Bullhorn Tastes Europe
Bullhorn Develops Taste for European Startups
After stints in places like Scotland, Portugal and Finland, the boys are finally back behind and microphone and ready to drop some European recruiting knowledge. That means a deep dive into the state of, and some disagreement on, young workers on the continent (spoiler alert: big differences between the north and south), then dissecting the recent acquisition by Bullhorn, gobbling up A.I. recruiting solution SourceBreaker.
Plus, a little Buy-or-Sell with Veremark, Distributed and Screenloop (which recently got angel investing from an Indeed cofounder).
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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.
Oh yeah. Record breaking heat continues to scorch Europe following a recent visit from Chad and Cheese coincidence? I think not. You are listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. Does Europe. I'm your cohost Joel "the heat is on" Cheeseman.
This is Chad "youth of the nation" Sowash.
And I'm Lieven "just back from Scotland so pleasantly unprepared" Van Nieuwenhuyze.
Joel (1m 4s):
And on this episode, the kids are not all right, there's a Bullhorn in the China shop and a little buy or sell everybody. Let's do this.
sfx (1m 14s):
Europe has a bunch of countries in it.
Joel (1m 16s):
Been a while kids.
Chad (1m 18s):
It has, we've all been jumping and hopping around around Europe. Lieven, you just got back from Scotland. So are you wearing a kilt right now? What what's going on?
Lieven (1m 28s):
No, no. I have to leave it at the border.
Joel (1m 31s):
Did they look under it first
Lieven (1m 34s):
Inspected the lederhosen.
Joel (1m 37s):
Lederhosen. Yeah. Yeah. I've been in Finland. Lieven's been in Scotland and Chad of course has been in his posh Portuguese mansion that he visits from time to time. But we're all back for the podcast after a couple of weeks of hiatus. Although we did record.
Chad (1m 53s):
Joel (1m 53s):
Yes. Good to hear everybody's doing well and everybody's fine as we head into the final stretches of summer. I guess we should do shout outs.
Chad (2m 3s):
Shout outs baby.
Lieven (2m 4s):
No, I don't do shout outs today. As I said, I'm pleasantly unprepared. We all know
Joel (2m 8s):
Now see that's some bullshit. Cause in the green room, you're like, my shout out is
Lieven (2m 13s):
No, it's not. I said, I'm not going to do shout out and you said, yeah, you can do shout out about Scotland. I said, I'm not, I've been to Scotland. It's not a shout out.
Joel (2m 20s):
But then you had this great line of like whiskey to Scotland to no internet to something.
Lieven (2m 26s):
Well, it's true. We all know they don't have internet, so I'm not prepared. I'm sorry. No, no difficult questions today. I'll just be saying yes and no.
Joel (2m 35s):
Scotland is a third world country now, according to Lieven.
Lieven (2m 39s):
No, no, no, no, no. I love the sheep and I loved the whiskey and the people and the fact they don't have internet.
Chad (2m 45s):
Just don't love the sheep too much.
Joel (2m 48s):
Lieven's in the Highlands with a kilt, like a shepherding cows or something.
Lieven (2m 54s):
Yeah. They told me they had like 5 million Scottish people. They had 25 million. How do you it a call it kegs of whiskey?
Chad (3m 3s):
Lieven (3m 3s):
Is it a keg or a barrel? And I've never known what the difference was between whatever. And I don't know how many billions sheep, but I've seen most of them I guess?
Joel (3m 16s):
There's a couple of bad jokes in there, but I'm going to refrain from.
Chad (3m 19s):
It was like I said, don't like the sheep too much. So my shout out goes to Portugal after that one because they have amazing internet and it just blows my fucking mind, how I can pay 40 euros a month and get fiber, which is twice the speed that I get here in the US for about a quarter of the price. It's fucking crazy. So big shout out to Europe, at least Portugal.
Joel (3m 44s):
Fortunately. It's nice. All right. I got a pretty cryptic. Shout out. Imagine that for me, shout out to the Moscow Chess Federation, the robots aren't messing around boys. Forget about flipping burgers and serving chicken wings. This time the robots are going after our children. Last week during the Moscow open, which apparently is a serious chess tournament, in case you didn't know, I certainly didn't a chess playing robot got medieval on a seven year old kid. The video shared on social media shows the robot taking one of the boys chess pieces. Then the boy makes his own move and the robot grabs his finger breaking it before adults can help and free the boy.
Joel (4m 28s):
The kid was able to finish the final days of the tournament.
Chad (4m 33s):
Joel (4m 33s):
In a cast. But the message is clear. Be afraid, be very afraid and bow down to your robot overlords or else the kids are going to get it. Shout out to the Moscow Chess Federation.
Chad (4m 46s):
Oh, that's a big difference between Kasparov getting beat by deep blue. I mean the,
Joel (4m 52s):
The next headline is a chess playing robots invade Ukraine. That's the next headline that I'm waiting for. That's on that.
Chad (4m 60s):
Yeah. That's how they propagandize it. It's just chess playing robots. No worries.
Joel (5m 5s):
A new tournament in Ukraine.
Chad (5m 8s):
Yeah, no worries. Bullshit.
Joel (5m 10s):
And we're traveling, kind of, soon.
Chad (5m 12s):
We are, we are. We're taking a minute. We're going to relax. We actually have HR tech before we've got before.
Joel (5m 21s):
This is nothing right? August is nothing.
Chad (5m 23s):
August is nothing. We've got an HR tech and September we go to Unleash World, which I'm really fucking excited about in October the 12th and 13th. Kids, if you haven't registered for Unleash World yet, and you are in Europe, what are you waiting for? Exactly.
Joel (5m 44s):
And we got to get Lieven over to the states. We gotta get him to, to Vegas for HR Tech or a Fire Inspiring Vegas. We gotta get you over here Lieven.
Lieven (5m 55s):
I've never been in Vegas actually. So no, never.
Chad (5m 58s):
What? Yeah. Well what about you? You've never been to Nashville either. Nashville's another party city.
Lieven (6m 5s):
Nashville. Yeah. Okay. Nashville. Why not?
Chad (6m 7s):
Why not? That's right. So yeah. hr.com. Check it out. Inspires happening. It's a Nashville should be awesome. I hear that there's going to be a pub crawl. I don't know Chad Cheese might be involved.
Joel (6m 18s):
We're gonna rock Nash-Vegas baby we're going to rock Nash-Vegas Broadway better be on red alert.
Chad (6m 23s):
Come over and join us. You can go to Nashville and then you can go to Vegas right after.
Lieven (6m 31s):
Do they have sheep?
Joel (6m 32s):
They could probably arrange that in Vegas. They could probably figure that out.
Chad (6m 38s):
Is there anything that you want in Vegas? I'm just going to leave it at that.
Joel (6m 44s):
The right to say no. You could have a whole farm.
Lieven (6m 51s):
Joel (6m 51s):
Okay. In your suite, oh, holy shit.
Chad (6m 53s):
Joel (6m 53s):
This is going off the rail fast. All right, guys, it's tough to be young in Europe. Don't let the cafes and the pubs for you. A recent report by the European commission said young people were among the most negatively affected by job losses during the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic. It also shows that the recovery is slower for them aside from every other age group. Possible explanations are linked to their high share of fixed term contracts and difficulties in finding a first job after leaving school. And before you say, let them join the gig economy.
Joel (7m 33s):
Well, not so fast, popular delivery service Deliveroo competitor to Uber Eats and others just slashed its full year revenue guidance as consumers trim their spending a middle worsening cost of living crisis. And don't even get me started on inflation in Europe! Lieven I suspect you may have a pretty good handle on the state of employment when it comes to European youth. Are things really as bad as the news is reporting.
Lieven (8m 1s):
Well, I tend to disagree with the news. I mean, I've been looking into some numbers and because I read the article and I was also a bit concerned. So it's always a problem youth unemployment, but it isn't that bad actually. I mean, there are into European Union there is youth unemployment around, if I'm right, 13%, which isn't worse than it was 10 years ago. So it's a bit less good than, let's say before the COVID crisis, but it's not that bad. It's almost normal. I mean, in Spain you have an unemployment rate of 13% on average for all people. And the rest of Europe, unemployment is historically low, even youth unemployment.
Lieven (8m 44s):
And true, they have some bigger problems with getting a new job because, or with losing their jobs caused by COVID because they have most of the times they have temporary jobs, temporary contracts, which are easily to cancel. So they are the first to lose their job. But they're also the first to be rehired. I mean, their salaries are an average, much lower than those from senior people. So they won't have that many problems. And we, if I look at the numbers from our companies, we don't have any significant changes. So, I don't see a big problem. I think it's really temporary and it's probably getting better already.
Chad (9m 22s):
So comparing, you know, Delivery, which I think has a failing business model, I think is, is exactly what we're seeing there. We see the Uber's, the UberEats the Deliveroos, you know, how much money have they actually been making? How long have they been in the black? I think that's the big issue when we take a look at Deliveroo and, and you really can't compare that to the rest of the gig economy. I mean, coding, I mean, there's just so much, that's going to be happening in gig for this new generation. And I agree with Lieven a hundred percent. I mean, they are the most flexible workforce with regard to being able to jump from job to job. Not to mention also from an employer standpoint, they're easy to fire because they're new, but they're also easy to bring back on because they're cheap.
Lieven (10m 6s):
Joel (10m 6s):
I think this is the tip of the iceberg and you guys, aren't looking under the water so much. Think the European heat wave suck? Just wait until winter comes and you get your heating bill compliments of Vladimir Putin. What's more Europeans are working less and not by choice. A recent Wall Street Journal article entitled "Europeans are working less and not by choice" says quote "for some Europeans, especially in the wealthier north swapping work for leisure time is a choice for others, notably the south" and Lieven you mentioned Spain. "It isn't so much a choice. People either can't find full-time jobs or have stayed with weakened companies that trimmed their hours during the pandemic to save on wages across Europe, more than one third of part-time work is involuntary".
Joel (10m 54s):
According to a December report by the OECD. More than half of part-time workers in Italy, Spain and Greece, and nearly one-third in France want to work longer hours, but can't again, that's according to data from the European union statistics agency. Younger Europeans, like you said, are likely the first to get punched in the mouth, but this economy is setting its sights on everyone. And I don't see the youth bouncing back. I think we need to look at the future and sort of predict how things are going to be with the war, energy crisis, inflation, et cetera.
Chad (11m 30s):
Yeah. Lieven more, more on that from you. I mean, because you guys are feeling it much more than we are here across the pond. We are seeing inflation, but it's nothing compared to what you guys are seeing.
Lieven (11m 40s):
I'm not sure how big the inflation is in the US. In Belgium it's about 9%. And I think the same in UK, the surrounding countries as well, but I thought in United States as was a bit of a problem as well now?
Chad (11m 53s):
Yeah. Not just not that high. I think we're around seven per cent?
Lieven (11m 59s):
Yeah. Well, I don't think inflation is going to stay back problem. The national banks under the central banks will do their job. So it's temporary. The problem will be indeed the gas prices, the energy prices. Those are a problem because it's not something you can correct with a banking solution. It's not like we're going to augment the number of interest rates. So this will stay a problem as long as the conflict in Russia stays and it will have an impact on the families. I mean, my electricity bill has gone from 300 euros a month to 1,300, just ridiculous.
sfx (12m 48s):
What did you just say?
Chad (12m 49s):
Lieven (12m 49s):
So, I mean, we also have probably left every computer on and that's not like we, but, but still it's, it was a problem. And then I urgently started looking for new suppliers and I found one, which is better, but it's still enormously expensive. So, I mean, for us, it means we can save as much as we used to. But for many people it will mean we can't save anything adult, if we can save. I mean, they, they are going to have to cut down on expenses and this could have an impact on the total economy, because like Joel said, what was it?
Lieven (13m 29s):
Deliveroo? Deliveroo is getting into trouble because people are ordering less products from Deliveroo. And this is normal. I mean, the people using Deliveroo probably are young people who actually feel this much more than senior profiles do. And this could have a chain reaction. It's a bit of disconcerning, this, you know, how do you say it's
Joel (13m 50s):
Lieven (13m 50s):
Yeah. Something like that.
Chad (13m 51s):
Isn't that what isn't that what's supposed to happen when inflation goes up, less people are spending so therefore you're looking for an equilibrium? Are we saying that we're not going to see an equilibrium, not to mention, you know, Europe has much better public transportation than the US does. Do you see this actually pushing people to stop driving their cars every day and actually just start using public transportation?
Lieven (14m 17s):
I think traffic jams are a much bigger push towards public transportation than the prices for gasoline. Distances in Belgium are short, I think most people have a commute less than one hour. It's a problem maybe for some people, but the biggest problem will be electricity and gas. If it's a call cold winter you have to warm your house, you have to run your water. This will be a problem. And if there are actually shortages, then will have a big problem. But Germany who was really anxious about it is getting more relaxed now. Their reserves are getting bigger. Families won't have any problems. The economy will have to look sometimes for solution, but they'll find it. So I think it's going to be okay.
Lieven (15m 1s):
And in the end, I'm sure we will be quicker, reshaping everything towards the more sustainable way of using energy. So in the end it will be better, but it will take five years before everything turns out like it was.
Joel (15m 12s):
Just five years, just five years.
Lieven (15m 14s):
Only five years.
Joel (15m 15s):
I love it that Lieven is shopping around his energy bill, he's calling Moscow Lighting & Power to see what kind of deals he can get. Or he's got Vladimir Putin on speed dial one of the two.
Chad (15m 24s):
Yeah. Yeah. If you're in the US you probably would only have one provider so you wouldn't have an option. We love monopolies in the US.
Lieven (15m 32s):
Is that true? And Belgium is so small we have like seven or so seven big ones.
Joel (15m 38s):
Clearly the key is continuing to keep the borders open so Americans can keep coming to Europe that they haven't been able to in two years and spend some money. That's what Europe needs baby, that's what Europe needs and speaking of spending some money, let's take a quick break, pay some bills and we'll do a little buy or sell when we come back.
sfx (15m 55s):
Europe has a bunch of countries in it.
Joel (15m 58s):
When was the last time we played buy or sell? It's been a while.
Chad (16m 0s):
It's been a minute. It's been a minute.
Joel (16m 2s):
I'm a little salty. I'm a little salty. This is going to get ugly. All right. Let's explain how this works. We've got three companies, all of which have raised some funds recently as a startup and we read a summary and everyone on the call here either buys or sells the business. Are you ready, boys?
Chad (16m 22s):
Joel (16m 23s):
All right. Let's talk about Screenloop. The UK based startup has raised a $7 million seed round, which included Indeed co-founder and angel investor, Paul Forster. The company, which helps companies source interview and onboard new hires says that we'll use the use the money to continue its expansion into the US and new markets. Founded in 2021 Screenloop, says it already has received feedback from over 100,000 candidates globally and analyzed over 1 million minutes of interviews. Guys buy or sell Screenloop.
Lieven (17m 1s):
I'm just in a selling mood because of the economy, I'm going to sell.
Chad (17m 6s):
Okay. So this feels like an interview coaching system, am I wrong here? No. I mean, the real-time feedback is great, but if I'm vying for a position and in the interview stage, am I really going to tell you that the interview sucked? I mean, even if they say it's anonymous candidates are not going to risk it. So when I think about candidates dropping out of the hiring process, which is their main focus here, and I understand that, I think automation too is to ensure that candidates aren't falling into the black hole. Now, when I think interviewing platforms, I think automation to ensure quick responses, unbiased experience, which all needs to happen through again, automation from a scaling standpoint because humans don't scale well, to me, this is a sell.
Joel (17m 56s):
Oh, we got a sell. All right. Okay. Let's get to the good news about Screenloop. First, the all-in-one hiring platform is hot, and I think the trend is warranted. The bad news. Well, there's lots of competition. As a standalone, I think this is a total sell. And if you're looking at it as an acquisition target, then maybe it's a buy, however, money isn't free anymore. Valuations are getting cut in half in the public markets and layoffs litter the headlines, which tells me timing really kind of sucks for Screenloop, which means, yeah, it's a sell for me.
Joel (18m 39s):
I do. However, think it's a better bet from Paul Forrester than his previous investment in Otta, which I think is a total dog. But that's aside from the point of Screenloop, all get better at this investment thing. Lieven your thoughts?
Lieven (18m 53s):
I'm going to hold them just for a few weeks. I'm not going to sell immediately because we are testing a company like Screenloop right now and I'm going to check out how it works out and how easy they are to copy. And I'll let you know, next episode.
Joel (19m 8s):
Oh, we don't, we don't have a hold sound bite. Let's just go with that. All right. Let's get to,
Lieven (19m 17s):
I mean, yeah, you can buy, you can sell, you can hold. No?
Joel (19m 20s):
That's not the game Lieven.
Chad (19m 22s):
It's called buy or sell, it's not buy or sell or hold.
Joel (19m 24s):
Lieven always retains the right to hold a company.
Lieven (19m 26s):
That's supposed to be we already have them and I don't want to sell them yet.
Joel (19m 32s):
This business as in potential interest in all of these companies. All right. Let's get to company number two, Distributed. The startup has raised 8 million pounds in a series B bringing its total to around 13 million pounds. The platform matches software developers who want the flexibility of working freelance with larger enterprises, seeking teams of engineers to work on specific projects. Founded in 2017, the company says new funding will help the internationalizing, yes, that's a word from their press release and developing new products and communities. The war for tech talent is real, but is Distributed a buy or sell.
Chad (20m 11s):
All right. Okay. So right out of the gate, Distributed CEO, Callum Adamson, he doesn't have any background in the talent industry. Although his Simpson's profile pic on LinkedIn did score him some points in my book. The biggest problem I'm seeing here is the word international. What does that even mean? Because if it means coming to the US it's a very bad move, and here's why. The Distributed concept works nicely in Europe because of universal healthcare. We've mentioned several times throughout the last few years that Europe is catching up and will pass the US in work tech because they have a system that allows entrepreneurs to start up while not worrying about healthcare for themselves or their families.
Chad (20m 58s):
From a marketing and messaging standpoint, I need to understand exactly what international means and in Callum's brain, you know, the CEO driving the company, they need to be able to be less than nebulous about this, which is somewhat surprising knowing that Adam Morehead is in charge of their messaging. Guy has a good background in messaging, branding, and community. So I would say that Distributed and Callum should also be looking for industry experts to join their ranks. And until all of those pieces of the puzzle are put together, this has gotta be a sell. I like it a lot. The problem is there are some gaps.
Joel (21m 40s):
Oh, well, see my previous comments on Screenloop. I mean, how many of these services do we need? Turing, Andela, HackerRank, TopTall, et cetera. It all feels like swapping spit for tech talent at this point. I liked the domain distributed.com. Love it. But this party is at capacity. Distributed for me is a big sell.
Lieven (22m 8s):
Yeah, I was going to say, I totally agree with Chad on this. Does intelligent remark?
Chad (22m 18s):
We'll go with it.
Joel (22m 19s):
Okay. All right. Veremark, the London-based company has raised 7.1 million pounds and a series a, this brings total funding to 9.2 million pounds or for in the US $12.3 million USD. Founded in 2018 the company provides preemployment screening services. Veremark says they will use the funds to further expand their company and vision. Its clients include the HR teams at UK Fintech's Wise and company Comply Advantage as well as global corporates, PepsiCo and BCG. Okay. Guys buy or sell Veremark.
Lieven (22m 54s):
And my case sell, just from a moral point of view, I've got a problem with these kind of companies. I mean, it's like hiring a private investigation company to check out your future employees. We don't do it. I mean, I've been in this business for 20 years and I've been in several companies. I've never known one of my HR colleagues hiring a company to check out people they might want to hire. This could be important if you work for a, let's say, some kind of a very secret service for the government, but it's not for normal companies. I mean, my colleagues, they take the phone and they call the candidates. Do you mind if we will check your story with your former employer?
Lieven (23m 35s):
And if they say no, then they give the former employer a call and they say, how did you experience that guy? And that's it. And I mean, we might do a reference check. We check the CV and if everything is okay, that's okay. But I think it's the job, our recruiters do. I don't see why we would hire an external company to go to all those details. Is that something in the United States, which is common?
Chad (24m 1s):
So well, this is something that's been around forever. Yeah.
Lieven (24m 5s):
Yeah. Talking about external companies doing background checks?
Joel (24m 6s):
Oh yeah. Yes.
Chad (24m 7s):
Oh yeah. It's, it's a huge, huge business in the US.
Joel (24m 10s):
Multi-billion dollar business.
Lieven (24m 11s):
It's weird. I might be wrong, but I've and people, please let me know if I'm wrong. But in Europe in the countries who were active in, I've never, ever encountered a company doing this for the companies I work with.
Joel (24m 27s):
Well, that's a sell from Lieven. Chad, what say you?
Chad (24m 30s):
Well, I got to say CEO, Daniel Callahan, he's a founder of TalMix, where he's been, you know, there for 13 plus years. And he's also the full-time CEO of Veremark. So it's like, you know, it's this duality thing, which one are you going to pick? Which ones you're going to spend your time with. Daniel has deep and amazing experience in this space. But the total addressable market, basically background checks over the entire world is way too big for a small startup with less than $10 million in funding. Background checks are getting easier, but as Cheeseman will tell you, it's still a pain in the ass just as it is here in the US alone.
Chad (25m 13s):
So Daniel, my friend, pick a company to focus on and then pick a region of the world of focus on. And until you gain that necessary focus and discipline my friend, sorry, buddy. Gotta be a sell for me.