3 IPOs and a Unicorn


We throw the kitchen sink at this one. Three IPOs, five startups in rapid Buy-or-Sell, a new unicorn, LinkedIn taking on Upwork and Fiverr with its evolving gig marketplace, and the People's Champion is apparently a former Walmart employee. “F**k management, and f**k this job, I quit.”


Power to the people, powered as always by our sponsors Sovren, JobAdx, and Jobvite.


PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:

Disability Solutions is your RPO partner for the disability community, from source to hire.


INTRO (1s):

Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR’s most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman 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 (21s):

Oh yeah. Tim Cook says employees who leak memos do not belong at Apple, we know that because of a leaked employee memo. Hi kids! You're listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. This is your co-host Joel "bring on the bears" Cheeseman.


Chad (37s):

This is Chad "Olhao. No Olhao shit. I don't know how to say it" Sowash.


Joel (43s):

Oh, Ohleeeeooo! This week show Adzuna is going public. LinkedIn is going freelance and Clovers is going well. Okay, we're not really sure where they're going, but we have an entire show to figure it out. Let's do this.


Chad (60s):

Ah,


Joel (1m 1s):

I'm sorry to, to pull you away from sunbathing, Chad. That's we got this show to do.


Chad (1m 6s):

Not a problem. Pool's only a floor away. I can jump back up there and being back in that position in no time.


Joel (1m 12s):

Has your liver quit yet? Has your liver like resigned?


Chad (1m 16s):

Not yet, but I only have a week. So I'm working on it. And also this later this weekend, going to meet with Louise Grant, if you remember from the back and the Jobgate day, she's coming down to, she come down to Portugal for the weekend and we're actually going to meet up for dinner. So good. Going to be good to see her.


Joel (1m 33s):

Really?


Chad (1m 34s):

Yeah.


Joel (1m 34s):

She left Jobgate last year, right?


Chad (1m 37s):

She did.


Joel (1m 38s):

And what what's she up to or is that part of the meeting?


Chad (1m 40s):

She's apparently bouncing around the world. We'll find out though. We'll find out.


Joel (1m 44s):

Okay. Sounds like a new Chad and Cheese joint might be in the works.


Chad (1m 48s):

Could be, could be.


Joel (1m 49s):

Shout out from me. If we're getting to those, if we're done with the smalltalk, we got a long shot to get through Cindy Songne she's got a new gig. She's now a SVP at Talentcare. What the hell is Talentcare? I'll go ahead and explain it as sort of an employment branding, HR tech, ATS hybrid.


Chad (2m 10s):

Wow.


Joel (2m 11s):

I miss Cindy.


Chad (2m 12s):

I miss Cindy too. She's awesome. Big shout outs to, she deserves more than a shout out, but to Julie Sowash it is our fifth anniversary. We've been together for 10 years. I don't know how she puts up with me.


sfx (2m 26s):

Applause and cheering


Chad (2m 29s):

Thank you, honey. I love you and Happy Anniversary.


Joel (2m 32s):

Wow. She's a bigger woman than every other woman in the world. In light of that. My next shout-out goes to one of my favorite eateries.


Little kids voice (2m 43s):

"Oh my God, I love Chipotle. Chipotle is my life"


Joel (2m 46s):

We talked about Taco Bell last week, introducing it subscription model for a free taco or for a taco every day. Chipotle says, hold my beer, they're introducing brisket to the menu and no one loves good brisket like I do. Chipotle big shout outs to you. I'll be there immediately after this podcast.


Chad (3m 5s):

No shit. Well rebounding off of that one. It's big shout out to Liz Wessel over at WayUp. She wants us to keep the food subscription and the food news coming. She went right out the Taco Bell to get her subscription right after the announcement. So Liz she's our kind of people. So she'll probably be going to Chipotle as well.


Joel (3m 27s):

All right, well, I'm going to keep the fast food shout outs coming to Shake Shack. One of my favorite burger joints there, they're killing their four day workweek. They say it's on pause because of COVID, but I'm betting it's never coming back until the robots start flipping the burgers! Shake Shack this one's for you and your four day work week going buh-bye.


Chad (3m 51s):

True. True. So this one goes out to somebody who works at my favorite pet website. It's not pets.com. She's the AD over at Chewy.com. Her name is Nicole Vinci Adamson, and she says that she learns something new, every show. And Nicole you're making me misty over here. Thanks for listening.


Joel (4m 10s):

She also called us a maniacal recruitment podcast, which I feel like we missed our naming opportunity for that one. Michael Yinger also was very complimentary on the socials this week. So Michael was in a firing squad episode. And if you haven't listened to that, check it out, Resume Sieve. One of my least favorite names in the world.


Chad (4m 34s):

Sounds like he needed a shot after that.


Joel (4m 36s):

Anyway, Michael said, quote, "guys, just so you know, I've gotten more connections, more congrats, more recognition, and even a lead from your show than all the others I've been on combined." Yes, our podcast can beat up your podcast. Thanks Michael.


Chad (4m 54s):

And another Michael, Michael O'Dell down in Nashville, he's representing talent.com. Last week we put out the two new acronyms. We've got a, you put out the RAD and I put out the CTP, the CTP, the Core Talent Platform approach. And he loves that rather than the old ATS bullshit nineties narrative that we've been pushing. So thanks, Michael. We're going to continue to do what we do and call it out where we need to.


Joel (5m 22s):

O'Dell is so radical.


Chad (5m 24s):

So RAD.


Joel (5m 26s):

Hey guys, we got free shit to give away. If you haven't signed up, go to Chadcheese.com. We got t-shirts from Emissary. We got beer from Adzuna and we got whiskey from Sovren. If you haven't done that, please do so. And also feel free to leave a review on your podcast platform of choice. We love getting feedback and we need more of it, I think.


Chad (5m 49s):

Yeah. Always need good feedback. Shout out to progress kids. The US Soccer Federation announced Tuesday that it's offering the respective players unions for the men's and women's national team the same contract proposal. The decision reflects an effort to align the two senior national teams under a single collective bargaining agreement structure. And here's the big part pay structure, women and men getting paid the same, even though in this case, the women should actually probably get paid more.


Joel (6m 26s):

Yeah. One team is a little bit more accomplished than the other.


Chad (6m 29s):

Easily. Easily.


Joel (6m 31s):

And speaking of teams that are doing better than others, let's get a quick fantasy football update sponsored by our friends at Poach. Chad, you lost your number one spot, but it is only week two.


Chad (6m 45s):

I told you it's only downhill.


Joel (6m 46s):

The current number one, Pete, "don't call me douchey" Suchi is now. Number one, Miss Q kicked my ass last week and is in the number two spot. Chad, your number three, still respectable.


Chad (6m 60s):

I got bronze. I'm good.


Joel (7m 0s):

You got that bronze metal. We got "Breakin Benjamins" Kunze following you. We got Chris "got Gamecocks" after that, Christie "don't call me Jackie moon" follows him. Chris, "what do you mean? I can't draft Derek Jeter" Russell is out of the bottom spot. He's happy about that. I guess he whipped your ass this week man.


Chad (7m 22s):

It happens.


Joel (7m 24s):

Bill "football" Fanning is next. And I am near the caboose, but not quite at the bottom. The bottom is awarded to Jason Vorhees Putnam this week. Wow. That's your fantasy football update. Sorry to the internationalists who watched an entirely different football, but we're Americans dammit.


Chad (7m 44s):

I've been watching that football the entire time I've been here and it's glorious. My last shout out goes to four new podcasts who joined the Evergreen Podcast Network and the HR channel, the Recruitment Flex, Inclusive as fuck or Inclusive AF, the Hiring Partner Perspective and last but never least Talent Rebelcast. You can check all those out at evergreenpodcast.com and we've got some cool stuff coming your way very soon.


Joel (8m 15s):

That's a good lineup. In addition to the firing squad, I mentioned that we also released this week, the latest European episode, which featured our friend out of Sweden Elin and the recruiting robot. If you haven't listened to that, please check it out.


Chad (8m 30s):

Elin took she took a bashing because there were a lot of Sweden stories that she had to defend. So yeah, she did a great job and it was great to have her on, but it was not a great week for Sweden on Chad and Cheese.


Joel (8m 44s):

That is true. She, she carried a carry the load for them so to speak. this week birthdays, we got Jim Lowe listener to the show. Randall Emory, you like Karstens, Betsy Norris, Ava Zills favorite storyteller on social. Kevin Plantan ERE employee, who I don't know what he's doing now, but he's a friend of the show, Kelly Robinson Katrina Kibin, my step mom Glenda Cheeseman celebrates a birthday this week.


Chad (9m 15s):

Nice.


Joel (9m 15s):

Want to give her an applause and industry icon, John Sumser closes out our birthdays of the week. And with that


Chad (9m 27s):

Topics!


Joel (9m 30s):

Adzuna!


Chad (9m 32s):

Hello


Joel (9m 32s):

Big Chad and Cheese sponsor and UK based job aggregator Adzuna is planning to list on the London stock exchange with a valuation of up to a hundred million pounds. That's around $137 million in the US this is according to a report from British newspaper the Telegraph, pretty reputable. Adzuna was founded by our friends, Andrew Hunter, and Doug Monroe who still run the show, by the way, back in 2005. They operate in 16 separate countries and connect with hundreds of job sites to list around 12 million jobs each month. Oh, and they give you guys free beer every month. You lucky bastards. So Chad is your Robinhood account about to blow up with some British stocks.


Chad (10m 16s):

I'd like to say probably not yet. I've also got to give some credit to the AIM group for this story as well, where I found an awesome quote. So here's the quote "Adzuna has worked as a partner with the UK government on its find a job online job board, which played a vital role during the pandemic and with the office for national statistics ONS on labor market data use to track vacancies and to monitor the impact of the pandemic on the UK economy." So these types of moves, not only are they in 16 countries, but they're providing, you know, market labor data, which is exactly what we've seen Indeed do over the years.


Chad (10m 57s):

So I love seeing what they're doing instead of saying a buy or sell on this, I would like to ask you, Joel, would you rather buy Zip or Adzuna and why?


Joel (11m 9s):

Oh, well, one has a much bigger valuation and one is on the, you know, the NYC or NASDAQ and one, I'm not even sure I can get to with my Robinhood account, but anyway, probably man, you're going to put this on me. Yeah. I probably got to go Zip just from a brand recognition play from that. But I think, you know, to me, to me, the keyword here is timing, you know, 10 million job openings in the US as well as many millions more across the globe, which Adzuna is targeting. You mentioned Zip, their IPO was obviously not a epic failure.


Joel (11m 50s):

It's going to lead to more and more of these IPOs, which by the way, we're talking about on show, a few of them Adzuna has been growing globally. They opened up an office here in the US a couple of years back. They're leveraging our show to get sort of brand awareness in the states. And also back in 2015, they had a crowdfunding effort that raised $2 million from 500 investors giving up about 8% of the business. So some sort of liquidity event was bound to happen at some point, I think is largely in response to this initial public offering. 2005 this is one of the quiet success stories in our industry.


Joel (12m 31s):

These guys both came from Gumtree, a pretty successful company back in the day. So yeah, I'm gonna watch this carefully. And I think we have a Doug hopefully scheduled to be on the European podcast.


Chad (12m 45s):

Yes!


Joel (12m 45s):

We can kind of dig into this a little more here in the future, but yeah, Adzuna congrats sponsor of the show. We're glad to see that success.


Chad (12m 53s):

I think Adzuna is they're already more of a global player than Zip is out of the gate. And Zip needs to be more global Adzuna also has become a global player over the years without spending millions in commercial advertising. And we've talked about brand atrophy before. Right. So instead of growing something organically like Adzuna has, you can do something artificially, like Zip has and much like much like Indeed. And I mean, they've actually spent a lot of money. Now Indeed did grow organically first, but then they started just throwing a lot of cash at it. So I think overall, who has the best foothold right now? I think it's Adzuna. I mean, I think Zip is a great organization, but I think from a gross standpoint, looking at what Adzuna has been doing and how they've rolled out, it's been more organic.


Chad (13m 42s):

And I think they've got more of a longterm play unless Zip starts buying footprint in other countries. Then they start leapfrogging and they start winning.


Joel (13m 53s):

I think you've been in Europe too long. You're starting to sound like a European cheerleader. I love it. All right. Who'd you rather split on that one? Let's get to a Sterling, background check company. Sterling Check is launching its IPO today, as we record this show, Chad. So we've got to maybe check on that at the end, if they have actually gone public, which they probably haven't. At that point, it plans to list on the NASDAQ under the symbol S T E R. The NYC based company plans to raise $300 million from the sale of 14.3 million shares of its common stock at a price range of $20 to 22 for the 12 months ended June 30th, the firm's platform booked $545 million in revenue and conducted more than 75 million searches for more than 40,000 clients.


Joel (14m 43s):

Assuming a successful IPO at the mid point of the proposed price range, the company's enterprise value at IPO would be approximately $2.4 billion. Chad, are you buying this one? Yeah.


Chad (14m 57s):

We've talked about this on several podcasts. There is money in helping people scale and doing the boring shit. And Sterling does the boring shit. It's background checks, right? And they help scale background checks, which is scaling boring shit. Nobody wants to do the boring shit. So yes, definitely. Sterling is something I would buy because it's going to continue to happen. We're going to need background checks and at probably a much higher clip than what we have over the years, just because of all the hiring that needs to happen. Yeah.


Joel (15m 28s):

So we talked about Checkr a few weeks ago or last week. So Checkr is funded to the tune of a $4.6 billion valuation, which makes them more valuable than Sterling, which I say poppy cock English slang is lacking. So Sterling certainly actually bought the background check company that I worked for back in 2015. They also laid me off about six months later. So take that for what it's worth, but I know a little bit about these guys and they're fricking huge, a huge company. If you believe that brand awareness has value and brands have immense value. I mean, these guys really are the apex predator in the background check business.


Joel (16m 11s):

And I know we talk a lot about Checkr and how sexy that is, but once you get a background check company that you're happy with, like it's hard to leave and people like these sort of trusted names, they're not going anywhere. The market and the background check businesses estimated to be a 4.2 billion as of 2020 and is forecast to reach 6.4 billion by 2028. And Sterling is going to get a big chunk of that. So I agree with you. Like, I don't talk about buying shares of stock on the show very often, but if you're looking for something that's probably going to be pretty stable for the future, something that's probably going to pay some dividends at some point, like Sterling is in a really good position to be a pretty solid public company.


Joel (16m 56s):

So that one is pretty interesting and should lay the groundwork for Checkr to join the public markets at some point in the future, which we will undeniable talk about on this show. Yes,


Chad (17m 6s):

Of course.


Joel (17m 7s):

So let's talk about Freshworks, our last sort of IPO player, and they actually have gone public. So Freshworks whose software competes with Salesforce and others like Zendesk and helps companies manage hiring onboarding time off employee data and HR workflows in one place went public earlier this week and saw share spike 32% at the opening of their NASDAQ debut on Wednesday, they trade under the ticker symbol, F R S H that's so fresh isn't it? Was founded in India and moved to Silicon valley to be closer to its 52,000 customers.


Joel (17m 47s):

Chad, is this one to buy for you?


Chad (17m 49s):

This is a buy because it feels like a Google shadow company to be quite Frank. Google has a lot of money in it. They obviously see, you know, somewhat of a nemesis in Salesforce. So they're actually, they're using FreshWorks as a sale or as a thorn in SalesForce's side, or they're just running this as a shadow company. You know, I'm not really sure that Google will buy them just because of there's so much antitrust shit that's going on right now. But this feels like a Google shadow company. They moved to Silicon valley because that was where all their customers were. Bullshit. That's where your fucking that's where your major fucking funder was.


Joel (18m 28s):

Yeah. I mean, we've talked a lot over the years about how these big platforms, this sort of tag on an HR component because they have existing relationships for sales and whatever will make a dent in services that are more focused and it doesn't seem to, to happen in most cases, vendors are integrating with greenhouse and Jobvite not so much the likes of Salesforce or Zendesk. That said, they'll still take a big chunk of business just for convenience sake. If you're running my sales operation and my everything else, why not one at HR? You know, and I think there's something also be said, you mentioned the move to Silicon Valley, but this is really to me, an Indian success story.


Joel (19m 12s):

And I think it's a theme that we'll be talking about for the next 10 years as China becomes a political rival, hopefully not a military rival, we're going to empower and push more capital into the world's largest democracy. They still have a huge workforce in India. And yeah, I think it, if this was buy or sell, it's certainly something I'd look at. Being a Salesforce competitor is not necessarily the best place you want to be right now. But yeah, if you know, with Google's backing it certainly is a company worth watching.


Chad (19m 43s):

Yes it is.


Joel (19m 44s):

And speaking of companies worth watching, one that we watch on the fucking show every week is LinkedIn! You mentioned AIM group on a previous story and they were hot on this one as well.


Chad (19m 57s):

You gotta subscribe to those guys if you haven't. Yeah,


Joel (19m 59s):

For sure. For sure. It's well worth the money. They're probably the best global research on all things classified in the world. And I mean that. They don't give us any money whatsoever, although they do, they give us a complimentary subscription. So we'll disclose that anyway, LinkedIn has quietly gone live with a new gigs feature called services marketplace. Access from a grid button that opens quote "more LinkedIn services on the sale on the site's navigation bar. The feature showcases LinkedIn members who have provided, who provide freelance services and who have indicated on their profile, that they are open for business.


Joel (20m 40s):

The marketplace focuses on 16 categories of white collar work from accounting to writing. There are plenty of pros available because it's an extension and rebranding of a pre-existing platform called LinkedIn ProFinder," which we've also talked about on the show, "it's early days, but LinkedIn is obviously going after gig platforms like Fiverr and Upwork." Thoughts Chad?


Chad (21m 4s):

Yeah. I love the idea and it makes sense as Fiverr and Upwork revenues and valuations have skyrocketed during the pandemic, but, and you knew there was a, but coming, LinkedIn has to get their technical house in order before launching new shit. It was, it would be great if LinkedIn upgraded their old dusty ass tech, like, oh, I don't know, making sure that matching actually works in their system, you know, jobs against your profile rather than coming up with features that are supported by afore mentioned, dusty ass tech. And then sunset months later, like Stories. To me, I don't mind the throwing shit at the wall, but when you're doing it on a not so solid foundation, it just doesn't make sense.


Chad (21m 49s):

Get your house in order, get your tech tight, get smarter around your data and then start to put these things out. The problem is, I see this going away unfortunately. I think it's a great idea though.


Joel (22m 1s):

Jazz, not a fan. Yeah. LinkedIn's track record on this kind of stuff really sucks. Remember it's ATS? No, no one does. Is it even still around? I don't know. You mentioned Stories getting killed it's live video and events product is pretty average at best. It does however, have almost a billion users. So there are buyers there and they also have pricing power, which means they can pay freelancers more of a percentage of profits and they can charge buyers less if they want to. And people will move where money is and where money can be saved. It doesn't carry fees at this point, although it certainly will at some point.


Joel (22m 44s):

LinkedIn reportedly intends to implement fees along with a payments tool in the future. And I also am curious about GitHub's integration potentially with something like this, GitHub, which Microsoft also owns, could value greatly from GitHub professionals in the tech space, getting into this platform, which Upwork and Fiverr currently kind of have a strong hold on. So if they can adequately integrate some of the GitHub folks into this platform, I think it has a chance.


Chad (23m 16s):

The GitHub folks are about as anti LinkedIn as they come, but that's oil and water. So I don't see that happening at all. If GitHub wanted to do that separately, I think they have a better chance. And it's smart. Again. I think this idea is incredibly smart, but when you're building on shaky ground, it just makes no sense.


Joel (23m 36s):

The only thing GitHub users love more than they hate LinkedIn is money. So if they can make some money off of this, they'll do it. And speaking of money, let's take a quick break so we can pay some bills. And when we get back, we'll do a little of your favorites buy or sell.


Chad (23m 56s):

Money, money, money.


Joel (24m 2s):

All right. Yeah. We got a bunch of fricking companies to buy or sell. A little rapid fire buy or sell. All right. Let's, let's get to Clovers, Danny Clovers. Oh, that's the wrong Clover. Danny Glover's. Clovers.ai a video interviewing platform has raised $15 million in seed funding. The tech integrates with a number of ATSs, as well as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and the like. The company said funding will be used toward product development, talent, acquisition marketing. It looks like they're staying away from automation like the ones you see in solutions like Vervo and Paradox and will be taking on the likes of Hirevue, Vid Recruiter or Willo and SparkHire.


Joel (24m 42s):

Chad buy or sell?


Chad (24m 45s):

This type of tech is popping up all over the place but I believe the difference in whether a startup like this sinks or swims comes down to experience and discipline. Clover's CEO has experienced from HireVue and Cornerstone on Demand and held has held CRO roles prior. So, you know, sales is going to be a major driver plus the SVP of sales and VP of design are both from Cornerstone On Demand. So I like the experience, the connections and those connections to cash. So for me, this is a buy.


Joel (25m 25s):

Yeah, the founders are interesting in the issue to your commentary. The CEO of Comparably is in there as well as the former founder I think of Cornerstone On Demand as well. So I like the jockeys that are on this horse. The pandemic has made video more important and probably is not going away. So companies are going to be looking for options on the video front that maybe they weren't before. You're going to see people who hate HireVue. And there are quite a few who are looking for new options and Clover's is gonna gobble up. A lot of those people are looking for shiny new options.


Chad (25m 59s):