Successful, Efficient, Human: The Revolution of the Hiring system
When recruiting a candidate, it is all about hiring attitude, values and personality that match with the company. The business project of SINGApreneur Elie Khudari will make it easier for job seekers and talent seekers to find each other through seeveez, a revolutionary and modern online portal using the latest AI technologies and state of the art algorithms in a human and fair way.
In an interview with Rossana A. Ammann, the experienced marketing and business consultant explains the added value of his online portal, and how it will revolutionize the HR hiring process in the corporate world. “It will create a direct relation between the job seeker and the employer. The idea is to evaluate humans as they are in an efficient and modern way, not as pieces of paper or numbers,” states Khudari.
In 2020, Elie started his own Youtube Channel: Elie Khudari providing marketing guidelines to entrepreneurs. For other valuable content of online marketing in Arabic, you can visit Taswiq Line.
Rossana: What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
Elie: Everything. I have always been an entrepreneur. I have only worked for other people for a few months at a time. The rest has been by myself and about creating. I want to do what I feel is right, while combining it with my Business Administration & Marketing background.
What were you working on before coming to Switzerland?
Elie: I worked as a marketing and business consultant for 17 years in marketing, promotion and business development in two companies that I founded in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Syria. I still have very important business relations there.
What will be your contribution to Switzerland as an entrepreneur?
Elie: The business will start here. If I manage to change the HR process and the job application concept in the business sector, that will be great for the economy and society. The idea is for both sides (job seekers and companies) to be happy!
In 2000, the SINGApreneur co-founded a marketing communication company and led a team of over 400 employees in 3 major cities in Saudi Arabia, while dealing with key international companies.
“The business was doing well, so I decided to go back to Syria in 2011 to invest there in another company,” says Elie.
Three months after he launched the second business in quality retail, the war began in Syria. Elie fled the country and arrived in Switzerland at the end of 2013.
After your arrival, you learned German while waiting for your residence permit. What happened later?
Elie: I started looking for a job and it was really hard to find one in Switzerland. I would think of myself as a person with good experience and a good CV, but it wasn’t enough. I tried everything and it didn’t work. I have always been enthusiastic about finding solutions and in my previous job I supported companies in marketing and sales processes, so when I saw the reality here, I started questioning myself as to what I could do to improve the situation.
…and out of that moment your business idea arose. Tell us more about it.
Elie: What is interesting is that when I had my own companies, I was also struggling in terms of finding the right people; and since arriving in Switzerland, I have been struggling to find a job. So I started digging around to find out what the issues were and what the potential solutions could be. For me, it is all about humanizing the HR hiring process and giving job seekers a true chance to show who they are.
What else do you think is missing in the job application processes?
Elie: Many aspects, such as a category for soft skills and values, and the chance for applicants to show some of their work, say more about themselves personally and shine for who they really are. The online hiring system is also very inefficient. What normally happens is that after posting an ad, companies get thousands of applicants and they still keep using different tools to reach more people. But why? They already have some good applications there.
In his research and by sending out his own job applications, it became clear that there is a need for a better job portal. Not only did Elie experience being rejected by automated systems, but also through fake job posts and non-reply emails from offers he thought he was suitable for.
That’s not all he came to realize. “Some studies have revealed that Millennials (born early 1980s, mid-1990s to 2000s) don’t want the lives their parents had. They don’t want to stick to a job for 40 years, even if they paid them really well,” explains Elie, while emphasizing that nowadays many people want to work for a place they like, enjoy and that also fits their values, even if they are paid less than in a role in which they find less meaning.
What do you think is the added value of your project and the approach that will make you different from others?
Elie: Nowadays, some portals try to analyze the personality of the candidate but never the values, culture and attitude of the person. It is always about key words, titles and hard skills, never about the role and values. That’s why I want to change the approach. Why not use a different style of CV to hire people? I want to reach that level where people can choose even beyond job titles. An efficient modern style.
…even if the jobs are different from what people used to do?
Elie: The fact that some people worked in a specific job in a company for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be a perfect fit for a similar company, doing a similar job. If you worked as a sales manager at Michael Kors, would that make you a perfect match for a same position at FREITAG? There is always something else. The connection with the values and culture of the company should help both parties find each other better.
On the portal, how is the relation between the companies and the job applicants going to be?
Elie: The company will be able to select as many people as they want to evaluate. They can mark them as favorites and take a look at their profiles later or contact them right away. It will not be a static, paper-based relation. It will be a personal one between the job seeker and the employer, right from the start. Both of them will be treated as givers.
Where do you see the business going in the next five years?
Elie: Worldwide! I would like to think so. It’s very promising. That is my aim.
Sometimes Human Resources departments don’t even get the chance to meet job seekers in their true selves. As Elie confirms, “they start rejecting people based on key-words and titles, not from taking a deeper look.”
For him, all applicants are normal people searching for a job. On his portal, they will be able to show you who they are and be vulnerable in front of you.
We want to give people fair opportunities when applying for a job. We want them to be able to express themselves. It isn’t always about the money when looking for a job, it is also about the environment, the culture and making the hiring system efficient and productive.
Until now, what do you find to be the most useful guidance inside the SINGA Factory?
Elie: They help you a lot in shaping your idea to become something real and they have also great connections to support you in developing the project. They are also really good at networking! And the trainers, the ones sharing their experience with us, are very well prepared.
From all the workshops you have participated in, is there one you could mention as special or really interesting?
Elie: All of them have been great. I really liked Rayan Aebi’s workshop on pitching for investors. Special mention also goes to Rebecca Self for her perspective on Branding. I could learn from that. I also cannot forget to mention my mentor and advisor Thomas Marko, whom I owe a great deal.
You have led 3 co-working sessions on marketing in the SINGA Factory; what was it like to support and share your knowledge with the other SINGApreneurs?
Elie: They are all great people! Business perspectives are different, so when I got the chance to share some of my experience with them, they seemed to enjoy it and I really liked it too! It is good to help others as much as you can. They really get something out of it.
What would you advise people who would like to start their own social project or business but they think they don’t have the time, energy or ‘perfect moment’ to do it?
Elie: If you have a dream, pursue it! If you have an aim or goal, try to do it. If you keep following your dream I am sure you will reach it someday.
What does success means to you?
Elie: Happiness. If I am successful I am happy. It is not about money or connections. I thought before that everything was about money and after I lost everything (twice), I found out that during the period of my life when I had money, I didn’t use it for my happiness.
What drives and motivates you every day to keep going?
Elie: My family and the pursuit of happiness. I want to have the feeling that everyday is like Christmas.
Good to know:
At this stage in his project, Elie Khudari is looking for developers and support from visionaries and investors that are interested in joining this revolutionary project. You can contact him via mobile phone +41 76 368 00 08 or email him at email@example.com.
Check seeveez.com and stay tuned! You can also follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter.
This interview was held in English by Venezuelan journalist, storyteller and volunteer Rossana A. Ammann, who is passionate about multiculturalism, people’s stories and organizational development. You can find her work and more about her via LinkedIn