Israeli tech initiative Place-IL, which is backed by dozens of the leading companies in Israel's tech ecosystem, has launched a platform to help provide tech jobs for the country's under-represented populations living in the geographical and social periphery. The platform will provide a partial solution for the labor shortage in Israel’s tech sector by leading a fundamental change in the sourcing, screening and placement process applied for Haredi, Arab, Druze and Ethiopian candidates and other populations in the social and geographical periphery.
Place-IL's platform is designed to handle the challenging phase on the path to a career in high-tech: the initial placement of inexperienced candidates (or juniors) - the essential link in the critical employment chain without which even the best training will not be enough.
Behind this initiative, which seeks to set the foundation for a more balanced and diverse tech industry, is Idan Tendler, cofounder of Bridgecrew, which was acquired by Palo Alto Networks in 2021, and its current VP.
Place-IL will operate in a marketplace in which Israeli tech companies and employers involved in the venture will be able to select candidates who have undergone quality screening and integrate them in a unique and cross-company internship program that will provide the candidates with the relevant experience and a true opportunity to fill permanent positions. The platform will not only enable companies to find the suitable "talent", but will also help overcome the "junior barrier" that thwarts the placement of qualified but inexperienced candidates.
The platform was developed together with dozens of leading companies, including Google, Monday, Cisco, Armis, Palo Alto Networks, Axonius and Hibob. Among the managers and investors advising Place-IL are NFX managing partner Gigi Levy-Weiss, Aleph Venture Capital Fund partner Michael Eisenberg, Palo Alto Networks founder Nir Zuk, Insight Partners managing director Liad Agmon and former Ministry of Justice director general Emi Palmor.
Tendler said, "Place-IL was founded by experienced high-tech entrepreneurs, together with the Israel venture capital community and supported by companies operating within the ecosystem. We see a growing community of high-tech volunteers who help evaluate candidates in Israel, working together toward a joint cause - closing the labor gaps - both for filling positions and for achieving proper representation for all populations in Israel".
Place-IL CEO Keren Halperin-Musseri added that despite a shortage of 20,000 employees in the Israeli tech industry, the impressive qualification array established in Israel in recent years manages to successfully place only 4% of the under-represented populations. The new platform connects all of the qualification organizations for under-represented populations to the high-tech industry, enabling large-scale placement for candidates trained by those organizations, aiming to provide them access to tech companies in a consolidated and dedicated manner.
Place-IL, in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Industry's Labor Department, is launching its first pilot program. In this pilot, hundreds of candidates for "software development" positions will undergo the recruitment process. The successful candidates will start the internship program within a few weeks.
Halperin-Musseri said, "For candidates, the process for enrolling in the platform goes through unique screening sessions conducted by a team of high-tech professionals, psychologies and even representatives of the evaluated population. Candidates who successfully complete the evaluation, which includes a professional code assignment, is assigned to a 3-month salaried internship program at one of the high-tech companies that pay for the placement and for use of the platform. After three months, where the company chose not to go on with the hiring process, the candidate can go on to another 3-month internship at another company, and so on for a period of one year. Where the candidate was hired by one of the companies at which the internship was conducted, the internship process will stop and the candidate will shift to permanent employment."
Agmon added, "As a leading investor in Israel, we emphasize the diversity the human mix in the companies that we consider, as well as those we have already invested in. Expanding representation to all populations does not only lead to a better organizational culture, but also improves business results. We are proud to take part in the Place-IL initiative as a strategic partner and are convinced that there is reason to believe that the change for the better is already on the way."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on September 28, 2022.
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