When Stepstone acquired Appcast, the boys wondered why Indeed failed to snatch-up programmatic's most well-known and successful companies. Maybe Indeed wasn't even interested. Turns out, they were, as proven by the recent announcement that they acquired second-rate competitor, ClickIQ.
In this episode, the guys bring in some special guests - Rob Prince from Talent Nexus and Julie Sowash from Crazy and The King - to get to the bottom of things, as well as cover a broad range of topics, including Facebook's issues, Recfest roundup, Hirevue's impending sale.
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Intro: 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.
Julie Sowash: All right, can we talk about something now?
Chad: This is a wrap up.
Joel: This is a wrap up, but we have some news.
Chad: We do have news.
Joel: Specifically, the ClickIQ acquisition by Indeed, who's getting sloppy seconds by not getting on the Appcast train. We have HireVue rumors of a sale. I guess it's official. They're selling HireVue. It's on the chopping block, and then some other fringe news. But primarily the RecFest roundup and our thoughts on that. If you love special guests from-
Chad: This is it.
Joel: ... exotic locations, this is the show for you. We're here in London,
Chad: In a pub. What pub are we in?
Rob Prince: We're in the Grove in Surbiton, just down the road from the office.
Joel: We've pulled Rob in from pouring beers. We thought we'd throw him on the show. No, actually, Rob Prince, with Talent Nexus. Rob, what's your position there with the company?
Rob Prince: Client Services Director.
Joel: Client Services Director. We'll get to you in a second. We're also for the second time bringing in the better half of the Sowash bond.
Chad: This is nepotism personified right now.
Julie Sowash: Yeah. It is. I'll let you be on the podcast.
Joel: Julie Sowash.
Julie Sowash: Hello, hello. What's your current title besides care and handler and feeding of the Chad.
Joel: Just super badass bitch.
Julie Sowash: Super badass bitch.
Joel: Senior consultant and cohost of the Crazy and the King podcast.
Julie Sowash: Diversity oracle.
Joel: Guru. Badass bitch.
Chad: I think you said that earlier.
Joel: All right. All right. Rob, let's get to you quick. Talent Nexus. Who are they, why should our audience care?
Chad: And why did you make us look so Goddamn good?
Rob Prince: Because it's so easy. Because it's so easy. [crosstalk 00:02:51].
Chad: The British.
Julie Sowash: Don't lie.
Rob Prince: Overly polite.
Rob Prince: Talent Nexus, we're a marketing agency. We work exclusively within recruitment. Today we've got two sides of the business. We've got the programmatic side, which is all about just helping job boards and employers get their candidates for cheaper, and then we've got the employer branding and content side, which is the side that I deal with more than the other side. And it's the side that led us on to doing the video with you guys. Video's a big part of what we do at the moment.
Joel: So you're going to have something really smart to say in regards to the ClickIQ Indeed acquisition. Correct?
Chad: Wait. Before we get there, I have a rant.
Joel: Before shoutouts you got a rant?
Chad: Yes. Yeah.
Joel: Go for it.
Chad: I was talking to Richard yesterday from ClickIQ [crosstalk 00:03:36]-
Julie Sowash: Oh. He called you out on LinkedIn.
Chad: ... CEO of fucking ClickIQ. And we had a legitimate pointed conversation. I said, "Richard, right now we said it on the podcast and you heard it. Indeed is fucking stupid for not buying Appcast, and you guys, I mean pretty much ..."
Joel: We're on record.
Chad: Yeah. We're on record. And he just looked at me, he turned red and he breathed really deep and he's like, "Yeah, yeah." I was like, "Well, just so you know, you are validated because now you are the big player. Right?" And then guess what happens today?
Joel: As he's waiting for the check to clear in his bank account. He's breathing heavily.
Chad: He's like, "If Chad and Cheese say this shit onstage, I am fucked."
Joel: Actually, the validation is in our show.
Chad: That's good... yeaaaa.
Joel: Because we criticized it and it happened, because somebody was smart enough to make it happen.
Rob Prince: I'm 90% sure that that redness was actually sunburn. He was definitely a cagey about it. He's apologize to you on LinkedIn today. [crosstalk 00:04:43] straight up sunburn.
Chad: Yeah, I've got to say, no, congratulations dude. That is fucking awesome. I mean in the short amount of time Appcast, now ClickIQ ...
Rob Prince: Big week.
Chad: Big week, so ... we'll get to shoutouts. We're going to do that after, whatever. This is big fucking news. You're in programmatic, Rob, you're in programmatic, you know this shit. What does this mean for the industry overall?
Rob Prince: I think it is a potentially long overdue waking up. I think the industry's is speeding up, it's waking up. You talked about the Appcast acquisition earlier this week. It's funny that they've both happened at the same time. I'm sure it wasn't planned like that, but these things do tend to happen in twos, don't they?
Chad: Indeed lost on the Appcast thing and they're like, "Fuck, we need to pull the trigger on this one. That had to be what happened. There was a bidding war-
Joel: Was ClickIQ the consolation prize?
Chad: I think they were going for both of them, myself. I think they're going for a clean sweep. What do you think?
Rob Prince: Honestly, I have absolutely no idea.
Joel: What do you think, though, Rob? This is an opinion show.
Chad: Asked you for what you think, Rob.
Joel: We don't take kindly to "I don't know."
Rob Prince: My guess would be that it was planned purely because I can't see Indeed losing that bidding war and nobody knowing about it.
Julie Sowash: Especially for the price that Appcast went at.
Chad: Yeah, especially for the price.
Joel: What was Appcast's market share here in the European market?
Rob Prince: I couldn't tell you the numbers, but they're certainly the leading providers.
Joel: So same as the US, Appcast was the leader.
Rob Prince: I mean within the UK you're looking at Recruitics and Appcast would be the two versions that people know.
Joel: Do we know the dollar figure?
Rob Prince: No, I don't think Click's been released. The whole release, I thought, it was interestingly worded release, especially if you compare it to happened earlier in the week. I think the phrase is something they've, they've agreed signed to agree that they will acquire rather than the version earlier in the week, which was, "Hoorah, we got bought." ClickIQ's is a bit different to that. And I'd be interested to know whether that's slightly clumsy wording or whether that means that he's talking about something different.
Joel: Knowing Indeed's PR as I do, it was probably strategic, all of it in terms of wording and PR. So my question is if the big dog, Appcast, the relationships with the agencies, okay, that's an advantage and a head start. But now you have click IQ with the full resources of an Indeed. A year from now, two years from now, is Appcast still the one the agencies rely on and use, or does ClickIQ make headway into that world and overtake Appcast in, say, three to five years?
Chad: I think you have to take a look at StepStone's priorities. If they're looking to make sure that-
Joel: World domination.
Chad: Yeah, I mean if they look for literally making sure that they shore up what they have in the US, which is, I mean really dominating infrastructure for programmatic in the US, and then being able to also shore up now what they have in Europe, which is where they're at, if that's their focus, then I think they're still doing well. But the amount of money that Indeed spends or could spend on this could definitely overtake anything.
Chad: The big question is do they have the focus of yesteryear? Back in the Paul Forster days, Paul Forster focused a fucking laser. Right? And that's why they overtook everybody-
Joel: Focused beasts.
Chad: Yeah. And now they have no focus whatsoever. I mean, they're all over the place. So the big question is can they become the Indeed of yesteryear and prioritize and focus in one area to evolve and become something bigger? Or are they just going to fuck this up?
Joel: Rob, you know StepStone better than we do. What's your take on their reach into North America, there's rumors that they're looking into to eBay's properties in Canada. Do you have any particular insight into StepStone, a European company as they grow into North America?
Rob Prince: StepStone have always been a growing ambitious professional, is probably the word I would use.
Chad: They're German, so they're going to be uptight and professional. [crosstalk 00:09:16]. They're more uptight than the British, aren't they?
Rob Prince: German?
Joel: Ze Germans.
Rob Prince: You could ask anybody in the pub that question and you would get the same answer, which is of course. I can't see them being anything other than efficient and smart here. You called it earlier this week. The acquisition is a good one for them. It's a real sign of intent. It's the first proper acquisition of a programmatic business, which is a huge leap in the right direction for the industry. I think that's where that's going.
Joel: My question as well as when you have job sites StepStone and Indeed buy up these programmatic solutions, don't you have to say that inevitably there's going to be a little bit of skewing in favor of their properties versus the network properties, and ultimately you're going to send more traffic to either StepStone or Indeed's properties than you are the competition?
Rob Prince: It is vital for a platform like that that it is a agnostic. That's why the platform would be valuable and work. You're looking at me with cynical eyes, which I [crosstalk 00:10:33].
Joel: ... transparency around where the money's being spent. And right now there really is no transparency around where it's being spent.
Rob Prince: And it's why there's the understandable nervousness and then it's ... you're talking to people at RecFest yesterday and everyone gets what the nervousness is. And it's why, Richard, in his LinkedIn post earlier, even called it out in, o