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Europe Reigns & Drains

Big announcement this week, as our buddies from Belgium announce the acquisition of four - yes, FOUR - businesses, including France's StaffMe and Germany's LD Personalvermittlung GmbH. Don't worry, we'll explain everything. If that's not enough, the boys play Buy-or-Sell, weighing in on startups deskbird, Catch, and nPloy. Spoiler alert: Lots of sell ratings. Ending the podcast is a salute to Poland and their "chance of a lifetime," compliments of Ukraine. Shoutouts include a dash of Irish gold, In Truss We Trust (Maybe), and wait, there goes my hero!

TRANSCRIPTION SPONSORED BY: Disability Solutions partners with our clients to build best-in-class inclusion programs and reach qualified, talented individuals with disabilities of every skill, education, and experience level.

Joel (4s):

That's really good on the kazoo. No one, no one knows this about Chad.

Chad (10s):

I've been practicing. This is my favorite part.

INTRO (13s):

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 (35s):

Oh, oh yeah. Russia has closed the Nord Stream pipeline to Europe as natural gas prices spiked 28% this week, but this podcast, yeah, it's still free people. You are listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast does Europe. I'm your cohost Joel "October Fest beer is going to cost an arm and a leg this year" Cheeseman

Chad (56s):

And I'm Chad "I'm not crying, you're crying "Sowash.

Lieven (60s):

And I'm Lieven "still loving the long heart European summer" Van Nieuwenhuyze.

Joel (1m 4s):

So hot. And on this episode, the House of HR gets a little more crowded. Poland steps up and a little buy or sell, including a Tinder for jobs start up. Hey, let's do this.

sfx (1m 17s):

Europe has a bunch of countries in it.

Chad (1m 19s):

So you're liking the hot weather Lieven? That's what I'm hearing.

Joel (1m 23s):

How's that energy bill this summer Lieven?

Lieven (1m 26s):

That's a good thing since sends it's like very hot. We don't need to heat our houses, which normally in September we should be doing.

Chad (1m 33s):

Well. You guys don't have AC do you?

Lieven (1m 35s):

I really don't need it. It's not really common here. I mean, in the office is a it, but not in standard old houses, like mine.

Joel (1m 41s):

So, is the dooms day narrative in the US for real, that we're taught, they're talking about 10 X energy bills this winter.

Lieven (1m 50s):

And that's really, really a problem.

Joel (1m 51s):

I mean, that's going to be pitchforks in the street, right?

Lieven (1m 54s):

I can't imagine it will not be. Not really. If I was working for one of those energy companies making billions of money, I would start hiring. How did you call them the Pinkertons?

Chad (2m 4s):

Pinkerton's yeah, they better get some fucking Pinkertons that's for sure. Jesus,

Lieven (2m 9s):

Because it's not, it's not that long ago that people in the streets in France for singing were gonna hang the aristocrats and now their new aristocrats are those people. So,

Joel (2m 20s):

So the narrative is that energy companies are makingm that they're gouging customers and that it's their fault that energy bills will go there? No one's blaming Russia for this?

Lieven (2m 30s):

No, no, it's definitely Russia, but there is something weird. I mean, gas prices are skyrocketing because of Russia but I like electricity prices are linked to gas prices even though some companies still just use nuclear plants and they don't have anything to do with gas, but they still sell their electricity at terrible prices. And they're making tons and tons of money and that's plain, right evil.

Chad (2m 55s):

And that's what you do. You look for the opportunity to make cash off the backs of the little man.

Joel (3m 2s):

Such socialists in Europe, such socialists

Chad (3m 5s):

That shows you the Thatcher influence right there, baby capitalism.

Joel (3m 10s):

Speaking of which.

Chad (3m 11s):


Joel (3m 11s):

Lieven's shout out involves a new prime minister that's getting a lot of attention across the pond, Lieven what you got for shout outs?

Lieven (3m 18s):

Liz Truss you guys, new prime minister and for you American bumpkins, who probably never heard about Liz Truss.

sfx (3m 26s):

What did you say?

Lieven (3m 27s):

Liz Truss? I know, you know, you meant bumpkins. Okay. Whatever. So you probably still remember Boris "so I wasn't born to follow my own rules," Johnson, the guy, he had his fun, but now it's time to get serious again. And I think in Europe, we all know female Tories make great prime ministers in times of war. And I don't think she likes Europe, but she even hates Russia more so over goods. So in Liz we trust, welcome Liz. And I'm sure she's listening. So Hi Liz!

Joel (3m 56s):

Obviously, obviously listening. Yes. It's the, the narrative over here in the states is that she is Margaret Thatcher 2.0, which means she's very conservative, which means a lot of our English friends aren't real happy about the new prime minister, but time will tell as far as you know, what kind of policies she implements and what kind of impact that has on England and the UK.

Chad (4m 19s):

See if she goes after the Petrol companies.

Lieven (4m 25s):

Yeah who knows?

Chad (4m 26s):

Well, let's keep our shout-outs in the UK. Shall we? Shout out to England rock fans and the Foo Fighters who jammed Wimbley Stadium on Saturday for a tribute to late Foo Fighters, drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died earlier this year, celebrities like Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen, Liam Gallagher, Mark Ronson, Dave Chappelle came out to honor Taylor, but nothing was more meaningful than when 16 year old Shane Hawkins. Yes. Son of drummer Taylor set behind the drum kit and played Foo Fighter's hit song My Hero with his dad's band.

Chad (5m 8s):

Shout out to England for filling Wimbly Staley stadium to the brim, honoring an amazing musician and giving a 16 year old kid a chance to honor his dad in a moment he will never forget. Shout out to England.

Joel (5m 23s):

That's great. That's great. And for me, it was a Liam doing Live Forever. That that touched my heart Chad. And just the fact that you mentioned Liam Gallagher in the same breadth of anything on this show makes money.

Chad (5m 34s):

I'm just glad that they had him go first and got him off the fucking stage.

Joel (5m 39s):

Save the best for first. All right, I'm going to keep it in the UK kind of, but not really with Ireland, maybe partly a UK.

sfx (5m 48s):

I can make you rich.

Joel (5m 49s):

So the Emerald isle is on a roll boys. Employment figures have reached record levels in Ireland with workforce growth in almost all sectors of the total number of employed people aged 15 to 89, where they really go up with the numbers. There has suppressed 2.55 million people and 8.7% increase from the 2.34 million who were employed at the same time last year. In short, more people are employed in Ireland now than ever before. The reason there are many but consumption of Irish whiskey, isn't hurting the cause, but a 250 million Euro investment, Irish distillers the company behind the names like Jamison and Green Spot will be creating 800 new jobs over the next three years.

Joel (6m 38s):

Now that's a copper pot of gold I can get behind shout out to our friends in Ireland.

sfx (6m 43s):

I can make you rich.

Chad (6m 45s):

And that just goes back to what we talked about. I think a few weeks ago, when you said that, Hey, we're not talking about Ireland anymore. With regard to companies going there and so on and so forth. This is demonstrates there is a saturation point.

Joel (6m 58s):

That's right now, it's now it's up to at home products and services like Irish whiskey to help carry the banner. I couldn't be happier.

Lieven (7m 8s):

I think you can't hide behind being American, but I wouldn't dare calling Irish people part of UK. I mean, people have been kneecap to kneecap for much less.

Joel (7m 18s):

Only the north part.

Lieven (7m 21s):

That's doubtable for some

Joel (7m 22s):

How many countries are in this country for four?

Chad (7m 29s):


Joel (7m 29s):

Four Okay.

Chad (7m 30s):

Events, OK, kids'.

Joel (7m 31s):


Chad (7m 31s):

We're traveling and you'll notice. And you'll know that we're traveling because we will be wearing our Shaker Recruitment Marketing gear. That's that's right kids. Coming to Europe in October for Unleash World in Paris. That's October 12th through the 13th. I'm pretty hyped to get back to Europe. Lieven's already there. But how about you? Joel? Are you hyped?

Joel (7m 52s):

Oh, I love Paris, Paris in the fall. What could be better?

Chad (7m 55s):

Paris in the fall?

Joel (7m 56s):

I still hold hope that Lieven could surprise us in Vegas next week. I think that Lieven could pull a Lieven and show up on the strip.

Lieven (8m 4s):

It's so much fun to be able to say Lieven Las Vegas.

Joel (8m 13s):

Lieven Las Vegas

Chad (8m 13s):

You don't see it happen. Wait a minute. I still got a ticket discount. Oh yeah. So all those kids who want to go to Unleash, everybody should want to go to Unleash, but we have a 20% discount for attendees. That's right. Go to, click on events in the upper right-hand corner. Check out the event, calendar register there and you, my friend will receive 20% off. Thanks to our friends over at Unleash.

Lieven (8m 46s):

Oh just give it to me.

Joel (8m 49s):

We're also launching Groupon on the Chad and Cheese podcast.

Chad (8m 58s):


Joel (8m 58s):

All this one hits close to home. If you know what I'm saying? Not one, not two, not three House of HR has announced four

Chad (9m 11s):


Joel (9m 11s):

Promotions expanding through France, Germany and the Netherlands. Those are French digital matching platform Staff Me founded in 2016 German company LDPersonal – vermittlung GmbH found in 2017 and focused on physician jobs and out of the Netherlands FID or Fid a leading temporary employment player in waste processing, recycling and landscaping, as well as BIS People who specializes in flex employment. The combined revenue of the four acquisitions in 2021 was around 63 million euros. So Lieven your employer has been pretty busy lately.

Joel (9m 53s):

You're not just sitting back with a Duvel after the Bain Capital investment. What the hell is going on at House of HR?

Lieven (10m 1s):

No, no, no. Bain actually thinks we need to grow. So they'll more for us. Actually it's been pretty busy. So has you mentioned four acquisitions for recently last week and first one, maybe the biggest one is Staff Me. I'm sure if you know Staff Me, you? One of you?

Chad and Cheese (10m 21s):

No. Nope.

Lieven (10m 23s):

Nope. Never. Staff Me. If this was a buyer or seller and I would mention Staff Me and I would give an explanation, you would say, buy, buy, buy it. Cause Staff Me is a pretty important digital talent acquisition platform in France and that made it interesting for us because we have Nowjobs, which is doing something similar and we wanted to enter France. We already did, but we wanted to grow faster, given France, being a very big market. So we now acquired Staff Me and we're going to launch Nowjobs within Staff Me and to make it grow faster. So it's focusing on students, on connecting students, young entrepreneurs with companies, blah, blah, blah. You know, the whole, whole thing.

Lieven (11m 4s):

Students has always have always been interesting to us, especially to me. I mean, I'm a fifth of my time is a teacher. So I always been in touch with students and I was always looking, how are they getting their first jobs? Because I wanted to make sure if we gave them their first job, they probably, we would be giving them many more jobs afterwards. Their first job is a student job, then we get to know them and we would be able to pick them up and to give them their first real job. And okay. So when we launched Nowjobs, I thought this is a great way to get in touch with students and to get them before someone else can. But I wasn't really thinking about revenue at that time. And as we see now, it's actually big volumes.

Lieven (11m 44s):

So it's a big business as well. Nowjobs has reached 100 million euros revenue. And now with France, it's growing fast. We already had Germany. So back to the point, Staff Me French digital platform doing well. And the two CEO's will be on board Amaury d'Everlange (co-founder & CEO) and Jean-Baptiste Achard (co-founder & General Director). And I loved our names. I mean, with names like this will get you laid in the US for sure I think.

Chad (12m 14s):

That's pretty fucking French. Okay. So let's jump into this real quick. Staff Me's been around since 2016, they've taken them out 3.5 million euros and funding and that was in 2018. And at about 25 million euros was reported for revenue in 2021. That's not too shabby, but I mean, Nowjobs is like four times the size of that. So is Nowjobs and France going to be folded into Staff Me, or they're going to stay separate brands, just working together.

Lieven (12m 44s):

It's going to be folded into Staff Me in France books also, but separates. I mean, Nowjobs is much bigger than Staff Me is right now, but Nowjobs is one of our big companies so it makes sense to launch them. So we had 268 offices in Belgium when we launched Nowjobs and all 268 offices were promoting Nowjobs. So it was just easy to start. And I mean, those people from Staff Me, they had grow slower than we did, than Nowjobs did. But now, I think with our help, they'll be able to grow quicker. Yes.

Chad (13m 18s):

Yes. So the Staff Me academy provides professional training for young independent workers. What kind of training? I mean, I love the idea of getting the workforce ready for an actual fucking job. That's awesome. But what kind of training do they give them?

Lieven (13m 33s):

It depends and since their focus are students, and also young entrepreneurs, meaning young, you know, it depends on what the market is asking. And I think re-skilling definitely for practical jobs will be something which will stay important for the coming decade, I guess, because we'll have to switch fast. But I always think re-skilling for students as weird because they're students, they're just still studying, why should they be re-skilling them? But then I was thinking about a big Belgium bank KBC. It doesn't matter a big bank, financial institution, and 10 years ago they started hiring people who studied, how do you call it?

Lieven (14m 15s):

Philosophy, et cetera. So very interesting. But try to find a job saying I'm a philosopher. Is that a thing?

Chad (14m 22s):

Philosophy major? Yeah.

Lieven (14m 22s):

Yeah. So that's not really easy. It's more of a hobby. I think. So it does. There's a bank offered all those people, pretty intelligent people, but with the wrong kind of degree at that point, offered them the opportunity to re-skill themselves during one year to become an IT and I was amazed how many people actually did? And not only philosophers also are people who study to German languages when in Belgium, no one needs German, et cetera. So they offered skilled to people, another skill, and I think that's sometimes probably something they will be doing too. Re-skilling to fit needs, which suddenly occur.

Chad (14m 58s):


Joel (14m 60s):

Lieven, always in touch with the students. I love that. And that will get you in trouble in some countries.

Lieven (15m 10s):

I'm not touching students. In a very fatherly way.

Joel (15m 12s):

So Nowjobs is just open shop in Germany.

Chad (15m 19s):

Catholic Father? Wait a minute.

Lieven (15m 20s):

A reformed father.

Joel (15m 21s):

You went there.

Lieven (15m 21s):

And one of my students last year, or two years ago came to meet and we had a chat after class and she asked, can I ask you a question? How old are you? So I'm 45. Oh you're exactly as old as my father. I thought damn.

Joel (15m 35s):

And then Lieven asked if she liked gladiator movies?

Lieven (15m 39s):

Yeah. Do you have like a parent complex?

Joel (15m 41s):

So Nowjobs is in Germany as well. So you got France, like what does this mean for your growth on the continent? Are you going to stay put in France cause we've talked about how unique of a market France is. What does this mean to the growth opportunities?

Lieven (15m 55s):

France is just one country and Europe has a bunch of countries we're going to launch all over.

Joel (16m 1s):

So Nowjobs is going to grow into most, if not all of Europe.

Lieven (16m 4s):

That's the plan.

Chad (16m 5s):

I mean, this is more of a portfolio play from what it sounds like.

Joel (16m 9s):

Yeah. House of HR feels like a cradle to grave service. You guys are going after students. And then you're going after, you know, physicians and healthcare, flex jobs, construction, you guys are covering pretty much the gamut of every single person from their working lives, which may or may not have something to do with the reason Bain bought into the company. But am I right in saying you're basically creating a cradle to grave solution for people throughout their entire worklife.

Lieven (16m 38s):

And I didn't know the expression cradle to grave, but understand that, I like it, even though it sounds a bit harsh, but that's actually the idea. I mean, we definitely want to be offering career guidance. So at the moment you pick up a student and you offer him not just the job, but the whole career plan. You've got them for life.

Chad (16m 58s):

Okay. Lieven enough about Staff Me. Okay. I get it. It kicks ass. You bought it. That's awesome. Tell us more about some of these other acquisitions that you guys just made.

Lieven (17m 7s):

Second one is in Germany. LDPersonal – vermittlung. It's a terrible name, probably for Germans, but it means local doctors and the word local comes from the Latin phrase, locum tenants, meaning placeholder. So locum is a person who temporary fulfills the duties of someone else. So locum doctor is a doctor who covers for another doctor who's on leave. So we already had Avanti in Germany and they are doing exactly the same thing but with nurses and as Rika our CEO says, it's a match match made in heaven. We're going to match those nurses and those doctors and it's a big win. So we didn't need to advanced matching software to see the opportunity. So it's a specialized staffing agency focusing on physicians and

Chad (17m 51s):


Lieven (17m 51s):

That's interesting. Yeah. It's you can't go wrong with nurses and healthcare indeed, because anti-cyclic, even if there is a downturn, people will still get sick. People will still go to the hospital. And then we had two more acquisitions. We had two bolt-ons from House of Covebo Dutch. So a bolt-on acquisition is an acquisition done by one of our major companies and they just put it underneath their own company, a bolt-on.

Chad (18m 18s):


Lieven (18m 19s):

Yep. So we have ID, which is a leading temporary employment player in waste procession, recycling, landscaping. And these were in markets. We didn't really have. So it's an asset to our portfolio and BIS People are specialized staffing and secondment of skilled workers also within construction, basically what's available is already very big. And so those make sense, but we should let them talk about them.

Chad (18m 48s):

Those are some big acquisitions and that is awesome. So congratulations to House of HR and all of those companies who just got the big pay day. Great job.

Joel (18m 57s):

Well, I know that we're really blessed to have the scoops on all these House of HR news items. It's it's helping two Americans stay educated on what's going on in the continent. All right, let's take a quick break, pay some bills and we'll play a little buy or sell when we get back.

Chad (19m 14s):


sfx (19m 15s):

Europe has a bunch of countries in it.

Joel (19m 17s):

All right guys, one of our favorite games buy or sell. For our listeners who don't know this is how this works. We take three startups that have gotten money recently, we read a summary and then everyone on this podcast sounds off on whether they are a buy or a sell on that startup. Is everyone ready to play?

Chad (19m 41s):

Let's do it.

Joel (19m 41s):

Buy or sell. All right, number one, deskbird, the Swiss provider of a workplace management platform founded in 2020 has raised a $5 million pre series, a financing round. This brings total funding to $6.5 million and will enable the company to continue to expand its business reach across Europe. deskbird focuses on hybrid companies. Employees can see who is in the office, schedule their office and work from home days and book desks. Workplace managers get a view of statistics like office occupancy and consumption. They currently manage 500 offices across 20 countries.

Joel (20m 24s):

Lieven are you a buy or sell on deskbird?

Lieven (20m 28s):

That's a difficult one. I think to rent to hybrid companies saw people working from home, sometimes people working at the office some other times. Okay, interesting. But I think given the high energy prices in Europe, we all be sleeping in the office to save on gas. So maybe I think they should have some kind of a book a family room option instead of book a desk. And I'm serious if the integration with teams and outlook and slack works flawless, done, it's definitely a buy. The only thing I'm afraid of is it's so easy to copy for companies like Microsoft. I mean, when Zoom became big, Zoom meetings became big. Microsoft just made Team meetings the standard in Outlook and that was it.

Lieven (21m 9s):

I mean just a plugin and they can copy it and they could do the same thing with deskbird I feel, if booking desks through this app works very well, Microsoft can solve easily integrated or its own solution in Outlook and that's it for deskbird, but if I was desperate CEO, I would try to sell the whole thing to Microsoft and start something new. And that possibility makes it similar reason for me to buy it. Big risk, big opportunity.

Joel (21m 38s):

Even as a buy on deskbird.

Chad (21m 41s):

Buy! Yes. So when we interviewed Steve Pemberton, the CHR row of Workhuman, he made a point to say that we haven't even started to figure out remote, hybrid and back to office and anyone who says they have, in my words are full of shit. Hence the need for workplace management platforms like deskbird, which helped companies make more sense of the hybrid workforce. HR systems are the gonna need this type of scheduling feature. I don't like seeing it as a platform because it's, it's literally a feature for these bigger systems to help organizations manage their hybrid workforce. The question is much like Lieven just said, will they try to build it themselves?

Chad (22m 25s):

Well with under 7 million euros in funding, I believe deskbird could be a quick and easy win for any HR system looking to answer the hybrid scheduling platform, which is why it's a buy for me.

Joel (22m 37s):

That's a buy. All right guys, we know that work from home and hybrid is here to stay for many and if not, most companies. People need to be tracked, companies love tracking people and companies need something to manage all this back and forth, which you guys have already waxed poetic on. Deskbird has timed everything just right founded in 2020. I don't know if someone had the idea that this was going to be the future. If that's the case, then they're geniuses. They offer integrations like Lieven said with Teams, Outlook, Google calendar, and Slack so they understand the integration game and how to get into these systems, which also makes them a little more appealing for acquisition.

Joel (23m 21s):

The pricing as well is really, really easy to swallow. We're talking like less than $5 per user on this service. Oh yeah. They also have QR codes, Chad, so you can put in your QR code and yeah and get an office immediately, you don't have to use the platform. So for me, this deskbird will fly like an Eagle It is a buy from me. Three buys everybody if you're keeping score at home. Next up on buy or sell is Catch. Cologne, Germany based catch has raised a seven figure amount in a seed round of funding. Guys, the startup aims to automate and improve recruitment efficiency for small and medium-sized businesses throughout Germany and the rest of Europe.

Joel (24m 10s):

They serve over 400 small and medium sized enterprises and say, they're filling thousands of roles on the service Lieven are you a buy or sell on Catch?