Tech company Appsflyer.

Which tech companies are recruiting amid massive layoffs and how to land a lucrative opening

Amid the economic crisis and waves of layoffs, some high-tech companies are still hiring. But what does it take to secure a job when there are more candidates for every opening?

The past year has been particularly challenging for the Israeli high-tech sector. The economic crisis, political turmoil, and war have led to a decline in funding and mass layoffs, so that the size of the labor force shrank to 2022 levels. In January, the situation worsened with a wave of global layoffs including in Israel, with thousands of Israeli employees being sacked. It is, therefore, unsurprising that tech recruiters say that there has been a significant increase in the number of applications they’ve received in recent months.
Despite the ongoing war, political crisis, and economic uncertainty, some companies are still hiring, albeit not at the pace seen in previous years. Competition for every open position in the industry remains tough, with more candidates competing for fewer jobs.
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עובדי חברת אפספלייר AppsFlyer
עובדי חברת אפספלייר AppsFlyer
Tech company Appsflyer.
(Credit: Netanel Tobias)
"No doubt, in recent months, we have received many more resumes," says Roni Pollack, from the Talent Acquisition team at fintech company Remitly, which is hiring for 20 tech roles. "We work with companies that have had to make cuts and assist them in integrating employees who are leaving, of course, considering their suitability for the various roles we are hiring for and the organization. In addition, we have candidates in IDF reserves, so we take into account that the processes will take longer."
Calcalist spoke with large high-tech companies currently hiring to see what kind of candidates they are looking for and what can increase the chance of being accepted, especially in the current situation.
Resilience and flexibility required
Since the outbreak of war, many high-tech companies have been focused on the importance of business continuity, which has become critical and particularly challenging for early-stage companies. "This year, we are focusing on searching for qualities and skills that indicate resilience, since the basic infrastructure and initial teams will impact business continuity and maximize a companies chances of success," says Roy Heldshtein, Managing Partner, CFO & COO at Team8, which establishes and invests in cybersecurity, data, fintech, and digital health companies. "This is based on the experience we gained this year by observing the success of our portfolio companies who maintained business continuity since the outbreak of the war." The group has set a goal of hiring 350 employees as part of the expansion of its early and growth stage startups.
As the market is flooded with candidates, requirements are high, and employers can afford to be more selective. "Basic skills are becoming less important, and, in contrast, unique skills and knowledge are a significant advantage. In such a market, the key, in my opinion, is personal resilience, networking, and the ability to learn and think flexibly, helping to stand out with a toolbox of skills and abilities that match the changing requirements," says Revital Elad, Director of Global Talent Acquisition at AppsFlyer, which is currently hiring for 40 roles in Israel in software development, DevOps, marketing, data, customer management, and more.
Professional knowledge and experience are not enough in a competitive market simply because there are many candidates with a similar level of knowledge and experience. To get accepted, one needs to stand out, and often what helps candidates stand out are personality traits rather than skills. "Beyond the technical skills and professional knowledge, we are looking for candidates who are ambitious, who have a spark, and curiosity, those who explore and develop their knowledge, set ambitious goals for themselves, and achieve them," says Dganit Feller, Director of Talent Acquisition at cybersecurity company Pentera, which is hiring for 20 positions in Israel. Additionally, the war has raised the importance of teamwork and collaboration. "At Pentera, more than 10% of employees are in reserves, with colleagues and teammates supporting their work. The people we are looking for don't just need to be technological but, first and foremost, people who work well within the team environment," she says.
During the war, the need for flexibility and dynamism on the part of the employees intensified. They were forced to cover for conscripted colleagues, perform tasks outside their defined roles, and essentially do everything to achieve results. For tech unicorn Island, which has raised $100 million in Series C and is hiring for 30 roles in R&D, product design, and devops, the challenge is to find developers with a broad, systemic, and multi-disciplinary vision, explains Adi Reis, the company's Director of Human Resources. "We are looking for developers who can be dynamic, want to grow and learn while working, and can move between teams and projects."
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חברת נובה עובדים ב הייטק משרדי חברת נובה
חברת נובה עובדים ב הייטק משרדי חברת נובה
Nova offices.
(Photo: Benny Gam Zu Letova)
"The wartime situation presents a significant challenge for us recruiters. On the one hand, the pursuit of talent is relentless, and the competition in the market remains fierce. On the other hand, many employees are still in reserves, which requires understanding and patience because the recruitment process is significantly longer. Most candidates come to us through employee referrals (internal recommendations from company employees for potential candidates) which is very important and naturally increases their chances," she says.
Another element that gives candidates an advantage in today's market is the ability to connect with the company's values. "We are looking for curious employees with a drive to learn and grow. Additionally, it is important for us to hire employees who see the importance of contributing to the community and engaging in social activities," says Sageet Tidhar-Akerman, Microsoft's Israel Talent Acquisition Manager who is recruiting for dozens of roles across the company's 30 R&D teams in software development, product management, security research, and more.
In addition to current in-demand skills such as resilience, flexibility, and teamwork, there are skills and values that are always required in the job market and will help candidates stand out even today. "In the talent acquisition process, we have developed guiding principles that focus on the candidates' technical abilities but also on their personal qualities. We aim to identify candidates with whom it will be pleasant to work both professionally and personally. The candidate's experience is not the only focus; values such as excellence, interpersonal skills, and teamwork are equally important. We’re looking for people who see the big picture and fit into the flat underlying structure where each engineer has significant autonomy and own tasks end-to-end from planning to production," says Yaniv Oliver, Senior Software Engineer and Head of recruitment at cyber company Wiz, which plans to hire 150 employees in Israel this year.
Similarly,, which is hiring for more than 400 roles in R&D, product management, design, sales, marketing, and more, says, "We are looking for people who come to win with a strong 'can-do' approach and a passion for what they do. People who know how to collaborate, understand the strength of working as a team, and enjoy being connected to the broader picture of the company's activities," says Shiran Nawi, Chief People and Legal Officer at monday.
Job seekers looking for stability, financial strength
On the part of job seekers, in a reality defined by uncertainty, many are seeking stability and are less interested in relocation and changes. The uncertainty causes passive candidates, meaning those who do not actively submit resumes but are approached by companies, to be less cooperative. "It is clear that the national mood and general sense of uncertainty is affecting the willingness of candidates to cooperate with proactive inquiries. There is a noticeable decrease in motivation for candidates or employees to change workplaces in the current period. Therefore, the supply of candidates does not necessarily increase," says Liat Nachmani, Chief People Officer at HoneyBook, a company that develops technology for financial and business management for freelancers and small businesses. According to her, the tech and product management roles are needed in the market and talent will always be in demand, even in challenging times. The company plans to hire dozens of employees in 2024 mainly for product development and management positions.
Indeed, the demand for talent still exists, even in days when the competition is tough. What has changed are expectations or demands from the workplace. "It is very evident that employees looking for work focus on companies that show financial strength, and this has become one of the main values for tech employees. Employees are looking to work in a place with business and financial strength and growth," says Adi Fine, Chief Human Resources Officer at Elementor, which develops an open source website building platform and is hiring for 15 roles in R&D, data, marketing and product.
"The market has matured and today's employees are not impressed by perks but are intelligent enough to look at the 'holy trinity' - people, technology, financial resilience. While in the past, candidates mainly inquired about conditions and values, today they are also interested in the company's performance and how reliant they are on investors, or if the company has a well-established, growing, and profitable product already on the market. Candidates delve deeply into the financial situation of companies and show increasing interest in business areas that previously seemed less important," she says.
However, in the current reality, job seekers also need to demonstrate flexibility. "The emphasis for employees in choosing work these days is on stability, business foresight, and the organization's resilience," says Merav Levin-Gadot, VP Human Resources at Novidea, which is hiring dozens of employees in Netanya in R&D, customer management, product, and more. Since we are in an unusual period, she advises candidates to identify three essential priorities for their next workplace and not compromise on them, but to otherwise be flexible. "The benefit is twofold, for both the job seeker who may find a precise fit for them and for the interviewer who will be greatly impressed by such qualities," she says.
Other companies currently recruiting in Israel include Ness, Nayax, Applied Materials, Travelier, Nova, Optimove, Next Insurance, and Akamai.