There are a lot of startups coming out of Israel. The problem is that there aren’t a lot of bodies to fill the empty tech spaces. Israel has a shortage of qualified candidates to fill tech jobs, and this is a big problem for tech companies within Israel’s quickly growing center: Tel Aviv.
The Labor Issue
In some parts of the world, tech labor isn’t hard to find. Cities like Boston are teeming with newly graduated tech minds that are eager to stay in the city and work with a growing startup. But a city like Tel Aviv does not have the same talent pool. It’s not that the talent doesn’t exist within the city, but Tel Aviv doesn’t draw new talent for political reasons, and it doesn’t retain talent due to the draw of the West.
Companies that need tech employees within Tel Aviv are having a hard time drawing talent. The talent that does exist in Tel Aviv is highly sought after. Engineers and those with computer skills are particularly required in the area, which means that anyone seeking a job with the right qualifications can have his pick of the best (and highest paying) gigs.
Bringing In Talent
The other issue that companies in Tel Aviv face (well, startups, that is) is bringing in foreign workers. There might be workers in Russia or other areas that could fill major tech gaps, but it’s not easy to get the right visas to bring those workers into the region. This hiccup tends to mean a large number of tech companies that have sprung up in the area simply cannot keep those companies running.
Some major companies like Apple have recognized the technology pool within Tel Aviv, and those companies are offering the limited talent in the area some hard to resist packages. For startups looking for a few good employees, it’s hard to compete with massive North American companies that have both the money and the incentives.
Additionally, North American companies with the right amount of cash and know-how are snapping up startups in Israel as fast as they can grow. If the startup proves to be lucrative, it’s not long before companies with dollars purchase those startups - great for founders but not so great for the tech scene in Israel that was once growing but is now coming to a slow halt.
An Influx of Foreigners
Israel is starting to open up its gates to foreign talent. Currently, thousands of immigrants arrive in the country from other parts of the globe - mostly from Russia. Even though there are waves of immigrants coming into the country, it’s not enough to fill all of the tech gaps.
There are still a lot of companies and startups in Tel Aviv and throughout Israel that require some much needed technology talent - and not enough (never enough, it seems) talent to fill those gaps. Israel is set to allow more foreign visas in the coming year, but some wonder if the startup scene that once flourished in Tel Aviv will be able to wait that long.