The Inspiring Journey of Maimuna Rashid and Pupilar
Maimuna Rashid, a trailblazing entrepreneur and the co-founder of Pupilar, an innovative hiring and networking platform based in the UAE, embarked on her remarkable journey driven by an unwavering passion for problem-solving. Her odyssey commenced during her university years when she encountered formidable biases and formidable challenges within the recruitment realm due to her personal choice to wear the niqab. Rather than bowing to the weight of these adversities, Maimuna chose the path of resilience and proactivity, ultimately culminating in the establishment of Pupilar. Her primary objective: to eliminate the pervasive scourge of unfair and biased recruitment practices.
Maimuna is a proud and tenacious individual whose academic achievements shine as a testament to her dedication and unwavering commitment to excellence. Throughout her academic tenure, she not only amassed over 50 prestigious awards but also displayed exceptional resolve and resilience in the face of biases that cast a shadow during the early stages of her career pursuit. These personal experiences became the driving force behind her unwavering determination to create a transformative platform that places skills at the forefront, transcending appearances and backgrounds.
Reimagining Recruitment: Pupilar's Skills-First Approach Redefines the Hiring Game
Together with her co-founder, Aqsa Khalifa, Maimuna has masterfully engineered a platform that challenges the conventional norms of recruitment. Pupilar, operational since March 2022, introduces a paradigm shift by embracing a skills-first approach to recruitment. It defies the reliance on traditional CVs and instead forges meaningful connections between candidates and employers through role-based challenges and skill-based profiles.
Under Maimuna's astute leadership, Pupilar has achieved remarkable milestones. The platform has successfully orchestrated over 95 hiring cycles for more than 60 esteemed companies in the UAE. Its impact has resonated far and wide, earning recognition at prominent regional events such as Expo 2020 Dubai, GITEX, and the Step Conference. One particularly noteworthy triumph was when Maimuna and her dedicated team clinched victory at the University Entrepreneurship Program, a prestigious competition organized by the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF).
Maimuna's unwavering commitment to her cultural identity and her resolute mission to dismantle biases entrenched within the recruitment process permeate every facet of her work with Pupilar. Her remarkable journey is a testament to her indomitable spirit, boundless determination, and innovative approach. In a world where biases and discrimination continue to challenge progress, Maimuna stands as a luminous beacon of inspiration for all, offering hope and guidance to those who navigate similar hurdles.
Revolutionizing Recruitment: Maimuna Rashid's Pupilar Transforms the Hiring Landscape
Together with Aqsa Khalifa, her co-founder, Maimuna has successfully built a platform that challenges the traditional recruitment process. Pupilar, operational since March 2022, focuses on a skills-first recruitment process, eliminating the need for traditional CVs and instead connecting candidates and employers through role-based challenges and skill-based profiles.
Under Maimuna's leadership, Pupilar has achieved significant milestones. The platform has conducted over 95 hiring cycles for more than 60 companies in the UAE and has been recognized at major regional events like Expo 2020 Dubai, GITEX, and the Step Conference. One of the most notable achievements for Pupilar came when Maimuna and her team emerged as winners at the University Entrepreneurship Program organized by Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) and Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF).
HOW PUPILAR IS HELPING CHANGE THE WAY COMPANIES HIRE IN THE UAE
This procedure can be either standardized or customized. In the case of standardized hiring, companies select a pre-established "template" provided by Pupilar, which then guides the hiring process. Conversely, customization allows companies to design their own tests, activities, or challenges tailored to their specific recruitment needs.
In addition to these options, Pupilar also offers a traditional CV-based approach as part of its talent-based hiring services, integrating artificial intelligence into the process. Maimuna explains, "We leverage AI tools to assess how well the conventional CV metric aids us in identifying potential candidates. We employ specific filtration techniques to ensure that we continue to prioritize candidates' skills, rather than relying solely on AI tools."
Currently, Pupilar focuses on catering to individuals aged 15 to 30. To actively engage this demographic, the platform employs an internal approval process. During this assessment, the team interacts with candidates to determine their suitability for onboarding onto the platform. Thus far, Pupilar has collaborated with 120 companies to provide its HR tech services, boasting esteemed clients such as Cisco, Dubai International Finance Centre, Aurora50, and Sharaf DG. Its network comprises a community of 54,000 young individuals.
Facilitating newcomers in navigating the interview process
According to Maimuna, young individuals often find the term "interview" daunting. "To showcase their skills effectively, it's crucial to create a comfortable environment for them," she shares with YourStory Gulf Edition. To address this hesitancy in the interview process, she suggests shifting the focus to a networking event. She believes that this change allows recruiters and candidates to establish stronger connections and gain a better mutual understanding.
Gaining access to the platform
After becoming a registered user, a candidate becomes integrated into the platform's extensive database and gains access to various activities. Pupilar organizes programs where it brings in industry experts to engage with candidates. Aqsa explains their unique approach, saying, "We arrange these sessions in a way that the youth do not recognize the presence of a leader among them. This minimizes intimidation, fostering more open and spontaneous conversations." The topics covered primarily focus on enhancing employability skills, encompassing areas such as career advancement, personal development, intra-company interactions, and industry-specific skills. Additionally, Pupilar has established a youth community known as GEN2XP, where community members convene every two weeks for discussions and networking.