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Europe: Viking Robots Edition

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Sweden has been an outlier, hoping that bypassing lockdowns and instead, bracing herd immunity would win the day. Well, it hasn't worked out very well, and the country is grappling with next steps. That's why we've brought Sweden's Elin Martenzon, Tengai Unbiased CEO, to discuss the state of her country. You'll learn why Sept. 29 is such a big day. Then we travel to Italy, where the continent's first COVID passport mandate is about to be implemented. The answer to whether or not the rest of Europe will follow suit may surprise you.

You want acquisitions? We got acquisitions, covering Amsterdam-based Impraise getting gobbled up by San Francisco-based unicorn BetterUp.

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.

Joel (38s):

I watched every season of Vikings to prepare for this episodes, mystery guest, skull motherfuckers. You're listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast as Europe. I'm your cohost, Joel "see you in Valhalla" Cheeseman.

Chad (51s):

And this is Chad "Red October" Sowash

Lieven (53s):

I'm Lieven, "we don't have any submarines in Belgium" Van Nieuwenhuyz.

Joel (57s):

In this episode, Italy says no work for you without a COVID passport, Sweden says, get your asses back to the office and an American company gobbles up an Amsterdam based startup. Amsterdam it really is more than just hookers and weed. Amsterdam-based

sfx (1m 17s):

Europe has a bunch of countries in it.

Joel (1m 21s):

What's up my friends as the lone American on the podcast, I say good day to everyone.

Chad (1m 26s):

So, I'm now, Portuguese, is that what you're saying?

Joel (1m 30s):

Well, I'm saying, I'm saying, you know, yeah. It's, you're slipping in. It's sort of like, have you seen Dances with Wolves?

Chad (1m 37s):


Joel (1m 37s):

So this scene where the, Union soldier captures Kevin Costner and says basically like, you know, you've gone injun boy or whatever the line is. And then Kevin Costner gives his name Dances with Wolves. That's kind of like where you are at this phase, you sort of slipped into Port, you're gonna start speaking Portuguese on these shows. I'm sure you probably have a Portuguese name. Don't you like Rinaldo Sowash or something?

Chad (2m 1s):

"Dances with wine in the sand" Yes

Joel (2m 3s):

This is with wine and Michelin restaurants. Yeah. Yeah. All right. Let's bring in our mystery guest.

Chad (2m 10s):

Who is it?

Joel (2m 11s):

Listeners will know her Elin Mårtenzon CEO at guy, you know, Tengai as the recruiting robot. Elin. Welcome back to the show. It's been a minute.

Elin (2m 22s):

Thank you so much. Yeah. It's been a minute. It's been a whole pandemic, I assume, right?

Joel (2m 27s):

Yeah. Yeah. So for our listeners who don't know you, give us a little Twitter bio, and we're going to talk about your company in the show, but give us a little bit about you and living in Sweden.

Elin (2m 38s):

Yeah, of course. Yeah. So I'm the co-founder and CEO of Tengai, which is an interview intelligence platform. And we're also the creators of the first ever use robot for interviewing, without being affected by unconscious bias. And just this year we launched a new digital version of our product and we are now experiencing growth due to that need for automated interviews.

Joel (3m 2s):

We'll get to the company a second. We're looking out for you. You are a CEO in the best sense, but yeah, you have a couple of kids, live in Sweden.

Elin (3m 12s):

I do, I live in the south of Sweden

Joel (3m 14s):

Enjoying the fall there.

Chad (3m 15s):

Are you actually in Malmo or are you just close to it?

Elin (3m 18s):

I'm actually close to Malmo, so it's basically between Malmo and Copenhagen in Denmark. So it's a really close to Copenhagen as well. So down here where I live, we have nice beaches. Nowadays it's actually, as you said, it's turning into fall. So the air is crisp, the birds are moving and we're lighting loads of candles.

Joel (3m 41s):

The birds are moving.

Chad (3m 43s):

They're going south. Get me the fuck out of here.

Joel (3m 49s):

I like that.

Elin (3m 50s):


Joel (3m 51s):

Well let's go from all peace and love. And my first shout out, I just want to talk about France getting pissed off.

Chad (3m 59s):

Oh yeah.

Joel (3m 59s):

They're getting tough on the US after America apparently canceled a $66 billion submarine contract for Australia. And they're mad at Belgium too, which I guess Lieven's to talk about that. But the new pact between the UK, US and Australia dubbed AUKUS, which is great, caused France to recall their ambassadors from the U S and Australia. Not since freedom fries has tension been so thick. Lieven what's your take on this global action?

Lieven (4m 30s):

Apparently no one wants to buy anything from the French and they're a bit angry. Australia was supposed to buy submarines, we were supposed to buy our airplanes. We didn't and Australia didn't and now the French are angry. That's basically the whole thing.

Chad (4m 45s):

But France, they cried for European sovereignty, but neither the Aussies or Brits are part of the EU. So I mean, what fucking sovereignty are they talking about?

Lieven (4m 58s):

Yeah, but they were supposed to be partners and they broke their words and, and now they're not partners anymore. And so they recalled her ambassador and, and now they're sulking.

Joel (5m 9s):

They're mad that they're losing their position in the world stage, I

Lieven (5m 13s):

Think mostly to billion dollars they lost. Yeah.

Joel (5m 16s):

And the $66 billion. That hurts too.

Chad (5m 19s):

Not fun, not fun. So Ted Lasso, baby for killing it, at the Emmys. So a year after the final season of Schitt's Creek, which had taken up the mantle of Emmy comedy gold, Ted Lasso jumps in and emerges as the heir apparent. We keep telling you people over in Europe, if you're not watching it Apple TV or Apple Plus whatever the fuck they're calling it. Now you got to check it out. Ted Lasso, stupid American, comes over. He's the best guy in the world runs a football traditional proper football club in London. It's hilarious, it's fucking awesome.

Elin (5m 59s):

Actually, one of my favorite shows.

Chad (6m 1s):

Have you seen it Lieven?

Elin (6m 2s):

Yeah, I have. It's one of my favorites.

Joel (6m 4s):

Does it play in Swedish there or do you have to watch an American with subtitles?

Elin (6m 8s):

We watch Americans.

Joel (6m 10s):

Oh, ok.

Chad (6m 11s):

They're smarter than we are Joel.

Joel (6m 14s):

These are questions we want to answer on the show. Are there subtitles?

Elin (6m 18s):

Yeah. There are subtitles, but I'm not sure that everyone uses them though.

Joel (6m 22s):

Sometimes you know, I go to Europe, I see Friends and it's dubbed over in whatever language.

Lieven (6m 27s):

Only when you go to France and maybe Germany as well. But most countries in Europe, they use subtitles, which is better to learn languages I guess.

Joel (6m 35s):

There you go. That's the information we want to know on this show.

Chad (6m 38s):

That's how it is here in Portugal, man. I hear British music, but I mean, I think what we've done as Americans, at least we did well in the eighties and we're still doing pretty well now, is we have great pop culture and everybody wants to watch the movies, listen to the music, that kind of stuff. And that's how a lot of these kids are actually learning English.

Lieven (6m 58s):


Joel (6m 59s):

I learned to speak Swedish by listening to Abba in the seventies. But that's a different show.

Lieven (7m 4s):

I learned German by watching porn.

Chad (7m 10s):

I can't top that. Okay.

Joel (7m 13s):

Thank God Elin knew what she was getting into when she agreed to be on this show.

Chad (7m 17s):

Lieven has a shout out.

Lieven (7m 20s):

Yeah, indeed, indeed. Ikea. It's not about Elin. It's about Ikea and apparently they are going to launch a whole e-sports line, gaming line and I just bought, so I've got twins, so I just bought two expensive secret lab, gaming chairs, terribly ugly things. But that's it.

Joel (7m 38s):

That took eight hours to put together.

Lieven (7m 40s):


Joel (7m 41s):

Don't even get me started.

Lieven (7m 44s):

And indeed, but now Ikea is going to launch a gaming line and gets all over the world. 3 billion they say are going to buy Ikea on gaming stuff. Or why do I mention it? What's the link for recruitment? Because I've been saying for a while, the debts e-sports is going to be the next recruitment plaza. And at the house of HR Recruitment Congress on the 25th of November, today already mentioned it. We're going to do a big topic about e-sports because it's booming and it's indeed a great place to hire people.

Joel (8m 15s):

Who's speaking on the topic?

Lieven (8m 16s):

Yeah. His name is Steven Learnen and he's a co-founder and CEO of Metta and Metta is a big gaming agency in Belgium and the Netherlands. But back to the Belgian standards, there are pioneers in e-sports and let's say the, it looks and probably even in the U S they've been. Yeah?

Joel (8m 34s):

And COVID willing, Chad and Cheese will be interviewing my man on e-gaming. So stay tuned for that episode cause that'll be a fun topic.

Chad (8m 42s):

I can't wait.

Joel (8m 43s):

I mean, how many chairs can you make for gaming? It's just that goofy U-shaped chair, right? What other furniture is there?

Lieven (8m 50s):

Oh they have all kinds of accessories.

Joel (8m 54s):

Accessories. Okay.

Lieven (8m 56s):

Like stuff no one needs to put your mouse on and stuff no one needs to put your headphones on. And other stuff no one needs. Also has RGB lightning so it looks cool.

Chad (9m 7s):

Ah, that's a good point. Yeah. It's like, it's just like the hoop T-Mobile that Joel had when he was a kid, he had lights under it.

Joel (9m 17s):

My Pinto was a chick magnet, man, stay off the Pinto baby. That shit was a baby blue. And it was popular with the ladies. Anyway, you mentioned the Congress, which is on Thanksgiving Day, also known as November 25th and the rest of the world, COVID willing, as I said, will be there. So far I can still come. And Chad, I assume, may not even leave the country or the continent, will be there as well as another American Steven Rothberg and Faith I think you're going to be there. And Adam Gordon, is he still slated?

Lieven (9m 50s):

Yes, he's coming and a Canadian guy, Jim Carroll has also joining. Okay. He didn't care about Thanksgiving because apparently in America it's one month early.

Joel (9m 58s):

It's a different day. Yeah. And maybe Elin can pop in and hang out at the Congress in Belgium for a couple of days.

Elin (10m 6s):


Chad (10m 6s):

Maybe Tengai can come by too. Who knows?

Joel (10m 11s):

Well, speaking of that, let's get

Chad (10m 16s):


Joel (10m 18s):

Alrighty, then we're going to talk a little Sweden. Talk about Tengai. We haven't seen the robot in a while. We miss it. I guess you won an award recently. Give us a state of the union there at Tengai. What's going on?

Elin (10m 34s):

You know, the union. Well, that's the, I said, you just briefly mentioned we earlier this year, we launched a new digital version of the product and due to that, I think it's also like a result of the pandemic, and everything we've done on online and so on and so did interviews over the last year. So we're now actually experiencing some growth in that area. And also I think that the need for automated interviews focusing our soft skills has become a new need for at least the companies in Sweden. So yeah, basically it's kind of good. We won an award in May, which basically was an innovation award on the Swedish market. So we were proud of that.

Elin (11m 14s):

And things are looking good I believe we're opening up Sweden as well, which naturally we'll bring some more, more business along the way I think.

Joel (11m 22s):

And you launched English about a year ago, right? How's that going?

Elin (11m 26s):

Yeah. So we're mostly using the Swedish version in Sweden. So, but the English version is mostly used for a Swedish company on an international level. So basically we're still, we're still working from Sweden and now we're actually hoping for getting outside of Sweden to new COVID passes.

Joel (11m 45s):

And when you say obviously going digital opens up a whole new opportunity, is digital Tengai, a chat bot? Is it more smarter than that? Like talk about exactly what you say when you mean digital.

Elin (12m 2s):

It's more of it's more than a chat bot actually. It's more of a, like a two way interaction with an avatar or a robot. Then the automated two way situation where you can sort of have a much, much more, I believe, greater experience from your interview. So it's still focusing on like the early stages of the process. And now we actually do just did a few integrations as well towards ATSs in Sweden. So we did with an ETS called Tintae just recently, which is a really nice platform in Sweden, focusing on automated situations as well. So we just did that integration. So now we can actually see the results of the first stages of automated processes in a sort of a long run.

Chad (12m 50s):

Now it sounds like you've pivoted kind of, to an extent, because a year now an interview intelligence platform and because there really was no need for quote unquote "physical interviews" or much less need, you guys went virtual, right? You went to more of a virtual platform.

Elin (13m 8s):

We definitely have the pandemic to thank for that because it's been a part of our roadmap since the beginning actually to go on the digital flight as well. But one, one part was that, okay, people are still used that used to do interviews physically. Right. So, and I don't know if that's a typical Swedish thing or whatever, but before the pandemic, most people are actually sitting face to face during interviews. So when the pandemic hits and people were forced to sit at home doing like virtual interviews, everyone was like, okay, so now what? So this was basically a thing that we could do. So they sort of experienced that it was like yeah, a better way of conducting interviews. I think that we can see now that people are actually moving towards the virtual interview stage as well, even after the pandemic.

Joel (13m 55s):

So not only virtual interviews, but we talked about the metaverse, if not on the last show, the one before that, and certainly Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, if he had his way, we'd all be, you know, icons in this metaverse and we all have meetings as digital representations of ourselves. I'm guessing that you're bullish on the metaverse or virtual reality and how Tengai could fit into that digital world as a recruitment. I don't know, persona? What are your thoughts on the metaverse and Tengai's place in that?

Elin (14m 29s):

I don't know if I've ever had any at all. I'm thinking that we need to create experience for candidates that are fun, unique, and engaging, and that might be a solution for that as well. I mean, just look at the future, it might be like AI avatars, that's being the CEO of the company or with the digital version, basically anything can happen, right? It's more of creating a situation where candidates can feel safe, secure, engage, and so on. And so I, I don't, I'm not saying that that is the natural way for us. It's more, I think it's more a situation where we need to be very aware that we can make sure that we're create experiences for the candidates as well.

Joel (15m 13s):

Let's pivot to the state of Sweden. Now that we've talked to the state of Tengai now, most of the world here heard about Sweden not getting down with lockdowns. It was more of a herd mentality strategy. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, sort of, talk about what Sweden's response was to COVID and maybe the state of Sweden right now, and what's going on with the pandemic. Cause it seems like it didn't work out real well.

Elin (15m 39s):

To say the least Joel. I mean, yeah, we did have like the society open, we didn't go into lockdown as most of the world did during last spring. However, what most people basically don't know is that we've actually been in sort of semi locked down since November last year. And so it's been more of like, okay, we need to do this anyways. Since I think that they understood quite, quite like, like strictly after the summer, last year that, okay, this, this strategy isn't working, we need to do something more. And then we went into sort of like a semi lockdown.

Elin (16m 20s):

So the schools have been opened, restaurants have been opened, but restricted and a larger public gatherings hadn't been allowed, larger private gatherings haven't been allowed and so on. So that's basically the situation at the moment now as well. But as of September 29, then most of the restrictions will actually be eased.

Chad (16m 41s):

So after watching what's happened in the US, this total shit storm that is happening. And Sweden's only like around 61, 62% actually vaccinated. Right? So you guys aren't even close to herd immunity.

Elin (16m 57s):

Oh no.

Chad (16m 58s):

Is there any, I mean, is there anything from like a TNG and from Tengai from like your world or universe where you guys are having conversations around this and saying, look, this is probably not a good idea from what we're seeing from all those idiots over in the US?

Elin (17m 15s):

Yeah. Yeah. I think that we definitely need to like focus on like what model we will have after September 29 when it comes to, are we forcing people back to the offices or not? Are we still, since everyone's not received their vaccine yet effects have had governed their vaccine yet? I think that we definitely need to be restricted when it comes to keeping distance, still washing our hands. That's a good thing though, and all of those things. But I think that in terms of like, looking at the Swedish strategy overall, I think that we can all just come to the conclusion that it was a crappy strategy, but I think that a Swedish citizens somewhere had had sort of hoped that the Swedish model will be successful.

Elin (18m 2s):

But now the opposite has definitely been proven. And we've been actually defending the strategy of herd community by believing it was to protect the economy, economic growth and to save jobs. However, it, that also turned out to be wrong, right? So since both economic growth and unemployment rates had suffered from that. So on the other hand, like keeping the society open, might to some argue that we have contributed to like a more happy citizens overall, I guess that we need to wait and see what the future holds in terms of mental health issues though.

Chad (18m 36s):

We are always looking for the bright side. Every time, everything you ask a Swede, they're like, no, it's the best. No, it's the best.

Elin (18m 44s):

<inaudible> in our culture

Lieven (18m 47s):

A colleague of mine is living in Sweden right now, he's our copywriter. And by the way, shout out to <inaudible> and he left to <inaudible>, or he moved to Sweden because his wife is an organist. And apparently in Sweden, if you play the organ, you get a well-paid jobs at a Swedish church or some way.

Elin (19m 3s):

Yeah, definitely.

Lieven (19m 5s):

They need organ players so she was a very good organist and she was invited to Sweden to get a well-paid job, whatever. So at my copywriter moved with her to wherever he's living in Sweden, but he told me about the whole pandemic that the Swedish people are very disciplined and that they keep distance that you don't need to force them and blah, blah, blah. And in Belgium, we were very jealous about discipline Swedish people, but in the end they screwed up anyway.

Elin (19m 34s):


Chad (19m 35s):

Hey Joel, you can play the organ. Why don't you, why aren't you in Sweden?

Joel (19m 41s):

Well, I can fuck it up on the organ. Don't don't mess with me. By the way. I have a little story about Sweden. So when Chad and I went there a couple of years ago, Elin was nice enough to pick me up at the airport and drive me to the conference. So we're driving and we're almost all doing the same speed limit. We're all in the right hand lane or the same lane. And then as someone passes us, Elin mentions how rude it is to be passing on the freeway. And I'm like in America, this bitch is Thunderdome. Like it's mad max on the freeway, everyone's passing everyone. So that gives you an idea of the, I don't know, the orderly manner of most Swedes, which brings me to, I want to dig into the September 29th deadline, where basically the recommendation to work from home if possible will be lifted by the government, along with the other pandemic restrictions that you mentioned.

Joel (20m 39s):

So the question is, you know, can your boss force you to return to the workplace? Apparently they can. I'm curious in terms of culture, are all Swedes going to go back to work? Are other things like government subsidies or money from the government has that been happening and what will that stop on September 29th? What's going to happen? Is a bomb going to go off or is everyone just going to go back to work and go back to normal?

Elin (21m 2s):

I don't think that anyone will just go back to work, we're talking a lot about like a hybrid models at the moment, and like the larger companies in Sweden being in the forefront of that. I mean, companies such as like Spotify and so on. They have like ordered their employees to stay at home for at least the end of the year, as a safety precaution. So I think there's a lot of discussion going on what will actually happen on the 29th. But I'm guessing that we'll be seeing more of these like hybrid models and when it comes to like the government, if they're putting in more money and so on, that will also pretty much end at the end of September.

Elin (21m 46s):

So I'm thinking that from the government side, they will sort of try to get things back to normal, but I mean, still we're only 62% rights that are vaccinated. So, we'll see what happens. I know that there've been talking a lot of like vaccine passes and so on as well for larger gatherings and so on to make sure that we could like have gathering safely.

Lieven (22m 11s):

Do you think there's a link with the new migration act? I mean, Sweden was or used to be the most migrant welcoming country in Europe, I feel. And now suddenly there are very restrictive, is it because of COVID? Is there a link?

Elin (22m 25s):

I don't think it's because of COVID to be honest, there's the new migration act in Sweden is what's basically a temporary law that established in 2016, just after when we had like large immigration from Afghanistan and, and so on. So it's been, I think, it was like a necessity to find a ways to limit that like large immigration in some ways to create some sort of system stability. But now that that temporary act has now become permanent. So it definitely becomes more important in terms of like talent acquisitions and so on as well.

Joel (23m 2s):

Yeah. Which is another great segue. So this is a big issue also called the aliens act in Sweden, apparently. So it does apparently push out PhDs. So a critic critical argument has come out that said, this thing has created impossible conditions for PhD students to pursue a career in Sweden.` Critics say the new requirements that came into force on July 20th of this year, severely affect foreign doctoral candidates and researchers in Sweden. It waste several years of tax funded investment in research by expelling thousands of foreign PhD students and researchers from the country. So it sounds like just everyone, including PhDs are going to be pushed out of Sweden, which I'm guessing you think is not great for the economy.

Elin (23m 49s):

I definitely do not. And I think it's, it's problematic from a talent acquisition perspective as well. I mean, it's, it affects a temporary work permits that might risk not be extended to permanent work permits and residency. So it might affect the long-term supply of talents coming to Sweden. And I think from the perspective of that, we also, I mean, just last week, the largest skill shortage in 15 years was announced in Swedish media and paradoxically enough, unemployment rates is an all time high as the <inaudible>. So there is a, now a large debate around skill shortage and skills gap in Sweden affecting certain areas, such as logisticS, manufacturing, production, IT, sales and marketing.

Elin (24m 31s):

And at the same time, Swedish employers are actually stating that the number one threats to their growth is recruiting the right people for the job and that soft skills are more important than ever. So it's kind of a difficult situation. Definitely.

Joel (24m 45s):

Yeah. A little more context to this. According to the Swedish higher education authority, 37% of the total 17,000 doctoral candidates registered in 2020 are from foreign countries of whom 6 in 10 leave Sweden after graduation. So definitely a brain drain situation you guys have there. Other reports suggested that 66% of the non EU slash EEA researchers previously eligible for Swedish permanent residency are considering leaving Sweden. So I hope you guys figure that out.

Elin (25m 19s):

Yeah. I mean, and for us, and I think that the companies like us helping out with screening, for yeah, basically the soft skills and so on, we're where we need to get a, like a diverse workforce to make sure that we could like shorten the gap. I think that it's super frustrating for everyone. So we've been <inaudible> this like message for the past 10 years where we might, where we thought that we might be sort of suffer from this major skill gap in the future. And that future is now and now more than ever, it's important to recruit like the right soft skills for your company as well, and then act massively to work with upscaling, knowledge and so on to suit that needs.

Elin (25m 59s):

But like Swedish employers and organizations like need to step up and take responsibility for their own future.

Joel (26m 6s):

Awesome. Well, let's take a break from Sweden and let's take a quick break and we'll travel down to Italy for our next segment of the show.

sfx (26m 15s):

Europe has a bunch of countries in it

Chad (26m 17s):


Joel (26m 18s):

Italia, alright, Italy is making COVID health pass mandatory for all workers. Does that get a round of applause on this show? Yes it does. The Italian government approved earlier this month, some of the strictest anti-covid measures in the world, making it obligatory for our workers either to show proof of vaccination, a negative test or recent recovery from infection. The new rules will come into force on October 15th. Any worker who fails to present a valid health certification will be suspended with no pay, but cannot be fired. That's so European. People who ignore the decree and go to work regardless will face a fine of between 600 to 1500 euros, which for our English/American listeners, that $705 to around $2000 and the sanction for employers will be 400 to a 1000 euros.

Joel (27m 15s):

Is this a blueprint for the rest of the world? Or is this government control run a muck?

Chad (27m 23s):

It's fairly simple. We need to, if citizens, obviously aren't going to get the vaccination. There has to be something to be able to poke and prod. And there's only so much that can be done, right? So until mandates are compulsory or whatever word you wanna use actually happens. You have some countries who are taking the jab without those, but not all. I mean, look at the US. Look at look, I mean, we just talked about Sweden at 62%.

Joel (27m 51s):

I mean, Chad, we, we agree as Americans that this would not fly.

Chad (27m 56s):

I don't think America would that's I mean, we're in an utter calamity right now.

Joel (28m 1s):

Okay. So we do agree that that cats and dogs will be living together and mass hysteria would take place if the government did this. What says the Belgian and the Swede?

Lieven (28m 9s):

We don't like forcing things or no, let's make a different, we don't like being enforced things, but I don't think the first two years it will be a subject in Belgium. Most people in Flanders where I'm living, the Dutch speaking part of Belgium are getting vaccinated. So it's not a problem. Only Brussels is falling behind, a lot of anti-vaxxers are people just not caring enough to get vaccinated, but I don't think it will be forced upon us. People would be very annoyed.

Chad (28m 36s):

It's a mandate that we have polio vaccine. It's a mandate, right? All these things that were mandated that we have to do as Americans, this mandate is just it's, this is all political, it has nothing to do with health or social or community. It's all political.

Joel (28m 51s):


Chad (28m 52s):

Alrighty. Well, and certainly the Swedes align up for this. Right.

Elin (28m 57s):

I definitely think not because I think it's definitely something that's according to like citizens freedom and so on that will, I'm guessing just, but I'm, I don't think that will never, that will never be <inaudible>

Chad (29m 10s):

Quick question. Quick question. Does your individual freedom outrank all of the community that you could make sick and perspectively they would die? Does that, is that how Swedish? I mean, is that how it works?

Elin (29m 20s):

I think it's more difficult than that? Because we have like, there's laws of freedom in Sweden. So it's really hard to, it was actually hard for the Swedish government to even come close to a lockdown because it's against Swedish law and it's against the freedom of movement and so on. So I think it's a lot of those things. And just to comment on the, like the other vaccine programs that you have in the US for measles, and so on the, in it's in Sweden with these programs, it's not mandatory though. It's a recommendation. So it's actually still, we had a lot of people coming outside of Sweden, into Sweden that weren't vaccinated against, like for example, measles.

Elin (30m 4s):

And so we actually had a, like a situation where measles were starting to spread because we have like such an open society. It's not mandatory, it's only recommendation. But as a Lieven told, said earlier here that when, when the government in Sweden says something, people listen. So it's like, okay, this is the recommendation. Could you please just go and get the flu shot? Or could you just go and get the vaccine? And people basically do.

Lieven (30m 31s):

Yeah. The only reason why Italy gets away with it is because so many, and this sounds rude. It's not meant to be, but so many people died in Italy two years ago when it all started. And Italy was the first European country where COVID spreads. And there were the biggest spreaders in Europe and most of Europe didn't appreciate it. But we all remembered the things on telly with people dying and the hallways of hospitals, because there weren't any rooms left and that's something nobody wants to see happening again in Italy. So they take it. But in the other countries, the situation was bad, but not that bad. So

Joel (31m 6s):

So Lieven, do you believe that Italy will be the only country in Europe to make such moves?

Elin (31m 11s):

I think it's a really bold move to like put it in the law or something like that might be not the only one, but I don't think that all of Europe will follow.

Joel (31m 20s):

Who else do you think would be a candidate to do this?

Elin (31m 23s):

I'm not sure. Yeah. Don't know.

Chad (31m 24s):


Elin (31m 25s):

Germans might be .

Joel (31m 27s):

So-so. So I'm guessing, you know, like we've talked about France on the show and France, as I understand it basically said, if you want to go to a cafe and drink coffee and wine and have a baguette like, you have to be vaccinated. Is that where more European countries are going to go where it's not forced universally, but if you want to do the things that may help you enjoy your state of being, you're going to have to be vaccinated?

Elin (31m 51s):

And we already have like the vaccine passes, but, I think just like in Denmark, they are using it that way. Like, if you want to go into this restaurant or into this museum, you need to show your green pass.

Lieven (32m 4s):

It won't be mandated but if you don't have a vaccine, life will be miserable. So they're going to enforce it on you without enforcing it.

Elin (32m 13s):


Chad (32m 14s):

Without mandating it.

Joel (32m 16s):

Yeah. I mean, just take away beer and Belgium and it's cured. It's done everyone's vaccinated. So why, how have you guys gotten to such high levels of vaccination? I guess Sweden is an exception, but most of Europe has done a pretty good job. What would you attribute that to?

Lieven (32m 32s):

Of the lockdown? Nobody wants to live through another log down, so they will get vaccinated. Okay. If it really is necessarily to get a vaccine, something like that.

Joel (32m 42s):

Chad, I don't know about you, but I'm kind of surprised that the response from the European side is that this wouldn't fly. I thought I kind of thought more countries would get in line with Italy. Are you surprised as an American?

Chad (32m 53s):

No, I, I think, I think Lieven and Elin they just articulated that the best diplomatic way to stay in office and this is the way, obviously we see it in the US as well, is not to mandate things, it's to make your life miserable to where you have to do it. Right. So, I mean, that's, and again, we have to remember these are political moves. These, they should be health related, medical related moves, but they're not they're political. So therefore we have to have quote unquote "nuance,".

Lieven (33m 29s):

Indeed and if there hadn't been a lock down and if the doctors would just have said, look, people there's terrible disease coming. And if you get vaccinated, like you've got vaccinated against measles and the other stuff, then you'll live. Probably many people would have taken the vaccine without complaints, but now after the lockdown and after the feeling that government was restricting things we never should have allowed. People wont be so easy in accepting a new restriction or a new obligation. So I think maybe in a few years it will just be another vaccine, which will be given to people whenever vaccines are given, but now it's not the time.

Joel (34m 7s):

Well maybe if the virus wore swastikas and goose stepped into Europe, things would be different, but that wasn't the case. Let's get to an acquisition in Europe.

Chad (34m 17s):


Joel (34m 17s):

BetterUp acquires Impraise. In light of a one point $73 billion valuation back in February, industry unicorn BetterUp an employee wellness solution that has thrived in the pandemic has gone shopping, acquiring San Fran based Motive and Amsterdam based Impraise whose main product is helping managers boost their insights on employees. Founded in 2014 Impraise has raised a total of around $12 million. BetterUp a San Fran based company, founded in 2013 is looking to use its new toys to support an EU expansion. The news comes just months after BetterUp announced its plans to expand into the European market, launching offices in Munich and London.

Joel (35m 1s):

The company noted that with the acquisition of Impraise, it adds the Netherlands to its list of European offices. It also notes that it plans to use Impraise's tech to help customize the BetterUp product to the European market. The employee wellness business is hot and it's coming to Europe in a bigger way. Who's buying and our interview selling this move into Europe by BetterUp and is Impraise a thing, by the way? I've never heard of them.

Elin (35m 29s):

Yeah. And Impraise, I'm not really, I just, before this, I haven't heard about it. So, but I'm definitely into like the BetterUp the platform for creating soft skills.

Joel (35m 41s):

So we can take the angle of American companies buying their way into Europe. Any opinion on that or seeing more of that? Is it frowned upon? Is it accepted? We could take that angle to this question.

Elin (35m 54s):

It's definitely accepted I think. I think that we need more of like the American companies moving into Europe as well. I think that might be a situation though, with the data privacy act, that might be difficult in terms of complying to a European law. So it might be a situation there depending on where, where the data privacy act lands during to the just recently the new cloud act.

Lieven (36m 24s):

Impraise isn't really well known probably in its own circles it is but not broadly spread. And we definitely don't mind some American money entering Europe. We encourage Chad to spend all his money in Portugal

Joel (36m 40s):

And he's obliging trust me.

Lieven (36m 42s):

Yeah. I've seen the pictures on Facebook. His wife even invited him to a Michelin star restaurants. It's a good thing. But the problem is always, if you have great technology, if you have something new than people don't really like it when American's buy it. So we should keep our own crown jewels to ourselves, something like that. It depends.

Chad (37m 2s):

Yeah. Well, I tell you what BetterUp is kicking ass and taking names. They're at a hundred million ARR with 380 clients. Okay. So I do a little math here. That's about $250,000. It's actually higher than that, but it's a quarter million dollars per client to reach a hundred million ARR. It seems like we're all in the wrong industry.

Lieven (37m 26s):

It's not like they're the only company doing something like that. So it's definitely the time to sell your company if you have one. So prices are crazy.

Joel (37m 34s):

In terms of regulation, is it easier to buy a European country to get a foothold versus just opening up offices as an American company or someone outside of Europe?

Lieven (37m 45s):

How much time you have and how much money you have, if you want to, to go fast, you have to buy, if you have the time to do something, like I was always wondering, Kelly services, which are a huge in the US I think. And they aren't really growing in Europe. I was always thinking they're going to buy something in Europe, but they never did or nothing really substantial. I mean, they did buy some stuff, but so I dunno, maybe people just aren't interested in some <inaudible>.

Joel (38m 12s):

It sounds like ZipRecruiter trying to break into the European market.

Chad (38m 16s):

There's a lot of money that's here in the US that they just don't feel like they've tapped into enough yet.

Lieven (38m 21s):

Could be.

Joel (38m 22s):

Yeah, I think it's, I think it's fair to say the Americans are coming, in terms of this space and BetterUp as a tip of the iceberg.

Chad (38m 29s):

A hundred million in ARR with 380 clients. That's fucking ridiculous. That's all, that's amazing!

Joel (38m 36s):

And eventually ZipRecruiter will be big as well as the Dave Matthews band in Europe.

Elin (38m 42s):

We actually love the Dave Matthews Band.

Joel (38m 46s):

I want to thank Elin for joining us today.

Chad (38m 49s):


Joel (38m 49s):

Elin for our listeners who want to know more about you or Tengai, where should they go?

Elin (38m 54s): or I just visit my LinkedIn <inaudible>

Joel (38m 58s):

Excellent. Gentlemen and lady. Another one is in the books.

Joel and Chad (39m 3s):

We out.

OUTRO (39m 59s):

Thank you for listening to, what's it called? The podcast with Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of Shout Outs of people, you don't even know and yet you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one cheddar, blue, nacho, pepper jack, Swiss. So many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Any hoo be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts, that way you won't miss an episode. And while you're at it, visit just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. Is so weird. We out.


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