Main Differences Between Israeli and Eastern European Developers

Quick Summary - How to assemble a cool international team and avoid misunderstandings due to the difference in mindsets.

In search of valuable employees, Israeli startups are hunting in the Eastern European market. 

5 mins read

November 17, 2022

According to the “Israeli High-Tech Human Capital” report, in April 2022, the Israeli IT sector posted a record 32,900 open positions. And nearly all companies (85%) reported difficulty in recruiting R&D staff, up 20% from last year.
In search of valuable employees, Israeli startups are hunting in the Eastern European market. 

What you should know about developers from Eastern Europe and main reasons to hire them

1. High qualification and creativity

In the 2022 Pentalog Report, Eastern European programmers occupy half of the positions in the list of the top 10 developers in the world.

Where to hire the best software developers


Ksenia Grinshpun
BDP at PerceptionBox

I know of a case where an Israeli company purposely hired guys from Eastern Europe to speed up a project. And they, in addition, came up with some fresh ideas, and rewrote everything into another language, more suitable for the product. The company was delighted.

2. Less costs

Israeli engineers are worth much more than the “fresh” startups in Israel can afford.
The average annual salary of a software engineer in Israel is ILS 225,227. In Eastern Europe it’s twice or even three times lower. In USD it looks like this:

How much does it cost to hire a developer

Also, such a worker will be more profitable due to taxes of only 5-12 percent. And opening an office in Eastern Europe is much cheaper than in Tel Aviv.

3. Extensive market 

There are currently about 50,000 programmers in the Israeli market. If we are talking about Eastern Europe, there are hundreds of thousands of potential employees. Moreover, they often work on Rust, Go, Node.js. There are practically no competitors to such techies in Israel.

4. Close time zones and similar cultures 

You have a working day, and an employee has a deep night. It can affect the workflow and productivity of the team more than it seems. In this regard, Eastern Europe is almost ideal for Israel – the time difference is no more than 1 hour.

Unlike the Middle East (for example, Armenia and Georgia), in the countries of Eastern Europe, the majority of specialists speak English well. The similarity of cultures also helps.

Ksenia Grinshpun
BDP at PerceptionBox

For example, in India it is not customary to say "no", so an Indian developer will answer "yes" to everything that is not going to be done. They also strictly observe the hierarchy. Therefore, if you ask an Indian colleague about something without being his boss, he will never do it. So, it is much easier for the Israelis to find a common language with the Eastern Europeans.

5. Convenient geographical location

Europe is a promising business region. Opening an office here provides a lot of logistical advantages. In addition, geographical proximity to Israel is a “bonus” for team building and corporate events. In fact, an international team is always about a useful experience, cultural exchange and the company’s reaching a new level. 

Although the cultures are quite close, surprises can still arise. 

What you need to be prepared for in order to make cooperation more effective

Ksenia Grinshpun
BDP at PerceptionBox

One Israeli company was looking for a programmer in Eastern Europe. The product was in the active phase. Therefore, employees would have to work once a month on weekends voluntarily - answer the phone or dedicate 40 minutes to the project in case of emergency. Of the 8 applicants, only one agreed. And quit after a month. Because the foreigners see it as an attack on private time.

The thing about Israeli companies is that they often give their employees “options”. This is an opportunity to receive real dividends in the future if the company grows and enters the stock exchange. That’s why local developers work for a fixed salary and strive for a future income. There is no such practice in Eastern Europe. Therefore, engineers prefer to focus on current payment terms and are more likely to work strictly by the hour.

Besides, Israeli programmers are used to acting as if “everyone can do everything”. A Backend Java developer most likely knows how to work with Python, .NET, C, etc. And if he doesn’t, then at least he tries. Eastern Europeans prefer strictly their own title and do not take on “someone else’s work”. On the other hand, it gives them a huge advantage. Playing only on his own field, the techie is a real pro in his specialty.

It’s worth considering that in Israel a hiring decision can take months. In Eastern Europe, on the contrary, techies do not like to beat around the bushes. It is a common case when the Israeli side is calmly weighing all the pros and cons, while the developer, tired of waiting, is already accepting the next offer. Therefore, if you really like the candidate, you need to act.

How PerceptionBox can help you build a great international team

We have experience, passion and know-how in international recruiting. Contact us and we will bring highly qualified specialists to your team and  handle all the administration.


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