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Big in Deutschland

Joel takes this week off from the Europe show but leaves a little Virtual Cheese behind for the listeners.

On this week's show:

  • American companies make a vanity play with workers,

  • Facebook steals instead of innovating,

  • Lieven digs into House of HR's big acquisition in Germany

  • Buy or Sell featuring Willo, Crew, and Brigad

  • Plus the newest Serbian delegate to Pornhub

Gern geschehen!


Intro: Hide your kids, lock the doors. You're listening to HR's Most Dangerous Podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark. Buckle up boys and girls. It's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast.

Joel: Oh, yeah. The Golden Visa program in Portugal has been canceled one year after the Sowashes moved to town. Coincidence? I think not. Hey, kids. This is the Chad and Cheese Podcast Europe. I'm your co-host Joel Victor Orban Cheesman. And joining me as always are Chad, the party pooper of Portugal, Sowash and Lieven, the muscles from Brussels Van Nieuwenhuyze. [laughter] On this episode, House of HR gets healthy, buy or sell and a little naughtiness. Oh, yeah. And a little bit of virtual cheese. Let's do this.

Chad: Virtual cheese. You know what that means, Lieven?

Lieven: No idea but I like cheese, so I like virtual cheese as well, I hope. [laughter]

Chad: Joel's not with us this week, although we do have recordings of his thoughts and intros on all these, because we wanted to include him. He's off skating around Texas right now since it's snowing there.

Lieven: Okay. Then you need to go to Texas. I totally understand.


Chad: I do not wanna to go to Texas, let alone when it's snowing, because you know what's gonna happen. Their grid's gonna freeze up and they're gonna lose electricity or some shit like that.

Lieven: And isn't that where the cactuses... I always imagine Texas having only cactuses.


Chad: Isn't it bad for the cactuses?

Lieven: Yeah. All the snow.

Chad: I think it's bad for the Longhorn steer.

Lieven: Yeah. And the cowboys freezing their balls off. Okay.

Chad: That's what happens. That's the kinda shit that happens, right? So I've gotta get your take on something that Joel and I talked about last week, sending of probably the oldest president known to man to a war zone. So Joe Biden went to Ukraine last week. Surprise visit. Surprise visit but he pretty much stuck his middle finger up to Russia and said, "I'm coming, whether you like it or not." So was that even a thing over in Europe? Did you guys see it on the news?

Lieven: Of course.

Chad: So tell me a little bit about it.

Lieven: It was big news. Biden coming to Europe is news in any case but Biden going to Kyiv and going there when even our own prime ministers et cetera don't, some did. But that's definitely big news. I only thought it was a bit... A shame he mentioned it to the Russians three hours in advance. I'm coming to Kyiv, so don't you fucking bomb us. Something like that. [laughter] I mean it's a bit... It's fake. I mean, he should be braver than that. He should have been braver but I don't know we were happy. We were happy. [laughter] But don't you think it's a risk, telling the Russians that the President of the United States is coming to Kyiv.

Chad: They tell them anyway, just to ensure... They've got this special line. I can't remember what they actually call it but they tell them when any type of movement's happening, just so that they don't fuck things up and shooting an airplane down or bombing Kyiv when the President of the United States is in Kyiv so it would've happened anyway.

Lieven: But don't you think it would just motivate Russians to extra bomb Kyiv? [laughter]

Chad: Not unless they wanna start World War III. We've already talked about sending Abrams over to Kyiv and training the Ukrainians to actually utilize these weapons. Next thing you would know, if something like that happened, we would have Abrams with American troops on the ground. We would have F-22 Raptors. The Russians would not want that. Especially since Ukraine's kicking their ass by themselves right now.

Lieven: Yeah. They don't need the Americans doing the same thing. [laughter] No, probably not.

Chad: No. That would not be good.

Lieven: But it was big news. And also because at the same moment China just sent some kind of an ambassador and not Xi Jinping, what's his name? The Chinese president. So when the biggest president of the whole world, so the biggest ally of Ukraine is coming in person, Biden is coming in person to Kyiv and then the biggest ally of Russia is sending some minion to do the same thing. Russia once again lost face.

Chad: Yeah. They're losing face left and right. Joel said last week that he was scared of World War III. And I said I don't believe it unless there's overwhelming force from NATO going into Russia. I don't think that we have to worry about that.

Lieven: No.

Chad: What do you guys... I mean, you're in Russia... You're not in Russia. You're in Europe. So what do you guys think? Kinda on the same line?

Lieven: I think so. I mean, if there's something we need to avoid, it's that word, enlarging. I mean, we don't want World War III definitely, because we will be in the playing field, so no way. Just like you, I don't think it would be a problem as long as we don't invade Russia. I mean, Russia... There's talk in Russia about invading Poland because the Polish people they're sending arms to Ukraine. They're supporting them openly. They're trash talking Russia constantly and it annoys the Russians. So the Russian propagandists always keep saying, we should invade Poland after we won the war in Ukraine. No way they can do it. I mean, then they would... Europe would be forced to do something, NATO would be forced to do something. Something Russia just couldn't handle. So I think it'll end and I hope the Chinese will have it up to there with Russia's behavior and they will tell Putin to take Crimea and leave the rest. And then maybe this might end. Chances that Crimea is taken back are small, I think but...

Chad: Yeah. I don't know at this point, we shall see. Okay, let's hit shoutouts. You go first.

Lieven: Shout out. Okay. My shoutout is to the naughty Americans. I just read an article and I kind of liked it, an article in the Belgium newspaper. Apparently, something is going on in America. By making everyone a manager or director, they don't have to pay people overtime. So just giving them a title, which sounds very expensive, enables companies not to pay them overtime. Is that true?

Chad: Yeah. If you put somebody on salary, then you don't have to worry about that overtime, because they're not being paid by the hour. So yes, this is a trick that companies pay... They try to play toward your vanity and say, "Hey, I'm gonna put you in a management position. We think you're ready for this. We really think you're ready for this. We're gonna promote you into a management position. You're gonna get more in your salary." Well, overall, you're getting screwed because all the overtime you're going to have to work, you would've gotten paid more with the lower responsibility of not being a "manager."

Lieven: It's incredible, I mean.

Chad: It's American way, man. How can we pay people less?

Lieven: A hotel in America actually was making the receptionist the first impression director. [laughter] The person could work like for 15 hours because he was the first impression director. And from a director, you can expect to be working 15 hours apparently but no overtime. That's creative. I like it but too bad this wouldn't work in Belgium because I don't know, we have common sense and people just wouldn't take it.

Chad: Yes, you do have common sense. Here in the US it's more about titles. And we were talking before the show, since 1978, here in the US, CEOs have taken a pay raise of 1322%. Now our laborers, the ones who are actually doing the hard work on a daily basis, have received an 18% raise. So this is how we do things. Which is the American way. Pay the laborers less and try to push as much money up to the top as you possibly can. Crazy, crazy, crazy.

Lieven: The rich get richer.

Chad: Yes, they do. And then there's a revolt. Speaking of revolts, my shout out is to Meta. Yes, aka Facebook and Instagram will be copying Twitter. How? You might ask. Facebook parents, Meta has launched a new subscription service called, get ready kids, Meta Verified that will allow users to add the coveted blue check mark to their Instagram and Facebook accounts for up to $15 a month by verifying their identity. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Sunday, tapping a new revenue channel that has returned mixed success for its smaller rival Twitter. Does this surprise you at all? It seems like Meta, Facebook, whatever, the only thing they can do nowadays is acquire companies and copy them. They can't innovate themselves.

Lieven: It's the big company syndrome. It happens all the time. Companies are small and creative because they need to be creative because they're small. And the moment they get too big and too rich, it's just easier to buy something creative than to develop something of your own but in this case, it's totally ridiculous. I mean, for Twitter... From Twitter's point of view, I could even understand it. It was important that people are who they claimed to be. If I'm speaking on behalf of my company, people need to know for sure that it's me, the spokesperson but on Facebook, I've been on Facebook for like 20 years always pretending to be Lieven Van Nieuwenhuyze and people believed me. So why should I pay for... [laughter] It's totally ridiculous. So Zuckerberg won't get rich from me.

Chad: Nothing like a money grab from from those companies. But I do agree that a lot of these larger organizations, they just lack innovation. And then what has happened again here in the US and we're starting to see all over the world, is that those large companies, they're copying the smaller companies and they're becoming monopolies in some case. So we have to... And well, one of the things that we haven't done over in the US and you guys have done a much better job, is crack down on monopolies and fining and not allowing some of those acquisitions to happen.

Lieven: But then again, I had that discussion a few times with other people. You can't blame companies for being too successful if they're so good and they buy their competitors. Who am I to say you're not allowed to buy this one because you are just becoming too big? There's nothing wrong with being successful and being big as long as they don't screw people [laughter] which they probably will.

Chad: But the hard part is though when you... A lot of those companies actually acquire the smaller companies and then they take the more innovative tech, they put it in the closet.

Lieven: Yeah. To protect their own existing models. That's different. Of course. Yeah.

Chad: The old model. They're protecting the old model. And we saw this... When I was at Monster, we had, I don't know how many startups we bought and just threw in the closet. Didn't use 'em just because it was a threat to our current model. And it was interesting that they didn't do that with Indeed.

Lieven: Yeah. When I was working for job ads in Belgium 15, 17 years ago, I said pay per click is becoming a thing. We need to go into pay per click. And in those days it was pay per vacancy and you paid 800 euros for a vacancy to put it for four weeks online and I said, pay per click is becoming a thing. And the director back in the days, he said, "Yeah but let the others try it." And suddenly there was Indeed playing everything away because they knew how to do it and they did it and pretty late. And this happens constantly. Always.

Chad: It does, it does. Okay kids, it's that time for topics. And guess what, we also have... We're talking about virtual Joel. So [laughter] he wanted to be a part of this show so badly. He did.

Lieven: We miss him. We miss him.

Chad: Well, he misses you. And he wanted to be so badly that he actually did all the intros to these. So here we go. Here's the first segment.

Joel: House of HR has announced its intention to acquire Pluss, that's Pluss with two S, a German company that specializes in temporary recruitment for healthcare and social services. With this acquisition House of HR aims to become one of the leading HR service providers in the doc region with the collaboration of two other German HR service providers, Avanti and LD Personalvermittlung, which were also acquired by House of HR in 2021 and 2022. The acquisition of Pluss is House of HR's third in German healthcare staffing. And it plans to expand its market presence to become one of the most significant players in the country, kicking much ass. I know Lieven has a lot to add on this one but for my two cents, House of HR continues to make smart laser-like acquisitions under Rika Coppens leadership. If there's a slam dunk business to be had in 2023 and beyond, it's healthcare, especially in Europe. The old country is aging fast, which means health issues and the need to care for the elderly is going to be huge. By 2060, most European countries will have a proportion of people aged 80 and over of about 10%, which is an increase by a factor of nine. I can smell the Euros. Nice move, House of HR.

Chad: So you're obviously now big in Deutschland but the question I have, is it Pluss or is it Pluss?

Lieven: Depending on who's saying it, it can be Pluss or Pluss. But let's just for the sake of it call it Pluss here, which sounds more English but probably Germans would say Pluss. I'm not sure even. I'll ask them, how do you pronounce yourself? [laughter]

Chad: You've been busy. You've had things going on and tell us a little bit about Pluss.

Lieven: Last year we did 16 M&As and Pluss is the first one this year, the first major one. It's not a really small one. 157 million, I believe revenue, I'm sure. So, it's pretty significant within healthcare. And as Joel already mentioned in his intro, we already had Avanti in Germany and he calls it LD Personalvermittlung or something but it's locum doctors LD, which means some kind of segment of doctors. And now we have Pluss, so consolidation is important in Germany. It's still a very fragmented market and healthcare is really strategic to us and not only to us, because like Joel also said, it's the structure... Or the shortage is structural. I mean, people will only... On average and the age will become older aging population, it'll only get worse. So there will always be a need for healthcare professionals, everyone knows.

Lieven: And I'm sure someday stuff will be automated but the social aspect will stay very important. And even if you can automate some things, you'll still need the human touch. And I think healthcare is probably the last place where this will disappear. I strongly believe this is a very good evolution or a very good investment for House of HR. The only possible problem I see and I definitely speak on my behalf, not on behalf of the company here, is legislation. Since healthcare in Europe is mostly paid by the government, the government isn't doing a very good job in Europe, mostly in Belgium in keeping its economics under control. And they might get the stupid idea into their heads to save on healthcare and then they might just change legislation. So that could become a problem. Just to give you an example, in Belgium, for example, nurses working in hospital suddenly quit their job and they went working for a company like ours and then they were leased back to that same hospital and they made more money.

Lieven: Because suddenly they were working for a private company and the hospital desperately needed healthcare professionals, so they needed to get in touch with these companies. And then of course, I can understand government saying, yeah, we are just losing money to give them a different status. So, they could change legislation and they probably will but not in Germany for the moment. There's no problem there. And we will adapt, I think, if something like this happens.

Chad: Right. So is that what you're talking about when you're talking about fragmented... You're talking about public versus private? Is that where the fragmentation is or is there fragmentation in different areas?

Lieven: No, just fragmentation in temping companies, in secondment companies, because there are so many. In the rest of the world, you have Anstalt, which is huge and you have Adecco and they're really big in almost all countries but in Germany, because I think temping wasn't allowed until pretty recently, relatively recently, so there were many small companies starting and growing together and instead of five companies being really big, there are 500 being small. So consolidation is happening now and companies like ours, bigger companies are buying others just to grow more rapidly. And this is something you can't do in France anymore. France is a really mature market and it's hard to buy small companies since the market is dominated by big companies but in Germany there are so many small companies and they could work together to become bigger and you know the advantages of being big of course.

Chad: Yeah, of course. So are you looking at also consolidation in other countries? I mean, Germany is the largest GDP in Europe. Also, I mean, France you just mentioned how it's much harder to be able to go through consolidation there. What about some of the other countries in Europe, where do you see prime targets?

Lieven: France still is possible but in certain niches. You can't just say we're going to become the biggest temping player in France. That's impossible. Maybe someday but not immediately. And you can't just buy Adecco or Anstalt, they're too big. But there are smaller niches. We have... For example, we bought a company StaffMe, which is doing exactly the same thing as NOWJOBS was doing in Belgium. So it's for students and for flex workers, people who work short, second jobs or something. It's difficult to launch a company in France because they're chauvinistic. A Frenchman likes Frenchmen. So we just buy a company like that and help them to grow together with us on European scale. And that's a possibility. And the other countries were... Yeah, the biggest countries for House of HR are Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France but we are active within over 10 countries right now. And we will grow, we will probably do some consolidation in different countries but stick to our core region is probably the most sensible thing to do right now.

Chad: Yeah. I think for larger companies it's much different, obviously, in the US than it is in Europe. The way that House of HR keeps the brands consistent with the actual country is genius because as you had said, I think it's more than France but maybe very hefty in France, that they wanna buy from a French company. They want to, they feel like they need too, same in Germany, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. In the US we don't care. Whether it's a company that's in Alabama versus Ohio, it doesn't matter. We don't see the segmentation that way. So we just try to stuff everything under one brand where you guys are going at it much differently. And it's interesting because, obviously Ronstadt being able to try to pull everything up under Ronstadt, giving it that one label, I don't know if this is the main reason but one of the big reasons why they can do that over here and it's successful is 'cause we don't care but in Europe, that's gotta be a failed strategy for them, because they seem like this huge umbrella of... I mean it's not French, it's not German. It's nothing that I can actually get into from a nationalist standpoint.

Lieven: Yeah, I agree. But from a marketing point of view, it's so much easier to put one brand into the market. So it makes sense also to choose a one brand position but we've decided on multi-brand and I think in the end and definitely in Europe, it's the best way. Why buy a brand and then change it into something it's not? It doesn't make sense.

Lieven: Sometimes it's easier to have one brand. Like in Germany, we used to have ZAQUENSIS and TIMEPARTNER, two temping agencies doing basically the same thing but in different regions. We rebranded them all to TIMEPARTNER. So we have now over 300 offices in Germany, all TIMEPARTNER and that's easier. So in some cases we will rebrand a company but mostly when we buy a company, we buy them because they're doing better than the others. They're the best in class and we don't want to force them into something they're not. And indeed the US situation is different, I think because you speak English and in the whole of the United States, they speak English and every other people entering the United States will be able to explain himself in English. So English is the common denominator but if you go to France, people expect you to speak France. French, sorry.

Chad: Yes, they do.

Lieven: Yeah. And if you go to Denmark, people will be nice to you and they speak English but in the end they'll expect you to learn Danish. And in Norway they'll expect you to learn Norwegian. It's such a different way of doing business and you just can't rebrand a company into something that the local people have no affinity with.

Chad: Yes. Compared to last year, you had 16 acquisitions. You're running one... It's a big one. You're running one this year thus far. This seems, or at least it feels like it's a year of acquisition. Are you feeling that on the landscape too? That acquisition is going to be much more heavy than it was last year?

Lieven: Probably. And I'm keeping track of who's buying who, of course. Just as you are. One of the reasons I do it is because of this show of course. [laughter] We need to have something to talk about. But I was surprised nothing much happened since December. And really nothing much... We had some companies getting money but not many acquisitions and last year was a different thing. So I'm not sure what's the reason. Maybe it's because of people are still a bit afraid of the upcoming recession, even though in Europe, I believe things are settling down. We're not talking about recession anymore. Now, it could be a reason or people are waiting a bit. I'm not sure or maybe just everything got sold last year. I'm not sure.

Chad: I feel it too. There's apprehension in the market. There has been and I think there will be through Q1 but I personally believe my prediction is in Q2 through the rest of this year, it's gonna run gangbusters because everything is starting to stabilize.

Lieven: Okay, stop. What is gonna run gangbusters? Is that a good thing? I have no idea what it means. [laughter]

Chad: Yes.

Lieven: Okay, that's a good thing. Okay. Yeah.

Chad: Thanks for clarification. [laughter] There's going to be an excessive amount of acquisitions that are happening this year. Do you agree?

Lieven: I hope so, because it's always fun and things have to keep moving and I'm sure we will be doing our part but I was surprised suddenly two months it has been quiet. So we'll see.

Chad: Well, excellent. Well, congratulations to the House of HR and Pluss for the acquisition. We'll be right back after these messages. All right. We're gonna bring virtual Joel back. Are you ready?

Joel: Hell, yeah.

Chad: Here we go.

Joel: All right. Who's ready for a little buy or sell? Here's how we play the game. We talk about three startups that have recently gotten funding. I read a summary and then everyone chimes in on if it's a buy or sell. Are you ready to play? First up we have Brigad, I'm guessing that's how you say it in French. By the way LinkedIn should have an area for company pages where you can say audibly how to say a company's name. That would be really helpful, by the way. Just like you can do it with people's names, do it for companies' names too. Anyway, French startup, Brigad has raised $30 million in funding round.

Joel: The company operates a marketplace that enables restaurants, caterers, private clinics, retirement homes and hospitals to find freelancers for short-term missions. It has began in the hospitality industry but has since expanded into healthcare, which now represents a quarter of its business. They take a 20% cut on each transaction and have completed 200,000 of these so-called transactions in 2022 alone. So because I'm virtual, I'm gonna take the first Biostar rating. Okay. We know that the gig economy is huge. We talk about Upwork freelance, Fiverr all the time on this podcast. However, they've never really gone into the healthcare space, which is kind of, I guess, sort of surprising but also not so much because it is a huge opportunity. We talk about companies like Nomad Health.

Joel: This is a huge opportunity and I expect to see a lot more gig companies, platforms to provide healthcare workers just because there's such demand for it. By and large, healthcare workers hate the hours that they have to work. They would love some flexibility. And by and large, just the opportunity to just put your profile up there and be hired on a contract basis hasn't been really mainstream. So Brigad is looking to do that in France as well as the UK, two really big markets. I assume that it will be a larger market that they will be targeting at some point but for now, I think this is a huge opportunity. The money is not huge but the opportunity is. So for that alone, I'm gonna give Brigad a buy.

Chad: Alright, so that's a buy from Mr. Virtual Cheeseman. What say you, Lieven? What say you?

Lieven: I tend to agree. As I mentioned already, you can't go wrong with healthcare these days. And I think $30 million is pretty impressive. With also the $5 million in debt, $35 million, that's... It will keep them going for a while. And what Joel said about healthcare and Fiverr, Fiverr never got into healthcare. I think it's pretty normal because the risk is just too big. If someone claims to be able to create a logo for me and he screws up, I've got a bad logo. [laughter] But if someone claims to be a nurse and then something goes wrong, you have a problem. Companies like Fiverr accounts protect their clients from their freelancers, so I wouldn't take the risks in their place as well but a company like Brigad can of course and they can put people under payroll, check their licenses, their degrees; are they capable of doing what they should be capable of? And I think the problem for them will be to find the right nurses, find the right people to help them but they started in hospitality and from hospitality to hospital, which really is a small step; hospitality, hospital [laughter] so it's easy. So I think they will manage. It's a buy.

Chad: It's a buy from Lieven. Alright. So overall, Brigad has raised a total of over €50 million. The hospitality and healthcare industries are very much alike with regard to their need for talent but that's where the likeness stops. Other than... You're right, the spelling. It's very close from a spelling standpoint. I'll give you that. But accessing and attracting the different talent pools, that's difficult, right? And you're talking about hospitality talent pool versus a hospital/healthcare, not to mention there isn't really a big problem with demand for this. There's a problem with supply, right? That's where I have the big issue here. The CEO has no experience in either of these worlds, hospitality or healthcare. One of the co-founders who does have some healthcare chops, he's also a current co-founder of two other companies currently.

Chad: So I see a lot of lack of discipline here. Are we gonna be in hospitality? Are we going to be in healthcare? Do we actually have expertise to go and find the right people? Like you're talking with Fiverr, right? Do you actually have the expertise to find the supply? So for me, I believe in healthcare. I think it's gonna be incredibly big for those who know what the fuck they're doing. I don't think these guys do. So for that, I'm gonna go ahead and keep my money in my pocket and it's gonna be a sell for me. A sell for me. So two buys and a sell. Now we're going to go to the next, which is...

Joel: French HR Tech startup, Crew, has raised $2.3 million in a seed funding round to continue developing its all-in-one recruiting CRM system. Think HubSpot for recruiting. Crew CRM tool combines an outreach automation tool, nurturing capabilities and an actionable database, along with smart reminders and workflows for speed. The company has a hundred corporate clients and a thousand monthly users. The funding will be used to raise headcount and increase AI functionality. Buy or sell? I'm going first, again, I think the first time I ever wrote HubSpot for recruiting was somewhere probably around 2014. [laughter] Been there, done that. Lots of competition. And frankly, there are gonna be a lot more well-funded players getting into this space. I don't wanna call it a commodity but it's sort of getting that way. Hell, even HubSpot has a HubSpot for recruiting some of its clients leverage. So for me, this is a pistol at a gunfight, major...

Chad: Major sell. Okay, so we gotta talk about Joel and his analogies, a pistol to a gunfight. That's what you wanna bring to a gunfight. Jesus. Alright, Lieven, all on you, my friend. [laughter] What do you think?

Lieven: I was also thinking, okay, in some cases a pistol would be preferable over a gun in gunfight but [laughter] I'm not going to agree with Joel on this one because everything he said is right, it makes sense but I looked into the people who were actually putting their money into Crew and it's immense selection of C-levels from the recruitment in the digital industry and if you look at those people, you can at least expect they know what not to do. And that's already more than we can say about most startups. [laughter]

Lieven: Those people will know what not to do because they've been through a lot. And we're talking about people from Indeed, from... Look into the article, it's plenty. They know the business and if they invest their personal money in it, they must be on to something. And I think they are offering what I'm trying to make happen at House of HR, automating as much as possible with new technology. And if they have a plug and play system, I would be happy to listen to them. So I think this might work. And it's still a startup, so if you put a little money in it, you can make lots of it someday. It's a buy.

Chad: It's a buy from Lieven. Alright. So, Crew, $2.3 million is a great seed round, right? That's a great seed round, especially these days. Starting a recruitment CRM unfortunately was revolutionary nearly 20 years ago, with companies like Avature, when they did it. Avature saw that they needed to do more, so they evolved into an ATS. Having newer, well-funded platforms like Beamery and Phenom... Personally, myself, I've seen this segment. It's been around forever. So to try to start one is really hard. Not only is it really hard but you see all of these other platforms saw that they couldn't do it just as a recruitment CRM. They had to become something much larger and they had to do it quicker. I think the competition in this space is big with a bunch of unicorns. So at that point, my appetite is a sell. I've gotta be a sell on this one. So we got two sells and a buy for Crew. Last but not least, this is one that you've heard before, kids.

Joel: Oh-oh, it's a Chad boner alert. [chuckle] Video interviewing company, Willo has raised $1.8 million in a funding round led by 1818 Venture Capital. This brings total funding to $3.1 million. The Glasgow based firm has committed to opening a new office in New York City and expanding operations in the US, UK and Asia. Co-founder, Euan Cameron said, "The way the US market has embraced Willo's technology has been astounding. And this latest investment will enable us to meet the booming demand for async hiring tools among businesses and organizations. Organizations easy for me to see of all sizes." So, is this one a buy or sell? I'm gonna take it. So the Gen Xer in me wants to hate video interviewing, screening resumes and the like. It's not that efficient. A lot of people hate being on video. Some people, especially poor people, or people without the means don't have high speed access to do video.

Joel: And they're a pitfalls galore from a technical perspective. However, I'm open to the fact that there's a cultural change with young people who prefer video and can't write very well anyway. And in a remote world, video can be incredibly valuable. I also appreciate that AI tools like ChatGPT will make well-crafted text answers a breeze but it'll be written by a bot and not an actual human being. And although AI will probably make its way into video as well... Hello, deep fake. I'm going to buy Willo, even though my gray hairs might want to shoot it dead. Willo, you are a buy.

Chad: There you go. A buy from Joel who wants to call himself a Gen Xer but I feel like he's more of a boomer. I always wanna say, okay, boomer. So, okay, Lieven, knowing you're not a boomer, what do you think about Willo?

Lieven: I'm definitely a Gen Xer. And I think the only reason you should make a video is when you apply for a video producing company, because nobody else likes videos. A recruiter in Belgium, for example needs to know you got... Let's say 30 applicants, needs to know, does the person speak French? Yes or no? I do not want to watch a whole video to check at minute 2.7 he's going to say if he maybe speaks French. So video is a hassle. It's a hassle to make. It's a hassle to watch. And the time we elaborate it by using ChatGPT, I want to spend it at a pool grilling my burgers. I do not want to spend it watching videos. And they claim to remove the bias but in my opinion, video is the base of all bias. We have, in Belgium, open-minded recruiting, meaning we're going to remove the name from the CV, the date of birth, et cetera. Open-minded. So just look at the facts. And I kind of like it and watching a video, nothing is open-minded anymore. I make my impression the first few seconds I watch someone so it's a sell.

Chad: It's a sell. Okay. So Willo CEO... You and Cameron was on firing squad August of 2021. Joel gave him a golf clap and I gave him the firing squad. Since then, he and the team have done amazing things. I do like video. Do I like video interviewing? I'm with you with regard to blind interviewing, even blind resumes. I really believe trying to pull the bias out means only give the pertinent information. 1.5 million pounds to invade the US and Australia, that to me doesn't make any sense. Australia's GDP isn't even ranked in the top 10. So why are you targeting Australia? Especially when you've got Europe there, it is all there for you. You're right in Scotland. Not to mention you want to ensure that you're not spreading it too thin. So maybe coming to the US, the New York offices, I would've went for somewhere like North Carolina or something like that, that's a little less... It's less expensive. I love Euan, I love Willo, the hardest part for me here is the same thing that I gave him the firing squad on before. It's discipline, it's focus and it's really not getting too broad, which is why it's a sell from me.

Chad: All right. Last but not least, Lieven, you're gonna love this. This is one that I can't believe Joel didn't give us an intro. Virtual Joel is not a part of this one and I can't believe it. And here's why. There's an unhappy ending for Serbian MP who was forced to quit after being filmed watching hardcore porn, featuring X-rated messaging during a parliamentary debate. [laughter] Yes, he was in parliament and they were debating. That's right, Lieven. This one, straight out of Daily Mail. Nobody is surprised to this one. Saying his name is gonna be a task. Zvonimir Stević, 65, a veteran politician, long involved in Serbian-Kosovian diplomacy, was caught flicking between hardcore porn on his phone during a discussion on Serbia's ties with Kosovo. This is his area of expertise, okay? The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia asked the MP to resign and said, "Wherever you appear, whatever you say, you will always be known as the porno MP." [laughter] So Lieven, is this too harsh? I mean, Jeffrey Toobin, a CNN legal analyst, was allowed back on the air after his Toobin incident on Zoom, where he was caught masturbating in front of a bunch of people. [laughter]

Lieven: I still remember.

Chad: He's back on the air.

Lieven: It's my worst nightmare. [laughter]

Chad: So do you think this is too harsh? He's 65. We should just be happy that he's still enjoying the good life. [laughter]

Lieven: To be honest, I really feel sorry for the man. I mean, having lived 65 years and then this happens and it screws up your whole career. I mean, stupid, yes but I understand that. I mean, he was bored and he felt like watching porn, it probably was still on since he went to the bathroom half an hour ago and maybe he didn't even mean to look at it but he just put his phone on and the photographer... Well, he was screwed. But I think at 65, it's a nice moment to leave the theater and give it to some young people and call it a day and maybe people will forget him if he quits now but otherwise he will always be remembered as the PM who watched porn during the debate with Kosovo. And those Kosovarian people, they won't forgive him because they just never forgive Serbs, not even when they watch porn during debates. [laughter]

Chad: Well, personally, I think now there is a new career that is actually opened up for him as a Pornhub delegate in Serbia. [laughter] Thanks to Virtual Joel and once again, thanks, Lieven, for coming on the show. There's nothing else, man. We talked about buy or sell, we talked about you guys buying or selling and we talked about porn, so I think we're good, don't you?

Lieven: We got it all.

Chad: Excellent. We are out.

Lieven: We are out.

Chad: Well, thank you for listening to... What's it called? The podcast with Chad & Cheese. Brilliant! They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of shoutouts 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. With so many cheeses and not one word, so weird. Anywho, 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. And while you're at it, visit Just don't expect to find any recipes for grub cheese. It's so weird. We are out.


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