Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How can Placement Companies Help you Find a Job in Israel

I am delighted to introduce a new guest article to the blog, this time contributed by Yoav Haim of Dialog - Consulting for Human Resources, an Israeli placement company. Yoav describes how placement companies fit into the Israeli recruitment process, which will help you understand better how to work with such agencies to increase your access to employment opportunities. Regular readers of this blog will discover that in certain instances there are differences of opinions over specific aspects of the job search, as here you will find comments on CVs which do match other articles in the blog. In all cases, you as the job seeker should get as much information as you can, and then decide for yourself what makes the best sense. Without further ado, Yoav's article...

The Israeli Hi-tech industry, a field Dialog – Consulting for Human Resources specializes in, is rather young. It started in the 70s and gathered momentum during the 90s. Dialag was founded in 1997 to answer the rise in the demand for quality hi-tech workers that this momentum created. Since the Israeli market, in general, is small, and the Israeli hi-tech industry in particular, is even smaller, people know each other, and much depends on personal ties and relationships. As new immigrants, many of you are devoid of acquaintances in our market and this is why a placement company can come in handy.

Ron Machol asked me to answer several questions about how a placement company such as Dialog works, and I obliged. As someone who worked with the Jewish Agency in the past, I know, in person, what hardships new immigrants go through, and to me, this opportunity to help is blessed. With Ron's permission, I will start with the most interesting question there is:

How much money do you, as a placement company (חברת השמה) charge?

From candidates – none! Our services are given to candidates pro-bono. We simply mediate between the candidate and the employer, and the minute the employer hires you, we our out of the picture. Unlike HR companies (חברות כוח אדם) you never become our workers (outsourcing), and you are not paying us commission.

Where do Israeli placement companies fit in the Israeli recruitment process?

Ever since the year 2000, the Israeli market is undergoing a process of professionalization – companies which used to do everything in-house gradually understand that in order to become more efficient and professional, they need to turn to professionals for specific tasks. This is exactly where placement companies such as Dialog fit in. With tens of thousands of professional candidates in our database, and with commercial ties with most of the hi-tech companies in Israel, we serve as an efficient and reliable mediator, both for candidates and companies. Today, most companies work with at least one (and usually with more than one) placement company.

How do placement companies operate with employers?

When employers have a vacancy, they give us a specification of this vacancy, and a general description of the candidate they require. At Dialog, every employer has a recruitment counselor who works with this company solely, knows it well, and understands its needs, so when such a vacancy opens, the counselor knows perfectly what profiles of candidates might fit this company. Candidates stored in our database, or new candidates who send their CV for this vacancy are filtered by this counselor and if they fit the requirements of the position, they are sent forward to the company.

What does a placement company do when candidates send in their CV or apply for a specific job, or new jobs come in from employers?

As mentioned earlier, we have two types of candidates – those who are already stored in our database, and new candidates whose CVs were sent to us for the position. When we receive a new vacancy requisition from an employer, we publish it on our site. CVs we receive are divided into three (3) categories:
  1. Those which fit the position are interviewed by us
  2. Those which do not fit the position, but fit other positions we have available are also interviewed
  3. The third group is consisted of those who do not fit any of our open positions. Unfortunately, due to the deluge of CVs we receive, it is impossible to call every person who submitted his/her CV
We look at ALL CVs sent to us through our site, regardless of whether they fit the position or not. We also look at CVs stored in our database, to check whether they fit new positions we receive. We don't believe in FIFO (first in first out) – it is irrelevant how much time has passed since you've sent your CV. The only thing we take into consideration is whether or not you fit the requirements of the position at hand and if you are still looking for a job. That’s why we stay in touch with our candidates, and regularly update their status.

Do some employers work with more than one placement company at the same time for the same position, and if so, how does this impact the candidate?

Yes. Both the employers and the candidates work with more than one placement company, on average. We recommend to both parties not to work with more than the 2-4 leading placement companies (and to narrow it down to 1 as time progresses).

This doesn't impact the candidates, provided that they don't work with too many placement companies. In general, if your CV comes from too many sources, and if some of these sources are dubious, it might give the impression that you are somewhat desperate and unfocused.

Who should work with placement companies?

Among our clients you can find huge international companies such as HP or Microsoft, alongside small companies varying from Start-up companies with less than 20 workers, to medium-size companies with several hundreds of workers.

Candidates who work with us come from varying fields of expertise – students, graduates, professionals and seniors in the fields of hi-tech, finance, administration, and executive. In hi-tech we deal with software and hardware engineers, marketing and content writers in numerous languages, pre-post sale professionals and the likes.

How should job candidates approach placement companies?

The best way to contact us is to send your CV through our site. There are two ways to do that:
  1. Sending your CV in regard to a certain position
  2. Sending your CV, regardless of a certain position
We also have a profile on LinkedIn, Twitter and Café TheMarker, operated by me, where you can send your CV.

As mentioned earlier, we read every CV sent to us, and check whether we have positions the candidate might fit, even if the CV was sent for an entirely different position. That said, since our field of expertise is mainly hi-tech, only CVs that fall within this scope have the chance to yield an interview.

Should people contact placement companies even before they arrive in Israel?

You may, but bear in mind that we are efficient, and most CVs sent to us are dealt with on the same day of arrival, and that some positions are urgent, which means that the employer might require you for an interview the following day.

After contacting a placement company the first time, should there be regular follow-up by the job candidate?

Sure! If you believe you fit a position completely, and you haven't heard from us within a week, contact us. Searching for a job is a process that can take time. We usually forward our candidates to more than one company, and we let them know which companies they were introduced to. We invite candidates to call us with questions, remarks or updates. Since we update our position page daily, we also encourage candidates to look at it every few days and to re-send their CV to new positions that suit their abilities.

How to decide which specific placement companies to contact?

Candidates' decision should be based on their profession. There are 5 big placement companies in Israel which deal with hi-tech, and Dialog is one of the leaders among them. I advise you to skim through the positions offered by each placement company, and if you find jobs that relate to your profession, this company is one you should work with.

What types of jobs are typically handled (or not handled) by Israeli placement companies?

Dialog deals with everything hi-tech companies need – starting from secretaries, through engineers and marketing personnel, to financial and managerial positions. We also deal with non hi-tech workers, provided that they come from one of the following fields: finance, executive and administrative.

What should a candidate expect in terms of a response when they contact a placement company?

If the CV suits the requirements of the position, we usually contact the candidate within the same day. The candidate is interviewed by one of our recruitment counselors, entered into our database, and we start the process of forwarding his/her details to companies that might be suitable.

Since we launched our new Social Network profiles described above, candidates can approach us more easily and directly. I receive some questions from candidates who sent their CV for a position they don't fit, and never got a reply, and as someone who searched for a job in the past, I know uncertainty is worse than hearing a "no". I always welcome people to contact me through one of the social networks I am present at, and will do my best to find out what happened to their application. In most cases, candidates who didn't receive an answer didn't fit any of our positions, and are candidates Dialog can't immediately help.

Unfortunately, due to the huge quantity of CVs we receive, it is impossible to call every person who submitted his/her CV, and only candidates who fit our requirements will be contacted by us.

Many candidates have multiple versions of their CVs, each targeted at a (slightly) different job that they feel capable of doing. What should such candidates do when making a general application to a placement company?

This question repeats frequently. We recommend candidates to have only ONE version of CV! If you write your CV correctly, and if it reflects your abilities well, there is no reason why you shouldn't be considered for several positions in different yet related fields. Bear in mind that in most cases, several versions of the same CV end up on our desk, and it gives an impression of unreliability to read the differences between them.

For conclusion, any special tips for new immigrants related to working with placement companies?

First of all – welcome to Israel

Second – finding a job in a new country is a daunting task – you don't speak the language well, you don't have a social-network, and you have yet to strike roots in the local market. That's why our connections with most companies in Israel can come in handy to you.

Third – learn the basics. A friend of mine who immigrated from New York sent me his CV a few days ago. He wrote it according to how you would write your CV in the US. Needless to say, it didn't fit the local market at all!
Learn how things are done in Israel – what to write in your CV, how to dress up for the interview, what questions you might be asked (Israelis tend to ask personal questions, which might seem intrusive and out-of-line to new-comers) etc…

Fourth – try to find an organization for people from your native country. Israel is an immigrants-country. My grandparents came from all around the world and most Israelis older than 50, weren't born here, so you are bound to find at least one such organization which can assist you at first or link you with your peers.

Fifth – think of the added value that your native language and culture can offer. Since many companies in hi-tech work abroad, it is easy to understand why an immigrant from Mexico, for instance, will be a wonderful Account Manager for South American countries.

I wish you good luck and look forward to hearing from you.

Yoav Haim – Social Media Recruitment Manager
Dialog - Consulting for Human Resources

About Dialog
Dialog – Consulting for Human Resources is one of Israel's leading companies for recruitment and placement of quality employees for hi-tech, IT, clean-tech and finance Industries. Since 1997 Dialog has been providing recruitment and HR solutions for leading global and local companies including: Microsoft, Ness, Checkpoint, HP, Matrix, and many other large and small companies in the Tech fields.


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