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October 21, 2020

CEO of Ukraine’s largest recruiting group: ‘We provide profitable HR solutions’

In focus: HR Group Brain Source International Personnel (BSIP) is one of the oldest staffing and recruitment groups in Ukraine. It’s an official HR service provider for the American Chamber of Commerce.

As the Kyiv Post celebrates its 25th anniversary, one of its long-time partners BSIP has its own reason to celebrate: 20 years on the market. The group’s CEO, Andrii Kryvokorytov, spoke about the company’s long history, its merger with recruitment company Personnel, the challenges of 2020, and plans for the future.

Question: Andrii, Brain Source celebrates 20 years on the market this year. How do you think Ukraine’s HR industry has changed over those years?

Andrii Kryvokorytov: In these 20 years, we faced two revolutions, ups and downs in the economy, various crises. Ukraine is a tough market. But maybe because it’s a tough market we managed to develop special skills and competencies to overcome all these difficulties and to get out of every new crisis even stronger than we were. The HR industry’s development also wasn’t always linear: There were times when we had a shortage of jobs, and other times we had a high demand for personnel, so qualified candidates could get several job offers at a time.

Q: And what about the job market today? 2020 was a year of challenges. Which industries are looking for employees now?

AK: If we talk about today, the situation isn’t certain. People and businesses are waiting out, candidates aren’t willing to often change jobs because you can end up in a startup that goes bankrupt in a couple of months. The industries that gain maximum profit on the market these days are usually the industries that were on the same level five years ago. We are talking about the pharmaceutical market, agriculture, and of course the market of fast-moving consumer goods. We all know that the hospitality industry suffered a lot, but some companies still found opportunities even in this sector — for example, by opening up delivery services.

Q: And what about the HR industry and companies like Brain Source? Were you affected by the crisis?

AK: I wouldn’t say that the HR industry suffered a lot, it depends on what you do. If you take Brain Source, we are a well-balanced company with a few business units that work on different markets. Even if it’s a descending market, we can still sell our product and services. In fact, we have grown by merging with one of the oldest and most reputable companies on the Ukrainian HR market: Personnel.

Q: What do you expect to gain from merging with Personnel?

AK: By joining them to Brain Source, we benefited in lots of ways. They have a strong Lviv office which is now operated by our company, and they have an exquisite client list with big multinational companies that adds to Brain Source’s list perfectly. Together, we can reach even higher operational efficiency. I became the CEO of this united business, and we have great plans for the future.

Q: If we talk about the HR market, what services are in high demand right now?

AK: We see high demand for out-staffing, which is the business of an employer of records: We become an employer of record for the employees given to us by our client. This service allows companies to avoid risks related to the direct employment of personnel because we become an official employer who handles those risks. The demand for recruitment services and executive search also surprisingly didn’t change.

If you ask me about one thing that Brain Source and our group do for our clients, it will be that we provide profitable HR solutions. It’s not just HR for the sake of HR.

Q: How can your company influence the bottom line of the profit and loss (P&L) statement of a company?

AK: It’s very simple: There are HR practices that help companies to increase their profits through effective HR solutions. As I mentioned, out-staffing is a great tool to decrease operational costs and risks related to the employment of non-core staff by conveying that risk and cost to an outsourcing agency.

We also have a business of staff leasing. We provide companies with our personnel who we find and lease out to them on an hourly basis. This service helps you to decrease operational costs through effective control of the working hours that you buy. This way you are paying only for working hours — not for delays.

Q: But what Brain Source is famous for is the speed of its recruitment services.

AK: Of course, when we talk about recruitment of middle management and specialist-level recruitment, by working with an effective recruitment agency you avoid losing opportunities related to the absence of an employee in the office. When you don’t have a salesperson, you don’t make sales. If you don’t have an accountant or chief accountant, you risk being fined by the tax authorities.
And last but not the least: executive search. You simply hire people who have proven their competence and ability to increase profits or decrease losses. All the services that I mentioned help companies to make more money.

Q: What were your personal outtakes from 2020?

AK: That it’s the right time to slow down and to feel the moment. We cannot socialize with big groups of people anymore because of the social distancing, but there are other opportunities. For example, I found myself engaged in golf. It’s an excellent activity: You enjoy outdoor sport and spend time with a small group of people. There are more opportunities to travel inside Ukraine. You can discover new places and learn about interesting sights.

Q: I also know that you play guitar.

AK: Yes, I do. I have my rock group, The Voguns Band, we gather and write new songs. The latest one is called “Kyiv”. I take this hobby quite seriously, and it’s a very good stress-management tool for any businessman.

Q: And the last question, Andrii. You’ve mentioned that your company has a lot of plans for the future. Could you please elaborate?

AK: We are number one in recruitment, and we want to be number one in the other services we provide. Right now, we are among the leaders, but it’s not enough. If we are talking about numbers, of course we plan to grow. In business if you don’t grow, you stagnate. But also I believe that growth is not the main goal. There shouldn’t be growth for the sake of growth. Our ambition today is to serve our clients even better. We need to make sure that our clients receive top-notch services from our company and that we are reacting to their needs fast enough. We aim not only to provide our clients with everything they are asking for but also to give them what they didn’t ask for yet. We’ve increased our EQ capacity to serve their needs — and I think it’s the biggest achievement of Brain Source for the last 20 years.

Q: Thank you, Andrii, for this interview.

AK: And I thank you for your questions and wish the Kyiv Post all the best. My sincerest congratulations on your anniversary.

CEO of Ukraine’s largest recruiting group: ‘We provide profitable HR solutions’

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