top of page
Indeed Wave.PNG

CareerBuilder Monster Merger

They boys are talkin' CareerBuilder and Monster merging this week. The deal is expected to close in Q3 and is subject to regulatory approvals. This merger comes as both companies have faced challenges in recent years, with CareerBuilder being sold off in pieces by Apollo and Monster struggling to revive its brand under Randstad's guidance. It remains to be seen how this merger will impact the job board industry and the competition with Indeed, LinkedIn and others.

They also talk about Phenom's acquisition of Tydy and its implications for the applicant tracking system space. The conversation then shifts to LinkedIn's new AI features and the controversy surrounding them, as well as the emergence of as a potential competitor to LinkedIn in India. Finally, they discuss a lawsuit in Florida challenging a new law that raises the age requirement for strippers, er, adult entertainment workers.


Joel Cheesman (00:30.636)

two guys who are too cool for British rule. Hi kids, it's the Chad and Cheese Podcast. I'm your co -host Joel Spirit of 1776 Cheeseman.

Chad Sowash (00:41.377)

And this is Chad, it's a double dumpster fire sew wash.

Joel Cheesman (00:45.612)

And on this episode, a zombie hookup, phenom tidies up, and LinkedIn asks, what does a barber do exactly? Let's do this.

Joel Cheesman (01:00.908)

Happy Fourth of July from America, Chad. Did you even know it was the Fourth of July there in Portugal?

Chad Sowash (01:07.553)

I do now. Now that's interesting. Now that's great.

Joel Cheesman (01:12.984)

America! Fuck yeah!

Chad Sowash (01:16.705)

Yeah. Yes. No, actually it was funny because I've already had WhatsApp messages from friends in Europe wishing me a happy 4th of July. I'm like, okay, that's fun. That's fun.

Joel Cheesman (01:25.868)

That's nice. That's nice. You're going to set off some sparklers, some sparklers tonight, maybe a bottle rocket or two. No.

Chad Sowash (01:34.657)

Now the only, the only fireworks I want to see is the Euro 2024, especially since the US got their asses handed to them in the Copa. Wow. Talk about.

Joel Cheesman (01:39.308)


Joel Cheesman (01:47.464)

Yeah, the cope is pretty good. And America's, I think, hosting the event is doing a pretty good job of it. We America is shockingly ready to embrace soccer, I think. Maybe it's messy. Maybe it's just time. I don't know. It just feels like the time is right. Time is right. So who do you who do you have in the

Chad Sowash (01:51.329)

No it is, yeah.

Chad Sowash (02:00.641)

Yes. Yes. I.

I think it's time. Mm -hmm, yeah. No, I think the time is definitely right.

Joel Cheesman (02:10.988)

Who do you have in the Euros? Who do you like? You like Portugal, obviously. And they got France tomorrow.

Chad Sowash (02:16.897)

Yeah, I mean, England, England really got lucky where they're at in the actual draw. They're on the easy end of the draw on our end, the Portuguese end. Portugal is playing France on Friday and Germany is playing Spain. Those are two powerhouse matches, right? And then, you know, England's got to kind of like fuddle through to hopefully, you know, get smashed by Spain or or

Joel Cheesman (02:24.524)


Chad Sowash (02:46.753)

or Germany. It depends on how they all play man. You never know. I mean, football, it's it could be it's it's a game of days and a game of minutes and you could have a bad minutes could it is and then England wins like in the last like five minutes that didn't really when they tied it up and then they went to extra time and then Harry Kane, you know, went ahead header right out of right out of the gate first 15 minutes.

Joel Cheesman (02:48.396)


Joel Cheesman (02:55.148)

It's a wild game, man. It's a wild, wild game.

Joel Cheesman (03:12.524)


Chad Sowash (03:13.889)

They go in, they win, and then the next day, we'll talk about Portugal here.

Joel Cheesman (03:19.852)

Okay, well speaking of England, I am leaving today. Fourth of July is a good day to travel, by the way, if you're in America. And Cole and I will be headed to Dublin, Ireland. So if you're there, give me a shout out. Maybe we'll hook up for a Guinness or two.

Chad Sowash (03:23.329)



of course. yeah.

Chad Sowash (03:35.297)


Joel Cheesman (03:38.22)

And we're going to tour Ireland with the kid. And then we're headed over to London midweek for a rec fast. I think you're headed to parts unknown in England tomorrow. What's up? What's up with your schedule?

Chad Sowash (03:51.969)

Yes, going to see some friends north of Nebworth. There's some really gorgeous areas in all of Europe, obviously, but in England. And we're going to go check those out, spend a few days, then pop back down to Stevenage, which are Stevenage, Stevenage, whatever they call it. And you talk, Stevenage feels like where I grew up.

Joel Cheesman (04:13.548)


Chad Sowash (04:15.845)


in Mansfield, Ohio. It feels like a desolate place. It feels like it's packed with, with like the Walmarts and the fast foods and the, you know, like a blue collar feel, which is not bad. The problem is it just doesn't feel like there's much, you know, infrastructure or hope there.

Joel Cheesman (04:30.892)


Joel Cheesman (04:37.932)

I think there's a subway though. So there is some hope for the, for the community. There's actually a pretty good, Cole and I stayed at an Airbnb and, and sort of walked, walked around and there's, there's a nice little, food, food section that you can get a good, a good meal. But yeah, it's, it looks like a pit stop on the way to London from whatever suburb.

Chad Sowash (04:41.889)

Again, fast food.

Chad Sowash (04:55.457)

That's good.

Joel Cheesman (04:58.636)

You're heading out to so yeah looking forward to seeing you there always for looking forward to rec fest We're actually gonna be among the Lord's House of Commons event on the night before with this way global interviewing a Lord Nat way No clue if he's your Representative, let me give us a heads up on what what he's doing, but that should be interesting for sure

Chad Sowash (05:09.057)


Believe it or not. Yeah.

Joel Cheesman (05:27.308)

Cole is going to be dressed up for that, which is going to be fun.

Chad Sowash (05:31.329)

very nice. Hopefully he has tails and a top hat. That's all I can say. That's all I can say. Let's go ahead. Let's jump in to shout outs before that goes too far. And I'm going to start the first shout out as a, with a little bit of amazingness.

Joel Cheesman (05:33.868)



Chad Sowash (06:03.425)

There you go, kids.

Chad Sowash (06:09.793)

Joel Cheesman (06:11.276)

So for those listening, we're watching the penalty kicks from Portugal in their most recent win.

Chad Sowash (06:24.097)

Chad Sowash (06:31.649)

And there it is kids, that's right. If you're watching on YouTube, if you're watching on YouTube, you saw probably one of the best goalie moments in football history. Diojo Costa stops three, not one, not two, fucking three, all three dudes set up from Slovenia and they get stopped by the brick wall. And then the Portuguese knock all three through. That...

I don't want to ever see a Portuguese end like that again, because my fucking heart was through my chest. But that was amazing to watch. And that was the only thing, to be quite frank, that one upped England who took it to the limit, to the end of their match. And obviously the Portuguese went a little bit for it.

Joel Cheesman (07:21.74)

Yeah. Soccer highlights on the 4th of July, everybody. That's right. That's what you get on the Chad and cheese podcast.

Chad Sowash (07:27.777)

Ha ha!

Joel Cheesman (07:29.068)

All right. My shout out goes a combo deal. Jason Sudeikis. That's right. one of your favorite actors on one of your favorite shows, Ted Lasso. he was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Shurm national show in Chicago a few weeks ago. Well, he, he called in sick. He called in sick or something apparently, and, gave, gave Shurm the stiff arm. And then.

Chad Sowash (07:49.121)


Joel Cheesman (07:57.708)

He was seen at a WNBA basketball game featuring the Indiana fevers, Caitlin Clark. So he called in sick and then he was seen, he was exposed as an attendee at the basketball game. So a lot of HR people were up in arms that Ted Lasso screwed him over. But also a shout out to Al Roker. That's right. Cleveland's own Al Roker, weatherman and just overall nice guy filled in for Jason.

into, into the event. So apparently according to some, celebrity, fees, like speaking fees, Sudakus is in the four to $500 ,000 range. whereas Al Roker is in the 50 K to a hundred K range to come speak. So I don't know if Sherman is going to get their money back, but they had to, they had to slum it a little bit on a budgetary, standpoint of getting Al Roker.

Chad Sowash (08:34.145)

Mm -hmm.

Chad Sowash (08:48.545)


Joel Cheesman (08:53.292)

into the show, but shout out to Jason Sudeikis for sticking it to SHRM, one of Chad's favorite organizations. And shout out to Al Roker for filling in overall nice guy. Shout out to those two.

Chad Sowash (09:04.193)

Yeah, Jason Sudeikis probably probably saw one of Johnny Taylor's like videos anti like employee videos, anti worker videos, anti union videos, whatever the fuck they were right on on YouTube or some shit like that. And he's like, fuck that, dude, I'm not doing anything for that organization. My shout out. Goes to time and open AI, who announced a multi year content deal. That's right, kids and strategic partnership. This.

Joel Cheesman (09:11.5)


Chad Sowash (09:33.601)

from a Time article, quote, through this collaboration, OpenAI will gain access to current and historic content from Time's extensive archives from the last, listen up, 101 years to enhance its products and display in response to user inquiries featuring a citation and link back to the original source at time .com, end quote. The news follows a similar partnership announced by OpenAI who are

gobbling up all these content partnerships and News Corp in May, which allows OpenAI to access current and archived articles from News Corp's outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Market Watch, Barron's, The New York Post, and more. Big shout out to OpenAI, who I'm telling you right now, they're getting this data for a song. That might be millions of dollars, but it will be a song at the end of the day.

Joel Cheesman (10:36.012)

All right. My last shout out goes to, our LinkedIn and YouTube followers, on both platforms. We tip the scale over a thousand, this week. If you're not following us on LinkedIn or subscribing to our videos on YouTube, we certainly encourage you to do that. as, as, as in addition to registering for free shit, Chad, we got some really good free shit that we're giving away for those that register at Chad cheese .com. Tell them about that.

Chad Sowash (10:46.817)

pretty quickly.

Chad Sowash (11:02.657)

Yes. T -shirts from Arenap. Yes, they are soft. They are glorious. They have the Chad and Cheese Guns N' Roses like logo on the front. And then you've got this really cool Arenap logo on the back. Then there's beer, craft beer, lovely tasty craft beer from Aspen Tech Labs. Whiskey, two bottles, two bottles of whiskey, not cheap. From your friends at Tex Kernel.

And if it's your birthday, there's some rum from home.

Haha! Woo!

Joel Cheesman (11:42.476)

The whiskey could be cheap, but it's not at Chad and cheese .com. And by the way, Chad, we're, we're right. We're right on the cusp of, of, of preseason football, American football here in the States and, and our friends at factory fix factory fix has, has. They're in the game again for their third straight year, sponsoring our addiction to fantasy football. So shout out to them as well, but let's get to birthdays. Like Chad said, if it's your birthday, you could win a bottle of rum.

Chad Sowash (11:54.329)

yes, factory fix baby. Yes.

Chad Sowash (12:05.121)

in the game.

Joel Cheesman (12:11.212)

from plum celebrating birthdays. I'm going to do two weeks this, this time, because we are going to be in England celebrating a birthday. Our Christina white, Justin Spencer, Eddie O 'Neill, Ellen Spiegel, Lee Cuevas, Rob Bursi, Claire Holland, Melissa Bortage, Chad Mattson, Megan maker, Deb Lindsey, Karen Lash, Joshua Tarantzi, Tommy Menser, Brock Mangus, Patrick Sullivan, Laura Turner, Andrew Clark, Josh Ramsey, Maria.

Colocurtio, Giles or Giles, Stefan, Blair Stock, Claire Hovland, Dee, Hoolahan, Joel Keene, Scott Eichner, China Gorman, Bill Fisher, Doug Berg, Elaine Orler, or, or yes, Orler. And last but not least, obviously goes to Kyle Laguna celebrating a birthday, another trip around the sun for everybody. Happy birthday to our listeners.

Chad Sowash (12:54.113)


Chad Sowash (13:07.201)

Very nice.

Joel Cheesman (13:09.036)

We're getting too many fans, man. This birthday list is getting crazy long. I don't know. We got an alternative.

Chad Sowash (13:12.129)

No such thing. No such thing.

Joel Cheesman (13:16.492)

And with that.

Chad Sowash (13:16.865)

Yes, so.

Chad Sowash (13:23.617)


Joel Cheesman (13:26.956)

All right, we unfortunately have, that's right, layoffs this week. UKG conducted mass layoffs this week just before the July 4th holiday. Isn't that convenient? They cut an estimated 2 ,200 workers. The privately held staffing software company cut approximately 14 % of its workforce if you're a percentages person according.

To an email that CEO Chris Todd sent and was reviewed by journalists. By the way, UKG are hosting a webinar at HR .com later this month entitled, get ready for this, Chad, the art of finding and keeping talent. That's right. They're sponsoring a webinar about keeping talent. Maybe you should read the room, UKG. Maybe you should read the room. Any thoughts on UKG's mass layoff?

Chad Sowash (14:09.089)

Are you shitting me?

Chad Sowash (14:17.985)

my God. Yeah. It's more than reading the room for God's sakes. From my understanding, and it was out on some Reddit threads. Yes, those can go deep into the rabbit hole, kids. But there were a lot of comments from people who said that they were laid off from UKG, that they found out that it was supposed to happen after the holiday. And it slipped. It leaked. And the next thing you know,

Boom, the VPs were gone. And then a few days later, then they made this mass cut. So it seemed like they were trying to they were trying to keep it before or after the holidays. Let people go through, have a wonderful holiday. But it didn't it didn't quite happen. You've got to remember that Kronos has been under attack in many different ways for since 2021 when they actually had a ransomware attack.

And that was a huge deal. And there was a punitive class action suit that was filed against them by the Northern District of California regarding that data breach in March of twenty twenty two. So they've been having issues. They've been have a lot of issues, but it seems like they've been rebounding. They were up like around nineteen dollars stock price. They're around 13 now. I think the low was like around five or so. But they've been fighting uphill and and then this happened. So this is this is interesting.

I wonder how it affects the stock price. I don't think it'll hurt it to be quite frank because people buying stock, they don't give two shits about employees. So we'll see what happens.

Joel Cheesman (15:55.756)

Well, they are usually pretty good for share prices. Yeah, you know, we haven't talked about these guys. Most people are laying off tend to let's call it 25 % of their workforce. There may be a little late to the party. I don't know the canary in the coal mine theory.

that I'm hearing a little bit more of lately. we've had some, speaking of stocks, some retailers recently that have just been shitty. So like Walgreens, Levi's, a few other retailers, Home Depot, I think, which tends to be a forward indicator of employment. And usually when that happens, no one's buying Levi's like Levi's employees start getting laid off. So I don't know if UKG has some information that says some, you know, something wicked this way comes, but it could be a canary in the coal mine.

Chad Sowash (16:29.953)

Mm -hmm.

Joel Cheesman (16:44.3)

Fortunately, we have Toby Dayton on the show from LinkUp to kind of give us some insight on job postings and what's going on in the world of work. And we're doing that this month. But yeah, my only thing is like, this is kind of normal. I mean, it's a lot of people because they're a big ass company. But is this a sign of things to come looking at some of the retail numbers on Wall Street? That would be my only question.

Chad Sowash (17:09.665)


Joel Cheesman (17:11.66)

Well, let's see, what could we possibly talk about this week as the first news item on the show? Career builder Monster are merging Chad. I don't know if you heard about this led by Apollo. The deal aims to combine their strengths and create a stronger job board. Apollo will be controlling a shareholder, meaning Ronstadt who acquired Monster back in 2016 for $429 million.

Chad Sowash (17:16.161)

Hmm... Hmm...

Joel Cheesman (17:38.636)

is essentially pulling out of the job board biz. The transaction subject to regulatory approvals is expected to close in Q3. Again, nice of them to announce bad news or interesting news or controversial news right before the 4th of July holiday chat. I'm sure you have a few thoughts on the career builder monster merger as a former monster employee.

Chad Sowash (18:03.361)

Yeah, and also former Ronstadt employee, kind of weird. What happens when two dumpster fires merge? Well, and they create a larger dumpster fire. Every single day, Ronstadt walks into a big client meeting. They talk about fusing technology into staffing and into next gen hiring. Now, when they leave those meetings, after they close the door,

They can hear an eruption of laughter knowing that no savvy business person takes them serious after buying Monster. Instead of reviving the brand, they ran the tech, the brand, and the market trust right into the ground. Then you have Apollo Global Management who acquired CareerBuilder and successfully chopped it up into little pieces and sold it for an estimated, Whisper is about 10x the investment.

Apollo still owns the hollow corpse of Career Builder, its brand, tech assets and candidate database, which they have failed to unload on a dumb sucker enough to buy it, right? Or a dumb, somebody dumb enough to buy it. So on one hand, you have Ronstadt, a major staffing organization trying to unload Monster, a brand of yesteryear and gain back the prospect of, you know, not getting laughed out of client meetings and

when they want to talk about future tech. And on the other hand, you have Apollo who are trying to sell the bones, the cadaver of career builder. So don't be fooled kids. It's not a saver for Indeed and LinkedIn. It's just another Apollo scheme to sell two rotting corpses instead of one. That's pretty much it. It seems simple to me. And the whole timing thing.

If they wanted to make this a big deal, two things. It came out on the Ronstadt press side of the house and it came out before a big holiday, which generally you're trying to bury things. So, I mean, that to me is odd.

Joel Cheesman (20:02.668)


Joel Cheesman (20:12.428)

So quick question. We've been talking about Indeed getting into staffing, recruit holdings obviously, and Ron Stott is a competitor to recruit. Wouldn't it seem like they like reviving Monster to maybe stick it to Indeed? Or is this a, we need to really focus on staffing because recruit holdings and Indeed are coming for us. Let's dump the dead weight.

Which obviously happened, but does that surprise you at all that with, with recruit holdings and indeed sort of coming after all the staffing firms that Ron's thought strategically didn't, didn't, do something different than sell monster. Cause they had that property.

Chad Sowash (20:52.737)

Yeah, I think I think Monster Leadership finally found out that they're not a tech company and they have no fucking clue what they're doing in this space. They had they had Monster under its own umbrella and kind of like shielded for a year or two. And they couldn't do anymore because the losses were so great. They were trying to do all this crazy, you know, product fluffy shit that, you know, that that just didn't equal revenue.

and, or the, you know, the, the, the prospect of future revenues. So, you know, I think literally this is just, let's get rid of this fucking dog. Apollo knows how to cut up in pieces and sell shit that that's what they do for a living. Let's give them this other carcass, with the carcass that they have and maybe two carcasses sell. Who knows?

Joel Cheesman (21:39.276)

Mm -hmm.

Joel Cheesman (21:43.916)


Joel Cheesman (21:50.124)

Well, here are my seven takeaways from the acquisition, Chad. Number one.

Chad Sowash (21:55.361)

of God is this step is this step stone.

Joel Cheesman (21:59.372)

I promise myself I wouldn't if it leads that way. so be it, but this, I do not have step stone in my seventh thing. Number, number one, this is big news for people of a certain age that have been doing this for quite a while. if you're over, if you're under 40, this is a big nothing burger. Like no one of us like younger than way younger than us cares about this shit.

Chad Sowash (22:07.201)

Okay. Okay.

Joel Cheesman (22:24.428)

Only old people like you, me and Durbin and Rothberg and people like that really care about this stuff. So number one, this is not a huge news in the big scheme of things. Number two, Scott guts is finally gone. just like they did with Ferguson at career builder. It may take a year. He may, he may transition to an advisory board guy, but Scott guts as I think we've both been expecting or predicting for awhile will finally be gone. The, the, the, the CPA that's running career builder and

and crunching the numbers will be the leader of this organization long term.

Chad Sowash (22:59.201)

He's a facilities management guy.

Joel Cheesman (23:01.58)

Whatever man. He's a he's a bean counter Apollo loves that shit. It's like how can we squeeze squeeze more more profit out of this turkey number three If you're currently an employee of monster, you better be updating your resume your LinkedIn profile If you have a duplicitous position that your time on this world is is running out Jump ship as soon as you can

Apollo gutted career builder, they're going to gut Monster as well. So if you're employed by Monster, you know, keep that in mind and update your resume. Number five. sorry. Number four. I love that they talked about regulatory issues, antitrust issues coming up in this case, as if, as if this were 2004. There will be no antitrust issues.

Chad Sowash (23:49.089)


Maybe, yeah, maybe 15, 15, 20 years ago, yeah.

Joel Cheesman (23:55.084)

Yeah, like that's, that's silly. It's almost like we're so big. There might be issues. Now there's got to be any antitrust issues on this case. number five, the big question, from a marketing standpoint is do they keep both brands? Do they morph into one and which one, a little bit of a prediction, but I think, in the near term, nothing will change. Let's call it a year. but I do think eventually the career builder brand will go away.

Chad Sowash (24:00.033)

Ha ha

Joel Cheesman (24:23.596)

Monster is still a decent brand. You can do something with Monster. CareerBuilder is nothing you can do with Monster. You can kind of do some stuff, be cool, be hip, be edgy, connect with the kids. So I think Monster is going to be the brand that they go with.

Joel Cheesman (24:40.268)

Number six, I think they will, in addition to brand, condense all the jobs. Similar to how Indeed postings are on Simply Hired, you're gonna see cross posting. I think they'll probably try to increase the price on a double posting from that in that way. And number seven, I'm sorry, Chad, yeah, StepStone is gonna eventually be the acquirer of Monster as it becomes one single brand.

Or they could take this Turkey IPO. Who knows, roll the dice and see what happens. Or they could look at rents and repeating and saying, well, okay, zip recruiter stock is now $4 or whatever it's going to be in two, three years. Maybe we buy zip recruiter and bring them in the fold. Maybe talent .com, which is, has not made a lot of waves lately. Maybe we suck them up. I don't know. I think this is a, this is a rinse and repeat moment.

Chad Sowash (25:33.921)

All right, this is turning into a step stone segment. Come on.

Joel Cheesman (25:37.548)

Yeah, this is a rinse and repeat for Apollo. they've made seven to 10 X according to rumors out there and why not continue the trend and just buy job boards, suck them dry, and then just feed off the, off the revenue that's, that's there because all these companies are in every budget for a lot of companies and companies just approve the budget every year. And this money just keeps flowing in. It's a nice little cash cow.

Chad Sowash (26:01.313)

So I have some listener comments around some of that. First and foremost, I got to give props to Leah Daniels who said they're going to ditch both brands and go with jobs .com, which Monster owns. Then we had other listener comments and these were similarities between the Monster plus Career Builder. This is more like VHS plus Betamax, Friendster plus MySpace, Palm Pilot,

plus Blackberry or your favorite cheeseman, White Castle plus Waffle House. That's right kids. That is what listeners think of this merger. And again, I think it's funny because there are some people that are pundits that are out there saying, this is a data play. And I think that's the funniest shit ever. These companies do not have any data that anybody gives two fucks about and or they can't get somewhere else. So.

Joel Cheesman (26:39.148)

That's sexy.

Chad Sowash (27:01.185)

Have a nice day.

Joel Cheesman (27:02.092)

Yeah, some perspective. These were one time both the number one site in the US, if not globally, they were both valued at over a billion dollars. They both sold recently for about 500 million. What do you think the value is now? I'm going to say if they're at a hundred million, it'd be, it'd be giving them a little bit more than they are probably worth, but who knows.

Chad Sowash (27:11.265)

one and two.

Joel Cheesman (27:29.42)

All right, from two corpses to maybe two sexier companions here. Phenom, the Philly -based CRM, has acquired Tydy, although it looks like Ty -Dy. Apparently it's Tydy. They're an employee onboarding software company based in Bangalore. This acquisition marks Phenom's fifth since 2020 and signals its intention to compete in the applicant tracking system space.

Tide's employee data platform or EDP will be integrated into Phenom's offerings, promising to enhance its capabilities in pre -boarding, onboarding, compliance checks, and more. Financial details were not disclosed. Chad, is this a phenomenal move or much ado about nothing?

Chad Sowash (28:14.849)

Well, I'd say Bravo to Phenom for continuing to open up their TAM and go down funnel. So Tydy received about $1 .2 million since 2012, but Phenom's press release says that they launched in 2019. So there's seven years there that are unaccounted for, but 760 ,000 of that was funded since 2019.

with the last installment of 400 ,000, which came in December of 2021. That's a time ago. Let's face it, from a logistics standpoint, onboarding and offboarding sucks. You have several areas that are critical and boring as hell, background checks, payroll, computer setup, supervisor and HR notifications, just to name a few, setting up the different employee personas.

for different departments. They look a little intensive, a little time intensive, but once you have agreed upon the processes, it should pretty much be on autopilot until you need to make slight adjustments, which shouldn't take a lot of time. So in the end, onboarding automation would be a huge time saver just as long as the work in points for actual people to interact with new hires. So this isn't just automation. It's not just technology. It actually has touch points for people.

So this startup, Tydy, is an Indian startup. So the burn rate is going to be much lower than US or Europe. But still, $760 ,000 overall since 2021, according to Crunchbase, is a big stretch. And did you notice the number of companies or companies that were not mentioned as clients in this press release? It said 30 countries. It didn't say how many clients.

So that could be just a few companies that are multi -country, right? Multi -language. So this looks like a hole that needed to be filled by Phenom, and they filled it with a distressed company needing a landing spot. It almost feels like an aqua hire. So whether it was on the fire, the fire sale clearance rack or not, onboarding and offboarding needs automation and Phenom needs to continue down funnel.

Chad Sowash (30:34.497)

after taking $161 million in funding. I think it's smart for them. And we called this shit, I think, two years ago, that we would start seeing mass consolidation and a lot of these startups who couldn't really make the revenue run, they would have to find a landing spot. And luckily, Tydy did.

Joel Cheesman (30:56.139)

So a little, little history, which I've mentioned on the show. And since we were talking about career builder, phenom was born by a deal with career builder to make mobile sites, back in the two early two thousands or mid two thousands. they were called I momentous, which then shot off and then created phenom and the company that we, that we know today. So how ironic that we're talking about. Zombie company, career builder, and then phenom, born out of the ashes of career builders. So anyway, I wanted to.

Chad Sowash (31:09.921)

Mm -hmm.

Chad Sowash (31:24.801)

Coincidence? Coincidence?

Joel Cheesman (31:25.516)

wanted to throw that in. so, Phenoms, CEO said, quote, in the press release, the desire to deliver the best employee experiences and accelerate time to productivity is what led us to acquire Tydy. that's PR speak for like what you said, fire sale. These guys needed an out and we were there to catch them. Now. I don't think it's a bad, acquisition. I think the team is probably really good.

Chad Sowash (31:50.657)

Mm -mm.

Joel Cheesman (31:54.252)

Phenom CEO talked about the three founders and how great they were. According to LinkedIn, they have about 43 employees, which is a little heavy. So I'm guessing there's a lot of developers there. I think they've ramped up some, some, some of their sales teams. So I don't know if they'll come over to Phenom. What I thought was interesting was the commentary that they were, they were stepping more into the ATS space. And with this, I think that they are. Tydy's mission is to make.

Chad Sowash (32:20.817)

yeah. They have to.

Joel Cheesman (32:23.82)

is to make the employee experience kind of like Netflix, where it's smart, it recommends things, whether that's upscaling or future positions. There's also a product it looks like where they alert companies of someone being a risk of leaving the company. So they plug into a lot of your existing solutions and then create a profile of an employee. They segment people and then give you data intelligence around those folks.

The onboarding piece, as you mentioned, there's no real super awesome, like popular solution for that. So plugging it into phenom stuff, I think a lot of people will say that's more convenient. I'm totally cool with that. And then how do they go into more of we're a one, we're a one, you know, one solution to rule them all. We've seen Harry launch an ATS, we've seen paradox, launched an ATS at some point. I think phenom is going to try to be that one stop shop for everybody. And this is one more step.

Chad Sowash (33:03.761)

yeah. yeah.

Joel Cheesman (33:21.004)

in that direction and Tydy apparently has some talent that has this vision and if they can bring that into phenom then so much more fun for us to talk about all these big gorillas getting more and more into each other's space and and fighting for market share

Chad Sowash (33:37.281)

It's a cycle that happens. It happens over and over and over. We've seen this before, right? We see new, new players come and they're small little baby players and they grow up and they buy all of these point solutions and then they become, you know, the next one stop shop and, and then, Taleo happens anyway.

Joel Cheesman (33:53.9)

huh. And then they sell to Apollo and they sell to Apollo and fade away. And then we talk about some other folks. And speaking of that, let's take a quick break and we'll talk a little LinkedIn.

Chad Sowash (34:00.865)

or SAP or.

Joel Cheesman (34:09.036)

All right, Chad, it's a LinkedIn double feature on this week's Fourth of July special show. Number one news story is LinkedIn has introduced AI features that suggest prompts to users such as asking about the roles of teachers and barbers. Yes, barbers. These prompts are designed to engage users and keep them on the platform longer. However, the AI suggestions can be flat out dumb. Like I just said, what the hell does a barber?

Chad Sowash (34:12.641)


Joel Cheesman (34:35.948)

to chat your thoughts on LinkedIn's engagement strategy via chat bots.

Chad Sowash (34:42.369)

Yeah, I mean, I think that's dumb in itself, but what's even more dumb is that it's only available for premium users only. I mean, that's fucking horrible. If you want to train the large language model to do a better job, you've got to give it more data. You've got to give it more interaction, right? Give the basic gen AI abilities to everyone and then only give premium users the gen AI that's trained off of their

personal experiences, their posts, their data, those types of things, make it more personalized. This reminds me of when Monster .com, yes, we're talking to them again, they bought Trovix, a matching platform, and then they rolled it out as an upsell. It was an advanced search tech, and it was much better than what everybody else was using just on the plain Monster itself. And Monster said, this is great. We're going to sell this to you. No.

You release it to everyone for a more evolved experience or those users will go elsewhere, which was one of Monster's greatest downfalls. And I believe LinkedIn is falling into that same trap. They're trying to nickel and dime everybody or get them into the pay to play space. And to be quite frank, that makes no sense for them, especially with large language models. You need more interactions, you need more data, you need more

You just need more to feed the beast and they're not doing that. So this is to me, all the way around is dumb.

Joel Cheesman (36:09.548)

Mm -hmm.

Joel Cheesman (36:21.196)

so one of the questions, so I'm a, I'm a premium user. I don't know if you are or not. So I've tested this thing. one of my favorites was a question popped up and said, what benefits does LinkedIn give bring to HR? So they're answering their promo. Anyway, that was, that was a funny one. I, I think like most things LinkedIn, the strategy is, is in the right direction.

Chad Sowash (36:50.369)

Mm -hmm.

Joel Cheesman (36:50.476)

But the execution is fucked up. just like, I mean, it's a laundry list of things. Like you go, okay, that's a pretty good idea. Let's see where that goes. Either it goes nowhere and they, they kill it like stories or their stories competitor, or, or they just botch it that it's so bad that no one uses it and they eventually get rid of it. But I think, I think they're, this is the right idea. Look, if, if I see a post from a company and I want to see like, Hey, what's

Chad Sowash (37:06.273)


Joel Cheesman (37:18.22)

what's this company about or what do they do? And I can click a click a link and it gives me like an AI generated. Here's what the company does and what they raised and blah, blah, blah. And then I can ask kind of deeper questions into that. That makes a lot of sense. I think the unfortunate thing is like you said, it's limited to, I guess what open AI is reading into multiple LLMs and maybe what's on LinkedIn. I think they, they should eventually launch this to everybody to get a lot more user data. Hope.

I'm giving them the benefit of that and saying like, maybe this is a little beta test. Let's, let's release it to our premium users and then see how they use it before we release it to everyone else. I think it's also ironic that a company that helps employers find talent can't find the talent themselves to like make this shit work and execute it, execute on this stuff in a way that's that works. It's like, it's your job to find people, like find the right people to execute on these visions.

Chad Sowash (38:07.201)


Joel Cheesman (38:15.308)

And I think, we wouldn't talk so much shit about LinkedIn, but I think at the end of the day, execution sucks. This thing goes nowhere. And maybe a year, we're not even talking about these sort of AI generated engaging chat bots, just like we're probably not going to be talking about the games that you can play on LinkedIn, which I haven't even seen or talked to anyone that plays or played myself. So again, decent idea. Execution sucks from LinkedIn.

Chad Sowash (38:45.153)

as usual. I mean, that is literally just the profile.

That's their profile. They come out with shit, they throw it out there, and then they shut it down very quickly just because they're bad at UI, at PR, and just getting the discovery. This discoverability piece is big too, which we're always focused on with podcasting and content. They just don't understand discoverability.

Joel Cheesman (38:57.004)


Joel Cheesman (39:14.348)

Yeah, look, I mean, you and I every week talk about startups and companies getting money. Like it would be cool if, if LinkedIn had a thing where if I looked up a company, I could see like all this data and interesting news stories and what's going on and what they do. That would be cool, but are they going to do that? Unlikely. and it's also amusing when they shut something down, like a stories and then go, Hey, that wasn't such a bad idea. Maybe we'll bring it back in some sort of other, other form. thanks. Tick tock for that one.

Chad Sowash (39:24.769)

Mm -hmm.


Joel Cheesman (39:42.444)

But yeah, good luck, LinkedIn. We'll have fun talking about the end of chat bots when you close that out. All right. Let's talk about LinkedIn again. Startup unicon .ai aims to challenge LinkedIn's dominance, starting in India's professional networking space by offering what it says is a more engaging and personalized experience. For instance, it features Unishorts.

which I have a few pairs of those in my closet. These are short videos showcasing users' expertise. Think about TikTok. The platform says it has seen rapid growth and aims to reach 1 million users by the end of the year. Chad, are you giving Unicon any chance of dethroning LinkedIn?

Chad Sowash (40:27.009)

So Unicon says, you know, some of the key issues are quote, the difficulty finding the right connections for meaningful professional growth, end quote. And I mean, that's a great vision and maybe something that they want to become someday, but this ain't it. Unicon seems like a blend of TikTok and Fiverr. It's not a LinkedIn competitor yet. In its current form, Unicon,

looks like a side hustle platform, which, you know, can help industry experts become more discoverable. And then people can pay those experts through the platform for their time and knowledge. And then Unicon takes a whopping 20 % of the fees and commission. Ouch, that's fucking huge. I can imagine most first business interactions happening on the platform and then moving off platform to save that 20%.

If you know they were at 2 % or something like that, that seems something that's easy for somebody to be able to absorb, but 20 % is fucking ridiculous. Unicon has over 2300 users and is aiming to reach 250 ,000 within a year. It's going to be hard though, because I tried to download the app to play with it and I couldn't download it because it wasn't available in Portugal. So I hit the VPN from the US and received the exact same message.

Joel Cheesman (41:45.516)


Chad Sowash (41:54.369)

not available in your country, which is weird because this is a community connection and a video platform that should be worldwide right out of the box. So for me, Unicon gets an A for an idea and vision and an F for go to market rollout and execution.


Joel Cheesman (42:17.804)

So I won't even ask you what you think about apples taking 30 % from the app store. If you think 20 % is rough. I really like the idea here. And if you watch the video on the explainer video, man, they are like energetic and they are hyped.

Chad Sowash (42:27.201)

And they're going to court for that shit, so I don't think I have to answer.

Joel Cheesman (42:43.5)

They're, they're taking whatever, whatever, you know, meds they need to like, be really excited about this idea. The CEO is really excited. I like the idea of a platform where experts can engage and profit, from their network and, and advising folks and whatever. And then we've seen some services like this in the past, purple squirrel, which I think is still around, but where you, you would pay. So let's say a Facebook employee to

Chad Sowash (42:49.601)


Joel Cheesman (43:10.732)

chat with them about what it's like to interview at Facebook or can you, can you forward my resume? Like you get sort of an insider's view of that company. We've seen a 21 .co, which was an Andreessen company from back in the day where experts would get paid. They would set a price for, if you email me a question and you pay me 50 bucks, I will promise to reply to the email within 24 hours or whatever. So you're basically profiting from your expertise.

And let's be honest, you and I, two guys with 25 years experience in this space and you having office hours, right? Where you kind of take calls and engage with folks. Like it would be nice to like, Hey, on Fridays you can engage with me and it's, it's 50 bucks or whatever, whatever 10 minutes you get for a hundred bucks, 50 bucks. That would be cool. And that's what these guys are trying to do. Whether it's like talk to someone and engage with a professional or someone of company. Also, you can profit from webinars. So you and I could quickly say.

Hey, let's do a webinar on this new, or like, let's talk about monster and crib, although the day of people can join for a dollar or whatever it is and profit from webinars. So I really like, the, the idea of this company. You got a billion plus Indians that I'm sure are interested in this thing and springboard that into Europe and America. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt as a new company that eventually they will get to that point.

I do however think they have no chance of like dethroning LinkedIn. Maybe LinkedIn will adopt some of these products if they take off, but LinkedIn is locked in. If Google can't dethrone LinkedIn, if Facebook couldn't dethrone LinkedIn, X slash Twitter is definitely not going to dethrone LinkedIn. Unicon is not going to dethrone LinkedIn, but it's an interesting company and I encourage our listeners to check them out because it is.

interesting and they are very excited about their product you should check that out as well. Well interestingly just as exciting can be strippers sometimes Chad so let's take a quick break and talk about stripper pulls.

Chad Sowash (45:04.737)

They are. They are.

Joel Cheesman (45:17.964)

Alright Chad, let's talk about strippers.

Joel Cheesman (45:23.052)

That's right. Florida is still Florida. All right. A 19 year old Florida stripper, Serenity Michelle Bushy. I don't know which part of that is her stripper name and which part of that is her real name. Serenity Michelle Bushy is suing the state for a new law that raised the age requirement for adult entertainment workers to 21 Bushy along with strip clubs, Cafe risque.

Chad Sowash (45:33.345)

Think that's a real name?

Joel Cheesman (45:50.092)

and sensations that sensation spelled S I N as well as lingerie store, exotic fantasies argues that the law violates their first amendment's rights to expression and association. Chad, your thoughts on the Florida stripper law and excluding 18, 19 and 20 year old girls and women from strip.

Chad Sowash (46:15.809)

Yeah, at this point, from an age standpoint, I have one benchmark and that is you can be 18 to join the military. I was 18 to join the military. I got shot at. I couldn't drink a fucking beer in my local bar. Right. So I think that is a bullshit double double standard. If you can actually sign on the dotted line to go fight for your country and old enough to do that, you should be old enough to drink a beer. You should be old enough to strip.

in a strip club for God's sake. So that is my one benchmark that I have around that 18 year old bullshit law. And you know, it's just, it's weird whether it's females or males at that point, that should be it.

Joel Cheesman (47:02.956)

And I totally agree. This is not crazy shit. Some people that don't go to college need to make a living. And why should we restrict an 18, 19, 20 -year -old woman from making a living? That's true. That's true.

Chad Sowash (47:15.617)

Or they're going to college and they're trying to pay that fucking debt off and they're doing it stripping.

Joel Cheesman (47:21.836)

turn nursing school and going to be a teacher, a kindergarten teacher, popular ones that I've seen in my lifetime. Whenever I see a law like this, I think like, who is this for? And Florida has done some weird shit, like the Disney thing and the Lab Meet thing. I mean, what lobby?

Chad Sowash (47:27.361)

On OnlyFans.

Joel Cheesman (47:44.364)

is coming forth and eliminating this. Like Florida is a place, and by the way, Tampa, although I've never been there, is apparently one of the top strip club cities in the world. There was a Super Bowl there once and all the players and people talked about how great the strip clubs were.

Chad Sowash (47:56.545)

Mm -hmm.

Joel Cheesman (47:59.276)

So I don't know if they're sticking to someone in Tampa politically or what's going on, but this makes no sense. However, if I'm only fans, this is fantastic. If I'm only fans, I just got a new crop of teenagers and young women joining only fans because they can't strip in Florida anymore. I agree with you. 18 should be perfectly fine to take your clothes off. They say that this is...

cracking down on sex trafficking and things like that. I don't know enough about the industry to say that to me. It's just, it's just adult women taking their clothes off and making a lot of money. And why should we defer to that? By the way, Chad, it reminds me, I once saw my dad at a strip club. I thought about telling my mom, but he was making really good tips and frankly, we needed the money. You know what I'm saying?

Joel Cheesman (48:53.292)


Chad Sowash (48:54.977)

That is a bad visual by the way.

Joel Cheesman (48:56.044)

Wrong joke. What do you call two nuns and a stripper?

Chad Sowash (49:02.369)

That's what I would call them, two nuns and a stripper. I don't know.

Joel Cheesman (49:04.94)

two tight ends and a wide receiver.

Joel Cheesman (49:10.156)

Happy Fourth of July, my American listeners. Chad will see you in England soon. We out.

Chad Sowash (49:16.353)

We out.


bottom of page