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Interview: Tony Lee of SHRM - Exclusive

An EXCLUSIVE... It's Tony Lee and it's time to get your recruiting industry GEEK ON!

That's right the boys sit down with industry icon Tony Lee for a jaunt down Memory Lane, an update on what's new at SHRM and even talk a little Cheap Trick.

What's in this episode:

- How the WSJ got into the "job board business"

- It was Jung Lee not Junglee - Seriously?

- The birth of Adicio

- Cheezhead antics

- An Online Career Center ( insider story - "huckster extraordinaire"

- MonsterBoard before it was reborn as


Visit Uncommon now and gain access to this red-hot start-up's free trial now and receive 5 FREE candidates!


Chad: The Chad and Cheese Podcast, brought to you in partnership with TAtech, the Association for talent acquisition solutions. Visit

Joel: Chad, why do recruiters spend money on unqualified or uninterested candidates?

Chad: Dude, I don't know , because they're recruiters? I mean, what in the hell are you talking about anyway?

Joel: Okay. Stick with me here. In a PPC campaign when you're sourcing, you're paying per click and you don't know who the click is coming from, it could be a qualified click if you're lucky, but most likely it's an unqualified click, you know? And you're still gonna pay, regardless.

Chad: Yeah and it's pretty much the same in a subscription model. You're paying to open the door to any candidate, not necessarily qualified ones.

Joel: Exactly. So the answer is, current pricing models suck.

Chad: Duh.

Joel: So what if you handed over cash for only interested and qualified candidates? And I'm talking actually qualified. I mean candidates that meet all of your job requirements, from years in an industry to specific skills.

Chad: Okay, I gotcha, now you're talking about Uncommon.

Joel: Bingo, Uncommon is where fantasy comes true, and right now they only charge $9 and 99 cents for interested and qualified candidates.

Chad: Seriously dude, do you fantasize about this stuff? Weirdo. So Uncommon is simple, you set your monthly budget and Uncommon only charges you when you get an interested applicant that meets or exceeds your job requirements. To sweeten the deal they're offering a 5 free candidate trial. Just go to to make your free account. That's

Announcer: Hide your kids, lock the doors, you're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruitment 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: SHRM, talent, Vegas, who's excited? Pretty much after this interview it's all downhill so we're basically peaking at our first interview and it all goes down.

Chad: So much bullshit, he's like "me".

Tony: I have to talk to these two idiots, are you kidding me?

Joel: So this is the highlight of your day [crosstalk 00:02:47]

Tony: Career. I mean come on. You know I actually woke up this morning from a dream about this, I was so excited it was in my dreams.

Joel: You weren't like sweating [crosstalk 00:03:02] we weren't in our statue of David outfits were we?

Tony: I actually have one of those on my Caesar's Palace [crosstalk 00:03:11]

Joel: Nice, nice. SHRM

Tony: I'm like, "I think you gave this to the wrong guy."

Joel: Let's interview, or let's introduce our guest before we get too much further into this. Tony Lee.

Tony: Tony Lee.

Joel: VP of editorial at Shrm. You can find out more at We are at the Shrm talent show.

Tony: Yes.

Joel: Tony is a long time industry person.

Tony: Yes.

Joel: Give our listeners an elevated pitch of your experience and where you've

come from.

Tony: Holy cow, so I started at the Wall Street Journal in the early 80s and covering job hunting and career management. I ran a publication that few of your listeners have ever heard of called the National Business Employment Weekly which is a 100 page tablet.

Joel: NBU.

Tony: NBU. Are you ready for this? It cost in the early 80s, it cost $3.95 and we sold 100,000 copies every week.

Joel: Holy shit.

Tony: It was a huge, huge profit maker.

Joel: Yeah.

Tony: The idea was, the Wall Street Journal had 22 regional editions and each one had different help wanted ads in it.

Joel: Yeah.

Tony: We put 'em all into one publication and then had four or five articles every week about how to interview more effectively, how to whatever. So it was for job seekers. And it was hugely popular because it was pre-internet.

Joel: What was the advertising cost? The $3.95 was the actual job seeker to buy it.

Tony: Right.

Joel: But if I wanted a full page ad in that sucker, what was I gonna spend?

Tony: A million.

Joel: Holy cow.

Chad: No way.

Tony: It was a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal and then that got you in.

Joel: Ah.

Chad: So is that the way we could get in?

Tony: Advertise in the journal and you gotta-

Joel: Wow.

Tony: We broke the rule for Jeff Taylor.

Joel: Wow imagine that.

Tony: [crosstalk 00:04:47] "I want full page monster ads in the back cover" and we said, "OK." We gave him some crazy price, never expected him to take it. And then David Price then threw a shoe in.

Chad: Dude.

Tony: Anyone old enough remembers what [crosstalk 00:04:54]

Joel: So in 2018 dollars that's like a billion dollar ad.

Tony: That's right.

Chad: Oh dude.

Joel: It's crazy money.

Chad: Yeah.

Tony: And we had, at that point we had blimps, we had Superbowl ads, we were a money making machine. So doing that kind of shit was nothing. Not to mention he loved to just throw it out there.

Chad: Yep.

Tony: It was pretty amazing.

Joel: God it took us all of two minutes to get onto Jeff Taylor.

Tony: All right so I'll keep going. So I did this for a bunch of times, moved over to Wall Street Journal and wrote a bunch of columns. They used to have a column called "Managing Your Career" on Tuesdays, so I would write that column a bunch and then moved to the team that created and launched And from that I became publisher of all the Wall Street Journal sites other than So Career Journal was the big career site and we also had College Journal for college students, Start-up Journal for entrepreneurs, Real Estate Journal, Opinion Journal.

Tony: So I did that for a bunch of years-

Joel: That's a hell of a lot of content.

Tony: Oh it's a ton of content, we had a big content team, we were writing stuff every day.

Joel: Are they still doing that much content in those spaces?

Tony: No, it changed.

Joel: Yeah?

Tony: Yeah, this was pre Rupert Murdoch so-

Joel: Were you working the Gutenberg Press as well?

Tony: Let me stroke my long beard to see. Yep. I mean when the internet came in we embraced it big-time and made a lot of money.

Joel: Yeah.

Tony: Yeah and you know from 99 to the early 2000s the money just poured in. Because Venture Capital was part of my deal was I helped launch Future Step, remember FutureStep?

Joel: Oh yeah.

Tony: Korn Ferry.

Joel: Uh-huh Korn Ferry.

Tony: Corn Ferry Wall Street Journal product. And the money that came outta that we helped launch something called I don't know if you remember.

Chad: Yes.

Joel: What year was that? What year was that?

Tony: 2002.

Joel: Yeah, oh shit.

Tony: The money was great [crosstalk 00:06:44] brand with somebody who would help them advance their brand and bring in folks.

Joel: Yeah.

Tony: So we went out to the journal audiences and said, "Here you need to sign up for this." And they did. It worked and it was effective-

Joel: Where are they now?

Tony: FutureStep's still going.

Joel: Okay.

Tony: Futurestep still has that as part of their portfolio. So did that for a long time and then in 2006 moved to Adicio, needs a little back story. So in 97, 98 Rick Miller, the guy who created Adicio, at the time, we needed a new platform. We had launched an online job platform through Wall Street Journal. With a company out of Seattle called Jung Lee.

Chad: Jung Lee? I always pronounce it jungle-ee.

Tony: It's Jung Lee.

Tony: J-U-N-G-L-E-E.

Chad: Really?

Tony: So their first client was [crosstalk 00:07:36]

Joel: That is way back.

Tony: Yep. There first client was the [crosstalk 00:07:40] so they laid out all the stuff how great it was gonna be and we signed up as a client. And we immediately started getting requests from companies, you know, "We need to customize this, we need to be able to post ten jobs not eight jobs." You know, whatever it was and they were like, "Yeah the next release and the next release." And then next release never came and we just kept asking for it. So one weekend the two founders of Jung Li created automated shopping cart. Within six months they sold it to Amazon for 30 million dollars, they then took the recruitment piece of their business and sold it to a company in Canada for 3 million dollars. So that shows you how much investment they had made.

Tony: So at the same time, when that became obvious, I went out and found Rick. And he was doing data aggregation. He was doing it primarily for defense contractors. You know, Lockheed Martin, [crosstalk 00:08:23] people like that. And I said well, "Can you do the same aggregation for commercial job board." And took about six months and he built it. And at the same time there was no such thing as wrapping, created wrapping, we could go in, we'd come and grab all the jobs, import them in, all that kind of stuff.

Tony: So we launch our job database, Wall Street Journal, on this Adicio platform, and within weeks the New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Orange County Register they're all like, "We need this." And so he came back and said, "Well it's just me I need money to go out and hire developers to build all of this" so put together a business plan, put it up the flagpole at the Wall Street Journal and it got approval. And we bought a 40% equity stake in Adicio, and he had the money to go hire programmers. And it boomed. Started adding all these newspaper clients and association clients and all sorts of different clients.

Tony: And it was great.

Joel: Were you guys competitive with career building newspaper relationships, Hot Jobs and Monster at the time? You were sort of another competitor in that space?

Tony: Well what it was was that the career building newspapers were kind of stuck in the career building platform and they never liked it - from the beginning. The Monster papers, initially Monster was just going to partner in [crosstalk 00:09:36] do it. Adicio's sweet spot turned out to be the independent papers, that weren't part of big chains. So you got like, Seattle, you know Boston and different who were more independent. And they ran on the Adicio platform. And then we did a partnering with Monster. So Adicio and Monster had a long partnership where Monster couldn't handle all the back end work so Adicio was actually the technology behind the Monster Newspaper Partnership Program for years.

Joel: [crosstalk 00:10:03] was that after they went, bought Hot Jobs and acquired all those newspaper relationships?

Tony: It was actually before.

Joel: Okay.

Tony: And then extended.

Joel: And then extended.

Tony: Beyond.

Joel: Okay.

Tony: Yeah, so I left. So they had gotten really growing, I had gotten on the board of Adicio while working at the Wall Street Journal. And they had gotten to the point where they had just added two big East Coast clients, Advance Internet and New York Times. And both of those papers said, "you need somebody" and so I had been working with them and they said [inaudible 00:10:31] so we worked it out and I joined Adicio full time continuing to manage the Dow Jones investment. And it was great. So did that until three years ago when I came to Shrm.

Joel: Yep. So we're seeing a lot of, you mentioned Career Builder and they didn't like that relationship. Well Career Builder has recently gone from their relationships and Real Match slash [crosstalk 00:10:55] whatever the called.

Tony: PandoLogic. [crosstalk 00:11:00]

Joel: [crosstalk 00:11:01] yeah.

Tony: Connection and he's here too at SHRM [crosstalk 00:11:07]

Joel: Recruitology is sort of heading head first into the newspaper space, is that a smart decision. Are those guys still getting tons of traffic, and is that something yeah, he's shaking his head for the listeners [crosstalk 00:11:20]

Tony: You know what's the long term future of the newspaper business? In the job board space, probably not great.

Joel: Okay.

Tony: It doesn't seem to make a lot of sense but I think there's a long term future for online newspapers. There's no question because of the local community aspect. They can put feet on the street, can do what nobody else does until the Politico or somebody else makes that kind of investment, you gotta rely on anything you can get.

Joel: That's content though, right, [crosstalk 00:11:46]

Tony: Content but the question is, if you live in Dubuque, Iowa do you need to go to a Dubuque, Iowa newspaper site to find a job?

Joel: You're going to Google. [crosstalk 00:11:55]

Tony: You're going to Google-

Joel: And then-

Tony: Thank you that's right and then going [crosstalk 00:11:59]

Joel: Not any more.

Tony: Just so they can get branded search and I mean that's just not sustainable [crosstalk 00:12:08]

Joel: If we had Terry here I think he would say something like programmatic-

Tony: Right-

Joel: Is gonna make that so much better, and they're gonna integrate with the content.

Tony: Well you know, and everyone does it. It wasn't invented there. I mean Adicio's been doing it, essentially Programmatic and niche networks from day one.

Joel: Yeah.

Tony: I mean that's always there and it's still there. And it still works. I mean if you were looking for, build up university hiring and you don't know where to go, Programmatic's gonna put you in front of a diverse audience wherever it happens to be. And frankly, I'm not sure it matters who you buy in from because it's gonna get [crosstalk 00:12:42] everybody's sharing the same source it's gonna end up the same, whether it's Jobs To Careers or whatever they're now called. Same thing, I mean they're all putting in front of that same audience-

Chad: What are they called now? [crosstalk 00:12:47]

Joel: Which I think I why you see like Job Boardio, or Board IO. Whatever we're calling it. Are getting caught because the distribution is so important.

Chad: Oh yeah.

Joel: I mean it's a commodity, I mean jobs are everywhere, they're all on google, everywhere, so how do you differentiate yourselves and put eyeballs on your jobs that aren't necessarily gonna be found.

Tony: And you know the key ends up being who has the audience. And from our perspective sure, and we've got HR people, there's no question. They go to, they trust, we stick job postings contextually targeted into whatever it is they happen to be reading on

Joel: Right.

Tony: Then they're gonna see it, they might not be actively looking but they'll see it and apply for it. We've got one of the best response rates of any job board I've ever seen.

Joel: Well it's target, it's targeted.

Tony: That's right.

Joel: It's that niche HR talent acquisition.

Tony: Axy.

Joel: And the way through, right?

Tony: And it's not necessarily the keys,. It's not necessarily the active job seekers, which makes no difference whatsoever.

Joel: So what you're talking about is, so. I mean we talk about on the podcast a lot is, we've turned into lifestyle beings when it comes to technology. We get out feeds from certain areas and we use Google to do search. And we see these things pop up on our feeds, whether it's on Linked In or whether it's information that's been provided by Sherm, it's just part of our normal day.

Tony: Yep absolutely. Well it's no different, I can't remember his name, the CEO of WebMD said, they do this intense research of their most loyal users and said, "I trust WebMD, everything you put on there's great, I would make medical decisions based on them." And the last question was, "So you have this medical question, where do you go?" "Google."

Joel: "Google."

Tony: Got it. And then when they see WebMD in the results they're like, okay.

Chad: Brand recognition.

Tony: But they see someone else, that looks like it's good, well they're gonna come up there too, they're gonna read that.

Joel: Where are you guys seeing the most growth? Is mobile booming for your audience, is it still email? Where are you reaching most of the HR folks these days?

Tony: Yeah mobiles, everybody's got a mobile device so we're platform agnostic, we publish for whoever wherever. It's almost to the point where it doesn't matter [crosstalk 00:14:52]

Joel: Is there a SHRM app, like a native app?

Tony: Oh yeah. Absolutely.

Joel: Do you know how to get downloads?

Tony: We have apps for every- this conference has an app that you can't do anything without it. If you wanna get feedback on any of the sessions you must use the app, there's no alternative. So now we've embraced that from day one.

Joel: That's great, you were through the newspaper, the high times, the beginning of the low times anyway-

Tony: The low times, yes.

Joel: And I think, we talk about the job boards a lot and how they're reinventing themselves and getting bought, do you see a lot of similarities between what the Monsters, Career Builders, Dices are going through today that the newspapers dealt with 10 years ago, 15 years ago?

Tony: Yeah I guess so. If you were to ask me, "Is there any way Workopolis would be bought and shut down?" Until a year ago I'd say, "No way, that is such a robust business, they own the market." And yet, here we are.

Joel: Wow.

Tony: You know. So it seems very similar. And I don't know what the job boards are doing to prevent it from happening. How can the build a- it's all about brand and brand loyalty.

Chad: Yeah.

Tony: Unless they've got that loyalty. I think Indeed kind of proved- [crosstalk 00:16:04]

Joel: Is it though? If jobs are commodities does it matter [crosstalk 00:16:07] where we get them?

Tony: That's it, if Indeed blew up the model and said, "Who cares, we've got everybody's jobs."

Joel: Right.

Tony: The brand model is just completely gone. So unless you've got, again I'll come back to us, or any niche site that has a loyal audience that's not just about a job board, I mean that job's [crosstalk 00:16:26]

Joel: Yeah.

Tony: Rest his soul. Did a great job of promoting our website. Because he had [crosstalk 00:16:32] I mean he was embedded life with various associations. But they're not all like that. You know there aren't a lot where you have this incredible loyalty to the site, where you know you're gonna get your audience. And without that you're done.

Joel: Well that makes sense, so we're talking about job board, job board, job board, there are tons of start-ups that are out there that aren't job boards. They're focused on process. We heard about chat bots and AI and whatnot. What are some of your favorite start-ups that are actually out there today. Name 'em if you want to, name Process or what have you, but what are your favorites?

Tony: I'm not gonna name names.

Chad: Boo. We need the sound guy.

Joel: It's not for you.

Tony: Whatever is making it much simpler for seekers to get what they need immediately. And that extends to video, that extends to making it so that any candidate can make themselves known as quickly as possible to all the logical places. So I think there're a number of folks that are playing around in that space. On the flip side the thing I'm most nervous about are all the people who seem to claim that they're at the AI solution. They're got it down pat, don't have to do anything, it's all been automated and then you actually start playing around, poking in ... it's not. To put it bluntly.

Joel: So are you not a fan of AI at this point or [crosstalk 00:18:04] we just haven't figured it out yet?

Tony: It's not there yet. I mean look there are so many redundancies in Hr that you can automate, there's no question about it.

Joel: Right.

Tony: But that's not necessarily AI to me. I mean I think it's just, it's automation for the sense of creating efficiencies, that frankly you could have one five years ago if you thought about it.

Joel: We throw AI around I think personally, too loosely. Because machine learning has to work first. And to be able to get machine learning in your culture and in your environment? That's the very first thing that you have to, that you have to do, right? And then AI can start to work from there. If the learning's not there then AI just can't happen. So I think we jump to AI way too fast and we're not talking about machine learning. And that was one of the things that, you know from the panel discussion that we talked about today, was jump right to AI.

Tony: Right.

Joel: And I don't believe, and you tell me what you think, I don't think talent acquisition even understands what AI is versus machine-learning.

Tony: I think you're right.

Chad: I don't think most of the public at large understands AI and what it'll be let alone-

Tony: [crosstalk 00:19:09] see it demonstrated in front of them, I'm not sure they see it. But real AI, and we're talking about motion picture stuff here, you know we're talking about [crosstalk 00:19:15] really cool, exactly.

Chad: There's like six companies in the world that actually do it.

Tony: Exactly.

Chad: And none of them are in-

Tony: And none of them are in the recruiting space, right.

Joel: Google's getting there.

Tony: Yeah but to the point, give it a year or two and they will be. And the question is, will any of the current players be the ones that are doing it or will it be a new entrant who takes up and developed for universities and say, "You can apply it here, here you go."

Chad: Yep, yep.

Joel: Before we hit record you talked a lot about Amazon and how they've automated the recruiting, talk about that.

Tony: Sure. So Danielle Monaghan from Amazon called my panel today. And she's always great, we've worked together a lot. One of the things they've done, which I think is brilliant, is they've basically eliminated the interview process. So if they've got a position, and it's not just engineering positions, they're doing it for a lot of positions. Where you go online, you see the description of the position, if you have an interest you apply. And application is basically saying, I wanna be assessed as to whether I'm good for this position or not."

Tony: So it's not a resumé based thing, your basically filling out the key requirements for the position.

Joel: Ah, okay.

Tony: Assuming you fill it in and you match what they're looking for, they then may come back and say, "Can you please complete this exercise." Whatever it is. So if it's engineering it might be a lang exercise, whatever. If you then scored a certain level of that, you're still not talking to anybody, you get an email that says, "You're hired." And you start, "When can you start?" And that's the process, there's no recruiter involved [crosstalk 00:20:45]

Joel: And when is Amazon releasing this to everybody?

Tony: Exactly. And they're using this now, this isn't pie in the sky it's implemented.

Joel: It's like when you talk about Google's ATS and it's like, "This is the best ATS in the world, why don't they release it?" And they finally did 10 years later. But Amazon could probably release that and make a lot of money.

Tony: Although by the same token, I don't wanna speak for Danielle, but they're competing for candidates with Target and Walmart and everybody else, why give them the ability to use this [crosstalk 00:21:12]

Joel: We'll take their money.

Tony: They'd rather have the people.

Joel: Yeah.

Tony: They'd rather have the pl because they've got so much hiring to do, so it works.

Chad: Yeah I mean we talk about the big names in our industry now, right, that are coming into the industry now. It used to be Monster, it used to be Career Builder.

Tony: Sure.

Chad: Indeed, right now we're talking about Facebook, talking about Google, talking about Linked In because of Microsoft, right? But amazon, I mean the thing that literally struck me kind of weird when she was talking about all these things and talking about predictive and whatnot. It's like, "you already do that, Amazon. Why don't you apply that to the process method- I need the decisions that you're making every single day, because you could have this thing whipped before you know it and then respectively sell it."

Joel: Which is why they're gonna buy Slack based on my 2018 predictions [crosstalk 00:22:06]

Chad: Nobody's buying Slack for, what was it? Nine billion dollars? It's probably more than that now.

Joel: Bezos has that they're in his couch.

Tony: They have been a leader from the beginning [crosstalk 00:22:23] if you haven't seen it, and if your listeners haven't seen the video of Amazon explaining their new delivery process, it's fricking' unbelievable. I mean you go to this, they have it in Seattle they're building another place where-

Chad: Is it on YouTube?

Tony: Where, I'm not sure if it's out there, they showed it at our conference (SHRM) last year. So you're in a facility right, and round the corner there's this huge baking operation and they're baking bread and they're baking all kind of things. And this side over here's the grocery op[. It all comes together that their designers spent however much time to design this container that keeps the ice cream frozen, it keeps the bread warm out of the oven, it does all this. The whole thing goes to a little cart that goes out with a drone, picks it up and takes it to the house and drops it off in front and calls you as it's coming down to land and you come out and you take it. And they're doing it, it's already being done.

Tony: So-

Joel: Where is it being done?

Tony: They're doing it in test markets.

Chad: Now they just have to drop the perfect candidate on the doorstep of employers [crosstalk 00:23:17] have something.

Tony: They're gonna start hiring drone recruiters. That candidate there, zap him back in.

Chad: "My name is Bob, You're hired".

Joel: So we're getting a little bit away from way out. What are people at the show talking about in terms of services, features that are exciting to them? What's the buzz?

Tony: AI. Except I'm not sure most of the people know what they mean [crosstalk 00:23:41]

Chad: They don't, they don't.

Tony: You know what they mean? They mean that, so I'm this recruiter and I have 80 hours of work to do a week and so I'm looking for something that makes it 40 hours a week and AI must be the solution. I think it's more in that vein. How can I do this and be efficient and effective? With the resources I've got. Other than that, pay equity. Huge issue. The amazing thing right now is that workplace issues are in the news every day. It's what the whole country is talking about every day and HR's in the middle of it.

Chad: So if Starbucks can reach and close that gap and they have 1400 stores or more than that-

Tony: More than that-

Chad: Locations, just in New York, just in the US. They have figured it out. What in the hell is the problem with the rest of the companies? [crosstalk 00:24:28]

Joel: Well wait a minute, they have the arrest in the news of an African American [crosstalk 00:24:34]

Chad: That means nothing.

Joel: Oh, it does.

Tony: Starbucks is the one who called the police.

Joel: If you wanna recruit a diverse [crosstalk 00:24:40]

Chad: I totally get that, right, I totally get that but right now we're talking about pay gap. Right now we're talking about pay gap. Let me get to that.

Joel: People don't wanna say, "I work at Starbucks if-

Chad: We'll get to that gimme a second.

Joel: All right.

Tony: And what branding-

Chad: And that's something entirely different. So anyway, so the pay gap thing that is, why can't companies figure this out?

Tony: All right so here's a perfect example, Walmart and Target go out and they raise their minimum wage, 11, 12 dollars depending where you are. There's a catch. How many of those positions are full time with benefits? And I think you'd be surprised, few are.

Chad: Not many.

Tony: And how many have, how many people who work in those jobs know exactly what their schedule's gonna be next week? Very few.

Chad: Right.

Tony: So are they really closing the pay gap there? Or is it more of a short term fix? I'd argue it's more a short term.

Chad: Got you.

Tony: And Amazon and many other companies that embrace the higher starting salary, do it and then offer a full, full-time job behind it and that's a very different strategy.

Chad: Gotcha.

Tony: So, and then pay equity's the other issue, you have to go back and look at your entire workforce and say, "are we paying you illegally?" And if not, what are you doing about it? And so that's a huge issue, and it's not just Me Too and harassment, it's just fair equitable payment for board and stuff. So HR's the one who need to be leading the way here. And they need to be. And in some cases they are, and in some cases they've got some work to do.

Chad: So then you've got an important-

Joel: Well speaking of Me Too and the branding I think even Facebook to a certain extent in the valley. It's toxic in terms of, "I work at Facebook." No-one wants to mention that. Are you finding that the employer review sites, the Glass Doors, Indeeds, are they getting more attention in light of this news in the public eye?

Tony: I think their attention's already incredibly high. One of the points we just talked about on the panel is, "are you managing your brand?" Because if not, others are doing it for you. We had Kristen DesPalmes from Davita which is a huge operation, they hire, can't remember what she said 20,000 or 30,000, they put their Glass Door reviews on their career website with a stream, so every time there's a new review it updates. complete transparency.

Joel: Transparency.

Tony: Because it's the only way that they can deal with the candidates honestly. So if you can't do that, if you're afraid to do that then you got a problem. You got something you need to address.

Chad: So this really is the age of transparency. Why are so many companies having problems being transparent.

Tony: It depends on the company.

Chad: Culture?

Tony: It's all culture, it's all about company culture. If you got a board of directors that understands the value of transparency and puts it to fore, it's not an issue. If you've got a CEO or a board that doesn't, it's a huge issue and then you start to see cries for change-

Joel: Priority shift.

Tony: And you see change. And that's what- we're in an environment of protest, right? And so that extends to everything everywhere. And so if you've got employees who feel like the CEO's earning 10,000 times more than what I'm doing is that really fair? And that's gonna extend to this too. So t's across the board, people feel the power to say something and try and make a change.

Joel: Hmm.

Tony: And you know, I think that's a good thing. Are coz ready to deal with it~? That's another story sometimes.

Joel: You got a couple announcements that you're making this week and I didn't want to let you get away without discussing that. So talk about those two items.

Tony: Cool. So the first one is, SHRM has certification for HR professionals, SHRM CP and SCP. We are creating specialty certificates within this. We've already launched one for California, you can be a specialist in California, which is its own world. Its own laws, its own everything. So it take a huge body of knowledge. We announced today a special certificate in talent acquisition. So it's the first one out there that exists. It's rigorous, you do not have to have SHRM CP or SCP to get it, so if you're a talent acquisition person, the reason we did this is that we talked to a lot of HR departments, a lot of people who are recruiters within Hr departments, who feel like they've gotten this great expertise in talent acquisition. They think they're doing great.

Joel: Right.

Tony: But they're responsible for other HR things. So they might just be an HR generalist who know how to recruit. And so they want to then apply for a job somewhere as a recruiter, and they're told, "Well, you've never been full-time recruiter." By doing this they can say, "Look, I've proven that I know what I'm doing. I know how to recruit, I know how to handle talent acquisition, I've got the certificate showing it from SHRM. So give me a chance." And so that's what we're doing and you know, it's not an easy thing to do, it takes a lot of work and an exam to get the certificate.

Joel: What's the investment, money and time, what would someone expect coming into the program.

Tony: You know, time's a little trick- the money's not much, I don't know it off the top of my head, but we're not talking that much money, hundreds if that. The time is you know, how much time does it take you to study for an exam? Some people are good at it and some people need more time.

Joel: Right.

Tony: But.

Joel: Do they need to be a SHRM member?

Tony: Nope. It's a certificate that anyone in talent acquisition can study for and pass.

Chad: Now what's the name of the certification?

Tony: It's the Talent Acquisition Specialty Certificate.

Joel: Got yeah, okay.

Tony: And then the other announcement is little more out school. We're actually doing our first university job fair. And I know job fairs people are like, "Oh [crosstalk 00:29:56] how 1990s of you, woo!" But this one's a little different. This one's a little different.

Joel: How so?

Tony: We have our annual conference in Chicago this year. So on our last day of annual conference, Wednesday June 20th, we have an all suite setting in Chicago and it's a diversity and inclusion fair.

Chad: Cool.

Tony: So these are companies that are dedicated to making sure that they are diverse, and that extended beyond just race, it's race, it's gender, it's diverse thought frankly. It's a lot of different groups that are represented here, we're doing it in partnership with Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Hispanic Lives for Career Education and a number of different groups. And so it just gives companies an opportunity to make sure they're seeing really good diverse candidates in a setting where they can extend, they can give first interviews, second interviews and extend offers. It's not a big ballroom with a lot of people standing around, you know it's a much more professional setting.

Tony: so our members, and it's not just HR it's for any job. And this came outta member requests. They said, "Look, we wanna hire diverse candidates, we can't find them. So you can help us identify these folks by partnering with organizations who can bring them to the event." So that's what we're doing.

Joel: And I'm assuming I can find information about both of those?

Tony: Yes sir.

Joel: Now, few people know Tony Lee is the number one cheap trick groupie.

Tony: Yes he is.

Joel: Male groupie [crosstalk 00:31:20] in the world.

Tony: Among many many bands but yes they are at the top [crosstalk 00:31:22]

Joel: So I want you to give me a memorable Cheap Trick concert moment and your favorite Cheap Trick song.

Tony: So I went to undergraduate school in Denver, small place called Regis College. And we had a field house that held 300 people. And I promoted concerts there in my junior and senior year. In junior year I got Cheap Trick.

Chad: Damn.

Tony: I just kinda liked them at the time [crosstalk 00:31:47]

Joel: And what year was this?

Tony: You really gonna make me?

Joel: I'll, [crosstalk 00:31:50] my point is it was probably the height of-

Tony: 1979.

Joel: Pretty close to height of Cheap Trick's coolness [crosstalk 00:31:56]

Tony: [crosstalk 00:31:57] which was their biggest selling album.

Joel: Kay.

Tony: And I got to meet the guys and hang out with them and they did the show and they were incredibly nice and it was one of those moments. So I got to meet them multiple times since then and chat and there's a big Cheap Trick fan club and then I had to go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony when they were inducted a couple of years ago. So that was fun and I ended up sitting with all the relatives from this day.

Joel: If only Facebook and selfies had existed back then.

Tony: Back then I know.

Joel: So, favorite song is it a common one or you go out of bounds [crosstalk


Tony: Tell you what I'll come up with a song everyone will know, Dream Police. It's got a great riff. It's like a [crosstalk 00:32:37]

Chad: Yeah Joel will start singing in a minute.

Joel: The dream police [crosstalk 00:32:41]

Tony: None of us can sing.

Chad: No but he loves to.

Joel: Anything we didn't ask you that we should have?

Chad: Ooh I know, I know. So you've been in the industry for a long time.

Tony: Say that one more time.

Joel: Yeah we have established the tenure of Tony Lee.

Chad: Joel and I were talking beforehand and I asked him this one question and we came up with this one person. Who is the biggest huckster that ever-

Tony: [crosstalk 00:33:14] answer for this but I'm gonna get sued [crosstalk 00:33:16]

Chad: No you won't, you won't get sued.

Tony: I'm gonna tell a story instead.

Chad: Okay.

Joel: All right.

Chad: And we'll give him our answer.

Joel: We had the same person and you can probably guess who the person-

Tony: [crosstalk 00:33:27] I think it's a different person but I'm not gonna mention any names. So I was at the Wall Street Journal and there was this great site called the Online Career Site, OCC. Uh oh, is it the same person.

Chad: No.

Joel: Keep talking.

Tony: So in Indianapolis and so I reached out to them and we were just building our job board online and said, "Wow, this is really cool what you're doing." And we were talking and all this stuff and he said, "Well you know we're for sale if your interested." And I said, "Wow, you know sure, what do we need to do?" So I flew out to Indianapolis, met with him, all the stuff, it was great-

Chad: What year was this?

Tony: It would have been 98.

Joel: Okay.

Tony: 97 or 98, (i think it was 95 or 96 actually) somewhere in there. And so I go out there and it's great and we have a great visit, everything's great. So I come back again to Dow Jones and say, "okay, we need to buy these guys, you know they have all these employer members, it's employer owned, non-profit [crosstalk 00:34:18]

Joel: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: Great technology at the time.

Chad: Yeah.

Tony: Yeah. Price was a million bucks to buy, so put together the whole plan. And a senior guy, a very well respected guy who's still very involved a lot at Dow Jones and other journalistic stuff, flies out to Indianapolis to meet and they have a nice conversation and he says, "okay, let me see your operation." And the response was, "This is the operation." And he says, "Well, we're paying a million bucks, what are we getting?" And he gets up, he goes to the closet, he opens up the closet and there are all these servers. He says, "This is what you're buying." So the guy flies back to Dow Jones, we don't want these guys, this is nuts.

Tony: Monster buys it for a million bucks six months later and it doubles the size of Monster overnight.

Chad: Well what happened was, the Monster board was dying technologically.

Tony: Right.

Chad: And OCC had far superior technology. So what Jeff did as not the huckster but - he was a huckster - he was very good at it.

Joel: Carnival barker.

Chad: Yeah he was carnival. But anyway he knew that they were on the down and their sister company OCC, because they were both owned by TMP was kicking ass and taking names.

Tony: Right.

Chad: Not that I was there or anything (I was). So anyway it just made sense. Let's go ahead and merge these together, killer technology, put the Monster brand on it and away you go.

Joel: Do you wanna take a guess at who we said, the number one industry huckster?

Tony: No. Go ahead.

Joel: I'll give you a hint, Jobster.

Tony: Oh, okay, there was a gun involved.

Joel: Jason Goldberg.

Tony: The gun.

Joel: I miss that guy.

Tony: I miss reading about him on [crosstalk 00:36:05]

Joel: Yes.

Chad: Or listening to his explosions. It actually happened just down the road at Chester Island [crosstalk 00:36:17]

Joel: One of the more famous videos. Monster is a crap product. If you go Google that you'll see the highlights of his speech with Direct Employers.

Tony: So I gotta throw out a prop. The only place you could go to get information about this industry was Cheezhead - oh I'm pounding the table, sorry. They had the best information before anybody else.

Joel: Cheezhead was the shit.

Tony: It sure was.

Chad: Then he sold out [crosstalk 00:36:44]

Joel: Where'd that guy go?

Chad: Sold out to the man.

Tony: Well he lives large now with all those [crosstalk 00:36:49]

Chad: That's why he's doing a podcast. [crosstalk 00:36:59]

Joel: Yeah you guys are gonna come to see me to buy, I got a closet full of stuff

[crosstalk 00:36:59]

Tony: We could have had it for less [crosstalk 00:37:02]

Joel: Yeah.

Chad: It's mainly dirty socks [crosstalk 00:37:04]

Tony: I don't wanna know what dirty stuff he has in his closet.

Joel: Well Tony, we know you have a life and stuff to do here, we appreciate you taking time out and rehashing old times and new adventures. Yeah, we appreciate it.

Tony: Thank you it was a lot of fun.

Joel: Don't forget is where your recruiting fantasies come true, and they only charge $9.95 per interested and qualified candidate.

Chad: The important part is Uncommon's trial where they're offering a 5 free candidates. Just go to to make your free account. That's

Chad: Dude, why are you so fricking weird?

Joel: Uh, I don't know.

Chad: Thanks to our partners at TA Tech, the Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions. Remember to visit

Ema: Hi I'm Ema, thanks for listening to my dad, The Chad, and his buddy, Cheese. This has been the Chad and Cheese podcast. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Google play or wherever you get your podcasts so you don't miss a single show. Be sure to check out our sponsors because their money goes to my college fund. For more visit

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