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Can Entelo Pull It Off?

This week, the boys are all over the place. It's like Pulp Fiction were a podcast episode. CareerBuilder's all-white leadership team embraces its inner DEI, Who'd Ya' Rather with Dalia and Cleary. Entelo is turning into those deadly fungi from HBO's 'The Last of Us,' eating Silkroad Technologies from the inside out. Big fast-food chains are taking on California while speeding up that whole 'fewer employees / more robots' thing. Returnships are a new word we're all going to have to get used to and ARK's Cathie Wood believes Amazon could have more robots than employees by 2030. Is your head spinning just reading all that? Just wait till you have a listen.

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 Cheesman: Oh yeah, don't drive angry. Don't drive angry. Hi kids. You're listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. This is your co-host, Joel 'Groundhog Day' Cheesman.

Chad Sowash: And this is Chad 'The Last of Us' Sowash.

Joel Cheesman: On this week's show, Who Would You Rather, Chipotle really is my life, and robots will outnumber humans at this employer very, very soon. Let's do this.

Chad Sowash: Okay, listener, let me help you out here. Don't...

Joel Cheesman: You say listener like there's only one of them. [laughter]

Chad Sowash: It's very personal, very personal, but don't ever have a conversation with Joel Cheesman about a show you haven't caught up on yet, because he will do what he can to fuck up the show for you. Oh my God. So you asked me, Have you seen the last episode of The Last of Us. A really cool series. If you haven't seen it, it's on an HBO Max. It is awesome. And I said literally, "No, shut up. Don't tell me anything. I haven't seen it." And you totally ruined it. You couldn't help yourself.


Chad Sowash: I didn't say a word to Joel, I didn't even tell her we had this conversation until after.

Joel Cheesman: Chad, I was only looking out for the stability and health of your heart, because I know that you get really emotional about certain love stories and I don't wanna...

Chad Sowash: Sometimes you gotta let it out.

Joel Cheesman: Spoil it for our listener, the one listener out there. But I didn't want you to go into some sort of a melt down, so I wanted to give you enough that you'd sort of know what was gonna happen, but not so much that you didn't know everything. I did it for you. I did it for you, Chad.

Chad Sowash: It's okay to let the emotions out organically.

Joel Cheesman: It is okay. It is okay. And there's no football this weekend, so we can let it out. Although is the All-Pro game this weekend?

Chad Sowash: You mean the flag football? Yeah. With the Manning brothers who are actually coaching.

Joel Cheesman: God! What.

Chad Sowash: That is legit smart though, because it was really just a flag football game in the first place. It was almost like a two hand tap. I mean, seriously.

Joel Cheesman: Yeah, it was a scrimy, it was a party with the... I don't know. Flag football might be fun, I might tune in this year. I might tune in this year.

Chad Sowash: Like it will be. The Puppy Bowl will be awesome during half time though. [laughter]

Joel Cheesman: The Puppy Bowl is always awesome, as is the re-runs the whole week before it goes on. Alright, you wanna get to some shout-outs?

Chad Sowash: Yep.

Joel Cheesman: Let's do some shout out. Alright, so my first one goes to OfferUp. That's right, the number four site to sell your U-shit is getting a job board. OfferUp plans to OfferUp. Get it? OfferUp?

Chad Sowash: It's too bad.

Joel Cheesman: Yeah, that's... I'm sorry, listener, I'm sorry that I did that. Alright. Anyway...

Chad Sowash: Sucker 1995, baby.

Joel Cheesman: OfferUp plans to OfferUp web tools to post local jobs, give users the option to search listings through the app's feed or by your local area, and to apply directly for open positions via your phone. With over 20 million monthly users, no doubt, Indeed is shaking in their little booties right now. Shout out to OfferUp, who's launching a job board.

Chad Sowash: If you go to the OfferUp HQ, they actually have a party line.

Joel Cheesman: Are you gonna bring a Mr. Microphone joke? Are you setting the table for...

Chad Sowash: No, no, no, I'm not, I'm not. That might happen later. Who knows. Okay. Shoutout to Carla Trotman, CEO of Electro Soft, a company outside of Philly that makes circuit boards who said...

Joel Cheesman: Philly.


Chad Sowash: Who said in a CBS news article that she wishes 45 people worked at Electro Soft instead of 30, but she can't find the people to fill the roles, costing the company about 5 million in top line revenue. I'll say it again kids, listen. Costing the company around 5 million in top line revenue. Did you hear that talent acquisition? You can equate open positions to revenue lost, and that is exactly what CEOs need to hear, and that is how you gain more budget. That's business 101 from your friends here at the Chad and Cheese podcast.


Joel Cheesman: This is good, this was a post that you had on LinkedIn, who she actually responded.

Chad Sowash: She did, yeah.

Joel Cheesman: And you guys had a little conversation.

Chad Sowash: We did. Yeah.

Joel Cheesman: That was nice. I love it when CEOs that we've never talked to, that aren't in our industry, just come out and engage with people. That was awesome. And speaking of Philly, Chad.

Chad Sowash: Yes.

Joel Cheesman: This shoutout goes to Recruit Philly.

Chad Sowash: Oh, yeah!

Joel Cheesman: Fly eagles fly, baby. By the way, every recruiter in Philly should be a member of this organization, if you're not already. Anyway, they featured us, that's you and me, Chad, this month in their newsletter saying, "With a new episode out almost every day, kill me, please, the Chad and Cheese podcast is a favorite of Recruit Philly. These two share a very, filtered and honest look at the hottest topics in the recruiting and HR space, and are often the first to break major industry news. This is a great podcast for anyone looking to stay current on workforce trends, emerging technology and startup updates." Shoutout to our good friends at Recruit Philly.


Joel Cheesman: And hopefully we'll be able to make it out for another event. We were there post... Or pre-COVID. Post-COVID, it would be nice to go back out to Philly.

Chad Sowash: It would be. It would be. And again, as Joel said, if you're in the Philly area and you're not a part of Recruit Philly, search it, get into it, it's a great community, they've got great events, all that other fun stuff, check them out. My next shoutout goes to Rich Wilson, CEO of Gigged.AI for the social love, where the Chad and Cheese podcast.

Joel Cheesman: For you.

Chad Sowash: Where Rich declared his love for Chad, for obviously, for picking him in Gigged.AI on the Who Would You Rather. But here's the important part, Cheesman.

Joel Cheesman: Yup, yup, yup.

Chad Sowash: This also gets us like the engine rolling for us to come to Glasgow and pull together a scotch tasting tour with our friend Matt Olda. So message to Rich, let's make this tour of Scotland and your wonderful distilleries happen, let's do this, 2023.

SFX: Welcome to all things Scottish. Our slogan is, "If it's not Scottish, it's crap!"

Joel Cheesman: Just remember a certain other Scottish company that didn't appeal to me very much that cashed out, so don't feel too bad if I'm not on your train for anyone out there in Scotland building a start up. It's not the end of the world, trust me. Alright, I'm gonna do a little drum-roll for this one. It's just that exciting.

Joel Cheesman: CareerBuilder.


Joel Cheesman: If you've never thought of CareerBuilder as a diversity recruitment strategy before, they sure hope you will now. In a recent email blast titled, Reach 18 million Black job seekers, CB touts a new partnership with iHeart radio's Black Information Network, saying, "We are on a mission to build wealth within the Black community by helping them build the career of their dreams." Maybe CareerBuilder could start by putting some Black people on their leadership team because right now there are zero. Come on, man. A very, very shameful shoutout to our friends at CareerBuilder.

Chad Sowash: The social share of that article was just a white block. That's all it was. It was...

Joel Cheesman: On the webpage?

Chad Sowash: Even the socials... Yeah. I mean, when you shared that link socially in some of the... Like in Facebook, they just came out as a white block. It was like, go with the DEI white block. It was... Yeah, anyone.

Joel Cheesman: Oh, yeah, the share image. Yeah. Yes, you're right.

Chad Sowash: Yes. The social share. It just...

Joel Cheesman: Dude, who...


Chad Sowash: They are so fucked up still at CareerBuilder. Alright. My last shout out goes to facial recognition. You're gonna love this one Joel. So MSG Entertainment, the company that owns Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, well, they found a way to keep attorneys out of at least a part of our lives. Currently, any attorney that works for a firm that represents a client suing MSG Entertainment, they are now banned from their venues, and they're using facial recognition technology to identify them and keep them out of their venues. Now, we're talking about old white dudes who have a lot of money, who have season tickets to go to the garden. How long do you think this is gonna last?

Speaker 1: That escalated quickly.


Joel Cheesman: How is this even legal?

Chad Sowash: I don't know. [laughter]

Joel Cheesman: You're segregating lawyers out of your venue.

Chad Sowash: Oh my God.

Joel Cheesman: Now, it's kind of a blessing 'cause watching the Knicks is a bit torturous. But there applies some good concerts at the garden, but yeah. I don't see how banning lawyers doesn't start a lawsuit within five minutes by the lawyers doing for this... Yeah, and that's some vindictive shit. If you have so much money and time on your hands that you need to create some facial rec to ban lawyers from your venue, damn, you got some issues, man.

Chad Sowash: That's amazing.

Joel Cheesman: Now, who doesn't have issues, Chad, are people that sign up for free shit on Chad and Cheese. You gotta go to, click the free link. We're talking free shirts by our friends at JobGet, we're talking free beer from our friends at Aspen Tech Labs. Text Colonel is giving out two bottles of whiskey, each one of us selecting a single bottle. If it's your birthday this month, you might win rum from our friends at Plum, but you gotta play if you wanna win. Head out to, click the free link.

Chad Sowash: Quick shoutout to Lana, who's actually over at Aspen Tech Labs, she this week, now lives in The Algarve in Portugal, she's gonna be my neighbor.


Joel Cheesman: Prince, chill out, man. Alright, and talking about birthdays in rum with Plum, let's give a shoutout to everyone who is celebrating another year around the sun.


Joel Cheesman: Alright, we've got fans including Elizabeth Dunlop, Ivan the Irish recruiter, Stoyanavitch. Word is he's changing his last name to Mix Dayanavitch. Adam Bargen, Sarah Hanson, Amadu Bamia, Joe S.N Fell, Nick Fishman, Jess Von Bank, Andrew Rothman, Jason Lordson, Amanda Thompson Buffington, and another Irish favorite of ours, Dave Ralph, Happy Birthday everybody. Happy birthday, and there might be a bottle of rum coming your way. Stay tuned.

Chad Sowash: And you might get that when we come to your town for events. First event on the list this year that... Yeah, this year is Vegas in April 26th and 27th at Caesars Forum for UNLEASH America. That's right, kids. UNLEASH America is coming to Vegas, but I have a different venue, we're going to Caesars Forum, pretty amazing. We checked it out last year, and April 26the and 27th, then we find ourself at RecFest in London, Knebworth Park Road, a little North of London. It's about a 20 to 30 minute train ride from London. It's fairly easy. But Knebworth Park all day the 6th of July. And then we have to mention this, it's gonna happen later this year, but we have a super, super duper early bird discount code for RecFest USA happening in Nashville in September. The discount code is ChadandCheese, all one word. It's fairly simple though, kids. You can go to, click on events in the upper right-hand corner, and you can see the long list of the events that the Chad and Cheese will be this year. Register, get there and buy us a beer.

Joel Cheesman: And teaser alert, we got some other events and cool shit that are in the works. So kids, hopefully we'll have some really cool announcements of some stuff that we will be doing later this year.

Chad Sowash: Get ready.

Chad Sowash: Topics!

Joel Cheesman: Alright, time for our, what's now our weekly layoff update.

SFX: Playoffs?

Joel Cheesman: That's right. Workday is set to lay off 3% of its workforce, largely from tech and product units. Majority of cuts are due to global economic challenges, the company will offer severance, stock vesting, immigration support and optional medical benefits for six months. How nice of them? Hiring will continue throughout fiscal year 2024. And over at Unicorn, Oyster CEO, Tony James, shared a LinkedIn post that they have removed a number of roles across the company while adding new roles in strategic areas. To help those laid off, Oyster will waive their platform fees for six months for any of the Oyster alums a company out there hires, if you're interested in those Oyster employees, head over to Tony's LinkedIn for a spreadsheet of available candidates in their contact information, which means I just...

Chad Sowash: A spreadsheet.

Joel Cheesman: I just lose a lot of recruiters to go copy and paste a lot of candidate information. But, hey, it's out there. It's out there.

Chad Sowash: I love how a tech company says, "Hey, we've created a spreadsheet that you can use," [laughter] and then Workday. Okay, this is funny and not funny. Okay, so I love how Workday says the quiet part out loud, it's not due to over-hiring, which means it's due to over-hiring. Here's a quote from CNBC, "For the period ending October 2022, Workday reported an increase of... " Listen to this, "$228 million in employee-related expenses, including share-based compensation, which the company said was largely due to head count growth, which led to the layoff." So when they say it's not due to over-hiring, it's due to over-hiring, and until boards keep their CEOs and C-Suite accountable for irresponsible hiring leading to mass firings, over 500 people fired. This is just gonna continue.

Joel Cheesman: Chad, mind your business. The stock is up 3% since the announcement of layoffs, so...

Chad Sowash: Fucking ridiculous, man.

Joel Cheesman: Shut your pie hole, buddy. Shut your pie hole. Alright.

Chad Sowash: God.

Joel Cheesman: You're ready to play a little who'd you rather this week?

Chad Sowash: I would. Yes.

Joel Cheesman: Alright. You know how we play kids, we talk about two companies that recently got funded, we read a short summary, and Chad and I both decide who'd you rather? First up is Cleary, a startup co-founded by former Twitter employees, has raised 4.5 million in a seed funding round to revitalize the intranet. The company offers a full stack employee experience platform, combining communication recognition directory, search, Q&A, and integrates with HR and communication tools. Cleary's focus is to help HR teams scale culture and build personalized experiences for every employee. The investment will be used to build out the go-to-market teams and invest in personalized employee journey technology. That sounds pretty sexy.

Joel Cheesman: Next up, we have Dalia, a recruitment marketing automation platform. They've completed a $5 million series, a funding round. Capital will be used to expand product suite and sales and marketing efforts. Dalia maximizes career site conversion rates and enables employers to capture job seekers and bring them back through emails/text alerts. Clients include Compass Group, Ryder, Valvoline and more. Chad Cleary, Dalia, who would you rather?

Chad Sowash: Okay, it's story time. Are you ready?

Joel Cheesman: I'm ready.

Chad Sowash: So I have history with Dalia's CEO, Sam Fitzroy.


Chad Sowash: That's right, that's right. Back in 2009, Sam became the Alliances Director over at Indeed, and at the time, I was the number two guy over at direct employers association, where one of my tasks, and my team's tasks, was to build a job distribution network for the biggest companies in the world aka AT&T, Lockheed Martin, you get the drift. And we had an alliance with thousands of sites like Indeed, who actually built their job search content engines off the backs of our corporate job feeds.

Chad Sowash: So in most of these job feeds, we had appended URLs to denote candidate source. So the ATS could see where the candidate was coming from all the way to hire, then we noticed that Indeed started stripping the source codes out of the URL, meaning the companies had no clue where the candidates were coming from. So back then, I dealt primarily with Sam's boss, who will remain nameless because he was... Because he was ball-less and he wouldn't actually take my call. So my call was directed to Sam who was the new kid in Alliances, and he took the brunt of my fury, and you can not fucking imagine how mad I was back then.

Joel Cheesman: Jesus. Yeah, I could imagine.

Chad Sowash: I don't think he got more than two words in during my berating of what was going on. But here's the funny part, Sam told me the story over drinks at a conference, and because I was in such a blind rage, I think I had actually blocked it out of my memory. And to be honest, I don't even know that I knew it was him on the other end of the line. So needless to say, through all of that, Sam and I have history and we have a bond, so I would rather, Dalia.

Joel Cheesman: So we've kissed and made up. It's all good there, you don't remember anything.

Chad Sowash: Oh yes. No. Sam is a great guy. Yeah.

Joel Cheesman: So I'll do story time as well.


Joel Cheesman: So I remember Sam pitching this thing at a conference in Nashville that we attended, I think in 2019. His Indeed background to me was worth checking out just alone. I remember thinking, "Okay, yeah, marketing, have a pop-up when someone starts to leave the career side, capture the email address," pretty basic kind of top of funnel type stuff, like most things in our space, following marketing trends is generally a good strategy for a start-up.

Joel Cheesman: So I gave it a thumbs up at the time. After his presentation, he knew of me, probably from Cheese head days, and then even the podcast and Indeed. And he mentioned you, which I remember now because you told that story, he was like, "How's Chad?" I'm like, "Geez, just call him." And he said, "I don't know if Chad likes me very much." And I was like, "What are you talking about?" So he told me his side of that story, it's good you guys have made up. But anyway, I never expected them to be a Series A startup, they've added some nice automated outreach features, and I expect this to be a nice acquisition target into '24 '25 probably. As far as Cleary goes, a Twitter background is hardly a selling point these days. Number one, Twitter kind of sucks right now, and number two, people that come in from Google and Twitter typically fuck up in the recruitment space. And frankly, I'd rather watch paint dry that talk about intranets.

Chad Sowash: Intranet.

Joel Cheesman: So for me, I'm gonna agree with you that Dalia is my who would you rather.

Chad Sowash: Sam, you still owe me drinks, man. [laughter]

Joel Cheesman: Yeah, me too. Me too Sam, damn it. Alright, let's talk SilkRoad and Entelo. SilkRoad technology is integrating its candidate sourcing solution search with its applicant tracking system called recruiting, creating an end-to-end talent acquisition solution, the integration includes Entelo's candidate sourcing and recruitment marketing capabilities, enabling organizations to identify reach and convert skilled talent. The AI-driven platform will automatically match job openings with relevant candidates, create talent pools and engage with candidates. The result is increased recruiter productivity the company promises as well as accelerated time to fill and improve talent profile of the organization. Chad, your thoughts on SilkRoad Entelo.

Chad Sowash: So we talked about this acquisition back in August last year when it happened, but I wanted to dig in a little bit deeper around an angle we really failed to cover, and that Robert's. So Entelo's CEO, who was then named SilkRoad's CEO back in August, and they are already announcing deep integrations with Entelo. So let's be clear, SilkRoad is a fucking dinosaur founded in 2003, and in my opinion, their tech has to be deep in technical debt that they are feeling on a daily basis. So my question to you is, Robert has a background in recruitment tech with Jobvite and Taleo.

Joel Cheesman: Yep. Was it Taleo too?

Chad Sowash: Yeah, he was supposedly one of the guys that helped through M and A of Taleo being acquired by Oracle. So he has a background, but does he have the chops to bring this dinosaur out of the HR tech Tar Pits?

Joel Cheesman: I'll give you another name, Chad. Ron Teeter. Ron Teeter, male prostitute.

SFX: You are spending the night with Fred Gavin, male prostitute.

Joel Cheesman: No, I'm kidding. Before SilkRoad, Ron was CTO at Entelo. Before that, he was an engineer at Jobvite. He was there for eight years. He also has a mustache that would break lesser men, but that's a different story. So your question isn't just can Robert save the company, can Ron and Robert save the company? Because these guys are basically been put in charge, cap put...

Chad Sowash: Tied at the hip baby.

Joel Cheesman: Pilot, co-pilot of this plane.

Chad Sowash: Flaming plane.

Joel Cheesman: And the board has basically said, Entelo, it's your baby. You guys are in charge. It's no surprise that Entelo is sort of first integration product that they're launching.

Chad Sowash: Oh, yeah. Of course.

Joel Cheesman: I think it was October of last year that the acquisition completed. So we're six months into this, is still live, by the way.

Chad Sowash: It is, yeah.

Joel Cheesman: I'm not sure why it doesn't redirect. But...

Chad Sowash: I don't know.

Joel Cheesman: It's hard to say goodbye for these guys, for Robert and Ron, it's hard, I'm sure. Look, SilkRoad, like you said, they've been around for 20 years. They raised $200 million, and this move in leadership feels like a big hail Mary to me, it'll be fun to watch if they can turn this Titanic around, but I'm not betting on it, if I'm a betting man.

Chad Sowash: I think the hardest part for a lot of these older systems is that they are much like we talk about LinkedIn, and in LinkedIn isn't even as deep a system as an ATS like SilkRoad, they're more a HTM kind of a system. There are so many old pieces of tech that are just relics that are still there, which makes it incredibly hard, if not impossible, to be nimble to change and to be able to adapt and to be able to ensure that candidates have a great experience, recruiters have a great experience and that you actually have an innovative platform. The thing is, could an Entelo perspectively replace a part of that tech in its entirety? I would say possibly, that's still gonna be an entirely hard ask. But you've gotta remember it's an HTM, so there's a lot more than just recruiting that's happening in this thing, payroll, onboarding. A lot of, a lot of shit.

Chad Sowash: So this is something that I think our listeners really have to understand, when we talk about tech, we're not just talking about 'cause we like it or we don't like it. This is because there are major issues that could prospectively happen in architecture, and in this case, having two guys who have been tied at the hip and to Jobvite, which I think is awesome. They obviously have a relationship. The question is, can this titanic be saved?

Joel Cheesman: 200 million raised, 20-year-old company.

Chad Sowash: Wow.

Joel Cheesman: Major Hail Mary. Don't be surprised if some wacky shit goes down, don't be surprised if SilkRoad goes away and Entelo becomes the flagship and maybe they take some pieces of SilkRoad and bring it over that is selling. Maybe they scrap some of the shit that doesn't. I think some wacky shit's gonna go down in this marriage and it'll be fun to talk about, for sure.

Chad Sowash: And SilkRoad's been around for 20 years, and I would say 75%, if not more of our industry, have never heard of them.

Joel Cheesman: Yeah, right. Yeah, by the way, they're headquartered in Chicago, but everybody's in San Francisco. So I don't know what like...


Joel Cheesman: They're still in Chicago just for sentimental reasons. They're Bears fans, I have no idea.

Chad Sowash: Maybe they'll buy CareerBuilder and [0:26:11.6] ____.

[overlapping conversation]

Joel Cheesman: Ditca. Ditca is board member, Ditca is a board member. Alright, let's take a quick break. Guys, listen to the ads because they're the reason we can have a show in the first place. Listen to our sponsors.

Chad Sowash: Oh, they're good. Oh, yeah.

Joel Cheesman: And we'll be right back.

Chad Sowash: This should be called The Joel Cheesman Block.

Joel Cheesman: Let's talk about food, Chad.


Joel Cheesman: That's right. Per the Wall Street journal this week, a story entitled, Americans are gobbling up take out food, restaurants bet that won't change. America's biggest chains are testing digital only restaurants and more drive-thrus gambling that heightened consumer demand for food to go will last well beyond the pandemic. Now, why might they be doing this Chad? Well, let's talk about McDonald's. McDonald's USA president Joe Erliger, criticized California lawmakers recently for passing a fast food law that Joe says would all but make it impossible to run small business restaurants in California. The law named the FAST Act, set to be voted on in November of '24, raises hourly restaurant wages to $22 an hour and is opposed by fast food chains including McDonald's, Chipotle and In and Out. Next up, let's talk about Chipotle.

SFX: Oh my God. I love Chipotle. Chipotle is my life.

Joel Cheesman: Mine too kid. Chipotle is hiring 15,000 restaurant workers ahead of peak season. Frankly, I call peak season at Chipotle January through December, but the company highlights just March to May. Listeners will know essential workers nationwide haven't faced major cuts despite unemployment hitting white collar workers hard. Chipotle is aiming to double its store footprint to 7,000 while offering benefits like free meals, tuition reimbursement, and a new chicken al pastor that's to die for. Okay, I added the chicken part. Chad, a lot of food news, what you got?

Chad Sowash: Well, first off, the next step for fast food is actually having the machine chew the food for Americans so we don't have to do the work.

Joel Cheesman: The Bertie robot. Yeah.

Chad Sowash: We're getting so close to the WALL-E movie. And if you haven't seen it, it's a Pixar movie that came out in 2008. It's awesome, and it's eerie because it's getting so close to lives today. Anyways, then we talk about Joe Erliger, the President of McDonald's USA, who would love having robots do all the work, because in California, they're gonna raise the minimum wage to @22 an hour. As you had said, in 2024, and Joe says, it's gonna kill jobs, which is laughable because at no time in our history has a rise in wages killed jobs. But we could say that Joe's comp at $7.4 million a year is killing jobs. So if he could live on a measly $3 million a year, he could create 95 more jobs at the $22 an hour rate. And you see the problem here isn't raising minimum wage, it's the pure excess and greed, we've become accustomed to. So we've got old men like Joe earning millions and he's bitching and moaning because of $22 an hour, which let's be clear here kids, that's not even a livable wage in many parts, if not most of California. Again, as we dig further into the narrative on employees, jobs, I don't think the problem for him is paying that, I think it's actually trying to find people to work.

Joel Cheesman: Yeah, so the coalition against the law submitted some data that they probably paid for, but this is from the UC Riverside School of Business, that said labor costs would inflate by 60% and food prices could balloon by 20% if minimum wages were set between 22 and $43. I'm not sure why the study went from 22 to 43, that seems a little broad to me.

Chad Sowash: Imagine that.

Joel Cheesman: No one's talking about $43 an hour for burger flippers as far as I know. Objectively, there are so many angles to this that's a juggling act. You have governments that obviously want more money in tax revenue from big companies like McDonald's and Chipotle, but they don't wanna put mom and pop out of business, so it's a little bit weird that this law impacts big restaurants and not like little restaurants, which I think is reeks of political interest to me.

Joel Cheesman: Restaurants wanna stall as long as they can, so they can get bots to cook all the take-out food and then eventually flourish. So for them it's sort of a shot clock game of like, "Let's be in court as long as possible, let's draw this thing out as long as possible," the bridge to that, like we said at the beginning, was more take out, more drive-through, which means less employees, more automation and getting the consumer used to not seeing a person take their order or see a person or more and more people take their orders or serve their food. So that becomes a bridge. Consumers on that side, they don't necessarily wanna pay five bucks more for a burrito, and I see that point, that becomes a political thing.

Chad Sowash: They wouldn't have to if Joe wasn't earning $7.4 million a year.

Joel Cheesman: Well, the benefit is, do I go to more mom and pops because they're not paying the $22 that McDonald's is and does that help small businesses? You could argue that, "Yeah, it does. I can get a $5 cheaper burrito at Mom and Pop burritos. So that's they're juggling on that end, you have In and Out opening up shop in Red State, Tennessee, that's where they're going next. If I had to bet Florida.

Chad Sowash: Right, Indiana. Yeah, Florida.

Joel Cheesman: If I had to bet Florida, I don't know.

Chad Sowash: Indiana is closer too.

Joel Cheesman: I don't know if Indiana fits the brand of In and Out, but they might... Florida's next for sure.

Chad Sowash: Tennessee. [laughter]

Joel Cheesman: Oh, we're way more like Midwestern than Nashville. Nashville's hip. Indiana is not hip. There's no hip, hipness going on.

Chad Sowash: No, there's no hip in Indiana.

Joel Cheesman: We're like the hippest thing in Indiana right now, frankly. So...

Chad Sowash: I don't know if I would call Florida hip.

Joel Cheesman: No one knows how this is all gonna shake out, how long this is gonna take, robot... It's just fun to watch. I know you love looking at it from the salary point and the money and the minimum wage, but there are so many layers to this onion that it's really fun to peel and talk about.

Chad Sowash: It is. Well, and profits and CEO pay are at an all-time high, but yet we're talking about the wages of the people that are actually doing the work.

Joel Cheesman: Oh, yeah.

Chad Sowash: And then we take a look at the US, and this all goes into a grander motion of McDonald's expansion, and actually, like we're talking about Chipotle expansion. The US's number one export, it will be obesity. It's all there is to it. That's what fast food does, if it isn't already. Okay, and as I had said, when I'm in Portugal, it is so weird how it's different because I have to drive 25 minutes to get to fast food, because the Mom and Pops that you're talking about are flourishing. I have better options and better food at a quarter of the price in a small town with 25,000 people Tavira, than going to Indianapolis. I can get better food in a small town in Europe than I can in a big city here in the US, because the industrialized engine of fast food is fucking... It's not just killing from an obesity standpoint, it's killing from a flavor and choice standpoint.

Joel Cheesman: Yeah. By the way, I think diabetics in terms of increase, China is like the number one country in terms of growth of diabetes because we are... We are doing a good job of exporting Yum Brands.

Chad Sowash: 900 more.

Joel Cheesman: And Taco Bell and the...

Chad Sowash: 900 more McDonalds in China, I think it's next year, slated for next year.

Joel Cheesman: And the CEO pay is getting ridiculous, like...

Chad Sowash: Oh, it's crazy.

Joel Cheesman: It's such a PR scam. Tim Cook at Apple is taking a cut, like everyone at Entelo is taking a cut. The problem is most of their compensation is wrapped up in stock. [laughter]

Chad Sowash: Yes. Which is not taxable.

Joel Cheesman: So it's a total PR game to say, "We're gonna cut our salary and sympathize with the working man and the front line workers." So yeah, it's so much PR politics and bullshit. It's crazy, it's crazy. Now, I'm hungry. Let's get on with the show. Okay, so returnships. Let's talk about what the hell that is. PepsiCo North America is expanding its returnship, not internship, returnship program, which is designed to help women who took time off for caregiving return to the workforce. The program provides professional development, mentor support and networking opportunities, and was successful with 80% of participants accepting full-time job offers upon completion.

Joel Cheesman: The program will now include 12 to 15 positions in supply chain, sales and commercial fields, more than double the number of positions offered in 2022. This is in line with the trend of companies such as Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and Schneider Electric offering returnships to bring women back into the workforce, especially those affected by the pandemic. Chad, your take on returnships.

Chad Sowash: So a few thoughts here. First, think about our whole gap in employment problem we have here in the US, and our traditional hiring behavior says, If you have a gap in employment, pretty much, there's gotta be something wrong with that person, if there's a gap. So we've created a false narrative for a huge cohort of people who chose a different path in life, and we automatically classify them as unemployable. Programs like these turn that logic around and they use it as an amplifier, and as you had said, they hired 80% of their returnships last year. Second, information from the Chamber of Commerce shows that a third of women are considering changing careers and these types of programs could offer women who are burnt out and left the workforce more opportunities.

Chad Sowash: But here's the rub, data from DOL shows women's top two occupations are teaching and nursing, how in the hell do we operate without those people in those positions? We can't focus too heavily on returnships being a solution without really understanding why women left the workforce in the first place and how to fix why they left. I applaud Pepsi and the other companies for seeing this opportunity to fill their open roles, but we should...


Chad Sowash: We've gotta be focused more more heavily on why they left in the first place, we're not doing that, we're not going to the root cause of the problem, all we're doing is looking for solutions. We've gotta fix the deep-seated problem before we actually go to solutions. I think, again, Pepsi and those other companies smart, but we've gotta do a better job and go deeper as we take a look at healthcare systems, teaching and many others where people are just, they're fleeing 'cause they're burnout.

Joel Cheesman: Yeah, this is from Sharm. 1.1 million women left the labor force during the pandemic, accounting for 63% of all lost jobs, while women gained 188,000 jobs in January of '22, they are still short by more than 1.8 million jobs lost since February of 2020 at the heat of the pandemic. As a result returnships make perfect sense just from a math perspective, but if we look at the human toll, women sacrificed greatly during the pandemic and many, many families, single mothers, man, my heart goes out to single mothers for sure, but we saw women being burdened. I don't wanna say burden. But childcare was typically what most families had to decide on, of who was gonna go out and make the money and who wasn't, and women, I think if you think absence makes the heart grow fonder, if there's a silver lining to this, the workforce realized how much they need women, not just from a Math perspective, but just from the fact that they weren't there anymore. So returnships mathematically make perfect sense. But from a good business practice, it makes really good sense because we need women in the workforce, not just nursing and teaching, but everything. And applause again to Pepsi for doing that. More companies should. Returnships in '23. Let's make it happen.


Joel Cheesman: Alright, Chad, let's talk Amazon, your favorite company outside of McDonald's.

Chad Sowash: Oh, God. Here we go.

Joel Cheesman: All right. The CEO of Ark Invest, Cathie Wood, a lot of our listeners will know who that is, has stated that she believes Amazon could have more robots than employees by 2030. That's right around the corner. Amazon already has over 500,000 robots in use and is adding about a thousand robots every day. Wood believes the robots will save Amazon money in the long run as the cost of robots decreases with every doubling in production. She is optimistic about the future of robots and artificial intelligence and sees potential for "super exponential growth" for companies that adopt disruptive technology like the one Amazon is embracing. Chad, robots, Amazon. I know you're in heaven. Go.

Chad Sowash: Well, you know, Amazon has to go this route, we've been talking about it for years now. As soon as Jeff Bezos can go fully automated, he's going to do it, period, 'cause he hates paying people. Not to mention quote from this article, if you look at the cost declines which drive all of our models for every doubling in the number of robots produced, the cost declines are in 50% to 60% range, they're gonna save money, they don't have to worry about benefits, there's just so much they don't have to worry about. Then you take a look at all of these areas in the United States where Amazon is burning through the workforce, they can't find people to work there because they've already burnt through them, because they treat them like robots, they treat them like shit, they pay them like shit. So what this is going to start to lean to, and I think we will have more discussions about which we have in the past, but I think it's gonna be a subject pick that we hit more often, probably maybe even do a show on, who knows, is universal basic income, and how robots start taking over, especially some of these rural areas where Amazon has come in and then the robots take all the jobs. What's left for these people?

Chad Sowash: What's left for these people, how does the government take care of these people? I hate to say interesting, it's gonna be sad in some cases, because America is not great in taking care of its people.

Joel Cheesman: Well, you went in the left field on the UBI, I'm gonna go into right field with a spoiler alert of my own. And maybe it's because I've been fasting for two hours that [laughter] I've come up with this, but not only is Amazon going to have as close to zero workers as soon as possible, they're gonna help other companies do the same. Most of our listeners know what AWS is. Amazon's cloud server solutions, which basically powers every start-up and most websites in the world. It's a billion dollar plus business all by itself. Chad, get ready for ARS. Amazon soon to be launched robots for sale or lease business. ARS, of course, standing for Amazon Robotics Service. They're gonna sell the robots to all the other businesses, lease them to other companies and make a ton of money because they would have made the initiative to create robots at Amazon, and then they're gonna power robotics across all businesses. No doubt McDonald's Joe Erlinger has Jeff Bezos on speed dial just for that moment.


Chad Sowash: Going to acquire a Flippy. We out.

Joel Cheesman: We out.

Outro: Wow. Look at you. You made it through an entire episode of the Chad and Cheese podcast, or maybe you cheated and fast forward it to the end. Either way, there was 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 big booty Latinas and bug fights on TikTok. No, you hung out with these two chuckle-heads instead. Now, go take a shower and wash off all the guilt, but save some soap because you'll be back, like an awful train wreck, you can't look away. And like Chad's favorite question, you can't quit them either. We out.


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