Ethan Biran is the CEO of Mynextworker

Israel’s high-tech crisis is changing the work chain - which industries are set to benefit?

“When workers are fired from high-tech jobs, they return to their jobs as lawyers, accountants, and economists,” writes Ethan Biran

Until a few months ago, the Israeli high-tech industry attracted workers from all over the economy. Instead of working as waiters, students filled programmers' jobs with salaries of tens of thousands of shekels a month. Hundreds of workers from various fields have converted. The transition itself was welcome for the development of the high-tech world and the economy in Israel. Still, it caused severe labor shortages in all other areas of the economy during a problematic period anyway.
The competition created by high-tech companies has not allowed the small companies to face them - both in the private and public sectors. To improve the conditions of their employees, the same companies increase the employees' wages and, as a result, are required to raise the price of the product they sell - and here, only one tier is dragged following the development of high-tech. Of course, we will not forget the economy around, food orders, renting apartments – high-tech pulled the whole market up and caused a rise in prices that hit the weaker sections at the end of the day.

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איטן בירן
איטן בירן
Ethan Biran is the CEO of Mynextworker
(Photo: Tamir Bergig)

Looking at the current situation in the economy, there is a shortage of workers for tens of thousands of jobs in various areas of the economy - in particular the areas of restaurants and sales. One of the interesting things happening in the shadow of the high-tech crisis, the huge layoffs, and inflation is that the demand for jobs in certain areas is rising significantly. Last week, we observed a 400% increase in job applications in waitresses in the Tel Aviv area and a general increase of 35% in job applications. The data also show a significant decrease of about 80% in the non-arrival of candidates for job interviews - one of the main problems small businesses have faced in recent years.
These surprising figures, which seem a bit puzzling in the light of the frightening headlines about the workers' crisis, are a direct result of the ongoing crisis in high-tech. When workers are fired from high-tech jobs, they return to their jobs as lawyers, accountants, and economists - the whole chain that has been pulled up thanks to the rise of high-tech’s rapidly declining deterioration. Employees are looking for stability and less adventure, so they return to what they were familiar with.
This situation gives some breathing space to the exhausted business owners who have been chasing employees unprecedentedly for the past two years. This brings up another point: there was a situation here that we had not seen before. Employees were given privileges, "controlled" employers, and bargained on all terms. This is another correction that came with the high-tech crisis: today, it is no longer precisely like that. People return to work; wage conditions return to reasonable and proper proportion.
I sometimes hear from friends who run businesses, even successful companies, that they work very hard, take risks, and at the end of the month, all this big business, built for years and demanding from its owners a huge sacrifice, hardly earns.
The state should strive to have as many independent business owners as possible, support them and not create more obstacles. Otherwise, it is unclear who will want to run a business - and these businesses are the catalysts for the country's economy. We are at a dramatic point: after an ongoing crisis and upheaval due to the coronavirus pandemic, just as business began to "breathe some air," another difficult period is coming for the economy. In the meantime, it seems that the only way to deal with the situation is for employees to take a step back from the inflated wage demand and frequent job changes and understand that stability is needed. It will also help them to be able to earn more and develop themselves to the maximum.
Although the high-tech crisis has caused many to lose their jobs, it has already seen an increase in the employment rate. The percentage of unemployed in the country has dropped to 3%, and jobs left behind due to rising high-tech, including those in the areas of restaurants and sales, are filling up surprisingly fast and perhaps even putting things back to their natural place.

Ethan Biran is the CEO of Mynextworker, an online platform that helps small businesses attract the right applicants and make better hires.