Israel has a fairly resilient economy with a particularly strong technology sector. Much of this progress is due to Israel’s innovative abilities in the fields of applied sciences and technology as well as its highly educated workforce. A large proportion of Israeli graduates become specialists in telecommunications, software development and IT.
Thanks to its rapidly growing GDP, Israel has become a popular expat destination for those looking for career progression as well as businesses looking for investment opportunities.
Job market in Israel
Within Israel, a huge amount of the workforce is employed in technical professions. Israeli companies have staked a major claim in worldwide high-tech and telecommunications markets due to their specialisations and ability to excel in diverse technological applications.
Key fields of technological innovation and expat employment are communications, computer hardware and software, information systems, finance, medicine, law and marketing. Many foreigners also find employment teaching English.
Finding a job in Israel
Most expats move to Israel with a job in hand. Foreigners who intend on taking up a position in Israel need to obtain a work permit. Jewish expats who plan on immigrating ('making Aliyah') may find the process easier as there are Aliyah organisations that can offer advice.
Israel produces large numbers of qualified professionals each year, so expats will need to stand out from the crowd if they want to secure a job in the country. It's best to begin the search for a job three to four months before moving to Israel. Most employers don't hire people more than four months in advance as they want people to start almost immediately, which can be problematic for some expats.
Jobs can be found through online job portals, through listings in local newspapers and by directly contacting recruitment agencies. It can be beneficial to invest time in learning Hebrew as many job listings won't be in English. Learning the local language will not only be useful in the workplace but in social situations too.
Networking is also very important in Israel as most jobs are actually not advertised publicly. So it is worth speaking to colleagues and other contacts about any potential job opportunities as a personal recommendation can go a long way there.
Working culture in Israel
Tel Aviv is the business capital of Israel. For the most part, work dress in Israel is generally less formal than in North America and Europe, but meetings require formal dress. Women are expected to dress conservatively, particularly in religious areas. Business cards are common, but there is no formality involved in exchanging them. Socialising is an important part of meetings, and, as such, they often run overtime or begin late.
Business hours in Israel are usually from 8.30am to 5pm. The working week is Sunday to Thursday, as well as Friday mornings in some industries. Employees work eight to nine hours per day, including an hour for lunch, and, according to Israeli law, working hours may not exceed 42 hours per week.