What do you do after raising $100 million? Bring Chad & Cheese in for a lunch-and-learn with your employees, of course. What could go wrong?
Enjoy this, um, Jobcase exclusive. CHIRP CHIRP?!?
PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:
Chad: While visiting Jobcase HQ in Cambridge, Mass, Fred Goff, Jobcase CEO and all around smart guy, lured Joel and I into a lunch and learn session about, well about us, but mainly about the Chad and Cheese entrepreneurial story, complete with some Q&A at the end. Enjoy, after this word from Jobcase.
Joel: Yo Chad, got a question for you.
Joel: Say I'm looking to hire hourly workers for hard to fill jobs, where should I go?
Chad: Easy, Jobcase.
Joel: Okay. All right. Now let's say I've tried the job boards and all I'm getting is clicks, and what I really want are qualified candidates, actual people, where should I go?
Chad: Dude, Jobcase.
Joel: Now, what if I want the team who is helping me with all this sourcing to be really, really, really smart? Before you answer, keep in mind I'm talking MENSA smart, like MIT affiliated data scientists and people who are at the forefront of machine learning. Who you got?
Chad: Oh my god dude, it's Jobcase. Jobcase. Look, with 100 million members in their community active and passive job seekers, a huge team of data scientists who are experts at targeting and connecting employers with the right candidates, the answer is always going to be Jobcase.
Joel: I dig it. I'm picking up what you're putting down, but what if-
Chad: Hard stop. Jobcase. See for yourself why the answer always comes back to Jobcase for all your hiring needs. Learn more at Jobcase.com/hire. That's Jobcase.com/hire.
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.
Fred: Guys, why don't you start by helping me fill in your biographies, your professional biographies better than I did? Then after we hear about each of you, if you could talk about the journey on building the Chad and Cheese Show.
Chad: You first.
Joel: I don't know how far you want me to go back.
Joel: Kindergarten. Yeah, my first entrepreneurial story is I was a big Star Wars geek as a kid, and my parents wouldn't buy me the figurines. I know we're all old enough to remember these figurines. There was a golf course near our house, so I went and gathered aluminum cans in these big garbage bags, and I would recycle them to the point where I would get enough money to buy Star Wars figures.
Joel: Later on in high school, during lunch breaks I would go buy gum at like a penny a piece, and I would go sell them at school for 25 cents a piece. I got in the job board space in '97, '98, around the time this guy did. We were at opposing job boards. Did that till around 2005, and I'd always been entrepreneurial, and I knew that I was at an age where it was time to kind of shit or get off the pot, if you will. Sorry, we have some high schoolers in the audience, so I'll try to keep it to shit and damn and stuff.
Fred: They might have heard it before.
Joel: Yeah, you're their dad.
Fred: Yeah. Not all of them.
Joel: Not all of them, yes. Not all the kids. SEO was big at the time. I was a marketer and I had learned that in the process, and so I started an SEO business for HR, it was called HR SEO. The goal was to help companies leverage, if I'm a company in Milwaukee, I would rank for Milwaukee jobs, et cetera. It sort of morphed into helping vendors market themselves and getting background check companies to rank for background checks, and job boards to rank.
Joel: Started a blog at the time called Cheezhead, and I learned that the more I blogged, the more business I got. This was sort of my first content marketing education, where you create good content, you get people to look at it and trust you and know that you know what you're talking about, and then businesses come.
Joel: Fast forward, sort of sold that business and a couple others. New Chad at the time, he was at Direct Employers. As I was blogging, he had a blog that sucked, but he had a blog, and he was like-
Chad: Some of us have real jobs.
Joel: We were buddies and like, let's just throw some, you know, the shit we talk about over beers, why don't we put a mic in front of us and push it out there? This was before smartphones. People listened to podcasts on the inter webs at the time. Mobile wasn't a thing. There were iPods, but it just wasn't quite a thing. They really sucked, but then I moved back to Indiana where he is, and he kept bugging me like, "Dude, we need to revive the whole podcast thing."
Chad: Get off the fucking couch dude, yeah.
Joel: Yeah. Put down the cheeseburgers and pick up a mic. I said, "Okay dude. Let's put a landing page out. If we get 100 people to say, 'Yes, you should do this.' And we get at least one company to write us a check, I'll commit to a year." You agree, and I was hoping to god that we wouldn't get 100 people to sign up, or that we wouldn't get someone to write us a check.
Chad: That's how much he loves me.
Joel: We did, we fulfilled both those goals and we launched the thing two years ago in March, and we just celebrated in March our second year anniversary of the podcast.
Fred: Great. Woo.
Joel: Look at us now.
Chad: Yeah, who all listens? Okay, I've got like five, are you kidding me?
Fred: Ask tomorrow.
Chad: Yeah. Hopefully you'll all come aboard. Podcasts obviously are incredibly, I should say they're on the growth side.
Joel: They're hot.
Chad: Take a look at the actual hockey stick with podcasts. We started when the only way you could actually listen to them was on your computer.
Joel: It was awful.
Chad: Yeah, it was horrible.
Joel: Yeah, a little piece of embed code from this site that produced audio.
Chad: My story real quick. I was in the military for 20 years, active and then also on the civilian soldier side of the house on the reserves. Deployed a couple of times as an infantry drill sergeant down in Fort Benning, Georgia. During that time frame, in '98, I was with Monster before it was Monster. Online career center in Indianapolis, Indiana, along with eSpan, which was also in Indianapolis, Indiana. A couple of the hot job boards at the time. TMP had bought the Monster board and Online Career Center, smushed them together in January of '99. Did Superbowl ads, blimps, all that other happy horseshit, and there you go.
Chad: I was actually a part of that growth, and it was fun, and it was just totally incredible to be a part of that. I left, and I went to a organization called Direct Employer's Association. I was there for 10 years as a VP. Actually that's where I met and had the first conversation with Fred, back probably like around 2009, 2010. While I was there, we built the National Labor Exchange.
Joel: Did he have hair back then? By the way.
Fred: Did he have hair? Big Afro.
Joel: Big Afro.
Chad: Yeah. It was all teased out and everything. Built the National Labor Exchange. I mean, there were a ton of things that we were doing that was really focused on workforce and economic development, which is why I love listening to the Jobcase story.
Chad: From there I went to recruit military, was the CXO there during transition. Was at Randstad RPO, built their veteran hiring program. Then popped out on my own and got ahold of him and said, "Hey, you know, it'd be really cool if we could start doing something to get our name back out and start talking about just shit, and do it the way that we do." Which is a couple of guys on a bar stool talking about the 20 years of experience, and the technology, and all the bullshit that we hear but nobody talks about. Nobody talks about.
Chad: If you've ever listened to an HR or TA kind of podcast, or even blog in most cases, everybody just kind of softballs, or it's all warm and fuzzy. Let's shoot it straight, and that's what we did. Within I would say six months we started to see our numbers skyrocket. Today we have a handful of listeners and sponsors.
Joel: I think there are three keys to the success of our podcast. Number one is our wealth of knowledge. Yes, we're idiots, but we've been in this space for 20 years, so we actually do have some perspective and context. That's actually really tough to find.
Joel: I think the second thing is that we really focused. So many blogs, podcasts, shows, it's like, I want to do a marketing blog, or a marketing podcast. It's like, to who and to what degree? There's so many like really expansive podcasts that I think part of our success was that we really focused on what we knew best, and we just did that stuff because we knew it when we talked about it.
Joel: Then I think the third thing was frequency. We committed to it. We committed to a weekly show, and then opportunities came and like, well we need to feature startups, so we launched Firing Squad, which was like Shark Tank for startups. Then we said, well instead of like the weekly stuff, the news is cool, but let's dive in AI, or chatbots, or automation, or programmatic with people who really know those topics. Now we're doing like live shows and talking to companies that way. Because we churn out content, people know they're always going to get fresh stuff, they're always going to know when they go check out the page, or on iTunes or whatever, that there's going to be new stuff.
Joel: I think those three things, and you can chime in on any other things that you can think of, but yeah, that has been kind of the key to the success of our podcast.
Chad: Yeah, piggy backing on that. It is so hard to keep up with what's going on in our industry. You have to do a ton of research, or listen to our podcast. I mean, that's pretty much what we want. We want to be able to be the straight shooters, do a ton of research, talk to incredibly smart people, and give our opinions on what we've seen throughout the years and what's happening now.
Chad: I think also my background's sales and partnership development and whatnot. It was really incredibly important not just to put a podcast out there and step away. We started partnering with organizations like TAtech, which is a conference, and then other conferences wanted to be a part of it, so we started doing live shows. We took a look at other podcasts that were out there that had similar types of formats, but what were they doing different to be successful? Could we adopt some of those and run parallel? We did that as well. We continually do that.
Chad: As we build, the way that I see it is I'm a product guy too, is we build new products that the people want. We have listeners, which I pretty much see as our customers. I don't see our sponsors as our customers, it's our listeners, because if they're not there, the sponsors aren't there. What do they want? What do they want us to build? What do they want us to talk about? That's where we look at our analytics, we connect with our listeners, and we try to give the people what they want, because that's what it all comes down to.
Fred: One, that's an awesome success story in two years. What sticks out to me from what you just said is we're pretty active in the entrepreneurial community.
Joel: We didn't even raise $100 million.
Fred: You didn't raise $100 million.
Chad: Who do we get in touch with for that?
Fred: I can introduce you to a guy.
Chad: Yeah, I'd like that. Can we do that?
Fred: I know a guy.
Chad: That'd be awesome.
Fred: It resonates, what you just said about building your podcast. I heard committed. I heard you were focused. I heard you're expert in your own area and content. Then you started talking about iterating and analytics. These are the exact same way so many entrepreneurs talk in, successful entrepreneurs around Kendall Square, so it really resonates with me.
Fred: I'm ignorant of the space, I'm guessing I'm not the only one. I'd be curious if we stay on the business of the podcast, what's success look like for you guys with this podcast, say three, five years down the road? What's the end? Then also, what is the business model around it? Is it advertising and call outs? How's that part work?
Chad: Yeah, advertising is definitely our ... Again, if we're creating content that obviously continues to grow our listenership, we're doing things right. If that happens, then companies are going to come to us. At that point, and this is really how we grew, so we had one podcast, it was a weekly podcast, that was full of sponsors. We had a bunch of other companies coming to us saying, "Take our money." It was because they wanted to be associated with something that was authentic, something that was real, something that pulled the covers back and actually talked about what the landscape looks like. We actually hit a nerve obviously.
Chad: At that point we started creating all these new podcasts that Joel was talking about. We had these concepts ready to go, but we weren't going to just start throwing them out there without the prospect of funding too. Because I have a consulting company, he has a product called Ratedly that's out there, so we have to take a look at the time that we spend, where do we spend it?
Joel: I think that, assuming everyone, if you haven't heard a podcast, you've heard a radio station before, so our ads are very similar to radio spots. I think part of our success was the novelty of an audio advertisement. Because most of the companies in our space, they know what Google pay per click ads are, they know what Facebook newsfeed ads are, but there's not a lot of opportunity, unless you're Casper Mattresses or ZipRecruiter-
Joel: To like think, oh this podcasting medium is a really cool place to like market our stuff. Because of the audience that we pull is so targeted, a lot of companies I think the novelty of like, oh cool, we could do a little script and record it, and put it out there as like almost a radio spot on your show. I think that was part of the appeal, that it wasn't just put a banner ad on the site, or do something you've already done. It was really unique to a lot of the companies out there.
Chad: Well, and we have fun with our sponsors too, because they'll come out with new ads and then we'll make fun of the ads, or we'll make fun of their URL, you know, gocanvas.io, what the fuck is that? It's one of those things. We have fun with it.
Joel: Was gocanvas.com taken? Anyway.
Chad: Yeah, but they were acquired by Jobvite, so apparently that didn't hurt. Yeah, it's all about trying to, again, be real, and that's what, when you set that expectation every advertiser or sponsor that we talk to, there's one conversation I have right up front, from an expectation standpoint. We are who we are. We own the content. We say what gets on the air, how it gets on the air. You have no say over any of it, period. If you can get behind that, we want you to be a sponsor of ours.
Chad: There has not been a company yet to say no, because they want to be a part of that genuineness that, to be quite frank our industry does not have. It's all softballs and fluffy bullshit, right? That's where I think we struck a nerve.
Joel: I think from a job case standpoint, and he mentioned community, it's very strange to me, and I'm a marketing person as well, almost pretty much none of our advertisers are laser focused on, what are we getting from marketing on your podcast? None of them have like gocanvas.io/cheese, or something to get this white paper, or to find out more about us. There's no coupon codes that they're pimping to like how many people buy that use this code that we can track what we're getting.
Joel: It almost feels like they're supporting the arts. Like we want to be on this ... Well, art can be many things to many people.
Joel: Do you agree?
Chad: Finger painting.
Joel: It feels like they're less concerned about, what's my ROI? More interested in, how do we partake in the community and support what these guys are doing? I think that's kind of an intriguing part of what we do.
Chad: Yeah, I think that's a part of it. I think they definitely want to support something that they believe in. I mean, that's I think how we all feel when we give money to charitable organizations or what have you, or even our time. Yeah, I think the ROI in what we do is seen in many different ways for our different sponsors.
Joel: Sure, and we get sponsors who say like, "Half our inbound leads are the show, like they mention the show." Maybe it's just like they don't need to do that sort of tracking because they get it sort of anecdotally internally from their sales efforts and lead funnels and all that good stuff.
Fred: Let me ask you one more question on the podcast, and then we'll speculate.
Joel: You also asked where we wanted to see it going, which we strategically avoided that.
Fred: You strategically avoided. This stuff's going to keep getting bigger.
Joel: We avoided that topic, because I don't think, we probably don't even agree on it. I don't think we've even talked about it.
Chad: We have.
Fred: Well I did hear that if there's a stroke URL strategy, it's Stroke Cheese, not Stroke Chad, so that's going to be another issue I guess to resolve.
Joel: Yeah. Do you want to talk about that?
Chad: Yeah, I mean, I'm a big growth guy, and Joel's a it ain't broke-
Joel: I'm a big growth guy.
Chad: He's like, it ain't broke, don't fix it, kind of guy. I mean, and the beautiful part is it's a 50/50 kind of relationship. I mean, we have to sell each other on stuff, because one vote doesn't mean that shit happens. It has to be unanimous.
Joel: If we disagree, we don't do it, on either side.
Chad: Yeah. I mean, we really have to make the case. From our standpoint, the word that I'm always kind of going back to is kind of legacy. What do people see us as? What do people see our podcast as? It's not just our podcast. How do we also help others really springboard them up because they have great voices as well? What is our responsibility in this space? Not to be just truth tellers, but also boost other truth tellers up. How do we do that? We argue about that stuff. We don't agree in some cases. I mean that I think we're both in genuine agreement that that's why we have people on the show, or that's why we want to be able to promote other, or maybe even create other podcasts.
Joel: There is the realization, like for the young people in the audience, and there are quite a few, the bottom will fall out one day. Recessions happen, it will happen again. Chad and I have seen at least two in our lifetimes. When that happens, our industry gets hit significantly harder because when people don't hire, we can't make money, unless you have a different model. I think we're probably more conservative with what we're going toward, knowing that, okay, when the bottom falls out and the sponsorship dollars dry up, what happens to the show? We have to think about that as well when we think about growth. Agree?
Chad: Yeah, I totally agree, but I also think that in a recession there's also a great conversation around keeping your brand alive, you know what I mean?
Joel: Yeah. It's a little bit like everyone in Boston that was born after 2000 just thinks like championships happen all the time.
Chad: Hands up.
Joel: They really don't. There are dry spells where things suck, and that's the important insight as well.
Chad: Just not in your lifetime.
Fred: What is one of the, if you look back at the two years, what is a podcast that's very memorable either because a guest goes horribly wrong, or because it went very viral afterwards on sharing? Can be good or bad, but what comes to mind in the last two years of podcasts?
Chad: Career Builders dumpster fire that's turning into like this dumpster inferno thing, has been incredibly helpful. I mean, there's no question. The stupid shit that we hear out of Career Builder, that everybody knows is real, that has really propelled us. Not to mention Indeed making just stupid, I mean maybe it's not stupid short term monetarily for them, or revenue standpoint, but I think long term we see it as stupid to be able to make those types of decisions. People want to hear about that. When we can kind of glom onto it and give our opinion on top of it, it's been big. It's been very big.
Joel: Two things that stand out for me is, so I have a journalism degree from Ball State, Muncie's in the house.
Speaker 5: Woo. Chirp, chirp.
Joel: Chirp, chirp motherfuckers.
Chad: That is the weakest shit I think I have ever heard.
Joel: Although we're-
Chad: Chirp, chirp motherfuckers. Really. That's going to be the name of this pod, by the way.
Joel: That's better than the Chad and Cheese Show. Although we're generally sort of idiotic, I mean we present our stuff in an idiotic way, and we drink beer, and we're just like two dudes. I've been really proud of some of the more journalistic stuff that we've done. Like if you go back, we interviewed Monster CEO Scott Gutz, and to me that was a really great interview. We interviewed Dan Finnigan, former Jobvite CEO.
Chad: Colin Day.
Joel: Colin Day, iCIMS. To me it's those little journalistic moments that I'm really, really proud of. I would also say that secondarily Chad and I are, we're underdogs in a way, and we're big fans of startups. People want to hear about Indeed, they want to hear about Google, they want to hear about LinkedIn. We give that to them because that's what they want, but we're really proud I think of Firing Squad, in that we bring in startups that most people have never heard of, ideas that they've never heard of before, and we give them a platform. Granted, we kill a lot of them, but we're proud that we give them a stage that they generally would not have at a trade show, or putting my ad on Facebook.
Chad: Yeah. They have a chance. Put it that way.
Joel: Yeah. Lifting up the underdog I think is a proud part of the show for me.
Fred: Love that. Let's jump off on that. Let's just softball down the middle. We'll do the softball fluff questions here. Let's talk about what you see happening in the talent acquisition industry. The moment we're in, or the new technology you think is really catching your eye, or what's being overplayed. Kind of just curious to see, have you kind of ruminate on that.
Joel: June 13th, 2016, do you know what happened on that day?
Chad: A meteor.
Fred: I don't, do you?
Joel: Anyone? On that day Microsoft announced the acquisition of LinkedIn, for $26.2 billion.
Chad: A little bit of cash.
Joel: That day really created a huge ripple or wave in our industry. It got Google's attention. It got Facebook's attention. It got Salesforce. Like everyone who didn't consider employment because it's a little bitty billion dollar industry like classifieds. Job classifieds are considered like a billion dollar industry. All started taking note of that investment and saying, "Okay, what does Microsoft know that we don't? Or what do we also know but lost an opportunity to get LinkedIn?"
Joel: Shortly thereafter you had Google say, "We're going to get in this thing." In a course of a year Google launches a search API to help job boards and company career sites better search for jobs. You got Google for Jobs, which was essentially Indeed on Google, where Google actually has the job listings or descriptions.
Chad: Indeed used to say they were the Google for jobs. Now Google is the Google for jobs.
Joel: Yeah, now Google is the Google for jobs. Then also launch an ATS, like manage candidates, have your own career site. We saw Facebook launch a Slack competitor, we saw them launch job postings on their sort of online marketplace. To me, when you ask, where is it going? You have sort of this monolithic, we want to be a everything platform.
Joel: You have Microsoft, which already owns Office 365, Teams, now LinkedIn's going to come into this thing. Google as well with G Suite. Now they're plugging in hiring tools and recruiting tools in there. I think Facebook has a lot of issues with privacy that they sort of dropped the ball on it. A world in which those two companies become like Coke and Dr. Pepper for sort of workforce management I think is where we're going. I think eventually HR is going to lose the decision to buy LinkedIn or Google. It will be IT that will decide we're a Microsoft house so we're using Microsoft employee tools, or we're a G Suite house, so we're using Google for our employment stuff. That's the world we're living in.
Joel: As a reaction to that, the meteor hits, certain animals die. I think we're seeing sort of the slow death or dilution of job boards, sites that we think about historically as like Monster, Career Builder, Dice. We're also seeing, when asteroids hit, we're seeing little mammals that sort of grow up and evolve. We're seeing sort of on that end AI, automation, programmatic, companies that are small and growing into sort of evolved solutions. We're seeing companies like Jobvite and iCIMS try to be a second layer for an all-encompassing platform. They're buying companies like Canvas for Messaging and Talemetry and RolePoint, and TextRecruit for iCIMS.
Joel: I guess long story short, I mean there's huge amounts of change. It's an incredibly great time to be a podcast, because you have these big companies getting in, these little companies sprouting up. Where that all shakes out no one knows, but it's a hell of a good time to talk about it.
Chad: Yeah, and I think, so I'm not a big believer in that there's going to be one system for all. I just don't believe that. Whether it's Google, whether it's Microsoft, or what have you. I believe there's always going to be the different players that will be a part of the prospective layers, which is what we're seeing today. Which is crazy, because there are so many different layers that talent acquisition, they don't even use their first layer, being their applicant tracking system, let alone all these other things that they're trying to layer on.
Chad: From my standpoint is we talked about our history and being there really when the big job boards, when this industry, I mean really was born, which was really cool, and it's so exciting. It's more exciting now I think than ever before because of the startups and the other players that are really focused on different areas.
Chad: Like talk about empowerment. How can you actually get a site? You hear companies talk about empowerment, it's generally just bullshit, because they don't know how to make it work. When you get into a platform and you can see, and not just trying to play to the audience here, but when you can start to see the actual community, the empowerment within the actual platform itself, we're seeing that to some degree in social media, but we're also seeing a lot of the bad shit too. How can you balance that, or how can you get rid of what's happening on the bad side, versus the actual empowerment that needs to happen?
Chad: Because people aren't just taking jobs for dollars, they're taking jobs for purpose, and obviously to feed their family. Don't get me wrong, but purpose has a lot to do with it, and nobody's really talk, they're talking about purpose, but they're not demonstrating purpose.
Joel: I think we're sort of seeing almost the third wave of sort of the online process. The first was like, just get online. Just take your help wanted sign that's on your window and put it on the internet. Then the second phase, probably in the mid 2000s you had social media. You had MySpace, Friendster, which we remember and we're still on, and Facebook, Twitter. You had like let's just get online. Now you have people online.
Joel: Now I think the third wave is sort of like we have technology that can help bring people into the technology and help them do their jobs better, find work more easily. I think where you guys are really valuable is that you've taken sort of the first wave of, there are opportunities, there are people, now how do we bring those together and help them build a community within that? Which is different than a lot of other companies kind of play that dynamic, but I think the way that you're doing it is pretty fascinating.
Chad: Right. Well I'll give you a great example. There's a company that's not too far away from here, it's called RallyPoint. I'm in the military, it's a military kind of like Facebook, to an extent. There is some empowerment that's happening there, because when I go in, I'm actually going in, in most cases, to be able to help some of the individuals in the platform who are veterans answer questions around jobs. That to me is incredibly important. I don't think they have as tight a knit or control over it as they possibly could, but I think they're trying to go in the right direction.
Fred: Yeah, we know them. Harvard Innovation Lab, right?
Fred: It's a good team. You touched a little bit on the labor markets as well. Why don't you talk about where you see, and it might be a conversation about platforms, like Wonolo or BlueCrew or Shiftgig, or it might be a conversation about labor market development. Are we going to 1099 instead of W-2? How do you see that labor market playing out, either before or after the recession you mentioned?
Joel: Yeah, I'm a pretty simple guy. I graduated from Ball State. I didn't go to MIT or Harvard or any of those schools.
Fred: No chirp, chirp on that one?
Joel: Chirp, chirp. I like things that make a lot of sense to me. Like when Indeed came out, that made a lot of sense. Take all these disparate systems, all these jobs that are everywhere, bring them into one system and let people easily search and go to those sites.
Joel: When I look at platforms that you talk about, the PARE, the Snags, the ones you mentioned, to me it makes a lot of sense. Like if I was getting ready to graduate, or if I was in school, it just makes sense like I want to be this certain thing, let's say I want to be a cook. I want to work at Ruth's Chris, I want to work at Morton's, I want to work at whatever steakhouse. I want to cook steaks for a living, and I can be on this platform where a company can basically bid for my services based on my rating, based on my years experience, whatever. Then when I want to work, I can log in and pick and choose what steakhouse I want to work at that day.
Joel: To me it just makes sense that the user is empowered to work when they want, make as much as they want. Then the employer is empowered because if I need an extra cook that night, or an extra whatever because there's a conference in town, that I can easily access this talent pool to bring them in and not have to go through like, post a job, interview them for a full time employee, get the benefits.
Joel: By the way, we haven't said the word ghosting yet since we've been here, but ghosting is a huge problem with companies, where people get a job and just don't show up, or they come for a week and then like I'm kind of done with it. To me, platforms make a ton of sense. I think that's why we're seeing so much money go into that space, that people see that as well.
Chad: Yeah, I think it's hard to have the conversation without talking about platforms and infrastructure, and being able to once again empower people to find those jobs, and really be in control. That's where we're going. I mean I'm sure, it's not here, it will be next year in a form in California, but who's heard of GDPR? That's all about what? Giving control of pretty much a candidate control of their own data. It's their data. It's not the employer's data. That's a huge shift, and we're seeing that shift happen.
Joel: That's coming to America, by the way.
Chad: That's coming next year, just starting in California. I mean, being able to do much of what we're doing today outside of platforms, platforms are just going to seep in. Technology is, it's Moore's Law.
Fred: That's good. Thanks. Let me hit some questions people asked in advance, just a couple quick ones. Let's see if there's any more out here.
Joel: Will we know who asked the question?
Fred: I will tell you.
Joel: Is this all anonymous?
Fred: I will tell you their first names, and I think because everyone pings my members to hire them all the time, or my employees-
Joel: Everyone point to whoever first name this is.
Fred: Uri, Uri in the room? He's here.
Joel: There we go. There's the balls. Yeah, this is my question.
Fred: Our man Uri is on our information retrieval team, expert in machine
learning and does a lot of applications of that for us. One of Uri's questions says, It seems that recruiting's become less and less humane with automated resume parsing, application filtering, automated screening, et cetera. Where does it get us? What is the affect on teams and overall company culture that we're choosing AI for recruiting?"
Chad: Fred has a great slide that you need to take a look at Uri. Just from the base of this question, literally, and I use this in some of the podcasts and presentations that we do, where he's taking a look at like O*NET jobs, and then he's showing that this whole job can't be automated. That there are just aspects, tasks in this job that can be automated.
Chad: I think what we should be focusing on is, oh my god, are our jobs going to go to robots? This prospect, but just not yet. Right now we can be more human because we're getting more time back. Recruiters are not doing all this stupid shit and being able to go through and make the calls, and schedule the appointments for the interviews, and just all the mundane things that keep them busy and keep bad recruiters in the system. Good recruiters want to be able to actually provide the human touch.
Chad: I believe that the technology will allow us, at least this first phase will allow us to get rid of all these mundane tasks and just focus on process. That's one of my big keys, is that we are always focused on technology, technology, technology, and that's bullshit. We need to focus on process and the problem, and then start looking at technology. At that point we become more human because of technology.
Joel: I'd also add that I think ironically the job search process is becoming more human thanks to technology. Now what I mean by that is 10, 15, 20 years ago, even less than that, when you submit a resume to a company online it was what's called the resume black hole. You'd submit a resume to a company, you'd never hear back from them, maybe an automated thank you for applying. It was really a cold and corporate process.
Joel: Thanks to chatbots, thanks to messaging, sort of automated conversations that are happening right now, even though job seekers know, because they're told that this is a chatbot, they still like it a lot more than just giving up a resume and then never hearing from a company. Like they would much rather have some sort of communication. I think in a weird way the automation has created a more human touch to the job search process as well, which has been a good thing for companies.
Fred: Thanks. This might follow on part of that. Dylan runs our commercial sales team.
Chad: Where's Dylan?
Fred: Dylan [crosstalk 00:36:07].
Joel: Sales guy question.
Fred: Yeah, so here's the thing about Dylan, he is an early indicator of success. He was an early employee over at Indeed. He was an early part of our sales efforts here, so I'm a little concerned he might be looking for the next thing too early on this question. Because he says, "What's the one thing employers want or need that no vendor is adequately serving today?
Fred: I think that's interesting. I asked you what you see in the current marketplace, and what holes do you see that no one's really filled?
Chad: That is a big key. There are so many different types of platforms that can do what we were just talking, being able to take care of those mundane pieces. The problem is they're outside of the applicant tracking system in many cases. You're sending a recruiter from here to this platform, to this platform. I think a lot of the tech is actually out there. The big issue is the integrations, and making sure that the system of record, whether that's your CRM, if that's what you want to call it, or your ATS, that they are integrating into these different platforms to ensure that you have all these efficiencies in place.
Chad: That's the big key, because talent acquisition, they can't spell programmatic. They don't know how, hell Joel says they can't spell SEO. They don't know what AI is, and who gives a shit what AI is, right? Just as long as you understand the process and the problem, you can take care of that, but there has to be an integrated system that does that. I think that, Fred, it's not really something that's new. It's how we take what we already have and use it in more of an appropriate manner.
Joel: I want to see a day, and I think a day will come at some point where a business owner says, "Hey Alexa, schedule me up to 10 ..." Not even that, "Alexa, find me a PHP developer nearby." The bots go in and they go source candidates that are PHP developers within 10 miles or whatever of where you are. They set up an automated process to prescreen and interview the person, that's also unbiased, by the way. There's not sort of, it's really actual skills, and we haven't talked about that.
Chad: Oh, you're talking about the robots.
Joel: They do the interview without the person ever doing anything. They schedule it through the process. The scheduling syncs up with the business owner's own Google Calendar or whatever. It'll get scheduled, he goes in the next week, 10 candidates come in that have already been pre-screened, sourced. All he has to do is like sort of make sure the chemistry's right, or interview them, a quick interview, and then hire them in that process.
Joel: To me, I think there's a future where we just say, "I need a PHP developer by next month." The bots go do it for you, and people show up, and you hire them if they're fits or not.
Chad: There are some companies that are already doing this. I think you take a look at, if you want to see who's-
Joel: Well trying to do it.
Chad: No, they are.
Joel: No one does the full bore, "Hey Alexa."
Chad: Cielo does.
Chad: Well not that, they don't do the, "Hey Alexa." Thing, for god sakes.
Joel: All right, then you're wrong.
Chad: Oh god. Anyway, if you take a look at the RPO side of the house, recruitment process outsourcing companies, one of the things that we have to understand is talent acquisition, it's their job to hire people. In RPO and staffing, it's their business, so they're really focused on efficiencies and the best ways to get from A to Z, or whatever that is.
Chad: You take a look at some of those companies and some of the tech that they're putting in place, which is one of the reasons why I love to have conversations with those individuals like Adam Godson or Quincy Valencia, or what have you, at those different RPOs, because they are constantly looking at chatbots, and sourcing tech, programmatic tech, and bleeding that all together so that you do have ...
Chad: I'll give you a great example. Right now Cielo has a high volume product that within 10 minutes after they do a posted job, programmatic outreach, as soon as individuals start engaging, within 10 minutes, under 10 minutes, they're already scheduled for an interview. It's boom, right? That's exactly where we need to be, and we can be today. We just have to be able to build those bridges on a more scalable platform, like an applicant tracking system.
Fred: Last question from Karen on our biz dev team, account manager. Are you in the room Karen?
Chad: Karen? Karen? There she is.
Fred: She had asked about gigs, which you already addressed, but she also says, "How do you think the Uber and Lyft IPOs play out in the long run?" Feel free, I'll tack onto the end of that, feel free to address also how the path to public companies can impact or affect how you think companies are serving either their clients or their job seekers.
Joel: I think Google is a good example. I mean, Google for 10 years was riding the pay per click train. Growth was through the roof. Everyone was doing it. It was trending incredibly well. Then people started to get more choices in how they advertised. Social media, there are all kinds of ways. Google's last quarterly report they dropped 10% because clicks are going down, the growth isn't there, the amount that they get per click is going down. Google has to figure out, where's the low hanging fruit for more money? To me they're looking at, how do we verticalize our search? How do we do apartments, and cars, and all these different things? Employment is one of those verticals that to me they're targeting to help increase revenue.
Joel: Why that's relevant is I think Uber and Lyft eventually the ride sharing train is going to slow at some point. At that point they have to say, where does growth come? Where does more money come? They're looking at driverless cars, and creating those systems. I think Uber in particular is looking at, how do we create, we already have these people that are in the Uber platform that we pay for driving, how can we pay them for doing other things? Uber Eats is I think an extension of that. How do we pay them to go pick up food and deliver it?
Joel: I think work is going to be another thing that they probably get into. Like, how do we just use our platform so someone who drives a car also can sign up to work at a dry cleaner, or work at a convenience store? Then we'll manage that whole process because we already have the platform to do it. I think inevitably Lyft will probably look at that space as well, because if it's successful for Uber they'll look at that. I guess that's the answer to the question as I know it.
Chad: Yeah. I think it's going to be hard for those companies coming from the direction that they did. I think companies in the employment space can actually take a look at that because they already have clients, they have companies to be able to build on, and they have revenue streams that are already built in for new products that they could build much like an Uber or a Lyft.
Joel: Ghosting will go down a lot when a driverless car goes to pick your worker up and bring them right to work. It's like, a car's going to be there in an hour. You get in it and come to work. I'm also really excited about Slack's IPO. I'm really intrigued about how they're going to get into the workforce. If you don't think they're interested, their ticker symbol is work, so they're coming in the space.
Chad: Yeah, they're a messaging app. Not to mention, does everybody know how Slack actually came to be? Stewart Butterfield, again, he's trying to build this software company, has to create Flickr to sell it to be able to gain more money to be able to fuel the engine. That didn't work. They found some more money, started the whole thing again, and Slack came out of it.
Chad: Whenever I hear Slack talk about vision, all I hear is bullshit, because that was, it was a product that they used internally. There was no vision there. Their vision was to create like this VR second life thing that Joel would be in like 24/7. From my standpoint to me it just seems incredibly overblown. I think they are a company that, much like Uber and Lyft, can demonstrate to the rest of the market where opportunity is, but I just don't see them long term, unless somebody acquires them, which won't happen because they're going to be IPO here in about two weeks.
Joel: Agree with either one of us. Slack should be interesting to watch.
Chad: It will be interesting to watch.
Fred: It'll be interesting with that, yeah.
Chad: Yeah, crash and burn.