GET READY KIDS – If you’re lactose intolerant THIS is the show for you. That’s right hold the cheese and I’ll substitute w/ some Jimmy Stroud!
Chad & Jim tackle
- Yahoo!’s newest advertising FAIL,
- Jim believes McDonald’s gives-up cuz their automation game is READY…
PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:
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.
Chad: Oh, yeah. There we go. Get ready, kids, if you're lactose intolerant, this is the show for you. That's right, hold the Cheese, and I'll substitute a little Jimmy Stroud. Give it up for Jimmy Stroud, everybody.
Jim: Whoo, what's up, what's up, what's up?
Chad: That's right. All right, so really excited to have you here today, Jim, and-
Jim: Yes sir
Chad: ... we'll get right to the show after this word from our friends at
Sovren: Sovren Parser is the most accurate resume and job order intake technology in the industry. The more accurate your data, the better decisions you can make. Find out more about our suite of products today by visiting sovren.com. That's S-O-V-R-E-N.com. We provide technology that thinks, communicates, and collaborates like a human. Sovren, software so human you'll want to take it to dinner.
Chad: Well, yeah, with a voice like that, who would not want to take Sovren to dinner, right?
Jim: Yeah, oh, yeah.
Chad: So Jim, just in case our listeners have been balled up in the fetal position for a couple of decades and they don't know who you are, why don't you give them a little skinny, a little quick skinny about Jimmy Stroud?
Jim: Well, let's see. I have been involved in source and recruiting for, gosh, two decades, worked for such companies as Microsoft, Google, Siemens, hosted startup companies. I've also been the MC over at SourceCon, which is an awesome conference, been doing that for quite a while. Now I am presently the VP product evangelist for ClickIQ, which is the best automated job advertisement platform in my opinion.
Chad: No bias, yeah.
Jim: It's what all the cool kids who want to automate their jobs are using these days.
Chad: Oh, gotcha.
Jim: And I am there. So yes. That is me.
Chad: Good stuff.
Jim: If you want more information, look me up on LinkedIn.
Chad: Yep, Jimmy Stroud up on LinkedIn. He's everywhere, by the way. Any social media, he's got like 50 different websites, Jimmy Stroud. If you don't know the guy's face, literally, you've been in a closet somewhere. For listeners, we have a special treat this morning because as we were talking about putting this show together, 'cause Joel is on spring break vacation with the kids, we were talking about some of the fun things that we've been able to do with the podcast, and I said something about El Chapo and you were like, "What?" And I realized at that point you had never heard the El Chapo soundbite from CareerBuilder, from their I think it was SVP of sales or what have you, and for our listeners and for you, I wanted to play this for you, as a special treat.
Chad: So listeners, this is the first time Jim has ever heard this. If you haven't heard this, don't laugh too hard, here it comes. El Chapo from I believe it's Jim or John Smith, SVP sales, used to be, over at CareerBuilder.
CB Sales Dude: Lastly, trip. Yes, there will be a trip. I just don't know when and where yet. As soon as I will know, you will know. And know this, we're not sleeping on this-
Chad: They're not sleeping.
CB Sales Dude: ... it's not like we're not focused. We actually had a trip done until about three weeks ago. We had a great hotel in Cavo. We had dates confirmed.
Chad: What happened?
CB Sales Dude: Problem is, Cavo has become completely destabilized.
CB Sales Dude: Literally this holiday season, they've had over 50,000 reservations canceled.
Chad: No way.
CB Sales Dude: Evidently, when El Chapo was incarcerated, the code of ethics that he instilled in Cabo and throughout Mexico has gone away. There's no code of ethics, there's no code of honor. All of a sudden, there is a war for power.
Chad: No code of honor, 'cause El Chapo is gone.
CB Sales Dude: Drug dealers will actually go into restaurants and shoot up the place.
Chad: Shoot up the place.
CB Sales Dude: So bottomline is this. I wish I could sit here and tell you we have-
Chad: And that's all we got. So tell me that is not some of the funniest shit you've ever heard, Jim. Now this is from an insider who recorded this on their phone or something like that and sent this to us, right? So this was actually a sales meeting and they were trying to get people to understand that hey, look, guess what, we're not gonna do the successors trip or whatever, the president's trip or what have you, because El Chapo is gone.
Jim: El Chapo.
Chad: So I wanted to do that special for Jim, and obviously it's always special for me too 'cause it's the funniest shit I think I've ever heard.
Jim: If something goes wrong or is delayed, I'm gonna blame it on El Chapo.
Chad: That's a good point. We should actually do Chad and Cheese shirts that said, "El Chapo did it" or something like that.
Jim: El Chapo did it.
Chad: That's a good idea, that's a damn good idea. So Jim, are you ready to go to shout outs?
Jim: I am so ready. Actually, let me jump in first by giving a shout out to Beverly and Richard. I know they're big listeners.
Chad: Oh, yeah.
Jim: They're also over at ClickIQ, to them and all my peeps over at ClickIQ, one love.
Chad: Love it. So this is funny because right before we stared, a delivery guy with a huge-ass box came to my front door. So my first shout out is going to be to Jim and Thomas over across the pond at Talent Nexus, because they just sent me over a case of craft beer in the mail. I actually received, and I think they just ordered it from here in the States, 'cause that makes a hell of a lot more sense, but to Jim and Thomas from Talent Nexus, beer is on you. Thanks, guys. Really appreciate that.
Jim: Straight to Chad's heart.
Chad: That's right, you know how it works, guys. You know how it works. Barb Froncillo, I think I'm saying that right, I probably am not, thanks for listening and subscribing, one of our listeners. She's one of those listeners that actually reached out because she went to the website and noticed that a link wasn't working, and then it got me thinking on the subscribe side of the house, and I thought, "You know what? I can make this shit easier." So I did. But I wouldn't have if it wouldn't have been for Barb actually reaching out and saying, "Hey, your shit's broke," right?
Chad: So thanks, Barb, appreciate you taking the time. JZ over at SmashFly, dude, thanks for coming down and spending the day with Chad and Cheese, mostly a day with Chad and Julie, because Cheeseman is lame. JZ, so do you know JZ over at SmashFly?
Jim: Is he married to Beyonce?
Chad: I don't think so. No, that's a different Jay-Z, yeah. Different guy. I like that, though. He came down, had some beer, pizza, shot a video announcing that Chad and Cheese are gonna be at Transform onstage. Then we spent the day doing what we do, drinking beer, talking recruitment, employment branding, and finishing off the night with cigars and bourbon. So it was a good time had by all.
Jim: It's a hard life, it's a hard life you lead.
Chad: Not easy being Chad and Cheese.
Jim: It's not.
Chad: Big shout out to Steven Rothberg, because he's playing this debate on Twitter with me, and you've heard about how Facebook is dumbing down their advertising tool. Have you heard about this?
Jim: I have heard about that, very interesting. They're taking away the ability to target a certain age and I think also sex or something like that? Men and women?
Chad: Yeah, it's people with disabilities, so if you want more insights on that whole thing, just listen to last week's March 21st podcast entitled "Indeed's Australian Meltdown," but just to move forward with it real quick, I'm not happy with Facebook because this, I believe, is dumb as hell. You are dumbing down a tool that is surgically helping companies find the types of individuals that they want, and they're dumbing it down because of the bad actors, not the good actors, the bad actors. So they're actually taking strength and power away from companies who want to use this tool in the right way.
Chad: Here's what pisses me off: not only are they dumbing down the too, but they're not doing what they should be doing in the first place, which is policing their own damn system. They should be vetting advertisers and they should be auditing the content that goes into that system, and Steven doesn't believe that's the case. He said you can't really expect a platform like Facebook to vet every job ad. Well, this is bigger than job ads, Steven, first and foremost. And if you did attempt to vet, how exactly would you do that? Well, they have more PhDs over there than I can even think of, and if they can't figure that out, they shouldn't have a freaking platform to be able to make billions of dollars in the first place. But if a bigot wants to discriminate against black people, would you trust them to be honest about their hiring intentions?
Chad: Okay, so totally get that, and that's a lot to unpack, but really quick, the thing is, Steven, this is on both sides. First and foremost, you have a responsibility as a platform owner to police, audit, and vet, to ensure the individuals who are using said platform aren't getting fucked. That's not cool, dude. You can't say that if a job site allows all these jobs, then how are we supposed to know which jobs are good and which jobs are bad? Dude, that's why you vet. That's why you go through this process, right? First and foremost. Second, if you have a company who is using bias practices, right, that's what the OFCCP and EEOC are for. They come in and they do those audits against the employer, not against the platform, against the employer, and then they enforce regulations against the employer.
Chad: There are two sides of the coin here. So I think it's important, great shout out to Steven, thanks for pushing the conversation, but I think this needs to be articulated more. So what do you think about this piece, Jim? Because it's really hard for me to see a company like Facebook with all the money that they make to say that they can't find a way to vet and audit. What do you think?
Jim: I think it's a way of getting around potential regulations coming down from the government. 'Cause it's more of a I think a political standpoint and this is just an aspect of it. Because if they are the public square, as they purport to be, then it's free speech, everybody come say what you want, do what you want, it's totally free. But if they are editors, then they are subject to certain regulations, and I think they don't want their hands to be tied in other ways. So I think they're straddling the fence with this defense.
Chad: I think they're making the wrong decision obviously in taking away the power of the tool that they actually have, and doing that instead of what they should be doing in the first place. Because this change that they're making still doesn't meet the obligations that they have to ensure that the individuals using their platform are not bad actors.
Jim: I think everyone's gonna be looking at them, because whatever Facebook does, I'm sure Twitter follows suit and everyone else as well.
Chad: Yeah, and that also pisses me off because when they dumb down their platform and their tools, then stupid politicians are gonna go, "Oh, yeah, there you go. Facebook did it, everybody else should do that." No, it was the wrong answer in the first fucking place. This to me is a diversion and it hurts everybody. So that's all I have to say about that. I'll give you the last word on that one.
Jim: Keep an eye on this new law that I think is being passed in the UK, something like that, where it's being called a link tax, which is also something really crazy which just sort of reminds me of this. Okay, so if you are Google and I do a search for pinto beans, I don't know why I went to pinto beans, but-
Jim: I want protein, right? And so I do a search and I do a link to the New York Times is doing a report on pinto beans. Well, because Google linked to the New York Times, they would have to pay a link tax. And so even though they're sending free traffic to the New York Times and an article, they have to start paying for it. Now I bring that up because it concerns me because today is about a news story. What if Google would have to start paying for links to job boards or anything else? It can be a real damage to the Internet overall.
Chad: Yeah, that's what happens when politicians get involved in shit they don't understand. It's easy to tell politicians something because they don't have any expertise in this arena as it is. Move on to one of our favorites, Elena Valentine, CEO over at Skill Scout. She wants to bring Snoop Dogg to an HR conference near you. Have you seen this? Have you seen this?
Jim: No, but I know the after party will be lit.
Chad: That's what I'm talking about, right? So here's the thing. We want to support Elena, we want to support this, right? It's HR for Snoop. Go to skillscout.com/, one word, hrforsnoop, and show some support. Because having Snoop at an HR event, I mean, come on. Who gives Martha Stewart more cred than Snoop, right? Right?
Jim: Is the conference in Colorado, by chance, or some other place-
Chad: I'll tell you right now, that would be a great way to lure Snoop anywhere, right?
Jim: Yeah, for our listeners across the pond, marijuana is legal in Colorado and a few other states now. So it would have to be one of those states.
Chad: Maybe Portland, who knows. More Oregon action. I mean, it's pretty lit. So last shout out goes to our UK listeners, thanks for the intel about Indeed. Joel and I weren't sure if Indeed was spending a type of mad cash on radio and TV and shit like that that they are in the U.S., and we have received a resounding, "Yes, they fucking are, and we're sick of it," kind of a thing. Indeed is spending tons of cash in the UK to do advertising and we also have a UK rumor that I want to throw out there. Apparently ZipRecruiter UK pissed off reed.co.uk, which is tallied as the number one job site in the UK.
Chad: So what happened was Reed dropped Zip as a partner because they were sick and tired of Zip going straight to Reed's clients instead of working through them. Sound familiar? Sound familiar? Instead of going to the agency, we're going around the agency. Same kind of shit, just different players. So I thought that was interesting.
Jim: Yeah, follow that story.
Chad: Events, so we're gonna be at SHRM Talent in Nashville, followed by StaffingTec, which is actually just across the town, the same week in Nashville, so if you're going to be there look us up. Don't forget also we're going to be at TAtech recruitment marketing summit in Chicago and just announced, Chad and Cheese onstage, RecFest, London, July, you gotta fucking be there. That's gonna be awesome.
Jim: Nice. Nice. Nice.
Chad: Can't wait for that one.
Jim: I fully expect that when you get ready for RecFest that you would have upgraded your swear words and you'll start using more English swear words going forward after that.
Chad: Yeah, you know, I actually had one of my friends say, "You know, you're really going to have to start doing that," and I don't think ... That's just not us. People listen to us because we're authentic. They want to hear the dumb yanks come over, right? So that's who we're gonna be. We're not gonna try to be somebody who we're not. You're gonna get what you listen to. So that's that.
Jim: That's cool. So I did wanna hear that this ATS is rubbish.
Chad: No, not once we're just ... Maybe Joel. And last but not least, on the event side of the house, a T-shirt merch. Remember, Chad and Cheese is traveling with Shaker Recruitment Advertising, look for Shaker backpacks on us, because in those backpacks will be our first limited edition Chad and Cheese T-shirts. We only have 100 of them, so when we say limited edition, we're not fucking with you. We're gonna be giving away anywhere from 10 to 15 per show, thanks to emissary.ai, check out emissary.ai because texting makes recruiting easier. No shit. It seriously does.
Chad: But no kidding, we only have about 100 T-shirts, we're only gonna give away so many per event. Get your T-shirt, it's gonna be pretty freaking cool. And if you wanna find out where we're going to be because you want a T-shirt or maybe you just want to buy us a beer, which I would enjoy, go to chadcheese.com, click on events in the upper right hand corner, and you will see our 2019 world tour list of events.
Chad: Good stuff, good stuff. Good, are we ready to do this thing, ready to jump into the first topic?
Jim: Yes, yes indeed.
Chad: All right, let's do this. Okay, so the first topic, I sent this to you this morning and I thought it was funny as hell, because Yahoo! ...
Chad: You're doing it all wrong. You're doing it all ... So you hadn't seen this ad before I sent it to you. So did you get a chance to just kind of glaze over it?
Jim: A little bit. Go over it for the listening side.
Chad: Okay, so there's this ad from Yahoo! that focuses on the job-seeker Yahoo! search, or the job search on Yahoo, right? And so what it says is, "Job seekers can use Yahoo Search to start their job hunt," and then it has arrows down and it says, "Search for job posting sites."
Jim: Yeah, I remember now.
Chad: The ad, the actual picture in the ad, is a dude wearing a hoodie pulled over his head and he's breaking into a house.
Jim: Yeah, I had this Scooby Doo look on my face, like huh? I totally did not get what they were doing with that.
Chad: Below it, it says thousands of companies are hiring right now. It's like, what am I hiring for? What the fuck is going on?
Jim: Yeah, yeah. Maybe you're hiring for the mafia, I don't know. It's
kind of weird.
Chad: This is a message to Yahoo, this isn't the first time, but you're doing it wrong, guys. You're doing job search wrong.
Jim: I don't get this at all.
Chad: So yeah, I thought that was kind of funny. Started off with, we'll be sharing that on the Facebook page and Twitter and whatnot. But you had a couple of stories around AI, which I think is actually your first love. In the first one, it talks about the robots are hiring. I think it was Wall Street Journal or something like that.
Jim: Yeah, yeah, they were talking about this company called DeepSense, which is based in San Francisco and India, and what they do is they help hiring managers scan people's social media accounts to surface what they're calling underlying personality traits.
Chad: What the hell does that mean?
Jim: So the company can scientifically assess your personality based on what they find about you online.
Jim: So if they know that tech nerds are kind of quirky, the ones that are really, really good tend to be quirky, then their tests will say, "Hey, these people are more in line with the culture of your company, so you may want to pursue them as well," in addition to how greatly skilled they are. So when I read that, I thought, "Okay, this is interesting."
Jim: Culture fit is like a hot buzz word, if you want to play HR buzz word bingo over here, cultural fit would definitely be high on that list. And so I thought, "Okay, I could see why a company was formed to do something like this," but at the same time my Spidey sense was kind of vibrating a little bit as well. Because I'm thinking okay, so culture fit, you got your matching algorithms and you have somebody who, according to the algorithms, they are, I don't know, an advocate for Bernie Sanders, just to go political. Or maybe they're against abortion, also to stay political.
Jim: And so that would determine that you're not a cultural fit, because you think that transgender people should be precluded from a position, say, at, I don't know, Hobby Lobby or Chick-Fil-A or some other organization like that, I'm not saying that's the case, just throwing it out. Or somebody's super conservative, maybe the algorithm would say, "Well, you're not welcome over here at Google or Apple or other companies" because they tend to be more left leaning. So I can see how this could have a good intention, but could be used
unintentionally for evil.
Chad: Now doesn't this seem like hyper AI machine learning group think?
Chad: Doesn't it? It just seems like yay, we want to hire the same fucking people over and over, and it's funny because in my time in compliance, I can't believe I'm actually saying that, in my time serving in some aspects of compliance, one of the companies used to talk about bias from the standpoint of employee referrals, and friends of Bob. Well, friends of Bob generally always look like Bob, right? And that's from a biased standpoint, you start to build your company around a bunch of Bobs, right? Where are the Julies? Where are the Evelyns? Where's the cultural, where's the gender, where's all the diversity at? This to me really lends to the possibility of crazy amounts of bias.
Jim: You know, a good example of what you're saying illustrated is what Amazon did with their algorithm and how it was excluding women from it, because they based their algorithm based on people who worked there, who were predominantly men, and it looked at their schools and unintentionally it was excluding women from the process. So they said, "Whoops, our bad," and they scrapped the system. My overall thought on this, and it's not to poo-poo DeepSense, because maybe their heart's in the right place, you always need a human being in the loop. You always need a person to look things over to ensure that the machine is giving you what you intend for it to give you.
Chad: It's not just what you intend for it to give you, it's also what they're not excluding people that you don't intend to be excluded. And that's what happened with the Amazon algorithm is that they didn't intend to, or they say, they didn't intend to exclude females, but the algorithm saw their hiring practices, and this is the big key here. If an algorithm is only learning from a stupid human that is already biased in the first place, then what the fuck is the algorithm good for? What's the algorithm good for if it's just going to mimic what a human being's doing? That's not what we want, right? We want to be more blind in our hiring process, and we can't do that if we're teaching an algorithm to think like us.
Jim: Yeah, automating your bias on a huge scale. You need to have ... A job of the future I think will be algorithm auditor.
Chad: There's gonna be a lot of money there because ...
Jim: Oh, yeah.
Chad: Because what we've seen is the OFCCP has statisticians on staff, so what they do is they understand that statistically, you should have a breakdown of X or Y in Omaha, Nebraska, right? And if you don't meet that, the statisticians know that. And the OFCCP pivoted to that because they better understood talent acquisition, not the way that they should, but they understood the statistics of it. They will also, and my prediction is, they will also do exactly what you're talking about, which will spawn an entirely new industry, which is consultants coming in, auditing algorithms, doing a statistical test on the not just the talent that is coming in for jobs to ensure that you're getting a diverse talent pool, but who are you hiring?
Jim: Starting a whole new industry. So this is an example of not necessarily robots or automation taking jobs away, but robots and automation facilitating a whole new job market. The same way Netflix did away with Blockbuster video, but you brought in streaming technologies and all the other stuff that comes with it. So a new industry appeared off of the ashes of Blockbuster Video and Hollywood Video, but a whole new jobs came up in its place.
Chad: Yeah, but that being said, retail, which is being understaffed as ever right now, is saying that they're understaffed, which obviously there are still human positions that are not being filled because we don't have enough people, but that AI could be the solution to that. That was also something that you brought up that I felt was a really good transition into this AI block.
Jim: Yeah, there was this company called Repple, I'm calling it Repple, not to be confused with Ripple.
Chad: REPL, I think it is, yeah.
Jim: Yeah, REPL Group, it's a UK-based tech firm, and they did this survey, they looked at a thousand U.S. consumers and 500 retail workers to outline consumer expectations of automation in a retail environment. And what they came away with was that a lot of people, consumers and retail workers both, said automation's gonna be key and is gonna take over the retail space and there's gonna be a lot of automated processes. So in this place of so many retail workers will be automated processes, virtual assistance, and virtual reality technology. So things like standing in front of a magic mirror and seeing how a dress looks on you without you actually putting on the dress.
Chad: And seeing if it's in inventory, too.
Jim: Yes. A lot of that, a lot of that. And actually when I read that, it made me think too about the things McDonald's is doing. McDonald's made a ton ... Well, they spent a ton of money on this company called, what was it called? I want to say Deep Logic or something like that. Dynamic Yield, that's the name of the company, Dynamic Yield. And so what Dynamic Yield does is it's an AI company and they spent $300 million, and they're doing a lot of what I think this AI is gonna be doing in retail, automating a lot of processes.
Jim: So in the case of McDonald's, they are personalizing all of their digital menus. So let's say you go up to the digital menu at McDonald's and it shows Big Mac, fries, and shakes, 'cause they have your order history and that's what you like. So if you customize-
Chad: Yeah. It can do face recognition too, right?
Jim: Face recognition, also, check this out, also the capability of looking at your license plate, which is kind of freaky.
Chad: Holy shit.
Jim: And so it sees your license plate a mile off and says, "Oh, Chad is coming, cook us some Big Macs." You know? And then if I come up there and they start showing hot cakes because it knows I like the McDonald's breakfast so much. Any time is right for hot cakes. You're right, McDonald's, that's what I always get here. So there's that.
Chad: This is like Blade Runner shit, right?
Jim: It's sort of like when the Minority Report, when Tom Cruise has his eyes have been changed out.
Chad: Replaced, yeah.
Jim: And he walks through the shopping mall and they go, "Hello, Mr. Yamamoto, here's your food and your suit." That kind of stuff. And so although in reading this at one angle, the first reaction I think a lot of people will see is, "Okay, that's automation robots taking jobs away again," but again, I look at it through a different lens and I see how this automation is gonna birth new industries. So like in the case of the retail, I can see McDonald's doing the same thing, 'cause I guess they're basically retail. I see these kind of places, maybe not employees because of automated processes, but sparking a new industry like having events, right?
Jim: So imagine you have this dress store, this clothing boutique, right? And you have all these automated processes where people can buy stuff themselves buy clicking the kiosk, whatever. Whatever flew you up to have an event and know your customers better, you can encourage impulse buying. You get a chance to do more social sharing and get the attention of a new audience out there. You get to say thank you to your existing customers who show up to your event and make them feel like VIPs. And then most importantly, you gather data on people there and what they're looking at, what they like, so you can use it for a future promotion.
Chad: Well from my standpoint, the whole retail piece and what I read in the story and it makes sense is that the retail, the actual just checkout, isn't really that valuable and if you can check yourself out, like you go to the Kroger and you can check yourself out, you can allow a person, one person instead of several people, actually engage customers and not have to worry about are you getting the barcode right, you know what I mean? So it perspectively helps the customer experience and make things better for companies who are having issues right now because to be quite frank, we don't have enough people to fill the jobs.
Chad: So that's a big issue. But on the other side, I'm gonna go ahead and transition, and believe it or not, Jim, Amazon is doing it again. What exactly, we'll tell you on the other side of this break. We're gonna hear a word from our Guinness buddies over at
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Chad: So, Jim, Amazon plans for AR goggles that track workers. What the hell ... Are haptic bracelets not enough these days for these guys?
Jim: I think what Amazon is doing is they're trying to turn their workers into robots, it seems that way, right? Instead of being afraid of robots taking your jobs, they're just gonna turn you into a robot. This is what Amazon is doing, for those of you who don't know. They have a patent where people will put on these augmented reality goggles. So if you ever played Pokemon GO, you now the concept, or if you were ever on Facebook Messenger and you make somebody's face have stars on them or something, that's augmented reality, putting some kind of computer visual over your face through your camera so it looks like you're turning into an elf or something but you're really not.
Jim: So anyway, you put on these goggles and so you put on these goggles and the goggles will say, "Okay, go left, go right, this is the box you're looking for," that kind of thing. It'll be able to direct you through their vast warehouse and it'll be like your, I'm dating myself, the Great Gazoo, a little helper on your shoulder to tell you ...
Chad: It's like a heads up display.
Jim: Yeah, yeah.
Chad: It's like if you're a fighter pilot and you have the heads up display in the cockpit, it's like a heads up display.
Jim: And so and one aspect is cool in that way, especially if you're new to their process, you're a new worker, you don't really know what's going on, and they say, "Okay, go figure it out." Put on the goggles and the goggles will walk you through things. So one hand, it's good because I can see how it could increase worker efficiency, that kind of thing. But on the other side, putting on these goggles would allow Amazon to know where you are and what you're doing at all times. So you won't be able to breathe. If you have 'em on when you're going to the bathroom, I wouldn't advise it. I wouldn't advise it.
Jim: If you have something disparaging to say about your employer or manager, you may not want to say it while the goggle are on or while somebody else's goggles are on.
Chad: That's crazy, dude.
Jim: It's Big Brother in the office. It's kind of kind of scary
Chad: Yeah, so again, the haptic bracelets that we saw that they were using in the UK in the warehouse, they pretty much had a sensor knowing exactly where you were too, and if you weren't close to the quote-unquote "box" or your area, the haptic bracelet would go off. So this is like, they're taking that like 25 steps further and literally, this could be your Big Brother eyes on your face. Yes, it's helping you from a heads up display standpoint, the box is over here, they have bar code scanners build in so all you have to do is look at the box to understand whether that's the box you're looking for or not. There's some really cool things to be able to help somebody do their job.
Chad: But the other side of it, and knowing Jeff Bezos, for god's sakes, yeah, the Big Brother aspect is looming large.
Jim: I think he's just biding his time. I know that they've bought this robot company, I forget the name of it, so that they can better automate their warehouses, and I think all the bad publicity they're getting for how they're treating their workers is gonna blow over because year by year, they're gonna start hiring less workers and just let more machines take their place. I mean, I know from year over year, they've hired less workers doing their Christmas rush, I do know that much. So they're going to turn more and more into these automated processes and take away the headache and the ...
Jim: I noticed too that although they've gotten some bad press for how they're treating their workers, people aren't stopping their shopping with Amazon. So I don't know if it's hypocritical of people who are complaining, because ...
Chad: It is hard.
Jim: They've not stopped shopping.
Chad: It is and it's hard, just 'cause it's so easy to find what you want, to have everything, not to mention ... I actually returned a phone case because I just bought a new phone and I got the wrong size case, and all you had to do was take a bar code in to UPS, they scanned it, and away it went. It was too easy to do a return. Hell, it was easier than going to Kohl's and doing it. It was too easy. So yeah, they're making the friction, especially the human friction, so much less, but then there's also ... Bezos is looking for reasons to actually be more automated, and one of the ways is through the force of raising wages to $15 an hour, right? They made that choice but you also see that looming as when they have an opportunity, they can say, "Look, we had to pay more, it was more efficient, it just made sense."
Chad: But it's interesting, we just saw a CNN business article that said McDonald's, who has been fighting this whole $15 wage increase, is giving up. Did you see that?
Jim: Yeah, yeah, and that tells me that they have their automation game on point. 'Cause okay, ClickIQ had a product day in London that I was privileged to be a part of, and then that product day, I gave the spiel about the fight for 15, which is the minimum wage going on, and I ran off different reasons why that was good and why it was bad and why it's ultimately gonna hurt workers I think, and so in the case of McDonald's, my saying the automation game is on point, I shared on one of my podcasts, the Jim Stroud podcast, how McDonald's has these automated kiosks, so how they basically work is you walk into McDonald's, you press a button for your Big Mac, you slide your credit card through, and then you walk up to the counter, somebody gives you your food. Right?
Jim: That's on the inside of the store. I could easily imagine that being on the outside of the store in the drive through as well, especially if they can personalize the menu. So McDonald's is saying, in my opinion, I don't know, I don't speak for McDonald's, but I think the crown is saying, "Okay, we'll pay you $15, but instead of seven people working in the McDonald's, we're only gonna have two people work in the average McDonald's. So paying two people $15 an hour is easier than paying seven people $15 an hour because of our automation process, so once we've bought all these machines and they're in place, it works for me, so yeah, we'll go ahead."
Jim: And by doing that, they can say, "We're sensitive to the workers and yes, you're right, we should be giving you $15, so we're gonna do the right thing. We're just not gonna do the right thing for five less people."
Chad: Yeah, it's a little horse shit, because it doesn't matter what they're paying those humans, much like Amazon. They're looking to automate to get rid of the human friction in the first place. It's funny, because I can't push the book hard enough, but Peter Weddle wrote a book here recently called "Circa 2118", and it really talks about all of this and how it's happening. And when it starts to unroll, you're thinking, "Holy shit, dude. This is actually happening from a political, from an economic," you see it coming. And for a company like McDonald's to say, "Oh, we give up," you're right. It's because they see the long-term strategy and they understand that from an optic standpoint, if they pay right now, that's really ... They're not gonna have to do that forever because they're gonna automate anyway.
Chad: Pepsi is spending billions of dollars to, and they're said it, to automate. They're gonna get rid of human friction. They're gonna use algorithms, they're gonna use automation and guess what? Less people will have fucking jobs. But guess what else? They're having problems filling those jobs. So they have plenty of reasons to say, "Paying them too much, we can't find people. Oh look, robots don't take sick leave."
Jim: There's two other problems that have been coming on with that too that I think people don't take into account. One is the damage to the overall company brand, right? So I know there's gonna be some people that have read about this, gosh, I don't remember the name of the company, but it was in Canada, where people refused to use the self-check out lane because it says it takes jobs away from people. So they say, "We come to the store, we will not use these checkout lanes." So the population was so fed up, they won't do that. So I see more stuff like that happening, and so some brands will have to say, "Okay, how much do we automate? Do we automate to the point where we're saving money, that's great, but if we automate too much ... We can't automate, rather, too much, because then it'll make people mad and they won't use the automated stuff, forcing us to employ more people."
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Chad: Well, Jimmy, that is a lactose intolerant, Cheese-free podcast, so what do you think? What else do you got to share?
Jim: Oh, let's see. Well, I want to invite everyone to connect with me on LinkedIn, look me up, LinkedIn/in/jimstroud, J-I-M, S-T-R-O-U-D. If you want to hear more about the wonderfulness that I call ClickIQ, feel free to email me, actually, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chad: Excellent, guys. We out.
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 chadcheese.com.