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Careerbuilder Dumps CEO

It was just a matter of time. After a 14-year run, Matt Ferguson is no longer CEO of CareerBuilder. The boys share the details and there opinion about what's next.


- Upwork goes IPO

- Recruiters like it rough?

- Tattoos!

- and surveys galore leading up the HR Tech conference in Vegas

....wait, are the boys talkin' tech at all? You bet your ass we will!

Enjoy, and visit our sponsors America's Job Exchange, Sovren and JobAdX.


Disability Solutions helps companies strengthen their workforce and broaden their market reach by hiring talent in the disability community.

Announcer: Hide your kids, lock the doors. You're listening to HR's Most Dangerous Podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman are here to 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: It's an after hours episode of HR's Most Dangerous Podcast, welcome to the Chad and Cheese Show, a weekly round up of all things recruiting. I'm your co-host, Joel Cheeseman.

Chad: And I'm Chad Sowash.

Joel: With his bedroom voice. On this week's episode, Career Builder dumps their CEO, Upwork heads to Wall Street and recruiters officially don't like it rough. Stay tuned. It's way past our bedtime.

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JobAdX: Oh and you've been wondering why the British accent? JobAdX has just launched in the UK too.

Chad: We're sitting down at HR Tech with Tim Hawk and we're gonna get a shorter ad.

Joel: If they win this pitchfest thing it might be a three hour ad.

Chad: No, that's not gonna happen.

Chad: Oh yeah. Uncommon's gonna be at the PitchFest. We got people.

Joel: Yes. Yes.

Chad: We got people.

Joel: Dude, clearly sponsoring this show is a fast track to the big leagues, without question. Dude, my one year-old is interrupting my football time and it's disruptive. So for those listening we're recording at night. We typically do it in the morning/afternoon.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: So who knows where this episode will go?

Chad: Good god.

Joel: But I'm drinking. I know you probably are too.

Chad: Oh yeah.

Joel: It could get fun. So let's get to shout outs.

Chad: Okay. Our listeners probably know Joe Shaker, President of Shaker

Recruitment Marketing. Well people, well Joe is a dad with a little boy.

Joel: Joe knocked up his wife for the third time. Way to go Joe.

Chad: God. So congratulations to the Shaker family again. They just had a little girl about 18 months ago. I think it was a little girl, right, 18 months ago?

Joel: Yup.

Chad: I'm in serious doubt Joe knows how this whole baby things happen.

Joel: He is a Wisconsin graduate. Wisconsin graduates, you know, aside from cheese and beer, they're not too bright. So we may have to alert Joe as to what's going on with this baby machine that he's got going on.

Chad: I think we might have to do a public service podcast for all of our listeners for the birds and the bees. I mean come on.

Joel: Chad and Cheese sponsored by Vasectomies R Us in the Chicago Metro area. We love to joke. I've got a shout out to Emissary. , sponsoring my trip to HR Tech. Going to HR Tech next week. Hopefully a lotta people are listening on the plane. Emissary check them out. They'll be at the booth. I'll be wearing a t-shirt and pimping that hard. shout out.

Chad: Yes and they actually sponsor my beer habit ,so you continue to send beer to me guys. I really appreciate that. Gonna give a shout out, big shout out to Uncommon who is carting me along with them and will be at the PitchFest. So if you're going to be HR Tech, check them out in the start up like alley that they have set up. And then also during PitchFest.

Joel: I got Teg to agree that if they lose the competition, he takes on Aman from Canvas in a cage match at TA Tech, later this month.

Chad: What is up with you and all of this violence?

Joel: Aman texted me last night. He probably texted you too that we had to get together and I sent him a Three Stooges gif of them slapping each other so I guess I don't know what it is about Aman. He's such a nice, peaceful guy.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: I'm gonna give a shout to, I'll let you do Maverick.

Chad: Okay.

Joel: I'm gonna do a shout out to Great Lakes Brewery out of Cleveland Ohio. Anyone from Cleveland or the area will know Great Lakes Beer. It's delicious. For whatever reason, they haven't been in Indiana. A beer friend of mine said it's because there's too few distributors in the state, blah, blah, blah. It's finally here. I'm drinking one now. Shout out to Great Lakes. You're gonna make my winter a lot more bearable.

Chad: Yes. Thank you so much but thank god even better beer down here in Central Indiana. Maverick. He said his dad actually wanted to name his brother Goose, which I'm going to call bullshit on.

Joel: Yeah.

Chad: Gonna totally call bullshit on. His mom said no because his mom knows Goose dies and that's never a good idea to name your kid after a character who actually died, especially in the dramatic fashion in which Goose does. Job Board Doctor, he said that we've been talking too much about Google. So to all of our listeners out there.

Joel: Bullshit.

Chad: We challenge, if there's something you see, a great topic, a great story, article, go to Twitter, share it with us, hashtag Chadcheese. If it doesn't suck we'll talk about it. But if it sucks like the one that the Job Board Doctor just sent us then we're not gonna talk about it.

Joel: But this is a great sort of side note. So we see the listenership and we see the numbers and you guys love Google, Indeed.

Chad: Oh yeah.

Joel: Facebook, LinkedIn. We talk about these companies because it's what you guys want. When we drop something on Purple Squirrel, nobody cares. So we're gonna keep talking about the companies that you guys care about because we want you to listen to our show.

Chad: Yes. And everybody's knows that now since, thanks to Uncommon and Emissary, we're going to be at HR Tech, you might ask yourself how to find us at HR Tech. Well first on Tuesday afternoon, we're gonna be at the HR Tech Collaboration Zone pre shindig thing, so if you're gonna be there and you wanna have some time with us, bring us some beer, that's cool. We're gonna be talking about Googly shit, AI, whatever people want to talk about.

Chad: Also, you can download the HR Tech Collaboration Zone app. That's a too long of a damn name. They've gotta shorten that shit up. Or just find us around the hall. We're gonna be everywhere. So look for us, hit us up on LinkedIn, Twitter, all that other happy horse shit. And Ed from Philly needs HR Tech friends people. He went out and sent something out on Twitter today. We wanna help him out, so.

Joel: What?

Chad: So search #chadcheese on Twitter, find Ed, link up with him for beers at HR Tech. I'm definitely having beers with Ed because he's Team Chad, you know that. But c'mon man, network, make friends, drink beer, find us and let's have a good time in Vegas.

Joel: Should be a good time. I only know my schedule because Chad manages my whole schedule. So that was news to me what we're doing and I'm sure there'll be more things added. But yeah, I'll be around, Chad'll be around, hit us up for drinks especially and it should be a good time. My last shout out reminder, TA Tech.

Chad: Yes.

Joel: September 26 through the 29th.

Chad: New Orleans.

Joel: I believe. New Orleans. Death Match, Allyo, Uncommon, Talk Push, who am I missing? Allyo. Uncommon. Canvas. [crosstalk 00:09:18] Yeah I got em' all. Talk Push. Should be awesome. We're gonna break shit, crack necks, and cash checks.

Chad: Not only that, there's a party at Pat O'Brien's. If you've ever been to New Orleans, you've probably been to Pat O'Brien's. If you have, you wanna go back. If you haven't, what the fuck are you doing? You gotta go. So come to TA Tech, New Orleans, we'll have a great time. There are some awesome freaking talent that's talking. It's much a different kind of environment than HR Tech. It's more intimate and generally the people that you want to be able to connect with are gonna be in that room.

Joel: Chad, do you know what happens after a night of hurricanes?

Chad: I don't know.

Joel: It's a morning of [sound of baby crying]. Had to do it. You ready to get to the


Chad: It's fucking bullshit.

Joel: Alright, so the coup de gras of news happens this week.

Chad: Yes.

Joel: Career Builder finally, I don't know how long we've been predicting it, let go their CEO, Matt Ferguson, 14 years at the helm.

Chad: Yep.

Joel: Put him out to pasture, made him executive, whatever.

Chad: Chairman.

Joel: Which is just a nice way to say thanks for your time, hang out for a little while and then go whatever the hell you're gonna do. Big news.

Chad: Yeah, no. Big news.

Joel: We knew it was coming.

Chad: During our August 10th show, we actually were talking about this and I think both of us actually said, I think it's pretty simple. Apollo's gonna put their person in, whose is Irina and that's exactly what they did. She was the COO, kinda saw that happening, kinda felt like Matt was gonna get booted sometime soon and it was fairly simple.

Joel: He's been around since the acquisition, which is a little over a year old now. They conveniently announced this the day after Labor Day, when no one was paying attention. [crosstalk 00:11:12]. This is really interesting, I'm gonna get a little bit conspiratorial here, but Fast Company was the first media outlet that I saw carry it.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: The Fast Company story actually came out before the press release.

Chad: Yep.

Joel: So someone knew someone at Fast Company and what I found interesting

was the headline was, "Career Builder Hire's First Woman CEO."

Chad: Yep.

Joel: Which totally sounds spun to me.

Chad: Well yeah.

Joel: Because the real headline is like they dumped their 14 year old CEO for someone whose never been a CEO before. And by the way they're having like sexual harassment lawsuits going on while they wanna show off that they have a woman CEO. So the whole thing seemed very staged to me, I don't know who they know at Fast Company but you know they have friends there obviously. The other thing that I found interesting, so Dice, so go back in time a little bit, Dice, their CEO before what's his name, that's there now.

Chad: Zeile.

Joel: Yeah, no the new one. The new guy.

Chad: Oh. Zeile.

Joel: Zeile. Art Zeile, is that right? Okay. So Zeile is like super techy, like has a history of start ups in technology.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: So the guys before was a finance guy. He was not an idea guy, he was like you know, I's dotted, crossed T's. So in this case Irina, Come on Irina, was a CFO, or she was an interim CFO, she worked on Wall Street, she's a totally numbers person. And Career Builder's coming at the press release saying they're all about AI, they're all about innovation, blah, blah, blah. But the fact that they brought in a finance person is a little bit, you know, disingenuous to me and I'm still on par saying they're going to continue chopping this thing up, count the numbers, sell this puppy off within the next year or two, and call it a day. I do not believe that there is a new era of innovation coming from Career Builder with Irina Novoselsky. Am I crazy? Am I nuts? By the way, their CIO is an Apollo alum too.

Chad: Yes. Yes yes yes. It's definitely a different day, there's no question. The problem with the day is that Career Builder needs to continue to do demolition before remodeling the house, right? That's exactly what's been happening. They've been cutting left and right. They've been on old infrastructure for who knows how fucking long, right? They need to be able to reinvigorate the brand, which I hear that they've got the right people in house to do that. The problem is, they need to be able to stitch together their technology to make that shit happen, and it's really fucking hard when you don't have any engineers to do it.

Joel: Bingo.

Chad: Right? That's the big problem right now. I see her coming in, yes, no question to cut the corners. To sharpen the pencil. The hard part is, how do you get the right people in the right places to beat Indeed who's kicking their ass in certain, obviously in the revenue stream that they cared so long about.

Joel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chad: Kicking their ass. Then Google gets in the goddamn game. I mean, what are you going to do guys? I mean seriously. You talk about being an end to end system? Well nobody in the market sees you as an end to end system.

Joel: Maybe one or two people.

Chad: I doubt it. Yeah, and they're on the payroll.

Joel: Yeah. You can only count on Google for so much of your technology to make it work. I will add that they have apparently hired a PR firm that at least gives a shit about bloggers and people like us. The former regime, they might answer questions that are shot at them. But there was a real ivory tower sort of feel with the ... They're still there.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: But I received the press release from a PR agency. I wouldn't be surprised to see the communications people at Career Builder slowly go away, and rely on this whatever PR firm. Who have been very kind and open, which is a real shock. Because I've been dealing with the old career builder for over a decade.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: It's sort of refreshing. In fact, I actually have an embargoed press release that I can't talk about yet, but they are going to be making some shots. They're going to make some pitches to the whole AI tech focused initiative. I'm not sold on it. We're allegedly going to see Irina maybe in Vegas.

Chad: Okay.

Joel: We're going to have to put her feet to the fire a little bit and see what's going on. But I am skeptical to say the least.

Chad: If it has Google's name on it, probably. I mean if they're playing, if they're doing an AI play with Google because now they have all the Google APIs going all over the place, okay. I mean, there you have it. The big question is -

Joel: I'll tease you with what it is.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: I won't give it away.

Chad: Sure.

Joel: It's a mobile focus.

Chad: Oh big fucking deal.

Joel: It is not Monster Studios, I will say that though.

Chad: I'm on the edge of my fucking seat at this point. Let's just end this piece at least on a high note. I hope actually getting Irina into that position, it will hopefully put this old boys network behind them. They don't need this stupid shit. They don't need this drama when they're trying to do all this demolition and rebuild.

Joel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chad: That's going to be hard enough. I just want to sit back and watch how they do this, because this isn't a build on top of. This is a demolition rebuild scenario. Period.

Joel: Yeah. I mean, Ferguson had a definite sort of pledge class president feel to him, and the pledge class president is gone. There's a new leader in town. I think there's been a new leader in town for a long time, but at least figuratively the old regime is I think officially dead now.

Chad: Yeah. Well I mean it was an entirely different day. Newspaper deal. He dealt with the AOL and MSN deal. Which -

Joel: Head hunter?

Chad: Yeah. Which actually, people gave a shit at that point. But Career Builder was printing cash and nobody cared what they spent at that point. Today is a different day. They have a new leader, and these individuals at Apollo, and obviously the new CEO, they care about what's being spent, and we're seeing that. The big question is, when they demo and they build, what's going to happen? What are they going to build on?

Joel: I'm only sad that we didn't get to do a political ad for Career Builder to be their new CEO. All right man, I'm tired of Career Builder. Let's hear, get this, a new Sovren ad.

Chad: Whoa.

Joel: Come back and we'll talk about recruiters not liking it rough.

Chad: They don't like it rough?

Joel: No. You like it rough, right?

Chad: Well duh.

Joel: That's what I heard. Anyway.

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Joel: That voice is so butter.

Chad: I felt like I was around a campfire, because somebody was playing the banjo.

Joel: That was great. That was a great ad.

Chad: I love it.

Joel: How is she not doing voiceover somewhere?

Chad: She probably is. Recruiters say they don't like it rough. Tell me a little bit about this. I don't understand.

Joel: Oh, this is your story, dude.

Chad: No, I've got it. I've got it. Okay. John Holland over at ERE writes about this. It seems as if, for this Monster survey, 62 percent of recruiters say their job is more difficult today than it was a year ago. 67 percent say it's more difficult than it was five years ago. It's like, no shit. Have you seen the unemployment rate? I mean, okay. Next actually put out an infographic which is pretty freaking stout.

Joel: Yeah.

Chad: That is, it's just focused on the hard to read job seeker. It was a survey focused on that. Their respondents, which were job seekers, 14 percent of the candidates are actively looking. 14 percent.

Joel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chad: 39 percent passive, which means they're not looking but they're interested. 42 inactive. 42 percent inactive. Not looking. Not interested. Get away from me. Dude, why do you think it's harder?

Joel: Well my favorite from the story was, 64 percent of recruiters, "Told us they felt they needed to be digital experts to succeed today".

Chad: Oh Jesus.

Joel: "While 70 percent of recruiters say their organization is keeping up digitally, 64 percent believe they don't have the right digital tools to make the job easier. Another 51 percent say that technology makes it harder to connect with humans". Who are these 51 percent who think technology is harder to connect with humans? Are they on a corner somewhere with a newspaper sign, or one of those arrow signs trying to find people? Technology makes it easier. I can't believe a majority of people think technology makes it harder, or that only 64 percent feel like they, only 64 percent feel they need to be digital experts. It should be like 95 percent should feel like they have to be digital experts.

Chad: It should be everybody. Throwing so many numbers around. Almost 60 percent of respondents say that it's more difficult today to get qualified candidates than it was a year ago. 62 percent five years ago. Okay, here's the big fucking problem.

Joel: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chad: First off, the big problem is, 100 percent of them don't believe that they need to be digital experts. Next, they need to realign their expectations, especially with the job market. Which means they should maybe stop asking for bachelors degrees when it's not needed, and stupid shit like that, right? Maybe start creating gap training programs that build your own talent pipeline, and stop black listing smart people who have ink. Right? I mean tattoos? This is a thing now. "Oh yeah, we're going to start looking at hiring people with tattoos now". I mean, did that make somebody stupid because they went out and got a tattoo? I don't get this shit.

Chad: Here's a great story. Here's a great story. As a drill sergeant in the United States army, right? Infantry drill sergeant. You knew whenever we were at war, we needed more troops, so that we had more coming through basic training. They would relax the standards, and they would first off start allowing individuals with tattoos in specific areas, which were on their hands, neck, and those types of things. They would give them wavers, right? This is the same shit. It's like, "Oh yeah. Oh, you are qualified. Oh, I guess that ink doesn't really matter much on how you do the damn job". No shit, Uncle Sam.

Joel: Yeah, and women have smaller brains than men do. I mean, what?

Chad: Idiots.

Joel: Was this a survey back in 1972? I am so confused by this.

Chad: Oh god.

Joel: By the way, aren't tattoos like a military thing? Who -

Chad: They're a military thing. It's just, if they don't show in specific areas, because it has to be professional. Usually the ones on the arms and those types of things, back. But you don't see ones on the hands. But anyway, it doesn't matter. It doesn't mater if they have ink or not. If they have the skill set, they have the goddamn skill set.

Joel: Yeah.

Chad: The only reason companies are talking about, "Well, we should probably look at this standard that we put in place", yeah. No shit. You should have looked at that back in the 1950s, asshole.

Joel: And we're old enough to almost remember the 1950s.

Chad: Oh no we're not.

Joel: Oh.

Chad: Jesus.

Joel: By the way.

Chad: Yes?

Joel: You know what is 100 percent digitally proficient?

Chad: What's that?

Joel: The machines.

Chad: Yeah, no shit. Right?

Joel: If you don't want to get your ass kicked by the machines, you might want to get more digitally proficient.

Chad: So yeah, at the end of this, the writer actually said, he talks about transformation of recruiting. Recruiting is marketing. It is sales. It's one of those things that, you just don't understand the impact of all those different things. It's funny that we have these discussions now about brand and recruiting and outreach and cultivating talent. It's like, this all happens when? When we have a hard time finding the right people. Nobody gives a shit when the labor market is on the other side, and there's all this talent. Nobody gives a shit about the human beings. It's only when I can't find people that I really care about your feelings.

Joel: Yeah. It's kind of about money.