Global Sourcing Tips And How To Find The Best Software Engineers in Israel

I LOVE global sourcing. I think it’s fascinating. My work at Nisha Global sends me off to do research and locate the best passive candidates all over the world. I meet new people, sourcers, recruiters and candidates. I love what I do.

The challenges in global sourcing are many. Sourcing methods that work in one country, are not as practical for another. In Germany, the candidates prefer to be approached via Xing, less via LinkedIn and even then, they play “hard to get”… in New York you have everyone’s private emails plastered on their social networks and LinkedIn profile (along with “booby traps” that will show that you bothered to read their full profile before approaching them..), UK and Thai candidates were quite friendly and cooperative and the list goes on and on. Furthermore, different accents become a challenge on long distance interviews.

A few months ago, I attended the European RIDE conference in Zurich (organized by Wolfgang Brickwedde) where the topic was – “One Continent – One Recruiting?” and, of course the reply was – HELL,NO! Indeed, the same sourcing methods (Boolean, Linkedin. etc) can be applied when sourcing globally, but in addition, one needs to know what the local relevant sources are, or as Nisha Global’s CEO, Giora Gil-Ad, likes to say “think global, act local”!

Sourcing in English in foreign countries can be less beneficial than sourcing in the local language. How can you source in a language that you do not know? There are quite a few tricks we use at Nisha Global, I am happy to share a few with you:

  1. Contact a local sourcer and ask him/her to help you translate your keywords and ask for the local resume sources.
  2. Use Google translate (doesn’t always work well).
  3. Use Wikipedia – find an article in English about the topic you are sourcing for and look for its correlating article in Wikipedia’s foreign language sites.
  4. Have your outreach emails translated to the local language, by a professional. We did this when we sourced in China and Japan. Although we sourced for English speakers, this first attempt to catch their attention and make a good impression worked very well.

Knowing the methods of sourcing in a particular country is a must when sourcing in a foreign country. I am happy to share my knowledge about sourcing for engineers in Israel. Before working on global assignments I sourced, mostly, for software engineers in Israel.

Israel is THE Startup-Nation. The start-up and high tech industries are second only to the Silicon Valley. Israeli software engineers are among the best in the world. Many of them served in elite computer units in the Israeli army (look for the keywords “IDF” OR “8200 Unit” OR “Talpiot” OR “Mamram” among others) and considered the smartest and more able engineers out there. They are excellent out-of-the-box thinkers, very knowledgeable in a wide range of new technologies and they perform wonderfully in fast paced, non-defined working environments. All that and more make them very attractive to foreign recruiters, for relocation roles.

One thing you should know up front – they are tired of sourcers and recruiters approaching them via LinkedIn. Much to my regret, the level of the outreach mails sent by Israeli recruiters in the past few years was not so great, mails were not personalized, no real understanding of what the passive candidate’s next step may be.

To better understand how to approach Israeli software engineers, my friend, HR extraordinaire Mrs. Rotem Kazir and I sent out a survey to software engineers. I think we were surprised by the level of annoyance they exhibited…
Some of the conclusions from this survey are:
1.        A considerable amount of Israeli software engineers receive between 5 to over 15 outreach mails a month! If you want to draw their attention – have a catchy opening line, be short, concise and understand their experience well before you pitch the deal, don’t just look for buzz words on their profile.

2.  It’s best to approach them via their personal mails and LinkedIn, not via their work email or cold calls (especially to work). A cold call is not highly appreciated here, unless you know it’s a sure thing, one that you almost KNOW will not be turned down (Israelis are suspicious… Every call can be regarded as BI work. Be sure to establish immediate credibility).

3.  Israeli software engineers prefer to be approached by the professional hiring managers themselves. Less by external recruiters and more by in-house recruiters. As such, and to improve my response rates, there were times I used the professional hiring manager’s Linkedin account to send the outreach mails. This needs some maneuvering though… and not all managers like to give out their logins…. But it does work quite well.

Another idea I can share is that if you are willing to recruit part time engineers and you are looking for the highly creative ones, go to the many “startup hubs” and “co-working spaces” around the country (mainly in the central area of Israel – Tel Aviv and its vicinity). Many are working on their own startups, living off their savingsquite a few would appreciate a part-time job.

Boolean searching in Google, in Hebrew, will not yield good results. If you are looking for great engineers, besides Linkedin, do search, StackOverFlow and Github – you will find many of them there, but be well advised, they don’t appreciate being approached there, use it as leads to approach them via Linkedin or private emails.

Twitter and Google Plus are not big in Israel, I wouldn’t spend my energy there.

In short, recruiting globally is an art form and requires good research and sourcing skills, as well as an open mind to different cultures and different approaches to reach your goals,  which is recruiting the best candidates, wherever they may be.


Sourcers – smart nerds OR sexy seducers?

With over 2 billion profiles on the web there’s a whole world to explore when it comes to sourcing. Using Linkedin filters is just one little part of the deal. And let’s be honest; not the most effective way to source top-talent in certain niches, because the high-profile professionals are leaving Linkedin as fast as new recruiters join the platform.

Last year at #SOSUMED I met some brilliant minds who shared their hacks to get more data and find the perfect candidates with -but mostly without- Linkedin. I learned how to build some kind of a Boolean Christmas tree. Became a huge fan of visual sourcing to find our new employees. Now I know how to hack Facebook Graph Search.

I’m sorry, hacks? Boolean Christmas trees?  You now may think this sourcing ROI is designed for a true hunter of digital information –a kind of person who never sees any daylight-  who only search the web and who produce long lists of candidate data.


..With over 2 billion profiles on the web and the growth of people aggregators sourcing never has been so easy for all smart recruiters among us. However, most important in my opinion, excuse me, beyond important, is how to contact your potential candidate.  Sure, you can send mass mails to all profiles with certain keywords in their profile and keep your fingers (and toes) crossed, but….

That’s especially a great idea if you like to end up on lists like this:  For the non-Dutch reader: “He (and here’s some embarrassing naming & shaming) keeps on calling me though I just started my new job and I told him to quit his phone calls. But this guy keeps on stalking me. Really annoying and not professional”

Besides these kind of lists, spamming your audience and crossing privacy lines, is the fastest way to ruin your carefully build employer brand. And, let’s face it: if you’re looking to contact a certain candidate because they meet your criteria, chances are, other recruiters are doing so too for the very same reasons. The only way you can ensure a response to your message and not theirs, is to stand out for all the right reasons.  And the only one who is capable of doing so is again the sourcer. Because during search, you already get to “know” your candidate, get to understand his or her needs and therefore can add value in your message.

So I believe a true sourcer is a smart nerd AND a sexy seducer, who’s working closely together with the (corporate) recruiter. And if you like to see some more evidence about this idea, you definitely should meet Irina Shamaeva, Balazs Paroczay, Jonathan Campell, Oscar Mager, Jan Bernhart and many others to convince you on this statement and learn from them how to source  right.  And yes, it’s your chance to be at  See you at #SOSUMED!

Britt van Capelleveen was a speaker at #SOSUMED 2013. 



Get to know #SOSUMED Speaker Kevin Blair

One of the highlights of Sourcing Summit Europe 2014 promises to be the session by Kevin Blair of Cisco.

Kevin will share how CISCO harness data to generate market intelligence which in turn is used to source and make intelligent hiring decisions. Check details of the talk here.

For those who don’t know Kevin, here’s his brief bio:

Kevin has spent his entire career in Recruitment & Talent Acquisition, with a focus on the Technology sector. He has extensive pan-EMEA experience, building and re-building teams and processes to drive effective delivery across the entire region. In addition to his EMEA work Kevin has lead delivery teams in both the North American and Asia Pacific/Japan regions.

Kevin recently joined Cisco Systems where he heads Talent Acquisition in EMEA-R, he presides over several thousand hires per annum across 85 countries whilst leading a team of recruiters and talent acquisition specialists in multiple geographies.

Prior to joining Cisco, Kevin lead recruiting for EMEA and Sales Engineering Globally for His prior experience Kevin spent over 5 years with Oracle leading the hiring of revenue generation profiles throughout EMEA during a time of both aggressive growth and acquisition. He previously held several Senior European / EMEA roles within Technology companies and Search/Consultancy firms.

Follow Kevin on twitter