LinkedIn Suffers Legal Smackdown
You heard it first on The Shred, and the boys go deep into the legal case pitting hiQ against 800-lb. gorilla LinkedIn that's left LinkedIn licking its wounds. What's more, McDonald's is making acquisitions that will impact workers while Walmart is working to employ teens while California says Uber drivers aren't contract workers anymore. Oh, and Trump is reportedly launching a Facebook-killer.
- Walmart goes teeny and payday loans WTAF? - Trump social network will divide and possibly conquer?
Enjoy and pay respect to the sponsors that make it all happen: Sovren, JobAdX, and Canvas.
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Announcer: Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion, and loads of snark, buckle up, boys and girls. It's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast.
Joel: Aw, yeah. Time for another show, another podcast. It's the jet lagged edition of the Chad and Cheese Podcast, HR's most dangerous. I'm Joel Cheesman.
Chad: And I'm Chad "Delta Lounge" Sowash.
Joel: On this week's episode, LinkedIn feels the agony of defeat, McDonald's embraces AI, and California says gig workers are more full-time employee than contractor. Get ready to party like HiQ's legal team, we'll be right back after a word from Canvas.
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Canvas: Request a demo at gocanvas.io, and in 20 minutes, we'll show you how to text at the speed of talent. That's gocanvas.io. Get ready to text at the speed of talent.
Chad: Oh yeah.
Joel: Great seeing the Canvas crew this week.
Chad: That's right. Amber, she was on stage all week, and she was just on stage here at Chad and Cheese.
Joel: Dude, Amber's a rockstar, man.
Chad: She is.
Joel: She's introducing Soledad O'Brien, she's introducing delegates from whatever. I don't know who the guests were.
Chad: I don't know.
Joel: She's a pro now, man. She's all growed up.
Chad: She's all growed up. She's killing it. And Jobvite overall, we had a great time in San Francisco. Yeah, had to stay for a little-
Joel: Totally blast.
Chad: ... Soledad, but a lot of great information going on. We got some interviews that are going to be popping out here in the next few weeks, but yeah, no, man, we had a blast.
Joel: Yeah, for sure. Go check out #RNL19 for photos, updates, and highlights from the show.
Chad: Yeah. And while we were there, shout out to Jonathan Duarte for bringing us beer. Local beer. And Giants tickets, baby, and we're not just talking about any Giants tickets, we're talking about on the fucking field Giants tickets. That was good shit.
Joel: We're talking third row. Now granted, they're not very good and it's towards the end of the season and tickets are pretty readily available, but still-
Joel: Third row is still third row, so Jonathan, major shout out. And it's always nice to be out of the Bay winds that come up when you sit higher up in the stadium, which I have definitely done before.
Chad: Oh yeah.
Joel: Down by the field is much warmer.
Chad: Yeah, yeah. Well, also shout out to Anthony Garcia, founder of HMFIC over at Purepost. He joined us, starting to work a little bit with the guys at Purepost, it's a translating platform for veterans, and I've been one of the biggest assholes when it comes to a lot of these crosswalks and shit because I actually hit one once, and I said, "The only way this shit's going to get done the right way is if you build it from the ground up," and these guys actually built it from the ground up, and I knew it was legit when I was introduced to these guys by Google. Google reached out to me and said-
Chad: ... "Chad, you guys, you know some things about this. Why don't you hook up with these guys? Because I think it's a good marriage." So they're legit and they're doing it the right way, but they're in total startup mode and it was great to finally meet him face to face.
Joel: Now is HMFIC actually on his LinkedIn profile, or is that just something that's special to you guys?
Chad: If it's not, I should be. Head motherfucker in charge should always be-
Joel: It sure as hell should be.
Chad: Yeah, wow.
Joel: Shout out to Mason Wan, long-time listener, fan of the show, fan of all things what we're doing, got to connect with him at Recruiter National Live. He's now at Lyft making miracles happen at the ride-sharing service, and I sat down with him for an interview, so double shout out for seeing him as well as sitting down for an interview. Be excited for that to drop here hopefully in the near future.
Chad: Good stuff.
Joel: Good dude. Good people.
Chad: Shout out to Nathan Perrott over at AIA. Dude needs to eat a fucking cheeseburger. I sent him a medium Chad and Cheese T-shirt-
Joel: That's a medium?
Chad: That's a medium, and the dude had to wear a shirt underneath it, so Nathan, you know you're not like 6'2 or anything like that, but still, dude, eat a fucking cheeseburger.
Joel: Dude, we're going to have to start getting shirts from Baby GAP if that thing's a medium. Good lord.
Chad: As we're talking about some really good shit, some social media sharing shit, Recruitics plus KRT equals hold my beer. We did that podcast-
Joel: Fucking brilliant.
Chad: ... a little while ago, and then these guys took that shit and ran. They actually created a logo, a hold my beer logo, and they sent us pictures of Josh and Mona, and then there's another picture of a bunch of employees on a boat with the Statue of Liberty behind them, and they all had hold my beer koozies and they were KRT and Recruitics. It was awesome.
Joel: Now built some context around this. This was born out of our show.
Joel: And when they made the acquisition to Recruitics, your comment, I'm giving you full credit, was "Hold my beer." I think you social media'd that shit, and they grabbed onto it and got fucking koozies and the whole staff is touring, I guess, New York City or something with these koozies, and it's fucking ... It's like game over-
SFX: That's it, man. Game over, man. Game over.
Joel: ... for any other company to give us props for our show. That was fucking awesome.
Chad: This is how ... We always talk about Tengai and some of these other companies who listen to us, and they troll us or they use our shit, this is how you do it. Just have fun with this shit. Quit being so stuffy.
Joel: Get a koozie, goddammit.
Chad: Get a goddamn koozie. My last shout out is, you're going to love this one, this is fucking hilarious, John Thurman saw one of those food delivery robots on a sidewalk delivering in George Mason University and he shared it on Twitter.
Joel: That is awesome.
Chad: Yeah, because we were talking about how they were deploying them at Purdue, and now we see they're at George Mason, so man, that is freaking hilarious.
Joel: I just want to know if this was before he took an aluminum bat to the moving cooler, or spray painted it with a penis or something, because that's going to happen.
Chad: Maybe. I'm telling you right now, buy stock in aluminum bats.
Joel: Well, let's get to our travel schedule before we get to the news.
Chad: Oh, real quick, we had a question from a listener.
Joel: Oh, yeah.
Chad: So a listener-
Joel: Oh, okay.
Chad: ... actually asked, because of Appcast and their purchase, or they were purchased by StepStone, they didn't believe that Appcast was still doing distribution to Indeed, and that is wrong from all accounts that we know, that's a big no. Appcast is still working with Indeed, so if you've heard rumors out there, is that long-term plan, who knows? But right as of now, all indications that we have is that there's no question, Appcast is still working with Indeed. It would make no sense for them to cut that line of partnership off right now.
Joel: And not that making sense ever made sense in our industry, but yeah, cutting off Indeed from Appcast would be a really bad decision by Appcast, so I don't think that's happening. Travel schedule.
Chad: Sponsored by Shaker Recruitment Marketing.
Joel: That's right, powered by Shaker Recruitment Marketing.
Chad: Powered by. So TAtech in late September, we've got about a week and a half until we go down to Austin for Death Match. We're really excited about Death Match. Who's on the schedule there for Death Match?
Joel: Oh, man, we're talking Pez, not the candy.
Joel: We're talking Seekout, we're talking Seekout with founder Anoop, former direct-
Joel: Bill gates, we're talking Job.com-
Joel: And their crypto blockchain credit card haven startup stuff, and then we've got ... Who am I missing?
Chad: Ass is first.
Joel: AssessFirst, French company, whose founder is incredibly animated.
Joel: So getting him onstage is going to be a trip, for sure. And I've just ordered the hardware for the winner, which I don't think we've revealed yet.
Joel: But pretty excited about the winning hardware that the company will receive for being champion.
Chad: Yes, said trophy. And all of this brought to you by, get ready, step back-
Joel: I'm ready.
Chad: Alexander Mann Solutions. That's right.
Chad: This is the Chad Cheese TAtech joint, but this baby is fueled by Alexander Mann.
Joel: I think it's worth talking about the judges if you're talking Quincy-
Chad: Oh, fuck yeah.
Joel: Cindy from Talroo, we just added Robert from Sovren, president, CEO. It's a star-studded cast, not only on the stage but also at the table judging them. And then we go to ... And then our HR Tech is shortly after that-
Chad: HR Tech, yeah.
Joel: ... in early October. The show that banned us a year ago now wants us to perform, which is fucking ridiculous.
Joel: Yeah, love it.
Chad: Twice. Yeah, we're on stage twice on the Tech stage or something like that in the Expo Hall, but yeah, Jobcase said, "If you're going to TAtech, we're going with you." So thanks to Fred and the kids over at Jobcase, yeah, everybody loves a little HR Tech, but we're going to be able to love it from the stage a couple of times and do it in style, due to Jobcase.
Joel: The Jobcase hats are fat, so I'm going to be supporting that puppy in HR Tech. Going to be a real upgrade from my Emissary T-shirt from a year or two ago. It'll be nice.
Chad: Then we go to Paris, France for Unleash.
Joel: Oui, oui.
Chad: SmashFly is partnering with us to have a little fun in Paris. You're going to have to come to Paris to see what that fun is, but we're going to have a star-studded panel, and again, we're going to be in the Expo Hall doing all of this, but excited about Unleash, not to mention our newly formed podcast, again, brought to you by SmashFly, is the cult brand that we just launched. Brand-spanking-new, we have about half dozen more of these podcasts already in the can, ready to launch, and we've got many more that are already scheduled, but this is bridging cult brand and HR, really the understanding of how do you create a cult brand, companies like Airbnb, Chili's Bar and Grill, Las Vegas What Happens Here, Stays Here, so we've got a ton of really cool brands and journeys to be able to sit back and just listen. These are amazing stories.
Joel: Yeah. We're wedging a Golden Gate Bridge between recruiting and marketing. Can't wait to see the content that we produce from that, and just published the one with Douglas Atkin, head of community at Airbnb, talking about their culture, cast of characters, the start of the company. I think it's some of our best work to date. I don't know how you feel, but really proud of what we're doing in the cult brand series and hope that everyone listens into that.
Chad: Not to mention we just had fucking Dan Pankow, man. It's going to the next level.
Joel: Yeah. Eventually people are going to wake up to the fact that we're a bunch of idiots and will stop talking to us.
Chad: Shh, shh.
Joel: But until then, we have some pretty smart people on the show.
Chad: Why don't we talk about some pretty smart people? What about HiQ and the win that they just had-
Joel: What about HiQ?
Chad: ... over LinkedIn?
Joel: Yeah, let's get to the news. So you and I have been covering this news, jeez, almost from the start.
Joel: Basically LinkedIn sent out cease and desist letters to a bunch of companies that were using their data to provide services and info and intel about profiles to their clients. Most of the companies they sent letters to said, "Yes, sir," shut down, stopped doing it, whatever. One little company out in San Francisco said, "Suck it, we're going to take you to court," and HiQ, the company that basically scans, scrapes, takes LinkedIn data, makes sense of it for their clients, took them to court. They've been in court a couple times, a couple appeals, a couple of shit that goes in if you want to search our archives, feel free to do that.
Joel: But most recently, the court ruled against LinkedIn, again, in court, federal appeals court Monday ruled in favor that scraping data from LinkedIn profiles was basically okay. The opinion by three judges in the 9th U.S. circuit court of appeals held that LinkedIn does not own the data posted by its users, and thus cannot block HiQ, a recruitment data marketing company, from compiling the information sorting it or otherwise using it. One of the quotes from the news that was interesting, from one of the circuit court judges was, quote, "Giving companies like LinkedIn free reign to decide on any basis who can collect and use data-"
Chad: That's right.
Joel: ... "Data that the companies do not own that they otherwise made publicly available to viewers and that the companies themselves collect and use risks the possible creation of information monopolies that would disserve the public interest." So-
Chad: So ...
Joel: There you have it.
Chad: Hoping to have Mark-
Joel: Scrape away.
Chad: And maybe even Darren on from HiQ sometime soon to be able to talk this through. I'm sure ... This is awesome, man, and it says a lot really how we're going to be looking at data, but here's the thing, as with GDPR becoming a standard, is this really winning? Now I agree, it's not LinkedIn's data. Fucking get that. But that doesn't mean that you can just come in and scrape shit, because as we start moving to a GDPR-like society, it's owned by the candidate, 100%. So the big question is for companies like HiQ, which these are questions that I want to be able to really hit them with, is how are these candidates ... You're going to have to get buy in from these candidates before you go take data.
Chad: It doesn't matter. Before you do any type of scraping whatsoever, you're going to have to get buy in, and so is LinkedIn. Just because you put your shit in LinkedIn does not mean you own my shit, right? So LinkedIn doesn't have, and again, this is pretty much what this case says, LinkedIn can't just do whatever the fuck they want with this data. So my big question to them is, how are they going to deal with GDPR on the LinkedIn side, and then how are companies like HiQ going to deal with it because you're going to have to get that opt in?
Joel: Yeah. And we don't know how many of HiQ's customers are really focused outside of the U.S. in places like Europe where that's a big deal. We both agree that-
Chad: It's a big deal in California right now.
Joel: [crosstalk 00:16:42] privacy will be a big deal. Yeah, California, it will be a big deal, so I think to me, question not only is privacy and who owns the data and taking it from the web is obviously most likely going to be a no-no at some point. I don't know how hard HiQ is partying when they look at the future of privacy, but also, if LinkedIn is losing on a judicial front or legislative front, I think they're probably winning on a technological front, and they're doing so many interesting savvy, clever things to make it really hard to scrape their data in the first place. I've talked to some people that are really good at this stuff saying that LinkedIn is starting to randomize the data that shows up for robots that go in and try to get stuff. And they're just getting better at that, so it's becoming a whack-a-mole situation where you just have to consistently tweak your algorithm or tweak your stuff to be able to get LinkedIn's data.
Joel: So for most companies-
Chad: It's not LinkedIn's data, though.
Joel: [crosstalk 00:17:52]
Chad: See, that's the thing. Now because of this, companies can start to think about taking LinkedIn to court, if they try to play this whack-a-mole bullshit game. Right? You can't-
Joel: Well, good luck with that.
Chad: This changes the conversation dramatically.
Joel: I don't know ... That's going to be a nasty black hole to try to legally tell LinkedIn that it can't put up technological protections against spiders coming to the side, etc., because that's a whole issue of bandwidth and using our service, making it slower for other people that are actual people that are using it ...
Chad: That was part of the defense on this current case.
Joel: It wasn't about bandwidth, it was about who's ... Do they own the data or not?
Chad: It was also about maybe not bandwidth, but it was also about taxing their technical infrastructure. So they were putting out those defenses. It wasn't just about who owned the data, it was much further than that. So this result will smack that square in the fucking face.
Joel: I don't know. Because I think it's ... At what point can they declare intellectual property in terms of how-
Chad: It's not their data.
Joel: ... they ...
Chad: It's not their data. Fuck you. It's not your data.
Joel: But it's their website.
Chad: Well, and that's fine. It's your website, but that doesn't mean ... I mean, you don't own the data within that website. That's what I'm saying. This conversation changes dramatically. I'm not saying it's a simple conversation, I'm saying it-
Chad: ... changes dramatically and when you start playing those whack-a-mole games, as we've talked about for well over a year now, can you do that now? Because that's not your fucking data.
Joel: Yeah, these are all questions that will have to be answered.
Chad: I'm so excited.
Joel: By people smarter and wealthier than us. But yeah, I think the privacy is definitely going to be an issue regardless, and then how sites protect their data.
Joel: Publicly data, or can they do that? And what is intellectual property? Can you declare intellectual property? I don't know, dude.
Chad: See, and there's a big difference. So the technology itself is the intellectual property. What you're doing with that data is the tech, right? The data is not the tech. So it's fairly simple to spread those things apart and say, "Okay. That's the data, candidate stuff that they actually put in the fucking system, their content, all that stuff, is the data. How you slice and dice and do all that other shit to be able to do predictive analytics or whatever it is, that's the tech." That's where you start to split the conversation, and that is what this decision does. It says, "Look, it's not your data." Split that decision, now the conversation is so much different. I love it.
Joel: I know, but if I want to present my data in a way that's impossible or nearly impossible to scrape from a robot, am I breaking the law or am I breaking that ruling?
Chad: That's the question. I don't know, but that is the question that now can be asked. That's a question that can be asked because they're infringing the opportunity of a smaller business to actually do business, because they're fucking with somebody else's data.
Joel: Well, clearly we have to get some smarter people on the phone and find out exactly what's going on.
Chad: It just opens up a conversation that I love. On to more things that we love and we were just talking about California and regulation-
Chad: California approves a bill that will turn gig workers into employees. So benefits and protections, and from my standpoint, this is incredibly interesting because what's happening is what we're seeing to happen now, is the pendulum swinging back and forth. So unions were just incredibly strong, and we were talking to Mason about this in San Francisco, he's with Lyft. Unions were just so incredibly strong and powerful and they misused some of that power at one time, that pendulum swung away from them to employers where they just broke up all those unions in many cases, but I feel like it's going back to the union conversation and I think this in itself is one of the indicators that that's where ... We're on the road to actual basic protections that we don't have today and we need to have those unions to be able to organize that.
Joel: Yeah, to me there are two sides to this story, as most stories have. One is the contractor themselves. And for the most part, if you drive Uber or Lyft as a job pretty much, you're doing it on a basis that's almost like a full-time job, it's great news to now know that you'll be treated like a full-time employee, which includes benefits and all the things that come with being a full-time employee as opposed to just being a contractor. But to me, that's fairly straightforward. I think the real questions become for Uber, Lyft, and anyone else that is a platform for work is this a good thing or not?
Joel: On one side, I can see where yeah, you should treat people in a certain way. They're working for you for 40 hours plus a week or whatever that is, and on the other side, I can see well, okay, that's a whole layer of intricacy and complexity of doing business. You and I talked to Mason at length, who's a Lyft employee, and there are real questions about their business model, both Uber and Lyft, in terms of profitability and are they going to be able to turn a profit, right? So adding this complexity of having full-time employees and giving them benefits and maybe healthcare and everything else, that makes it harder to do business arguably. Does that keep other potential competitors out of the space because now they know it's not a contract business, it's an employee business? Does that create less opportunity, which generally is a bad thing?
Joel: So I think on the surface, you can say, "Yeah, this is great for employees. They're going to get benefits. This is great." But looking deeper into it, I don't know the impact on the companies, but I would imagine they're probably not super happy having to deal with what you sort of referred to as labor unions, which essentially is kind of what we're dealing with. And when we talked to Douglas Atkin from Airbnb, talking about mobilizing his community, it was sort of like a labor union situation, so these contractors, these gig workers, have a lot of power and to what extent they use this to get benefits and full-time employment and who knows what else will be very interesting as we move into the future.
Chad: Yeah. Well, I think any company out there that doesn't focus on the employee first, and the human being first, to ensure that they're getting what they need in benefits and healthcare are obviously fucking part of that. If they're talking about the bottom line and how that's going to hurt profits, fuck you. You shouldn't have a fucking business. You need to focus on your goddamn business model. If your business model isn't working, guess what? You need to innovate and evolve or die. That's what capitalism is, but you have to take care of your fucking people. That's job one. You take care of your people, your people will take care of you. If you have a shitty business model, that's on you.
Joel: Yeah, and clearly many of these companies are built as tech companies. They're not built as people companies, per se. So now at least in the case of California, the government's saying, "Look, you have to start thinking of these people as people and not machines that are going around and you're getting 15% off of everything." So I agree with you, it's just does this speed up the process of automation, right? Which it probably will, because if you have all self-driving cars, then there aren't going to be drivers anyway. That's another question to think about as well.
Chad: Yeah, yeah. But I mean, we're talking about the possibility, and there's obviously arguments on both sides of this, but the possibility of getting rid of those jobs in the first place is going to evolve and create different jobs. The thing that we need to focus on here first is making sure that we treat the humans right and we make them the center, if they're a part of this, that they're the center of our thought process, right? Because if they're not happy, well, we're not going to retain them. They're probably going to do a shitty job. How's that any good for the company in the first place? And if they don't have healthcare and they don't have different types of benefits and they're worried that a $400 expense could prospectively submarine them, that's ...
Chad: Nobody should live that way. Nobody should live that way, and if a company is worried about the profits over the people, they need to get the fuck out of business.
Joel: I also think this is probably a good thing for traditional businesses that do have to treat people as full-time, part-time employees and have to be under the same regulations, because up to this point, the Ubers of the world have been above or below, however you look at it, from the traditional way of doing business. So I'm sure the businesses that we know are pretty h