Key points

  • Use of the Ukrainian language version of Indeed’s site in Poland jumped after its March launch to a substantial 1.5% of all job searches in the country and remains above 1%.
  • The most common search phrases are broad like “immediate start”, “work” and “Ukrainian workers”.
  • Over 92% of Ukrainian language searches are made from mobile devices, suggesting urgent, open-ended search for work by people on the move.
  • Employers interested in hiring Ukrainian refugees anywhere in Europe should be open to candidates with wide ranges of skills and backgrounds, who may need jobs quickly.

Political turmoil, war and persecution drive movements of people and can have a significant impact on the labour markets of the countries that receive them. This year, millions have fled the war in Ukraine. While many of these refugees are probably focusing on basic needs like food, shelter and security, some also seem to be looking for work, as evidenced by job search patterns in Poland — the country that has received more Ukrainian refugees than any other.

Use of the Ukrainian language version of Indeed’s site in Poland increased rapidly after its launch in March to around 1.5% of all job searches in the country and remains above 1%. This is a substantial share. As a rough benchmark, around 600,000 working-age adults have registered for a special Ukrainian refugee category of the Polish national identification number — representing approximately 2% of the adult population of Poland. Many have already found employment.

A word of caution: It is not certain what fraction of jobseekers using the Ukrainian language version of Indeed’s Poland site are recent refugees and how many are among the more than one million Ukrainian nationals living in Poland when the war began. Still, the data suggest urgent, open-ended job searches by people on the move. The most common search phrases are broad, like “immediate start”, “work” and “Ukrainian workers”. In addition, over 92% of those searches are made from mobile devices compared with more than the 82% of Polish language searches.

Employers interested in hiring Ukrainian refugees anywhere in Europe should be open to candidates with wide ranges of skills and backgrounds, who may need jobs quickly. At the same time, governments should stay alert to the risks of exploitation of refugee workers, who are likely to be looking for income with greater urgency than average jobseekers.

A chart titled “Ukrainian language job search in Poland has taken off” showing searches on the Ukrainian language version of Indeed’s site in Poland as a share of all searches on Indeed in Poland between January and May 2022. The Ukrainian language version was launched in March. Since then, searches increased to between 1 and 1.5%.

Methodology

We calculated the share of job searches on Indeed in Poland carried out on the site’s Ukrainian language version. We excluded searches by jobseekers with IP addresses outside Poland. Results are almost identical when those searches are included.

The estimate of a 2% boost to the adult population of Poland is based on the approximately 600,000 people born before 2004 who registered for the special new UKR category of the Polish national identification number (PESEL) as of 12 May 2022, divided by the total population of Poland ages 18 or more, estimated to be 31.3 million in 2020. Not all Ukrainian refugees have registered for the PESEL number.