Recruiters bear the brunt of Israel's tech crisis

Tech crisis credit: Ussama Azam Unsplash
Tech crisis credit: Ussama Azam Unsplash

The biggest victims of the slowdown in the tech sector are those talent acquisition specialists that helped companies expand rapidly in 2021 and early 2022.

The tech crisis resulted in thousands of employees losing their jobs at Israeli companies in Israel and abroad. The biggest victims are not the tech employees themselves - the experienced programmers and engineers - but other professionals in such fields as marketing and sales, human resources and recruiters, as well as finance, specializations that until recently were employed at tech companies in large numbers.

Not only has the number of those laid off increased recently, with the second wave of cuts at tech giants, including Meta, Amazon and Salesforce, but also the length of time needed to find a new job. The average number of weeks to find a new job has increased from 10.8 on average to 13.3, a 23% rise since November last year.

New research conducted by tech human resources consulting company Ethosia finds that candidates whose new job search period has been especially long are finance professionals at tech companies, who have spent an average of 14 weeks looking for a job since November 2022, compared with 9 weeks prior to November last year. Among administration staff, the time taken to find a job has risen from 6.5 weeks to 10 weeks, and among human resources and recruitment staff who already suffered from a particularly long period of time to find a job before November, the time taken has increased from 18 weeks on average to 20 weeks. Estimates are that about half of the layoffs at Meta worldwide were in recruiting teams, while also at other tech giants - the recruiters - those who were hired quickly during the Covid pandemic to establish product, development and engineering teams - were the first to pay the price of the tech crisis.

"Even especially quality candidates were thrown onto the market"

Batel Segal-Darmon specializes in a job called sourcing - internal recruiting for companies assisting in locating candidates through social media, managing the recruitment process, and ensuring that most of them agree to sign. This sector grew exceptionally during the Covid pandemic, when there was particularly heavy competition for jobs and it was important in maintaining an ongoing connection with quality candidates with many options.

She recalls, "In 2021, he market was flooded and I would interview three to four times a week. As a sourcer, they offered to triple my salary and agreed to pay for an 'au pair' to look after my children.

In February Segal-Darmon lost her job at PayPal after 18 months, together with most of the recruiters' team. "We came onto a dead market. If 12 to 18 months ago, it was like a supermarket in which you could choose the job you desired from full shelves, the experience today is that the supermarket is empty and there are just a few products that have not expired. You enter the LinkedIn network and hear your own echo. The point is that the supply of candidates in the field is particularly large, and many of them are very high-quality candidates who were suddenly thrown onto the market."

While Segal-Darmon was only laid off a month ago, the few jobs and large number of candidates have left her considering alternatives. "I was faced with the choice of signing on for unemployment or changing fields." In the end, she decided to stick to the field of human resources, but has found a job outside of the tech industry. She will soon start working for an Israeli company in the field of data services.

Those remaining are responsible for several areas at the same time

Ethosia founder and CEO Eyal Solomon, who specializes in placing tech and life science employees, says, "The situation for human resources staff has been serious for a long time, so the worsening over time of chances of finding a new job is immaterial. Their options are worse than during the Covid pandemic because then they were still needed for employees who moved to remote work.

"The decision by the giant corporations to fire thousands of employees has resulted in this that according to a ratio of a senior human resources manager for every 150 or 200 employees, hundreds of employees in the field have found themselves without a job. At the same time, small and medium-sized startups have kept administrations that perform several tasks at the same time - such as welfare and employer branding in addition to recruitment. Unfortunately recruitment managers are positioned as support staff who are the first to go when there is a crisis."

Lital Ankory had been a talent acquisition leader for a US fintech corporation for over a year when she was offered a job by Meta, which was then growing rapidly, to recruit professionals. As she started the job, the war in Ukraine broke out and interest rates in the US began rising and she and her colleagues quickly found themselves recruiting less and less employees, culminating in the first round of layoffs last November.

Ankory chose Meta over countless other companies that courted her last year. When she found herself back on the job market she contacted she contacts companies that had tried to hire here but repeatedly met with the same response: the job offer is no longer relevant.

"The contrast between the high demand for high-tech recruiters in 2021 and the beginning of 2022 and the situation today is so great that it is impossible to compare the two periods at all," she says. The Meta layoffs in November were soon followed by hundreds of other companies, including giant corporations like Amazon, Microsoft and Salesforce who flooded the market with additional recruiters. "I faced a dilemma. Was it time to look for a new type of job? Should I be flexible with the requirements - the high-tech companies are mainly looking for production workers in the field of recruitment - or should I continue to look for the ideal job?"

Ankory, with over 10 years of experience in recruitment, decided to take her extensive knowledge and experience in building strategies and managing complex recruitment processes and become independent with her target audience being small and medium-sized tech companies that recruit employees. These companies, according to Ankory, cannot and do not always know how to manage effective recruitment processes, if they recruit at all.

She is sure that there is a market for strategic consultants in the field, even if as subcontractors. "Experienced consultants have economic value: they can save companies from unnecessary meetings with unsuitable employees, manage more appropriate recruitment processes for them and help them choose recruitment and assessment tools. I decided that I wanted to offer my knowledge and experience as an external and not internal consultant in a position that is well within my capabilities," she explains.

"Candidates understand that they must compromise on salaries"

The number of jobs on Ethosia's books in the fields of software and hardware between April and November 2022 fell by more than half but in the field of human resources and recruiters the rise was even higher. The number of jobs in the field is down by two-thirds and recruitment jobs have fallen 8-fold. Salaries, of course, have decreased accordingly: an experienced recruiter with 2-5 years of experience had a monthly salary of between NIS 17,000 and 22,000 in 2021. Today salaries range from NIS 11,000 to NIS 13,000. An experienced HR manager who earned NIS 28-30,000 in 2021 will receive a salary offer today ranging from NIS 21,000 to 23,500.

Solomon says, "The average salary is about half as much. It's a matter of how many choices you have and how you perceive your role and professional security. An experienced engineer can afford to be interviewed and receive more offers and doesn't always have to compromise, but if you're only invited for an interview once every two weeks, you know you'll end up compromising."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on March 26, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

Tech crisis credit: Ussama Azam Unsplash
Tech crisis credit: Ussama Azam Unsplash
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