x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

UAE platform to jump off into government jobs

Hamza Zaouali, the founder of Govjobs.ae, helps Emiratis to find government jobs but says the site would also have services for the private sector.

Hamza Zaouali, the managing director of Govjobs.ae, at his office in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National
Hamza Zaouali, the managing director of Govjobs.ae, at his office in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

Hamza Zaouali founded Govjobs.ae in December 2011, when he spotted a gap in the recruitment market despite the push for Emiratisation. The 33-year-old French Tunisian, who has been living in the UAE for six years, says he saw the market lacked a platform where Emiratis could check vacancies in government and semi-government entities.

You say this is not a recruitment agency or a platform to match Emiratis with jobs. What is it then?

We list the vacancies in government and semi-government entities for free. Emirati job seekers would not go to general job portals because these do not name the employers. We created a one-stop shop for these entities. And many government bodies do not have the money to hire recruitment agencies because of restricted budgets. We give all the government and semi-government entities a user name and a password, give them training on how to use it, and they list the vacancies along with their contact information. Job seekers apply directly to them. We also allow the entities to use their logo alongside the vacancy. So, Govjobs.ae also works as a free branding tool.

How do you make money?

We are not making money currently. The way the business model was set up, the return on investment would not be until after two years.

How many résumés have you collected so far and how many entities list their vacancy with you?

Around 50 entities list with us. Most of them are from Dubai and Abu Dhabi but a few are from Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. These are in the education, hospital and oil and gas sectors, among others. They include Dubai Public Prosecution, Roads and Transport Authority [of Dubai] and Etihad Airways. We have collected around 5,768 CVs and almost 300 job seekers use the site daily.

How much of the unemployment problem among the Emiratis is Govjobs.ae is addressing?

A lot of Emiratis are not looked after by the recruitment agencies because they do not have the education required or lack language skills. And government is still the top employer for them. Govjobs.ae is a corporate social responsibility for us. We also have a recruitment agency called Iris Executives, which focuses on Emiratisation. It is for both public and private sector and not free.

Govjobs.ae is in English. Why not in Arabic?

We will have an Arabic website in three months' time. We had to start somewhere.

The private sector complains that Emiratis do not apply to them. Are you not aggravating their problem?

In three to four months' time we will unveil a database service for the private and public sectors for a charge. [If] employers would want more than just the job seekers that apply to their specific jobs, the resume search plans would give access to the whole database of CVs.