Goin' Deep w/ Hung Lee

Over 11,000 subscribers tune into Hung Lee's Recruiting Brainfood every week. To say the dude knows his shit is an understatement, and Chad & Cheese explore a wide variety of topics with this snarky Brit.

Enjoy this Nexxt EXCLUSIVE.


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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 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: I don't know why it took us so long, but believe it or not, Hung Lee, ladies and gentlemen is-

Chad: Hung Lee!

Joel: ... is finally a guest on the show.

Chad: Yeah!

Joel: Hung Lee, welcome man. Some of our listeners do not know you.

Hung Lee: What?

Joel: I'm going to quickly introduce you as the CEO of Workshape.io or as Chad likes to say, "Workshapio," and probably more well-known by our listeners for your curation of Recruiting Brainfood, the weekly email that goes out. Hung, welcome. Good to have you here.

Hung Lee: Finally. Guys, let me just say it's a massive honor for me to attend this show. It feels like it's a milestone. And it's definitely on my calendar. It's something that I'm going to frame. This is a big moment for me. Thank you very much for having me.

Chad: You can tell that he's a Brit, because he's saying all this stuff and you can hear behind he's like, "I can't wait to get over this fucking podcast for god's sake."

Joel: Yeah, we have a bad habit of getting guests that sound way smarter than us. We need to ...

Chad: Which is not hard.

Joel: We need to downgrade our audience or our guests for sure. We couldn't downgrade our audience anymore. But our guests need to be taken down a notch or two. So Hung, what did we miss in the intro? What do we need to know about you that we don't already?

Hung Lee: You know what? I'm so focused these days on doing those two projects. It's hard for me to fill in the gaps really. I mean maybe you guys are probably very familiar with it yourself when you do something media related you give so much out, it can be a bit consuming. So when people say, "What do you do in your spare time?" I'm thinking, "I have some fish. What else do I do? I like hanging out now and again if I see my friends." But yeah, it's an all-consuming thing to be one of these people that is trying to support the community and push the marble forward for one, you know?

Chad: Yeah, but he's HR's most eligible bachelor. That's one of the things that he's leaving out there. Yes, he is working hard.

Joel: And as we've determined before the show, with a name like Hung, if you don't bring it, there's going to be a lot of disappointment, so maybe there's a reason he's still single.

Hung Lee: Can I just credit you guys? It's like two minutes, less than three minutes in and you already got that one in. So I just want to say well done.

Chad: Joel has been waiting at least a year. When he first came out with that joke, he's like, "Holy shit." He's had that thing holstered, man.

Joel: It took a long time to get our schedules to sync to have you on the show. So yes, I have been waiting for a while.

Joel: Let's talk about Recruiting Brainfood for a second. Why did you do it? What's the process? You have advertisers. Just sort of give us the lay of the land and what you do with the Brainfood product.

Hung Lee: So I mean the genesis of Recruiting Brainfood is really ... I mean I personally found it very difficult to find great content online. I mean there's a lot of stuff out there, a lot of quality content. But there's also so much that's trash.

Chad: Junk, yeah.

Hung Lee: That is was very difficult for me to really ... Where is the good stuff? Where is the consistent good stuff? And I just started collecting links as people do. You bookmark them. You put them into pockets or whatever it might be to consume it at a later date. And it just occurred to me, "You know what? If I started sharing this list to people, maybe other people can get piggyback off the work I'm doing and they can get some of the good stuff that way as well." So Brainfood really started off as a way for me to try and improve the signal to noise ratio if you like, using startup speak, and to make the internet a little smaller for myself. The internet got so big that it was unmanageable. So I wanted to try and shrink it down into a more manageable size. And that's what Recruitment Brainfood, that was the start of the newsletter. It's basically an attempt to make it smaller.

Joel: So that sounds really warm and fuzzy. But there is certainly some interest where you're building your personal brand and you're also getting the Workshape.io product out there. That certainly had something to do with it, right?

Hung Lee: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. I mean there's another ... What I find is that most things that you do tend to have value in multiple areas, right? So when you do anything public, I wasn't unaware of the fact that, hey, listen, if it does turn into something then maybe this will be a nice in balance strategy for me in some way. We of course in Europe have the GDPR thing happening. Last year I think it was. And Brainfood started two years ago. So I had a little bit, a look around the corner in thinking maybe I need to really get consent from the people I'm emailing. And one of the ideas was, hey, if I was able to launch a newsletter then maybe I'll be able to email these folks without needing to bother too much or be too worried about the GDPR side of things.

Hung Lee: So for sure there was multiple reasons for doing it, but primarily it was for personal consumption was the first thing. And all of those later things just started coming in as the newsletter got a big more popular.

Chad: Well, then it started to snowball, right? And now you have a series of lists that you have available to the public as well. So talk a little bit about that.

Joel: So how big is your list, Hung?

Hung Lee: So I think Joel has this size thing going on, doesn't he?

Joel: I have issues.

Hung Lee: Yeah. That's okay. We can talk about that later.

Chad: He's overcompensating as usual.

Joel: Because size does matter when we're talking about email lists.

Hung Lee: That's it. So the email list in terms of subscribers I think it's something like 10,600 or so right now. So not mega massive. I think lots of people are into the hundreds of thousands and so on. But I think we've got a good bunch of people who seem to be reading it, who seem to be very into the idea of the Brainfood. And yeah, they seem to be engaged. So that's growing and growing well, so I'm very happy with that.

Chad: You have lists around conferences and other lists too, right, that you guys ... I mean it's like a crowdsourcing type of curation that's happening right now. That I mean has really grown and exploded lately as well, right?