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2022 Best Podcast Award
Disability Solutions

Amazon Recruiting Deja Vu?


Chad & Cheese are reunited after a couple weeks apart, and it feels so good. (Side note: If you've been waiting for the episode with a Duncan Sheik reference, well it's your lucky day.) Aside from that, it's a show filled with cash-money, layoffs, robots and Big Macs. What could possibly be more fulfilling? Specifically, the boys are talking about Sapia.ai, WorkJam, and Job.com getting new funding, then jumping to Amazon replacing their recruiting teams with bots, tech layoffs galore and what it means for the recruiting industry. Next up: Firing people via email in the middle of the night right before Thanksgiving, a McDonald's Gold Card offering food for life, Pickle, Nuro and so much more. Enjoy.


TRANSCRIPTION SPONSORED BY: Disability Solutions partners with our clients to build best-in-class inclusion programs and reach qualified, talented individuals with disabilities of every skill, education, and experience level.


INTRO (1s):

Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HR’s most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry, right where it hurts! Complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark, buckle up boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese podcast.


Joel (20s):

Oh, yeah. The debate is over. It's called Soccer everybody. Hi, boys and girls. You're listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. This is your cohost, Joel "elimination round" Cheesman.


Chad (33s):

This is Chad "it feels so empty without me" Sowash.


Joel (37s):

And on this week's show, cash rules everything around me, layoffs, robots and McDs for life. Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus. Let's do this. What's up, Chad? You look a little subdued, a little tired.


Chad (55s):

Little travel happening and right outta the gate. I want to thank Jonathan Duarte for stepping in for me last week. It gave me time to breathe a little bit while I was traveling, so thank you so much, Jonathan. Vusy week and half.


Joel (1m 9s):

It's good to get different perspectives.


Chad (1m 11s):

Oh yeah, of course.


Joel (1m 12s):

Yeah. You and I should maybe do that more often. Mix it up a little bit. I think the feedback,


Chad (1m 17s):

Take some time off.


Joel (1m 18s):

The feedback was good. Jonathan was transparent and Adam was good as well on your end, I'm sure. If you haven't checked those episodes out, make sure that you do. But you've been traveling quite a bit, which is the reason Jonathan was on. You wanna talk about your travels?


Chad (1m 35s):

Thanks to Peter Weddle and Steven O'Donnell for having me over in London last week to MC the TA tech event with Katrina Hutchinson-O'Neill. It was a tech vendor event focused on the industry, the current economic landscape and where we should go next. But mainly, you know, talks were were held by leaders from brands that we know in Europe, like Martin Lentz over at Jobiqo JOB-i-CO, Chris Adams from Madgex, Simon Wingate from Reed, Roy Jaques from Appcast. And they all had data that supported their theories. But I think it also demonstrated somewhat of a misalignment that we have in this space.


Chad (2m 19s):

I think especially after COVID So I think we need to have more of these events to be able to align better. Because I think we all get into our silos and then once we get together, it's like the silos just don't align, you know? And, it doesn't seem like enough of this is is happening in the bigger spaces.


Joel (2m 43s):

Yeah. Silos. Silos, people. Silos.


Chad (2m 45s):

Not good.


Joel (2m 45s):

Well, good to have you back, man. It's been a couple weeks that we've been on a show together.


Chad (2m 49s):

Yes.


Joel (2m 50s):

So we're a little rusty. The listeners need to forgive us if we mess up a little bit.


Chad (2m 54s):

Yeah. We've only been close to like a thousand episodes thus far.


Joel (2m 58s):

This is good. We typically take a little time off during the holidays. I think people believe that we just live together like stepbrother style in a bunk bed in the basement. But we really do have separate lives.


Chad (3m 10s):

We do.


Joel (3m 10s):

It's kind of good to step away and enjoy family and travel and do all that stuff while we can.


Chad (3m 16s):

Space for activities. Yes.


Joel (3m 18s):

That's right. So many activities. And speaking of activities, let's get to some shoutouts shall we?


Chad (3m 24s):

Sure.


Joel (3m 24s):

So many shout outs. job.com. Who doesn't love us some job.com. Shout out. So our friends at job.com, don't call 'em a job board. Chad, don't you dare do that.


Chad (3m 34s):

Oh my God.


Joel (3m 36s):

They have raised an undisclosed sum of cash that they say will go towards the ongoing acquisition of staffing firms across the globe. Normally I hate press releases where there is no dollar amount listed.


Chad (3m 48s):

Yeah.


Joel (3m 48s):

But my guess is that job.com is funded on a quote "when acquisitions happen basis" end quote. They have some sugar daddies ready to pony up when a deal is imminent and our friend, ArranStewart is more than happy play the sugar baby and use that money to buy some staffing firms. So shout out to our friends at job.com in that undisclosed amount 'wink wink' of money that you just raised.


Chad (4m 14s):

Yeah. We've gotta get Arran on. Love Arran to death, but I don't like job.com at all. I, at least from the standpoint, from the standpoint that, you know, we were originally pitched right in Austin, where, you know, they're gonna take the staffing industry and they're going to, you know, make it more digital. What it's turned into is really just an acquisition fest and good for them that that's awesome. But their original vision, I do not see coming to fruition, at least the 20% fees to 5%. And then the sharing with the job seeker. I just don't see any of that coming to fruition. So I'd like to know where they're at now. Love me a little Arran time. So maybe we can get 'em on and he can tell us.


Joel (4m 52s):

Are you saying the credit card is not gonna work?


Chad (4m 58s):

From what I've heard it's shit?


Joel (4m 59s):

I think it's discontinued. If anyone actually has a job.com credit card, please let us know. Cuz we wanna picture of that thing.


Chad (5m 6s):

Yes, we do. All right. I'm gonna get into a laundry list of shout outs here from my travels. First shout out goes, I had breakfast with Jamie and Bobby Leonard. We were talking Recfest. We were talking Recfest USA. We had a blast. Julie and I went out for beers, darts and dinner with Jem, Thomas and Rob from TalentNexus. A really cool game. It was almost like Top Golf with darts, beer, food, all of it right there. It was genius. Thanks to Sheila from Total Jobs for allowing Julie and and I to crash their agency holiday party. We love an open bar. So shout out to Sheila and Raj from TotalJobs, aka StepStone AKA Axle Springer.


Joel (5m 49s):

Yeah. That must have been a hell of a party.


Chad (5m 51s):

Well, it wasn't too bad.


Joel (5m 52s):

With their budget that should have been a hell of a party.


Chad (5m 55s):

Wasn't too bad.


Joel (5m 56s):

Not too bad.


Chad (5m 58s):

Rooftop accessible. It's kind of cold, but still rooftop accessible. Met with Mikhil Raja from Sonic Jobs for coffee. Had a very posh time with Richard and Beverly Collins talking about blockchain over drinks and sushi samba. And then our, our old buddy Max Armbrewster over at Talk Push, he messaged me the day I was before I was gonna come back to Portugal. And he is like, man, you're only an hour away, you know, flight wise, why don't you come on over. So he invited me over to Dublin, spent a few days and while I was there, I got a chance to enjoy the town of Dalkey, which is gorgeous.


Joel (6m 37s):

Sorry, town of Donkey. Yeah,


Chad (6m 38s):

It's what it looks like.


Joel (6m 41s):

It's Dalkey. Okay.


Chad (6m 43s):

D A L K E Y. Yes. Got to see our pal, Shane Gray, have some beers. Watched some World Cup football with him. Then Death Match winner, Andrea Wade got to have dinner with her, watch some World Cup football. So big thanks to to Max. He's got an amazing layout there in Dalkey. They've got like five pubs that are walkable. Yeah. So I had as much Guinness and Beamish as I possibly could. And now I find myself back in the Algarve.


Joel (7m 12s):

So whose yacht did you ride on Shane's or Max's? Which yachts did you select?


Chad (7m 17s):

So I'm waiting until it's nice until I actually get on a yacht. It's too fucking cold for that shit, man.


Joel (7m 26s):

Everyone's after those lucky charms, that's for sure. My next shout out goes to LinkedIn. Chad, you know I love me some LinkedIn.


Chad (7m 33s):

You do. You've got the Kool-Aid baby.


Joel (7m 35s):

I'm gonna give 'em a little spanking this weekend. They've been sort of naughty. They've rewritten the book on innovation, if you can believe it. Did they fix their job search? You ask? Oh, no, no. Not that kind of innovation. You may need to sit down for this one, Chad. They're giving users the ability to schedule when their shares go live on the feed. That's right.


Chad (7m 58s):

You mean their posts and stuff?


Joel (7m 59s):

Yeah, LinkedIn is rolling out a new feature that allows users to schedule posts to send at a later time. Woo.


Chad (8m 7s):

Wow.


Joel (8m 7s):

I'm glad you're sitting down for that one.


Chad (8m 10s):

Wow.


Joel (8m 11s):

Here's to innovation and here's to our friends at LinkedIn or out for setting the bar really high for our industry on innovation. Gotta love it. Gotta love it.


Chad (8m 25s):

That's horrible.


Joel (8m 26s):

So I got another one real quick. Rob Bursey fan of the show. Oh, okay. Yeah, homie just sent me some bourbon randomly and I gotta give him a shout out for it. Like, he sent me a message. He said, you guys do such a good job of just randomly sent bourbon.... There might be one at your house, man, I don't know.


Chad (8m 40s):

They're better to be one at my house. What the Fuck, Rob?


Joel (8m 42s):

I don't know. So, so he sent me a nice, a wood, a nice Woodford, I think it's a single barrel. Very nice for the holidays. So Rob, big shout out to you buddy. I really appreciate it. And for those of you that want to send me bourbon as well, just hit me up on the dms. I'll be happy to share my my home address if you'd like to do that.


Chad (9m 2s):

Oh, well, I do. Yeah. My last shout out, I actually forgot I had Thanksgiving meal with the kids over at Crouton. That's right kids, Crouton the new startup that I'm sure we might be talking about. We might not. Who knows? Gemma and Steven over at Crouton. We had had an amazing meal in London at the Swan and they literally, they did have Thanksgiving dinner on the menu. Julie had that. I had something entirely different, but it was good. It was, it was really good. They brought gin, they brought us vodka and they brought us rum, the gin there were two things, a gin.


Chad (9m 43s):

Max and I drank the small gin. So too bad for you. The rum.


Joel (9m 49s):

Yeah.


Chad (9m 49s):

Was horrible. I'm not gonna put you through that, but the gin is really good. So that's all gonna be drank before it comes home. But I'm sure they will send you some to Indianapolis.


Joel (10m 1s):

Yeah, I'm sure. I'm sure, you're gonna get on Rob Bursey, and then talk about all the free gin and rum that you got. So you had dinner with Crouton. There's so many dad jokes there that I won't even start. It's just too easy. Did you ask him about the goofy glasses that everyone wears?


Chad (10m 20s):

Oh, I've got pairs for you. I know, I've got pairs for you.


Joel (10m 25s):

Oh shit.


Chad (10m 26s):

Yeah. Oh yeah.


Joel (10m 27s):

Oh Shit. Did they, everyone on LinkedIn that works there has these glasses on. I don't know if it's brilliant marketing or like?


Chad (10m 33s):

We'll see.


Joel (10m 34s):

It's kind of weird. It's kind of weird, man. Crouton, the sunglasses. England. It's all very, very Benny Hill to me.


Chad (10m 43s):

It's meta is what I'm gonna say.


Joel (10m 45s):

Yeah. Speaking of free shit and booze and everything. We gotta put this in every show. You gotta sign up. If you want this stuff from us, go to chadcheese.com, click the free link. We're talking whiskey from Textkernel. Beer from Aspen Tech Labs. T-shirts from JobGet. If it's your birthday month, you might win Rum from Plum, but you gotta sign up.


Chad (11m 7s):

Okay.


Joel (11m 8s):

Chris Manion, who's playing fantasy football with us, and we'll get to him in a second. It was his birthday last week.


Chad (11m 13s):

Okay.


Joel (11m 14s):

And he bitched about not being mentioned. Well, you can't get mentioned people if you haven't signed up. We're not mind readers. We don't know when your birthday is unless you sign up.


Chad (11m 22s):

What do you expect Chris?


Joel (11m 24s):

Yeah, everybody sign up and you win free shit. Like, it's great. Yeah. What can go wrong?


Chad (11m 28s):

And we ask you the birthday question, that's where you put your birthday in and then therefore we know what month and all that other fun stuff. So Yeah. That just follow the directions kids, you'll be fine.


Joel (11m 38s):

Yeah. And more logic. If you don't put your birthday in, we're not gonna wish you happy birthday. So don't say you signed up and then we didn't wish you happy birthday. You gotta fill out the whole form everybody, and by the way, our travel, speaking of sponsors, our travel is done. But we want to give a special shout out to our friends at Shaker Recruitment Marketing for sponsoring our travels for picking up the beer tab on I don't know how many airports around the world. We, love us some Shaker Recruitment Marketing, and you love those foreign language podcasts, Chad, as you travel the globe.


Chad (12m 9s):

Oh my God, dude, it's so fucking hilarious. So last week and the week after, I wasn't on and you weren't on, and only our voices are trained for the ai. So they used Stock Voices for Adam Godson and Jonathan Duarte. So I was listening through them and it was so fucking funny because it's us and speaking in all the, you know, in German and Spanish and Portuguese and, you know, and what was the other one in Spanish for anyway?


Joel (12m 36s):

German. (French)


Chad (12m 36s):

And German. (French) And then you have this, like, this stock voice, which is speaking in German is so awesome.


sfx (12m 46s):

Shall we play a game?


Joel (12m 46s):

That's a sneak peek. So thanks to our friends at Veritone for sponsoring those podcasts.


Chad (12m 50s):

Dude, Veritone is the shit.


Joel (12m 52s):

They're gaining steam. I'm watching the metrics a little bit. They're they're catching on. They're catching on. I love it.


Chad (12m 58s):

Tell you what, it's not just a novelty kids. It is amazing. Not to mention we're bitching at people about not innovating all the time We do. So what do we do? The Chad and Cheese podcast, the most dangerous podcast in hr. We go out there and we innovate like motherfuckers because of companies like Veritone.


Joel (13m 16s):

It's saying that we innovate every week as two guys in their fifties is a little bit audacious.


Chad (13m 24s):

I'm cutting that out.


sfx (13m 25s):

Boy, that escalated quickly.


Joel (13m 27s):

And speaking of innovation and blazing a trail, let's talk about fantasy football.


Chad (13m 31s):

Oh!


Joel (13m 32s):

Because week 13 is in the books and we have our leaderboard and it's changed quite a bit since last week. All right, here's our one to last.


Chad (13m 42s):

Fuck!


Joel (13m 43s):

We got Chris “Kringle” Mannion again. Happy birthday belatedly Chris but you gotta sign up. Joel “Heading for that No. 1 spot” Cheesman. That's right Dennis “On my ass” Tupper. He's right. Number three “Not Your Average” Joe Wilkie is head up the charts like a bullet train. Matt “Steady Eddie” Hill, he just keeps in that little middle area there. Serge “Falling Like Canada in the World Cup” Boudreau has gone from number one now, but down to number six. Chad “Sticking around” Sowash you got the points but not the wins buddy. Sorry. You gotta have victories.


Joel (14m 24s):

Christy “Get your Damn Bench straight” Kelling. Mike “More points than you” Schaefer. James “Like Duncan Shiek, Barely Breathing” Gilliam. Jason “this guy won last year?” Putnam and Dan “Anyone home?” Shoemaker and that round up the fantasy football sponsored by our friends at FactoryFix.


Chad (14m 52s):

Loves me some FactoryFix.


Joel (14m 54s):

Alright.


Chad (14m 55s):

Stop it.


Joel (14m 58s):

Cash rules everything around me baby. Let's get to some fundraising news. Melbourne based sapia.ai, the artist formally known as Predictive Hire has raised $17 million in a series A round. This brings total funding to $21.5 million. In case you missed it. Sapia is Paradox down under, providing conversational AI to Fosters chugging Aussies everywhere. Okay, you don't have to be in Australia to buy their tech. But I couldn't pass up a chance to say Fosters chugging. Specifically sapia.ai screens candidates and provides employers with a short list of candidates. Founded in 2013, the company intends to use the funds to continue overseas expansion.


Joel (15m 41s):

Hello America. Chad, your take on our friends down under at Sapia.ai.


sfx (15m 45s):

Coming to America - Neil Diamond song...


Chad (15m 47s):

The artist formally known as Never Gets Old. So keep using that please. Congrats on a legit series A. We've been talking about how series A been looking a little weak, little wilted. And this is big. So CEO Barb Hyman, she has done a tremendous job in focusing in on one narrative, right? She's not all over the place. She's focusing on one thing: that's unbiased and fair hiring. Barb and Company beat the drum better than most. And I have to say the brand move to Sapia was smart, especially the color change, which when you're in an expo hall, you and I have been there. It actually stands out very, very, very nicely. So I gotta give them that.


Chad (16m 29s):

Here's where everything goes off the rails, okay? Oh, this is from the sapia.ai website quote "As soon as people start answering questions, our smart interviewer discovers personality traits, behaviors and communication skills from their stories automatically shortlisting them based on the qualities you need" end quote. None of that says the person meets my requirements. It literally screams I'm creating a biased experience. Just because you exclude dominant words and remove the human from performing the actual interview, it doesn't make your platform blind and/or fair.


Chad (17m 9s):

Trying to align personality traits into a job is nothing more than aligning the same types of people, same types of people, does not equal diversity. And it sure as hell doesn't tell me whether they can do the job or not. So I believe you can't lean this hard on something like DEI and they're focusing incredibly heavy on everything, but the actual requirements itself, can you do the job right? So really feel like right now, Barb is incredibly smart. She will spin this narrative in a very smart way, but she's gotta get to requirements and shit that actually matters cuz all the fluff on the website just doesn't fucking matter.


Chad (17m 52s):

And as soon as you tell me that behaviors matter and personality traits matter, I'm gonna go ahead and say, guess what? Hey Keith Sonderling does that sound like? I don't know bias? Oh it does? No. Oh look it does. Yeah. No, stop it.


Joel (18m 8s):

You my friend, are not on Barb's holiday card list. You love Barb though.


Chad (18m 12s):

She's such a sweetheart.


Joel (18m 13s):

Let alone getting that pony keg of Fosters sent to your house. That is.


Chad (18m 17s):

You can have that.


Joel (18m 18s):

I love you took the diversity, Paradox, cuz that is, that is you, I'm gonna take it to a little bit more of the competitive tech side. Look, should Paradox be shaking in their little Arizona desert boots? I would say probably not. And I can give you about 250 million reasons why Paradox reigns Supreme. 250 million reasons mean they have a lot of money.


Chad (18m 44s):

Yes.


Joel (18m 44s):

As opposed to the money that Sapia has risen. And they didn't go with Homosapia.ai. I don't, I mean, they shortened it. They they could have done that.


Chad (18m 53s):

Yeah.


Joel (18m 53s):

But they need a niche. They don't have paradoxes money. They don't have the brain power that's there in aggregate they don't like, so they need to create a niche and what I'm hearing from you is that niche is gonna be the unbiased provider. It's not, Hey, we're the SMB provider. We're not, you know, this a tech, different tech. It's the diversity angle. And according to you, and I go to you for all my diversity, spin it. It's not looking good for our friends at Sapia. They may just have to stay down under and cater to that APAC audience, which isn't the worst place to be in the world, although I'm pretty sure Paradox has an office in APAC somewhere. And we'll be coming to your neighborhood soon if they aren't already.


Joel (19m 37s):

So maybe look for a new niche if you're Sapia, because Paradox is the 800 pound gorilla and you need a different spin than just we're diversity. If my boy Chad Sowash says it's garbage, that's not a knife. This is a knife.


Chad (19m 50s):

It's our job to challenge the market. And when I see shit like this, I question myself. Dude, I'm a 50 year old white man, okay? So I can't say that I'm diverse just because I'm a veteran has nothing to do with it. Right? So that's why I reach out to my peeps and I ask them, okay, this sounds shady. I have been in diversity, equity, inclusion, all that other fun stuff, especially compliance from a compliance standpoint. Very important, yeah. For a very long time. So I use my network for the most part. And again, this just to me, and anybody who's been in TA for long enough to understand compliance and diversity, understands that, you know, behaviors and personality traits, warning bell's start going off when you start talking about bias and then you're saying anti-bias and blind.


Chad (20m 38s):

I mean, it just, none of it makes sense to me.


Joel (20m 41s):

Well, the good news is that just slapping diversity and inclusion on your website doesn't mean that you do it or do it well. And it sounds like the market is rising up. You can't just put it on your site and claim that you do it. So the market is being educated, which I think is great.


Chad (20m 59s):

That's our job.


Joel (20m 59s):

Yeah. I just think Sapia needs a different boat man, a bigger boat, different boat, I don't know, but they need to find a different spin. I mean, it makes sense. I'm a salesperson. Like, how are you guys different from Paradox or some of the others? Well, diversity we're unique in that way. I mean, but it probably works on a few of the pitches, but more and more people are getting educated, so that dog isn't gonna hunt for the long term.


Chad (21m 27s):

Well, and you'll be surprised the mirage of, well, they're hiring more diverse candidates, right? That happens with these platforms. Because when you start to actually do employer brand, you start messaging differently than those individuals feel like they can come out more. It's a mirage. They were there the entire fucking time. The thing is you're allowing them to come out. This is about being able to build that, but that's not sustainable. Okay? So this is more about building that funnel out to be able to do more than just focus on behaviors and things that really don't matter for the job. It's about talent pools and the communities that you reach into. So if Barb wants to help, she can actually bring the communities to the companies.


Chad (22m 7s):

That's the big key. That's what those companies need.


Joel (22m 9s):

The need is Work Jam. Chad, let's talk about our next fundraising news item, by the way, WorkJam sounds like the worst summer camp ever. Come to WorkJam kids where we build log cabins and canoes.


Chad (22m 25s):

And iPhones.


Joel (22m 26s):

Yeah. And iPhones. Yes. Child labor at WorkJam this summer. Anyway, the Montreal Canadian based company, by the way, what's up with the Quebec Province, man? They're, they're spinning out companies and innovation like something's in the water.


Chad (22m 38s):

Qua-beck Is that what they are?


Joel (22m 41s):

What are they? The qua are, oh, they're Quebecois. Lighting it one on fire. Anyway, they raised $450 million in a series D. This brings total funding to $147 million. The company ts itself as the world's leading digital frontline workplace, helping retail, hospitality, manufacturing, and other industries improve workforce engagement, retention, job satisfaction and wellbeing. The company intends to use the funds to expand its reach into Europe, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the US as well as accelerate product innovation and business growth. Chad, you love some essential worker news, but do you love the WorkJam?


Chad (23m 21s):

I love the WorkJam from the platform standpoint. I don't like it from the standpoint of their inability to really understand where they need to go next. We're gonna go to Europe, we're gonna go to the US, we're gonna go here, we're gonna be everywhere. Bullshit. Okay? You don't have that much, you don't have that much cash. Okay? So focus, and the best way to focus is to just come south for God's sake. You speak the language, kind of.


Joel (23m 44s):

Kind of.


Chad (23m 45s):

You know? Yeah. You know the us right? You know, you're our redheaded step, you know, brother, and that's all cool. Don't be everything to everybody. Just focus on what you know. I thought it was interesting that generally in a press release, you at least see some nonsensical business growth metrics, right?


Joel (24m 4s):

Yeah.


Chad (24m 4s):

Something that you don't have no base against. And in this one, there was literally no metrics. So it was like, they weren't even trying at all. It's almost they were very Canadian. They're like, well, no, we can't give you the whole story, so we're not gonna give you any story.


Joel (24m 21s):

Yep.


Chad (24m 22s):

But very smart growth over the years. They've grown through acquisition with companies like Perio and Forge. So they've been able to demonstrate that they know how to grow that way. They have companies like American Eagle Outfitters, Aramark, Circle K, Devita, pretty big, very big, enormous.


Joel (24m 40s):

And Ulta Beauty where you get all your beauty products from.


Chad (24m 45s):

Oh yeah, yeah. All the corn silk from my head. So, I mean, many tasks, cool tasks, management and communications are happening in this platform. The release doesn't say anything about getting into the talent acquisition side of the house, which I thought was interesting.


Joel (24m 58s):

Hmm.


Chad (24m 59s):

So, you know, that's another broadening of the total addressable market that they could get into. So I didn't see that. Imagine this, listen up kids. If a platform like FactoryFix became like the TA front end for a platform like, like WorkJam, right? And I mean, these types of partnerships could actually happen. They've demonstrated that they can acquire, if they want to come into the US and they want to be able to gain some traction in the US, start looking at these types of organizations for partnerships and perspective acquisition because right now it's, it is definitely about retention and growth and those types of things. But I'm telling you man, if you're not on the talent acquisition, actually getting the people in the door side, you're missing a huge, huge part of the formula.


Joel (25m 49s):

I just love Canadian news. So remember when Handshake raised a shit ton of money, like a round of series D and they were gonna take on LinkedIn and, you know, like become LinkedIn for a new generation. Like, this is what happens when you raise, you get into Series D, the investors are like, okay, how are we gonna grow? And in this case, it looks like we're taking on the world, baby. That's what we're doing. We're taking on the whole world. Okay, we'll write that check. So whether they're going to try to conquer the world or not, may be left to to be news or not. Handshake, as far as I know, hasn't knocked LinkedIn off the mountain yet. So, we'll watch that. But I think to me, this sounds a lot like, hey, let's build some hyperbole into this release and get the investors excited.


Joel (26m 34s):

We're gonna take on the world. Look, there's not a lot to dislike about this company. They're hitting things at the right time. We're gonna talk about layoffs after our next break. The layoffs are hitting tech workers and knowledge base workers really hard, but it's not hitting the people that WorkJam is targeting much at all. In fact, those industries are growing and their prime to take advantage of that. So there's not much to hate about the Montreal based company WorkJam. In contrast to the Montreal Canadians of the NHL WorkJam is getting it done. Good luck with that world thing, but we'll be watching you come to America and probably Europe on the European show in a episode soon to be aired.


Joel (27m 24s):

All right, Chad, let's talk about layoffs.


Chad (27m 26s):

Layoffs, layoffs?


Joel (27m 27s):

That's right, that's right.


Chad (27m 29s):

That escalated quickly.


Joel (27m 30s):

Here's some recent highlights from the world. In India and a company in our space Hirect, a chat based direct hiring platform for startups has laid off 40% or around 200 people in what the company termed an organizational restructuring and a strategic change in its business model. They should have come on Firing Squad maybe they would've had a different outcome. Historically, bulletproof Google is now rumored to be laying off upwards of 10,000 underperforming workers. That is a drop in the bucket for Google, who has a lot of employees. But, nevertheless. Neuro, an autonomous vehicle delivery company with deployments in California and Texas, laid off about 300 employees or 20% of its staff last week.


Joel (28m 19s):

An Irish FinTech Unicorn WayFlyer is laying off 40% of its global workforce, or about 200 people. And United Furniture, and you'll love this one, Chad, they fired 2,700 workers right before Thanksgiving via email and text messages sent during the middle of the night. Yeah, if you guessed, this sparked a lawsuit, well, you'd be right. Layoffs everywhere, lawsuits everywhere. Chad, what's your take on all this cutting and slashing?


Chad (28m 50s):

Well, first and foremost, United Furniture. How the fuck, I mean, seriously, the saddest display of leadership I've seen since Elon's take over and human resource hack job at Twitter. I predict that we're gonna see a lot of these ambulance chasing attorneys moving more toward the wrongful termination side of law. Companies like United Furniture make it way too easy for politicians to create legislation around these types of stupid practices. Onto Hirect 495 fucking employees. What the actual fuck? Without going too deep into the organization and landscape. This is called Bloat Kids.


Chad (29m 31s):

We're seeing it all over the place. This is what's happening with Nuro. Bloat, bloat, bloat. This is what happened with Facebook and Twitter, and it's happening with prospectively with Google. The problem is that most of these startups are just growing way too fast. It's not responsible growth. The biggest problem with Nuro, which is the autonomous car and delivery, the delivery system, is that they have a physical product that they have to manufacture, sell, and then ship to customers. Unlike code which you manufacture, yes you do develop, but customers can download it all over the world pretty quickly.


Chad (30m 12s):

You don't actually have to send the code via, you know, shipping container. So it's a scale issue. And we're going to start to see this in the robotics area. I really see that all of these companies who are getting a shit ton of cash, which Nuuro has $2.1 billion in total funding, and they still can't get this right. So money doesn't make it all right kids. I think layoffs are definitely gonna happen, but the only reason that these layoffs are happening is because we have mismanagement and incredibly bad leadership. If we're not firing the leadership, we're not getting rid of the real problem.


Joel (30m 53s):

So we just highlighted Sapia and WorkJam for getting funding and you know, who they cater to. Chad Essential workers in restaurants, retail, trucking, warehousing, and the like. This current set of layoffs is impacting the Patagonia vest, wearing crowd. Hat tip to prof G. And it's probably just the beginning. Twitter layoffs and get back to the office, Meta layoffs, Snap layoffs, and get back to the office. It looks like the party is over for the tech elite, the big boys layoff first. Then everyone else follows their lead, including our industry. I'm sure we'll see more layoffs from our companies.


Joel (31m 35s):

The good news is the great startups of the future will be born out of the carnage of today's layoffs. Not till there's ample pain in the near term, but ultimately I think this will be a good thing. One example is who we talk about quite a bit on the show. Our friends over in Germany just hired a Meta executive at the company. So some of the companies in our space will be getting some good talent to help grow that company. Otherwise it's gonna be pain for a lot of people. Happy holidays, everybody. All right, let's get to automation. One of your favorite topics.


sfx (32m 12s):

Shall we play Game?


Joel (32m 15s):

So how much does automation have to do with all these layoffs? Well, let's talk about it. Some highlights from the past month leaked Amazon memo may help explain why the tech giant is pushing out so many recruiters. Hmm. Turns out Amazon has quietly been developing AI software to screen job applicants known internally as automated applicant evaluation or AAE. The tech was built by a group of Amazon's HR division known as the artificial intelligence recruitment team, and was first tested last year. Now unlike the biased AI of Old Chad, the new stuff apparently works just fine.


Joel (32m 58s):

Thank you very much. And it doesn't need peepee breaks like other human beings. Also, the UK based startup Pickle robot company has raised 26 million in a series A round. This brings total funding to 37.5 million for the company. Pickle creates robots meant for unloading cargo from trucks. Also, we have self-serving technology company ISEE, they've raised $40 million in a series B round, which brings total funding to 70 million since the company was spun out by a bunch of MIT grads in 2017. ISEE is focused on automation, the 500,000 yard trucks that operate globally. I have no idea what a yard truck is, but I know it's important@ work that is challenging, repetitive and dangerous will be replaced by you guest it robots.


Joel (33m 50s):

And maybe the best for last, the San Francisco Police Department submitted a proposal that would give robots the ability to use deadly force in dangerous situations. Hello Robocop. Chad, what do you make of all this?


sfx (34m 5s):

Shall we play a game?


Joel (34m 7s):

Robo insanity.


Chad (34m 7s):

My god, this is a cornucopia of robot craziness. So I'm gonna go with the supply chain pieces first because they fit together very nicely. So, it's a pretty bold and impactful statement that ISEE can deploy trucks in four weeks with no customer infrastructure changes and no disruption to yard operations. And, and really quick, it, it's, it's fairly simple. When container trucks or or containers come off of the ships, they have to go into yards before trucks can actually pick them up and take them. Well, they have to be put in these grid patterns and that's what these little trucks do. So they put 'em in grids, it's pretty much storage and then they pick 'em up and they, and they deliver them to the actual truck that's gonna take them on the long haul.


Chad (34m 55s):

That's what's happening. Then moving down the supply chain, you have Pickle, which you talked about, which unloads the shipping containers into a warehouse. We've already seen warehouse robots which pick and pack. Then further on down the chan the chain you shop and then what do you do? You do the self checkout. So we're getting to the point where most of the supply chain will be fully autonomous, and I believe that's a good thing. These are thankless jobs that are painstaking and backbreaking. I I enjoy seeing that happening. The the San Francisco deadly force piece, I mean the robot is remotely operated and is an extension of the human officer.


Chad (35m 40s):

It's not autonomous. It's not, it's not, it's not, it's not Robocop.


Joel (35m 45s):

That's what they're telling us.