Euro Extravaganza '22
This show has it all.
European predictions for 2022 (Oh boy, Monster's not going to like this).
LinkedIn news (Clubhouse isn't going to like this either).
A French unicorn named PayFit. (Cue the unicorn song)
Oh yeah, and Gerard Mulder, CEO of Dutch company Textkernel, and recent acquirers of US-based Sovren, joins the show to give his insights on all thing's world-of-work.
The guys also dig into some recent startups - Hinterview and SonicJobs - that have garnered millions in funding.
PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:
Disability Solutions helps forward thinking employers create world class hiring and retention programs for people with disabilities.
Chad and Cheese Does Europe INTRO (5s):
Some podcasts, do it for the fun. Some do it for the fame, Chad and Cheese they do it for global effin domination. That's why bringing America to its knees was just the beginning. Now they have their eyes set on conquering Europe and they've drafted industry veteran Lieven Van Nieuwenhuyze of Belgium to help them navigate the old country and bring HR's most dangerous podcast across the pond to trash-talk like never before. Not safe for work in any language. The Chad and Cheese podcast does Europe. pe.
Oh yeah. The US and Russia are in talks to keep the peace in Europe, the meeting, however has no actual Europeans in the meeting. You are listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast does Europe. I'm your cohost, Joel, "Ivan Drago" Cheeseman.
And I'm Chad "pissing off the un-vaccinated" Sowash.
And I'm still, just Lieven Van Nieuwenhuyze.
Joel (1m 1s):
And on this episode, LinkedIn takes aim at Clubhouse, European predictions for 2022 and oh yeah a French unicorn. Let's do this, everybody.
Lieven (1m 16s):
sfx (1m 16s):
Europe has a bunch of countries in it.
Joel (1m 19s):
What's up boys?
Chad (1m 20s):
I keep hearing the intro and how the announcer just totally kills Lieven's last name.
Joel (1m 29s):
As if you really know how to say it after 14 shows.
Chad (1m 33s):
Yes. Of course I do.
Lieven (1m 34s):
I still remember it. I still recognize it. So it's not that bad.
Chad (1m 38s):
That's good. That's very good.
Lieven (1m 39s):
Lieven Van Nieuwenhuyze.
Joel (1m 40s):
It's good to have you guys on. And again, it's been a while since we've all been together.
Chad (1m 47s):
Happy 2022, hopefully.
Joel (1m 48s):
Happy 2022. Happy 14th show. I think of Chad and Cheese Does Europe.
Lieven (1m 54s):
Joel (1m 55s):
And who better to have us on the 14th. Lucky 14th show that our mystery guests, Gerard Mulder, CEO of Textkernel Gerard I'm sure I butchered your name in Europe, but welcome to the podcast.
Gerard (2m 13s):
Thank you guys for having me. It's a great honor to be, to be on this podcast.
Chad (2m 21s):
Much like a European, way too nice right out of the gate. Okay.
Joel (2m 26s):
But at Gerard, is it, is it Herard? Is it
Gerard (2m 29s):
I'll say, I'll say once the way the Dutch pronounce it, it's actually Gerard.
Joel (2m 36s):
Oh my God. No,
Gerard (2m 37s):
I won't do that to you. And I think Lieven like a Lieven actually has a very nice pronunciation of my name.
Lieven (2m 48s):
We would say, Gerard.
Chad (2m 51s):
Sounds kind of French.
Joel (2m 52s):
Lieven has a real education. Unlike Chad and Cheese. So, so Gerard CEO of Textkernel, what else sort of Twitter bio, or sort of a quick summary Textkernel that, for those that don't know, give us, give us the quick intro.
Gerard (3m 7s):
Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, basically like many in our field, we help connect people in jobs better. And we do that by providing technologies that can be integrated into existing processes to help speed up application processes, to match candidates with high accuracy, to do sourcing and we do a lot of data enrichments. So both on the profile and candidate side, as well as the demand side of the labor markets to help do analytics on the labor markets. So our customers typically use it to kind of like understand what skills are emerging, how is demand developing across different countries in Europe, the US and Canada.
Chad (3m 54s):
So a little bit about Gerard though. So do you like long walks on the beach? Do you like strolling through the Arden? I mean a little bit about you, give us a little history.
Gerard (4m 3s):
Well, I definitely, the Arden, so I just came back from there with Christmas. That's a tradition. We go there every year.
Chad (4m 17s):
Gerard (4m 17s):
And yeah, my background is, I joined Textkernel in 2005. It was then a four people company and helped build it out to what it is today. And yeah, I mean, my background is very much in more, on the commercial side, honestly, but as you join a startup, you kind of tend to do everything. So I've been a product manager, a marketing manager, I'm a project manager, you name it, I've done it. And you have today of course, I'm sure we'll get to talk about it where we're making big waves.
Chad (5m 6s):
Gerard (5m 6s):
And we're currently 150 people company and yeah growing fast and having fun. Wow.
Joel (5m 11s):
Awesome. Awesome. Let's get to some shout outs. Shall we gentlemen? All right. I will go first. My first shout out goes to France. French authorities hit Google and Facebook with record breaking fines of 210 million euros, big money for Facebook and Google for making it, making it too difficult for users to opt out of cookies. Facebook was fine for the same offense and both companies now have three months to comply or risk fines of 113,000 euros per day. The watchdog said facebook.com, google.fr and youtube.com websites did not allow the easy refusal of cookies.
Joel (5m 55s):
Citing the example of Facebook, it said, quote, "several clicks are required to refuse all cookies, as opposed to a single one, to accept them" end quote, Vive LA France, for sticking it to big tech, shout out to France.
Chad (6m 8s):
Sticking it to big tech, Lieven. You got a shout out?
Lieven (6m 13s):
Yeah. Shout out to the Reddit anti work community. What? Yeah, that's something new. Y'all know the subreddit Wall Street bets where people used to encourage each other to buy meme stocks like GME, et cetera, and try to try to make some money on the way there. And now there's the new subreddit, that's actually not new it was launched in 2013, but it's suddenly booming and it's called subreddit antiwork. And they're at 1.6 million members encouraging each other to quit our jobs and become idlers and give each other tips on how to eat from dumpsters and how to live for free basically. So I guess if this is the new hype for 2022, the war for talent is getting a new chapter.
Chad (6m 56s):
Ah, shit. Yeah. That, that those are the in cell message boards where Joel gets his provisions.
Lieven (7m 3s):
And I must say most of the people are male. Most of the members are male and from North America.
Chad (7m 12s):
Joel (7m 12s):
That's all right, because we don't have government handouts to live on. We gotta go through the dumpsters.
Chad (7m 18s):
Dumpsters. Yes. Going back in, I'm going to double up on Joel's French shout out. So a big shout out to French President Emmanuel Macron for a pissing off the 8% of the French who are unvaccinated in order to harass them into protecting themselves and others against COVID 19, slap them around there Macron, slap them around.
Joel (7m 45s):
And no cafe for you without the shots.
Lieven (7m 46s):
He said (SOMETHING IN FRENCH) . They are going to annoy them just until they quit, something like that.
Joel (7m 54s):
I love it. Love it. May 6th, something's going on Lieven. Why don't we tell the audience and listeners about May 6th
Lieven (8m 1s):
May six we are planning on not to postpone the Congress on May 6th. Actually. It's actually going to be May 6th, the e-recruitment Congress, 2022. We've been planning it since 2019. So it's about time.
Chad (8m 17s):
And no shit. We gotta make sure that Gerard's there too. So Gerard, put that on your calendar, big guy.
Gerard (8m 22s):
Definitely. I will. And I love, I love the fact that you guys are planning because you know, you can also not blend because of fear, but you guys are planning.
Lieven (8m 32s):
Joel (8m 32s):
There's an old saying, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans is that yes. They have the same saying over in Europe?
Gerard (8m 42s):
Yeah. But hopefully it will work out like that.
Joel (8m 44s):
Yeah. Hopefully you can, you can show up or have some Textkernel folks, now that you have 150 employees.
Chad (8m 50s):
And I would like to take this time to land in Belgium. I had to actually divert to Malta last time, which was a huge disappointment.
Lieven (9m 2s):
Joel (9m 2s):
Okay. Are you looking for real estate in Belgium now, Chad, you've already got your Portugal empire almost almost solidified.
Chad (9m 8s):
I'm just going to focus my, you know, on the beaches of Portugal right now.
Joel (9m 14s):
We appreciate that, the world appreciates that. Well, let's get into some of the news that Gerard alluded to. If you don't, if you don't remember from, I don't know how many shows it's been?
Chad (9m 29s):
Joel (9m 29s):
Texkernel bought a little company here in the U S called Sovren. So they did this in December. The combination of both companies will create a stronger player in the AI based search and match technology space the company says in Textkernel strengthens its North American and APEC footprint with the acquisition. Following the deal Textkernel will serve over 2,500 clients, including some of the largest staffing firms in the world, working from offices in the Netherlands, US, France and Germany. According to a market source cited by Reuters, the deal is valued at 30 to 40 million euros. Textkernel is backed by Main Capital, which bought the company from CareerBuilder back in 2020.
Joel (10m 11s):
So let's dig in a little bit with our friend Gerard. Gerard, how did this deal come together? And you're finally going to announce how much the deal was for on the podcast, right?
Gerard (10m 24s):
No, I'm sorry. I can't no, no that's yeah. I'm sorry guys. No.
Joel (10m 27s):
That's all right.
Gerard (10m 27s):
But yeah. How did it come about? Well, first of all, of course I known so for, and for a very long Diamond and we were competing, but as a competitor, we've always kinda, you know, respected each other. We, you know, we approached the same problem from a different technical perspective you could say. And I think it's, it had advantages to do that, but now joining, it actually creates a really strong culmination. And basically we just reached out to Robert at the right time.
Joel (11m 3s):
And how much whiskey did you have to send them to get a call back?
Gerard (11m 10s):
Well, it's actually a funny story because, we couldn't actually meet during this time because we weren't allowed to go to the US. So what we did instead is we met in Aruba.
Chad (11m 29s):
Gerard (11m 29s):
Horrible right? So we flew out for his team and some people of our team and I think that really helps building trust and going together on, you know, because it's always a big thing, especially, you know, if Robert having founded the company and run the company for over 20 years, it's important he gets to meet the people who will take over from him.
Chad (11m 59s):
Hell yeah. I got to say, Gerard, you are downplaying this big time because Textkernel is a huge in Europe and Sovren is huge in the US so being able to put these two players together, Robert actually had a conversation with us about this, and this was a holy shit moment for us. So we've been waiting for something big to happen in parsing and matching, and this was it. So what we were really excited to see this happen, and I know I'm like fucking fanboying at this point, but so what? But, I mean, from my standpoint, how do you see the current landscape? This is major power when we're talking about computing power and data in systems today, how do you see the current landscape?
Chad (12m 41s):
And then give us kind of like an idea into the future, your vision on where this actually goes. .
Gerard (12m 51s):
Yeah. So if you think about the number of profiles we process jointly. And if you think about the number of matches and searches that are done on our system, it is indeed a big thing because we were, I mean, Textkernel was already the biggest in the industry, but together with Sovren, it's even bigger. And yeah, if you look at the landscape, I think, and this is why I liked Sovren so much, I think we have very little competition left that we can't actually compete with. And the great thing about the two technical approaches that the difference is that we can very easily take things from the Textkernel product spec and our knowledge on, for instance, semantics, on skills and things like that.
Gerard (13m 43s):
And actually add that to the Sovren product stack quite easily. And we actually expect to actually make a lot of progress already in May. So if you think about most tech companies that are joining forces, getting really usable benefits from each other's products stacks often takes multiple years. I think we can really be much faster. So I'm very excited about it. And also the customers respond extremely positively to the news, which of course is super important.
Joel (14m 21s):
Yeah. You mentioned, I don't know, sort of the competition, the landscape is fairly bare once you guys got together to create the 800 pound gorilla. So what's the plan from here in terms of growth? Are we going to see a lot more marketing around the world from Textkernel more salespeople? Like, are you just gonna like totally solidify the market and establish yourself as the alpha male in this space? Like what can we expect in terms of the next 12 months in regards to growth and marketing and development?
Gerard (14m 56s):
Yeah. So, so first of all, it's a marketing and explaining our possibilities to the market. So especially in the US, you could say that, you know, with, Sovren our market share in the US doubled. So we already had a significant market share in the US, but now it doubled, but I still think that's, we're just scratching the surface of the typical use cases that are arising for our kind of technology. And it is primarily driven by automation and digitalization processes and what these processes needs are very accurate, matching, very accurate understanding of the data and the process you want to automate.
Gerard (15m 43s):
That's where we add value. So in one word or two words, you could say, we deliver foundational technology to drive many of these processes.
Joel (15m 51s):
Excellent. Well, I think I speak for both of us saying that we're excited for you guys and Robert and Sovren are great friends of the show and we're excited for you and, let's get into predictions. And frankly, one of my predictions is CareerBuilder bought you two or so years ago. My prediction is with the power of Sovren. You guys will now buy CareerBuilder in 2022, you will flip the switch on ownership.
Chad (16m 19s):
Don't waste your money on that shit.
Joel (16m 21s):
You can get a two for, with Monster. It'll be great. Speaking of let's go into some of our European predictions, by the way, if you haven't heard our, US predictions show with Tim Sackett and I encourage you to do so, but right now let's get into some European specific predictions. Lieven you have two, Gerard, you have one. Lieven, let's go to you first with your prediction. Number one for 2022.
Lieven (16m 46s):
For the record, I had plenty of predictions, but I was only allowed to choose two.
Joel (16m 55s):
Chad (16m 55s):
Being held down by the man.
Joel (16m 57s):
Coming soon, the Lieven prediction show for the Chad and Cheese Show.
Lieven (16m 60s):
Oh my God, I can, I can keep going on predicting. Anyways. Anyways, first one you were talking about Monster and I heard your prediction on, was it last week show about Monster? And I sort of agree. I mean, you know, there's a new CEO, a Randstad or an incoming CEO because Jacque hasn't left yet, but I'm the new CEO. Norton who comes from Accenture and was pretty tech savvy. And I heard a lot of great things about him. So I'm wishing him good luck, but the new CEO is going to try to do something to make a difference. And he will finally try to get rid of Monster. Of course he will. Jack couldn't because Jack was always saying that it was a good investment, but now he's leaving, but Sandra is going to try to get rid of Monster.
Lieven (17m 46s):
But of course, no one is going to be willing to buy it.
sfx (17m 51s):
Lieven (17m 51s):
So they're just going to chop it up and very lots of small parts, like the coffee machine and laptops, et cetera. And then at the end, we're going to sell the whole website as an NFT. I think.
Joel (18m 6s):
Trumpasaurus and NFT now that they have Monster beverage in Europe, right?
Lieven (18m 10s):
The energy drink. Yeah.
Joel (18m 11s):
I think, I think they sell the domain, that Monster beverage for $25 million.
Chad (18m 16s):
But what other assets do they have to sell at this point? Seriously? Any comments Gerard? Gerard's like, no, I'm not getting into this.
Gerard (18m 24s):
I'm not getting into that. I mean, I've been working with the Monster guys for ages and they're all good people. So, but, but I'm also not a regular at this podcast, I'm Lieven, you guys to do that.
Joel (18m 39s):
We won't put you on the spot. Let's roll right into your prediction.
Gerard (18m 46s):
All right. Yeah. My prediction is a little bit more, it's certainly more difficult to check later on, but I think 2022 will further democratize equality in pay for professions across Europe. And I think 2022 will make the biggest step. So to make it a little bit specific, 2022, will really take away many of the differences, especially for highly educated roles.
Joel (19m 19s):
Now your prediction of this, will this be sort of government driven? Will this be market driven? What will be the forces that create the equality.
Gerard (19m 28s):
Market driven, supported by governments though? Because I do, I actually do think that you in and say many things about the European commission and what they're doing, but one thing I do think that they do really, really well is enable international movement of people. It could still be better, but you know, if you look, if you compare to European economy with the US economy, one of the big downsides of Europe was the ability for people to just take their suitcase, if they were willing to and move to another country and start working. I think, you know, European Union has brought that.
Gerard (20m 11s):
So, so it's that, but actually it's COVID of course, that that really made it so easy to start working from any place. Also, why would you be paid less if you live in Poland or in Belgium?
Joel (20m 26s):
Chad has such a boner on this prediction right now. He's so excited.
Chad (20m 30s):
Yeah. It's hard to keep down. Yeah. So the thing is that Gerard, I agree a hundred percent with regard to, you know, being able to see, not just pay, but pay transparency, obviously what you can see more in Europe than you can in the US but also, you know, one of the hardest positions to fill, at least from my understanding are like truck driver positions. And that's not a highly educated position. So, you know, are we not going to democratization from the top to the bottom because you're seeing individuals who can pretty much do that job anywhere in the EU.
Gerard (21m 3s):
Yeah. Now I think you're actually entirely right there. It's just that I think on, in turn driving, think it's happened already to a large extent for as an example, for instance, but also a lot of other vocational professions. Nowadays, if you're a contractor, you can take a job anywhere in Europe and just get paid the same. Right? So even in construction. I actually do agree with you. It's across the whole array of professions, but still, I believe that for highly educated professions, as I do think that some of those jobs are easier to do from any location, the difference will even be smaller.
Gerard (21m 57s):
That's a prediction might be wrong.
Joel (21m 59s):
Predictions are never wrong. They just haven't happened yet. Lieven let's get to your second prediction.
Chad (22m 5s):
Lieven as another prediction he wants to steal from me. Go ahead.
Lieven (22m 12s):
Okay. The next one, it's nothing I'm going to steal from you. It's even more weird. The next big thing in 2022 or the best investment in 2022, we'll be buying the e-Krone and the economy will be the cryptocurrency launched by Sweden and are going to launch it somewhere in 2022. But that's an educated guess, the fact is China is going to launch the digital one and Juwan, or how do you pronounce it by the winter Olympics? And they're going to let the competitors either, how do you call them the sports people and the participants and the people who are watching, you're going to let them pay and those digital Juwan things.
Lieven (22m 54s):
But Sweden is also working on one. They're testing it right now, they have a pilot project. And I think there will be the first European country launching a virtual coin, which is controlled by the government. And this is going to be a game changer because it's going to put a lot of pressure on Bitcoin, et cetera.
Joel (23m 13s):
So will employees demand being paid in Swedish, E-currency. Is that another prediction part of that?
Lieven (23m 20s):
Maybe not sure if they want to be paid in it, but they can change their own currency to the Swedish e-currency. And that's probably going to be a very good investment, is the best way to stop inflation I guess, because Euro won't be able to launch something like that in a short period of time. And Sweden never adopted the Euro and they still have the Krona, Swedish krona. So for them, it's easier to launch something like this, but I was thinking it took us so much time to launch one currency for Europe, the euro. And now suddenly all those states are going to launch their own cryptocurrency, because I know the Netherlands are working it, France is working it. I'm sure German, the others are working on as well.
Lieven (24m 2s):
Belgium is not, but the others are, this is going to be a step back I feel. That it will be a good investment for those who will be the early adopters. I'm sure
Gerard (24m 13s):
I've always find so fascinating with the cryptocurrencies is that they're not really money. You can buy things with it, but it's, you're, you're kind of trading a digital currency into money. And then with that money, you, you, you buy, I know you can also buy directly with digital currencies at some places, but the value of the digital currency, is really defined by the demand for that digital currency. Not by any kind of economic liaison to production or something like that. So, do you expect that to be different for these government controls currencies?
Gerard (24m 56s):
Lieven (24m 57s):
I think so. And I'm definitely not an expert at all, but in my opinion, those cryptocurrencies, if you buy them, it's not investing, it's speculation, strictly speculation, your hope someone else will be willing to pay even more the moment you're trying to sell it. So that's strictly speculation and it's not backed up by anything. It's just, it's thin air. In my opinion.
Chad (25m 18s):