- Hello, are dancers still needed?
- Yes. How old are you?
- I’m 25.
- Do you have work experience?
- That’s okay, we’re teaching. Are you from Kyiv?
- No, I came from Donetsk. Just wanted to know whether that’s okay…
- No, we have a problem with that, sorry.
- What you’re saying is you don’t hire people from Donetsk?
- No, I’m very sorry.
I bought a magazine, Job Offers from the kiosk nearby my home. I chose ten ads at random, made up a story about myself and began calling.
I didn’t have to lie a lot. I told employers my real name, my age and even the district where I live. I only took the information about work experience and education from my relative’s resume. She moved from occupied Donetsk to Kyiv almost a year ago and for a long time has been visiting interviews without any result.
I called different organizations and spoke Russian. I applied for vacancies of an administrator of a powerful trade network, a mini-hotel and a small shop, offered myself as a “mystery shopper” and a business center consultant, asked whether I could be hired as a babysitter…
At the end of conversations, when the place and time of an interview have been appointed, I told them I had come from Donetsk. As a rule, this clarification caused a surprise or a smile, “So what?” Only in one case my confession was a problem: a nightclub refused to hire me…
There was an ad for female dancers up to 30 years old. The employer only needed a curvy figure and my desire to learn how to undress nicely in public. In return he offered high salary and a dwelling. We might have got along.
However, my registration stopped him.
Serhiy Marchenko, the development manager of the job hunting website Work.ua, calms me down—the problem is not with me. According to what he says, nightclubs are often not quite legal businesses, thus one shouldn’t expect everyone who does it to be a responsible citizen.
“There should be no difference for a nightclub between a girl from the Transcarpathian region or a girl from Donetsk. Both of them can give what they want to get,” Marchenko is convinced.
He has been exploring the labor market for many years. That is why he can assure us that representatives of legitimate business are mainly sympathetic to IDPs or, at least, they realize that IDPs need help.
To confirm his words, the expert shows the results of employers’ survey carried out by Work.ua in December 2014.
Lesia Lytvynova accepts aid in the IDPs Help Center in Frolivska Street, Kyiv. Photo: Dmytro Larin
The survey involved 706 persons, and 654 or 92,6% of them would hire an IDP. 52 respondents (7,4%) would refuse to do it on principle.
“Every employer has his or her own stereotypes and associations. Their demands to staff are different. Although, when such people hire IDPs from Donetsk they don’t care about the criminality of the region, I think,” says Marchenko.
According to him, with the beginning of the ATO in the East of Ukraine employers did not feel like hiring IDPs because they were afraid that the conflict would fade away, and their newly hired staff would go home.
And when it became clear that the war is going to be protracted, the problem disappeared.
Nowadays there are almost 16,5 thousand vacancies on Work.ua for those forced to leave the Donbas and the Crimea. The company even created a separate section for such ads.
“Despite stereotypes, there are many successful people among IDPs, who do have what to lose,” Marchenko says.
47-year-old Viktor from Pervomaysk has been looking for a job since the beginning of August. Before the war he saled and purchased industrial equipment, worked as a top-manager, however, he can’t find an equivalent job in the capital.
He says employers treat him differently. At one interview the manager asked him directly “What position are you expecting to get? Mine?!” The other one during the phone conversation straightforwardly said, “Why have you come here? Son of a b*ch, go to the Army!”
At present Victor is a volunteer. He helps to transport goods and provide economic activity in the IDPs Help Center in Frolivska Street.
Viktor from Pervomaysk has been looking for a job in Kyiv since summer. Photo: Dmytro Larin
Viktoriya from Luhansk joined volunteers, too. She is a physician, a trichologist, by profession. In her native town she had a private doctor's office, and, after moving to the capital, applied to a new clinic on the Left Bank.
Victoria says the first two interviews were successful, but before the third one with the owner of the network she received a call and the meeting was cancelled. She was told “Sorry, but the director doesn’t hire people from Donetsk and Luhansk at all.”
“It was August 2014. Determined, I came to Frolivska Street. If I am refused there, I will help here,” recalls Viktoriya.
Viktoriya from Luhansk didn’t manage to find a job, and now she helps people like her, IDPs. Photo: Dmytro Larin
Viktoriya thinks she is lucky. Her husband, a sportsman, found a job at the Bodybuilding Federation at once. Some clients from Luhansk were also evacuated from Luhansk and are visiting her in Kyiv now. The state provides financial assistance for their three children.
“In any case, I bring my 4 thousand hryvnyas in the family budget,” smiles Viktoriya.
Oleksandra Hayvoronska, pravda.com.ua
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