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CareerBuilder is a Trainwreck


CareerBuilder is a mess right now, according to our sources. We're talkin' execs jumping ship, layoffs, angry sales people and a lot of bitter 'Builders. Tune in for all the latest.

Oh wait, there's more:

- Indeed Crowd is a failure - Ladders tries its hand at referrals - Snagajob is now Snag ... here's why - Monster goes 2-pane - What do Textio, and Indeed have in common? - Oh, Canada! Indeed acquires Workopolis

And lots more. It's the first show to go over an hour, but we think you'll be rewarded for your time. Just listen to it in 2X and cut it down to 30 mins. Boom!

And check out our sponsors: America's Job Exchange, Sovren, JobAdX and Ratedly. No dumpster fires at these companies (cough ... CareerBuilder ... cough).


Announcer: Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash, and Joel Cheesman are here punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news. Brash opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up boys and girls it's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast.

Joel: Spring is finally in the air kids. Welcome to the Chad and Cheese Podcast where we have our way with the news of the day and HR and recruiting. I like that. That's [crosstalk 00:00:37]-

Chad: That was bad.

Joel: No. That's awesome. I'm Joel Cheesman.

Chad: And I'm Chad Sowash.

Joel: On this week's show, Careerbuilder is an absolute dumpster fire. Indeed, is throwing in the towel, aye?

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: That was awful, and we ask does a Snagajob by any other name taste just as sweet? Buckle up kids, we're not drunk, I promise, but this is going to be a bumpy show.

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Joel: New ads, same silky voice from Sovren.

Chad: Whoa. Yeah. You're dumb so don't worry about trying to outsmart the robot. The robot will take care of all your pleasure and needs.

Joel: Absolutely. This show could tip the scale at an hour, so let's run through shout outs real quick.

Chad: Okay. You were in Erie last week. I've got a quick question, did Ed from Philly jack up any of your interviews? Because he was stalking you for a while.

Joel: No. You know, he talks a lot of trash. I was a little afraid that he might, you know, pop me on the head, you know back of the head during the show, but he didn't even come say hi, so I'm a little sad. Yeah. Ed, next show, man, come say hi, we love our listeners, whether they're team Chad, or team Cheese.

Chad: Ed come on, man. You're team Chad, you should at least put a little smack on his head while he was doing the interview.

Joel: A little karate shop in the throat.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: Something, man.

Chad: That's what we expect somebody from Philly, the city of brotherly love. Also, Nancy from Philly said, "No more of the use of off the chain or lit," she said, "Don't do that."

Joel: I'll agree with that for sure. Yeah. Sorry, Nancy.

Chad: Our bad. Job doctor, "Very smart," love this guy. He wanted us to know about 82 labs. They just received eight million dollars in funding to create a better hangover recovery drink, because he knows all of next week we're going to be where?

Joel: Vegas. Vegas, baby.

Chad: Good. Love it. Job doctor.

Joel: You know, I have found, I think, the solid hangover remedy. It's called Fly By, F-L-Y, B-Y.

Chad: Okay.

Joel: It's a pill, and I have tried it as an old white guy, not that white has anything to do with it, but as an old guy my hangovers were hurting, so for what it's worth I've tried a few Fly By is pretty good. I'm going to be taking it to Vegas for sure.

Chad: Okay. I'll be bumming some off of you then. Louise Triance I want to hope that I'm saying that right, she sent a picture to us on Facebook, she tagged us, she's on a beach looking at, I'm assuming the ocean, and she said, "Chad and Cheese, you sound so much cheerier when I'm listening in the sun."

Joel: Now, Louise is English, so I'm guessing she's in the south of France, or Spain, or Greece, or somewhere really nice like that, so glad we could cheer you up there, Louise.

Chad: Yeah. It's a beautiful thing. We've got some big ups for new leaders out there, Tom Kenney, who was the CTO over at SmashFly, and if you listen to Chad and Cheese regularly we just did an interview with him in Ireland while we were drinking Guinness. He was just promoted to CEO of SmashFly. Awesome.

Joel: That's great.

Chad: Big ups, man.

Joel: Thad-

Chad: Yep.

Joel: Thad at our buddies at Jobs2Careers is their new CEO as well, so shout out to Thad over there in Texas.

Chad: Thad Price, man, he's been there forever. Big ups.

Joel: It's not because of his long tenure that he's CEO, the guy actually knows what he's doing.

Chad: Oh, yeah. Maybe I don't know.

Joel: Speaking of dudes who know what they're doing, a quick shout out to Anoop Gupta, who I did interview on the last podcast from ERE, just the dude is super smart, he's CEO of, he's from Microsoft, he's way smarter than most of the people who get into this business, including yours truly. I just want to thank Anoop for being in the industry, and making it a little smarter, so shout out to Anoop there in Seattle.

Chad: Yeah. If you didn't listen to the last podcast, go back, there are four interviews, very quick interviews, and I believe, Joel, at least two of them have already shown interest in being on firing squad.

Joel: Do they know what they're getting into, is my question?

Chad: I hope not. I want to be able to give a quick shout out to everybody that's out there listening about LinkedIn meltdowns that are happening and we get to watch them, much like we get to watch it happen on Facebook every day, but I actually had an individual reach out to me on messenger, I can't tell who it is, you might have seen him in the stream go crazy and meltdown this week, "Chad, please look over my profile and resume, if you see that you can help me finding some interesting products to work on I cost X, expenses," blah, blah, blah. "Here's my resume. My specialization is turnaround, and startup." I thought, wow, okay, that's pretty cool. But this is how he ended the message, "If you can't help me, drop me." At that point, dude, at that point-

Joel: Drop me?

Chad: Yeah. Exactly. I was like, okay, well fuck you.

Joel: Is he a baked potato? Drop me?

Chad: Yeah. Just off of-

Joel: Did you know this cat?

Chad: No.

Joel: Did you disconnect with him?

Chad: I don't know him we're just linked like you are with many people on LinkedIn, and he's just like pretty much, like, hey, if you can't help me get a job then just drop me from your connections. Everything was great til then, then I looked back and I started looking in my feed and he just had a total meltdown on LinkedIn, so yeah, this is a great example of what not to do on a professional network. Now, if you want to treat LinkedIn like Snapchat, or you want to treat it like Facebook, understand there are going to be more than likely ramifications that are different than if you do that on Facebook.

Joel: This had to be a millennial.

Chad: No. Dude, I don't think so. I really don't think so.

Joel: Did you reply to his, drop me if you're not going to help me?

Chad: No.

Joel: Or did you drop him before he had a chance to drop you?

Chad: Dude, I don't have time to go through all that shit, if he wants to he can find a way to drop me.

Joel: Right. We have LinkedIn etiquette, occasionally on the show. Yeah. Don't reach out to someone you don't really know just because you're connected and say, help me, or drop me.

Chad: That's just dumb as hell.

Joel: All right. Speaking of LinkedIn, on the positive side, a shout out to Nick Nick Kroshus who I met in San Diego, a big fan there employed at LinkedIn, shout out to Nick, appreciate the listenership.

Chad: Love the LinkedIn. This is just for fun, a shout out that came from Ron Pearlman to Mark Zuckerberg this is his tweet, “Is it just me, but every time I hear Mark Zuckerberg talk I feel like Jim Henson's got his hand up his ass.”

Joel: Zuckerberg who had testified in front of Congress-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: This week, actually sat on a booster chair, you didn't believe me when I told you, but go search Zuck Congress booster chair, whatever, and he's literally sitting on a booster chair.

Chad: Is it like a phone book? Is it like an old standard phone book?

Joel: It's like one of those seat cushions you would get going to baseball games, and sitting in the bleachers, you want to pad your butt a little bit. It's like one of those booster chairs. It's not like one of the ones at the restaurants for the kids.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: It's not quite that bad, but somebody wanted him to be elevated, so he looked more powerful, I assume. Anyway, my last shout out goes to Brian Mercer who is also at ERE, a fan of the show, he's head of the digital HR tech over at Mercer Healthcare, so thanks for listening Brian, appreciate it.

Chad: One big thing, where are we going to be next week? We're going to be in Vegas. What are we doing?

Joel: SHRM Talent, we're just going to break shit and scare-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: People, I think. Then TATech probably the same thing, although it'll be a repeat performance of all of our TATech shows, so it won't be quite as nice.

Chad: Yeah. I think-

Joel: [crosstalk 00:09:35] I guess.

Chad: We've tempered the crowd at TATech and they understand what's going to happen, but SHRM Talent, I mean, literally it's going to be a fun time for us, let's just say that.

Joel: It's going to be like the movie Weird Science, where the motorcycle gang kind of breaks into the house and eats all the food, and trashes everything, and then Kelly LeBrock comes in and fixes it, but up until that point I think that's going to be sort of us at SHRM Talent next week.

Chad: That being said, last but not least, I want thank Disability Solutions, because Disability Solutions understands that everyone, even the hard of hearing and the deaf need a little Chad and Cheese in their life, so thanks again to Disability Solutions for making sure that transcription of this podcast and all the other podcasts are available.

Joel: Can we get to the show, now?

Chad: Yes, please.

Joel: All right. Great. Okay. I'm going to take a breath before this. Okay.

Chad: Here it is.

Joel: I'm going to start, here it is, Chad is just going to sit back and listen. There's a Careerbuilder story that I've been working on writing for ERE for over a week now, and I want to express that the opinions that I'm about to drop are not the opinions of ERE who I write stories for. They're totally divorced from what I'm about to say, and comment. A lot of it will be the same as a story, but a lot of it will be sort of my own opinion, but they are not responsible for anything I say. Now, that, that is out of the way.

Chad: Wait a minute. Nobody tells me or Joel what to say. Period. These are our opinions. It's our show, and if you don't like them, stop listening. If you love it, then share the hell out of it, but other than that ERE doesn't have anything to do with us. I mean, even our sponsors, or our conference partners. We let them know right out of the gate, this is our shit, if you don't like it you don't have to be a part of it. The thing is, they enjoy it, and hopefully you do too.

Joel: Thank you, Chad. You're right. Nobody tells us shit.

Chad: Fuck yeah.

Joel: And we don't listen anyway. A little back story, a couple of weeks ago I get a text, all these sources are going to be anonymous, I will say none of my sources are scrubs. They typically are upper level management type folks, so take that for what it's worth, but I get a text from someone that basically says, Careerbuilder has canceled their annual show for sales people. They have a conference every year in multiple places around the country, apparently called, The President's Club, where sales people that perform really well are rewarded appropriately. As many of you know, Careerbuilder was acquired last year by Apollo Global, who is a private equity firm. Now, when private equity firms buy a company, it's not like Randstad buying Monster, like a staffing company kind of synchronized business models. Private equity firms have one job, and that's maximize profitability, which is what Apollo is doing. Now, when you maximize profit some eggs get cracked. Right? You're making omelets-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: You're making the most money, things are going to get broken, so a lot of things have been canceled. Executives are leaving. It's a little unclear in terms of are they being fired? Are they resigning? Quote on quote. Are they actually just getting the hell out of dodge, because they don't like how the furniture is being reorganized. We also have really mad people in sales. We have engineers exiting. Anyway, I get a text that sort of starts this whole flow. I check with sources at the company, people I know, and people that they know, et cetera. Right? This thing starts unraveling. I get an audio clip, which we're going to play-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: After an ad, because we're going to talk about the executives, first, then we're going to talk about the engineers leaving. I get an audio that's just gold in terms of media perspective, but it's basically their head of sales, or someone high up in sales saying that this sales trip is not canceled, it's postponed. He goes on to blame really unique reasons as to why they're not going to Mexico, which was the original plan of the company, and this contradicts the plan that-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: Their CEO had said, the trip is canceled. Okay?

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: We'll get to that in a second. Anyway, as I dig deeper into this story, more and more people come out, because I was writing a story in ERE that was in draft form, it wasn't ready for primetime. ERE was legitimately hacked probably by WordPress SEO people and the story went live, unexpectedly, not on purpose. It has since been pulled. Of course, it was in Google's cash, good old Google grabbed it up. The story was still available and still made the rounds. I don't know if it's in Google, still, but it might be. Finalized version of that story should be coming out soon, if it's not already out by the time you listen to this, but the story got out, so when the story got out, more and more people came forward to tell me what was going on. I think most notably some top executives are leaving the company. You and I know most of these guys, like Richard Castellini is a former guy-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: Who's been there for almost 20 years.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: He left for a little bit to join the Groupon phase, when everyone was into that, it was a site call like Coupon Cabin, I think, but he quickly rejoined Careerbuilder and he's been there for a long time. There's another guy, Colin Field, who was a headhunter acquisition he's vice president of infrastructure, he has since left the company. His LinkedIn profile has been updated. He's now at New Relic, apparently. Jim Butler, not a headhunter guy, but he was former senior director of governance, risk and compliance, not a flimsy title. He's not COO at a company called, NetWatchman according to his LinkedIn profile. Kevin Knapp, who is or was CFO, apparently, according to my sources been gone for quite a while, even though his LinkedIn profile says that he's still at Careerbuilder, so I'm not sure about that. These are really important people that-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: Leaving the company. Old time people, part of the culture. Part of the fabric of Careerbuilder. Apollo brought in their own COO it looks like at the end of last year, Irina Novoselsky, if I'm saying that correctly. I don't know if she was brought in to ax people and upper level stuff, I don't know. The first piece of this story is that executives are leaving that have been with the company for a long time, and I have to attribute that, and the sources that I've talked to, attribute that to what Apollo's doing with really just cutting stuff up. Sources I've talked to said, "They wouldn't be surprised if all these sort of businesses that we talked about in the past will either be auctioned off, chopped up, closed, you know, shuttered in the future," but it's a problem. CEO, Ferguson is still there. He's been there for a very long time. I think he was a headhunter guy, too.

Chad: I'm wondering how long that's going to be, though?

Joel: Yeah. I mean, my guess is, this is my own opinion is he's probably under contract to sort of get the ship to port, and then do whatever you want, but I think similarly to how Sal left Monster, a little bit different, but Sal's gone, Dice is looking for a new CEO, I would not be shocked to see Careerbuilder looking for a new CEO this time next year.

Chad: I agree a 100%. Again, what we're seeing is we're seeing some heads be lopped off left and right. It's interesting because I think one of the quotes that you had actually said from director of global communications he was talking about Castellini the quote was, "As with all expat assignments, visas have expiration dates and he is returning into the states in April." There is no senior level executive role based in Chicago office, in the Chicago office available at this time, and he will be leaving Careerbuilder. I mean, it's like, yeah, we'd love to have him back, but we really don't have a slot for him. I think that's bull shit. If you've got a guy that has that kind of cred, that kind of experience and he's done shit all over the world for you, it doesn't matter, you're going to find a place for that person. Period. Right? This was overall, yeah, you're done, and you're done.

Joel: Yeah. That is, we'll get the Careerbuilder communications guy, Michael Irwin in a second, particularly with the sales side when we come back from the ad. That's sort of his job is to sugarcoat, or spin the news it's like, "Yeah, you know, his visa ran out. He came back and we didn't have a spot for him, so he's going to go elsewhere." I'm like-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: But he's been there for three months, he was just on a little project and now he's leaving, like this is an almost 20 year executive-

Chad: Yeah. I mean, from a transparency standpoint that just doesn't jive. The sniff test, I mean, it doesn't pass at all. Yeah. I get that Irwin it's his job to make a piece of shit smell good, but I mean, come on man, you've got to do much better than that. Transparency is going to be important for the organization, and if you're making changes then make the God damn changes, and have a spine for God sakes, and say why you're making the changes. If you're going to make those changes, and you have business reasons behind it, you have business reasons, but guess what? Don't be spineless. That's all I'm going to say. Be transparent.

Joel: Yeah. I think, additionally, the fact that there was no statement from Richard Castellini saying-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: "I've had a great run with Careerbuilder. I've made a lot of friends. I've progressed as a human being. I'm leaving because of A, B, and C. Appreciate the time here."

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: "Nice, great knowing you," kind of thing. There was no, these people just basically left. There was no statements from these folks. It just stinks. I won't go as far as saying, unprofessional, but they certainly could have handled the exits of the executives a little better. I'm sure they hope that people like me wouldn't-

Chad: I know.

Joel: Get wind of it, and write about it, or talk about it, but that's not the case. Yeah. They've handled this pretty poorly, I think. It gets a little worse for Mr. Irwin as we talk more, here, today. I think it's probably going to get worse before it gets better for them, which we'll talk about, which leads me to the engineering team at Careerbuilder had a fairly high up person in engineering contact me after the leak story from Google Cash, he says almost 50% of the engineering team is gone. He says, most of them have left on their own freewill. Apparently from what I can gather the new owners, Apollo, are into the core business, what makes money. They understand the job posting stuff. They understand-

Chad: Right.

Joel: The basic business. The R and D of the company, which is what the developers love-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: Right? They love the new stuff. They love the experimenting, is gone. I think that probably plays a big part in it, but apparently compensation has played a much bigger part in terms of the exits of the engineering staff. Apparently, compensation is reviewed every year around it looks like raises happen in January and July, so I guess there are two phases of raises. When Apollo took over in October of last year, they brought in the new CEO, they postponed reviews and compensation increases til April, which apparently most people were cool with, but when they came out with what the raises were going to be they were significantly lower than what people were thinking they were going to get, or expected to get, or certainly what was sort of consistent with history of raises that were given at Careerbuilder and engineers are not happy. They've left in exodus, I mean when you cut almost half of your staff and engineers that's kind of a bad thing. The other ones I understand are looking for work, they're not happy, and will be gone eventually. My guess is it won't take long. I had one of my sources, who's an executive at a competitor tell me that they have about a dozen candidates-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: In their queue from Careerbuilder, so that's not just engineers that's probably a mix of folks. Yeah. I think from an engineering side that's bad not only from losing that kind of talent as a tech company, but also it doesn't bode very well for future products, and new features, and innovation.

Chad: Back to Irwin, this is the kind of shit you're going to have to deal with. If you're going to try to blow smoke up our ass, this is the time of transparency. The public, not just us, the public's going to find out exactly what's going on, so you either embrace it, stiffen your spine and take care of it, or keep playing these games, and you're going to have issues like this and they're going to continue to become a train wreck for the organization.

Joel: On Irwin, quickly, when the leak story came out online, I went and got clarification on some of the facts from the story, things that I had written in the story, for clarification. He was fairly quick to answer, now he spun his answers, for the most part, like the one in Castellini, it was the visa, it wasn't anything. He did answer me, now, when I got a flood of people come to me after the story was sort of unexpectedly released-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: I went back to him to clarify those facts, right?

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: Or those statements. He came back and basically said, "I clarified the stuff from the first story, this is not consistent with what we expect from ERE. I will not be answering anymore questions, or giving you sort of the pleasure of asking me more stuff," which is really bull shit, because if it's your job to communicate with press, you should do it. The only reason you wouldn't do it is you don't want to answer the questions. It's sort of a Trump move, like let's-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: Just move on to the next thing. This is way beyond you guys, this is fake news, this is crap. You guys should be out of business. I should probably be let go, et cetera. Yeah. PR from a multiple perspective has dropped the ball at Careerbuilder, and I don't know if it's Apollo pulling the strings, or if this is business as usual at Careerbuilder, but yeah, it's definitely a sour taste in my mouth from dealing with the communication folks at Careerbuilder.

Chad: He literally just told you, I'm going to run and hide. I'm going to find a corner, I'm going to get in the fetal position, and I'm going to put my thumb in my mouth, and I'm going to start sucking on it, and hope that all this shit goes away?

Joel: That's one way to look at it, for sure. You can speculate all you want, but they clearly don't want this story to be out. They don't want this to be talked about. I'm sure they're hoping it will just go away, but of course it won't. Yeah. Instead of saying, you know, hey, let me address each of these things, yes, we've lost 50% of our engineering, because of this, this, and this, or hey, yes we had this sales comment, this did happen. The layoffs happened like this, or they didn't. There's no clarification, or even sort of confirmation of the facts, so if they're not going to answer all I can go on is what my sources tell me.

Chad: Yeah. Again, it's about transparency. If what you're being told can be contested, it should be contested. If it can't be, you can obviously run and hide, like this individual obviously is and he represents the organization, so is the organization running and hiding from transparency? That's all there is to it.

Joel: Yeah. Let's take a quick break, and we'll talk about the sales side of the story. Sound good?

Chad: Yeah.

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Chad: Big love to JobADX.

Joel: JobADX. All right. Back to the Careerbuilder story. Let's talk about sales, which is apparently a total mess. A couple things, so I mentioned-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: I mentioned the sales trip that happens annually, so that was in the original story that got published, unexpectedly, and that was part of my email to Irwin was to clarify what had happened with the trip. Now, he comes back, and basically says there's never been a company trip to Mexico.

Chad: Wrong.

Joel: Okay. I do a little digging, it turns out social media is a great way to clarify or confirm stuff, so I dig around Instagram, and if you search the hashtag, CB Trip 2015, there are clearly pictures from Mexico of sales people at Careerbuilder enjoying a nice time. Everything that Mexico has to offer in these pictures. I go back to him, and I say, basically, "Instagram says differently about this Mexico thing."

Chad: Right.

Joel: He basically comes back and says, "Oh, yeah. There was a trip for sales people in 2015," and then he goes back to his line of, "We didn't have a trip, but sales people were given a cash reward," or some sort of compensation, and the feedback was positive, but the mere fact that he went from saying that we've never, no one at Careerbuilder has ever taken a business trip in mass to Mexico, and then me catching him on Instagram and him backtracking and saying, "Oh, yeah. There was that trip in 2015," is really funny, and for my money, homeboy has no credibility from what he's doing anyway. Anyway, that happened. The trip is sort of a menial side story. Right? Like I don't really care, take sales people on a nice trip, okay, cancel it, because its too expensive, and the new owners don't want to do it. The bigger story around sales, to me, again, sales people came out, and sort of shared some of this stuff-

Chad: Right.

Joel: With me and I cross referenced some of the stories, so a 152 sales reps, apparently, were let go by an automated phone call.

Chad: What? No fucking way.

Joel: That their position no longer exists at the company. Yeah. The comment that one person gave me that was great was, they dragged a 120 people that bled orange and blue, which is the corporate colors, or used to be, they're entire professional careers and slaughtered them without notice. They preach all these different values, they're plastered all over every wall, and they're the biggest bunch of hypocrites I've ever dealt with. That's a really crappy way to let people go. I don't know exactly if they knew a call was coming, if it just came, or what, granted it's an official way to let people go, but it's a real crappy way to do it.

Chad: These people, I mean, are they getting calls at home? I mean, these are automated calls, which really blows my freaking brain in the first place, but where are they getting these calls?

Joel: I don't know. I'm not sure it matters.

Chad: Okay.

Joel: My guess is that it was probably a day at the office-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: It may be their cell numbers, before the day began, and saying, hey, when you come in, if you do know more about this, feel free to reach out to us at and let us know any specifics, but all we know at this point and it was not, I gave Careerbuilder a chance to say this was BS-

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: Which they failed to take that opportunity. What I can tell you is that they received automated phone calls that their job was done. From what I could tell they weren't given, actually, they were given, I believe, a month of severance for every year that they had served at the company, and I'm not exactly sure about that, so they were given something, but they-