Mashabey Enosh, established in 1981, are widely recognized as the first search firm in Israel operating in the retained Executive Search market. They are a highly respected firm and are considered by many as leading the way in Executive Search in Israel. Ruty Livnat has kindly agreed to share his views on the mid-year outlook, and the Executive Search Market in Israel.

BlueSteps: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions about the Israeli search market.  I’m interested to know what your outlook for the region and especially the Israeli market is now we’ve reached mid-year. But, first of all, can you share with us a bit about your Search Firm, the work you do there, and any key areas your firm specializes in?

Ruty Livnat: Mashabey Enosh is the only Israel-based company to focus exclusively on assignments for senior executive personnel - CEOs, VPs, VC Partners and Board Directors. Our clients range across all industries, from large companies to medium-sized businesses, VCs and private equity firms, family-owned companies, nonprofit organizations and entrepreneurial start-ups. We serve domestic corporations and organizations, as well as overseas clients with business interests in Israel.

BlueSteps: As mentioned, now that we are at mid-year, how would you describe your outlook for Israel for the rest of 2012?

Ruty Livnat: We have not experienced a change in the market since the beginning of 2012. We are aware that the market is fragile this year, but our business has been fairly stable compared to previous years. Therefore, we don't foresee changes in our workflow in the near future.

BlueSteps: What are the current trends you are witnessing in executive search in Israel at the moment? Science and Technology are both strong industries in Israel. What other sectors are experiencing strong activity in Israel?

Ruty Livnat: At the moment, we are still witnessing that the Technology industry remains strong and dominant. Other sectors which we have lately experienced an increase in their activity include the various Manufacturer industries.  In our opinion, this indicates that this business segment is gradually adapting to the Retained Executive Search approach. 

BlueSteps: What would you say is of greatest concern for senior-level executives working in Israel today? Do you think that work-life balance as a bigger challenge compared to other regions? For instance do you think that executives working in Israel have longer working hours than other regions?

Ruty Livnat: It seems that the biggest concern today for senior-level executives is the global financial situation. On average, we haven't noticed that the work-life-balance has become a bigger issue for Israeli senior-executive managers. Overall, we do feel that senior-level executives in Israel are working longer hours than their colleagues in other regions, but that doesn't seem to be a main area of concern for them.

BlueSteps: What are some key changes within Israel in the past five years regarding executive recruiting?

Ruty Livnat: A main change we have noticed in the past five years is that the Israeli market is learning to embrace the Retained Executive Search approach and its advantages. In addition, we have witnessed more cooperation between Israeli recruiting agencies with some of the international networks (not necessarily AESC members).

We are aware of the growing usage of online networks for recruiting purposes (targeting especially junior and mid-level managers). There is a growing popularity of "LinkedIn" and other social online networks, as well as Start-Ups aimed towards recruiting solutions. 

BlueSteps: Of the executive searches that you are seeing, how would you describe the ratio of those executives ending up on short lists or being placed who are native to Israel versus expatriates—local talent verses searching outside the region?

Ruty Livnat: Mashabey Enosh conducts searches solely for Israeli candidates.  

BlueSteps: Of senior-level executives working in Israel today, how would you describe them? Are they male, female, older, younger, local or expats, and what changes, if any, are you seeing in terms of these demographics?

Ruty Livnat: Senior-level executives in Israel today are varied in their characteristics and in general, we haven't seen much of a change in demographics. Similar to previous years, the prevailing gender among senior-level executives is male and the age range of the senior-level executives is quite wide, though it seems that these days the age factor plays less of a role.

BlueSteps: What can executives today do to increase their visibility and get noticed by executive recruiters? Broadly speaking, if someone who is not currently working in Israel seeks opportunities in Israel, what do they need to know and what skills should they bring to the table to be considered for executive positions in Israel?

Ruty Livnat: For executives seeking opportunities in Israel it is strongly recommended to be familiar with the Israeli market, its culture and the specific business attributes. It seems that in Israel there is a big emphasis on networking so this would be considered as an advantage for executives in the selection process.

Interview conducted by Helen Langley from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).
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