Unemployment remains one of the most persistent problems in the Middle East; more than 26% of young people in the region remain without jobs as the labor pool continues to grow exponentially year after year. Governments in the region will have to create 80 to 100 million new jobs by 2020 just to keep unemployment rates at present levels.
Entrepreneurship plays a central role in overcoming the
unemployment issue in the region; entrepreneurs not only create new
job opportunities for others, but some have even found new and
innovative ways to improve the job application experience, both for
companies and applicants.
While the Middle East already has its share of job seeking platforms, like Bayt, Akhtaboot, Laimoon, and skills community Nabbesh, two more have launched in the past month to help job seekers find training and improve their résumés.
Fadi Yahya’s personal experience looking for a job inspired him
to launch Resury.com - a
combination of the words “resume” and “story”- from Boston, where
he now lives.
"Searching for a job was an experience filled with uncertainty and endless waiting to hear back from companies," he says.
"This made me realize how ineffective the current employment system is, and made me consider the possibility of using social networks to find a solution for this problem,” he says.
Yahya, who is originally from Saudi Arabia, launched Resury.com
in July, backed by his own personal savings, to offer an
interactive resume-writing service for job seekers. It guides users
to enter their skills, qualifications, and desired job, and then
allows them to directly share their résumé with contacts and
friends in order to get feedback on ways to improve.
Currently, its model is similar to Lebanese startup Tickle My Brain, but with feedback coming from the crowd rather than the startup team). However, Yahya also aspires to offer paid consutling for those who would like professional advice résumé advice; he would take a commission from companies and individuals offering their professional advice on the site.
He also hopes to add data on past hires to the platform, so that applicants can assess their chance of being hired based on previous recruitment. The startup's team of four is also developing a mobile app that will help users improve their résumés via a multiplayer game.
Also in July, Egyptian entrepreneur Nader El-Batrawi, founded Jobzella, a network that offers training and services for job seekers.
El-Batrawi believes strongly in the need for these services, and gave up a lot to found his startup. “I had a good job, a big house, and an amazing potential future career, but I chose to sell everything that could be sold and invest the money I made during my career in establishing this company," he says.
"You ask me if it is a big risk? I will always say no, simply."
Jobzella aims to be a comprehensive market for employment and training services that includes a search engine for available job opportunities, a guide for training grants and educational courses in the region, a social network for professionals, a blog that offers tips for professionals and job seekers, and links to support services for resume-writing and career advice.
The website’s interface is very similar to that of professional networking giant LinkedIn, a site Jobzella hopes to emulate.
For now, El-Batrawi is relying on his previous experience as a Business Manager at Bayt.com Egypt to guide his vision, and he's taken the first right step to surround himself with a team of twenty carefully-selected staff, who, he says, who will help Jobzella achieve its goal of reaching global success.
While his vision is ambitious, El Batrawi hopes to improve upon what Bayt and AKhtaboot provide by offering a one-stop-shop that includes educational and training services as well as a full social network for professionals.
The hope is that not only will these platforms help job seekers, but that they will also enrich the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region and help startups find the talented and qualified employees they are looking for.