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This article was published on October 2, 2011

Laimoon takes a fresh approach to job hunting in the Middle East

Laimoon takes a fresh approach to job hunting in the Middle East
Nancy Messieh
Story by

Nancy Messieh

Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Fol Lesotho-born and raised, Nancy Messieh, The Next Web's Middle East Editor, is an Egyptian writer and photographer based in Cairo, Egypt. Follow her on Twitter, her site or Google+ or get in touch at [email protected]

Laimoon, which literally means lemon in Arabic, is a brand new UAE-based job recruitment site in the Middle East which aims to do things in a little differently. Launching quietly in July, the site has attracted over 700 job listings and over 4,000 registered users applying for these jobs.

Laimoon is the first project to emerge from the newly founded Honeybee Tech Ventures, whose founders are also behind the Middle Eastern media platform, Zawya.

The Middle Eastern job market is primarily dominated by Bayt, a recruitment site which continues to evolve, adding new features, and could well be on its way to becoming the region’s LinkedIn. With the emergence of Laimoon, Bayt could have some competition in the recruitment space, because of just how different and innovative the site is.

At the moment, the majority of the listed jobs are based in the UAE, but there are plans to expand beyond that into the rest of the Middle East.

How does Laimoon work?

Laimoon takes a very different approach to how you search for a job that suits your skills and experience, all wrapped up in an extremely appealing, clean and minimal design.

Rather than fill in your entire CV, and then page through lists of openings, Laimoon presents you with a series of questions about your personal experience, your education, language skills, managerial experience and more. Most of the questions are multiple choice, with the exception of filling in industry keywords that apply to your personal experience.

Once you’ve gone through 7 easy steps to fill out your profile, you have to fill in a few additional personal details about your nationality and country of residence, and where you would like to work.

Laimoon will then let you know how many jobs are available in the database that relate to your personal skills.

Rather than present you with a list of those jobs, Laimoon then presents you with a series of job description items, in pairs, and you can select the one applies to you, or skip if neither apply.

As you progress through the choices, the list will be narrowed down, and you will be presented with the jobs that fit your answers. You can then save those jobs to your account.

As the jobs are revealed, you can continue to save them to your account, or dismiss them until you’ve completed the questions and then you can view the entire job listing.

What sets Laimoon apart?

We spoke with Ihsan Jawad, founder and Partner at Honeybee Tech Ventures who gave us a little bit of insight into where the idea came from, and where the site is headed:

NM: What was the motivation behind launching Laimoon? 

Ihsan Jawad: We wanted to do something that matters to a lot of people in the Middle East.  Finding the right job out there is amongst the few things on top of most people’s agenda.  We were shocked to learn the Middle East had the highest unemployment rate in the world when it comes to people with tertiary education; how can we just sit back and accept that! Imagine, your most productive/creative group of people are not working! The Middle East is simply not working.

This is obviously a huge problem that is effecting a lot of people.  This in itself inspired us to come up with an unconventional solution and take a different approach than what was already out there – and there is a lot out there; around 50,000 worth of job boards, social recruiting sites, job search engines, etc.  A crowded field but nevertheless all doing less than expected in matching people with jobs.  We wanted to disrupt and improve in this space.

NM: Why the name Laimoon?

IJ: “Laimoon” has nothing to do with this industry. Its a disruptive name!  It’s a cool, young and energizing name. Also, because the solution originated from here, it only make sense to have an Arabic name.

NM: What sets Laimoon apart from other recruitment sites in the region? 

IJ: Laimoon is a fresh way to discover jobs. It’s a fun way for the user to explore their real competencies and by doing so they reveal real jobs out there that actually require such competencies.

There is no search functionality. Each user sets their preferences, and is subjected to a series of quickly revolving cards that host different isolated job scenarios. How the user interacts with these cards helps determine the job matches – the technology puts the user behind the wheel. The algorithm helps empower the user to discover new job opportunities in a fun & interactive way.

So what IS Laimoon? Well, it’s not exactly a job board, or search engine, or social recruitment platform. It’s some new creature that is  connecting job seekers to opportunities they’re fit for – and the recruiters who are capitalizing on this by posting their job directly on Laimoon are extracting the benefits of this!

Is Laimoon going to catch on?

As Jawad points out, Laimoon isn’t for everyone. The approach the site takes is to narrow down the options, leaving job seekers only with the jobs that are truly relevant to their education and experience, and in fact, by doing so, the site addresses a very common problem among job applicants in the region, according to Jawad:

We believe this is why the space has such big problems – too many irrelevant applicants are forcing the relevant ones to be diluted with the rest and ultimately, this is causing a gap in recruitment. Our satisfied users tend to be ones that are qualified and who like the increased voltage required to discover these opportunities, because the irrelevant ones tend to fall off in the process.

We wanted to put our money where our mouth was, so when it was time to hire our first business developer, we turned to our very own Laimoon. Quickly we had a shortlist of qualified applicants, and made a hire that was an incredibly relevant and fit for the job.

Laimoon can serve as an awareness tool, encouraging users to change their job seeking tactics, and if it catches on, could have a revolutionary effect on the job seeking market in the Middle East, and beyond.