In this exclusive interview, Matthew de la Hey, the co-founder of inploi, software that provides hiring decision-makers with better analytics and big data to perform better hiring-based decisions, discusses his company’s corporate ethos.
Coming from South Africa, he understood first-hand the unfairness of life and wanted to make a difference.
“South Africa is a highly complex and beautiful place with one of the most unequal societies in the world. Growing up and being exposed to its inequalities instilled a strong sense of social justice.
“I think to survive as a society; we must address how capitalism works. Capitalism must adapt, level the playing field, and create opportunity for all.”
Part of that vision led de la Hey to become a Council for Inclusive Capitalism council member last year. He sees capitalism as an extraordinary economic system for growth and innovation, but this vehicle needs to be harnessed for everyone. Otherwise, society will buckle under its own weight and the inequality it produces.
“We need to build more equal, more productive, happier, healthier societies, rather than a race to the bottom where some people get very rich, and many people have nothing. We need a more inclusive, sustainable approach that considers all stakeholders and upholds a social contract”.
During the lockdowns, de la Hey set up Ozymandeus, a literary platform publishing creative writing submissions from everyone. He says this project was only a cover for him to publish some of his own poetry.
A spark of an idea
The irony of moving to the UK to study Africa is not lost on him. Looking for summer work while couch-surfing between his degrees, he found it challenging to find and apply for jobs online.
In 2016, with his friend Alex Hanson-Smith who’d had shared experiences and was still couch surfing, they evaluated why online hiring methods were not working for job seekers or companies. They both decided this was more than a problem. It was a business opportunity.
Shopify for hiring
inploi’s solution has been dubbed the ‘Shopify for hiring’ for enterprise hiring, with its software with a service approach. Rather than trying to disrupt the HR tech sector, they have set out to harmonize it.
inploi began life as a software marketplace for hiring, modeled on the platform Linkedin. Over time and during the pandemic, they realized that the user experience for the candidates needed to be fixed.
According to de la Hey, “Low-skilled workers are essential. Coming out of the pandemic, the labor market has been historically tight, and companies did not have the technology or the expertise to navigate that.”
Realizing that companies face outdated talent attraction systems for reaching millennial and GenZ audiences, inploi moved from building a marketplace model to creating a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution for large employers.
inploi integrates with existing back-end systems to transform the way companies reach candidates and convert them into hireable applicants.
“We’ve done a lot of work optimizing traditionally clunky application flows, such as improving the navigation and mobile experience, to improve the candidate’s experience for applying for jobs.”
Using industry-leading tracking and analytics infrastructure, inploi streamlines everything from attracting candidates to focusing on conversions through the talent funnel. From the first contact with a job seeker to the final point of hire.
Funding and expansion
inploi works clients include brands like Compass Group, Butlins, Wagamama, and Haven, with many of their clients coming from the U.K.
In 2016, the company raised seed funding to build the first iteration of its minimum viable product (MVP). In 2023, the company secured £1.35 million in funding to accelerate the company’s growth further.
inploi is expanding its operations and client base to Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Italy, and Switzerland, fueled by large enterprise companies like A.S. Watson Group adopting their recruiting software to support their blue-chip clients further.