of the war there were a huge lack of almost everything. It started even from, from the diapers, especially on the eastern part of, of Europe where the supply was and logistic was completely broken medicine et cetera. Like some even some, some stuff for the hospitals. So at the beginning of the ward was really reactive to find the, the hospitals or the, the Kindle shelters or anything what we can find and then to deliver help either physically. So we had a boost that we go to towards them, or just if it’s on the far distances. We just used the, the postal services that sended.


And probably after summer, I, I clearly realized that the focus should be for the, the winter and warm closing, especially for the, the turmo closing, especially for the sleeping packs for the sleeping mats all the equipment that could hit you, the warmers for your toes, for your fingers, the, the heads, aboves, et cetera. Because also there were a lot of concerns about the, the problems with the heating system, with the electricity during the, the wintertime. And actually, yes, since the, the, the winter started, this was some, some problems with the electricity, with the heating. So I guess that was the really good good cause, and actually matter of time to, to focus on the warm closing, that’s currently our focus for this month. And for the next month, we’ll see. Usually I just, you know, speak to a lot of other volunteers and to other people to get the real demand, and the demand is changing like almost every month. So I don’t even know what could be in, in March and April. We’ll see. But I’ll definitely will keep our GoFundMe page updated with the new request and what we are currently working on.

Steven (10:43):

Yeah, and, and Andrew’s been great. You know, periodically he’ll send me, you know, 3, 4, 5 photographs of, you know, himself, the supplies his overloaded minivan, <laugh> that his family probably is usually in. But it, it gives people outside of Ukraine, a little bit of a, a peak into the, the work that you’re doing. We’ll be back right after this break. Welcome back to the inside job boards and Recruitment marketplaces podcast.


You know, from, from a practical standpoint, I remember very early on, and this is probably June or so of last year, what you, what you were doing, if I remember correctly, is, is driving to a border crossing, and then you would pick up, because, because men of basically fighting age, right, like 18 to 55 or something, are not allowed to Ukraine. So you could go to a border crossing, pick up supplies, and then drive them to, you know, kyiv or, or wherever it was that, that you were going. Is that, is that still the what the process?

Andrew (12:10):

No, actually, but you are absolutely right. At the beginning of the war a lot of foreigners were afraid, you know, to, to go inside the Ukraine because of the uncertainty. Then the, the only way was to come to the border on the Ukrainian side, then to wait for our partners and our NGO France that will bring, so they literally cross the Romanian border, then they stop on the Ukrainian border. We will just unload the donations from their bus, bring to other, to our bus, and then we go to the places where we can deliver, or as a satellite, because the Ukrainians is this pretty big country. We also use the, the past services quite intensively to, to send it to really far allocations. It could be like even a thousand kilometers from, from us. And right now actually, yeah, the situation with the logistics are much, much better as well as there is still more safer and predictable situation in Ukraine. So more foreign NGOs and volunteers could easily come right now, especially to the western part. So that’s not the case anymore to coming to the border, but it was extremely true when, when probably in the first three or four months is

Steven (13:26):

Okay. Yeah. And, and just referencing something you said a little bit earlier too, that you don’t know what’s gonna be happening, you know, what supplies, et cetera will be happening in the next month or so. Month, two months, three months. I’ve done some volunteering work with, you know, humanitarian responses. And, and what you’re saying is, is so true for those who haven’t been involved in it, you, the needs change dramatically day to day. You know, if there’s a hurricane, chainsaws are what you need the first week, and the second week you need cleaning supplies, and the third week you need beds, you know, or, or, or whatever. And, and I’m sure it’s, it’s very similar on, on your end from medical supplies like tourniquets, which literally are lifesaving devices and cost almost nothing. Com, you know, compared to what they can do, bottled water, I’m guessing is probably not a big deal anymore.


But in the first days of the war, literally probably saved thousands of lives just being able to have access to clean drinking water when when people were being evacuated. So the again, the go, the GoFundMe for those who like to donate, what happens is you you can go to GoFundMe, the funds get to me because I’m in the us and so GoFundMe is, is willing to work with me thank you folks at GoFundMe. But that’s at Those funds tend to hit my account in two to three business days, and then usually the same day or the next day I then send them to Andrew via PayPal, cuz our friends at PayPal are willing to, to, to work with with, with Andrew and others in, in Ukraine and some other countries. So it’s a, it takes an extra step and takes an extra two days or so, but if you donate on Monday, then he’s able to use those funds by the end of the week to, to buy humanitarian supplies and then, and then be delivering them, which a Andrew, at some point, you’re gonna have to like, sit down, take a breath and d and, and realize that you personally have saved it’s gotta be hundreds, maybe thousands of lives. And, and that’s just, it’s just remarkable. So Peter, as, as we’re leaving off,

Peter (15:55):

I, I just wanted to point out that you have raised more than $30,000 through the gun GoFundMe, which now has a $35,000 goal. I hope that by the end of this podcast or within a day afterwards, will exceed the 30 you, because it’s not me. We, we have done, we’ve made some contributions, but, oh, it’s your work. And Mo more importantly, Andrews I hope by the end of the next day or two, we will see you exceed that $35,000 goal, and then you’ll have to raise the goal to $50,000 <laugh>. Cause if you, if you reach a goal like that, the only thing to do is to raise the goal. And we hope eventually that the humanitarian humanitarian aid goes not towards immediate needs of day-to-day, but toward rebuilding and resuming normal life in an era of peace and stability whenever that comes sooner rather than later, ideally.


So Andrew, for listeners who want to get in touch with you personally and directly, how can they do that? And then we’ll give the u r l for the fundraiser one more time, and it’s really remarkable what you’re able to do. And we heard from jooble about how their, they’re keeping their business going. Now we’ve heard how you’re keeping going. It’s not an easy time to keep anything going but good for you and we hope the funds that Steven is raising will you even more. So how do they get in touch with you? Then we’ll give the URL one more time and we’ll wrap up.

Andrew (17:58):

Yeah, thank you so much, Peter, for the warm words. Definitely I’m very active on LinkedIn in probably this is the number one place where you can find me. Just type Andrew Stetsenko, S t e t s e n K O, and then you can definitely, I’ll pop up somewhere or my content or my page and happy to connect, happy to discuss any mutual opportunities, partnerships. So definitely feel free to, to message me. And I am quite active and reply probably within 24 hours to, to every single request.

Steven (18:31):

So for those who wanna reach Andrew again on LinkedIn Andrew Stetsenko of Relocate.Me. If you’re an employer and you’re looking for some of the world’s best tech talent that is definitely the guy that you’re gonna wanna reach out to, whether they’re whether it’s tech talent in Ukraine, whether they’re in the uk, France, Australia, really anywhere in the world he is helping those people connect with some of the world’s greatest employers. The URL for the GoFundMe, And for the listeners, thank you very much, Andrew. Peter, it has been a pleasure.

Peter (19:18):

Thank you guys, and best wishes to you in Ukraine.

Andrew (19:22):

Likewise. Thank you so much, Steven, Peter, and yeah, hope for everything will end so very, very soon.

Peter (19:29):

Inside job boards and recruitment marketplaces is a co-production of Evergreen Podcasts, College Recruiter and the AIM Group.

Steven (19:38):

Please subscribe for free on your favorite app. Review it- five stars are always nice, and recommend it to a couple of people you know who wanna learn more about job boards and recruitment marketplaces.

Peter (19:50):

Special thanks to our producer and engineer, Ian Douglas. I’m your host, Peter Zollman of the AIM Group, the leading global consultancy in the field of marketplaces and classified advertising. Find out more about our reports on recruitment marketplaces, job boards and classifieds, including our new recruitment marketplaces annual at aim

Steven (20:15):

I’m your host, Steven Rothberg of job search site College Recruiter. Each year we help more than 12 million candidates find great new jobs. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1000 companies, government agencies, and other employers who hire at scale and advertise their jobs with us. You can reach me at

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