Here is How Olim Can Land Their A Job

At least three mornings a week, I take phone calls from recent olim looking for guidance as they shift their careers to Israel. I’m not unique in fielding these phone calls, but what lays ahead might be particularly useful for both Olim looking for work, and for recruiters looking for their hidden talent.

Read on if you are looking for work, or are recruiting.

Oh… Those Phone Calls 

Each call is different. People’s stories of transition fill my 40 minute commute on the Ayalon. I hear stories of  educated, sophisticated and experienced Olim that are struggling to shape their stories for the Israeli work environment. They don’t know how to take their powerful skills and make them relevant to the local market. These calls center on surfacing their experiences and tailoring them to meet the local demand. But more importantly, we cover the need for everyone -regardless of profession – to be a sales person during their job hunt.
For many, this process creates a harsh “we’re not in Kansas anymore” realization.
The Challenge
These phone calls impressed upon me the endless challenges of adjusting a career to Israel. For those, especially later in their careers, need to adjust their careers to adapt to a new culture, a new role, a new, geography, a new function, even a new language (imagine that!).  Lots of changes.
In a work environment that tends to favor recruiting for the exact experience match vs. candidate track record over potential, its clear that all these changes are too much. And it makes adjusting to the local job market very difficult.
All this is compounded by the fact that many Olim have never had to look for work. Those that started their careers abroad, many who found work through their long-standing network of family, friends or community, are far removed from the way people find work today: LinkedIn, networking, social profiles, phone calls, CV writing, and even basic email introductions.
There Are Resources
While there are many resources out there to help – job boards and job sites, Nefesh b’ Nefesh, (job sites), LinkedIn, Gvahim more, (and the like,) it seems difficult for folks to navigate their way. It seems that knowing and navigating the resources seems to be a challenge in and of itself. For example, Telfed is geared for Olim from certain countries, while AACI is for others, and some resources are for a fee, while some offer free counseling. What’s clear is that capitalizing on these is for the few that are ‘in the know’.
Let’s Simplify 
A few friends got together and thought of a a way to create a more efficient, cross-organizational way to surface candidates who are looking for work. And we hope you can help.
Hello Google Forms & Sheets.
A simple, searchable, robust talent database where Olim freely add their names, professional skills and job parameters, that is shared with recruiters for free.
Yes, it’s that easy.
Using simple Google Forms, we made an easy way for actively searching candidates to add themselves and feature their skills and their interests. Using the associated Google Sheet, we’ve found a way to highlight relevant talent to recruiters – talent that would be otherwise hidden in small WhatsApp groups, 1 on 1 employment coaching sessions or in a host of other fragmented job communities.
For recruiters, it’s a simple database where they can do key word searching to find talent that is actively searching and that has already declared their professional interests and requirements (skills, hours, location, full time/part time…). And it’s free.
In sum, it’s an easy way to surface thirsty talent to hungry recruiters without the overhead of expenses, endless headhunting efforts, spending on LinkedIn ads or scouring friends’ networks again.
It’s Working
Thus far, since it has been launched last week, the initiative has had warm response – with many dozens of CVs and more than a dozen active recruiters. Over the first 3 days, we’ve already facilitated 6 interviews and our first job offer go out!
Not bad for a simple Google sheet.
And Now, We Grow.
This week, we set out to grow the database. We spoke to several municipalities, met with representatives from Nefesh b’ Nefesh, Telfed, spoke to a few municipalities, and have engaged with more corporate recruiters. It is clear there is a need for a simple, unified service to help highly skilled Olim find their new careers.
With more and more Olim adding their names to the list daily, the resource is becoming even more valuable. And, with more and more recruiters plugging into this new pocket of talent, we are facilitating more jobs.
Now it’s Your Turn
If you or any Oleh is looking for work in sales and marketing, complete this short form.
If you are recruiting talent in Israel, please contact me through LinkedIn for access to the database.
Also, if anyone wants to collaborate to make this even more useful, please contact me through LinkedIn.
About the Author
Canadian who moved to Israel 20 years ago, working in technology sales and marketing and loving life in the holy land.
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