One of the biggest challenges that the Middle Eastern entrepreneurial ecosystem faces is recruiting the right talent. For women candidates, the struggle to find work is even more difficult. Recognizing the need for better recruiting tools, as well as better job-seeking platforms for talented workers, including women, Khalid Alkhudair founded Glowork in 2011. Recently, Glowork revealed a new product at the Emirates Foundation’s quarterly private-sector forum. The product is an app that allows female workers to create and upload digital curricula vitae that local employers can easily access as they look for new employees.
Glowork has already launched an online platform for women looking for work and for female entrepreneurs seeking out new employees. The new app, however, adds a lot to the recruiting experience by integrating location data that allows candidates to see which businesses are close to their homes. Also, women can build their resumes directly on the app, thus leading to more standardized and searchable documents that enable companies to quickly find the right talent. Since its launch, the Glowork app has received a lot of attention, and many industry experts believe that it has the potential to fast-track greater female participation in the growing entrepreneurial sector.
Glowork’s Potential for Changing the Entrepreneurial Landscape
At the Emirates Foundation meeting, Fadi Ghandour, the chairman of Wamda Capital and the founder of Aramex, delivered a keynote speech in which he called for more support to the private sector to enable greater social entrepreneurship throughout the Middle East. He sees social entrepreneurship among young men and women as one of the quickest and most effective ways of addressing some of the biggest challenges facing the entire region. Following up on Mr. Ghandour’s speech, the Chief Executive Officer of the Emirates Foundation, Clare Woodcraft-Scott, brought Glowork into the conversation as an example of social enterprise with a scalable model and a real solution to one of the biggest development difficulties.
The Middle East and North Africa region has extremely high rates of youth unemployment and very low rates of female participation in the labor force. Glowork sees this issue as an opportunity for engaging women in work that matters to them and that impacts the community. Since its inception, Glowork has secured jobs for more than 27,000 women in Saudi Arabia and built important relationships with more than 300 private-sector organizations that can provide even more jobs in the future as they expand their operations.
The company achieved these numbers by employing a number of innovations that have changed the ways in which women can work in the Middle East. For example, women who live in rural areas can work from home through the Glowork platform. The existing digital system matches skilled women to positions that make use of their unique skillsets. These innovations have won Glowork and Mr. Alkhudair a great deal of recognition, including the Emirates Award for Arabian Gulf Youth. In addition, Mr. Alkhudair was named Entrepreneur of the Year at the CEO Middle East Awards last year.
A Closer Look at the Glowork Experience
Part of what makes Glowork such a great resource for women entrepreneurs is the fact that it is much more than a recruitment platform. Glowork has an important social aspect that allows women to network with other professionals in their area for support as they advance their careers and for key advice on succeeding as a female in the Middle Eastern business world. Moreover, the social experience of the Glowork network is customized according to the desires of each user. The network can point women to nearby shopping, dining, and entertainment and then let them share what they are doing and thinking with their network. All information shared is kept private and invisible from people outside of an individual’s network unless a user sets specific permissions.
The social network allows women to share photos and other media, as well as look at what topics are trending around them. In addition, Glowork collaborations with service providers and other companies to offer discounts and offers on products that will help women achieve their goals.
To fulfill job-seeking needs, the Glowork network allows women to search by location or industry to find organizations that are actively seeking women employees. Women search for and apply to jobs directly through the company’s network. In addition, users can sign up to receive notifications whenever a specific organization posts a new job or a position matching the candidate’s skillset comes online.
While all of these features are free, women can also sign up for premium services, such as help for creating the most engaging curriculum vitae to appeal to potential employers.
Glowork’s creation of an app will make the resource even more widely available to women throughout the Middle East, where Internet-enabled phone penetration is remarkably high. The company is actively using the introduction of the app to bring Glowork to new markets across the Middle East to bring social change where it is most needed.