We talked to Matthew de la Hey, Co-Founder and CEO of inploi about offering clients a full suite of technology, branding, and marketing solutions that enable employers to reach and engage the future of their workforce. This is what he said.
What is inploi, and what do you do?
Matthew de la Hey: inploi is a recruitment technology services provider offering clients a full suite of technology, branding, and marketing solutions that enable employers to reach and engage the future of their workforce. From content creation for employer branding through job distribution, programmatic media buying, social media recruiting, applicant tracking, HR process automation, and more – all delivered through a bespoke online platform – inploi works with leading companies of all sizes across diverse markets and geographies, helping them to stay ahead of the curve.
How has Covid impacted your business, and how have you adapted, or what has changed?
Matthew de la Hey: Coming into 2020, inploi was a hospitality-focused recruitment marketplace with a pipeline full of hotels, pubs, restaurants, cafes, and other food, beverage, and accommodation service providers. We’d recently closed a funding round and were poised to achieve further traction in the sector. Then Covid arrived, the hospitality sector was shuttered, and almost overnight, the demand for recruitment marketing technology evaporated.
We made some tough decisions, cut costs to extend our runway, and set about adapting to a new reality, assuming that the disruption would last far longer than many people were suggesting. “Things will be open again by the summer” was a prevailing view back then.
We then got to work refining and enhancing our product, bringing forward future plans, and developing new ones. After a year of hard work, inploi is now sector agnostic, works anywhere in the world, and is running three new revenue streams. We’ve launched a job aggregation model (after building a job feed management and bidding system), making hundreds of thousands of jobs available to candidates on the platform; we’ve recently launched in New Zealand as a test case for international expansion, and we’ve developed a ‘white label’ product for large enterprises, delivering a beautiful front end to their recruitment marketing, distributing their jobs across the internet (via our distribution engine and platform integrations), and delivering candidates back into their existing applicant tracking systems.
With these developments, inploi becomes a powerful tool enabling companies to diversify their recruitment marketing stack, adding channels that help them to reach new pools of talent. We think of these tech-savvy, mobile-first internet users and modern job seekers, The New Collar Workforce. inploi allows companies to reach, engage, and hire from this demographic.
What were some key lessons learned?
Matthew de la Hey: One of the most important things we did during the pandemic centred on communication. Communication with our stakeholders is a key pillar of our approach to business anyways, but we turned this up a notch during the pandemic. There was so much uncertainty all over the place. The team were worried about the company; shareholders were worried about their investments; customers were worried about their businesses; candidates were worried about holding their jobs, or the availability of new ones, and everybody was worried about their health and well-being. We communicated with all of our stakeholders openly, honestly, and frequently: letting them know where we were at as a business, what we were working on, where there was a risk, where we could help others, and where we needed help. I think all of these constituencies appreciated this. It also allowed us to be better leaders and strategists by thinking all of these things through and articulating them. Communication is key!
How does inploi innovate?
Matthew de la Hey: When Alex and I founded inploi, we had a firm idea of the problem we were seeking to solve and the product we were going to build to solve it. After some market testing and validation, we built an MVP and started testing it with users – customers and job seekers. The distance we have traveled from that first version to where we are now is substantial! Our innovative process starts with a theory of change – i.e., an idea about how a new innovation will solve a particular problem or achieve a particular objection. We then test the concept before writing any code, and if there are no red flags, build an ‘MVP’ version to test in-market. We gather feedback and observe data; we refine, and we adjust. It is an iterative, ongoing process. When is our product going to be ‘done’? The answer, which it should be for every technology company, is never! Continuous innovation is essential to ongoing and enhanced success. Not change for the sake of it, of course not, but a responsiveness to changes in the environment you’re operating in, and a view to the future about how the world is likely to change — externally to the business (with implications for it), or indeed in ways that the success of your business/product may bring about. Play to where the puck is going to be, not where it is right now.