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One1 – Helping the Employee to Help Himself / By Hila Yaakobi

One1 is among Israel's largest IT companies and a leader in its field.
One1 provides its customers end-to-end solutions and a broad range of services, from hardware and CRM and ERP software solutions to databases, infrastructures, integration services and developing unique products based on the customer's needs.
One1 is a public corporation founded 35 years ago and today has 1,300 employees.
We spoke with Yoav Baruch, deputy director of the company's Consultants and Training Division, about the change that has taken place in human resources in recent years, trends in high-tech recruitment, the challenge of retaining employees, the advantages One1 has to offer as one of the leading companies in its field and how these advantages are translated into benefits for the company's employees.

What is the organizational structure of One1 and what are the company's areas of operations?

The company specializes in a number of areas:
One1 ERP specializes in local ERP systems that One1 developed. The ERP activity includes all ERP computer professions – instructors, testers, implementers and projects.
One1up is in charge of leading Oracle Applications in Israel and internationally, and heads information security and organizational survival projects.
One1 Systems specializes in providing hardware solutions and support and is in charge of business computing infrastructure projects.
The Software Division presents and markets a range of products by the largest companies in the market and provides CRM, BI and DWH solutions.
Entropy specializes in risk management.
The Consultants and Training Division provides a range of services in the fields of IT infrastructures and software, and is in charge of Offshore activity. The division provides quality manpower for a range of environments, such as C++, .Net, MF, Cobol, Java, Oracle, etc.

What is the company's client market?
The company has over 1,000 customers from various fields and sectors, including financial institutions like banks and insurance companies, high-tech and communications companies, startups and government/public organizations, e.g. the Defense Ministry, the Electrical Corporation, military organizations, etc.



Yoav Baruch, deputy director of the company's Consultants and Training Division

How does this wide range of activities come across in recruitment?
We recruit for a broad spectrum of high-tech posts such as software testers, software engineers, programmers working with a broad range of technologies, implementers, training, support and assimilation personnel, systems analysts, project managers, communications people, system and information security. In other words we provide a solution for every profile found in the market. Our staff of employees covers nearly all activities in the world of information systems, which includes a working knowledge of every technological platform and every work environment. This is a very significant advantage that is a direct result of One1's size and translates into an advantage for company employees.

What is the organizational structure of the Consultants and Training Department?
The Consultants Division is made up of 400 professionals providing customers a range of value-added IT and software services. The internal structure in the area of consultants is organized according to sector – the high-tech sector, the public sector, the financial sector and startups.
The division is built in a way that allows us to preserve and develop areas of knowledge. The company has employees who are authorities in their respective areas of technology.
In the area of IT infrastructures and development we offer consulting solutions and full SLA solutions. The division offers expertise in software languages and leading technologies, including Oracle, .Net and Java.
In the field of organizational systems we offer top-rate developers, implementers and project managers in a large range of long-term ERP and SAP projects. The training market is divided into two types of activities: instruction and assimilation services for customers and training. A client assimilating a system has to conduct an in-house training and assimilation process, including orderly methodology built on user training and assimilation processes. We have dozens of instructors engaged in projects at client sites. At the Center for Assimilation and Training, which we recently set up, we offer some of the country's leading training personnel covering a broad spectrum of leading technologies.

How does the size of the company translate into an advantage for the worker?
We're a software house, and as such we try and succeed in providing our employees with numerous advantages. The main advantage is the professional backing we give our employees, both in training and professional training and support. According to your view, in addition to the aim of making the employee feel good and feel at home, the professionalism and personal development are central factors in how we work with our employees.

How does this come across on the operative level?
Every week I hold and oversee mobility meetings where we examine which of the employees can be transferred and which can be promoted. We're currently in the process of developing a training track that will not just supplement the employees' professional knowledge, but also their academic knowledge. We're also in the middle of employee assessments, in which we sit with each worker and together set goals, survey the past year and plan the future – where he wants to be headed and how we can help him. Our slogan is "One1 home for IT," based on the customer's perspective, but we mean it for the worker, too – we want him to feel at home.

What do you think creates a feeling of home?
Personal contact and maximizing interaction between the manager and the worker. To feel at home the employee must see his manager and feel a sense of belonging to the company. Our employees are well aware of what's going on in the market; competition is fierce and we have to meet the challenge. It doesn't start and end with an event we hold or a staff weekend and that's it. In my opinion, today employees are looking for more than that.

What are they looking for?
Employees want to know they are being treated right, they want to know they are at an organization that will support them in time of need, an organization that helps take care of their future, both in terms of their professional and personal needs. At One1 we have the ability to make use of both professional and financial backing and to translate it to the employee's benefit.

Compared with your competitors, what advantages do you offer employees?
Career planning, the range of job opportunities and the fact we're a software house are very prominent advantages compared with our competitors. There are 4-5 big players in the [Israeli] IT market and a lot of small players. We take advantage of our size advantage in a very substantial way, and at the same time we try to provide a personal feeling on all levels.

How do you provide a personal feeling at such a large organization, with employees scattered around the country?
We pay attention to the little things. I hold G-d is in the details – my trip with my staff to Jerusalem to hand out donuts to the employees in Jerusalem says something and this something is that we're looking out for them all the time. The manager is the one running to Jerusalem with donuts; we don't delegate authority in matters related to employees and our organizational structure supports this. For instance, in the area of consultants, the sector-based structure means that for every 40-50 employees there's a manager who comes to visit them at the site once every ten days or two weeks to see how they're doing and to take care of their needs. We maintain constant contact with the workers.

How would you describe the management's attitude toward employees?
According to our view we have two kinds of customers – external customers and internal customers. We treat employees like customers and understand that if you don't succeed in making sure the internal customer is happy, you're in trouble. We're very big, but we try to act like a small company. We try not to create complex systems that place distance between managers and employees and prevent interaction and we try to create a combination of two aspects: on one hand to bring out all of the advantages a large company has – mobility, career management, taking advantage of size and contacts, a broad technological range and opportunities for advancement – and on the other hand things that from the employee's perspective seem completely banal, e.g. day-to-day relations with the manager. Throughout our ranks of management, the manager is at hand, approachable, direct and the doors are always open.

Which advantages do One1's Consultants and Training Division offer their customers?
The models we currently offer in the area of consultants, training and placement are extremely varied and this is one of the big advantages we have here. We believe that the more you expand the spectrum of solutions, the more you lose your connection with the customer. We've created a situation in which today we know how to provide large organizations with human resources and IT solutions. In the field of training we're headed toward a move of setting up a training program within the company.

Do you intend to use abilities found inside the company for training purposes?
Definitely. I see this as a significant advance. In high tech the precept, "I have learned from all of my teachers" [a reference to Psalms 119:99] is very central. The moment you have to instruct others, you yourself become more professional. Beyond the ability to allow an employment to earn more money, we provide him with substantial added value in terms of his position in the sector he operates in.

How does training activity translate into promoting the employee?
First of all people get promoted because they want to advance. Our aim is to provide workers opportunities to develop, both professionally and functionally. In high tech every employee comes to a point in his career where he has to decide whether he wants to be more of a technologist or a manager, or to develop laterally in a different direction, e.g. toward a job in instruction or conveying know-how.
At that point we want to provide the employee with the entire spectrum of opportunities, both professional and managerial, including an option of professional retraining.

How would you describe the change that's taken place in the area of human resources during recent years?
During the past three years there has been a dramatic change in human resources and recruitment. Today many candidates check up on us, particularly via the Internet, but not necessarily through the company website. Candidates come prepared; they're familiar with the company, know what areas it's involved in, are familiar with its projects, know who they're meeting with, who the manager is, what his background is, etc. Today everything is accessible.
This is a very significant change.

Does it make the task of the recruitment manager harder or easier?
For us it helps us a lot in conducting the process. We call this "bingo," since it means the employee found what he was looking for and we found a suitable employee. Our ability to make a bingo happen improves when the employee comes in ready and when we know exactly what we're looking for. Today we're a lot closer to this because we're a lot more efficient and focused.

How does this affect relations between the recruitment department and the job candidates?
First of all it's interesting and challenging because people come prepared and that requires looking into as many details as possible to make a match. We have a staff of recruiters who are exceptionally professional. Eighty percent of screening work is done in the phone interview they conduct. Before the professional interview, before we assess professional capabilities, we conduct a personal interview. The recruitment staff, under the management of Recruitment Manager Michal Moshiach, plays an important role in this process.

What differences have emerged as a result of the change the recruitment process has undergone in the past few years?
I've been in this field for 14 year and I can recall when times were different. Today, the percentage of mistakes is considerably smaller because of the recruitment system, the screening and the delineation of requirements, which has become much more specific. This is a drastic change. The entire field has become very professional. Two years ago, whenever we had to recruit employees, we would place an ad in the newspaper, candidates would send in their resume and we would go from there. Today it doesn't work that way. Today we're a lot more task-oriented and the work method has changed. The challenge is a lot bigger today. There's a natural process of specialization and I welcome it because it reduces the number of mistakes.

Is this change apparent among high-tech workers, too?
Today's high-tech worker has to be very focused on his personal development. Personal development starts with mapping out a goal and we support the worker in arriving at that goal. A worker who doesn't look out for himself in this respect remains stuck in place. We help those who want to help themselves – that's the name of the game.

How do you see your job as manager of the Division of Consultants and Training at an IT company?
My area of expertise, like all of the managers in the Division of Consultants and Training, is taking care of people. That's the name of the game in the area in which we operate as a services company. Taking care of human resources, with all that entails, is a central and significant part of your ability to provide the customer a solution in every matter. You can develop amazing knowledge in a certain field, but the moment a worker leaves, most of the know-how goes with him and it won't matter which information management systems we use. Therefore retaining workers and know-how is becoming the primary challenge at companies like ours, particularly in light of the fact that the market is becoming more and more of an employee's market.

Is the company succeeding in retaining workers during this period in the
high-tech world?
There is turnover, just like everywhere, but during the past year we've managed to reduce it substantially as a result of steps the company has taken. In our view, when an employee leaves it's a real failure. It's something that's not supposed to happen. On the other hand, we're glad to say employees stick with us for many years.

What is the composition of the workforce at the company?
We have a broad range of employees at the company. Older people, young people and veterans who have been with the company for many years. At the last company party CEO Udi Weintraub awarded certificates of appreciation to employees who have been working at the company for 25 years. We feel this certificate says something about the company as well, because we don't see ourselves as an employer for a year or two. In the Consultants Division the number of older staff members (i.e. 40 and older) has growth significantly in the recent past, which comes as a surprise.

How do you account for this?
In the course of my work I've learned that the high-tech world is attractive not just to young people, but to older people as well. It all depends of learning processes and motivation.

What are the advantages of employing older workers?
Older people attach greater importance to job security. Compared with young people who just finished their college degree and tomorrow might want to hop on a plane and take a trip abroad, the older employee is more stable and has a clear understanding of his task and his commitment to the project. This trend is on the rise and I see it as very positive. From my experience – and I've supervised hundreds of employees – older workers are people whose judgment and motivations are very substantive and have an impact on a wide range of matters in their work.

Does employing older workers have an influence on the company's image?
I see it as a sign of One1's success that it has veteran employees who have stuck with the company for so many years. This does not contradict the fact it is a young, dynamic, advancing company that hires a lot of young people.

What lies on One1's horizon?
We plan to maintain the momentum of growth, both organic and inorganic. Expanding the range of services in training, assimilation, setting up a college – these are things that will take place during the coming year. It used to be that every organization had one computer person and everybody else was users. Today almost every user at the organization is a computer person. The market has undergone a transformation. Every organization is becoming based on information systems. This forces us to prepare ourselves and develop new strategies, and for us this is an extraordinary challenge with great potential. We plan to provide everything the organization needs in the field of information systems, with our specialization in the human side, with all that entails.
Furthermore, today a considerable portion of the company's operations are already being carried out abroad – in Bulgaria and Romania. The offshore operations executed by the Consultants Division is turning One1 into an international company that's setting its sights on economic development, both in the Israeli market and the international market.

To wrap up, how do you think the field of recruitment will develop in the IT world?
In the field of recruitment in general, specialization is becoming more significant. Specialization in consulting in the IT world is becoming more focused and more in-depth, and today there's less room for companies that don't specialize in this area. Large companies will continue to lead this field. I believe the range of operations will expand and this will heighten the importance of human resources in the IT world. In my opinion, what's most important is that every employee will be able to receive help in advancing his career, but this is on condition that he knows where he's headed and wants to advance.
We help those who help themselves – those who have enough clarity regarding their goals and have the inner energy to press forward and advance. In IT services the name of the game is people.


For the Hebrew Article  

 
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