We speak to Basil Fateen, the founder of HireHunt, a groundbreaking new online gamified platform in Egypt seeking to streamline the recruitment process and adapt it to today's job world by helping pair job-seekers and entities looking to hire, via online games, missions, challenges, and more.
“The workplace and the workforce have changed in a dramatic way. Every year, a new generation enters the workforce. They are tech-minded and think differently. Some jobs are becoming obsolete, and entirely new fields are being created thanks to technology. So why has the recruitment process not changed at all?” asks Basil Fateen, the young bright mind behind Egypt’s startup HireHunt.
The online platform allows job-seekers to upload their profile and apply to different jobs, going through hunts in which they have to answer questions, solve challenges, play fun skill-testing games, complete missions and send assignments.
“Young graduates usually do not know what’s out there and end up applying to big names just because it is all they know. It is crazy that this is still happening in 2015, so I thought there should be something that respects their time and potential, looking at them as humans with skills, talents, potential and aspirations, as opposed to putting them in an exam,” Fateen explains.
With some of Cairo’s most successful startups, such as Slickr and Instabug, already inscribed, HireHunt has helped 20 applicants land a job across different companies in the two months since its launch – even though they are still functioning on a beta-basis.
So how do they manage to put together games to assess different skills? “We have consultants who are experts in the different fields who build the hunt,” he says. Once applicants have gone through the hunt, the highest scorers and most impressive job seekers are manually selected by curators to be added to talent pools in different fields. “So employers looking for someone to hire in a specific field, simply join a talent pool and they have instant access to fresh talent to hunt the ones they like the most after listening to their voice answers, viewing technical scores, experience, personality insights, and portfolios,” he adds.
The entrepreneur, who has chosen bootstrapping despite several investors having approached him, came up with the idea while having to recruit as he worked for Link Development. “The journey began as most journeys begin, with severe pain and screaming into the night: ‘there must be a better way!’” he ironizes. “The pain, in this case, was of the recruitment variety. And it was severe. I was face to face with the recruitment monster. The slow, inefficient, time-consuming, painful, expensive recruitment monster,” he says.
Thinking about ways recruiting could reflect the way the job market works, he came up with the concept of gamification. “Work itself is different from what it used to be, so recruiting should also be different. It should be fun and get people excited about their work,” he tells Cairoscene.
HireHunt, he adds, was built not only with the aim of bridging the gap between job-hunters and head-hunters, but to also keep up with this acceleration for all fields in all markets by allowing the creation of all kinds of user-generated 'Hunts' to find the ‘hard to find’.
“It is impossible to judge someone by their CV; you want to figure out what this person can do, what their potential is, and sometimes people use key words that have nothing to do with their skills, just to get the interview. But interviewing, screening, and deciding on an applicant can take from three to four months", he explains. “Sometimes you are looking for a combination of different skills, which takes the search up to nine months."
The concept especially caters to startups and SMEs, whom the entrepreneur contacted in order to understand their challenges. “Earlier this year I jumped out of the corporate plane and dived straight towards the heart of the problem. I ate, slept and dreamt recruitment, time-to-hire, quality-of-hire, personality types, assessments,” he narrates.
Slowly, he started to work on a hiring platform to help young people show their talents, skills, experience and personality in a fun way, “so that their dream team can find them,” he says. “I wanted to kill the recruitment monster. So I made HireHunt,” he concludes.