Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Iain Buscombe :Matching Top Talents in Hospitality with Gateway Jobs

We recently had the opportunity to interview Iain Buscombe, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Gateway Jobs, a fast-growing startup offering SaaS recruitment and training solutions for the UAE service sector.

Iain is passionate about using digitalization to remove barriers and optimize workflows and prioritizes the same in his organization. At Gateway, they use Al and automation tools to evaluate candidates and connect the right people to their right opportunities at a fraction of the cost and resource as the more traditional methods. In this insightful interview, Iain Buscombe speaks about his career path, shares his vision for building their business legacy, and offers a glimpse of their services.

The Advent of This Journey

We started the interview by asking, “Can you walk us through your professional journey and how it led to where you are today?”


Iain shared, “Poya, my co-founder and I met in London in 2010 and became good friends. After following separate career paths, we have now reunited in Dubai to create Gateway Jobs, drawing on the experiences and expertise we’ve gained over the years.

Poya is an accomplished business and finance professional with a background in investment management and entrepreneurship. His career started at BlackRock which laid a solid foundation for his future ventures. Poya then became a partner at a recruitment firm in London, co-owned by his brother, where he blended his recruitment knowledge with his tech aspirations.

 This fueled the creation of Vitay.io, a SaaS platform designed to streamline the process of reference checks and job candidate verifications. Poya identified a market opportunity and grew Vitay.io 300% annually before exiting in 2022. This steadfast entrepreneurial background and expertise in HR make him a great partner and product champion.

He added ‘I have always been involved in international sales and distribution, much of it focused around the service sector. I recognize the value of front-line staff in a company’s success; they are critical to delivering the businesses financial goals, customer satisfaction and brand reputation. Also, having lived in the UAE for seven years, I have first-hand experience as both customer and client of how disruptive and costly it can be to bad hires and poorly managed employees. Looking at the bigger picture the service industries are at the forefront of the nation’s growth plans and therefore getting this right isn’t just a nice to have, it’s a strategic imperative.

 Because of this we wanted to build a business model that matches candidates to jobs, not just by qualifications and experience, but by a holistic understanding of their personality, cultural fit, and technical abilities. In many ways, a candidate’s work style, values, and behavior are strong indicators of their future engagement and retention rates, and employers need to be able to make quick and informed decisions.”

Balancing The Operations we asked-Iain Buscombe

Iain Buscombe

Eager to learn more about Iain and Poya’s approach to maintaining a balance in their visions and operational requirements, we asked, “How do you balance long-term vision with short-term operational needs?”

Iain shared, “As of April 2024, we’ve closed our first funding round, and we are developing the MVP to go to market in May. Our product is built around the specific nuances of the UAE hospitality sector and addresses the most relevant and important challenges HR, L&D, and operational teams face in recruitment and workforce management.

 We recognize that in a competitive market, we will need to provide a more intuitive and focused solution than our competitors, and our agility and feedback loop will drive ongoing product development until we have the best product in the UAE market to solve these specific problems.  This is our short-term goal.

 Over time our vision is to integrate many more workforce management tools and diversify into other industries, and when we fully understand our positioning and value proposition, expand further into MENA and eventually globally.”

Current Offerings

We were intrigued to learn more about the services offered by Gateway Jobs. So, we inquired, “Tell us more about your services and if you are planning to add something new in the future.”

He shared, “We will be launching with three core services:

  1. Applicant assessment software which can be used for direct hiring and placements through Gateway Jobs. We have in-built language tests, personality tests, and technical assessments which are role specific. By automating initial screening and first-level assessments, companies save on the resources that would otherwise be spent on checking resumes, vetting profiles, and numerous rounds of interviews.
  1. Placements through Gateway where we offer candidates based on client requirements, schedule the interviews, and assist with the onboarding.
  1. Tiered e-learning modules that facilitate professional development for candidates. These can be used by businesses to grade and benchmark their staff or for candidates to learn and increase their rating within the Gateway network.

Gradually, we will add many more workforce management features including an Insights Hub, Payroll System, and onboarding or offboarding system.”

Redefining Businesses

We asked, “How has digital transformation affected your business model? What emerging technologies do you believe will have the most significant impact on your industry in the next five years?”

Iain shared, “Our business is built on automation and AI. Far from being concerned about AI diminishing our workplace value, we should be looking at ways to integrate AI and automation into services to streamline operations and reduce costs. AI and automation enhance the efficiency and accuracy of linear tasks, yet businesses still rely on the human element—personal connections, emotional intelligence, and contextual judgment that AI can’t replicate.

Our company uses AI to handle straightforward tasks. Collecting enough data points to enable managers to make major strategic decisions quickly and confidently around hiring and workforce management. We have a dedicated team of software engineers and developers that use open AI to build the stacks, and this allows our business to offer high volume, consistent, and reliable outputs at low costs with flexible subscription and pricing models for our customers.”

Building a Legacy

Lastly, addressing our query of how Iain Buscombe visions to maintain his business legacy, we asked, “How do you want your business to be remembered, and what steps are you taking to secure that legacy?”

Iain concluded,We want people to know that the business comes from a deep connection and love for the Gulf Region. We believe we’ve identified a severe and costly problem and a solution that empowers companies to concentrate on building leadership teams, curating company cultures, and improving operations, while we take care of the simple, linear tasks of managing and training front line staff.”

Follow Iain Buscombe on LinkedIn.

Follow Poya Farighi on Linkedin.

Find Gateway Jobs on LinkedIn and visit their website https://www.gateway-jobs.com/

Sign up to Gateway Jobs – https://app.gateway-jobs.com.
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