With youth unemployment at a staggering 40 percent, Palestinians are embracing all things tech to secure new opportunities in one of the fastest-growing industries around the world. MENACatalyst spoke to Daniel Easterman and Malak Baghdadi of Palestine Tech Jobs to learn how their game-changing startup is helping Palestinians access remote high-tech opportunities to kick-start their careers.
What is your startup Palestine Tech Jobs all about?
Daniel: Palestine Tech Jobs is a centralized platform for both local Palestinian startups and international companies to list their remote jobs. The platform targets developers at all stages, including junior, mid-level and senior developers because those are the positions that are in-demand on an international level.
Why should people join?
Daniel: Job opportunities and postings are quite fractured in Palestine. And we found a niche in the market where we didn’t feel like people who work in tech had a particular site tailored to their needs. Job seekers have to navigate between different platforms to find jobs, including endless Facebook groups, non-specialized job posting websites, as well as both printed and digital media outlets.
Through our centralized platform, job seekers in the field of tech and programming can access a world of remote opportunities all from one convenient, easy-to-use location. We are continuously optimizing our platform, with new opportunities and features based on our dedicated community’s feedback.
Basically, it is a worldwide shortage of software engineering talent. So for international companies, we believe that recruiting Palestinians is ideal because of their skills, competitive price, and the dedication to their work and loyalty to employers which translates into higher retention rates than tech workers in other parts of the world. But it is also important to note that these companies offer much higher wages than domestically.
Can you talk a bit about the team behind Palestine Tech Jobs and how you are changing the game for Palestinian job-seekers?
Daniel: The team behind Palestine Tech Jobs is myself (Daniel) and Malak. Malak is working on the Palestinian business development front and audience development on the Palestinian candidate side. Whereas I am involved in developing the product and working on web development and reaching out to international based startups and companies eager to outsource remote jobs to Palestine
Malak: For me, coming from a background in high-tech, I understand how people in this sector think. Millennials in tech are famous for the high rate of turnover in the workspace, they are looking for growth opportunities all the time. They want to grow and build a dynamic career, this is why securing remote digital opportunities is so important, because it opens new doors.
What is the main problem your startup is solving?
Daniel: Youth unemployment in Palestine is at an all-time high at 40 percent. And those employed receive a wage below the international median standards. Whereas education is vibrant in Palestine and highly prized, the country has a new tech-savvy generation coming up. And there are thousands of software engineering graduates who have that basis of skills but need the practical experience to get to the next level and work and collaborate with international companies. So with our startup, we are working to enable that connection to happen.
How are you getting the word out there?
Daniel: We are spreading the word with weekly email newsletters that sums up all the new job postings. Prior to our launch, we built a considerable tech-minded community on Facebook. We are always engaging our community with and optimizing our platform based on their feedback and requests.
We are also developing blog posts that reflect that Palestinian entrepreneurial and high-tech ecosystem, for example, tips and tricks on how to improve your CV, what international companies are looking for, and how to transfer university skills to practical skills, to name a few.
What is next for Palestine Tech Jobs?
Daniel: One of our potential long-term plans is to bring connections to Palestinians and the gulf market. Particularly because quite a few startups are emerging from that region that are getting billion-dollar valuations. Given the similar language and culture, as well as the positive reputation Palestinian engineers have in the gulf market, there is considerable potential to create a bridge to facilitate new opportunities.
On the product side, we are looking to enhance functionality and introduce user accounts to create a more comprehensive hiring platform where companies directly connect to potential recruits.
What impact are you working to achieve with Palestine Tech Jobs?
Daniel: For me, the main thing is we want to provide people with greater financial freedom. We think the difference in salaries could be quite significant and the flexibility and the ability to work remotely, work from home, and if you have a family to be able to manage your time around that. Indirectly, companies from different countries can also impact the Palestinian startup ecosystem, because those experiences and new skills gained could inspire people to set up businesses or launch startups and hopefully make their ecosystem stronger as a whole.
Malak: With this platform, I want to support the Palestinian economy by helping Palestinians find jobs and build their professional careers. For Palestinian based junior, mid-level, and senior engineers, working with international companies would help them gain practical skills, secure new opportunities, and ultimately contribute to the growth of the Palestinian tech-based entrepreneurial ecosystem.
To learn more, visit: https://palestinetechjobs.com
And contact the team behind the startup at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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