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Axel Springer's New Fluffer

Europe continues to be a hotbed of workforce news. That's why the boys brought on AIM Group's managing editor Pavel Marceux on the podcast. Pavel wrote a story entitle, "Metaverse hiring: A passing tech fad or future game changer?," so Boner Alert for Cheesman! Additionally, the boys discuss the state of Russian recruitment, Axel Springer taking a bigger stake of No Fluff Jobs out of Poland, Malt drinking up Comatch's milkshake and Hired increasing it's footprint by, oh, like, 100 countries. Listen up, and drink it up people!

INTRO (9s):

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

Joel (31s): we'll randomly connect you with everyday citizens of Russia to help halt Putin's propaganda machine. It aims to make 40 million calls to help stop the war on Ukraine. If you speak Russian, check it out. You are listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast does Europe. I'm your cohost Joel "jerkyboy" Cheeseman.

Chad (52s):

This is Chad "the US made the World Cup" Sowash

Lieven (56s):

And I'm Lieven "COVID finally got me" Van Nieuwenhuyze.

Joel (1m 0s):

And on this episode, Axel Springer is Europe's favorite fluffer. Malt milkshake brings CoMatch to the yard and Hired is coming to the old country. Let's do this.

sfx (1m 14s):

Europe has a bunch of countries in it.

Joel (1m 17s):

COVID what?

Chad (1m 18s):

COVID? First you get knocked off of Reddit. Then you get back on. Then you get smashed by COVID what the hell is going on Lieven? And you just it's like a house of cards over there.

Lieven (1m 26s):

It must be a complot. How do you say it in English must be a?

Chad (1m 31s):

A plot?

Lieven (1m 31s):

A plot is the word I was looking for.

Joel (1m 33s):

Putin is poisoning him. That's the answer. Putin is out to get Lieven.

Lieven (1m 38s):

I thought it was COVID but it's polonium. No, no, I got COVID, but it's overrated.

Chad (1m 44s):

It's overrated. Well, one good thing though, Belgium got an awesome draw in the World Cup, they only have to face Canada, Morocco and Coratia so they should be on to at least the next group.

Joel (1m 56s):

Canada, Morocco and Croatia. Yeah, that sounds like a doable bracket. So Chad, give me the soccer update. Cause you know, I don't watch this shit. So the US is in?

Chad (2m 6s):

US is in.

Joel (2m 7s):

Italy's out.

Chad (2m 8s):

Yep. Italy's out.

Joel (2m 8s):


Chad (2m 9s):

That was a big one. I got beat by North Macedonia. Then a Portugal took care of them, but Portugal's draws Ghana, Uruguay, and Korea. And then the US's draw, we have England, Iran and we're waiting for the winner of Scotland and Ukraine who's going to play Wales for the spot.

Joel (2m 28s):

And who's who's favored? Like who is the top two or three teams that everyone should be looking out for?

Chad (2m 34s):

Well, we've got the top seeds, like Belgium and Portugal, but having Italy out of it? That's just, I mean, that's ?

Lieven (2m 42s):

That's weird.

Joel (2m 42s):

Brazil. Argentina. Are they being talked about at all?

Chad (2m 46s):

Oh yeah. Well Argentina obviously because Messi.

Joel (2m 48s):

All right, well that's our soccer, oh, sorry, football update for the week. Everybody let's get to our mystery guest shall we?

Chad (2m 58s):

Mystery guest?

Joel (2m 58s):

Super excited. This is our first reporter that we brought onto the show. Journalism alert. Right? Welcome Pavel Marceau to the show. Pavel is principal and managing editor at Aim Group.

Chad (3m 11s):

Love those guys.

Joel (3m 12s):

In my opinion, Aim Group is the gold standard of global reporting on our industry as well as anything classified, so real estate cars, et cetera. If you're an executive in this space and not a subscriber, get your head out of your ass and head to today. He joins us from Cyprus, Pavel welcome to the podcast.

Pavel (3m 34s):

Right? Good intro. I like it. Very nice. Very nice. I like the football chat as well. As an Englishman. I appreciate it.

Joel (3m 43s):

You're in Cyprus. You have a nice English accent, like you have an interesting history. Give us the Twitter bio about you.

Pavel (3m 51s):

Oh God. Okay. So moved from Russia when I was about six years old because my parents were running away from kind of the Perestroika of '92. My dad got a job with the BBC so we moved to London and then pretty much in London until my late teens then kind of, you know, study moved all over the world, lived in Russia for a while. I lived in, just all over the world. I'd say, I'm Russian born, but I'm English as you can get, to be honest, even though I speak Russian fluently. I'm about as, I dunno, as Russian as John Gotti's Italian.

Joel (4m 32s):

And now is reporting on this space sort of like some sort of corporal punishment that you have to endure after crimes as a child. I don't understand why get into this space?

Pavel (4m 42s):

It appears to be so, yeah. Yeah. It's unique I guess. Right. That's a good thing. I mean, if you were kind of financial journalist, everyone's writing about that. If your a sports journalists, everyone does that. So kind of writing about classifieds and yeah, it's a very niche area and I can proclaim to be one of the very few people in the world who's doing this kind of analysis, so that's nice.

Joel (5m 3s):

That's a good point. And you were on the show because of an article that you recently wrote, and this is a boner alert for me. You wrote a story entitled, "Metaverse hiring a passing fad or future game changer?" So that obviously.

Chad (5m 21s):

Nothing but sex for Joel.

Joel (5m 24s):

That one got me going. So Pavel, for those who haven't read that story, what's your take on the metaverse and hiring? Is it the future or is it a passing fad? Give us a summary.

Pavel (5m 34s):

I wrote it a few months back and we've spoken to multiple, multiple recruitment companies and CEOs in the space about this fee. I know obviously was hot initially because the whole kind of metaverse buzz following Zuckerberg's announcement and the way Facebook has embraced it. And what we saw at the beginning when I was writing the article is that you saw a couple of companies, particularly in Asia, actually. I mean, they're very big on, on VR stuff, way bigger than Europeans and Americans are. And we saw instant kind of funding into these kind of VR projects in Japan and a few other Asian countries and a fairly big company, public listed co Inc in Japan launched pretty much immediately an app and metaverse app where kind of candidates can kind of scroll through the world.

Pavel (6m 20s):

Yeah. I mean like many things that are VR at the moment in the same way that, you know, cryptocurrency has been. These things come and go, it's usually a fad. It's usually a way to appeal to investors or sometimes to bring more employers abroad because you want to kind of show off your tech skills. And obviously a lot of people we spoke to said, you know, of course this is ridiculous. You know, there's no point. It's just a waste of time, blah, blah, blah. But I spoke to a Japanese guy and he made the really, really good point, which I really liked. And I didn't really think of, and he said, well, imagine you're like a 18 year old, 19 year old student, right? You're a Japanese guy, you've got low self esteem. You know, you might be on your computer, nine, eight hours a day.

Pavel (7m 2s):

You're not used to socializing. And even going on Zoom, let alone meeting someone face-to-face is like a real challenge, right? Because you know, it takes a lot of balls to do that for a young kid. And he said the way they found the success and the metaverse and where they see the future is for those kinds of people, you know, it was kind of socially shy guys who might be incredibly intelligent, especially in the kind of the tech IT space where you don't really need to be amazing at social interactions, it's more about numbers and, you know, being able to work and code well. So for those guys, it actually works really well because they get to choose their, you know, their skin, they get to choose the character, the avatar, whatever, and they feel way more comfortable in that space.

Pavel (7m 42s):

I think it's especially apps for Japan, right? Because I mean, you probably heard lots of social problems in Japan. There's like a whole social class thing. Right? So in addition to the shyness thing, it was also a huge class thing to overcome. So if you're, if you come from a kind of weird, lower social status, you might be really, really awkward when you have to meet some kind of big suits at a recruitment company or any other company when you go to work. So that example I thought was really, really brilliant in terms of showing how it can work.

Joel (8m 10s):

So in short, Chad, he's saying there's a chance baby.

Chad (8m 16s):

For in cells everywhere.

Pavel (8m 18s):

That's pretty much it.

Joel (8m 20s):

Introverts everywhere rejoice! The metaverse is here. All right. Thanks. Thanks, Pavel. All right. Let's let's get into some shout outs. Shall we everybody hit it up?

Chad (8m 28s):

Go Cheeseman.

Joel (8m 28s):

I'll go ahead and go first. Orka, Free Willy. No, wait, not that Orka. The Manchester based startup founded in 2019 has announced a 3 million pound investment in bitcher capital investor Praetura Ventures, Orka supports shift workers and their employers by helping them find temporary employment and allowing them to access 50% of their wages as soon they've earned them.

Chad (8m 58s):


Joel (8m 58s):

In an average month, Orka helped 6,000 people source work, shout out to Orka.

Chad (9m 6s):

Excellent. Well, my Shout Out goes to the EU who is standing up to big tech. It's about fucking time somebody does. An agreement called the Digital Market Act establishes a series of prohibitions and obligations for companies, including Google, Meta, Apple, and Amazon, and a number of smaller platforms that will likely include Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Also requirements for messaging services, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage will have to open up for smaller messaging platforms for group chats. So here's where it gets really interesting kids penalties for breaching. The rules can be up to 10% of annual worldwide turnover in the case of the first infringement.

Chad (9m 54s):

And even up to 20% in the case of repeated infringements. For me, this is where it actually matters because we in the US, all we do is we just, we have these little bitty fines that do nothing and they still continue to, you know, act bad. So hopefully the EU is going to actually take a stand and maybe the US will follow. We'll see.

Joel (10m 15s):

Yeah. Good luck with that one. Lieven.

Lieven (10m 18s):

My shout-out goes to <inaudible> who is the CEO of RedMart group. And he invited me to his famous skiing trip to Australia last week. So he see right. RedMart group and they have a company called Talent and Pro and they go skiing each year with about 300 people. And it's really a lovely trip. And he invited me. So I hope this will be an inspiration to all our other CEOs because we have 45 companies send our 52 weekend a years or plenty of time.

sfx (10m 47s):

Doesn't anyone notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

Chad (10m 50s):

Is hot tub time machine. When I think of Lieven going for a ski trip.

Lieven (10m 55s):

Oh, I actually skied and I got COVID on the plane, but it's worth it.

Joel (10m 59s):

And the Swedish bikini team is in that hot tub by the way.

Chad (11m 3s):

Yes. Exactly.

Joel (11m 3s):

Exactly. Nice, nice Pavel. Our guest has a shout out, which is a rare treat. Pavel what you got?

Pavel (11m 9s):

My shouts out is to the Russian recruitment sector, which is tanking faster than, I don't know what would be a good us analogy? Then Biden's presidential approval rating. How about that?

Joel (11m 20s):

Lead balloon? Separate screen doors. Yeah. Okay.

Pavel (11m 22s):

Yeah. Yeah. It's going down faster. You had pretty much all the major foreign companies that were operating in Russia's recruitment markets. So you had Recruit Holdings with Indeed they're gone and you had the Jubal Ukrainian, obviously gone. A bunch of freelance marketplaces, such as, you know, Upwork, Fiverr, they're all gone. So all the foreign actors have left the stage. So you have a bunch of Russian companies. Some of them actually listed on foreign markets, such as a Headhunter Group, of course, listed on the London stock exchange. They are going to be facing a severe decline. And a huge stat that I saw was out of Russia's estimate to 300,000 IT workers, half that's half, 50% or expect to leave the country in the next six months.

Joel (12m 4s):

Holy shit.

Chad (12m 5s):

Brain drain that shit's happening.

Joel (12m 7s):

And are you seeing efforts by either countries or businesses to capture these exodus, exiting Russians?

Pavel (12m 14s):

Not yet. I think they think Russians are in trend right now, so there's not opening their arms too wide at the moment, but the Russian government is trying to keep them at home by giving them massive tax cuts and guaranteed higher wage brackets.

Joel (12m 29s):

Well, maybe they're escaping to Belgium, which is where Chad and I will be going May sixth. Lieven tell everyone about the eCongress. If they good God don't even know by now.

Lieven (12m 38s):

It's almost impossible not to know about the Erecruitment Congress, on May 6 in Belgium, but it's by far by far, the most important Congress on Erecruitment in Belgium, it's also one of the only Erecruitment Congress in Belgium, but it will be interesting. And the metaverse isn't on the speakers list yet. So Pavel maybe you should talk.

Joel (12m 59s):

Yeah. Pavel, if you want to come talk about the metaverse, that'd be a hell of a fun topic to come and talk about over some Belgian beers.

Pavel (13m 7s):

Let's go get some COVID in Belgium.

Joel (13m 9s):

Let's get some Duvel Duvel we'll clear that shit right up, right up. And I will also be a RecFest in the UK. Pavel that's maybe a little, you know, at least language closer to you. And if anyone knows about what's know more about Chad and Cheese's tour of the world, just go to backslash,

Chad (13m 30s):

But just go to, click on events. It's right there in the upper right-hand corner. That's how easy it is.

Joel (13m 40s):

Even a caveman can figure it out.

Chad (13m 43s):


Joel (13m 44s):

Topics! Axel Foley, I mean, Springer has increased its stake in IT recruitment site, to 70% of the company shares up from 44% before the transaction. The value of the transaction was not disclosed. No Fluff Jobs was established in 2014 in Poland, Axel Springer first invested in the company in July of 2018. In October, 2019, the site expanded into Hungary and in the following years also into the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belarus, and Ukraine. The investment will let Axel Springer take No Fluff Jobs to the next level of international development and build a strong platform with IT job offers in the dynamic and growing global market of IT professionals.

Joel (14m 34s):

That's according to Mark Deccan, CEO of Axel Springer in the news release that announced the transaction, No Fluff Jobs focuses specifically on listings for IT specialists. The site saw 842,000ish visits in February. That's according to similar web. All right, guys, who's ready for a fluffer job. And this is probably good timing considering all the Russian programmers getting the hell out of Russia, right Pavel?

Pavel (14m 56s):

And they're not in Belarus anymore, by the way.

Joel (14m 59s):

That's why we have reporters on the show.

Pavel (15m 0s):

Yeah. I think, you know why don't need to spell it out, but yeah, yeah. I've been following them for a while. Actually it's interesting. What's really interesting about that is the Axel Springer entry into Eastern Europe and the way that they're really trying to branch out, it's part of the kind of general effort in the region, but they're not, you know, they're not a very big site. I mean, usually niche sites like that, don't get a lot of traffic. They'll never be competing for the top recruitment verticals in any of these countries and the way they've modeled the site. I mean, it's really like a purely English offering for IT personnel in Western Europe. So let's see how it goes. You know, it's still early stage of development at this point.

Joel (15m 41s):

Do you think Axel Springer wants to acquire No Fluff at some point? Like what's the added interest? Is it an acquisition or it's just that good of a business?

Pavel (15m 49s):

I think it's part of the general trend because they're also big in real estate now they've acquired a bunch of real fast of the policy is, and I think recruitment is also part of that strategy. They want to have a bigger presence in Eastern Europe because it's new actually, if you look at it from a point of view of kind of these marketplace businesses, it's kind of getting ignored because you have process, especially now because you're going to process probably leaving Russia, right? It's kind of, they said they will. So it's probably going to happen. Belarus is another market going to be abandoned. Ukraine has obviously in chaos, so there's not too many competitors or major rivals. And there's a lot of companies to snap up in this new Europe. There's a lot of big kind of number one companies that are locally owned.

Pavel (16m 30s):

You know, they're not, don't belong to any big, giant corporate establishment.

Joel (16m 34s):

Are there any particular countries that you think are going to greatly benefit from the Russian exit, Belarus exit and the debacle in Ukraine like Poland is doing a very good job of housing Ukrainians. I mean, do you think there's going to be a Renaissance period for Eastern Europe as these developers sort of take flight in those countries? Or do you think they're gonna go to France and Germany and try to make their way to America? Do you have any take on that?

Pavel (16m 60s):

Yeah, I think you're right. I think it's going to be Western Europe for both Russians and Ukrainian developers. What people don't understand is Ukrainians even the opponents being really nice that they're taking on a load Ukrainians. Ukraine's don't feel a very homely in Poland historically. They've always been kind of opposed to each other. And I feel even though there's this kind of wave, of really positive wave of welcoming them in the long-term when I speak to my Ukrainian friends, don't really see a future for themselves in Eastern Europe, unless it's a home.

Chad (17m 29s):

Yeah. So really brass tacks. This is a job board. It's no fluff. It's stripped down that's job ads with pay transparency, but this could easily be duplicated. So it's not a Mayday. It's just interesting that Axel Springer would buy these guys number one, after StepStone backs out of France. Right. Which is the number two market in Europe.

Pavel (17m 54s):

We broke that Dane Grid broke that story.

Chad (17m 56s):

You did. Yeah. You and we talked about it cause you guys do the good stuff, but I don't understand why 70%, why two, two things first and foremost, just buy the damn thing. It can't be that expensive number one. Number two, if you are a founder, why hang on to 30%? If you have, if you don't have controlling interest, sell that shit. I mean, you're hanging on for a wing and a prayer is what you're doing. So that to me was really weird.

Lieven (18m 25s):

Yeah. But maybe Axel Springer just wants to keep the management on board. So they are obliged to keep a part of the shares. So they should try to make as much money as possible because there are still shareholders. Otherwise, if they would have some kind of an agreement like you will have to stay for five years, why should they work hard when the cashed already? I would do the same thing.

Chad (18m 47s):

Yeah. I'm just saying as a founder, you, at that point are cornered. So you either sell the whole thing or, you know, you don't give up controlling interest.

Joel (18m 55s):

I just want to be a fly on the wall of a sales call when someone calls a company and says there with No Fluff Jobs at what the response is. I know what my response would be if I were on the other end of that call, all right, let's take a quick break. And we'll have some, some milkshakes.

sfx (19m 17s):

Europe has a bunch of countries in it. I drink your milkshake. I drink it up.

Joel (19m 27s):

All right, French freelancer marketplace Malt has acquired Berlin based CoMatch. The terms of the deal were not made public, but the acquisition has said to involve a mix of equity and cash. It's a match made in freelance heaven everybody! CoMatch is a marketplace for independent management consultants and industry experts and Malt has a reported 340,000 freelancers across Europe, matching freelance developers, designers, and other technical workers with companies found in France. It has since begun operating in Germany, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland with offices in Paris, Lyon, Madrid, Munich and of course now Berlin. Previously CoMatch founded in 2014, it raised a total of $14 million.

Joel (20m 11s):

While Malt founded a year earlier has raised almost $140 million. There's always a bigger fish! Who wants to chime in on this deal and how long before malt expands to the United States of America?

Chad (20m 24s):

First off, this is the European show so it's 122 million euros just so that everybody understands, right.

Joel (20m 30s):

It is still 340,000 freelancers though. I don't think that number changes.

Chad (20m 33s):

Well, yeah, and the question is that a lot of gig workers? Because when we first looked at this and the very first show, we did the very first European show, we looked at this number and we thought, eh, it's not too big. But then I went in, I took a look at Fiverr and again, they're a global organization. They have 830,000 gig workers globally. So I thought, you know, wow, that's a pretty damn good representation. If you are only in a little over a handful of European countries and you have 340,000, then you hook up with CoMatch and they have 15,000 freelancers, but these freelancers are across nine different markets.

Chad (21m 20s):

And they're more upscale, right? So you're talking about management consultants and industry experts. So this is an interesting acquisition from the standpoint of being able to up-level your candidate pool? The question for me is will they continue with the CoMatch brand or will this all just become Malt? And then Malt has more layers of individuals that you could go after? Consultants versus, you know, entry-level gig workers.

Joel (21m 49s):

Maybe it can be CoMalt.

Lieven (21m 52s):

Single malt.

Joel (21m 52s):

So say that again. So there are 800, some 800,000 freelancers globally on Fiverr?

Chad (21m 59s):

830. That was 2019 numbers.

Joel (22m 0s):

Okay. So let's call it 900,000.

Chad (22m 3s):

Yeah. Yeah. And, but 25% of their revenues came from Europe. So, you know, it's fairly substantial, but again, you're talking about a global platform versus one, that's just a handful of European countries.

Joel (22m 16s):

Europeans be freelancing. It sounds like it's a growing phenomenon and malt is a position to a profit from that quite a bit. Lieven?

Lieven (22m 24s):

Yeah. The timing is perfect, I think. The freelance business is exploding right now. And we started a bit later than in the United States. You had to Reddit for a few years and reddit nuts still top of minds, they throw me out of Reddit. Now you had a Fiverr.

Joel (22m 39s):


Lieven (22m 40s):

A couple of years ago, and now all the same thing is happening in Belgium and in Europe. So Malt is active in the biggest countries, I guess, are France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands. If I look at our company is doing the same thing. Since last year, they're actually growing very fast. It took some time to get launched, but now it's moving fast. So I think buying something in Germany is a good idea, because it's a very big market. The biggest one, it's still very fragmented. You have many, many, many small companies perfect for consolidation to do some acquisitions. I would do the same thing if I were them.

Joel (23m 16s):

You know, we talked to when we were talking about Upwork and Fiverr, leaving Russia, I remember we talked a little bit about, which I think was also based in France and that they were not leaving Russia. So I thought that was an interesting move. Maybe that's changed since then, but you have, you have a really crowded market space for gig workers and freelancers in Europe. And obviously consolidation is going to happen. Whether it's on the Upwork Fiverr end of things, freelance, Malt, you've got obviously, you know, driver jobs, Uber's there, et cetera. And then consolidation is going to happen. So to me, this is as simple as a bigger fish, ate a little fish and whether it was going to be Malt or Freelance or someone else, CoMatch was going to be gobbled up.

Joel (24m 6s):

And it just happened to me Malt in this case.

Pavel (24m 10s):

It's interesting how everything has accelerated on the back of the pandemic. And I think the general understanding and the way investors view freelancer marketplace has really switched, right? Because before it was all kind of like, you know, low paid really basic staff, lots of poorly qualified freelancers looking to make a few bucks on the side. And I think what we see now is this real focus on quality over quantity. And I think the next stage that we'll see will be this hyper localized, hyper skill focused freelance marketplaces with even like a gateway on skills. You know, so, and I think that's going to be really in demand where you can have major corporates coming in and finding really high level, high pay freelances.

Pavel (24m 50s):

And by the way, it's so, Aim Group we would do recruitment annual and every year we were ranked the top 15 freelance sites globally by web traffic. Give you guys a guess, name me the top three freelance marketplaces by traffic, have a guess.

Joel (25m 8s):


Pavel (25m 9s):

That's number two.

Chad (25m 9s):


Pavel (25m 9s):

Fiverr's number one. Number three?

Joel (25m 15s):

Probably somewhere in Asia or China that we'd never heard of.

Pavel (25m 20s):

It's a tough one. No, it is US site.

Joel (25m 23s):

Oh yeah. design work.

Pavel (25m 24s):

Yeah. And dribble. Very popular.

Joel (25m 26s):

That's interesting. Yeah. We learned something today.

Chad (25m 27s):

We learn something every day, every day. So here's the thing and you asked Joel, do you think that they're coming to the US? I think they shouldn't first and foremost, I think they there's enough to eat in Europe. Although here's one of the quotes from Crunchbase "following this acquisition, Malt has some ambitious goals. By 2024, the company expects to generate 1 billion euros in business volume." Just to kind of give you an idea of Fiverr is paced this year to be at $375 million globally in revenue. I mean, their eyes are big. I think to answer your question, they should stay in Europe.

Chad (26m 8s):

But with that kind of goal, they've got to go to the US because they can't find that much cash in Europe alone.

Lieven (26m 15s):

I agree. I mean, it's a big market. Okay. But how are these companies are already split firms going to differentiate between each other? And you could say, I'm a freelancer. I'm present at several platforms. And the one which is going to give me the best projects I will take, and they will make some money on me. So there are several possibilities. You could be a working the price, let's say at Malt, they charge about 10% on the first project you do for a client. And the second one for the same client, they charge 5%, which actually is cheaper than Fiverr. So that could be a to break into the markets. But I think it's something Pavel said as well.

Lieven (26m 55s):

It's about quality, all those big platforms. And they claim to have over three-hunderd thousand freelancers, they probably haven't ever met 10% of those. They didn't interview them or anything. So I think the best way to differentiate today is to have a smaller community of high quality freelancers, which you all know, which you have tested and which you guarantee are good. A bit like Fiverr has its business platform or something where you pay more. But the candidates are qualified by Fiverr, very small percentage of all those people. So this is something I believe in, you have a smaller initial with a community of people who know each other who know you, you know them, you've tested them and you put them in the markets.

Joel (27m 39s):

Quick question for the Europeans. Culturally, do you guys have an opinion on whether European countries are most comfortable with, Hey, get your ass back in the office, live close to work, relocating people from other EU countries to come live in the city of your headquarters or the office to come in, or is there a greater comfort in, okay, we're going to start working remotely. We're going to start using contractors all around the continent. Do you guys have a sense, culturally, what is sort of most comfort comfortable for companies in Europe? Is it a country by country? Is there a blanket statement you could make or no clue whatsoever?

Pavel (28m 12s):

Okay. I can give you an example. So I used to work with a big I'd like to name the company, but it's a huge, huge public listed company in the UK. And about four years ago, they started shutting down all of their freelancers because they started believing in this kind of workforce philosophy. So they're worried about data breaches security, and they basically wanted everyone in-house in the office and they cut off a bunch of thousands of freelancer contracts. Then the pandemic kit and their philosophy basically was left in ruins, right? Because they were left without this freelancer base to fall back on. And that is a good example of what companies are seeing as the risk now.

Pavel (28m 54s):

And I think in the UK, at least, freelancer model is being adopted very, very rapidly. It's completely normal now.

Chad (29m 3s):

Which is flowing nicely into the next expansion.

Joel (29m 6s):

Chad, you read my mind and that segue baby, let's talk about Hired. So Hired is a solution for finding tech and sales talent, last week, they announced its next milestone, enabling hiring on a global scale. While Hired focused on matching employers and candidates in the US, Canada and the UK in the past. Now companies can connect with job seekers for more than 100 companies following the platform shift to remote hiring worldwide. As part of the strategy Hired has partnered with global HR solutions, Oyster and Remote to help employers more easily source, hire, onboard and employ talent from anywhere. Through these partnerships, Hired customers have access to HR management solutions for international payroll, benefits, taxes and compliance among other needs.

Joel (29m 54s):

To date Hired founded in 2012 has raised $132 million. Chad, you can chime in on what that is in euros. Guys, I imagine a lot of vendors are figuring out how to scale internationally, thanks to the popularity of remote work. Any thoughts?

Pavel (30m 11s):

I think it's very difficult. There's lots of things to consider. There's lots of regulations on the regional level, you need a really strong payment system, right? That works globally, actually. So you need a huge investment to work on the global level. It's easier for the IT segment, I think generally speaking, because the volumes aren't as massive, but I think if you have a remote hiring platform, I think you've got to think internationally these days. I mean, if you can be, you know, restricted to one market.

Chad (30m 41s):

They're specifically looking at sales and IT, so in both those areas, I think, you know, remote is a pretty smart, right? It just makes sense but I'm wondering if Hired was waiting for a benchmark of validation from customers, like data points they shared, 60% of their employers and 90% of their candidates are open to remote work. I wonder if they waited to see those numbers hit like a certain benchmark before they actually pulled the trigger because they could have done this much earlier. And to your point, Pavel, the remote partnership is key for all of those payment systems and being able to work in all those different countries.

Chad (31m 28s):

So that's a great connection. And if they're using Oyster and Remote well, as sales generation leads through partnership, this could be huge for At first I was not a big fan because it was Addeco and they bought Vettery. And I didn't think that they would be able to transition from the old style staffing model into something new. And it looks like they're starting to find their way. Lieven what do you think? This is your lane, man.

Lieven (31m 57s):

It's about time to start doing something, right? I guess. He used to be number one, they were past by a Randstad. I think you're totally right In this case.

Joel (32m 8s):

Something Pavel said, and I think something Chad said are pretty relevant here. Number one, overnight, the pandemic changed people's opinions on what was important and what wasn't. And overnight basically employers said, we need to be able to manage, recruit remotely. We need to be able to open the doors to more talent on a global level. And what happens when employers want something, they go to their vendors and say, how can you help us do this? How can you get us to a global footprint in terms of recruiting and managing these folks? Obviously Remote was in a great position. If you look at, you know, your tech team and say, okay, how do we this easily or quickly?

Joel (32m 49s):

Partnerships typically come to mind. Like who can we partner with quickly to be able to add, you know, this solution to our customers? And I think that was part of, I think, Hired's desire to sort of grow globally quicker than most of their competition. I do think you're going to see more and more companies, they want to be able to say to their clients, yes, we can help you globally. They don't want to say, no we're good with just the US or no we're just good with North America and the UK. They want to be able to tell people we can help you find people globally. It reminds me of Chad you'll remember this. When Jobs to Web came to market and said, we will do SEO for you. And we'll put a layer over your job postings and they'll all be SEO friendly, and Google will index them.

Joel (33m 34s):

Well all the employers started saying, why aren't my jobs SEO friendly? Why aren't they showing up in Google? So eventually every ATS said, oh shit, we better do this. And I think that sort of demand by customers is happening post pandemic with get us global, like get us global as soon as possible because we want our door open to talent everywhere. If the technology can support it.

Chad (33m 55s):

Yeah. Well, I gotta say, I'm not sure that Addeco has yet to nail it with Hired they're on the right path, I think, but they're sure as hell doing better than Randstad ever did with Monster.

sfx (34m 12s):

I drink your milkshake. I drink it up.

Joel (34m 14s):

All right, guys. Pavel thanks for joining us today that was great! For those who don't know you or Aim Group, where should they go to learn more?

Pavel (34m 24s):, not to be confused with the US logistics company Aim Group.

Joel (34m 29s):

And how much is a subscription to Aim these days?

Pavel (34m 30s):

It depends. We have very moderate subscriptions for our new service. We know you only need to pay a couple hundred bucks and you get access to our kind of news briefs. If you want a more in-depth subscription to our detailed reports, then you're probably gonna pay in the thousands. There's a reason why all the major tech companies and the major marketplaces businesses are subscribed to us.

Joel (34m 53s):

Highly recommended and it's tax deductible, I think in most countries, guys, if you want to hear more European goodness, head out to Chad Lieven, Chad. Another one is in the can.

Chad and Cheese and Lieven (35m 10s):

We out.

OUTRO (35m 11s):

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 (35m 54s):

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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