Why Hiring Palestinians

They are good, committed, hard workers, their English is good. they can come to my office anytime I like with no overseas travelling cost and no entertainment cost. They start the week with me, on Sunday. The turnover rate is lower than elsewhere, they have a sense of responsibility to the code they write for me.

This is the typical answer I get when I ask people in Israel why they choose to work with Palestinians. Cisco is doing it for 10 years now, they started with a team in Israel who needed augmentation and it spread to engineering groups in the US and India. Mellanox are doing it for about 9 years already, Nuvoton 13 years or more, Microsoft almost 10 years, Nokia, Western Digital, Cadence, startups like Cloudify, Earlisense and others started working with Palestinians in the past few years. All of those companies are not only highly technological with very reputed development capabilities they also have experience working in other outsourcing places, places that can supply 100 times more people than the Palestinians (e.g., India), yet they bother and choose to work also with Palestinians, so does this teach us anything? 

Well, it does. There are places where the turnover rate is high, this is very expensive, it cost training time, it cost ramp up time.  Other places are reputed for individual developers who open a kind of an Italian strike when they want to raise their compensation for example, they won’t tell you a thing, it takes weeks to realise what the problem is and then to resolve it, it cost a lot of money. Some complains about the English, either unsatisfactory level or hard to understand accent. The Palestinian do not suffer from any of the above. You can find extraordinary Palestinian developers “I would replace half of my staff with this Palestinian Developer” told me once a colleague in Cisco, pointing at a Palestinian woman developer. “I wish my board would let me work with Palestinians, I had enough headache with my Eastern European team” told me a friend, VP R&D in a late stage startup.

“We built a team from scratch, it took us years to teach them the technology and nurse them closely, now, they accept new members to the team and bring them to speed in a record time, there is no chance I will give up this Palestinian team, the investment was worthwhile”  said a CEO of another company who needs a very sophisticated technology.

Those who take the leap of faith and work with Palestinians enjoy the benefits of this emerging outsourcing place.

Company that dares

Congratulations to Eyal Waldman and Mellanox  for an amazing Exit announced yesterday

Of Eyal’s many achievements I want to discuss one today: 

Eyal made Mellanox the biggest outsourcer in Israel to a Palestinian company. Mellanox started outsourcing to Asal Technologies in 2010 and today they hire over than 100 people in the West Bank and Gaza. 

It is not obvious, not only they were one of the pioneers (follow Cisco and very few others) but Eyal made sure that this outsourcing is published and highly visible (e.g., Israel’s Mellanox Technologies hires Gazan programmers). This is of an enormous importance because it brings the subject to the awareness of the public.

The long term relationship brings additional values beyond the obvious economic benefit to both parties:

  • Recognition and Validation for the Palestinian High Tech.
  • More jobs (The High Tech Jobs Multiplier: on every engineer in the High Tech there are at least 2-3 new jobs in the surrounding circles (see the Business Insider or the Bay Area Council Tech Report: cleaning, lawyers, food, transportation, teachers etc.) ) so it improves the general economic situation.
  • It provides fresh graduates with an opportunity to experience working for an international company, with international standards and High Tech culture, it makes the sector more and more cosmopolitan with up to date practices.

Those additional values that Mellanox and other pioneering companies bring have an enormous effect on the entire Palestinian economy,  and with that it increases the stability in the region and brings hope.

New jobs in an international High Tech company has a Snowball Effect, the engineers that experience working in international companies effect the younger generation, the education system, it influences the working culture to become more global. It has a ripple effect and arm the entire sector with better opportunities to compete in the global market.

Great Job Eyal !