Helping employers attract and retain hidden talent
Company: Inclusively provides a workforce inclusion platform that connects job seekers with employers who are committed to attracting and retaining previously hidden talent. The platform empowers employers with accommodation insights, access, training and support they need.
HQ Location & Year Founded: Richmond, VA, 2019
Founder: Charlotte Dales, Co-founder and CEO, is a serial entrepreneur who previously founded CAKE Technologies, which she sold to American Express, where she remained for several years and served as VP Benefit Innovation. Charlotte previously worked as an investment banker with Deutsche Bank in London and New York. Charlotte holds a degree in media studies from the University of Colorado in Boulder.
Funds Raised and VC Investors: $5.5 million from Acumen America, Arch Grants, Charlottesville Angel Network, Eudaimonia Capital, How Women Invest, Naples Technology Ventures, Purple Sage Ventures, Sorenson Impact Foundation, Tech Square Ventures, The Pearl Fund
Where did the idea for Inclusively originate?
I lived in London for 10 years, where I started and sold my first company. At the same time, my cousin became the first known licensed facialist with Down’s syndrome. Her employer only had to make slight adjustments to allow her to work in this environment. It is a rewarding career for her and more meaningful than simpy folding towels. I got to thinking about how to make it easier for employees across the disability spectrum. I thought about how to create a data model around personalization. The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets what is a reasonable accommodation, however it allows for employer subjectivity and interpretation. My cousin was always encouraged by her parents to do more than other people would tell her she was capable of. I believe that people with disabilities should be empowered with the tools to have the most productive and rewarding careers possible.
What is the key problem that Inclusively intends to solve?
We are solving for people with disabilities by enabling them to access more professional positions. Historically people were told not to disclose disabilities for fear of ruining thier chances in the hiring process. On the candidate side, we are giving more tools as well as access to employers. On the employer side, we solve the problem of being able to scalably provide accommodations to people with a range of disabilities. We are helping employers to operationalize ESG goals. We help with establishing accommodations, instruction and training. The current solutions are not working and we need to catch people with the information that they need. We are working with nonprofits, the Veterans Administration, government agencies and aggregating into one place a pipeline of talent.
How are you most differentiated as a service?
On the candidate side, we work with them to upload credentials and information that is typical for job searching. We help them select relevant jobs and prepare for interviews, while recommending candidates through our applicant tracking system.
On the employer side, we know what accommodations our candidates require. There are consultancies that have developed strategies, but these are typically made for executing in 10,000-person companies. Our biggest differentiator is that our solution actually helps everyone. We offer flexibility, equity and, while normalizing the ability to ask for accommodations and become more successful.
We can make the workforce more productive with a lower turnover rate, and help the employer to make measurable progress.
What are the company’s key accomplishments to date?
We work with over 50 enterprises, including Apple, Accenture, Delta Air Lines, Charles Schwab and Barclays. Wer started with big companies as this will make it easier to enter the mid-market. Our annual recurring revenue has now topped $1 million. Our platform provides sccess to one million candidates through 1000 different advocate organizations. We use our network to target candidates to help place in the right jobs. Over 50,000 active candidates use our platform across a wide range of jobs and geographies.
What lies ahead in the plans for Inclusively?
We are focused on getting employers more engaged, while also adding as many people with an account as possible, similar to LinkedIn. We aim to be able to serve anyone. The tools that people with disabilities will use will be applicable for anyone. We aim to create true equity. As an additional next step, we will be looking to work directly with caregivers on the tools that they require.
Undervaluing and dismissing the potential of individuals with disabilities is a sad historical legacy that needs to be overcome. It first begins with the belief that people should not be held back because of low expectations. The next step is to provide tools, resources and a supportive community that will enable people with disabilities to contribute to their maximum potential. Employers play a huge role in this, not just by a willingness to hire more people, but to be able to train and accommodate them. Organizations must practice what they preach around diversity and inclusion, and tools such as Inclusively will allow them to do this and even gain a competitive advantage against competitors who continue to look away from this untapped supply of talent.