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Disability Solutions

Chad Goes Nuclear on SHRM

Maybe it was the fact Boston was cold in late-May. Maybe it was the rain at Fenway Park. But whatever it was, as the boys find a bar and...

-- Chad was not very happy with SHRM this week.

-- Google goes with more contractors and privacy

-- Restless Bandit exits stage left

-- TruStaff defines website amatuer hour

-- and fake tans will get you blackballed in Australia ... or is it New Zealand? Either way.

Enjoy and give our sponsors a big, sloppy kiss. Sovren, Canvas, and JobAdx rock our world.


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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, rash opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast.

Joel: Let's start there. What are we drinking with in the first period of our podcast this week?

Chad: Yeah, this is a Blanton's Bourbon, which is very top shelf.

Joel: Tough to get.

Chad: Yeah. It's not easy to get. In Philly last week, I was able to get it. I think one of the reasons is that people don't understand how fucking good Blanton's is when you get out of bourbon country. So went to Philly, had a whole fucking bottle there, not like I drank it all, came in here, had Blanton's. But if you get close to bourbon country, it's hard to find.

Joel: Yeah, it's not a pretentious bourbon.

Chad: No.

Joel: They don't really beat their chest. It's a little bitty round, globe looking bottle with a racehorse on top

Chad: Made Buffalo Trace.

Joel: Not a Pappy's or Booker's.

Chad: No.

Joel: But it's fantastic. If you're a bourbon lover, Chad and I highly recommend Blanton's. I'm drinking a Redbreast Lustau Irish whiskey by the way. We're at an Irish pub. We're at the Asgard.

Chad: Here in Cambridge.

Joel: We're in Cambridge, yeah.

Chad: Yeah, okay. Irish pub, a lot of people, background music. So yeah, this is our jam.

Joel: Yeah. We just got done with the meeting with JobCase, interviewed their CEO, which will be coming out shortly.

Chad: Did a lunch-and-learn.

Joel: Lunch-and-learn with their company.

Chad: Like those lunch-and-learns.

Joel: Yeah, we got the tour, got to meet some of their folks. We really enjoy doing that. And if you're a company out there, either vendor or direct employer, and want us to come out and do some learning with your staff, hit us up at

Chad: Yeah, you have a training budget. So go ahead and use it for shit that actually is going to get your people trained up.

Joel: Exactly.

Chad: That's us, by the way.

Joel: So we just thought, "Let's pop into a pub. Let's crank out the mics. Let's get the weekly show done." And here we are, enjoying some whiskey, enjoying Cambridge, Massachusetts, the weed and tootsie rolls into the streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Chad: Yeah, so thanks Boston, thanks JobCase. Last week we're in Philly. I still have to give props to Philly. Philly is so John.

Joel: It doesn't mean cool. I don't think you used it correctly.

Chad: No, I can use it any way I want. That's what Ed said.

Joel: Okay, well the Philly faithful will not be happy with that usage.

Chad: I don't give a fuck and they know it, which is why they love us because we don't give a fuck. But thanks to for giving us gas money to actually get there.

Joel: Sure. That trip was sponsored by Emissary, much like our awesome, amazingly surprisingly popular t-shirts.

Chad: Let's hit the topics. So last week we talk about Restless Bandit and TruStaff, and it was on the grapevine, but we hadn't really received any firm notice.

Joel: "I heard it through the grapevine." (singing)

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: Yeah, Restless Bandit has quietly left the building.

Chad: Exited.

Joel: Pretty much.

Chad: Stage fucking left.

Joel: Yeah, go check out Restless Bandit and the site has a few links, to press and something, but no link to demos, no way to contact them.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: There's an image saying partnered with TruStaff. There was no release. At least two or three calls that I made were not returned, which pretty much is the telltale sign of, "We're closing up shop, we're selling at pennies on the dollar, and we're going home."

Chad: So I called TruStaff, and I left a voicemail message, and I didn't get anything from them either. But here's what gets me is that the Restless Bandit site is literally not even a site anymore. It's a landing page, like you said, has three links: white paper, press, and GDPR. Three weird links. Not even one link goes to the TruStaff website. It mentions, "We've partnered with true staff to build technology that moves the healthcare labor market faster." Okay, great. No fucking link to TruStaff. Fucking amateur job.

Joel: Does the logo and the header not even link over?

Chad: No! It's a fucking amateur job, dude.

Joel: Wow, yeah, that's, "Clearance rack on aisle six and checkout, we're going home."

Chad: If you go to the TruStaff site though, go to, that site looks like it was put together by one of my kid's using 1900s.

Joel: Looks like a Tumblr.

Chad: Yeah, like Tumblr or fucking Flickr, right? It's like, "Oh, let's just paste some shit here." It looks fucking horrible.

Joel: Pretty sure they have some money, like clean that shit up.

Chad: It's definitely not on the web side of things. Or they're trying to stay incredibly stealth and look horrible, because it looks fucking horrible.

Joel: Now one of the interesting points of the story is the CEO, whose name escapes me, but I'm going to go a search him out real quick.

Chad: Restless Bandit?

Joel: Yeah, Restless Bandit. So he was the founder of Bright.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: If you remember a few years back.

Chad: Yep, acquired.

Joel: Which was acquired by LinkedIn.

Chad: LinkedIn, yep.

Joel: For a buttload of money, and I'm going to find his name here real quick. Steve Goodman. I think that's it. Yep, Steve Goodman. So he was CEO of Bright and which sold to LinkedIn. So lightning did not strike twice apparently for Mr. Goodman.

Chad: Yeah, yeah. So this is just the confirmation that Restless Bandit looks like it is exiting stage left and getting the fuck out of Dodge.

Joel: Anyone out there that might've been a Restless Bandit client, if there was an email sent to you about what was going on with the change, please hit us up at

Chad: There's a dude outside with literally-

Joel: He is stoned out of his gourd.

Chad: ... chains around his neck. He looks like he's been eating Tootsie rolls and fucking pot-smoking. He's out of it.

Joel: He's in another universe.

Chad: He's in another universe. Cambridge, Massachusetts people. This is where the shit's happening. It's where it's going down. So, okay, moving on.

Joel: But yes, if you know anything about Restless Bandit, have an email saying, "Hey, we've partnered with, we're closing shop, whatever."

Chad: Something.

Joel: Hit us up.

Chad: Something. So moving on, I have a bitch that I want to get

out real quick.

Joel: Get it out, baby.

Chad: So SHRM ...

Joel: Oh, shit.

Chad: Yeah. So SHRM, they've been doing some really weird shit lately, and it's on the policy side. And so Emily Dickens, who's the Chief of Staff at SHRM, put out a tweet that says, "SHRM appreciates the White House's efforts in bringing forward a plan that includes reforms to our outdated workplace immigration system. Employers need a modern workplace immigration system that provides greater access to top talent." And I had to reply to the tweet.

Joel: Yeah, your replies were entertaining.

Chad: Yeah, so my reply was, "So the kids in cages efforts, is that what SHRM actually supports?" Or the, "We don't have enough people in the workforce to cover open jobs. Is that the support?" Or I was like, "Are you fucking kidding me?" And then-

Joel: She blocked your ass, right?

Chad: Then she blocked me. And then, two days later, she unblocked me.

Joel: That's good.

Chad: But from my standpoint, it's really hard to believe that SHRM would actually say that they appreciate this administration's Muslim ban, kids in cages-

Joel: Big walls.

Chad: ... being able to block great, great individuals who could be in our workforce.

Joel: I remember the Muslim ban here at the beginning of the term.

Chad: All of it. So SHRM is appreciating this. What the fuck? I don't understand, what's going on?

Joel: So if I were playing devil's advocate, I would say SHRM has to be fairly nice to everyone in the White House, because they're the lobbying entity.

Chad: They don't have to say a God damn thing.

Joel: Maybe there's some shit going on behind the scenes that we don't know about. Maybe the White House is threatening HR initiatives or some shit, or maybe there's some House something they want to get passed. I don't know, dude.

Chad: First they align with the Koch brothers in an effort to be able to help-

Joel: SHRM did?

Chad: ... those who were in, yeah, those who were incarcerated, to find jobs. It's like, if you did know that the Koch brothers actually funded a lot of the efforts to get those individuals get incarcerated in the first fucking place. So that's number one. And it just hurt my head to think about that. And then this happens, to appreciate kids in cages, Muslim bans, all this shit. It's like what is going on at fucking SHRM? This is the Chief of Staff.

Joel: Well, if they're getting in bed with the Koch brothers, then yeah, they're going to make supportive comments about the White House.

Chad: So they're going to go ahead, and what's happening is that what you're saying, and I'm saying this just an opinion-

Joel: Koch brothers write big checks, Brah.

Chad: We're opining that the Koch brothers are actually greasing the skids of SHRM, so then all this stupid shit's happening. Because, from my standpoint, it is going away from the actual purpose of what SHRM should be there for. It's not supporting the individuals. Who pays for SHRM? Well, the individuals who we're certifying and whatnot, they're not looking at them. They're looking at big greedy fucking conglomerates. Dude, it's just blowing my fucking mind.

Joel: You're clearly upset about this.

Chad: I'm not happy. So I would love if Emily, over at SHRM, Emily Dickens, even Johnny, I'd love to have Johnny on the show for a conversation.

Joel: Sure. I think there's a link from her series of tweets that talks about press contact for an interview. So I think it's a long shot, but maybe Emily will come on and explain exactly what's going on with their position on the White House.

Chad: And SHRM has had us at their shows before.

Joel: And we love SHRM.

Chad: And we like SHRM.

Joel: The conference.

Chad: Yeah, the conference. Here's the thing.

Joel: Folks find it.

Chad: We cannot, I cannot, support this type of, not just tweet, but feeling from this type of organization. It's just not something that I can do myself. So hopefully, we can get some explanation out of this, because what I'm saying doesn't fit with what SHRM was, and I thought, was going to be.

Joel: They are a lobbying entity, correct?

Chad: Yeah. But who are they lobbying for in this case?

Joel: Well, ideally for their members, and the industry.

Chad: Not for human beings, they're not.

Joel: I'm not defending SHRM, I'm searching for answers, and I think there's probably stuff behind the scenes that we don't see, money behind the scenes. It's checks being written.

Chad: That just makes it worse.

Joel: It maybe does. Yeah, I got no defense for it. So this has clearly upset you and you have a right to be and God bless you.

Chad: So does it not upset you, though? For an organization to say these kinds of things.

Joel: No, it does. I tend to default to the fact that there are usually two sides of every coin, and that we can jump to conclusions, but until they're interviewed, or they come out, or this is dug into, sometimes it's hard to play one side of the street here. And what's their side of the story?

Chad: Their side is they appreciate the White House's efforts to bring you forward-

Joel: Now she has other tweets after that, that she had a come to Jesus over the weekend.

Chad: I didn't see it. I didn't see a retraction.

Joel: Which is probably why she accepted you back with loving, open arms into her Tweetosphere.

Chad: Yes, thank you, Emily. I really appreciate that, but again, we want you on the show.

Joel: Because you're not the only one who expressed-

Chad: No!

Joel: ... disdain for that tweet. So there was clearly some internal stuff, and she did not delete the tweet.

Chad: No.

Joel: So she stands by it. And yeah, maybe there needs to be something out of SHRM, really explaining what the policy is, what the reason for the tweet was.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: Because you and many others are pretty upset about it.

Chad: Yeah, and again, trying to give you guys over at SHRM an opportunity, and also a microphone, a megaphone, to get on the show and talk to the people and say why. That's it. Too easy.

Joel: Give her a chance, man. Give Emily a chance.

Chad: Give peace a chance.

Joel: Yes.

Chad: Give peace a chance. I'm going to.

Joel: Take a sip of Blanton's and give peace a chance.

Chad: I'm going to get another one here in a minute.

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Announcer: It's showtime.

Chad: Okay, moving on.

Joel: Moving on.

Chad: We're going to talk about something we never talk about.

Joel: LinkedIn, Google, Indeed, Zip Recruiter.

Chad: Google, that's good

Joel: Okay, good.

Chad: Yeah, Google. So Google, you actually posted, there's a story about their temps? Their contractors, I guess, actually outnumber the FTE. So the full-time employees. They have more contractors then employees?

Joel: Yeah, so two things on Google I thought, this week, that were interesting. One is, yeah, they have more contract workers than full time workers, and I think we've been big fans of the freelance platform economy. We know that Upwork is doing some really interesting things with bigger enterprises like Microsoft, and I wouldn't be surprised if Upwork is sort of the backbone in some of the contracts management with Google.

Joel: But yeah, we think so much about freelancing as designers, developers in other countries, content marketers. But these are serious folks that are contract with Google, and they outnumbered the full time employees at a big, big company that focused on technology. So maybe, I hate to say, are we actually undervaluing the gig economy and where that's going? Or maybe it's much bigger and the potential is much larger than even we maybe talk about here on the show.

Chad: So two sides of that coin. First off, you can scale faster through contractors, obviously, because they already have a workforce that's available. So I think it makes sense for Google, when they're scaling up, scaling down, to be able to use contractors to do that, makes a lot of sense. But then there's also the other side of it, where there's the prospect and bias, that it's like, "Hey, you get somebody on for six months and then you can just chop them off at the knees." Which is part of what you can do with contractors, because they're not FTEs.

Joel: And let's be honest, these are probably really, really good developers who do freelancing gigs with not just Google but Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Microsoft. They're probably doing a lot of contract work with a lot of really good companies, and God bless them. They work on their schedule, at home probably. I strongly believe that a big part of the future is this sort of freelance gig economy, and companies like Upwork and Fiver -- who, by the way, I don't know if we mentioned Fiver is going public here soon. That'll fairly interesting as well.

Chad: We have not.

Joel: So anyway, example for the folks out there, if you're not leveraging contract work, you're behind the times. Get on that. The other thing from Google this week that I thought was interesting was-

Chad: Well, before we go there ...

Joel: Yeah.

Chad: Also remember that, a few weeks ago, we talked about Google demanding that their contractors pay at least a $15 wage, benefits, parental leave. So this is not Google trying to backdoor and say, "Look, oh yeah, we're just going to hire the really low benefit types of individuals." They are demanding that their contractors actually work at a much larger level. I remember last week, people were like, "Oh, well that's just contractors." Well guess what. It's the bulk of their fucking workforce. So, yeah.

Joel: Google is clearly focused on contract work for a variety of reasons. And this is another example of that. Another thing Google did this week is they're going to get more serious around targeted advertising, re-targeted advertising.

Chad: Cookies.

Joel: Cookies through their Chrome browser, and helping users really understand who's tracking you, what's going on, being able to, I'm sure, block whoever's doing whatever. But this is an interesting development, because so many companies in our space rely on being able to re-target folks, whether it's selling to employers, recruiters, or making sure that you're in front of job seekers who come to your site. Glassdoor, famous for retargeting. Everyone does it, but some are better than others.

Joel: At the point where you visited a job site and now, days, weeks later, whatever, you've realizing that they're following you around on the Internet. Like how comfortable are you going to be with that? And it really underscores how privacy is taking a front seat again, particularly with someone like Google who's had some issues with privacy in the past. I also think it's interesting, because you look at Apple and Apple has always had this great brand of privacy. They're not tracking you, they don't have the advertising solution that a Google or Facebook has. Google making these sort of moves, I find Apple, like how do we maintain our brand of being the privacy company. And I think this is a one-up by Google to make sure that they try to keep that banner of the privacy company.

Chad: I remember, God, it was probably a decade ago, when I had to go to my CTO so that I could get Chrome downloaded on my fucking computer because I wanted to use Chrome. I wanted to continue to use IE as well. But this new browser came out, and it's like-

Bar patrons: GOAL!

Chad: "Goal!".

Chad: Yep, got a goal.

Joel: Chelsea scored everybody.

Chad: Chelsea's up.

Joel: 2-0 against Arsenal. The British listeners will enjoy that. Hung Lee is watching this right now.

Chad: So anyway, back to that. How does this impact companies like Facebook? Will it? Because anything that the browser could perspectively pull in, or is it just because you're already logged into Facebook, they're taking your shit anyway,

no matter what browser you're on.

Joel: Yeah, I think it potentially affects Facebook, I think there are a lot of apps that you've downloaded on Facebook over the years, that you probably don't appreciate are still-

Chad: Collecting.

Joel: ... connected to you in some way. So I think in that fashion it'd be interesting for people to know, if Chrome can help them understand, "Okay, on Facebook these folks are still doing some sort of tracking with you on the Internet." I think it'll be more impactful for vendor sites, publishers, job sites, who, when you go to their site, and then you leave, you start seeing ads on Facebook and Google about that company, because you visited the site. For those companies, you're going to be outed as targeting those folks after they leave your site. It's fairly obvious now, if you go to a site and you're like, "Oh, their banner ads are magically popping up in my feed." You know why that is? But to the degree that you can maybe start blocking them or easily on Chrome, or deleting those cookies from your Chrome browser, that will affect people that are trying to market to you from those sites.

Chad: So here's the cool part. And I know some vendors are railing from this, but the transparency level, the privacy level, and control is shifting entirely. So as we were at JobCase today, learning more about how they do what they do, their entire business model is predicated on actually providing the job seeker with that control of all their data from jump street. Unlike every other fucking job board that's out there, these guys built their platform to be able to do that, to carry your own shit w