Sunday, March 7, 2010

Outsourcing in Israel

Although traditionally U.S. companies chose to outsource their services to China or India, it’s now common for companies to also look for outsourcing solutions in Israel. It still may be cheaper to look to the Far East for outsourcing options; nevertheless Israel has become a more desirable place to outsource, mainly because it’s more culturally-inclined with the United States and the western world. And let’s not forget that outsourcing services are still much cheaper in Israel than in the U.S.

Native English speakers in Israel

Whether it comes as a surprise to the general public or not, there are a lot of educated Native English speakers in Israel. Every year more people are immigrating to Israel, mostly from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, but also from Australia, and South Africa. Even though, many new immigrants have trouble learning Hebrew, they still manage to find jobs in a mostly English-speaking environment because there’s a high demand for Native-English speakers to work in call centers or technical support centers for U.S. companies. Native English speakers are also needed for their English writing skills for outsourcing and for Israeli companies that want to be competitive in the global market.

One reason why companies may be wary of offshore outsourcing is the potential for language and communication barriers. Israel is the most-western affiliated country in the Middle East and in much of the Far East. English is the second language of Israel and children begin to study English in elementary school. In order to go to University, students have to know English to pass the Psychometric Entrance Exam, Israel’s version of the SAT. Israeli Children grow up with American music, movies, and TV shows. Each new generation knows more English than the last and with many children that have at least one or two Anglo-parents, it’s impossible to deny their association with Western culture.

Israel is not so different from America after all...

Putting their English skills aside, it’s the workforce that is most similar to the American workforce. Most Israelis work forty-plus hours a week, like Americans do. Israelis are at the forefront of the Hi-Tech world and much of the Research & Development teams for American companies are located in Israel. The top professions fall in Computer Science, IT, Web Development, QA, and Engineering. And the demand for people to work in Hi-Tech is only growing. As all business continues to rely on the use of computers and the Internet, it’s important to keep up with the competition. Whether U.S. firms choose to outsource in Israel because of their highly-skilled workers, their cultural similarities, or simply the lower costs, it really doesn’t matter. The fact is that Israel is the place to outsource for all of these reasons.

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