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Success Story - Melanie Steiner, Recruitment Coordinator, IDT Global / Hadas Shimoni

Melanie Steiner, 24, left South Africa and moved to Israel in January. Six months later she was already working at IDT in Jerusalem. With a great love for Israel, Melanie completed her bachelor's degree in organizational psychology in Cape Town, hoping to begin a new life in Israel and develop a career in the field of human resources. She found her job as a recruitment coordinator at IDT Global through the Jobnet site. Melanie, who speaks fluent Hebrew, told us about a company that is a real "ingathering of the exiles," serving its employees as a social greenhouse.

Melanie recalls:
I grew up as a Zionist in Johannesburg and always felt a powerful connection to Israel. In December 2006 I completed my degree in organizational psychology and wanted to set myself up in Israel. One month later I made aliyah, following in my sister's footsteps under the Masa (Journey) program, which allows Diaspora students to do an internship in their field of expertise, without a work permit or citizenship. In the middle of the internship I was doing at a strategic consulting company I started looking for a job.

How did you conduct your job search?
As a new immigrant without experience and a foreign degree I encountered many difficulties during the search. I started sending resumes out myself via the Internet, without help from placement companies. I came upon the Jobnet site through a recommendation from an organization that assists new immigrants. The search process on Jobnet was easy and in English, so that simply by clicking on the search engine I received a list of positions in the fields of human resources, administration, education and training.  

(From left to right:) Melanie Steiner and Michal Moav at IDT offices

How did you eventually arrive at IDT?
I received a number of offers for jobs teaching English, but I was determined to find work in personnel.
IDT got back to me after two days with a position as a recruitment coordinator, an offer that really appealed to me, but I couldn't start right away because I was still taking part in the Massa program and I didn't have a work permit. A few days later I received a permit and the recruitment coordinator immediately invited me to an open-house day, so that I'd have an opportunity to gain an impression of the company and to pass a computer applications test. Within a short period of time I went to two interviews, mostly in English, with the manager of the recruitment department and the coordinators supervisor, who were impressed by me and hired me even though I lacked experience.

As an inexperienced job candidate, how did you make such a good impression on the interviewers?
I really wanted to get the job, so in the interview I spoke with a lot of motivation and a spark in my eyes. I stressed jobs I'd held that were related to this kind of work, such as various administrative jobs I had while I was in college, courses and workshops on human resources and of course my internship. The department manager was impressed and hired me for the job.

Recruitment Manager Michal Moav on the company:
IDT Global is a subsidiary of the IDT Corporation, a communications giant and the fourth largest company of its kind in the US. Founded in 2002 and owned by an American Jew named Howard Jones, the company operates international phone centers and provides service to leading American and European companies, including McAfee and Netgear.
Company branches are located in Jerusalem, Be'er Sheva, Tel Aviv and another branch is soon to open in Tzfat. The company has over 800 employees who speak English and European languages such as French, German, Italian, Finnish, Danish and Dutch working at a variety of jobs in customer service, sales, technical support, etc. The company provides workers training to become acquainted with the products, challenging work and opportunities for promotion.

What was your integration like, both professionally and socially?
Melanie: I had three days of on-the-job training and very quickly took up the reins and took my place as a part of the staff. I work on a staff that is a real "ingathering of the exiles" in and of itself. There are five recruitment coordinators and a supervisor from various countries: the US, Russia, Canada, Germany and myself, from South Africa. The atmosphere is very pleasant and the place is calm and not stressful. You're always free to ask questions and there are opportunities for advancement and development. Over time I was given additional responsibilities, such as presenting the company to prospective employees on the open-house day.

What kind of company is IDT, in terms of the atmosphere and the people there?
IDT is a company that makes you feel like you're overseas. The employees are from a range of different countries and the main language spoken is English. The advantage at this company, particularly for new immigrants, is the opportunity to meet great people of the same background who have the same mother tongue and are going through the same aliyah difficulties. This softens the aliyah experience and real bonds are formed. The company, which is very fond of Israel, has a Zionist character, therefore it attributes importance to nurturing the new immigrants who work there by providing help with bureaucracy and an open door all the time. There are also a lot of employee benefits, such as Hebrew classes and a workout room with a personal trainer in the building.

Are you happy with the job?
For me it's a real boon that such a short time after making aliyah from South Africa I found a professional job in Israel, despite the language barrier, a new mentality to adjust to and a lack of experience. I learn something new here every day and acclimate to life in Israel in an extraordinary way through the company. I'm proud to be a part of a well-known company with a worldwide reputation.

Do you have any suggestions for jobseekers?
Although I focused on the Internet, I recommend using all search methods – through placement companies, newspapers and friends and family – and to flood the various companies with your resume. It's also important to consult with professionals before embarking on the search process, and to search the Internet for information on the field you want to enter in terms of job requirements, employment terms, etc.

Michal, on cooperation with Jobnet:
The Jobnet site serves as one of our main sources for employee recruitment. It provides us significant exposure among various segments of the population. Our interfaces with the site are very convenient. We have over ten positions we update on a daily basis. Whenever I make a request I get an immediate response from the site representatives and am very pleased with their service. The site is also user-friendly and convenient.

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For the Hebrew Article

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