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Booze, Gummies, and AI: A No-BS Look at HR Tech & Podcasting

In this riotous episode, Chad and Joel are joined by Adam Posner, in what can only be described as a collaboration no one asked for but everyone will painfully endure. From discussing the endurance required to survive HR tech conferences without succumbing to the temptations of free booze and dubious gummies, to diving headfirst into the murky waters of AI and vaporware, no topic is off-limits and no vendor is safe.


Whether you're an HR veteran or just trying to get through your commute without falling asleep at the wheel, tune in for a mix of brash opinions, occasional wisdom, and relentless mockery of everything the HR tech industry holds dear. Just remember, you were warned. So buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride, and by the end, you might just find yourself wishing you had spent your time doing literally anything else.


PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION


Intro: 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 & Cheese podcast.

Adam Posner: Let's do this, folks. This is a collab you never know you wanted but you're gonna have it anyway.

Chad: I'm not sure I wanted it. Did you want this?

Adam Posner: See, that's my goal is a podcast.

Joel: Someone told me there'd be chocolate.

Adam Posner: What kind of chocolate? Special chocolate? Cookies.

Joel: Sexual chocolate.

Adam Posner: Sexual chocolate. This is a collab that you never knew you wanted but we're gonna do it for you anyway. This is the Chad & Cheese podcast collaboration from Transform day 2. How do you get... You guys are veterans. How do you keep the stamina going, literally?

Joel: Pace yourself. A lot of naps.

Chad: It is a marathon. It's not a sprint. That's the big key. It's a marathon. It's not a sprint. Don't come the first day, drink your ass off, gamble your ass off.

Adam Posner: Rookie mistakes.

Chad: Yeah, that's rookie shit. That's rookie shit. You can't be doing that.

Joel: Balance the meds. Balance the meals. Balance the time. You'll make it.

Chad: Be careful on the gummies.

Joel: We're professionals. We're 20-year plus veterans.

Chad: Oh yeah. Be careful on the gummies.

Adam Posner: And you guys are veterans so I'm gonna fangirl here for a moment here. I just want to thank both you guys for paving the way for folks like myself to...

Chad: You're gonna make me tear up. Stop it.

Adam Posner: To represent in this market, to have our voices shine but more importantly have our guest voices shine and shed a light on great thought leaders within the industry. So thank you guys for paving the road. And also about the relationships and bringing in sponsors and making those sponsors shine as well too. So thank you guys. So I'm done with the nice talk.

Chad: Thank God.

Adam Posner: Fuck that.

Chad: I was tearing up over here. I'm getting verklempt.

Adam Posner: What makes Transform special? This is my first. You guys have done this before.

Joel: My first actually.

Chad: Nope. Our first.

Adam Posner: Never been to Transform?

Joel: Totally.

Chad: Yeah. Our first. Which is nice. So it was funny. Joel actually asked me earlier what makes this better than any show. I just think that there's big differences between, there's some likenesses between this and Unleashed. But I still think there's a huge difference because like 70% of the freaking sponsors and the booze I haven't seen anywhere else.

Adam Posner: Right. So it's bringing a different, is it a different caliber, a different sector of the industry, different voices?

Chad: There's so much in this industry. I mean, there's not one. HR Tech gets a shit ton of sponsors and also startups and vendors, blah, blah, blah. But they don't get them all. Neither does UNLEASH. Neither does RecFest.

Joel: It makes me appreciate how big this space is that...

Chad: Yeah. It's a big damn space.

Joel: Guys like us who've been around for so long can walk into an exhibit hall and say, who the fuck are those guys?

Chad: Also helps you understand for HR, TA people that this is a noisy fucking industry, right?

Adam Posner: Yes. A lot.

Chad: If we come into a space like this and we don't even, I mean, come on man.

Joel: We live this stuff and we don't know these companies. Imagine a vendor, I mean it's like, a customer, how do they make sense of that? Now we try to on our show make sense of it for people but the biggest challenge for most of these companies is cutting through the clutter and getting noticed.

Adam Posner: So let's talk about that word that's coming through, AI.

Chad: Alright. Let's move 'cause we're gonna be walking. We're gonna be walking.

Adam Posner: Let's go. He's gonna spin us around over here.

Chad: We're walking.

Adam Posner: So if you open up your ears for two seconds, you cannot go a second without hearing AI. AI, AI, AI. Like my show, you guys talk to a lot of thought leaders. How are you helping your listeners decipher and understand? And by listeners it could be vendors, it could be recruiters, it could be candidates, whoever's listening to the Chad and Cheese show or the podcast. How do you decipher what the hell AI is?

Chad: It's all about being able to do due diligence and for the most part, most of these companies have no fucking clue what that even means without AI, right? So they've got to get companies in who specialize in the tech stack and AI, right? So they have to get somebody who knows because if they don't, they're gonna be buying shit they never wanted.

Adam Posner: Like how do you decipher between what's a check to box or what is necessary for your tech stack? Or maybe your tech stack has so many pieces that you don't even need it.

Chad: Well, then you don't need it, you don't need it.

Joel: Yeah. Ultimately, AI means nothing. It's, what is the solution?

Chad: Yep. Outcome.

Adam Posner: What the problem is that you're looking to solve and is AI the right solution? Or maybe it's an existing, we'll call it a web tune set piece.

Joel: Or is it vapor?

Chad: Is it vaporware?

Joel: That's important too.

Chad: That's where the due diligence comes in, right? 'Cause there's a lot of fucking vaporware. Eightfold. That's out there. That's out there. Yeah, so I don't know. What about you? 'Cause you're seeing a lot of this too.

Adam Posner: 'Cause I'm having a lot of conversations with the AI folks too and I think it really boils down to what is the problem that the company is looking to solve? Or how could AI help make it more efficient, faster, better to give a better candidate experience and empower the internal recruiters to do a better job with the human elements of recruiting? All three of us are recruiters, we're people leaders, we're in this space. So do we need it? Could it make our jobs better? And I think that's really what it's all about. What the fuck are these assholes doing in our space? We're gonna keep standing. We can stand.

Chad: Alright. Everybody out. Get out.

Joel: Get out.

Chad: Evan.

Joel: Get out.

Chad: Out.

Adam Posner: This guy;s, this guy... [laughter] So let's talk podcasting for a minute here.

Chad: Okay.

Adam Posner: Let's give us the stats here. How long have you guys been doing this?

Chad: Seven years.

Joel: Seven years this month.

Chad: Seven years.

Adam Posner: Mazel tov on that one. And how did Chad meet Cheese? How did Harry meet Sally over here? Hold on. I'm gonna switch over there.

Chad: It is a very, very sexy story. No, not really. Literally, we're just in the same space, man. And we're both from, he spent time in Cleveland. I grew up south of Cleveland and Mansfield. So we just, we had like a quick bond, especially over sports, Ohio State.

Joel: Very quick.

[laughter]

Adam Posner: Very quick.

Joel: He's very quick.

Chad: He's sexy.

Adam Posner: He moves quick. And I love the, I mean, listen, like I've been studying you guys for a while. I'm an avid listener and it's a chemistry. Do you think that you could do it as well, as successful, without each other as a solo show?

Joel: No.

Chad: No, no, no, no, no, no. So, and I'll give you a great example. I don't know if you've ever heard of the radio show Bob and Tom. It was a big morning drive time show that was syndicated all across the US, Bob and Tom, right? Two incredibly different voices. They were incredibly successful and they were successful because they were funny. We're not that funny, but they were funny.

Adam Posner: You guys are funny.

Chad: And they also, they were no bullshit. And it was like, we could do that. Right? What does it sound like if you go to a conference, you've had a few drinks, like after Transform, what does it sound like if you're talking to your buddy and having some beers, right? That's what we wanted our podcast.

Joel: Yeah. I think it's important to note that we were friends long before the podcast.

Adam Posner: So you had the rapport, you had that jive, you had that snarkiness between you.

Joel: The chemistry was there and there's too many people that start a podcast by just someone they know or, hey, I've met someone like, why don't we start a podcast? If you start without the foundation of we get along with each other, you're doomed to fail because that is eventually gonna come out as you work together.

Adam Posner: You're trying to create something.

Chad: This is work.

Joel: It is work.

Adam Posner: Dude, let's actually talk about the first thing. I think a lot of people, and we all talk about pod fade. Let's talk pod shop for a little bit here. I give everyone credit who wants to give this thing a try.

Chad: Oh yeah.

Adam Posner: But you guys have been doing it seven years. I've been doing it five years. This is a grind. This is a business. And if you don't have the stamina to do it, and if you don't have the why behind it, that's what as well. So what's your why? We're getting philosophical here as we're all tired. Like, why do you guys do this shit?

Joel: Money's pretty much my why for everything.

Adam Posner: But that's okay.

Chad: My why is, why do this, we do this because there's so much fluff, pomp and circumstance in this fucking industry. Nobody cuts through the clutter and actually says what they mean because you're an HR, right? So it's like, my why was like, we need to fill that gap. And the very first time we went to SHRM Talent, I always thought that like the old HR ladies wouldn't like us because we're two dumb White dudes who were being dumb White dudes. But we've got some experience. They loved it. And they were saying, you're saying what we've been thinking and talking in small circles about for 30 years. And we're glad that somebody's finally doing it.

Adam Posner: And I think that's why we're aligned. And that's why it was most important 'cause I felt you guys, we had the same vibe here. I go by this mantra of just off the cuff. We're gonna keep it real. We're gonna talk shop. But let's really lift up the hood and say what we really want to say that maybe as you said before, we're kind of scared to say, but we're gonna create a safe space for it and add the right amount of snark.

Joel: Too many people try to be everything to everybody.

Adam Posner: Then you're nothing to nobody.

Joel: We could give a shit. We are who we are. That's gonna attract a lot of people, fortunately. But some people are gonna be turned off, offended, whatever. And that's okay. Do not go into podcasting, think you're gonna be liked by everybody. In fact, if you're not hated by someone, you're doing it wrong.

Adam Posner: I grew up inspired by Howard Stern. Before I got into recruiting, I worked at SiriusXM for five years. And I grew up in New York. Howard Stern is my lifeblood. And that's the way I approach it. My opinion, best interviewer to walk the face of the earth because he turns an interview into a conversation.

Chad: Yes.

Adam Posner: And you guys do a great job of that, too. And I think that's really about what this space is. There are a lot of HR shows, and they're boring as fuck. They're boring. So you keep it real. What advice would you give podcasters out there to help find their voice?

Joel: If they haven't already found it before the podcast, I'm not sure a podcast is gonna help you.

Chad: No. There are a lot of people who have ideas and opinions, and that's great. But the thing is, the reason why Chad & Cheese actually worked, which I'm sure is the reason why Poz does, is because there was a gap. Somebody was not there doing what we're doing now. We identified that gap. I mean, after listening to a bunch of boring-ass HR podcasts, right? We thought, okay, we can do this, and people are gonna hate us in some cases, but who gives a shit? Let's just have fun.

Adam Posner: But being polarizing is a benefit, too.

Chad: Oh, obviously.

Adam Posner: Yeah. You guys have a good business model going.

Joel: And you should literally go into podcasting thinking, okay, if I'm a year into this and 10 people are listening, would I still do it?

Chad: Yes.

Joel: So don't do it for the listeners. Don't do it for the money, the fame, whatever. If that comes, great. Do it as if you're talking to one person, and you'd still do it because you love it that much.

Chad: But we did go into this as a business. So we had a business plan on the way in. We committed a year right out of the gate. We had sponsors.

Joel: We had a landing page. We registered. We had a sponsor before we...

Chad: We had to get at least...

Adam Posner: A lot of lessons learned from your business plan.

Chad: At least 100 people had to say they would listen to our dumb voices, right, every week. And we also had sponsors on day one.

Joel: Yeah. We had to get one company to give us any money.

Chad: Yes.

Adam Posner: That's a tough one as well. I mean, I talk about it very openly. It took me a full, almost a full year to break 200 listeners an episode, and then it hockey-sticked up because I was learning on the fly. I didn't have that business plan. I went into it, I like to say we fucking fucked around and find out and got to where we are today. But we had all those lessons learned. But from a business perspective, I mean, I'm learning a lot from you guys, how to bring in the right sponsors. Is there... It's probably Evan calling me. Does there have to be alignment with the sponsor or, as you said, are you just man-whores that take anything that comes your way?

Chad: He's a man-whore, that's for sure.

Joel: Does there have to be a line for the sponsor? I mean, I think ultimately if you're doing it right...

Adam Posner: Are you doing like dick pills?

Joel: You're going to attract sponsors that are in line with who you are, your message, your energy, etcetera. And we attract...

Chad: We have turned down people though.

Joel: Totally turned down people. And we understand that our listeners trust us not to do business with fly-by-night hack jobs. And part of understanding this expo and all the vendors is like, who has Chad & Cheese entrusted into being a sponsor with the show that I trust because these guys are giving it to me unfiltered? That's kind of the value to the sponsors.

Adam Posner: That's the alignment.

Joel: I don't think we've ever been with someone that we didn't like, that we thought was a douche bag, that we thought was bad.

Chad: And we've blacklisted.

Joel: For customers.

Chad: Like Indeed, if they wanted to, I'm not saying they do 'cause I doubt they do, if Indeed came to us with money, I don't care how much it is, we wouldn't fucking do it. ZipRecruiter, same thing.

Adam Posner: Oh, I can't even... Don't get me started.

Joel: There is a number.

Adam Posner: I mean, there's a fuck you number.

Joel: It could be a solo show pretty quickly.

Adam Posner: You know what though? There is a...

Chad: It's the Cheeseman monolog.

Joel: It's the Chad show.

Chad: The Chad, yeah.

Adam Posner: I think there is an appetite for that. But how do... You guys have been doing this for... How do you continue to stay sharp and innovate or you don't?

Joel: Certainly for me, I think you as well. We always try to keep our finger on the pulse of the news, what's going on. People give us a, hey, did you hear about such and such? So early on, we just started a Facebook group with just us. And when we see something interesting, we put it on the feed. And at the end of the week, we're like, okay, everything we collected, pick five, what are we gonna talk about? And then we rank them and that's what we do. So we're always, we see something, we've trained ourselves to add it to the feed. So we don't have to think about, memorize, oh, what was all the news? We have it right there and we can pick and choose what we wanna talk about from the feed.

Adam Posner: I love it.

Chad: And the thing that is the most important is that we keep our wives happy. And mine's getting ready to get on stage. So we need to wrap that shit up.

Joel: Back to the money.

Adam Posner: And what about this? Today is my 14 year wedding anniversary and I'm here talking to you two guys, you two old White dudes over here. But for my audience, for the podcast audience, I want you guys to check out the Chad & Cheese show. It's absolutely fantastic. Why the hell should my audience listen to you two?

Chad: If they give a shit about the industry, they should at least try one episode. If they like it, great. If they don't, great. Taste test.

Joel: If they want an unfiltered commentary about the news of the day in our space, they should listen to our show. We're not bought by anybody. We're not a company affiliation for the show.

Chad: Yeah.

Adam Posner: Independent contractors.

Joel: We aren't bought by anybody. We'll give it to you straight, chadcheese.com, subscribe today.

Adam Posner: And absolutely. And for the Chad & Cheese audience out there, if you want a little bit of the raw, unfiltered, long form interviews, I chop it up. It's what I do best. Check out the pozcast.com. Gentlemen, thank you for your time. Thank you for the collaboration.

Chad: Thanks, dude.

Adam Posner: Thank you for inspiring. And it's been fucking great to hang out and actually get to meet you guys and chill and laugh a little bit last night.

Chad: You too, dude.

Joel: Love it. Awesome. We out.

Adam Posner: Pozcast, Chad & Cheese out.

Chad: We out.

SFX: What you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.

Outro: Wow. Look at you. You made it through an entire episode of the Chad & Cheese podcast. Or maybe you cheated and fast-forwarded to the end. Either way, there's no doubt you wish you had that time back. Valuable time you could have used to buy a nutritious meal at Taco Bell, enjoy a pour of your favorite whiskey, or just watch...

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