Getting hired in the informal economy

Padmini Gupta
Apr 28, 2018 · 2 min read

Of the job seekers for domestic help, most are women. 1 in 4 women in the UAE is a domestic helper. Put yourself in her shoes for a minute— Imagine you’re a maid or a cook or a driver and are looking for a new job. Either your old employer is leaving town or your contract is not being renewed. You start by asking your friends if they know any jobs available, then you move onto posting on several facebook groups, where your profile competes with thousands of others — who maybe be less qualified and may not even be serious job seekers. Your last resort is to go through an agent, who charges you some money to help you find the job and then charges the employer a finders fee, placing a heavy monetary burden on the employee. The process isn’t much better for employers, its exactly the same, often leading to hefty premiums for hiring in this market.

When we took over the amazing Mary Poppins group started by a Dubai mother three years ago and now the single largest digital hiring platform for domestic helpers in the UAE — we saw first hand the frustrations on both sides associated with this hiring process. We saw mothers complaining about maids who weren’t serious, who didn’t show up for interviews and we saw maids struggling to showcase their skills and stand out from the crowd.

This led to the establishment of the rise verified profile program, a simple tool where nannies can register themselves, take an AI powered assessment to qualify and then build a digital profile. These profiles are then matched by our AI for perspective employers for free — allowing a linkedin style skills match and reference checking toolset. Strict moderation rules mean maids who don’t show up for interviews or employers who seek to impose harsh employment terms are banned from the platform, making it the fastest way to discover their next nanny / job.

We have being some beta testing over the past two weeks and the response has been overwhelming, so today we started launched it. While still in it’s first version, we believe this will emerge as a major source for mothers and domestic helpers to discover each other.

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