Google Wins Top Spot as Israel’s Best Employer

Tech giant displaces long-time leader Israel Electric Corp., annual survey by TheMarker finds

FILE PHOTO: Google Israel offices in Tel Aviv
Moti Milrod

With Israel’s unemployment rate a mere 4.2% — its lowest in decades — it may come as no surprise that Israel Electric Corporation was knocked off its perch as the country’s best employer in 2017 by the technology giant Google, TheMarker’s annual survey of Israel’s best employers found.

With its politically powerful union and near monopoly on power generation, state-owned IEC offers its 13,000 employees the kind of job security others can only dream up as well as salaries nearly three times the national average.

But Google Israel, which joined TheMarker’s rankings only in 2012 and was No. 2 in each of the two previous years, offers generous pay and benefits as well as a more challenging work environment. And Google was not alone; high-tech companies held four of the top 10 places in TheMarker’s 13th annual survey.

Israel's 20 best employers, 2017

The rest of the top 10 was rounded out by two defense companies (Israel Aerospace Industries and Elbit Systems), a bank (Leumi), a drug maker (Teva Pharmaceuticals) and a food company (Strauss Group).

Some of the findings in TheMarker survey are to be upended soon. The survey, which was conducted with the business-intelligence firm BDI, included tens of thousands of people, including employees at 70 companies, college students and human resources executives.

The results were submitted by the end of last year. But since then IAI has been ensnared in an embarrassing police probe into corruption and Teva saw its CEO, Erez Vigodman, step down in the face of harsh criticism of his management of Israel’s flagship company.

Bank Hapoalim may have fallen three places in TheMarker’s survey to No. 11 after a report that the bank had paid a female employee not to publicize charges of sexual harassment she had made against former CEO Zion Kenan.

One indication of how confident Israelis are in their jobs and their careers comes in a parallel survey BDI did for TheMarker. It found that more than a third of people surveyed had asked for a raise in the past year, up two percentage points from the year before.

Among all employees surveyed, just 13.3% thought they had reached their maximum earnings potential at work. Not surprisingly, only 8.7% of respondents under age 35 thought they had topped out, but even among people age 46 and over only 17% thought they had reached their pay potential. Women were less likely to believe they had maxed out (11%) than men (15%).

Some 92% of Israelis said they were proud to be working for their employers, a drop from 97% the year before. But 34% said they were looking around for another job outside the place they worked, up from 27.5%, the survey found.

Wix, which provides online tools to build webpages, enjoyed the biggest rise in the employer rankings for 2017 – a giant 21-place leap to No. 38. Unilever Israel suffered the biggest fall – 17 places to 55 – which was probably due to its failure to properly deal with products infested with salmonella. No one became ill as a result of the oversights, but the company’s reputation was harmed.

Government ministries were rated the 16th best place to work in TheMarker’s survey, putting them ahead of most banks, Bezeq and tech companies like SAP. Although base pay is relatively low, civil servants enjoy generous benefits.