Finding Work in Israel

The key to finding work in Israel is NETWORKING with people in your field of expertise and/or people who may be connected to those people in some way. Research your profession online to locate companies you might like to work for. After thoroughly reading their web site and any online news about them, seek out a current employee in a position comparable to one you’d like and ask them how one goes about getting hired. They may receive a bonus for referring you for an opening, in which case they will be more than happy to assist.

You’re probably asking, “How do I seek out people”? NETWORK! Online, in person, through an acquaintance, klitah counselor, cashiers, bank and government clerks, people sitting next to you on the bus, people at the health clinic (the guy at the front desk at Maccabi was one of my biggest cheerleaders always showing concern about my husband’s job search; as did the guy at the post office), teachers, people you meet at the beit Knesset, on the street, etc. I found carrying business cards in English and Hebrew helped our networking prospects. Tell everyone you meet that you’re looking for work and give them a card. People here really do want to help new olim.

In addition to Nefesh B’Nefesh’s employment department and Israel’s Employment Service, the following list details some virtual places we frequent when trying to secure employment or contract work in Israel:

Networking Groups & e-mail lists:

  • CIWI http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CIWI/ (for writers)
  • Digital Eve Israel http://digitaleveisrael.com (for writers)
  • Freelance Writing Jobs http://www.freelancewriting.com/freelance-writing-jobs.php (for writers)
  • Israel Luach http://www.luach.com (general)
  • Jerusalem Business Networking Forum http://businessnetwork.meetup.com (general)
  • JobsInIsrael http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JobsInIsrael/ (general)
  • Marcshoret http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/MarcShoret/ (for marketing writers)
  • Techshoret http://groups.yahoo.com/group/techshoret/ (for technical writers)

Search http://groups.yahoo.com/ to locate groups in your profession and click the JOIN button.

Networking and Freelancing sites:

  • Facebook http://www.facebook.com – Use personal networking to learn about potential work
  • LimeExchange http://www.limeexchange.com – bid on jobs
  • oDesk http://www.odesk.com – bid on jobs
  • Sologig http://www.sologig.com – bid on jobs
  • Writer’s Cafe http://www.writerscafe.org (for writers)
  • Xing http://www.xing.com – network and bid on jobs
  • LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com – business networking
    Once you have set up a LinkedIn profile, be sure to search for, and sign up with, groups relevant to your career.
    • The beauty of LinkedIn is that once you join a group you are automatically connected to everyone (hundreds or thousands of people) else who is a member of that group.
    • Your profile will be seen by others (including potential employers and/or their recruiters, and maybe even a future spouse!) so be sure to highlight your education, professional experience and accomplishments.
    • You can present yourself as an expert by answering questions posted by other group members.
    • You can post a note detailing the type of work you are looking for and ask other group members to help you achieve that goal.
    • Once you’re set up, search out other members in your field or who work for a company you might like to work for and ask them for permission to connect with them. Don’t hit the send button on the generic note that pops up – type a personal message that alerts them to the fact that you live in Israel and would like their advice. Connect with me on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/teresahessler and I’ll be happy to help you if I’m able.
    • By the way, LinkedIn allows for you to set up your profile MULTI-lingual – create one in your native language and then try to add English and/or Hebrew versions. You can even ask other LinkedIn members to help you with translation.
    • A sampling of LinkedIn groups based on profession (if yours isn’t listed, search LinkedIn and I’m sure you’ll find it):

      Computer/Hi-Tech (2218 groups)

      • Architects @ Israel
      • Business & Systems Analysts in Israel
      • Data Architecture Professionals
      • Database Administrator Professionals
      • Database Developers and Architects Group
      • Database Experts
      • Israel DBAs
      • Israel Hi-Tech
      • Israel IT Jobs
      • Israel IT Professionals Network
      • Israel Technology Group
      • IT/IS Manager in Israel
      • MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer)
      • Microsoft Developers
      • Microsoft SQL Server Developers
      • Sales and Marketing Professionals Promoting Israeli Hi-Tech
      • SQL Server Administrators
      • SQL Server Central
      • SQL Server DBA
      • SQL Server Developers
      • SQL Server in Israel
      • SQL Server Professionals
      • SQLblog
      • SQLDBA
      • See also Writers (below)

      Entrepreneurs (3560 groups)

      • Doing Business in Israel
      • Israel Business Connections
      • Israel Entrepreneur Network
      • On Startups
      • The Israel Gartner ICT & High-tech community
      • WhyDoWork Small Business and Telecommuter Network

      Engineering (5589 groups)

      • Cleantech Israel
      • Civil Engineer Professional Network
      • Design World
      • Electrical Engineer
      • Israel Technology Group
      • Mechanical Engineer Forum
      • MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer)
      • The Chemical Engineer
      • The Process Engineer

      Finance (2992 groups)

      • Finance Club
      • Financial Services Career Center
      • Israel’s Annual Corporate Finance Conference
      • Mutual Fund and Investment Jobs and Careers
      • RNG -Finance and Investment Professionals
      • Super CFO

      General (tens of thousands of groups)

      • Bezeq International Jobs in Israel
      • Call Israel! Job Seekers
      • Israel Anglo Network
      • The Israel Connection Group
      • Israel-in
      • Jewish Professionals
      • Job Networking in Israel
      • Job Serf
      • Job Whisper
      • JobMob
      • Social Media Networking
      • The Israel Connection
      • the.co.ils – The Israel Internet Networking Forum

      Healthcare (2150 groups)

      • AYUSH Preventative Healthcare
      • Doctors without Borders
      • Healthcare Informatics
      • Medical Image Processing

      Real Estate (1222 groups)

      • Corporate Real Estate
      • Property Derivatives
      • Real Estate Open Networkers
      • Real Estate Owned Professionals

      Writers (308 groups)

      • American Society for Indexing
      • Digital Eve Israel
      • Israeli Bloggers
      • Technical Writer for Writers
      • Technical Writer Forum
      • Tech-Writer
      • The Content Wrangler
      • Writing Mafia

Employment Recruiters/Agencies/Employers

  • CPS http://www.cps.co.il/
  • Context http://www.context.co.il
  • Dialog http://www.dialog.co.il/
  • Ethosia Human Resources http://www.ethosia.com/
  • IPS Hi-Tech Human Resources http://www.ips.co.il/
  • JobInfo http://www.jobinfo.co.il/
  • Leap Recruitment http://www.leap-now.com/
  • MIT Manpower http://www.mit.co.il/
  • Nisha Group http://www.nisha-hr.co.il/About/English.aspx
  • On Target Communications http://www.ontargetcommunication.com/
  • Picaro Consulting http://www.picaro.co.il
  • Quest HR http://www.quest-hr.com
  • Robert Half International http://www.roberthalftechnology.com/
  • WritePoint http://www.writepoint.com
  • XPlain http://xplain.co.il

Online Job Boards

  • AACI JobNet http://www.jobs-israel.com/ (one of the better sites)
  • Aliyah Job Center https://www.aliyahjobcenter.org//login.php?l=E (also a very good site – you need to obtain a User ID and password through your counselor at Misrad HaKlita)
  • All Jobs http://alljobs.co.il
  • Career Jet – English http://www.careerjet.com and Hebrew http://www.careerjet.co.il
  • Computer Jobs in Israel http://www.cji.co.il
  • DICE http://www.dice.com
  • Elephant http://www.elephant.org.il (for writers)
  • Har Hotzvim Jobs http://www.hotzvim.org.il (Jerusalem area only)
  • Israel Employment Service http://www.taasuka.gov.il/Taasuka
  • Janglo http://www.janglo.net
  • JobMaster http://www.jobmaster.co.il
  • JobShuk http://www.jobshuk.com
  • JobWhisper http://www.jobwhisper.com
  • Matrix http://www.matrix.co.il/he-il/Jobs/
  • MediaBistro http://www.mediabistro.com/
  • Monster http://www.monster.com
  • OU Job Board http://www.ou.org/jobs
  • Simply Hired http://www.simplyhired.com

If you don’t possess good Hebrew reading skills and come across a Hebrew-only site, Google offers a nice translation tool where you can paste in the text or the URL of the page and it provides you with a loose translation usually good enough for you to get the gist of what you’re trying to read.

You may be wondering why I put the Online Job Boards and Recruiters at the end of my list. In America these were always the first places we went to secure work; in Israel you must connect with people to find work, although if you have great mazal maybe these will work for you.

Negotiating Your First Job

If you don’t possess good Hebrew skills and have never worked for an Israeli employer before, you should be prepared to take a step or two down in the salary you are accustomed to earning.

From time to time NBN, AACI or OU hosts a CPA or Finance Fair where you can learn the ins and outs of the Israeli tax and health systems – if you have an opportunity to attend I highly recommend doing so. There are tax-free and reduced-tax benefits in Israel that many new olim may not be aware of – like the possibility of negotiating a CAR into your compensation. Many Israeli employers, especially those in the hi-tech arena, provide employees with the use of a car completely free of charge, i.e., they pay the monthly lease, insurance, maintenance and repairs and some even provide free fuel!

It’s good to know – and tell potential employers – that the government will provide a subsidy for your salary. Here’s what I learned from NBN:

A new Oleh who is working in any job may be eligible to have his/her salary subsidized.

It is the employer’s responsibility to contact Yehudit Ben Ami at Misrad HaKlita (02) 621-4547, and the subsidy is evaluated on a case by case basis by her committee. If accepted, Misrad HaKlita will pay half of minimum wage for a period of between 3 and 12 months.

Minimum wage is approx. 20 NIS/hour = 3200 NIS per month = about 1600 NIS per month to the employer.

Israelis love to help people (despite their sometimes rough exterior). In Israel it is not “what you know”, it’s all about WHO you know – it’s called proteksia and you really need it here to survive. Now get out and meet some people! Visit http://jobmob.co.il/blog/what-is-proteksia/ for a humorous sampling of proteksia 🙂

B’Hatzlacha!

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