Market update from Antal International - Israel

Written by
Changeboard Team

20 Feb 2012

20 Feb 2012 • by Changeboard Team

Not all doom and gloom in Isreal

Despite all of the doom and gloom reported in the media and politicians bleak predictions for the global economy, some countries are actually managing to thrive. Israel’s recruitment market is currently strong with unemployment at its lowest ever level of only 5%.

Our latest global snapshot, which looks at hiring and firing trends from around the world, revealed that 59% of companies asked are currently taking on staff on at a managerial and professional level, indicating substantial activity in Israel’s mid to senior level job market.

High demand for technology professionals

Israel has a substantial hi-tech industry with companies such as Intel, IBM, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft, Motorola and now even Apple operating there. Currently the sector is performing strongly with an endless need for bright candidates. At the moment there is a high demand for experienced development employees for both hardware and software sectors that have experience in software development for mobiles, GUI and verification engineering.

However, at the same time we are seeing a shortage of traditional engineers particularly in areas such as plastics, basic electronics and general engineering. The perceived ‘glamour’ of the hi-tech sector has caused many young engineers to dismiss traditional areas as a career option resulting in a major challenge for employers.

Getting social in recruitment

With more and more pressure to decrease the cost of hiring, many Israeli companies are looking to more sophisticated methods of recruiting. As well as updating employee referral programs, job boards and improving career homepages, the emergence of social media platforms has begun.
Unlike the UK and America, Israel is only now starting to embrace alternative methods of attracting candidates. Savvy job seekers have now turned to digital and social media tools such as LinkedIn to help them in their job searches and employers are taking note of the importance of social media in the recruiting process. The majority of businesses are turning to social media to source and evaluate potential candidates through social media profiles, blogs, and online communities.

Generation Y - affecting working patterns

Israelis have traditionally worked longer than most in Western Europe and North America, working on average for 43 hours a week with 8-10 hour working days. However in the last few years, with the Y generation entering the job market we are seeing a push for more work life balance.

This Generation Y group have different priorities in their search of jobs. They have a tendency not to focus purely on money but the wider picture such as flexible working, time to travel to and from work and a better work-life balance which is resulting in employers reacting to meet these demands. Generation Y is forcing companies to think more creatively about work-life balance and the employers who do are winning in the war for young talent. With employees wanting to work remotely and have flexible schedules companies such Intel, HP and Microsoft in Israel are leading the way with work-life balance programmes that become almost a standard in the hi-tech market.

A candidate-driven market

The uncertainty of the global economic market in the coming year may yet have an effect on the job market. A major part of Israeli production is exported so any change in the European or the American markets is going to impact the Israeli one. However at the moment employment levels appear to be holding up well.

The job market in Israel is definitely still candidate driven, which is great news for job seekers. However this does present challenges for organisations that are competing to attract the best talent. With candidates being offered 2-3 jobs they are therefore becoming more selective about the roles they take. And not surprisingly this is driving up salaries as companies seek to bid for the best talent.