Spandana Palaypu , United Arab Emirates
Spandana founded ZoEasy in July 2016 as a platform for “blue collar” migrant workers to find jobs that match their skills and expertise. Currently, ZoEasy has a database of 65,000 people, and has successfully run pilot placements which matched 100 jobseekers with suitable employment.
In the United Arab Emirates, migrant blue collar workers form 43% (4 million) of the overall population. However, recruitment in this sector is archaic and cumbersome as many companies rely on middlemen to fill their blue-collar vacancies. These intermediaries charge both the worker and the employer substantial sums of money to match them to jobs that may not be a good fit for either party. There can be up to six middlemen involved in recruiting one worker, with each middleman taking a cut of the fees. Through this system, jobseekers are charged up to $2,800 and employers charged $300 for each placement. These are huge expenses for people from low income backgrounds trying to create a better life. Despite this, they find themselves in jobs that were misrepresented and that they are overqualified for. Some examples include a qualified teacher being given a job as a cleaner, and a software engineer being employed as a waiter. ZoEasy creates a direct link between employers and jobseekers, enabling “blue collar” workers to access jobs in an ethical and transparent way. Companies must go through a background check before they can publish job openings on the site. ZoEasy has started noting retention rates and recording feedback from workers to collate more accurate information about working conditions. ZoEasy is currently undertaking research and development to further refine the job placement model before rolling out the programme more widely. Spandana and her team recently signed MoUs with two prominent State Governments in India to initially train and place 200 “blue collar” workers into appropriate jobs abroad. ZoEasy continues to establish notable partnerships and further refine the operating model through research and feedback from clients.
After speaking on stage at the One Young World 2018 The Hague Summit, Spandana was inspired to consider the wider needs of her clientele and is now considering how to turn ZoEasy into a community platform offering a range of services to jobseekers.