LEAP ahead with English

An English-based employment agency is helping the jobless find employment across Israel.

orly rosenfeld 298 (photo credit: Courtesy)
orly rosenfeld 298
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Hanna Lebetkin, 40, from the UK, has been in Israel for 10 years and held down a series of administrative positions in the hi-tech field. She left her last job by mutual agreement but four months later, she found herself still unemployed. When she encountered LEAP (Linking English and Professionalism), an employment agency specializing in English speakers, it was a matter of days until she found herself in a new position. "I went to the interview with Orly [Rosenfeld], the head of the agency. I felt that she really wanted to help, and she made me feel very secure, very confident that I would find a job. The next day she had already sent my resume to a company that called me within an hour of receiving it. I went to an interview with them that same day, they conducted two interviews on the spot, gave me a test and hired me," says Lebetkin, whose new job is in the field of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics ("much more interesting") and also close to home. "It could have been just coincidence and luck, but I would certainly recommend LEAP," says Lebetkin. Ariel Avitan, 28, was born in Israel, but his family moved to the US when he was seven and then to Australia when he was 10. When he returned to Israel at the age of 11, he spoke "not a word of Hebrew." He went on to learn his native language and serve in the IDF, after which he gained a BA in computer science from Ben Gurion University of the Negev. "I was project manager for a company that dealt in hi-tech weapons and I wanted to go back to real hi-tech," says Avitan. "I sent my CV all over the place in search of a job. Two weeks later I got a phone call from Orly's secretary at LEAP, who said they had received my CV (I have no idea how), and told me about their business of finding jobs for English speakers. "I found LEAP to be very professional, and when I met Orly I interviewed her in a sense, because I had never heard of the concept of an employment agency that specialized in English in the way they do." Less than a week after his interview with LEAP, Avitan was offered a job at Cyota as a product analyst. That was three months ago and he says he is "very happy." "I think Orly has a lot of connections, a lot of networking, she is seems to have an 'in' with companies and they listen to her when she has a client to offer them. This is very important today, with so many people in the job market," says Avitan. Lebetkin and Avitan are just two of the over 1,200 who have come through the doors of LEAP since its inception a year and a half ago. Although Orly Rosenfeld and her staff of LEAP have not found jobs for all of their clients, she says she remembers them all and has placed many of them. LEAP defines itself as a recruitment agency for English speakers, specializing in marketing, sales, business development, administration and customer service, Marcom, technical writing and copywriting, primarily with international hi-tech companies in which the job has interface with companies abroad. LEAP's candidate base is not limited to native speakers, but their English has to be of a very high level. Everyone is interviewed in person in English. "Businesses already know that everyone I send them are people I have met and that I stress quality over quantity. Companies are bombarded with resumes. I explain to people why they should pick the candidates I send them," says Rosenfeld. She relates the story of a candidate who came to her asking for a job in administration, yet Rosenfeld saw by the candidate's resume that she had a lot of experience in writing. When Rosenfeld asked her why she was not following this path, the answer was that she had been told that her skills were not relevant. "I need a job and am willing to put writing aside," said the candidate. "Since then we have placed her twice for writing positions with great companies," says Rosenfeld. Another success story is someone that LEAP placed in Tel Aviv as a team leader for sales, and after six months she moved to the north of the country where LEAP was able to find her another job in the same field. The secret of her success, says Rosenfeld, is that her candidates are "really great people." "Sometimes I interview someone and I know that they are right for a certain company, and that is the only company I refer them to. "Unfortunately we don't have jobs for every single person," says Rosenfeld. "I wish we did. Sometimes placing someone is not instant but it is a process. It could be that the jobs I have on hand are not senior enough for a particular individual, so we have to wait until the right job comes in I feel bad for them, I really care about it," she says. "There are still so many people out there. That's the sad part." LEAP cooperates with Nefesh be Nefesh and is constantly in touch with oleh organizations. Rosenfeld and her team have built up a reputation as an employment agency that sends quality people on relevant interviews. "I don't just forward a bunch of resumes. I do the work for the candidates, finding out about shifts and salaries, as much information as possible about the position. Different places have different recruiting methods. Companies trust us and they know that if we send candidates, they are worth meeting," she says. Rosenfeld is an Israeli who grew up in America. She has a Masters in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations from the University of Hertfordhsire, UK a BA in Behavioural Sciences focusing on Human Resource Management, from The College of Management, Tel Aviv and 10 years experience in Human Resources and training in the hi-tech Industry. "As an employee, working with many international companies, I came to realize the significance of qualified English speaking personnel, and their role in the success of these companies. I identified a need in the market. With so many professional English speakers out there, it was clear to me that here was an advantage that shouldn't and couldn't be overlooked," says Rosenfeld. Therefore she decided to found LEAP. "Work takes up such a large part of your life, it is important to feel satisfied at the job you do. For me, finding a candidate their next job is the most rewarding job in the world. I truly have a passion for what I do," she says. Orly offers some resume writing tips for the Israeli job market: There is a difference between an Israeli and an American resume, she says. Israeli HR managers have to be able to look at your resume and get an idea right away. They are not impressed with terminology. Orly offers some resume writing tips for the Israeli job market:
  • Resumes should be concise and clear.
  • A resume should preferably be one page long.
  • At the start, specify your contact information.
  • You may include a short career objective.
  • Always start from today and work backwards: Relevant professional experience Education Army service (if any)
  • Too much detail about each position is unnecessary.
  • If previous employers are not well-known companies, a brief description should be included.
  • No need to repeat all your responsibilities, duties and tasks.
  • Don't worry about a gap of a few months.
  • Proof-read your resume at least twice before sending it LEAP is holding its first annual Hanukka party at 9 p.m. on December 27 at Balluci dance bar, Hamered 25, Tel Aviv. There is a token entrance fee of NIS 20, and all LEAP's clients, past, present and possibly future, and their friends are welcome. Please RSVP to (03) 611 4530. Also check out LEAP's website on www.leap-now.com