Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Internet-Based Businesses

Online (Internet) businesses are a major employer in Israel, and have survived the global economic difficulties in a relatively strong position. These companies have a wide range of positions, and many of them require employees with a high level of foreign language skills. With this in mind, I am pleased to introduce Michael Katz, a recruiter specializing in this sector. Following is Michael's article describing in detail this industry.

Over the last 10 years, Israel has become one of the major hubs for Internet based businesses. But what defines an Internet based business? What employment opportunities are there within these businesses? What is the required experience for finding employment within these companies? What are the salary ranges within these companies?

Let’s take this one question at a time.

What defines an Internet based business?
The answer to this is simple. Any website that has a product that is either sold, played, used, downloaded or offered through the website for money. The money aspect of these transactions is known as e-commerce. There are many companies based in Israel that have this model and offer their services / products to the local and International market.

Two major industries that have been very successful are the online gaming industry and the online Forex industry. These are the fields that Netwise Personnel specializes in placing experienced and entry level candidates into.

Online gaming refers to gambling on the Internet – casino, poker, sports betting and bingo. The reputable companies based in Israel that are connected to international online gaming are operated in full accordance with Israeli and international law. There are instances however, where smaller companies are established and do not adhere to all of the required legalities. Netwise Personnel only works with legitimate and reputable online gaming companies.

Online Forex refers to online trading platforms for foreign currency trading. This enables people to trade currency over the Internet without the need for going into a bank or financial institution. Within the space between Herzliya Pituach and South Tel Aviv, there must be at least 25 – 35 of these companies. Clients of these companies can be found all over the world, ranging from the UK and Western Europe, the entire middle east, the far east, Australasia, South America and, dependent upon regulation, the USA.

What employment opportunities are there within these businesses?
Due to the fact that both of these businesses are international, there is always a requirement for local language speaker for international territories.

The roles together with a brief description include:
Online Chat Support – Entry level position, usually requiring shift work. Online chat support operators, as the name suggests, give support in real time to online users through a live chat environment. These roles are specific to international language preferences.
Sales Representative – Entry and experience level position. This requires up selling a product either by telephone or online chat. Performance bonuses are usually based on the representative reaching the required sales targets.
Account Manager – Experienced sales representative usually move on to become account managers within an online trading environment. Account managers are allocated to clients making initial deposits above a pre determined threshold.
Affiliate Manager – Entry and experienced level position. Affiliate managers find online partners to assist in the promotion of online businesses. Bonuses are usually awarded to the amount of additional revenue attributed to an affiliate manager’s successful affiliates.
Sales Manager – Experience level position that usually involves managing a team of sales representatives.
Call Center Manager – High level of experience is necessary. This position is usually awarded to people who have experience in both tele-sales and call center management.
Retention Manager – This requires experience in dealing with returning customers. It is a post sales position usually filled by people with excellent product knowledge and people skills.
Content Writer – As long as a person has a strong background in writing, the theme of the content is generally not a necessity for application. However, candidates with prior knowledge of the subject are given preference for these positions.
Marketing Writer – Experienced writer who can formulate and articulate marketing campaigns, banner slogan, press releases and ad copy.
Media Buyer – Experienced at knowing where to buy good online media for specific online businesses. The return on investment (ROI) is always judged very closely when spending money for online media.
Web Designer – Experience at designing websites. Usually needs to have knowledge of Flash, CSS and basic HTML.
Graphic Designer – Experienced at creating advertising collateral using packages such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash.
Web Programmer – Experienced at turning web designs into working web sites.
Product Manager – Experienced at managing the implementation of new products and feature enhancements. Needs to usually be someone who can interact at all levels with a high understanding of technical functionality and the ability to document thoroughly.
Campaign Data Analyst – Is the person who determines if the media buyer is getting it right. This is a crucial role in online businesses and is usually filled by statisticians or economists with a good knowledge of online media campaigns.
Marketing Director – the person who brings all of the above together and stays on top of everything.

What is the required experience for finding employment within these companies?
Entry level positions include online chat support and sales representatives. Although companies usually look to fill these roles with people who can work flexible shifts and weekends. Additionally, these roles are specific dependent on the need for language speakers. For sales representatives, people with prior experience of tele-sales usually have an advantage with these positions.

All of the other positions listed above require anywhere from one year to five years previous experience. Knowledge of online gaming or Forex is always preferred. In the case where two experienced media buyers or affiliate managers are applying for a position, preference will usually be given to people who have worked in the sector before.

What are the salary ranges within these companies?



Please note – the ranges shown above are just an indication and are dependent upon experience and negotiation ability.

Opportunities for New Olim
Many of these companies will employ new Olim, mainly for language skills. However, once a person has a ‘foot in the door’ or a minimum of at least 12 to 18 months experience, other positions will begin to open up.

In the first year of making Aliyah, new Olim should be aware that there is a high possibility that the salary connected to their first job in Israel, may not cover all monthly expenses. However, as stated above, following the first 12 to 18 months experience of working and living in Israel, more opportunities are likely to open up.

On a final note, the biggest piece of advice that I can offer to new Olim searching for a job is on the subject of resumes. When applying for a position, be specific about the position. If you have the experience on your resume, but not exactly in the order of the advertised job specification, re-write your resume in a way that the HR manager or recruiter does not have to second guess your experience or the position for which you are applying. Think of the advertised job specification and your resume as two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Make them seem to fit as easy as possible because if you don’t someone else will.

Netwise Personnel is a specialist recruitment and placement agency, focusing on the Forex, Gaming and Hi-Tech industries based in Israel. We specialize in finding candidates who have foreign language skills, online marketing knowledge including media, affiliate management and writing, international sales experience with a financial background and web developers, programmers and designers. For more information or free advice please contact michael@netwisepersonnel.com or visit the website http://www.netwisepersonnel.com/.

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