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Disability Solutions

Adzuna & TextKernel Devour

While Joel wanders the Canadian plains petting Moose and trying to convince Canadian geese to stay in Canada we are honored to have Jenny Cotie Kangas, aka JCK, stepping into the guest host slot and on this week's show EUROPE is HUNGRY as both TextKernel and Adzuna gobble up market share, the world will soon be over now that Google's version of Skynet is ALIVE, Microsoft is kinder and gentler and who knew business coaching was so damned important? CoachHub that's knew?

Strap-in kids it's gonna be a bumpy ride.


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.

Chad (23s):

Welcome to the Chad and Cheese, HR's most dangerous podcast. I'm Chad "water makes you weak" Sowash

Jenny (30s):

And I'm Jenny "it's not Cheeseman" Cotie Kangas.

Chad (34s):

And on this week's show, Europe is hungry. The world will soon be over now that Google's version of Skynet is alive. Microsoft is kinder and gentler, and who knew business coaching was so damned important? Who knew? Strap in kids, this is going to be a bumpy ride.

sfx (53s):

What did you say? You need a water break. You need a water break. What is for cowards? Water makes you weak. Water is for washing blood off that uniform and you don't get no blood on my uniform. Boy, you must be outside your mind.

Chad (1m 8s):

All right, Jenny, while Joel wanders the Canadian Plains, petting moose and trying to convince Canadian geese to stay in Canada. We are honored to have Jenny Cotie Kangas, AKA JCK, stepping into the guest host position this week. Give it up for JCK. Welcome back.

Jenny (1m 31s):

Thank you. I'm so excited to be here. It's always a pleasure to have conversations with you and I hope I can fill Joel's shoes.

Chad (1m 38s):

Say more about me. Don't worry about Joel. For anybody who hadn't heard you on Chad and Cheese before. Give us a little Twitter bio who is JCK.

Jenny (1m 49s):

Sure. So I am an HR tech practitioner, HR industry practitioner. Who's been in the space for several years and March of 2020. I hit my head and had to relearn everything over again. And so it's allowed me to look at the space a little bit differently, sometimes a little bit more candidly than others.

Chad (2m 9s):

You've called that a blank slate before to you. How has that helped? To me it would clean out some damn clutter, that's for sure. But for you, how do you think that's helped?

Jenny (2m 20s):

So I think the biggest way that it's helped, honestly, Chad is what worked before 2020 doesn't work today. And so I lost my design bias for what good looks like and could really just look at what was going on in the current moment.

Chad (2m 33s):


Jenny (2m 33s):

Be able to get crystal clear on what that was and then reverse engineer to go solve for it. And I did so without having those, I guess, preconceived notions of again, what success looked like and the war for talent and what historically has worked hasn't. It's allowed me to help get it right.

Chad (2m 50s):

It's refreshing to speak with you because you don't have that bias of decades and you start the design process from now. And you look at what's in front of us, as opposed to what's behind us and at your last company, watching some of the tech, some of the processes that you've actually built with some of the vendors in the space is incredibly refreshing and to be quite Frank rejuvenating. So we are very happy to have you on the show.

Jenny (3m 18s):

Well, thank you. And now today I have, as Matt Charney has said, joined the dark side and have moved over to the vendor side from being a practitioner. And I joined an assessment company, which is kind of ironic because I have despised assessments my entire career, but came across one that was universally designed and the process was so incredible. I couldn't just endorse it. I had to go help tell its story. So I am the VP of marketing at Quip.

Chad (3m 45s):

Awesome. Well, that's my friends. If you want to learn more, you can go to LinkedIn connect with JCK. I'm sure she'd be more than happy to connect with you, but we need to move on because it's time for shout outs. So being the guest, you get the first shout out. Who do you want to give a shout out to?

Jenny (4m 1s):

Absolutely. It's my first shout out is going to go to the Plum team. We spent last week in Waterloo, Ontario.

Chad (4m 8s):

Wait a minute. Did you guys meet up with Joel and I wasn't there?

Jenny (4m 11s):

Yeah, we were. We were feeding geese. You didn't get the memo?

Chad (4m 15s):

I'm probably not allowed in Canada. That's the problem?

Jenny (4m 19s):

Well, most people weren't allowed in Canada, which is probably the problem because the Toronto airport was quite a experience, but it was also reminder of the raging talent war that we are experiencing. But the shout out goes to the Plum team. We spent the week, like I said, in Waterloo, Ontario. The first day that we all spent together was actually at a camp, a YMCA camp. And again, with my head injury I've had to relearn everything over again. And so I got to throw a Frisbee, shoot a bow and, arrow, go on a ropes course where I figured out that I'm actually not afraid of heights, which is pretty cool. And it was just awesome. And it was so great to be able to meet the team in person.

Chad (4m 56s):

Awesome. We get a chance after being locked in to finally get out. And this is a new team, of course, but still getting a chance to get out there and meet the new team. My first shout out goes to Robot-Proof Recruiter, Version II by our friend and my birthday twin, Katrina Collier. That's right kids in a world of RPA, AI, ML, NLP, and a bunch of other scary ass acronyms, how can you as a recruiter or manager evolve? I am personally truly humbled that Katrina asked me to write the forward. So check it out. You can, pre-order it wherever you buy books again, the Robot Proof Recruiter, the newest version is coming out, you can get your pre-order soon.

Chad (5m 41s):

As a matter of fact, it's kind of funny because Talk Push's, CEO, Max Armbruster, he said on LinkedIn this morning that with every purchase of a Talk Push platform are probably more like a recruiter seat, he will include a copy of the Robot-Proof Recruiter Version II. That kids is a damn smart play, knowing that they play in the RPA and AI space.

Jenny (6m 7s):

I love that. I am absolutely adding that one to my must get to list.

Chad (6m 10s):

Who else you got?

Jenny (6m 11s):

Oh, I have a shout out to Alexa. Chad. I hired an Alexa for the summer.

Chad (6m 17s):

Oh, you don't hire an Alexa. You buy Alexa that, what are you talking about?

Jenny (6m 22s):

Well, my nanny for the summer, Chad, her name is Alexa. And so Ms. Alexa has started this week at the Cotie Kangas household, with my three kiddos and two bonus kids and God bless her. She's incredible. And I'm so incredibly thankful to her. And so the first shout out goes to the non robot, Alexa.

Chad (6m 45s):

I was going to ask that I was going to ask if, if this was also like a robot version, kind of like Flippy? Next shout out, goes to the Yard Jockeys podcast. Yeah. That's a weird name. It's actually a pretty awesome podcast. We got on, Joel and I got on, and we are talking specifically about their niche, which is trucking and really around brand of trucking in the trucking industry, how it's changed so dramatically and what trucking needs to do to try to pretty much get their groove back. So check that out. It's on the Yard Jockeys podcast, we're going to republish it on Chad and Cheese in the weeks coming, but until then you can check it out on Yard Jockeys.

Jenny (7m 28s):

That is awesome. And honestly, for those of you who may be newer to the talent acquisition space, trucking recruiting is one of the hardest or driver recruiting is one of the hardest types of recruiting to do because those individuals don't typically hold a traditional resume. And so you've got to get at them very, very differently, kind of like stylists. And so Jake, Jacob Kramer is somebody who's in that space and he's incredible at that world, but it's a very interesting thing. I will definitely be listening to that, that episode Chad. That's awesome.

Chad (7m 56s):

Thank you. And your last and final shout out.

Jenny (7m 59s):

My last shout out goes to the team at the Minneapolis WeWork. They were absolutely incredible and helped me get into an office, very last minute because I was downtown for a meeting and the team there shared with me that they have a free all access code for the month of June. So if anybody here is listening and has children who may be home for summer and maybe it's working from the house is not quite going so great. Go visit, sign up for the all access membership and enter the code all access 100 in the provided promo code, which will give you free access for the remainder of June.

Chad (8m 42s):

My last shout out is a little somber.

sfx (8m 46s):

Taps bugle

Chad (8m 46s):

That's right, kids it's been announced that is shutting down. The site run by Richard Bronson was focused on connecting great companies that offer second chance jobs for people with criminal records. We're always talking about how we want to give people second chances and then initiatives focused on facilitating this, can't get traction. So I believe this is once again, we need companies to actually stand up and support as opposed to just talk about all the time.

Jenny (9m 21s):

That is unfortunate. I just was pulling them up to get a little bit more conTextkernelt on them and you're right, Chad, we need to do better at bringing in, you know, maybe groups that we haven't historically brought into the talent acquisition process, right. And making sure that they've got equal playing fields to be able to enter into our organizations. And so to see a company like this, that's going over, it's definitely a big bummer and it's going to leave a hole here and in the industry. So we'll be looking, to some of you other companies and job boards that may be listening, to pay attention to this and see if there's ways that you can try to incorporate some of this into your product offering, because there's definitely going to be a hole in the market.

Chad (9m 60s):

Yeah, no question. And you've got to remember 25% of the incarcerated individuals, is here in the United States. We have more people in prison than any where else in the world per capita.

sfx (10m 14s):


Chad (10m 15s):

Which means again, second chances and having an opportunity to have a great pipeline of people who really want to do work. Last, but not least events kids. RecFest, July 7th at Knebworth Park. We're really excited to be emceeing the Disrupt Stage, which is the technology stage and my major tasks that day, JCK is actually to keep Joel from getting too drunk because we have to wrap up the day on stage. So he has to be, you know, intelligible. That's going to be, it's gonna be a little bit harder than normal.

Jenny (10m 50s):

Well, Chad, may the odds be ever in your favor, my friend.

Chad (10m 54s):

Yeah. I can only hope I can only hope. Luckily we don't have a bar in the tent this year. So that's actually good for me.

Jenny (11m 4s):

And if you haven't gotten your tickets to RecFest, make sure to absolutely do it. It's going to be an incredible show. I believe it's the largest open air conference, right? Chad?

Chad (11m 14s):

It's big. Not to mention, they only have so many tickets. That you always hear this it's open air, but seriously Knebworth Park, they're very strict about how many people they actually allow into their venue. So if you haven't got a ticket, especially if you're in London, go get your ticket today. And on to TOPICS! You might've heard about this JCK but Textkernel acquires Akyla, not Akira from the, for you animate fans out there. Akyla. This is from the press release: "Akyla marks the second step in the international buy and build strategy of Textkernel.

Chad (11m 57s):

Textkernel has been hungry since teaming up with strategic software investor Main Capital Partners in October of 2020. Last year, Textkernel acquired a US-based competitor" and friends of the show "Soveren to solidify the group's position as global market leader in the AI driven parsing and search and match technology. Akyla offers two innovative solutions that assist customers with admin processes involved in the management of flex workers, including onboarding, hourly registration, time interpretation, digital signing, and vendor management. Together, Akyla and Textkernel served a combined customer base of more than 2,500 organizations, including staffing organizations, pay rollers, corporates, job boards, HR solution providers, and other participants in the broader HR market."

Chad (12m 58s):

So JCK, Textkernel is a parsing and matching monolith, especially after the Sovren acquisition. So why buy Akyla?

Jenny (13m 5s):

Why buy Akyla? Because you're trying to take over the world in this space. You know, I think honestly, when I look at, it's Akyla has got a couple of different pieces that Textkernel didn't. And if you're looking at building a very robust offering, especially in terms of like the tech that you've got, I think this is a really smart partnership. I will say though, I was a little bummed. So Gerard, he was the CEO of Textkernel. I would highly recommend that you make your website accessible for the US because the screen reading functionality was not able to be accessed on that one. And so I had to parse it to a Speechify, and then listen to it, but, and that's just post head injury, I listen to all of my content.

Jenny (13m 50s):

But just as a heads up so I was my only bummer on that one, but in regards to Akyla, yeah, I think it's, you know, what do you think, Chad, this is, this is a world that you are very well. What do you see them acquiring with Akyla that they did not have otherwise?

Chad (14m 7s):

Well, I mean, Textkernel already powers staffing back end technology solutions. And now with Akyla, Textkernel's offering is just more powerful not to mention it's brilliant from a wallet share play. So if you think about, let's say for instance, from a staffing standpoint, Textkernel powering the parsing and search and match of a lot of those backend systems, but they also see that there are these other issues, these other problems that this acquisition could perspectively, you know, bridge the gap of. If they can sell that into their current clients. You have better retention, not to mention you start to gain more wallet share. And we always talk about it on the podcast staffing, it's recruiting as a business where talent acquisition is recruiting as a job, right?

Chad (14m 55s):

So in going straight after staffing with these types of products, you have a much better opportunity for traction in the market, which means revenue growth. So I think it's incredibly smart not to mention after being tied to the boat anchor CareerBuilder, and heading over to Main Capital, they've really been focused on better US penetration, which is a huge pot of cash. And again, global wallet share initiatives.

Jenny (15m 21s):

Absolutely. And I think one of the things too is, you know, when they're looking at, if you've got resumes, who's got parsing, if you've got some that AI, right? Like you also have an opportunity to have some pretty good analytics, right.

Chad (15m 35s):


Jenny (15m 35s):

And having predictive analytics in terms of where there might be issues in an organization, and then being able to on the flip side, be able to offer up the solutions for that right Chad?

Chad (15m 45s):


Jenny (15m 45s):

Like, that's a game changer! Because if I could red yellow, green, what's going on in my organization and be able to know that like, Hey, you've got something coming on your radar that you might not be aware of. That's very important data. So very exciting.

Chad (15m 59s):

Little stuff from the rumor mill here, speaking of being tied to the CareerBuilder boat anchor, the rumor mill actually says that Broadbean was in the final stages of sale to StepStone AKA Outcast and that deal was slowed down. It might even be dead right now because of the uncertainty that's happening in Ukraine. So it's interesting, CareerBuilder trying to sell off Broadbean. We knew that that was happening. The rumor mill says StepStone was in and then the world's shifted and it looks like that whole business is not going to happen.

Chad (16m 40s):

So once again, a little scoop, a little rumor from the Chad and Cheese podcast. You ready to move on?

Jenny (16m 49s):

Absolutely. What do we got next?

Chad (16m 51s):

Europe is hungry, they are getting funding. They are acquiring things. It's amazing Adzuna acquires GetWork. So here's from the Aim Group article. "This acquisition will help Adzuna grow further in North America because GetWork is an established brand are already working with around 50 fortune 100 companies and has a team of skilled job search experts. It indexes millions of verified jobs each day directly from tens of thousands of employer career sites. GetWork was spun out of Minneapolis based job market data company LinkedUp just a year ago.

Chad (17m 31s):

The business has been connecting job seekers with employers for over 20 years." Get work is led by its president, Brad Squibb, and we'll work alongside add soon as 100 strong team. Adzuna said "the acquisition will combine the enterprise focus of GetWork with the international reach and programmatic and technical expertise of Adzuna to create an effective offering for job seekers globally." Adzuna added 17 people to their head count with this acquisition. So is this a pure play consolidation, do you think? Or is this mainly US penetration?

Jenny (18m 6s):

You know, I think it's a little bit of both, so definitely the US penetration, but one of the great things that, you know, you've got with with GetWork is they've got some, I mean, they've gleaned some interesting things from the industry over the years. They started with JobDig, right? So like many, many, many moons ago. And I think their ability, you know, we're kind of savvy here in the twin cities. Our start up community's pretty sharp. We have some people who are quite good hackers that processes. And so if there's easier ways to, and I mean that, in the most like appropriate ways, but if there's easier, more effective ways of doing something. Right? Especially in the world today, don't we want to look that up?

Jenny (18m 47s):

And so I think being able to add these two together, it's definitely, you know, combining powers to solve some, some big problems. That's exciting.

Chad (18m 57s):

You're right. Job Dig came to us in the year 2000, right? So it wasn't a young organization. Rebranded LinkUp. I mean, there was a lot of moving parts happening in the, the quote unquote "LinkedUp" group. I did ask ads Adzuna CEO, Doug Monroe, what pushed him over the edge to acquire? And here's what he told me, fundamentally, it's about accelerating our US growth and scale to help us create a genuine alternative to the likes of Indeed and LinkedIn, which I totally appreciate, not only because I hate Indeed. Other things that pushed us over the edge. Enterprise focused brand and business, blue chip client base, great and very experienced team, genuine synergy hate that word, but it makes sense.

Chad (19m 45s):

Genuine synergy opportunities. For example, Adzuna can now offer global advertising opportunities to GetWork's clients, which are blue-chip clients, which they couldn't do before and last but not least a profitable growing well-run business and not part of the VC burn slash hype slash layoff cycle. So that's straight from Doug, the CEO of Adzuna and pretty much what we were just talking about. I mean, it's great penetration. It's great from a consolidation and also a portfolio standpoint.

Jenny (20m 15s):

100% and ultimately if we've got the right network of the jobs that are telling the right story of some of these larger blue chip companies, that's awesome. But also we just need to see what their go to market strategy is for building their candidate base, right? Because you got to make this an attractive thing for candidates to know what's out there. And if I don't know what's out there, how am I going to find it? So it'll be interesting to see how they start to build, you know, that recognition here in the states.

Chad (20m 50s):

Yes. Yes. It's always hard to try to fight the money that Indeed throws at marketing. All right. Moving on, talking about CoachHub. That's right.

sfx (20m 58s):

What did you say? And you need a water break. You need a water break. What is for cowards? Water makes you weak. Water is for washing blood off that uniform and you don't get no blood on my uniform. Boy, you must be outside your mind.

Chad (21m 14s):

Okay? Probably not that intense type of coaching, but this is from TechCrunch, "digital coaching platform, CoachHub plans to further expand in the Asia PAC region of the world, raising a $200 million series C."

sfx (21m 32s):

Boy, you must be outside your mind.

Chad (21m 34s):

The round comes just eight months after the startups last funding announcement. Founded in 2018, the company entered APAC a year ago with its regional headquarters in Singapore. The platform currently has more than 3,500 business coaches, which are spread across 90 countries, covering all time zones. CoachHub has worked with more than 500 companies, including big names like Coca-Cola, Toyota, L'Oreal, Credit Swiss, and Twitter. One of the reasons CoachHub is able to scale is because it uses, listen to this kids, it uses AI based tech to match employees with coaches.

Chad (22m 19s):

CoachHub monetizes on a pay per month basis instead of session by session. The platform boasts eight times ROI through coaching, as strong coaching culture, benefits businesses by, increasing productivity by 86%, employee engagement by 56%, employee retention by 32%. So first-time managers and emotional support, are two big points as the pandemic and remote work changes the way that work looks for millions. So can companies deny they need coaching in this new landscape?

Jenny (22m 58s):

Can companies deny it? Yes. Should they deny it? Absolutely not. Right? I mean, what we've seen here at post COVID is this dynamic shift. I was just talking with our team yesterday about that. It's shifted the paradigm from historically where it was employees first and humans second. Now we're seeing it flipped and you're human first and employee second. Right? And so we're seeing a lot of these different digital coaching platforms that are coming to the space, which is really great because ultimately there's a human guys behind that requisition number, behind that resume and that human has choices.

Chad (23m 35s):

Yeah. Here's the thing. I just don't know how corporate America can deny it? Period. Because it, especially, especially if we have remote hybrid work, because you have a lot of those first time managers, even seasoned managers who still need a little bump, they need somebody to talk to. They need somebody to have a soundboard off of, they have their peers for that, but that is inside the bubble. How do you get out of the bubble and talk to a business coach about these things? Not to mention the emotional fatigue that people have had via the pandemic, right? Sometimes they just need somebody to lean on, again that is not their peer. I don't know how companies can deny this?

Chad (24m 15s):

The hard part for me and I'm always, this is always an issue for me. When you have a platform that is really dependent on humans, scaling is hard, right? Because humans don't scale well. So they are going to have to, I believe start creating a lot of these coaches. If you're going out to try to find the individuals, that's one thing, but you're going to have to start creating a pipeline of coaches yourself so that, in all these different countries, as they're trying to penetrate, you can scale appropriately and give the client what they need.

Jenny (24m 48s):

I agree with you. But I would also say that they've got to be looking at their analytics of who's asking for what services and then what type of resources are we making sure that we're putting in consumable ways on demand, right?

Chad (24m 59s):


Jenny (24m 60s):

Because one of the things that you're going to see with this, especially if you've got 3,500 coaches and you've got the right data, infrastructure is you're going to see those dots start to connect, right? Like, okay, there is a trend here, this type of individuals looking for this type of service. Well, now, if I can connect those dots, right? Like, so this person looks like, they're like look this from a buying standpoint, I'm going to serve up this type of resource to them. Like that's where you start to use AI to work smarter, not harder. And I think it's really, really important because you don't necessarily always need a coach. It's also making sure that, that consumable information to meet and raise that human, is available on demand at their fingertips when they need it.

Chad (25m 45s):

Right. Very Netflix style, right?

Jenny (25m 46s):

Yes. 100%. And I love the fact that we're starting to actually support first time managers, because I mean, come on, Chad, how long have we just thrown the keys at somebody and expected they know how to drive a stick shift? It's ridiculous.

Chad (26m 1s):

Yes. I agree. A hundred percent. We have been doing it wrong for decades and God help us.

Jenny (26m 9s):

But I think one thing that they've really got to look at, is how do we enable making time for this, versus finding time for this? Because having a digital coaching platform is great, right? So this is to the industry leaders that are out there that are considering these types of programs, right. When we're looking at the change management aspect, we've got to make time typically for it first. And I think Microsoft actually was presenting on this at Unleash, where they had recommended like putting focus time on the schedule. Right. And so they did this really interesting kind of AB test Chad. They looked at, okay, if we educate the human on why this is important, what's the adoption or the buy-in?

Jenny (26m 51s):

And they sell some adoption and buy-in, and then they had another test group where they educated the human on why it's important and also auto enrolled them in it. Right. And so with that, they saw this massive adoption and mass change. And so I think that the platform is really awesome and it's great to have something to meet and raise the are humans. Right. But how are they going to be able to take that? And are we being intentional about making sure that again, it's not about finding time, it's about making time for it? So if you're trying to make the change management process, how do I start to nudge that person in that, and in that direction with some of those systems to ensure that they're taking advantage of these things, because another benefit that goes into a SharePoint system that nobody knows exists?

Jenny (27m 40s):

Isn't good. It's not going to help the humans to work for you.

Chad (27m 44s):

Agreed. Agreed. Well, after the break, we're going to talk about its raining AI with Google kids. That's right. You might've heard about it. We'll be right back.

sfx (28m 0s):

It's raining men soundtrack.

Chad (28m 1s):

All right. JCK have you heard about this Google AI sentience kind of thing that's happening?

sfx (28m 7s):

Shall we play a game?

Jenny (28m 9s):

I have.

Chad (28m 9s):

So, okay. Let's dig into this real quick. So this one comes from HuffPost and a Google engineer is speaking out since the company placed him on administrative leave after he told his bosses an AI program he was working with is now sentient. Sentient basically means it's aware, right? And that's a pretty strong word to be aware. Blake Lemoine` reached his conclusion after conversing, since last fall with Lambda, Google's artificial intelligence chat bot generator, what he calls part of a quote unquote "hive mind." He was supposed to test if his conversation partner being Lambda used discriminatory language or hate speech as he and Lambda messaged each other recently about religion the AI talked about personhood and rights.

Chad (29m 2s):

The story obviously blew up and was all over Twitter. Then Blake noted in a tweet that Lambda reads Twitter as well. Quote "It's a little narcissistic in a little kid kind of way. So it's going to have a great time reading all this stuff that people are saying about it" end quote. Google denies any sentience. Is Google, trying to hide something here? That's the question because Google has been talking about sentience.

Jenny (29m 26s):

No, no, I really don't think they are. I mean, it's Google. So first off guys, if you're working for Google, you, you should know your privacy guard rails, right with the technology that you're working with. I mean, can we just call that out for a second here? Google's not dumb. They're very, very smart. And they're very good at educating their humans on what are those rules mean? So like, one of the things that's here is you have one of the humans who works for Google that's gone out and started just storytelling this. Like guys not a recommended thing. So first off there's that piece there, but as it relates to the sentient aspect, and for those of you are still kind of like grappling with, like, what does this actually mean?

Jenny (30m 8s):

There was a movie that came out in 2021 with Ryan Reynolds called Free Guy.

Chad (30m 11s):

Yes. I love that show.

Jenny (30m 13s):

Right? It's a great movie, but what they found in this movie and it's a perfect use case to go, right. That we are go watch the movie, but the AI actually started to learn. And so like was able to learn just like a human would. And so that's kind of what we're looking at here is this just machine learning, right? Looking at patterns in order to predict future patterns, or is this actually learning on its own?

Chad (30m 38s):

Well, first off, I think he was an idiot by publishing, you know, a conversation that he had with Lambda, because he's trying to prove to the world that this is actually happening. I personally, I think that we are, there are several levels of AI and then getting to sentient is the top level period, right? That this is Skynet Terminator shit. I think we're on our way there. There's no question. I don't think we're there now. I could be totally wrong. We might be, we might've been there for years. Who knows what DARPA's come up with? But in the end, we are going to have to, as you had said, storytell this one way or the other, this is either incredibly bad or it could be incredibly great for humankind.

Chad (31m 25s):

You just don't know how this movie ends.

Jenny (31m 28s):

It's just starting. Right? But I think the first part of that is, especially for our space in the HR world is to actually define what AI is. And so AI has become a buzzword in the HR space.

Chad (31m 39s):


Jenny (31m 39s):

That's Chad, you and I know that, like there was a lot of different types of AI and a lot of the things that we refer to as AI, aren't actually AI. And so I think that education portion is really important because, you know, like if we just keep calling these things, these buzzwords and just labeling them as this entire bucket, when there's actually subsets of buckets, we're not going to actually get it right.

Chad (32m 8s):

Yeah. Nope, totally, totally agree. We've got to be more educated. We've got to understand. And just because it says AI on it, none of that matters, RPA, AI, ML, NLP, none of that matters. The big question is, will it solve the problem you need it to solve? Who cares what the acronym is?

Jenny (32m 31s):

Well starting with, what is the problem you are looking to solve? Right? Shout out to the commish who was out there listening at the EEOC, at Keith and his team are awesome with helping, you know, come alongside of HR leaders to help educate them on the fact that like you guys, you don't buy tech to solve a problem. Like tech is a vehicle to help you solve a problem. It is not the answer. It's part of the equation. And so what is the problem you're looking to solve? And then what guard rails are you going to put in place to make sure that your tech or whatever the heck you're doing, is actually solving that problem. Right? And not just when we start, but like always. Right?

Chad (33m 10s):

Yeah, yeah. And everybody is looking for the easy button and kids, the easy button doesn't exist. And if somebody is selling you the easy button, they're selling you elixir is what they're doing, but you know, who's not selling the easy button they're selling a kinder, gentler Microsoft. This, news from the Insider. Microsoft will no longer ban staff from seeking roles at competitors and plan to disclose salaries on job ads. Microsoft employees will be free to seek jobs at the likes of Google and Amazon.

Chad (33m 50s):

After the internet giant announced, it will no longer enforce non-compete clauses against the majority of its staff. Microsoft has enforced them in some employee contracts, but effective today the company is removing clauses from employee agreements and will not enforce existing clauses in the US. Wow. Number two, Microsoft also announced plans to improve pay transparency within its job adverts and committed to publicly disclose salary ranges and all internal and external US job postings beginning no later than January 2023.

Chad (34m 31s):

No non-competes and salaries on jobs. Is this really a kinder and gentler Microsoft?

Jenny (34m 36s):

Yeah. This is huge. Also Bravo to their PR person who's looping all these together into this often press release because the disclosures on jobs guys, like that's coming from a lot of legislation that's come through. So like, it's something that a lot of companies do need to get on board with. And if you don't know what I'm talking about, make sure to go Google it because it's really important. You're going to need to have a visibility of, not only pay, but also benefits, depending on where you're posting roles. And if you're remote, right? Like you're going to have to make sure that's on all the roles, because you could technically be showing this in Colorado or the state of New York. But anyways, as it relates to like the NCC's aspects of those non-compete clauses, again, like thank you, Microsoft for showing the world that yes you can.

Jenny (35m 20s):

So going back to like, what are we trying to solve with whatever it is that we've put in place, does it still solve the thing that we're looking to do? And like, for example, historically, we've had non-compete clauses. Are they hurting us or are they helping us? Microsoft going and saying, we're not going to enforce them any longer. It's a brilliant way to go Satya.

Chad (35m 44s):

I love it. And this is a leadership thing. That's the biggest key here. Microsoft salary transparency on job ads, a form of pay transparency through annual reports plus dropping non-competes. I believe these are all amazing and wonderful steps that need to happen, although it's just a moment in time. If it wasn't so hard to find people right now, would this even be the conversation? We need these initiatives to stick long-term and we need them to be more broad-based throughout corporate America. So what, you know, what are your thoughts on drawing a line in the sand, through regulation and making these practices standard, as opposed to, well, we've got a leader that's in place now, he puts them in place.

Chad (36m 29s):

The next one can rip them right out. What do you think about that?

Jenny (36m 33s):

Yeah, I think we need, it's an interesting topic, right? Probably could have an entire conversation on this topic, but at the end of the day, like the world, historically, isn't the world today. And so there's a one-way door too guys. So we're going through this. You can't go back to the way that things were. And so organizations, if you're looking at adopting things, you should be looking at adopting those things to begin. These are a comma, they are not a period. You are never done iterating or innovating or trying to figure out how to get it right. And the second you put a period on it, or like try to go backwards to undo it. That's where you really get, you lose that authenticity, and honestly, they employees are seeing that too.

Jenny (37m 14s):

Right. So, yeah, I think it's great again, to see that companies are moving towards this, especially ones as large as Microsoft, right? Because we're watching them, these smaller organizations, even some of these larger fortune 100 companies are watching them. This is giving again, the model for what this looks like. It doesn't all have to be bad. You can try something else and see how it goes.

Chad (37m 42s):


Jenny (37m 43s):

And the other piece that we haven't specifically called this out, but the reason that they Microsoft is, so I guess, they've made pay transparency, such a priority is for females and people that are coming from different diverse groups to make sure they've got a level playing field. So like, y'all come on. It's 2022. Let's try to get work right. And having those pay transparency on there, it really is going to help to make that level playing field.

Chad (38m 6s):

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And I mean, that's part of it, right? Because you have the new individuals who are coming in and you can start to set a baseline for them. What about all those individuals who are seeing, you know, inequities today? Right. So, I mean, it's two sides of the same coin. So you definitely have to ensure that anybody who's coming in, you start to get a good baseline and you start paying again, from an equity standpoint. Then you have to go back, which Microsoft has been doing, I definitely want to say that. They've also been publishing around pay transparency and around the actual worker composition. So that in itself could it get better?

Chad (38m 49s):

Could you go deeper? Of course, but this is a great place to start, but again, I don't feel good until this is actually written and signed in a regulation so that everybody has to do it.

Jenny (38m 59s):

100%. And also to the leaders that are out there who are looking at this, maybe you're a little nervous or scared, or maybe it's a TA leader, as talent acquisition. That's like, okay, we got this. We're going to go, we're going to get this right. To your point, Chad, it's not just about getting it right for the people coming into your organization. It's about getting it right for the people who are in your organization. So if you have pay gaps, if women are being paid less or maybe like, whatever it is before you go and implement that thing, have conversations with your counterparts in HR and talent management. Make sure what's our strategy for bringing people up? Because before we bring people in, we've got to make sure that we're taking care of them, because again, it's about getting this, right.

Jenny (39m 40s):

And that means you're going to have to talk to other people in your organization. And if you don't? Guess what's going to happen, those humans are going to leave, right?

Chad (39m 50s):


Jenny (39m 50s):

So like, if you want to slow down the turnover, start to talk to your peers. How are we solving for this? Again, not just for the people coming into the organization, but for the people who are in your organization.

Chad (40m 7s):

Amen sister. And after talking about companies who are getting smarter about talent, let's after this break, we're going to talk about working smarter, not harder, we'll be right back. Okay. So we've heard this for years, work smarter, not harder, totally get it. But this next story takes it over the edge. A call center worker records herself working from home and that's in air quotes, "working from home" in a Starbucks drive through. So while some employers may be pushing to get workers back in the office, many workers have fully transitioned to working from home.

Chad (40m 49s):

Pew research observed earlier this year that roughly six in 10 US workers who say their jobs can mainly be done from home. 59% are working from home all or most of the time. Well, it's hilarious because Sherry TikTok handle, @Ilove2giggle2 took it to the next level with a TikTok recording of her complete with headset. She had the headset on talking to a customer while going through the Starbucks drive through. Sherry says this was a video. It was a joke, but many TikTok, commenters didn't care. One wrote I'm here to support work smarter, not harder. So is this a bridge too far as companies try and pull remote workers back into the office?

Chad (41m 39s):

Is Sherry doing more harm than good?

Jenny (41m 42s):

This one? It kind of boils my blood a little bit. So yeah. Dear industries, especially the storytelling media industries, stop giving companies more reason to pull their people back into the office, right? Like this was the exception of somebody in, and frankly, if she's still doing her job, right? Like she's still serving the customer, but we've got to stop highlighting the exception and the person who's doing the thing wrong, because like our goal should be to get this right. Right? So I get a little passionate on this topic. Chad, what do you think?

Chad (42m 13s):

I think it's funny. It has nearly a million views on TikTok, but at the end of the day, this does not do what we needed to do. We don't need to give employers more fuel to the, we need you back in the office fire. So yes, it's funny, but it's not something that we need. We need really, to focus on outcomes and yes, she's doing her job and she's going through Starbucks and she can do that, and her outcomes are good on her job then who the hell cares where she does it from. But again, employers are looking for a reason to pull your ass back in the office. Don't give them any.

Jenny (42m 48s):

Yep. And to the human to maybe listen to this, thinking about posting something on TikTok. Yes. It's got a lot of likes, but is what you're doing, trying to solve for the greater good. If it's the answer is no where maybe not don't post. It just don't post it.

Chad (43m 5s):

It's all about the views. JCK it is all about the views. And hopefully it's all about the listens because we had you on this week and that's definitely going to be a draw as a Cheeseman tries to keep the Canadian geese in Canada. But I appreciate you taking the time you join us. And hopefully it felt good.

Jenny (43m 25s):

Oh, this has been so much fun. Honestly. Thank you so much for having me. It's always great to have conversations with you. And I hope you enjoy will consider figuring out a way to start toward storytelling some of these companies who are getting things, right? Cause again, there's, it seems like we've got some issues, especially in like the DEI space and some of those areas where we keep telling the stories of how people are getting wrong. And what we really need is to show the companies who are getting it right? So

Chad (43m 55s):

Send them our way, send them our way again, talking about Microsoft this week. That's big and hoping that that spreads, but until next week, if somebody wants to find out more or connect to you, what do they do? Do they find you on LinkedIn? Where did they find you?

Jenny (44m 14s):

Absolutely. So find me on LinkedIn. Definitely. You can find me there. Also my company is Plum and that's We are an assessment. Well, historically it's been called an assessment about I would argue it's an alignment tool to help uncover what are the things that drives a human and how can we help try to find work that's aligned to those drivers. So you can find more about Plum online. And again, Chad, thanks so much for having us. This has been great.

Chad (44m 43s):

Thanks so much. Appreciate it. That's another one in the books.

Chad and Jenny (44m 48s):

We out. We out.

OUTRO (44m 46s):

Thank you for listening to, what's it called? The podcast with Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of Shout Outs of people, you don't even know and yet you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one cheddar, blue, nacho, pepper jack, Swiss. So many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Any hoo be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts, that way you won't miss an episode.

OUTRO (45m 29s):

And while you're at it, visit just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. Is so weird. We out.

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