Wadhefty: Towards Aiding MENA Job Seekers
Wadhefty.com is a business platform that is hoping to play a part in solving the problem of youth unemployment in MENA.
The startup's idea came to its founder Khalid Alali when he was working as a resident entrepreneur with Rocket Internet's Lamudi Venture. Khalid was assigned with starting up the real estate classifieds website from scratch - including onboarding of new employees (helping new hires adjust to the social and performance aspects of their jobs to become better establishment contributors).
With his HR hat on, he sifted through hundreds of resumes to fill all the roles needed for his business. He came to realize quickly that the majority of CVs he was receiving did not in fact fulfil their stated purpose-- to provide useful and relevant information which he could use to assess candidates. In fact "I was receiving many CVs that would highlight 'hard worker' as a skill or had pictures that took up half a page" Khalid says.
Additionally he was receiving CVs that were "10 pages long or more and the candidate would typically have under 3 years of work experience." Khalid came to quickly realize that this was a rampant issue in Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East, particularly among youth. He decided to act on it.
Through Global Shapers, a youth volunteer-based group based at the World Economic Forum, he came up with his initiative "Stand-out". The initiative sought to educate university students on the dos and don'ts of CV writing. After work, he would go to universities such as Al Faisal University to give lectures and with his team of global shapers, offer one-on-one mentorship to students.
Khalid insists that it is important that "female and male students are equally engaged" and only offered to lecture with both genders present. While this one request was difficult to meet in Saudi Arabia, Khalid and the Global Shapers team felt it was important undertaking and worked around the Kingdom's strict gender segregation laws. Seeing the impact these lectures had first-hand, prompted Khalid to take the initiative further.
"I had the idea in the back of my mind, way back since I had first proposed "Stand Out" to Global Shapers. I decided I needed to act on it". With that, wadhefty.com was founded. Wadhefty (my job, in Arabic) is headquartered in Saudi Arabia, and aims to support job seekers, particularly the youth, with finding employment opportunities.
Wadhefty produces content relevant to the Middle East market and is currently offering free CV reviews, in addition to supporting and advising job candidates. "We expect to receive a high volume of CV review and writing requests in July to August period – before the jobs market opens up again in September," added Khalid.
While Wadhefty is only a few months old, Khalid is serious about ensuring he provides the best content and service to meet the Middle East market's needs. In September, he will be moving to Berkeley, California where he will be a few short steps away from Silicon Valley, the world's leading hub for tech-based businesses. There he hopes to learn from "the best and brightest in EdTech" and will also be pursuing his MBA at UC Berkeley.