Stop rolling the dice when hiring smart candidates.

Camilla is a freelance writer from Southern Italy who has lived in China and Jordan, working for local magazines and corporate blogs. Having majored in literature and communications, she has found the 'sweet spot' in business writing, satisfying her curiosity and fascination with social entrepreneurship. She is always looking for new places to explore and great food to indulge in.

Spotting talent the traditional way isn’t always an easy task, nor does it guarantee future corporate success altogether. You know, the process where companies have to independently post on job sites, go through thousands of CVs or manually contact the applicants. 

Needless to add, scouting for bright candidates usually comes at a cost, being many recruitment agencies and candidate tracking systems relatively expensive for small to medium-sized companies.

Palestinian software engineer Saed Shela believes that tech is sparking a revolution within the global recruitment industry. Yet the Middle East is lagging behind, he argues, as recruitment processes are still exceedingly tedious and the available tools hardly up to the challenge.  

A new hiring route

Back in spring 2013, Shela and his now partner Nael Ramadan founded SocialDice, a tech enterprise aiming to offer an innovative digital hiring solution. Something that, they hope, could help SMEs across the MENA region in their lengthy recruitment efforts.

“I experienced first-hand the pain that comes with recruiting, when I needed to urgently fill a technical position for my previous company,” he told Inc. Arabia in a conversation over the phone from their headquarters in Dubai.

“The job vacancy was placed on several job portals and social media outlets such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Within several days, my email box was flooded with hundreds of CVs – I had to juggle between emails and job sites, and ended up conducting interviews only to find out that very few of the applicants really fit the job.”

Bearing in mind the inefficiency which typically pervades today’s recruiting practices, SocialDice combines artificial intelligence technologies and partnerships with an eclectic array of existing job sites, including LinkedIn, leading MENA career site Bayt, and Monster.

The online platform enables employers to post job descriptions on these channels and spread the word about the vacancy, following a plan which can be either free or premium.

After the job has been posted, SocialDice aggregates and displays the data from the applicants. A workforce analytics allows to narrow down a pool of candidates that may be a long-term fit for a hard-to-fill position, by analyzing sentences rather than keywords and comparing their skill-set and experience against the job qualifications.

In doing so, it’s possible to extract key candidates’ career insights and more nuanced factors such as loyalty, career gaps, versatility and other KPIs that speak to their different personalities.

Whereas the startup does use highly complicated algorithms, the service works to maximize simplicity, accuracy, and speed all the way through the recruitment process in MENA, something which bodes well for one of the world’s fastest growing job markets.

Experts seem to agree that adopting algorithms is a ‘safe bet’ for the HR community.

Because data-driven talent acquisition provides higher-quality hires, as well as a needed boost to objectivity in the candidate assessment, numerous studies claim that workforce analytics is poised to become an increasingly important component of human resources management and a major trend in the years to come.

SocialDice has recently closed a second round of investment from regional and global venture funds 500 Startups, Sadara Ventures and Raed Ventures.

“500 Startups is excited to announce our investment in SocialDice, our first Palestinian startup. SocialDice has already shown traction in the UAE market, and we believe they have terrific potential for future growth and disruption in the talent management industry,” said in a press release Dave McClure, founder of global accelerator 500 Startups.

Other relevant investors are Zahi Khouri and Jordanian early stage and seed investment company Oasis 500.

At the time of writing, more than 80 companies have hired through SocialDice and over 300 people have been hired through the application. Prominent clients include Aramex, Fetchr, Tamatem, World Trade Center, In5.ae, WebTeb and Atypon.