Skip to content
Edit post

Lobby X: Promoting modern and effective military recruitment in Ukraine

April 24, 2023 2:40 AM 7 min read
Ukrainian soldiers adjust a Ukrainian flag atop a personnel armored carrier on a road near Lyman, Donetsk Oblast, on Oct. 4, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by ANATOLII STEPANOV/AFP via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in the op-ed section are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of the Kyiv Independent.

The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) are estimated to have more than tripled its personnel since the full-scale war began on Feb. 24, 2022, currently adding up to around 700,000 soldiers, according to Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.

If we include the Border Guard, National Guard, and police, the total comes up to around 1 million. Conscription is also speeding up as the AFU is expected to conduct major offensive operations in the spring and summer of 2023.

Without mass conscription and military commissariats (renamed to territorial recruitment and social support centers), the AFU would experience a significant decline in military capacity and hard power.

However, it is obvious that Ukraine’s existing conscription system (which has not significantly changed since Ukraine’s independence in 1991) is based on a deeply rudimentary approach and needs an upgrade.

Flanks around Bakhmut hold as brutal urban fighting continues for city blocks
Two months after Ukraine’s defense of Bakhmut seemed doomed, the bloodiest battle of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine is still going against all expectations. Making rapid advances at the end of February, Russian forces seemed to be on the cusp of surrounding the city, as the only roads

In the first days of Russia’s full-scale war of aggression, every minute mattered so it was necessary to proceed with the training and onboarding of reservists, volunteers, and conscripts extremely fast. But a few months into the war, the AFU sometimes ended up with fresh soldiers being appointed chaotically just to fill the gaps – for whatever roles were needed at any given time across local units.

It was not a rare scenario for someone in marketing to become a cook, or an engineer to become a security guard. Previous skills and experience have not always been taken into consideration, resulting in many people being placed in odd places, not using their valuable strengths, and losing their motivation to serve, when there might have been relevant positions open for them in other units.

As the primary selection process remained unchanged at the ground level of military enlistment units, it was up to the personal connections and proactivity of individual soldiers to switch to more relevant roles – or not.

We at Lobby X realize that a more efficient and centralized approach is needed, and we have started to test and implement such efforts.

The team at Lobby X (courtesy Lobby X)

What is Lobby X?

At its core, Lobby X is a socially responsible human capital platform and international recruiting agency based in Kyiv.

It started as a volunteering initiative in 2015 with the goal to bridge talents seeking to join teams of leaders and reform makers within both governmental and non-governmental domains. Lobby X has helped recruit team members for the likes of Prozorro, U-LEAD, Ukraine’s Health Ministry, and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.

There is currently a vital need to enhance Ukraine’s army in order to deter the aggressor, so Lobby X has volunteered to help by using our recruiting expertise and reputation. Our goal is to encourage more civilians to take up arms and defend their country by bringing efficiency, transparency, and positive change to the military recruitment and internal transition process.

The recruitment process for military vacancies

We published and filled the first military vacancies on Lobby X’s channels at the end of March 2022. At first, the vacancies were for system administrators across different brigades, translators for the International Legion, and communication managers for the Air Force Command. We then got a bunch of purely military vacancies.

Eventually, due to word of mouth (and social media, since we publish all positions on our website and Telegram channel), commanders, officers, and unit leaders began requesting our help with finding specialists to join their units. When there’s a recruitment need for a certain professional in a verified military unit, we can jump in immediately.

‘They’ll kill me if I come back’: Abduction, torture become routine in Russian-occupied Melitopol
In a rare glimpse, the Kyiv Independent talked to some who escaped Russian-occupied Melitopol and learned what’s happening behind the curtain of Russia’s occupation. Since Melitopol fell to Russian forces in March 2022, the city’s residents constantly fear being kidnapped, sometimes in broad dayligh…

To recruit soldiers, we apply a pretty common staffing approach used for our interdisciplinary clients. In the beginning, there were no unified job descriptions, no common channels through which to promote them, and little clarity on when the interviews could take place (hiring officers might be located in the immediate war zone), so we had to create it all from scratch and present a new approach to the hiring managers.

Lobby X covers everything in this process from job description creation to selecting the relevant applications to present them for the given manager to review – keeping everything as fast and convenient for managers as possible.

To receive applications, we use a range of tactics, including social media campaigns, community outreach, and partnerships with military leaders and trusted organizations. We make it simple for candidates to apply – they can email a CV or send a letter describing their experience and interest.

Ukrainian soldiers of the 24th Separate Assault Battalion, also known as the Aidar Battalion, are on a military truck near the frontline in the direction of Bakhmut, Ukraine, on April 22, 2023. (Photo by Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

We treat personal data with the utmost confidentiality. When applying via Lobby X, the candidate profile is presented only to the intended hiring officer and unit. When there is a match, our mission is then complete and the registration or transition is carried out by the military unit directly, according to current procedures.

Roles can include anything from a driver, gunner, vehicle mechanic, and doctor, to fairly niche specialties like drone operator, cybersecurity and data science engineer, and most recently, a scuba diver! Some of the hardest positions to fill are medical jobs and officer positions that require a certain military rank, while for example IT, design, PR, and videography vacancies are much easier.

As of now, the Lobby X team has taken care of 185 military vacancies, received over 10,000 applications, worked with 44 units, and successfully recruited over 500 servicemen– all in less than a year. The total number of placements may also be higher, as some data has not been confirmed due to hiring officers’ large workloads. There is still much work to be done though.

It is important to mention that we at Lobby X want to go beyond simply filling job vacancies in the military. We are working to change the way that Ukrainians think about military service. Rather than seeing it as a last resort or a leap into the unknown, we believe in the idea that serving in the military is a worthwhile pursuit and unique experience where you can use your professional skills and bring the maximum benefit to the victory of Ukraine.

Russia’s new guided bombs pose increasingly serious threat to Ukraine
Still unable to achieve air supremacy, Russia is nevertheless finding ways to threaten Ukraine from the sky. Early this year, Russia introduced guided bombs — essentially, the regular gravity bombs modified to be dropped by multirole fighter-bombers from safe distances and deal precise and very dam…

What’s next?

As a forward-thinking organization, there are two main directions for our future agenda:

  1. Supporting the employment of war veterans. This includes working as career consultants to help people succeed in the job search process after demobilization, and working with employers to create and promote more job opportunities for war veterans by supporting them in the interview, retraining, and onboarding processes. To achieve this, we could create opportunities for veterans to hold specific positions in policy-making at the local and national levels, in the restoration of liberated territories, and in educational and media activities. This will help synchronize society’s vision and values with those of veterans.
  2. Involving diaspora in the recovery, reconstruction, and modernization of Ukraine. There are many talented leaders and executives with Ukrainian roots in Canada, the U.S., and other countries who can bring unique international experiences, best practices, and wide networks to contribute to the revival of Ukraine in different domains, and we aim to match them smoothly with relevant projects and initiatives.

We are open to other ideas and partnerships to help us further enhance the military recruitment process and to unite efforts for future projects.

Let’s “Stop Zrada, and Do Peremoha” for the progress of Ukraine.

Burkovskyi, Zhovtenko: Going nuclear or mad? Russia pretends both to hide capability gaps
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in the op-ed section are those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of the Kyiv Independent. Amid the failures of its full-scale war against Ukraine, Russia hurries up the overhaul of its nuclear strategy, indicating that the Kremlin understan…

News Feed

Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
1:38 AM

Zelensky, Trump hold call, discuss future of US support.

President Volodymyr Zelensky and Donald Trump, former U.S. president and Republican presidential nominee, held a phone call on July 19, five years after a fateful 2019 phone call between the two led to Trump’s first impeachment.

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.