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Achtung HR Tech Vegas!


The boys are snapping necks and cashing checks this week from the HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas from the Fuel50 booth. After giving some much-deserved love appreciation to Friends of Chad & Cheese that we’re in attendance, the boys dig into the latest news from show sponsor Harri, covering the latest round of funding with the company’s CFO, who jumped in during the show. If that’s not enough for a shortened roadshow, the guys discuss takeaways from the conference and wonder why startups in certain parts of the country have a tough time with naming their companies. Oh yeah, and a breakdown of U2 at the Sphere goes down. It was a beautiful day, indeed.



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 snack. Buckle up, boys and girls. It's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast.


Joel: Oh, yeah. Recording live from the HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas from the Fuel50 booth. This is the Chad and Cheese Podcast...


Chad: This is tight.


Joel: Weekly show. I'm your... Yeah.


Chad: This is tight. [laughter]


Joel: I don't know what to do with my hands. I don't know. Alright. I'm your co-host, Joel the Edge Cheesman.


Chad: And this is Chad "I can't fucking believe we went to the Sphere last night" Sowash.


Joel: I know. That's exciting. And on this abbreviated episode of the Chad and Cheese Podcast, we're talking HR Tech Conference news and...


Chad: Stuff.


Joel: Interesting stuff.


Chad: Stuff.


Joel: We're talking Harri. Let's do this. So how are you feeling, man? Day two and a half, I guess?


Chad: Yeah. And I gotta say, it's hilarious because we come here and... I mean, HR Tech's HR Tech. You see the Startup Alley...


Joel: Yes it is.


Chad: You see the big names, companies getting funding, which we'll talk about. It's same as it ever was to some extent, but it's more exciting because of all the AI aspects of it.


Joel: Yeah, yeah.


Chad: And then we got lucky last night and scored some tickets for U2.


Joel: Yeah. Let's talk about us 'cause I feel like that's what our listeners wanna hear about. So this has been an incredible trip.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: I got a few shoutouts, thank yous. Plum is on the list.


Chad: Oh, hell yeah.


Joel: Sponsor of the show.


Chad: All you need is Plum baby.


Joel: Rhyme with Plum. All you need is Plum.


[vocalization]


Joel: They always do a great job of creating a theme around a promotion.


Chad: Tying shit together.


Joel: All you need is Plum. The Beatles love imagery...


Chad: That's amazing.


Joel: T-shirts, stickers.


Joel: Yellow submarine.


Joel: They went full-in.


Chad: Oh yeah.


Joel: Drinks before. So if you haven't done the Love at the Mirage, Cirque du Soleil show, if you love The Beatles, even if you don't, I think you're gonna know a lot of the songs no matter what.


Chad: Pro tip, pro tip, take a gummy before you go. Take a gummy, about 10 milligrams. It'll rock your world. Oh yeah.


Joel: Yeah?


Chad: Oh yeah.


Joel: Yeah. But you didn't do that. You're just...


Chad: I didn't. Julie did. But I did last night for U2. And that... So yes, pro tip.


Joel: Okay. Well, let's not jump ahead. So pro tip on the gummies, thanks. Not for the kids out there. Don't you...


Chad: Yeah, not these gummies.


Joel: Just say no, kids.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: So then last night, we get a, basically falls in our lap, tickets to the Sphere. If you don't know what this is, it's basically a huge digital ball in Vegas that has digital...


Chad: You said it earlier...


Joel: Animatronics...


Chad: It's the future...


Joel: Animation is the future.


Chad: It's Fifth Element shit.


Joel: So We get to go, to see U2 at the Sphere. Great Tickets, great seats. Paradox, another great sponsor, shoutout to them for hooking us up for that.


Chad: Amazing, amazing.


Joel: What were your thoughts on the Sphere, U2, all that? 'Cause I think we were both blown away by it.


Chad: Yeah. No, it was funny 'cause last week I was actually showing TikTok videos to my daughter...


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: Of the Sphere and I was like, "Isn't this the coolest thing ever?" and she was like, "Well, are you gonna go?" I'm like, "Sweetheart, I mean, tickets are like 1200 bucks. I doubt it."


Joel: Right.


Chad: Right?


Joel: Right.


Chad: And then last night we were on our way and I called her. I'm like, "We're going to the Sphere." [laughter] I felt like a little kid. But we got there. We were outside, not even inside the venue yet, and it is this humongous digital ball and it is just... I was awestruck. I took one picture. That's all I could do. I had to get inside. I got inside. It was really easy to get in. I was... It holds 18,000 people, this ball. It holds 18,000 people. We got in really easy. Got beers pretty quickly. And I mean, the experience in itself, as soon as, U2 got on stage, I've never been in such an immersive experience in my life. I believe this, in many cases, will replace that of what we've known as VR.


Joel: The arena show. Well, okay.


Chad: The arena show and VR too.


Joel: Okay. So you would go VR.


Chad: Yeah, yeah.


Joel: None of this in your living room experience. People are gonna wanna be here. AI cannot replace...


Chad: No.


Joel: What happened last night to us.


Chad: No. And they can't replace doing it with 18,000 of your closest friends. I mean...


Joel: Yeah. The energy can't be replicated.


Chad: And that's what it feels like. Oh, it was amazing.


Joel: Yeah. When you have... The intro to Streets Have No Name, how it just goes up, and then everyone starts jumping, boom, boom, boom. Yeah, you can't replace that with VR. So when I saw this thing getting built, I had no idea it was gonna be like this digital eyeball in the center of Vegas.


Chad: We saw it from the high roller from UNLEASH.


Joel: Yeah. I saw it getting built and I'm like...


Chad: It's just like this black ball.


Joel: Okay. It's 18,000 people. How are they gonna fill that? Because usually when it's Celine Dion at the whatever, it's like 5,000. It's pretty easy to fill. This was a big... I'm like, how are they gonna do that? Just 'cause it's a ball? Big deal. And then when I saw the digital thing, I thought, "Oh, that's really cool."


Chad: Yes.


Joel: And then you go in and we start seeing the TikToks of all the digital, just stimulation. I was blown away. It had like... It must've been like Romans going to the Coliseum for the first time.


Chad: Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Joel: That must've been what it was like.


Chad: The quality of the video though was...


Joel: And the sound...


Chad: Amazing.


Joel: There were scenes, and we don't wanna spoil it, but where like the Edge is on guitar and he's looking at the camera and you feel like every little nook and cranny of his face is there.


Chad: Literally, he looked like a true giant, almost like 3D. I mean, it was amazing.


Joel: Remember when the ceiling light looked like it was coming down?


Chad: It was coming down, yeah, like it was gonna crush us. Yeah, it was pretty fucking cool. Yeah. Anyway...


Joel: Yeah. I was telling you that there are a few episodes in my life where I thought that's the future, the internet, digital camera, smartphone. This was one of those moments. This is the future of entertainment. We talked about boxing fights, sporting matches...


Chad: Oh yeah. Football, yeah.


Joel: Obviously more music. This thing is gonna be in every major city. Big acts are gonna wanna play there, smaller acts. I guess the dome can be as big as you want. It could be 5,000 people if you want.


Chad: It could be. And it could be just aspects of like domed screen, right? 'Cause we're seeing Dallas Cowboys Stadium, for God's sakes, the whole fucking place is a screen anyway, right? This is just beyond that. And being able to integrate some of these technologies into it, I think that myself is where we're gonna see arenas going.


Joel: Yeah. Yeah. We don't make stock picks on the show, but it is a public company.


Chad: Oh, I'm picking this. I am picking this.


[laughter]


Joel: And when you lose your shirt, call Chad. Don't call me. Don't call me.


Chad: I said, I'm picking this. I didn't say anybody else should picked this.


Joel: I know.


[laughter]


Joel: So we mentioned Plum. We mentioned Paradox. A few other thank yous I wanted to mention. Our friend Omar at Job Pixels took us out for a great night. His wife is a saint.


Chad: Oh my God.


Joel: A baby that doesn't sleep. And then there's the baby. I'm talking about not Omar, but the actual baby. She's got her hands full. Shoutout to her. Keith Sonderling, friend of the show, four-time-now guest...


Chad: Yeah, amazing.


Joel: EOC, commissioner. Shoutout to him. He was at the show last night in the pit. I wanna know if he was wearing a suit.


Chad: No, I don't think he was.


Joel: Okay, no suit.


Chad: 'Cause he actually said he was gonna go change. I told him we got tickets and he's like, "Oh shit." And then he went and he found tickets.


Joel: He found tickets. Yeah, yeah. And Shane Gray was there last night. He was posting pictures. That was great.


Chad: Good time, good time.


Joel: Plum I said, Paradox, obviously. Shoutout to Rich Wilson, our friend at Gigged.AI.


Chad: Oh yeah.


Joel: Gave us some scotch. Gave me some scotch. We'll get to how I got that.


Chad: Kilted Yoga. [laughter]


Joel: Kilted Yoga. How deranged are our fans that they thought to bring a kilted, was it hot yoga or just yoga?


Chad: No, just kilted yoga.


Joel: Kilted yoga.


Chad: Just kilted yoga.


Joel: Yeah, yeah.


Chad: We're gonna do that. We're gonna do that in Scotland.


Joel: They know the audience. Yeah, we're gonna go to Scotland, drink some peated lovely golden liquid.


Chad: Nothing like doing downward dog in a kilt, in a kilt. Okay.


Joel: Underwear, optional, apparently, on some of that stuff. So shoutout to him. Also Joe Wilkie, who brought over some bourbon, which you were...


Chad: Yes, I got. Yes.


Joel: Able to keep because you're not the biggest scotch fan in the world. And really just some of our fans. Colleen DeGeorge...


Chad: Oh dude.


Joel: Loves us, and messaged both of us, I think, to just, belts and suspenders that she was gonna get in front of us. She came by. Chris Brevik, who we didn't know necessarily, he comes by, says hi. Dude's got a Chad and Cheese t-shirt on under his Oxford. He's incognito from his company. And he said, "Hey guys, I just wanna show you," he's got the shirt. So we got him on social media. We still have a few more hours here at the show. I'm sure we'll run into more people. But yeah...


Chad: Of course.


Joel: Love seeing old friends. But that list there for me was a special list of thank yous and shoutouts.


Chad: Yes, that's amazing. Shoutout to Loom for getting acquired.


Joel: Yeah. Let's get into some of the news here. Yeah.


Chad: Fucking, almost a billion dollars. [laughter] Who would have thought? Little Loom. I mean, seriously.


Joel: Little Loom.


Chad: Little Loom.


Joel: Little Loom.


Chad: A billion dollars.


Joel: Yeah. We had some people come over and say hi and talk about this. Talk about an un-Moatable business. They're saying like a case of Red Bulls and we could create Loom in about a weekend. So I'm not sure if that billion dollars... They must have one hell of a roster of clients that are using it or have some really interesting plans.


Chad: They've got great adoption though. I mean they've always... I think Loom... And again, to kind of like be first to the show gives you that advantage. And I would assume they've got a hell of a portfolio, not just from a Fortune 500 or Fortune 1000, Fortune 2000, but just dudes like you and I going and doing the transactional side of the house. So they've got the transactional, and then they've got the big account. So I would assume that they were worth it.


Joel: Yeah. They were one of the sort of... Everyone was talking about Zoom back in the pandemic and Loom was kind of quietly, were this remote demo, take customers through the product solution that I guess sort of flew under the radar until now when someone wrote a big check for them. So shoutout to Loom for sure.


Chad: Talking about big checks. Should we talk about a big check?


Joel: Big decks.


Chad: Oh yes.


Joel: Checks and decks, yes. Stay tuned for some great episodes from our time live here at the Fuel50 booth at HR Tech. I have a shoutout for Candidate.fyi, not candy-date. It's actual candidate, how you spell it with FYI. So these guys, it's an ex-Googler, and I know that the history of ex-Googlers creating companies in our industry aren't great, but these guys are creating... It's kind of a secret project, but they raised a pre-seed of $1.3 million, which isn't too shabby.


Chad: That's legit. Yeah.


Joel: Pretty legit. They're in invite-only mode. So if you're interested in checking it out everybody, you gotta go to...


Chad: That is always so sexy when they do that.


Joel: Yeah. People love the scarcity. They wanna get into the party. The velvet rope is always attractive to people. So Candidate.fyi, if you wanna go check that out. Apparently, it's creating experiences during the hiring and interviewing process, which sounds very Gen Z to me. I'm excited to see what the hell this thing is gonna be, but shoutout to creating some mystery.


Chad: Yeah. Who knows. It could be gerbils on a wheel for all the fuck we know.


Joel: Some mystery from an ex-Googler. Candidate.fyi, everybody. Should we get into some real new stories?


Chad: Yes. I wanna talk about money. Here's some money...


Joel: Let's talk about money. So the big story this week, Chad and Cheese sponsor, Harri, that's H-A-R-R-I, has raised 43...


Chad: Can I buy a vowel?


Joel: Yes, you can. You can buy a vowel. Vanna's been sick lately. I don't know if you've seen this.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: She's got the COVID. Well, that's what they're saying anyway.


Chad: That's not good.


Joel: She's been out a while.


Chad: That's not good.


Joel: Anyway, get well soon.


Chad: Yes. She's not a young buck.


Joel: Still hot 40 years later. [laughter] Alright. Yeah, no spring chicken. Okay, so our friends at Harri have raised $43 million in a Series B round. This brings total funding to $112.2 million.


Chad: Wait a minute, wait a minute. I think I see one of the... Is that Jack? I think that's the... Jack, come here. Come here, Jack. Wait a minute. We've got another...


Joel: This is the luxury of the live show, everybody.


Chad: Oh, this is amazing.


Joel: We get to just pull in...


Chad: Come on, take a seat, man. Take a seat.


Joel: Pull in high-profile, highly paid executives...


Chad: Look at that. I mean, look at his jacket for God's sake.


Joel: Randomly hanging out. So I could say the news, but why don't we hear it from you? What's going on at Harri with the release this week?


Jack: I'll keep it tight.


Chad: Keep it tight. [laughter]


Jack: Not a lot. Not a lot, actually. Yeah. No, we've got a lot going on in the platform, but we're excited to announce our Series B raise. We raised $43 million, fueling growth and super excited. So led by Atalaya Capital Management who's a credit-oriented fund and follow-on investment from Golub Growth, who's been a great partner for us. They were in our A round and now they're in our B round as well. So yeah, a lot of stuff going on, fully capitalized. Money, or cookies are in the bank, as we say. And yeah, we're super excited to let...


Chad: So what are you gonna spend that money on? Wait, what are we doing?


Joel: Hold on real quick.


Chad: What are we doing?


Joel: What's the valuation now?


[laughter]


Chad: Wait a minute.


Jack: So we're not disclosing valuation, not disclosing...


[music]


[laughter]


Jack: This is gotcha, right? No, we are... [laughter]


Joel: Have you heard our show?


Jack: Yeah, of course. No, we're excited. It's a nice up round for us, especially in this market...


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: To be able to announce an up round, not disclosing valuation, but again, with Atalaya, super excited for the partnership. They've got very deep pockets and are gonna continue to invest in us, we believe.


Chad: Amen. That sounds nice.


Joel: What are you gonna do? What are you gonna build? How many more people are you gonna hire? What geo-targeted...


[overlapping conversation]


Joel: World domination...


[overlapping conversation]


Chad: Are we taking over other countries? Yes, what's going on?


Jack: So the mantra for us is capital efficiency. So we're bringing in 43 million, but we're gonna be...


Joel: You must be the CFO, capital efficiency.


Jack: Smartly deploying that capital.


Joel: Let's put everyone to sleep.


Jack: Yeah. [laughter]


Joel: Capital efficiency.


Jack: If you've ever met a banker around here, they probably tell you the same thing. But we've been trying to avoid them. Yeah. So our platform particularly around talent acquisition is really well-bulletproofed. Workforce management, which is the second sort of product that we launched, has a little bit of work to go, so we're gonna deeply invest in that system of record, system of operations, contiguous data flow, all that costs money to build.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: Yep.


Jack: And so we're gonna continue to invest in the platform. Our go-to market team continues to scale. And as you guys know, I'm sure many other SaaS companies, particularly in the HR space, go-to market is challenging right now.


Chad: Yeah.


Jack: The deal cycles are taking longer. There's more decision makers at the table. And so we find that investing in go-to market...


Joel: Money's not free anymore, from what I hear.


Jack: Money is not free. And yeah, so when the decision is a five and a quarter T-bond or open up your wallet and invest in the companies, there's some real decision-making...


Chad: Yeah.


Jack: Process that goes into that. So, which is another reason why we're so thrilled to get this thing behind us. Markets are gonna continue to be crunched. Capital's gonna continue to be scarce. So yes, we're happy for it to be behind us, but companies who are coming to market now, they're gonna have some challenges, we think.


Chad: How many countries are you guys in right now?


Jack: So we primarily operate in the US and the UK. When customers pull us into more markets, we'll go with them. So we're across, I think, 25 countries now.


Chad: Is that the expansion? I mean, is that the expansion strategy? Because as you get those bigger clients, they're gonna drag you into...


Jack: That's exactly right, yeah.


Chad: Yeah.


Jack: So the large enterprise system tends to be concentrated in one country, but then they'll pull throughout.


Chad: Yeah.


Jack: Especially the franchise space that we operate in and large hotel chains, so Radisson for example, have pulled us across mainland Europe. And we're exploring things in APAC. APAC is very difficult to do business in in some of the countries. And so we...


Chad: Can't imagine.


Joel: It'll get easier with all the peace time...


Jack: Yeah. Sure, sure, sure, sure.


Joel: That's all going around.


Jack: Yeah. There's nothing going on over there right now, but we try to move with our customers. So that's regional expansion. Vertical expansion's sort of the same. We're not actively approaching new verticals, but if verticals come to us and are interested in taking our product with very limited new dev...


Chad: Yeah.


Jack: We're happy to engage in those conversations.


Chad: So focused.


Jack: Exactly right. Yes.


Joel: So, you mentioned Radisson, your press release talks about McDonald's, Subway. For those out there that don't exactly know what Harri does, what are you doing for a McDonald's or a Subway?


Jack: So our elevator pitch is we are the end-to-end human experience platform focused on the frontline worker and vertically focused in the hospitality industry. Hospitality for us means restaurants and hotels primarily.


Joel: Yep.


Chad: And so for McDonald's, for example, we're gonna be their workforce management system and we will... Time and attendance, scheduling and compliance is big in our industry.


Joel: Sure.


Chad: Oh yeah.


Jack: So we have a layer of compliance that weaves through both talent acquisition and workforce management that helps our clients defray the risk of significant litigation and regulatory risk.


Joel: And will the new money, the new funding, will you expand that? Will you look at healthcare, any of those other sort of high frequency?


Chad: He said focused.


[laughter]


Joel: Well, I'm just poking the bear to see...


Jack: Making sure we're listening. The healthcare industry right now, it's a buzzword...


Joel: Yep.


Jack: Particularly in SaaS. We believe hospital, healthcare, and acute healthcare is a very difficult market to operate in.


Chad: Yeah.


Jack: And we're not necessarily interested in expanding there. Non-hospital, non-acute healthcare, nursing homes and things along those lines, we're exploring and dipping our toes in. We're not interested in big bang vertical expansion. We go into a vertical very focused...


Chad: Yeah.


Jack: Ensure that we can actually operate there...


Chad: Nice.


Chad: And there's not regulation that we don't know about, and then we'll double down. So some of the money will likely eventually go into new vertical expansion, but smartly focused deliberately.


Joel: No banging, Chad. No big banging...


Chad: No big banging.


Joel: Is what I'm hearing.


Chad: I don't know.


Joel: What else do you wanna say about Harri or what's going on with the funding? Are you looking for more money? Is the IPO coming? What breaking news do you wanna drop on us today?


Jack: Let us pop the corks first, please. So we closed our round on Friday. We announced it on Tuesday of this week, as you guys know. So we have no plans to raise additional capital at this point. We're gonna take that 43 very deliberately invested, and at some point in the future, perhaps there's an opportunity for additional liquidity or capital market transactions. But we're gonna enjoy it for now at least. I mean, we're in Vegas, so yeah.


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: Yeah. So you're gonna throw some on the blackjack table is what I'm hearing.


Jack: That's right. Well, if you put it... Yeah. If we double up quick, then we'll never have to come back, right?


Chad: Then it'd be fun, yes.


Jack: But as a fiduciary, of course, we're not doing that.


[laughter]


Joel: He's good. He's good. He needs to be on the mic more often.


Jack: We do, we do.


Joel: Fiduciary, capital efficiency.


Jack: Yeah, too many buzzwords. If you walk around here long enough, you'll hear them all. [laughter]


Joel: He's sexy. He's sexy.


S?: Unfortunately, Jack's not a...


Joel: More big bang, less capital efficiency. For our listeners who wanna know more about Harri or the raise, where do you send them?


Jack: Harri.com or reach out to us directly on any of our social platforms.


Chad: Excellent.


Joel: And that is H-A-R-R-I...


Jack: Correct.


Joel: Not Y dot com.


Jack: Yes.


Chad: And it's busy for you. I know you've got all this money coming in. You've got all these people who wanna talk to you. We appreciate you stopping by...


Jack: Yeah.


Chad: And actually taking a little time with us.


Jack: Of course.


Joel: Too much money's better than not enough money. Right?


[laughter]


Jack: That's right.


Joel: As a fiduciary.


Jack: Exactly right. I appreciate it, guys. Thanks for your time.


Joel: Alright, man. Get out of here. Enjoy the show. Go make some more money.


Chad: Later, dude.


Joel: What a nice guy.


Chad: I know.


Joel: The British companies always have such nice...


Chad: They do.


Joel: Cerebral folks that always like... It's the Scots that we have to worry about. The Scots are the ones that...


Chad: Oh, they're the ones we have to worry about.


Joel: Drag it down.


Chad: I don't know about that. Okay.


Joel: Thank God. Okay. So that's Harri. Do you wanna take a quick break?


Chad: Yep.


Joel: Maybe hydrate a little bit?


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: And we'll come back and talk about some more news from the industry at HR Tech, Fuel50 booth. We are back here from HR Tech live.


Chad: Oh, I need some water.


Joel: Day two and a half.


Chad: Need water.


Joel: We're dragging a little bit. Dragging a little bit. Now, there's no rest for us because we head out to Europe when we get home for the UNLEASH...


Chad: Ooh, yeah.


Joel: In Paris. Somebody...


Chad: Everybody feels so bad for us right now.


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: "Oh, they're turnaround. Oh, they're going to Paris."


Joel: "Oh, Portugal."


Chad: "Oh." Yeah. I don't know.


Joel: "Oh, Switzerland pit stops. Oh my... "


Chad: We do this for you, people.


Joel: Yes.


Chad: We do this for you.


Joel: All the wine is for you. Our death by liver pollution is all to you, people.


Chad: Amen. Amen.


Joel: To you, people. Okay. So I had a news item from the Shred. By the way, the Shred was loaded this week.


Chad: Really?


Joel: Loaded with a lot of like one million, two million...


Chad: Like your nachos are usually? [laughter]


Joel: That's good. That's not bad. That's not bad. And my potatoes, by the way.


Chad: Oh, yeah, loaded potatoes. Yeah.


Joel: And my soups and... Yeah, pretty much everything I like loaded. But yeah, if you haven't listened to the Shred, it's only subscribers to the podcast. You can only listen to it on a...


Chad: Yeah. You don't have to pay for it. You don't have to pay for it.


Joel: Platform, podcast platform. You don't have to pay for it.


Chad: No.


Joel: But anyway, a lot of news this week, a lot of funding and whatnot, but one that stood out to me, and I'm gonna withhold the name...


Chad: Okay.


Joel: 'Cause I really just wanna talk about the name, but the news is pretty significant to resist.


Chad: Okay, go ahead.


Joel: So this is a Middle East company, which we don't talk about very often.


Chad: No.


Joel: They closed a $30 million Series A funding round, marking the largest Series A investment for a software as a service company in the Middle East, which I think is pretty significant.


Chad: Okay. They've got money over there.


Joel: So they provide HR tech solutions such as recruitment, management and payroll processing, pretty much one of those platform to rule them all.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: They have over 3,000 clients. They've been around since 2016 and have about 200 employees. Now, that's pretty cool news.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: But I wanna talk about their name.


Chad: Okay.


Joel: Their name is Jisr. J-I-S-R.


Chad: Oh.


Joel: Who is making these company names like Spits and Jisr?


[laughter]


Joel: When they come to the US, how hard is that for salespeople to say, "Hi, this is Joe from Jisr"?


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: "I'm sorry, what?"


Chad: Yeah, yeah. "Excuse me?"


Joel: "Jisr?"


Chad: "Excuse me?"


Joel: "Jisr."


Chad: "Excuse me?"


Joel: "Jisr."


Chad: "Jisr. What?"


Joel: "I'm sorry."


Chad: No.


Joel: "We don't want any." "What?"


[laughter]


Joel: Anyway, so big news... The Middle East obviously is a hot zone.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: We obviously would love to see companies, more capitalism, more commerce, more...


Chad: Yep.


Joel: More capital flow into the Middle East. This is a great story not just for companies in the Middle East, but the fact that this is a human capital company...


Chad: Yes.


Joel: In the vein of like, maybe an Andela, HiBob, et cetera. The Middle East is an interesting place to be.


Chad: Oh, yeah.


Joel: And this funding round certainly showcases that.


Chad: So much news, man. So much news.


Joel: "This is Chad with Jisr. How are you?"


Chad: Oh, God. Ugh.


[laughter]


Chad: I just don't get it.


Joel: I don't get it either.


Chad: I just don't get it.


Joel: The names of these companies. Names of these companies.


Chad: Anyway, moving on. Jesus.


Joel: Yes, yes. What else do you wanna talk about?


Chad: We really didn't get a chance because we've been here in the Fuel50 booth...


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: Doing some pretty amazing interviews. I was very surprised, let's just say that.


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: Because usually, we'll get interviews that are thrown at us and we have to kinda like... We have to do a lot of work to make them good interviews. Not this time. I mean, Fuel50 gave us some really good, I mean, good people to talk to.


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: So we're gonna be having some of those and they're like 15 to 20-minute podcast episodes that are gonna be coming out over the next few months. Look for those.


Joel: And the topics are a variety of...


Chad: Oh, very much.


Joel: Specifics, EOC, AI, big data. We had capital people that are giving money to these companies, writing checks.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: So it was a really nice variety of interviews that we did...


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: This week. I wanna talk a little bit about some of the conversations we've had with some of the head, the higher-ups at some of these companies. One in particular, and we won't mention names, was really painting a dark dire picture for towards the end of October.


[laughter]


Chad: That's because he was around during 2007. I'm not, I'm not.


Joel: Don't give it away. You're gonna give too many clues...


Chad: He's been around since...


Joel: To who said this.


Chad: 2007.


Joel: Which makes his opinion...


Chad: Yes.


Joel: Have some weight.


Chad: Important.


Joel: Yes.


Chad: Important.


Joel: Do...


Chad: Indicators.


Joel: Are you seeing... Are you envisioning some dark days ahead? Do you think that's a little bit of hyperbole? What's your take?


Chad: I think any founder who is not thinking that there are dark days ahead is one that's gonna spend way too much fucking money. Right?


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: And right now, from what we're seeing, and what I'm actually hearing from founders around check writers is they're actually writing checks now...


Joel: Yep.


Chad: Is that Q4 is starting to open up, it's starting to kinda like they've opened up the wall a little bit more.


Joel: Yep.


Chad: And I think what's happened is that we've heard in the news all this, "Hard times are coming, get ready."


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: Recession, recession, recession. And everybody just... They just tighten up, right?


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: Everybody tightens up. And then they're not spending money. Now, since it hasn't happened, the Fed has done a goddamn good job, right? I wish we had more tools...


Joel: Yesh.


Chad: Than just raising fucking interest rates. But other than that, they've done a good job. And now I feel like fourth quarter's coming around, there's still money to be spent. There's still money to be spent.


Joel: Yes.


Chad: Fans everywhere. Fans everywhere.


Joel: Yeah. It's warm and fuzzy here at the... This is why we love to travel. This will never be replaced by VR either. One of the things here from the show that I wanted to talk about in terms of negativity on the show...


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: Is a lack of buyers, a lack of people who are looking to buy...


Chad: Are they here?


Joel: Yeah, at the conference.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: I guess we're talking about HR Tech in this segment of The Weekly Show. But if there's one negative... And I would say that we both agree that it's a good crowd. Traffic's been steady. I don't know if it's pre-pandemic levels at this point...


Chad: Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Joel: But clearly, things are loosening up. There are buyers here, but it doesn't seem like there are enough of them. One of the creative ideas, and I gotta give credit to our boy, Evan, your friend Evan, Mr. PR whiz, is that they should have a scholarship. HR Tech should have a scholarship where we're gonna bring buyers, we're gonna bring people that write checks, we're gonna pay for their flight, we're gonna pay for their hotel and we're gonna get you, the vendor, more people who are buying products and services as opposed to more or less being a partnership, a raise money, a sell the company kind of show. Should it be more of a buyer show?


Chad: I personally don't think so. One of the reasons why I like HR Tech is I know what it is, right?


Joel: Yep.


Chad: The animal that it is is strategic alliances driving revenue, not just direct to brands, and then also investors, right?


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: I think that's really the wheelhouse for HR Tech. There are some practitioners here, there's no question, but the big focus is technology and making those deals and making those revenue-generating deals that, again, aren't all direct to employers. So I think every event who wants to be all things to everybody is nothing to anyone, right?


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: So I think HR Tech is... They're doing well what they do well. If you want practitioners, you're gonna go to UNLEASH, which will be next week, right? If you want practitioners in teams and learning events and all day, all-hands meeting type, you go to RecFest, right? They're different animals.


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: So yeah, I don't agree with that personally.


Joel: I do think saying that though, the content from what I've seen covers everybody. It's not like the sessions are, how to build an API into whatever, or how to get more traffic to your SaaS company.


Chad: Yeah. Yeah.


Joel: So if you are a decision maker, a buyer, a practitioner out there, I do think there's a credible value. Not... I mean, just the content alone. But also, you should know about these companies. You should know about the technologies that are here because there are some really cool technologies...


Chad: They're really a lot.


Joel: Really cool experiences. So I know we have a lot of practitioners who listen to our show. HR Tech should be on your radar for sure. Don't just stick with the sherms and don't just stick with...


Chad: I do agree. And I think to some extent you can kind of like fly under the radar because most of the companies who've been here, most of the vendors who've been here understand the animal of HR tech, right?


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: And then as a practitioner, you can come in and you can learn, and there's not as much kind of like pressure on you. "Are you a check writer? Are you a check writer?" You know what I mean?


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: Because the whole intent of the team that they send isn't really focused on sales to direct employers.


Joel: Yeah. And I think it's a lesson for... You and I love the Startup Alley or whatever the hell they call it. This is a kiosk. You get a little bit of real estate. But these are the most energetic, passionate, excited companies out there. I think maybe they come to the show thinking we're gonna sell a bunch of stuff. And you need to pivot your expectation. This isn't a, we're gonna sell 50 grand of stuff. This is a, you're gonna get your name out there in the community. You're gonna build relationships and integrations with companies. So maybe that's where a lot of the pushback comes. The old veterans, the Paradoxes, the iCIMS...


Chad: Oh, they know. Oh, they know.


Joel: They know that they're not gonna get a huge ROI. They're gonna build brand and touch base with people...


Chad: Exactly.


Joel: And a great time to do that in a place like Vegas. Long story short, we're gonna keep coming back...


Chad: Oh fuck, yeah. Fuck, yeah.


Joel: To this conference because we love it so damn much.


Chad: And again, thanks to Fuel50 for allowing us to crash, gave us a nice place. Look at these comfy chairs. I mean, it's good time.


Joel: I need a comfy chair, Chad.


Chad: You do need a comfy chair.


Joel: My ass needs a comfy chair.


Chad: You're so spoiled, so fucking spoiled, I swear.


[laughter]


Joel: Alright. So we're... Paris, if you're listening to the show and you're gonna be in Paris, we'll be at the Textkernel booth doing just this. Come by and say hi. Bring us goodies, whatever. My wife is joining me and she loves chocolates. She loves the European chocolates. So feel free to drop some of those by. But otherwise, no rest for the wicked. You and I are headed out to the airport today. I get like a few hours of sleep and then we turn around and head out to Europe.


Chad: And I've just been informed we have two more interviews. So we have to wrap this up and get back kids, 'cause you love this shit.


Joel: And the good news is this will fill all our stuff staff for the holidays. So I can catch up on all my naps over the holidays.


[laughter]


Chad: Like he's ever missed a nap.


Joel: Yeah, never missed a nap. Chad, this has been a fun week. I'm excited for Paris, but this has been great. Another one in the can.


S?: We out.


Outro: Wow. Look at you. You made it through an entire episode of the Chad and Cheese Podcast, or maybe you cheated and fast-forwarded to the end. Either way, there's no doubt you wish you had that time back, valuable time you could have used to buy a nutritious meal at Taco Bell, enjoy a pour of your favorite whiskey, or just watch big booty Latinas and bug fights on TikTok. No, you hung out with these two chuckleheads instead. Now go take a shower and wash off all the guilt, but save some soap because you'll be back like an awful train wreck, you can't look took away. And like Chad's favorite western, you can't quit them either. We out.

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