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Upwork F*CK3D UP!

On this week's show, what else: CORONAVIRUS! OK, there's more than that, but of course the boys are talkin' about it and what employers are doing about it.

- Upwork has a nasty surprise for companies who rely on its platform,

- StepStone rakes in the cash

Enjoy and show our sponsors - who always wash their hands for at least 20 seconds - some love: Canvas, JobAdx, and Sovren.


James Ellis (00:00): Hey, this is James Ellis from the Talent Cast Podcast, and you're listening to the Chad and Cheese Podcast, which, I guess is your choice.

SFX (00:08): Oh my God. Okay. It's happening. Everybody stay calm. Everybody stay calm.

SFX (00:12): What's the procedure?

SFX (00:12): Stay (Beeps) calm.

SFX (00:12): wait, wait, wait.

Announcer 1 (00:15): 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 Cheesman (00:35): keep calm and carry on people. What's up? You know you're not heading to a conference, so you might as well be listening to our stupid ass show. Welcome everybody to the Chad and Cheese Podcast, I am your cohost as usual, Joel, virus-free, Cheesman.

Chad Sowash (00:52): And this is Chad, I'm in a bunker, Sowash.

Joel Cheesman (00:57): On this week's show, Corona virus, imagine that as a topic. Upwork has a surprise for employers. And the U S women's soccer team needs more responsibility. Stay inside because that's what you're going to do anyway. We'll be right back after a word from one of our loving sponsors.

Sovren (01:19): Sovren Parser is the most accurate resume and job order intake technology in the industry. The more accurate your data, the better decisions you can make. Find out more about our suite of products today by visiting That's We provide technology that thinks, communicates and collaborates like a human. Sovren, software so human, you'll want to take it to dinner.

Chad Sowash (01:46): So

Joel Cheesman (01:46): Dude.

SFX (01:46): This Corona thing.

Chad Sowash (01:49): Trump goes on TV last night and to be able to calm nerves and stuff like that, he does the polar opposite, because nobody fucking believes his dumb ass and the markets fucking tank. The very first thing that happens this morning.

Joel Cheesman (02:03): It's the oil fight with Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Chad Sowash (02:05): Oh, bullshit.

Joel Cheesman (02:05): Don't believe the virus thing, man. Come on.

Chad Sowash (02:08): Yeah, right, right. Yeah. We'll go with both. Okay?

Joel Cheesman (02:15): How much longer can I play this before it becomes insensitive?

Chad Sowash (02:19): I think we're past that.

SFX (02:20): This Corona thang

Joel Cheesman (02:21): Dammit. It's so catchy though. It's so catchy.

Chad Sowash (02:24): Yeah, it is. It is.

Joel Cheesman (02:27): Shout outs for the still living among us. Amy English, super fan. Shout out to you. She hit us both up on social media saying how great we were. And Amy, we love that so much.

Chad Sowash (02:38): Amy, over at Zip and also Allah Bughara over at Joveo. Thanks both of you for listening.

Joel Cheesman (02:46): Much love. Much love. Robert Ruff, guys, talk about love. We can't stop the social media affection coming in for his latest Voices series on the podcast. If you haven't listened to some that good stuff. Go check it out at or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Chad Sowash (03:04): It's good shit, man. Big shout out to Adam Chambers, our Irish kid genius, who is living in Mexico, has learned how to Salsa dance. And you're a smart man, Adam. I've always said, if you learn how to Salsa dance, then everything else dating-wise, is so much easier. I remember I was 19 in Panama, lucky enough to actually learn and that was like the end. Just period. It didn't matter.

Joel Cheesman (03:38): You mean it wasn't your charming good looks or you're charming demeanor and your dashing good looks?

Chad Sowash (03:42): It all helps, dude. Salsa dancing is the way.

Joel Cheesman (03:47): I just want to be this cat when I grow up. I wish I was that cool at 22. Shout out to St Patrick's Day for talking about Irish cats living in Mexico. How about Irish cats living in Ireland where St Patrick's Day, God

help us, has been canceled, as well as pretty much every parade here in the States.

Chad Sowash (04:07): Yeah. Chicago is big day, right?

Joel Cheesman (04:09): I've got a lot of Guinness I'm not going to know what to do with now.

Chad Sowash (04:13): Yeah, I doubt that.

Joel Cheesman (04:15): Party at your place.

Chad Sowash (04:16): So, not really a shout out, but a smackdown to The Ladders, for sending out all state franchise emails to the masses. This is what they are classifying obviously as 100 K jobs. Fucking idiots.

Joel Cheesman (04:37): Shout out to Steve Fogarty. Nothing in particular. Just the dude called me up and said he wanted to catch up. Many of u know him as the guy from Adidas, who did a lot of speaking gigs 10, 15 years ago. He's now at Twitter, doing TA there. But, just a cool cat, wanted to say hi. I think I turned him onto the show, after talking to him, rapping with him.

Chad Sowash (04:57): John's little brother. Yeah. We've got a question from the job board doctor, he asks, the real question for Chad & Cheese, will Corona virus sideline the dynamic duos aggressive travel schedule? And the answer is you'd better fucking believe it will. Yeah. We're not fucking with that shit guys.

Joel Cheesman (05:18): So, we're not going to talk about travel? Because there is none.

Chad Sowash (05:22): I actually spoke with Joe shaker yesterday, and it was funny because he brought it up. And Shaker Recruitment Advertising, remember people, is the official sponsor of the Chad and Cheese travel. He said, I quote, "I'm telling you guys, it's more than okay to stay home. No, you need to stay home." When your travel sponsor's actually telling you stay home, you know it's time to stay home. And shout out to David Manaster, who tweeted, instead of our event in Seattle to protect the health of our community members, SourceCon is going digital. We're seeing this pretty much everywhere, either postponements with the NBA, cancellations with the SEC tournament, the big 10 tournament. This is just prudent and responsible. I know that we are not known as prudent and responsible, but guess what, it's time to be an adult. This just makes sense.

Joel Cheesman (06:26): You failed to mention, unless I was daydreaming there for a second, that our new travel promotions will be like heading to the grocery store to get toilet paper or heading to the Walgreens for an acids or whatever. So, we will still be traveling powered by Shaker Recruitment Advertising, but it just won't be to exotic places like London and Vancouver. It'll be to the local Walgreens on the corner of Oleo and 96th street.

Chad Sowash (06:57): Exactly. Yes. Events be damned.

Joel Cheesman (07:00): This is where my virtual reality prediction maybe comes true. If we can all just put headsets on and go to the mixer, that might work.

Chad Sowash (07:09): This is something that we just noticed that we've been talking about the Groundhog, the Indeed Groundhog, and how we haven't seen them and any additional commercials. There's that one commercial and then he's kicked to the curb. Well

Joel Cheesman (07:22): Yeah. There's a new ad, dude.

Chad Sowash (07:23): We've been foreshadowing this Indeed replacing The Groundhog, and it's finally happened. That's right kids. Indeed kicked Gary, The Groundhog to the curb and replaced him with automation, AKA The Claw, that we know from Toy Story.

Joel Cheesman (07:38): We're pretty worried about The Groundhog. Times are tough, people are staying home. Thank God we had Groundhog Day before the whole Corona virus thing happened. But we're a little worried about The Groundhog, so we're going to check up on him and see what's going on. And while we do that, Indeed will keep creating hot garbage for their advertising campaigns, and getting their ass kicked by LinkedIn, by the way.

Chad Sowash (08:01): Yeah.

Joel Cheesman (08:01): That's a topic that we'll save for another day, maybe. My last shout out goes to Tom Hanks. America's icon

Chad Sowash (08:11): Best ever.

Joel Cheesman (08:13): Father, grandfather. Just

Chad Sowash (08:14): Amazing.

Joel Cheesman (08:16): A national treasure. Tom Hanks has Corona virus.

Chad Sowash (08:19): So does Rita.

Joel Cheesman (08:20): Yeah. He “Social Mediaed” it out, if that's a word or verb.

Chad Sowash (08:26): Sure.

Joel Cheesman (08:26): And just, heart out to him. Everybody loves Tom Hanks, man. If this dude dies because of Corona virus, holy crap, the whole thing is just flushed down the toilet and it's over.

Chad Sowash (08:37): Okay.

Joel Cheesman (08:38): Hey, what's your favorite Tom Hanks movie while we're fucking talking about it?

Chad Sowash (08:42): Oh, maybe Saving Private Ryan. Forrest Gump was amazing. I read Forrest Gump as a book, and I was a total laughter reading the book. And they said that they were going to make it into a movie, I'm like, "There's no way in hell they can make something like this into a movie." They did, with Tom Hanks. It was outstanding. There's just so much that he's done and I don't know that you can put a finger on something that he's really done that's been shit. He's amazing.

Joel Cheesman (09:09): I watched Philadelphia a few months ago, and it's amazing how that movie has aged, and it's amazing to remember what it was like back then, to think that it wasn't that long ago. So that movie is really powerful to me. And frankly, keeping it light, who could forget The Money Pit

Chad Sowash (09:30): Yup. Big.

Joel Cheesman (09:31): Splash, Big, The Bachelor, The Original Bachelor, Bachelor Party, sorry.

Chad Sowash (09:38): Bosom Buddies, for goodness sake. Come on.

Joel Cheesman (09:41): Bosom Buddies, yeah. He had a starring role on one episode of The Love Boat. The dude's just precious. Say a prayer for Tom. Get better man. We love you

Chad Sowash (09:51): Tom and Rita, because she's amazing by the way. Topics.

Joel Cheesman (09:56): Google love. Google love (inaudible) man. It's about time. The government is not going to be a leader in this whole death to human race stuff, Google will be. This last week, Google expands their work from home, recommendation to all North American employees. We're talking about like 100,000 employees globally. So this is no little, small business that says, "Hey 25 people, stay home this month," this is a big deal. I certainly applaud them and I'm sure that you do as well.

Chad Sowash (10:26): Yeah. This just makes sense and it's in their own interest. Why the fuck would you want anybody to come into the office and perspectively just spread this, right? And if that happens, you can't get work done because everybody's sick. So, yes, it is smart for Google, but this is in their own interest. They are thinking of their people, but they're also thinking about themselves. So, if you can get work done, do it from home, so that you're not spreading the virus, you're not getting sick and you're not getting somebody else sick. Because you have to remember, this virus itself, one person is being spread to three others. That's how this is growing so quickly. This is also happening in Europe. But I call out, because we're talking about remote work. If you, like most Google workers are working remote, here's a great resource to check out. This week in the Recruiting Brainfood, Hung Lee has devoted this entire addition to remote resources. Resources for recruiters, HR folks to implement emergency work from home policies, those types of things. It's a searchable archive, crowdsourced, yada, yada, yada. Hung always does really good stuff and he's focusing on this specific topic this week. So if you're currently a part of the Brainfood community, check it out.

Joel Cheesman (11:49): Why wouldn't you be?

Chad Sowash (11:49): If you're not, go to Transitioning away from the whole remote full time thing, Google has actually set up a fund to offer paid sick leave to contractors and temp workers. And Google has more contractors working for them, around 120,000, than they have full time staff.

Joel Cheesman (12:14): Yeah.

Chad Sowash (12:14): This is interesting overall, just from the standpoint of being able to ensure that if you are sick, they want to be able to take care of you. What do you think about this one?

Joel Cheesman (12:25): I think it's great. I think so. The fund will enable all temporary staff and vendors all around the world to take paid sick leave if they have potential symptoms of the disease or can't come to work because they're quarantined, what a horrible thing that would be.

Chad Sowash (12:39): Yeah.

Joel Cheesman (12:39): Taking care of your workforce is job number one for a lot of these companies.If Google doesn't have people to write code, they're out of business. So this is obviously a great move by them. And I think it's great to show that as temporary workers and contract workers, vendors, you feel a little left out sometimes because you're not in the full time employment umbrella, I think this is a great way to say we care about you and we're going to take care of you.

Chad Sowash (13:08): Yeah. I think Google though, they've made some strides in ensuring that any of the contractors that they're working with, or at least the companies that are facilitating this contract workforce, that they do have benefits. We've done stories on this before. Because usually, if a company like this is going after contractors, it's because they want more on and off cheap labor without the benefits. Right? But that's not this case, I believe, with Google. So yeah, it's very interesting that they are more on the contract side than they are full time employees, but again, this is self-interest. They want to make sure that their people are taken care of and that they're not spreading shit.

Joel Cheesman (13:53): Well done, Google. I can forgive you for watching everything I do online, for a little bit, just for that.

Chad Sowash (13:59): For five minutes. This also kind of leads into our next story, how Corona virus is hitting low wage earners especially hard. And this is out of Fast Company.

Joel Cheesman (14:11): Thinking about the hourly workforce, seasonal, whatever it is, that works at as a small mom-and-pop, or a restaurant. Obviously, traffic flow from that decreases. What if you do get sick? What if your whole family's on quarantine? You can't go to work. Guess what? You don't get paid, in many cases from small businesses.

Unfortunately, it's the lower paid hourly worker that's going to be really suffering from the disease as it grows around the country.

Chad Sowash (14:43): Yeah. The headlines ... And this is from Fast Company article, the headlines have focused on governmental response times and political spin, go figure. But economic inequality issues are front and center of the crisis. On a macro level, the Corona virus story involves governmental response times, all this other fun stuff, lack of testing, go figure, but it is a tail more than a hundred years old, the poorest, and the uninsured, and the under-insured will be disproportionately affected. They will get sick in large numbers. They will unwittingly expand the scope of the problem and they will have little latitude to do much about it. The big reason why, they have a great example, a single mother of two, working for LSG Sky Chefs at LA International Airport makes $15 and 25 cents an hour or 610 bucks a week. About half of that goes to her shitty healthcare plan. Her apartment, nearby Culver City, is $1,700 per month. She is already the working poor. She cannot, she cannot afford to miss work because she doesn't have enough paid sick days.

Joel Cheesman (16:00): Yeah. And we had it as one of the topics to potentially discuss. In terms of the gig economy and driving an Uber, I know there's a lot of stories out there that people don't want to step into an Uber, for obvious reasons, right? Who else has been in here? Is it clean? I've heard stories about every Uber that you do get into now smells like a bucket of Clorox has been thrown around the car, because they want to make sure that it smells clean and virus free. A lot of gig opportunities are going to be lost on people that want to make a little extra money. I think that even plays into it a little bit, in terms of hurting employees and people.

Joel Cheesman (16:41): I'm curious though, we talked about the corporate side, where does government come in? And there's a lot of talk about tax holidays for businesses and no payroll taxes. Do you see the government coming in with, sort of a Marshall plan to say, "We're going to take care of everybody for the next 60, 90 or 30, 60, 45, 60 days or whatever it takes to make sure that everyone can still pay bills and can still put food on the table and a roof over their head. Do you see the government taking that kind of initiative to help the lower level worker like this?

Chad Sowash (17:16): Unfortunately, because of the current administration, I don't. I think it's going to happen on the corporate side and they're going to hope that it bleeds down. But this still doesn't answer the biggest problem overall. Even when there isn't a Corona virus, these people are the working poor. Period. They're barely making ends meet as it is. When we're talking about companies, and the profits are bigger than ever, and isn't everybody happy that the economy is, was, is, was so great, right?

Joel Cheesman (17:53): Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chad Sowash (17:53): That's when we should be putting money in the pockets of the people who are actually creating the shit that we're selling and, or the services that are being provided by our organization. Yet, we're pushing that money to the top, and to stockholders on buybacks, and a bunch of shit that makes this unlivable.

Joel Cheesman (18:14): Yeah. The problem of the working poor or

Chad Sowash (18:18): Yeah.

Joel Cheesman (18:19): All right. Okay.

Chad Sowash (18:19): The working poor. The Corona virus is just helping to identify and float to the top that our economy's fucked up already.

Joel Cheesman (18:28): Yeah. And this virus isn't helping whatsoever.

Chad Sowash (18:31): No.

Joel Cheesman (18:31): I personally expect the government to step up. I hope the government steps up in a big way to take care of not just businesses, but people just like this that can't, whether health insurance, whether pay the rent, whether it's I'm not working, getting the regular paycheck that I would, or I'm not getting the hours that I used to get because of the virus, that the government steps up and helps everybody and gets us through this. They did it in world war II God dammit, they can do it again.

Chad Sowash (18:57): Or, companies can take some of those profits and actually do that themselves. We always look for government to save our asses when the fucking corporations are making all these goddamn dollars, it's ...

Joel Cheesman (19:11): Let's take a break and listen to a word from JobAdX, and talk about lighter topics. Not really.

JobAdX (19:19): No. No. Not for me. All these jobs look the same. Oh, next.

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Chad Sowash (20:43): Transitioning away from COVID-19 for a second.

Joel Cheesman (20:47): Yeah? Oh, that's it?

Chad Sowash (20:49): Upwork is trying to slip through a change in their terms of service effective in three or four weeks that will subject any client who hires a freelancer they found on their site, to a fine of up to $50,000 per freelancer. What the fuck is up with that?

Joel Cheesman (21:12): What is up with Upwork? Yeah. From their point of view, yeah, I'm sure they get really pissed when they do all the leg work and get someone to join their platform, and that person gets work, and then they do a job for someone and Upwork gets paid, but then that person says, "Hey, why don't you come work for us full time?" And Upwork gets jack. So they're sort of secretly, slyly putting in this language, that says if you use their services and you hire one of their contractors, you could be on the hook for up to $50,000. And I think this change is coming in the next four weeks or so. I think they're going to be changing their terms of service. Yeah, I get it. But it's bullshit because it creates ... An opportunity that might be there for someone, is now gone because the company doesn't want to risk paying the fee or going to court or paying lawyers to fight Upwork or the for the process. It definitely screws the contractor who could have a full time job, but it also screws the company who could have a full time worker that does a good job.

Chad Sowash (22:21): Yeah. We talked to Justin Gignac from Working Not Working and also Ryan Gill from Communo about this. And their whole thought process was, look, this is a community, people flow in and out of gig work. Right? And people who do full time stuff want to do side hustles. We want them to stay with us, no matter whether they're full time or they're gigging. Right?

Joel Cheesman (22:51): Yeah.

Chad Sowash (22:51): Overall, I think this is one of the stupidest moves Upwork could make because as a client of Upwork, I would go away. There are other marketplaces that are out there that are more targeted, and I might actually have to use two or three of them. But to be quite frank, screw you. These terms of service are just total shit.

Joel Cheesman (23:10): Yeah. The unfortunate truth is, very few people will notice that this happens. No one's going to read the terms of service. If there's a story on TechCrunch or something, the chances that a lot of people will see that are still pretty minimal. This will be like the occasional lawsuit that may be some people hear about, but for the vast number of Upwork contractors, they'll never understand or know this. Eventually, maybe they will, but it's a ... Upwork, as a public company isn't performing very well, they need to raise money somehow, so let's sue companies for 50 grand to help do that.

Joel Cheesman (23:46): This came out, in terms of where I caught it, was Seth Godin, he's a pretty famous marketing guy. He's written a ton of books. He has a really popular blog called If you don't subscribe or read it, you should check it out. But anyway, he has a great post on the problem with freelancing and how it's becoming a commodity. We've done a podcast with the guys at Communo, and others, to talk about how they hate Upwork and how it becomes a commodity and it's a race to the bottom and dah, dah, dah. And Seth has a great, post building context around his point of view on how the gig economy is a race to the bottom and really bad for both freelancers and companies.

Chad Sowash (24:35): Yeah.

Joel Cheesman (24:35): There's a quote here from the blog post, "The gig economy is based on the magic of finding the right person for the right job. It falls apart when it becomes a commodity marketplace in which each freelancer struggles to be valued for the work they are able to create."

Chad Sowash (24:52): Yeah. And again, back to Working Not Working and Communo, they are trying to be like the anti-Upwork,

where they are focused on the race to the top, and being able to provide better, the best contractors, the best work, those types of things as opposed to playing this race to the bottom, that we're really starting to see from Upwork and Fiverr.

Joel Cheesman (25:17): Yeah, for sure. I think the, the value of these niche platforms, that we've talked about quite a bit lately, with healthcare and other other niches, is that there's a level of quality in those niche communities and platforms that I think a lot of freelancers are going to flock to because they are feeling like the big Fivver and Upwork are a race to the bottom and are going to try to find solace and more money and better opportunities in these community, platforms. Well, they actually do vet the experience. I know Communo does, I think, as well as Working Not Working.

Chad Sowash (25:51): Yeah.

Joel Cheesman (25:51): They actually vet the quality of work and the contractors that are there. There is a level of work that they have to do as a niche platform, but it sounds like it's paying off in dollars and cents for the contractors that are on their platform.

Chad Sowash (26:05): Yeah. And this type of a move from Upwork's going to do nothing but fuel better opportunities in those other niche platforms.

Joel Cheesman (26:14): Yeah, totally. Totally. I agree. Well, speaking of bad opportunities, the U S women's soccer team, the national treasure, that is the U S women's soccer team, took a blow this week. This is sort of your lane with soccer, what's going on?

Chad Sowash (26:31): Remember the Audi commercial with the little girl racing in the soapbox derby?

Joel Cheesman (26:36): Totally.

Chad Sowash (26:36): We both love that commercial, right? She's racing and as she's racing, her dad is narrating and this is what he says, "What do I tell my daughter? Her grandfather is worth more than her grandmother? Her dad is worth more than her mother? Do I tell her despite her education, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued less than every man she ever meets?" And at that point she wins the soapbox derby. You see it and then you hear him say, "Or maybe I'll be able to tell her something different." And that actually on the screen it actually shows Audi, and talking about equal pay. And then we see this come out from an iconic team. This is probably one of the best known teams, not just through America, but probably the world, the U S women's soccer team. And the message to them from their employer was, men are worth more.

Joel Cheesman (27:40): Yeah. It gets nastier than that. It's also arguing that women athletes are less skilled and work less demanding jobs than their male counterparts.

Chad Sowash (27:51): Crazy.

Joel Cheesman (27:51): And that there's more responsibility on the U S men's soccer team than there is the women's. I literally thought this was an onion story because it's so ridiculous in 2020 that we're even talking about this.

Chad Sowash (28:04): Yes.

Joel Cheesman (28:04): Because the women's team is so much better in their sport than the men's team. And this argument just seems ridiculous.

Chad Sowash (28:13): Won it's fourth world cup title in France. My God, dude, it fills stadiums. It sells tickets, they sell tickets. Again, they're an icon. March, they sell. They are more popular than the men's team, by far, by eons. But the U S soccer, pointed out to biological differences and indisputable science, to argue that women should be paid less than the men's team who requires a higher level of skill than the women's team. I think what this all revolves around, I know what it all revolves around, it all revolves around money.

Joel Cheesman (28:55): Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chad Sowash (28:55): FIFA pays more to the men's tournament in U S soccer, than it does the women's. Overall, it's fairly simple, funnel some of that cash from the men's program to the women's team. If you want to focus on equity, that's what you do. If you know what's coming your way, make it equitable for both teams. Shit, the women should be getting paid more. This narrative around biological differences and/or responsibility is total utter bullshit, when the women perform at a much higher level than the men do, on their stage.

Joel Cheesman (29:35): Yeah. What surprised me, and you hit the nail on the head, is that ... What surprised me was, the arguments against were level of skill, the matter of responsibility, the physical prowess of men versus women. Where if they had come out and said, look, the men's world cup and this is irrefutable, the money that that tournament makes dwarfs the women's.

Chad Sowash (29:58): Yeah.

Joel Cheesman (29:59): By a lot. But they don't even argue that. I was really perplexed as to why the argument was a biological argument as opposed to a financial argument. Because the financial argument to me is harder to win unless women's soccer as a whole is so worried that if it becomes a financial argument, like you said, there's more money get forced into the women's because of equality, as opposed to having this biological argument, which is just silly.

Chad Sowash (30:31): Yeah. It's all a diversion because they don't want to talk about the money.

Joel Cheesman (30:35): Yeah.

Chad Sowash (30:35): That's what it comes down to. Because if it comes down to the money, that's like, oh, well that's what the real problem is? Well, we can fix that. Well, they don't want to fix that. From my standpoint, again, going back to the Audi commercial, having two daughters, this is incredibly important, not just for me and my daughters, but for the ones that are behind them. This is ridiculous to make this kind of statements, not to mention, think of all the talent now who just won't go to U S soccer. Fuck them. Why? That hurts.

Joel Cheesman (31:08): That hurts, man.

Chad Sowash (31:09): That hurts.

Joel Cheesman (31:10): That's going to get a big boo from me.

Chad Sowash (31:14): What doesn't hurt is

Joel Cheesman (31:15): Text recruiting will never [00:31:19.07] Inaudible] folks.

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Joel Cheesman (32:20): StepStone is ringing the register here lately.

Chad Sowash (32:25): Germany's doing well, apparently.

Joel Cheesman (32:28): Axel Springer. StepStone, many of our audience will know recently as the Appcast acquirer, but they are part of a much bigger company. Anyway, a story came out this week, their revenue climbed 7%. Obviously, one of Europe's biggest online job sites. They saw a revenue climb to 647.1 million euros, that's 734.5 million U S dollars, for those at home. In 2019, this was up from 602.6 euros million in the prior year. The job portal, headquartered in Dusseldorf, is part of the German media group, Axel Springer, they published an annual report on Wednesday revealing StepStones financial performance. Most interestingly from the story is, the company is still very interested in acquisitions, the CEO, Mathias Dopfner, mentioned that they were going to be on the acquisition hunt in the next year, uh, particularly with U S-based companies to add to their portfolio. So, look for interesting stuff. And as the economy is teetering on destruction, they're going to be some companies on the cheap that they can probably pick up.

Chad Sowash (33:43): Yeah. On a push away from the table of destruction, hopefully, we'll have a bounce after all of this stupid shit that's happening with the administration and the virus. This is awesome from a StepStone standpoint, we've been talking about how the acquisition of Appcast was genius. How they could pull Appcast away from the likes of Indeed.

Joel Cheesman (34:09): [00:34:10.17] Inaudible]

Chad Sowash (34:09): Yeah. Overall, they really had no economic impact into the U S, the biggest market in the world. Now, they have programmatic impact and also the opportunity to use those programmatic technologies in Europe and beyond. And now that's going to happen slower obviously. But this is just genius. I think from a strategy standpoint, man, I can't hate on them at all.

Joel Cheesman (34:44): Let's hope that they don't rename Appcast Appstone or something, to really fuck shit up.

Chad Sowash (34:50): Yes.

Joel Cheesman (34:50): Madgex, in the news.

Chad Sowash (34:51): Indeed, IQ. Yeah. It's funny, Madgex, which probably not so well known here in the U S, if you're really into technology and job or technology throughout the years, you've definitely heard the name. They've been at conferences all over the place, events, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And then out of nowhere, poof, they were gone. You just didn't see them anymore.

Joel Cheesman (35:18): Yeah.

Chad Sowash (35:18): And that whole pivot was toward associations, which most of us didn't even recognize or even know. But Wiley, who acquired them, turned them on to a U S base of customers that really, they don't ask for much. Right? They're not looking for innovation. They're not looking for the new cool tech, chatbots, AI or any of that shit, they just want something that works. So something that's like 2008 technology is going to be great for an association. That's how Wiley provides publishing to and/or now, technology. It gives Madgex, I would say, who was probably suffering from a shit ton of technical debt right now, an opportunity to not play the innovation war games anymore, step back, take some money for acquisition and say, "Goodbye."

Joel Cheesman (36:18): You and I remember a day where job boards were going to be everywhere. Do you remember this?

Chad Sowash (36:23): Oh, yeah.

Joel Cheesman (36:23): Like, Simply Hired, had this plug and play product. WordPress had all kinds of job boards that you could just plug into your site, and everyone was going to have a job site. I, for one, believe that, right? Blogs need to make money, Publishers need to make money, associations need to make money. And having job postings was an easy way to have someone drop 99 bucks for a job posting, on their website.

Chad Sowash (36:50): Yeah.

Joel Cheesman (36:51): I think over time, social media has destroyed that.

Chad Sowash (36:57): Easily.

Joel Cheesman (36:57): In that, if I'm a member of association, or like my college, right? I get more information from my college through social media, than I ever do going to their website and trying to look around and find stuff. So, social media has killed this job board everywhere thing. We applauded getting acquired by ZipRecruiter

Chad Sowash (37:19): Yeah. Smart.

Joel Cheesman (37:19): A year or two ago or maybe even longer than that. And they've sort of disappeared. I think the fire is running out for the job board plugin, plug and play solution.

Chad Sowash (37:30): The association play is definitely there and there's money there, there's no question. But the thing is, overall, I believe Madgex being the biggest job board platform player in the UK, I believe those days are very numbered. So, being a pure play job board, that's not going to be the case, because they're not going to focus on innovation and helping these companies try to have a market differentiator. Right? If you own a job board company right now and you have a platform, you want your provider to always be looking toward the future. That's just not going to happen anymore Madgex, I feel. They're going to be looking toward associations, again where there are money and there are monies available, and they're just going to stock 2008 job board stuff and associations will be happy with that because they didn't have shit before.

Joel Cheesman (38:27): Yeah. I just don't think there's a whole lot of money and getting cash from associations.

Chad Sowash (38:32): I think there is.

Joel Cheesman (38:34): Well, then why don't we see more job board platforms and softwares pop up?

Chad Sowash (38:38): You do.

Joel Cheesman (38:39): When was the last startup you saw?

Chad Sowash (38:41): It's not about the startups, it's about the companies who are pivoting their current tech to that market because they see dollars, like Madgex. When they see that they don't have to compete on the innovation front, but they can go get dollars in the association realm, that's why they did it. And that's the way they, poof, went away. Right? And there are other job sites, the web scribbles of the world, community brands, the one platform that job target used to own and sold off to community brands, that's pretty much all they do. Right? So they are out there, but they're just not innovative, which is one of the reasons why we hardly ever talk about them, or even know that they're out there. Because they're boring as shit.

Joel Cheesman (39:23): If the dog was free (Inaudible), pal. I'll go wash my hands.

Joel Cheesman (39:23):


Joel Cheesman (39:23): This Corona thing.

SFX (39:23): Oh, my God. Okay. It's happening.

SFX (39:32): What's the procedure?

SFX (39:32): Stay (Beeps) calm.

Walken (39:34): Thank you for listening to, what's it called? Podcast. With Chad, and Cheese, and they talk about recruiting, they talk about technology, but most of all they talk about nothing. Just a lot of shout outs to people you don't even know. And yet, you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one, Cheddar, Lu, Nacho, Pepper Jack, Swiss. There's so many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Anywho, be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play or wherever you listen your podcasts. That way you won't miss an episode. And while you're at it, visit, just don't expect to find any recipes for Grub cheese. It's so weird. We out.

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