Working in Israel
Only 60 years after its establishment, Israel's economy and technological sectors are booming. Israel has one of the fastest-growing GDP rates in the world, making the prospect of working in Israel appealing and potentially lucrative.
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.
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, food processing and solar energy. Many foreigners also find employment teaching English. Expats with valid working visas will find countless opportunities to work in Israel and the potential for professional growth and development is extensive.
Working culture in Israel
Tel Aviv is the business capital of Israel. For the most part, business 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 business 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. Employees work eight to nine hours per day, including an hour for lunch, and, according to Israeli law, working hours may not exceed 43 hours per week.
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 arrive in the country with a work permit. Expats who plan on immigrating as a Jew ('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 for 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 publically. So it is worth speaking to colleagues and other contacts about your job prospects as a personal recommendation can go a long way there.