Matthew de la Hey is the co-founder & CEO at inploi, a company on a mission to connect the world’s workforce and its employers.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’m the co-founder and CEO of a London-based talent attraction technology company, called inploi.
inploi helps enterprises modernise their candidate experience without overhauling existing HR systems via a proprietary SaaS platform that delivers increased reach, improved conversion rates, and comprehensive data insights, empowering enterprises to attract, engage and hire the future of their workforce.
We’ve been working on inploi (a few iterations of it!) since early 2016. Before that, I worked briefly for a private equity fund investing in agricultural assets in Africa, and before that, I was a student.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
We’re still in the ‘a few people doing a lot of different things’ stage, so each day is super varied, with many hats on my head throughout the day.
We kick off everyday with a team all-hands at 09:00. It’s an opportunity for all of us to dial in from wherever we are, and to run through what we’re going to be working on for the day. From there it’s onto whatever is on the agenda.
Take today for example: 07:00-08:00 gym/run/shower. 08:00-09:00 read the news, clean out my inbox (archive invoices etc.), consider what’s on the agenda for today. 09:00 – stand up. 09:30 – on-boarding session with my co-founder Alex and two new hires – Rezza, our new designer and Rasul, our new back-end engineer.
Rezza is in Istanbul, Rasul is in Minsk. Make sure their emails are working and they have access to Slack, Asana, and other bits of software we use. 10:00-12:00 branding and design orientation session with one of our enterprise customers, ahead of a relaunch of their job search and careers pages and new candidate attraction campaigns for 2022.
12:00-13:00 – lunch and cycle into the office. 13:00-14:00 review VAT return ahead of submission to the tax authorities. 14:00-15:00 review and respond to applicants for our Head of Sales position.
15:00 – 16:00 strategy session to consider some key product decisions for the coming year and our site redesign. 16:00 -16:30 review and edit the proposal going out to an enterprise customer. 16:30 – 17:00 check in with our PR team about a couple of releases going out.
17:00-18:30 various admin points: reply to investor queries, respond to this interview request, draft employment contract for new starter, check performance of a client campaign we’re running, follow-up with sales leads, follow-up with accountants on issuing shares for our recent funding round, etc etc etc.
The broad outline for tomorrow looks similar, but with a whole different array of things to get done, done. Call with the Design Council regarding a London Mayor’s Office programme we’re on called Designing London’s Recovery; preparation for interviewing potential hires later this week; check-in call with an investor; an all-hands session on our content plan for 2022; a pitch with a potential enterprise customer.
You get the gist – a lot of varied responsibilities across a very wide range of business functions.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes, we’re now fully flexible at inploi. Prior to COVID we were office-based, with all of the London-based team going into the office every day. When the UK went into lockdown in March 2020 we shuttered the office, and were fully remote until the beginning of November 2021.
We learned that we could work really well as a team regardless, with people contributing from anywhere in the world.
We’ve just moved into some new office space again though, as despite working effectively with a remote team there was a desire amongst a number of people for proximity, and for a delineation between the work and home environment. As we grow we also think some facetime is important for the development of culture.
We now try to be in the office all together at least a few days a week. As ever though, the most important thing for us is output rather than hours in the office.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work-life balance means maintaining the ability to pursue interests outside of work (including a social life), whilst making sure you get what needs to be done.
That is obviously not a permanent state, and at times that balance goes completely out of the window, because let’s face it building a start-up is a sisyphean task, and the boulder doesn’t roll itself.
In aggregate though, striving for equilibrium makes the marathon sustainable, and frequently ‘ex-work’ pursuits/interests have a positive impact on work anyway; whether networking, exercise, tangential insights or just some distance from the day-to-day that gives clarity of thought.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I’ve started fitting in at least 30 mins a day of learning French (using an app called Pimsleur currently); I’ve started to pay more attention to keeping fit, and try to get to bed earlier. I read this recently, on the importance of habits and the psychology of changing them. Worth a read!
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Books – The Hard Thing about Hard Things ( Ben Horrowitz), That Will Never Work (Marc Randolph) are great start-up books. The Lean Startup is also essential reading; Siddhartha (Hermann Hesse); The Sorrows of Young Werther (Goethe); The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) are short and powerful. The New York Times Daily, Intelligence Squared, Greylock Matters, and A16z podcasts.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
My Macbook Pro 13″ is an essential companion. They’re powerful, small, hardy, and stay that way for years. I had the previous one for 6 years and have just traded it in for a new model. Various Moleskin journals and a fineliner pen. When I’m managing to fit in exercising then Strava/MyFitnessPal/Fitbit.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I read this last night, which struck me as wise/apt: “A [the] world is supported by four things… the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the righteous and the valor of the brave. But all of these are as nothing, without a ruler who knows the art of ruling.”
That’s Herbert in Dune. Substitute leader/leading for ruler/ruling; and have that person have a little of all of those things, and I think he’s on point.
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