For leading Palestinian PR firm Sky Media, there’s never a slow day at the office. Since its start in 1996, the advertising giant has seen record growth in its client base, especially after becoming the regional affiliate for Dubai-based Asda’a, the Middle East’s largest public relations company.
But fast expansion also means that Sky constantly needs more staff—and not just any staff: The firm looks for a select group of young, energetic, and talented college grads to fill key marketing and client relations posts. Finding this talent has always been tough: Even top-notch Palestinian university students don’t have good internet access, and few read the newspaper, so posting classified ads online or in print usually falters.
That’s where Souktel’s SMS JobMatch service comes in: In early May, Sky started using the service to post SMS job ads for entry level positions, and Souktel’s system sent these short text messages out to a targeted group of several hundred young business graduates—a specific bunch of job-seekers who had signed up to receive media job ads on their phones. To get Sky the best quality staff, Souktel JobMatch also went one step further: Each job-seeker who got the SMS ad and wanted the job had to fill out an SMS survey to ensure they met key Sky criteria: High grade-point averages, prior media experience, and excellent English. Through a series of question-and-answer text messages, Souktel collected precise information and narrowed the pool down to five top candidates—who were then sent straight to Sky for interviews. Total time spent on the hiring process? Less than 24 hours from job posting to interviews. Total cost? Under $20.
“We couldn’t believe how quickly the technology worked,” offered Sky executive Hana Karawi after getting the shortlist of job-seekers from Souktel’s web interface. “We were able to hire new staff within two days—that’s record time. And more importantly, we got the right people for the job thanks to Souktel’s filtering system: Usually we waste days interviewing people who just don’t meet our needs. And in this industry, every second counts”. New Sky employee and Souktel user Lama, age 22, was equally impressed by the SMS service: “I never thought about searching for a job on my phone, but it worked so quickly. My friends sit for months without work because they just don’t know where to look for job opportunities. But Souktel puts everything at your fingertips by sending SMS info right to your phone. It’s great!”
Since launching JobMatch in 2006, Souktel has helped hundreds of young Palestinians get jobs—and helped close to 20 major employers find staff—through its groundbreaking SMS service. The media sector is just one area where Souktel is making a difference: SMS Job-Matching also happens daily in more than 15 other industries, including IT, journalism, accounting—and fields like retail sales and office administration, which don’t require university degrees.