Checkr Yo Self B4 U Wreck Yo Self


Nobody likes boring, but you will enjoy some highly profitable tech sprinkled in with a little messaging cool shit here and there.

On this week's pod:

  • Background check solution (zzzzz) Checkr now has a $4.6 billion valuation after raising $250 million.

  • Workstream and TalkPush are making big waves in the messaging space - one of which hopes to turn Instagram into a recruitment juggernaut!

  • Then Solo, a well pedigreed and funded Seattle-based startup that is empowering gig workers to make more.

  • And who wins the DARWIN AWARD this week? ZipRecruiter or LinkedIn?

Enjoy another enlightened episode, powered as always by Sovren, Jobvite, and JobAdx.


PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:

Disability Solutions is changing minds and changing lives through disability inclusion.


INTRO (2s):

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.


Joel (21s):

Oh yeah. China just announced kids can only listen to three hours of Chad and Cheese every week.


Chad (28s):

What not cool.


Joel (30s):

What's up kiddies. It's your favorite Minecrafters and Fortniters, the Chad and Cheese podcast. This is your co-host Joel "Pac-Man fever" Cheeseman.


Chad (39s):

And this is Chad "Portugal wins" Sowash


Joel (42s):

And on this week's show Checkr yourself before you record yourself, the stories remain the same at LinkedIn and ZipRecruiter ready's for a good old fashioned power bomb. No, that's not a cocktail, but it sure as hell should be. What's up. Mr. Portuguese man of war?


Chad (59s):

Dude last night, was sitting at this beautiful restaurant, overlooking the beach here in Puerto Mao and watching Portugal come back last night against Ireland, they were down zero one came back two goals, late goals. Renaldo had a header. I mean, it was just like, the place went fucking wild.


Joel (1m 21s):

You know, like the real footballs getting ready to happen.


Chad (1m 23s):

Right.


Joel (1m 23s):

I'm really disturbed that you're bringing up Ronaldo with the college football season coming up this weekend lost you're lost soul, man. You're a lost soul. Yeah. So I mentioned China in my intro. So if you haven't heard China is limiting children to three hours a week of video games. Now, if you want a revolution, China, that might be the way to do it. I know my kid would revolt if I limited him to three hours a week.


Chad (1m 52s):

Wow!


Joel (1m 53s):

Yeah.


Chad (1m 53s):

How do you do that? I mean seriously, how do you, so I guess everybody goes online. They use their online accounts so they can be monitored that way. If we were doing it old school, like with Nintendo and we were popping in cartridges, nobody would fucking know, right?


Joel (2m 9s):

Ooh. The return of analog video games in China. I think that's a thing. That's the thing buy that Nintendo stock.


Chad (2m 17s):

Look on eBay. I bet they're going for high prices right now.


Joel (2m 20s):

Probably are by the way, football talking of, you've been out of the loop here, but this was interesting. Ohio State, incoming quarterback, Quinn viewers out of Dallas, Texas, by the way, he has a mullet from 1987, which is really impressive. He signed a $1.4 million sponsorship as an incoming freshmen. So this is part of the new college players can make money. Dude hasn't even suited up yet and he signed a $1.4 million contract. I'd say that's pretty good for Ohio state's recruiting efforts. What about you?


Chad (2m 52s):

Yeah, that doesn't hurt at all. He's he's taken like the Ricky Bobby approach to football. He's going to go out, he's going to highlight sponsors all over him.


Joel (3m 2s):

Shake and bake.


Chad (3m 6s):

All right. Shout outs, baby. I've got a Mel Skansen. She's in compliance over at Fastenal. Thanks for listening, Mel. And I do not. I repeat, do not take any compliance advice from Cheeseman. You've been warned and if you haven't already check out Crazy and the King podcast, they're a smart, more of a compliment to the stupid shit we pull over here. But thanks for listening. Keep listening.


Joel (3m 32s):

Smart compliment. Speaking of smart, Steven O'Donnell is first-class with his breakfast choices. We wanted to mention this dude can rock an English breakfast. I don't know what a Portugal breakfast is, but English breakfasts are okay in my book pass the baked beans,


Chad (3m 51s):

Baked beans is not good for breakfast. As a matter of fact, I sent him the blazing saddles, campfire snippet, where they're eating baked beans and they're all farting all over themselves. Yeah, that's, that's what it's like to be at the O'Donnell residents in the morning for breakfast. A big shout out to Jay Arnold, NTA ops over at Continental, thanks for listening to the guy. He's a big fan of the shred. He's obviously a breaking news kind of guy. And if you are not subscribed to the Chad and Cheese, you're probably missing our late breaking news podcast called the Shred. So you need to go find Chad Cheese, wherever you listen to podcasts and hit that follow or subscribe button to get all the good shit.


Joel (4m 38s):

Yeah, let's talk a little VAX chat. I got a shout out to Tyson foods. You've had their chicken. You love their chicken. They're giving away $10,000 a week for five straight weeks to employees who have at least one shot of the VAX. So chicken makers out there enjoy that $10,000 if you win it, get that shot kids.


Chad (5m 2s):

Yeah. And look at where Tyson, I can't say where all of their Tyson facilities are, but I remember spending some time in Arkansas and they had a huge facility or facilities there and I know Arkansas is way behind the VAX rates. So yeah. Good for them. Way to go. And this is, I think the only way we're going to get anybody to get Vaxxed in the south is either they give them money or mandate it, one of those things or put it in, you know, Natty light, maybe that's it.


Joel (5m 32s):

Yeah. The character or the stick or in this case, the chicken or the stick.


Chad (5m 37s):

Shout out to George Laraque who had a premature fungilation this week. Guy couldn't even keep it in his pants. He couldn't wait till the end of the quarter. He was so fucking excited. VC funding for Work Tech approaches $12 billion. And as I had said for nearly over a year now, if you're not gaining ground in this market, or you're not getting funded in this market and you're in recruitment tech, you're doing it wrong kids.


Joel (6m 7s):

There's a reason we call him LaRock out with your cock out. Sometimes he gets just a little bit too excited.


Chad (6m 13s):

Premature fungilation.


Joel (6m 15s):

Nike is on the trend of closing its office for a week to get, give everyone a mental rest period, I guess before the fall cranks up. So Nike folks enjoy that week off. You're in good company with a lot of other companies doing the same thing.


Chad (6m 31s):

Well, let's hope that starts to be like a standard because it's like, this is almost like an optics play at this point. It's like, oh, let's give them a week off. COVID and then three years later, there'll be like, remember when we gave you that week off, get that shit done. Get back to work. So let's hope this becomes a standard as opposed to just a blip in the radar.


Joel (6m 50s):

Yeah. I agree. Smart Recruiters in our industry is a trailblazer for those weeks off.


Chad (6m 55s):

Yeah, I can. I can see that though, they will make that a standard. Big shout out to Gergo Vari. He's the CEO over at Lensa.


Joel (7m 4s):

Bless you? Gergo Gary who?


Chad (7m 6s):

Gary Vari CEO at Lensa. That's where our buddy Joey Stubbs works. I love it. When CEO's challenged, the bullshit that's out there in this case, Gergo he posted on LinkedIn challenging CEO pay that's averaging 350% more than aligned worker right now. So gotta love it. When the guys on top are saying, look, this is bullshit. This is out of line and CEOs like Dan Price, who we talk about all the time and Gergo from the top, but they're calling it. That's awesome.


Joel (7m 43s):

Nice. Shout out to a couple of a deals in our industry that didn't quite make the main news, but we thought we'd mentioned them. Recruiter.com acquires Novo group, this is on-demand recruiting to help you scale up and down those recruiting efforts and also Compa a job offer management platform, raise 3.9 million in seed money this year. Kind of an interesting idea of knowing exactly how much you should pay people, what the competition is, offering those jobs. I think a lot of people have questions about that. So if you have questions yourself, go out to a Compa for offer management information.


Chad (8m 17s):

Cam you imagine if we had a transparent society where all that shit was out there and everybody knew it. I mean, we wouldn't even need platforms like this. That's how fucked up our system is right now kids.


Joel (8m 28s):

Yeah, I thought PayScale did that, but hey you know, whatever.


Chad (8m 32s):

Shout out to David Working, 43. Dude's 43, and he won a lawsuit against his parents. Did you hear about this?


Joel (8m 40s):

Yes but please, please, please go on.


Chad (8m 43s):

So working lived at his parents' home for 10 months, after a divorce, obviously, you know, we all fall down, we need to get back up. Sometimes we need help from mom and dad. But before moving to Muncie, Indiana, after he moved, he learned that his boxes of films and magazines were missing. Those were films and magazine of porn kids. So Working's father wrote him an email saying, frankly, David, I did you a big favor, getting rid of all that stuff. I eat porn. Well, a judge in Michigan didn't see it that way. And he ordered his parents to pay $30,441 to their son all over that porn.


Joel (9m 25s):

That gives a new meaning to the term Working it. That's this kid last name by the way, Muncie, Indiana home of the Ball State University fighting Cardinals who I predict will win the Mac conference this year. And you've heard it here. First. Will beat Penn state in a couple of weeks. When they go to happy valley.


Chad (9m 45s):

Ow, that's a hard one. I hope it happens. I hope it happened big shout outs to guys who don't get shout outs from us often. Our sponsors and believe it or not.


Joel (9m 55s):

Oh, hell yeah. Some new ones.


Chad (9m 58s):

Well, we'll give some love to some old ones first. You know, we've got Sovren, Nexxt, Jobvite, Recruitology, JobAdx, Shaker, pandologic, Emissary, AdZuna and introducing the Intelligence Group, House of HR, Hiring Solved and This Way Global, thanks so much. We really appreciate all the sexy love that you bringing.


Joel (10m 20s):

And if you love listening to our dumb asses, you should thank them too, because they make it all possible. By the way, if you haven't signed up for free shit, you got to do that. Go out to Chadcheese.com/free. You can win t-shirts from Emissary, beer from AdZuna or whiskey from Sovren. And there's a new competition Chad, we've been talking football, all shout outs. If you love fantasy football and who doesn't, we're playing fantasy football this year, we've talked about it I think for two years.


Chad (10m 52s):

Yes.


Joel (10m 52s):

We're finally doing it. Join us, go out to a poach.ai. They're sponsoring it. My company, it's a little bit of an inside job, but anyway, I got to poach.ai. I'm going to put up a little football link, click that put in your email address for a chance to play fantasy football with Chad and Cheese. We'll be posting the leaderboards every week. It'll be fun.


Chad (11m 12s):

Yeah. Yeah. I don't think they call that an inside job. I think they call it a reach around, but yeah, is it time for topics?


Joel (11m 20s):

Yeah, I got nothing after that. Let's get to topics! I forgot birthdays. Can I do those real quick?


Chad (11m 28s):

Let's do it.


Joel (11m 29s):

All right, birthdays. Chris Hoyt for a Crossroads. Our boy Bill Borman that's a big one. Send him a birthday. Shout out this week. Chris Murdoch at IQ Talent Partners, a long time industry vet. Our boy James Ellis, fellow podcaster and network member. He's over there at Roku and Gautam Gosh, if you're in India, you know this cat he's speaker, blogger, just pundit extraordinary. Gautam, Chris, Bill, double Chris, James, Happy Birthday. his coming week.


Chad (12m 3s):

Happy birthday.


Joel (12m 6s):

Now let's get the topics!


Chad (12m 10s):

Topics!


Joel (12m 11s):

Chekr Yourself before you wreck yourself. All right. San Francisco based background check solution Checkr. There's no "e" at the end of that has raised $250 million in a financing round that more than doubles its valuation from earlier this year, they're now valued at $4.6 billion, which yeah, that's more than ZipRecruiter who we talk a lot about, launched in 2014, Checkr says it performs 30 million background checks a year and has revenue well above $200 million background check industry veteran Jason Morris, my former boss says he expects an IPO in the next six to 12 months. Will that be another one to add to your stock portfolio Chad?


Chad (12m 54s):

No shit, Jason, this is an easy one. I mean anything and we've talked about this several times over the last fuck year or so, if it's boring and people don't want to fucking do it, that's where you want to invest because that's the tech that people are going to want to implement quickly. And nobody wants to do background checks. They want something that is implemented into their system. They want something that's proven it's easy and Checkr's been around for a very, very long time. So yeah, if it's boring, start looking at it, start looking at the prospect of putting it in your portfolio.


Joel (13m 31s):

Well, very long time is a little bit subjective. 2014 isn't that long ago.


Chad (13m 38s):

2014? Oh wow.


Joel (13m 38s):

That's what's the news. Yeah. They just feel like they've been around forever cause it's such a boring industry, but I was at Employee Screen IQ. You might remember for about a year back in 2015, I remember a Checkr got a round of money back then. I thought this is kind of a pretty good idea. Like this could really take off in the background check industry is just, is it's boring, but it's really, it's kind of nutty. There's so many like antiquated, you know, county records and like courthouses that are stuck in 1932. And like getting records is a pain in the ass.


Chad (14m 11s):

Shit people don't want to do.


Joel (14m 12s):

So you have these huge players like Sterling and HireRight that has a huge market share. But then you have a ton of these mom and pops like private investigators that do this. And Checkr came in and said, we're going to put in technology, we're going to streamline this process. We're going to make it a self-serve industry and it's obviously worked for them in a big way. Jason also added, in our conversation that they are a rocket ship and a unicorn in the truest sense. So if that's not a buy rating, I don't know what is, but yeah, these guys are, are really, and they're kind of alone in their space. They're really the only one that's sort of taken tech to the background check industry and really just lit that industry on fire.


Joel (14m 53s):

So yeah.


Chad (14m 54s):

Yeah, this is ridiculous, right? I mean, from the standpoint of owning a market and then you take a look at your total addressable market, it is Hug-fucking-mungus if you can actually automate portions of it? Right there are process process pieces, but there are also the other pieces that, you know, you have to actually have humans do. And that's what, you know, Checkr gets into as well. But overall, if you can, if you can integrate into all of the different applicant tracking systems and or the HCM systems as well, I mean, you got to going on, right. And if you're one of those old antiquated piece of shit platforms that is very, very hard to integrate with, well then guess what Checkr it up?


Joel (15m 38s):

Yeah. It's a strange industry. I mean, there's a whole network of people that will go look at county records for you. It's a really weird industry. And you also look at, and we've talked about this in the past about social media, you know, being a more important component to background checks and what are people saying online? And I think Checkr, you know, you know, has the pole position on sort of doing that stuff as well. So yeah, this is a juggernaut and everyone needs background checks, right? No one wants to be sued.


Chad (16m 6s):

Well, I wonder if a Checkr buys a company like Social Intelligence, remember we just talked to Bianca Lager a few weeks ago around Social Intelligence and how their system helps to be able to mitigate the prospect of your recruiters going online and taking a look at obviously doing their own quote unquote "social background checks," having them wrapped into something like a Checkr, I think would be pretty cool. Yeah.


Joel (16m 35s):

And who's the one you always remember this, but I don't, it's like fam or Fama.


Chad (16m 39s):

Fama.


Joel (16m 39s):

They do the Twitter stuff, right? That go back and say, there's the money that they've raised. I think the CEO actually sort of hinted that there might be some acquisitions in there. So I would certainly expect some of those moves to be made in the future.


Chad (16m 54s):

It makes good sense.


Joel (16m 55s):

All right, well, let's go to look something a little more sexier than background checks, San Fran based Work Stream has raised $48 million in a series B. The race comes a little over one year after Workstream raised $10 million in a series, a notable notably they added Jay-Z's Rock Nation, Will Smith's Dreamers, VC, Andre Agua, Dala, James Harden and Joe Montana's Liquid Two Ventures as part of the investment group. What's work stream you ask?


Chad (17m 27s):

Wow.


Joel (17m 27s):

Think text-based automated recruiting, screening, sourcing, job or distribution scheduling and onboarding for the desk-less workforce. They tout 1500 customers across 10,000 locations, including our favorite frickin Jimmy John's. Chad, is it time to start talking about Workstream in the same breath as Paradox?


Chad (17m 50s):

Yes, because Paradox is actually moving that way. There's going to be a convergence of many of these texting, messaging, RPA types of platforms overall. So I think this is just again, another signal to the rest of the market. This is important. If you take a look at the market itself, where are we having problems hiring people? I mean, in bulk, we're looking at high volume, we're looking at hospitality, restaurants, et cetera, et cetera. Right. So how do we actually reach those people? And how do we turn that engagement into a scheduled or maybe even an interview on the fly? How do you do that? You're going to do it via text. You're not going to be giving them a call.


Chad (18m 30s):

You're not going to be asking them to go to a desktop or meet at the local Jimmy John's, you're going to be doing this shit via text. So yes, watching Paradox do this, watching Workstream and we're gonna be talking about it a little bit later as well, this is a, there's a convergence and they're going to be many, many platforms that are going to be hitting the high volume side.


Joel (18m 51s):

You and I have been talking, you know, privately before the podcast about mobile's impact on recruiting. And I think everyone sort of knew it was going to be a thing, but exactly what it looked like, we didn't cry quite know. And, you know, Text Recruiter was sort of the first wave of that sort of the bi-directional chatting with candidates and now automation has come in, and chat bots and it's really evolved into what it is now with the Workstreams and the Paradoxes and some of the other ones that we talk about on the show, so that the world is mobile. How that was going to look in recruiting, I think is really starting to show itself. And look, most companies aren't Microsoft, they're small companies, you know, they're not at a desktop, they're not a laptop all the time, and job seekers are the same thing.


Joel (19m 33s):

And by the way, job seekers don't want to look for a job on the work computer, right? They want to be away from the peering eyes of their boss. So mobile just makes sense on so many different levels. And if you can create a environment where it's like a chat, as opposed to, you know, download your resume or log in with your LinkedIn profile, then I think that's something much more organic. I think, you know, bigger picture. What is this platform trend look like for companies like Craigslist, which has been really a staple for small businesses and hourly jobs for a long time. I think this is a real blow to their business. And I think, you know, Facebook is sort of uniquely positioned to take advantage of this trend.


Joel (20m 17s):

I mean, they already have messenger. They already have WhatsApp and some other messaging platforms, like to see them come in and buy an organization like this and plug it into their marketplace and jobs to me makes a lot of sense. And so we'll see what happens there. Someone, an industry vet mentioned something interesting who has access to some of this data, told me that Facebook is the first real threat to Craigslist on the SMB side. So Facebook adding some components like this, whether through acquisition or just building it, I think is something that we should watch as well, going forward.


Chad (20m 48s):

Well, and again, Facebook is a lifestyle platform. People live, they spend a lot of time on Facebook, so that that's there. There's no question that that's a threat. I see this in this conversation being a more, more of a threat to the traditional applicant tracking system. If the ATS doesn't pivot in turn into hyper mobile for everybody, not just for high volume, for everybody, they're going to lose. I mean, on average, it takes, you know, over 20 minutes for candidates to apply to a job in this market, that's never going to work for hospitality or for developer, right? And these technologies need to be, they need to be layered with other relevant pieces, it's one of those things where you have to know your audience and that's how you build your stack.


Chad (21m 36s):

And I really believe this is another shot across the bow of the applicant tracking system that they have to flip their model quickly.


Joel (21m 45s):

Yeah, that's kind of the big question for the next decade in our industry. Like do these platforms overtake the traditional ATSs, did the ATS has pivot into more of these business models? To me, that's one of the more interesting questions and trends that we'll be watching over the next decade in our industry. Let's take a quick break. You can go get some more octopus or squid or whatever the hell it is that you're eating there in Portugal.


Chad (22m 10s):

Wine.


Joel (22m 10s):

We'll talk a little bit more messaging stuff and More tech. Chad, remember when Monsters Jobber was going to be the Instagram for jobs?


Chad (22m 20s):

Yes.


Joel (22m 20s):

Not so much our friends at Talkpush, however, have just released the first ever recruitment chat bot that lets candidates search and apply for jobs without leaving Instagram. Talkpush is already just about every messaging platform, so this was bound to happen, I guess, especially when Facebook recently announced the expansion of the messenger API access for all businesses on Instagram. With over 1 billion monthly users worldwide Instagram is one of the most popular social platforms today, particularly among young professionals with the bulk of their users, aged 18 to 34. Chad Talkpush's Max Armbrister is your boy.


Joel (23m 4s):

So what are your thoughts on this move?


Chad (23m 6s):

Yeah, I'd say that I'm going to be a little biased because I do have a few options with Talkpush.


Joel (23m 12s):

Full disclosure. Nice.


Chad (23m 14s):

And we don't talk about these guys enough. They are big on in Asia, PAC and, and Mexico dealing with big companies like Walmart and McDonald's. Max understands one thing incredibly well, when fishing you go, where the fish are and Instagram is the number four social media platform worldwide behind number one - Facebook, two - YouTube, three - WhatsApp, and he's already integrated into all of those number. Number five is Facebook messenger, he's integrated into that one too. But every day there are 620 million Instagram users that spend on average about an hour on Instagram.


Chad (23m 58s):

And that time 200 million users explore at least one business profile daily, making Instagram an effective platform for candidates to discover brands. So this is a big recruitment marketing play for the younger demo. If that's who you need to go to, you have to fish where the fish are. And you have to also understand how to use Instagram from a marketing standpoint and then from an engagement standpoint.


Joel (24m 26s):

Yeah. Do you remember there was a site called ping.fm back in the day?


Chad (24m 31s):

Oh yeah!


Joel (24m 31s):

And it's gone, I think, but the basic gist was put up one update, social media update, and it would blast it out to Twitter, Facebook and at the time there were probably like a million different sort of Facebook wannabes and they covered everybody. And when I think of Talkpush, like they fucking cover everybody, like every messaging app that, that makes sense, these guys cover. So if you're looking for the broadest distribution, the biggest, I guess, pool, if you will, if you work for using fishing analogies, like Talkpush is, killing it, and you mentioned the global reach, you know, obviously we're focused on North America and to a lesser degree, I guess, Europe, but yeah, Asia, South America, these guys have really, I think, you know, staked a claim in those markets and from what I can tell are really doing well.


Joel (25m 21s):

And I also think that the benefit of the messaging strategy is you don't have sort of the text messaging headaches that you have with SMS. And I know they do that as well, but with fees and regulations and things like that, it's a real pain in the ass to do just text messaging all over the world. Whereas internet based, WhatsApp, Instagram, et cetera, is much easier and much less of a hassle to take advantage of. So I think they're really on the, you know, they're really on the front end of getting away from sort of that antiquated system and getting with the newer systems that people think of when they think about messaging.


Chad (26m 0s):

Oh yeah. Yeah. When we were talking about conversational AI and being able to do this at scale, this is what I was talking about earlier with regard to applicant tracking systems needing to pivot. Talkpush, I don't know. I know that some companies use Talkpush as an applicant tracking system. I think this is like the Paradox, the Talkpush, and again, Talkpush more of a global player. This is something that we need to be looking at very closely, because this is where the convergence is happening. We're talking about all these new conversational AI messaging types of platforms they're evolving into the newest form of an applicant tracking system.


Joel (26m 46s):

Yeah. I mean, look, there's a generation and generations coming up that, you know, going to a website, doing a search, clicking apply, uploading a word doc or something like that's becoming sort of what, when we started our career of going to Kinko's and getting printouts of cover letters, you know, it's, you know, messaging is so much more organic to them and much more natural. So I feel like, you know, time is sort of moving in that direction. If you're not doing that, you're, you know, you're going to be left behind. I do love that Max in their press release called it a chat bot and not conversational AI. Although I think they put that like most conversational AI solutions stay as far away from the word chat bot as possible.


Joel (27m 30s):

And the fact that chat bot was in their press release headline was pretty awesome. So Max, we appreciate that. Appreciate that a lot.


Chad (27m 38s):

Gotta dig it


Joel (27m 39s):

How many languages are they in now? Do you know off hand?


Chad (27m 41s):

I have No clue. I have no clue. I just know that they are all over the Pacific Rim, Mexico, South America. I mean, they're pretty much everywhere. And that's the thing is we don't see them much here in the U S because they're gobbling up market share and in other countries.