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European Talent Intelligence 2022

Europe is largely an aging, over-regulated, polarized economy with immigration challenges and a war on its doorstep. That's the bad news. Now to the good news, as told by Intelligence Group's CEO and founder Geert-Jan Waasdorp: The Old World is a more equitable, tech-driven, dynamic economy that's on solid footing and filled with interesting startups. But can he sell that rosy vision to Chad & Cheese? You need to listen to find out.


INTRO (1s):

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, what's up kids? You know who it is. It's your favorite guilty pleasure. AKA the Chad and Cheese podcast. I am your cohost. Joel Cheeseman joined as always the Woodstock to my Snoopy. Mr. Chad Sowash. And today we're going Euro on your ass. Everyone. Welcome Geert Jan Waasdorp. He is the CEO and founder of Intelligence Group. Joining us from the Netherlands Geert, or I'll just call you GJ for short, how you doing? Welcome to the show.

Geert (53s):

Thank you. Great for you having me. Yeah.

Joel (55s):

Good to be.

Chad (56s):

I hear, I hear it's a, a little warm in the Netherlands nowadays. How are you guys dealing with that? You don't generally have air conditioning units. How's that working for you?

Geert (1m 6s):

Well, it's sweaty.

Joel (1m 8s):


Geert (1m 9s):

Yeah. And hot is fun, but too hot is well it's especially sweaty.

Joel (1m 14s):

So for people like me that don't understand 30 degrees Celsius. What is that? Like 90 to a 100 in Fahrenheit. Yeah,

Geert (1m 20s):

I guess.

Joel (1m 21s):

So it's just hot, hot as balls. Everybody in the Netherlands hot as balls.

Chad (1m 26s):

It is hot. We talked about on one of the weekly shows in Luton airport in London where the tarmac was melting. Apparently that's going to our friends in the Netherlands. So that should be fun.

Joel (1m 37s):

Chad loves it hot in Portugal though. He gets to copper to up the melon and get that nice shine on that head.

Chad (1m 44s):


Joel (1m 45s):

It's something he loves.

Chad (1m 47s):

Amen. Amen. So GJ do us a little favor just for all those listeners that are out there that don't know who you are. Give us a little Twitter bio of you. And then we'll jump into the research.

Geert (2m 0s):

My name's he Geert-Jan Waasdorp of Intelligence Group almost 25 years in the labor market and recruitment industry, always working on data, talent intelligence, and looking for trends and developments in the markets, the Netherlands we started, and now we are doing Europe and that's amazing what's happening there.

Chad (2m 26s):

In Europe. Well, I should say here in the US, we use a term called LMI so labor market information, and there's a huge market for that here in the United States. Is that pretty much the same thing that you guys do in Europe? It's all labor market information in always intense on the labor market. Yes,

Geert (2m 45s):

That's exactly what we do, but it's that market in the Netherlands and in Europe is just developing. So if I look at labor market insights, recruitment data or talent intelligence, that's the new high talent intelligence. It's just hot since last two, three years and not, and now with the shortages and it's really taking off and getting more and more important because knowing what's happening in the market gives you a competitive advantage in recruiting. Which

Joel (3m 17s):

Which is what your organization does. So give us the elevator pitch on Intelligence Group.

Geert (3m 22s):

Very, very short. We know exactly how big talent pools are, where you can find talents in Europe, what you need to offer them as employer benefits, the talent that you are looking for, or the channels that you need to use to recruit them. So to

Joel (3m 38s):

So to put this in context for our listeners, GJ dropped 160 plus page report on Chad's and my lap. We'll keep it simple for our listeners, cuz we know who you are, but the European intelligence manual from 2022. GJ give us sort of a 30,000 foot view of the intelligence manual, what you're hoping to accomplish from it.

Geert (3m 59s):

Well, I think the one message that we have with this manual is that if you want to recruit in any country in Europe, any country is different, really different from another. And even by region countries within a country, there's a lot of difference. And if you don't know, that data, it's almost impossible for you to recruit in another country that you don't know. And really it's day and night, if you even compare well, I'm in the Netherlands and if I compare the Netherlands to Belgium and the half of Belgium is also like Dutch speaking, the Belgium market is even more different than the German market is to the Netherlands. And the Germans speak a different language.

Geert (4m 42s):

So it's really day and night. And I think a lot of recruiters underestimates the differences in recruitment tooling, in ethics, in legalization, between countries and regions.

Chad (4m 58s):

In starting the European podcast, Chad and Cheese does Europe, European podcast. You know, we knew as a couple of dumb Americans, we did not understand the dynamics at all, but as we dug into it and we started to interview leaders in Europe, in different countries, we started to understand that they didn't even understand what their neighbors were doing or the inequities or what they were using to actually target or search for jobs. I mean, so from our standpoint, I mean that was mind blowing to think that, okay, so in America we really don't understand Europe, but hell in Europe, this information seems like gold too.

Chad (5m 44s):

Is that one of the reasons why you felt like you had to pull something like this together, be just because you were seeing the exact same thing that we were saying?

Geert (5m 52s):

Well, we really needed proof when we have discussions with recruitment leaders in Europe. So if I talk to an average recruitment leader, they define the market as what LinkedIn tells them the market is, and you're laughing, but that's really true. And they define the market as English speaking because they are themselves English speaking. That's sometimes the native language also. And they expect that, well, they are recruiting for an international company so they are only recruiting English people. So the main language is English and LinkedIn tells them how the market looks like, but what LinkedIn doesn't tell them that they only have the data of people that use LinkedIn and have also often the English profiles.

Geert (6m 43s):

So if you go to Germany or even go to Poland or you go to Hungary, you see that the adoption of LinkedIn is very small. They are by far not leading in those countries.

Chad (6m 53s):

Yeah. We'll dig into that in a minute, cuz I wanna go deeper. But before we do that, let's talk about how the research was compiled. So this was a survey. How was the information compiled? How many countries, how many people were surveyed? Et cetera, etcetera.

Geert (7m 10s):

Okay. That we surveyed almost 100,000 people last year and we do that every year.

Joel (7m 17s):

Hold on. A hundred thousand?

Geert (7m 21s):

Yeah. 99,175 to be exact.

Joel (7m 23s):

Holy shit.

Chad (7m 25s):

Now that okay, George Laroque, that is a sample size. Okay. You wanna talk about 300 being a sample size. That is a fucking sample size George!

Joel (7m 36s):

That's your Herculian.

Geert (7m 38s):

Yeah. 27th countries, 19 different languages. So then you see that the simple size you have to have a good, simple size in every country. Even if it's the small countries like Denmark, you still need to have a simple size to say something about the labor market in Denmark. And we do that year by year.

Joel (7m 57s):

So some of your takeaways you mentioned, and I'm gonna give you sort of my main takeaways from the report and you tell me where I'm right and where I'm wrong. Some of my major takeaways are that Europe is getting very old and that's a major issue with employment. There are huge differences between the north and the south of the continent and what are those differences in employment? And then immigration is a huge issue in Europe. Am I right about those sort of three main takeaways or am I wrong? And I should be looking at something different.

Geert (8m 33s):

You are right in every way, but it could be that the, for example, if you look to the differences between north and south, but also between east and west, the differences could be different than you expect them to be. For example, I would expect before I did the research that the differences between the wages between male and female are bigger in the south than they are in the north, but it's exactly the other way around the, the south is more emancipated. I dunno if that's the good word, but there are less differences between male and female, but I expected it to be because it's more male dominated the south of Europe and the north always says, they says, we are more liberated.

Geert (9m 17s):

You expect it the other way around, but it isn't.

Joel (9m 22s):

Greater pay disparity in the north than versus south. Okay.

Geert (9m 26s):

Well, especially in the Netherlands, the UK Germany countries, they're always full of how it should be. Well, they suck at it.

Chad (9m 35s):

So the report actually demonstrates that. Yeah. I mean, Finland was almost equal as men earn 0.1% more than women. So, that's almost equal and, you know, that's Scandinavia. Then we have Bulgaria, Estonia and Romania where women actually earn more than men. So these, I agree. I thought Finland might be close, but Bulgaria, Estonia and Romania that blew my doors off. I didn't realize that women were actually making more than men. Do we understand why that is? Is it the type of jobs?

Geert (10m 9s):

I truly cannot tell you what the reason is because I was surprised also by those numbers. And I need to say that those that was from the Euro stats, that's like the Central Bureau of Statistics from Europe. So it was not by the questionnaires that we saw that, but that was data that's even, well, they question about 2 million people every year. So it's even another source. But that, that was very remarkable.

Chad (10m 34s):


Joel (10m 34s):

Let's get to the next thing that really drew my attention. And, and this one will shock you Chad, quite a bit. It was the, Big Mac index. What the hell is the Big Mac index and why does it not do with me getting Big Mac shipped to my house?

Geert (10m 49s):

Well, the Big Mac index is that's how you can easily compare what you can buy for a dollar in the country. Because in one country you can buy for $1, you can buy more Big Mac than in another country. And to be more comparable between what you can buy with your money that you earn in the country, they made a Big Mac index. So you can make a fair amount on, well, you earn less, but can you buy more or less with the money that you earn in a country? And that's why they created we didn't. But this is a number that is used all over the world and it's called a Big Mac index.

Geert (11m 30s):

So you compare exactly what you can buy, how many Big Macs you can buy, by the salary that you make.

Chad (11m 36s):

Joel, Joel's getting ready to relocate to Romania after seeing this.

Joel (11m 40s):

Bulgaria sounds really good. And so for, yeah, for context, if you're in Switzerland, forget about it, forget about it. If you're in Estonia, Bulgaria, lots of Big Macs, you can buy with the dollar, but from an employment perspective, I'm guessing that that impacts salaries. So salaries in Switzerland are gonna be much more than they will be in Estonia. And you can expect to earn more, although things cost much more. Is that correct?

Geert (12m 4s):

That's exactly correct. And this data is for example, very interesting. If you want to nearshore your workforce or want to know where to recruit and you look at what the seller you can pay. So it's interesting to see where you can buy cheaper labor. And I need to be a little bit safe on this part because I know how Chad reacts to that kind of stuff. But it's for in recruitment, you see that it's what you can buy for a dollar is also labor. And this kind of data is important for international recruitment.

Chad (12m 36s):

If you take a look at it though, because of all the digital nomad programs and opportunities that are happening, you can actually earn a much larger salary and still live in Romania and get that wonderful Big Mac index. Right? So I mean the labor market in itself is starting to morph dramatically. Don't you think?

Geert (12m 58s):

Yeah. And that's really changing. And you even have countries in Europe that if you are digital nomad in those countries, you don't have to pay taxes. So you don't have to pay taxes, you earn more and you do the same labor. So it's very interesting for people who can be a digital nomad you don't pay taxes in certain countries in Europe. If you are digital nomad, you don't pay taxes.

Joel (13m 21s):


Chad (13m 21s):

Yeah. You don't pay taxes. And that allows for more of the Big Macs. So, let's go ahead and jump into one of our favorite topics. Europe's favorite job boards. Now this is something that is, we're looking at as an aggregate of all Europe. We've got Indeed, LinkedIn, neither. One of those are surprising info jobs, which doesn't exist in the US really? Yeah. Monster, which is over StepStone.

sfx (13m 48s):

What did you say?

Chad (13m 49s):

And then last but not least Adecco. So what actually did any of this surprise you whatsoever? I mean, Monster surprises us whenever it shows up on a list.

Joel (13m 60s):

No StepStone.

Chad (14m 0s):

No StepStone is right after Monster, but they're heavy really just in Germany, but JG, what surprised you about this? Anything? Well,

Geert (14m 8s):

Well, I think that, well, Indeed, LinkedIn didn't surprise me, but info jobs did surprise me because they are by far market leader in Spain and in Italy. And because they are big in those countries and those countries are also very big, then you see, by average, they have a footprint in Europe, but to be honest, they only have a footprint in two out of 27 countries. Wow. And then, because the European market only has local champions. So the market leader in let's say Swiss doesn't exist in Austria or in Germany. So you only have local champions. That means that Monster because they are like top 10 in like eight countries and that's also by Stepstone combined they have a footprint in Europe.

Geert (14m 50s):

But if you look in this, in the countries themselves, in some countries, they have a sort of footprint by average, they don't. But it exactly tells you that there is no European job board. That's the real message. And by Adecco being six. Yeah. And if you go to seven, eight, and nine, you see a Ranstad or you see Man Power, you see the agencies coming up because they are present in more countries. But if you compare their footprint or the percentages of people using them, that's like not even the 10th of LinkedIn or Indeed. So they are fourth and they are fifth they're Monster and inaudibl in StepStone, but it's never a real choice in when you are recruiting locally.

Geert (15m 34s):

If you are recruiting in global, in the total of Europe, it could be a choice that you make. And what you do miss here is programmatic. And I know you talked about it also in the Chad and Cheese show, but programmatic doesn't have a footprint in the whole continental Europe. It doesn't exist.

Chad (15m 52s):

And do you believe it doesn't exist? Just because it's so damn complex. I mean, you've got to be able to know the Denmark job board, the Sweden job board. I mean, it's much more complex than here in the states where everybody speaks the exact same language. And let's say, for instance, StepStone is not gonna do well in France. Obviously they shut down France operations. So do you just think that it's more complicated and more complex to be able to maneuver from a relationship standpoint and that's why it's not happened in Europe? Or is it just that Europeans are slow?

Geert (16m 28s):

No, I think that it's more complex. And the countries like the Netherlands or Belgium is very small. So it's also difficult to gather data and information to feature algorithms. But what I also think that's happening, like Axel Springer, the holding of StepStone, they bought a programmatic company. I dunno the name Appcast.

Chad (16m 51s):


Geert (16m 51s):

But I think they just killed it because they made much more money by publishing vacancies on StepStone to give you an idea to publish a vacancy, on one vacancy duration post on StepStone. It's about, I think 12 or 1300 euros that's today . Yeah. So that's a business model. Yeah.

Chad (17m 13s):

Now I totally agree not to mention they have this amazing app cast infrastructure that is a money maker in the US. So they are draining money outta the US and they have an opportunity maybe someday to start programmatic and Appcast in Europe. But before we go down that road, I wanna talk about LinkedIn versus Indeed, because again, in the US and really across the world, these are the two biggest names in our space. So in Eastern Europe, LinkedIn, isn't really used 11% of individuals surveyed in Germany, use LinkedIn 11% while 58% use Indeed in Germany.

Chad (17m 54s):

But in Sweden, in Norway, those positions are switched, where LinkedIn has massive numbers over Indeed. I think this just demonstrates the huge differences from country to country in region to region. Do you find that most companies try this one vehicle operation or maybe even two, like an Indeed and a LinkedIn and they just can't get penetration into the market.

Geert (18m 20s):

Yeah. They really missed the market and I always explain if you LinkedIn went too late into the east and in the east of Europe, they already had copy cats of LinkedIn, like Xing in Germany of and in the other Eastern companies, other countries, they already had copycat. So that market was in a way already gone, but from a perspective of people using LinkedIn and using LinkedIn recruiter seats, they see so many talents buy in numbers of go buy in, in numbers that they still think that that LinkedIn is huge.

Geert (19m 3s):

And it is from a one company perspective. It is. Cause if you get 11% of all the talent in Germany by using LinkedIn, that's still enormous amount of numbers, but you probably can use better tooling than that's to reach more people. And especially if you go to the Eastern part of Europe. Yeah. That's what I can say about that.

Chad (19m 27s):

Most companies don't realize that, you know, countries like Estonia are hyper focused on tech talent and producing tech talent and neither LinkedIn or Indeed does well there. So how in the hell do you get penetration into a country that is incredibly focused and savvy around tech like Estonia? Yeah.

Geert (19m 47s):

Yeah. I'll need to go quick into the manual to tell you exactly what it is in Estonia, but they have a local champion and probably a local champion that by far dominates the market and could be from a historical perspective. Be market leader, could also be a market leader because they are funded by the government and the government tells them or everybody who's looking for a job. This is at least where you put your CV or tells companies they are obligated to publish their vacancies on those job boards. So you can also say in those countries, it's not always a completely free market because regulations makes that vacancies or CVs should be on that platform.

Geert (20m 32s):

I know that's in certain European countries, but in other European countries, you just have other market leaders. And the market is so dominated by those leaders, new entrances by Indeed or LinkedIn or any other party, it's a no go because you cannot win that market. Or the market is too small to win or to be interested to penetrate because these are also small countries.

Joel (20m 55s):

Well, that's gonna be really hard for the folks at Zip Recruiter and who are hoping to get a foothold in Europe to hear for them. So that's a bummer.

Geert (21m 6s):

Well, I know for one thing, for sure, Zip Recruiter will never get a footprint in European markets, a new job board getting a footprint in the European market. I think that's impossible if, Indeed cannot do that or LinkedIn cannot do that. But what I do think is that like platform technology that will be, if we look at, for now in the next 10 years, I think the new market leaders will come from that part. And I think the agencies like Adecco manpower, but probably new agencies like JobAndTalent and I know you love the name, but those kind of parties will be the next generation of market leaders in Europe.

Joel (21m 53s):

Interesting. Well, let's talk about Russia and Ukraine, cuz I know that's a little bit of the elephant in the room and something that's impacting the country now and will also have impact in the future. So what's sort of your takeaway in terms of immigration developers fleeing the country and not just the Ukraine, but also Russia. How is that impacting the European landscape?

Geert (22m 14s):

Well, the Russian market is very simple to answer. There is no Russian market anymore because we cannot do any business with the Russian market. And also not with call it white Russian,I don't know what the English words is it, but it's another country.

Joel (22m 31s):

Do we have an idea of how many developers and professionals have left Russia in light of the invasion? Is it a lot or less than we think?

Geert (22m 39s):

I think it's less than you think because people are not allowed to travel. So it's very difficult for people to leave Russia. I think the only way you can leave Russia is by going to Turkey and then to Europe. So that's not a route, many people take. And if we look at the data of Ukraine, we also research Ukraine. But when we made the manual, we thought it was very in, it was not really nice to put in the market of Ukraine because there were so many uncertainties.

Chad (23m 10s):


Geert (23m 10s):

But as I look now, we are going to publish again, the data of Ukraine and also make that data available because we see that the labor marketing Ukraine is, it started again or they already did like two or three months ago. And, but Ukraine is very big. And I think that's, well, I don't like the word normal, but you see that the labor market is getting to a new sort of normal in the Ukraine. And I think a lot of people are again, thinking about nearshoring, their nearshoring, their work to Ukraine.

Joel (23m 45s):

We know a lot of Ukrainians have left the country, particularly developers and a lot went to Poland, Germany, who are they going to? Are those professionals gonna stay in those countries by your estimation? Are they gonna go back? I mean, what are they gonna go back to? And, my assumption is they're going to stay in Poland, in Germany and France. And, and if that's the case who wins the most in that calculus, is it Germany and UK, are there countries we don't think about? Are they all gonna stay in Poland? Cause that's where initially they went? Talk about that.

Geert (24m 22s):

Well, I think that first of all, men were not allowed to leave Ukraine. That meant till the year of 60. So all the male developers, at least a lot of them are still in the Ukraine. The people who left Ukraine were mainly women and children. They went to Poland and Germany and they do gain by having that labor force because of the shortages. And we see it also in the Netherlands is about 25,000 people are from Ukraine are working here, but I expect most of them to return back to their husband or to their family back into the Ukraine. So I don't, I think it's more temporary than it will be for a long time.

Geert (25m 5s):

Okay. That's my guess. 80 - 90% of all developers are still in the Ukraine and are still, are already working if not fighting.

Joel (25m 13s):

And I'm guessing most are in the gig economy, finding opportunity or/and companies also, I guess, contracting Ukrainians as well. So they're still able to work if they can put the gun down for a few minutes, right?

Geert (25m 25s):

Yes, that's true.

Joel (25m 26s):

Gotcha. So talking about immigration and Ukraine for a little bit, I wanna talk about others coming into Europe, namely the Chad Sowashes of the world, we hear a lot about expats, people leaving the us, coming to Europe. Was that any part of your survey or any comments around Americans coming over to Europe and how that impacts employment?

Geert (25m 47s):

Well, I think the, the amount of Americans going into Europe is I expect to be not that big and doesn't have a significant impact on the European market, but that's my expect expectation, but I don't know, have I don't have the numbers. What I do see is people for example, from India, from Indonesia, but also from Africa coming in to be at the labor force for companies, for like Romania or Hungaria. So the shortages in those countries are even higher than they are in Germany and they get the labor out of Europe getting into in those countries.

Chad (26m 31s):

Well, I see that, you know, there's a migration set up by country because you have this amazing data country by country and there's a migration piece. So just take a look, as joel was talking about in Portugal, the migration is 72,725 immigrants to Portugal. That's from a variety of, of different countries and then 28,219 Portuguese people leaving. So there's, there's a net gain of almost 50,000 at that point. And when we're talking about a country, the size of Indiana, about 10 million people for all those American listeners out there.

Chad (27m 14s):

You know, that's, that's fairly substantial.

Geert (27m 15s):

Yeah, that's true. And, and that is, that differs from country to country.

Chad (27m 20s):


Geert (27m 20s):

And what you see is in Portugal probably a lot of immigrants come out of South America because of the Portuguese history and also the languages they have I think with, what is it, Brazil or this Argentina, I don't know exactly?

Chad (27m 36s):


Geert (27m 36s):

Yeah. But if you look at Germany or you look at UK, the UK, for example, has a relations historical relations with India. So if they bring in immigrants, a lot of them are from India. So every country has their own relation to other countries.

Chad (27m 53s):

Yeah. On the other side, I taking a look at Romania where Joel wants to go, he wants to migrate to, for the Big Mac index, they have 202,422 who are immigrating to. So 202,000 plus, and they have 233,000. So they have 30,000 plus of the, the prospect of a brain drain. So again, I mean, when you start taking a look and digging into this country by country, you can, you can basically see the movement from some countries to other countries. It's pretty amazing. Is there any way to do more like detailed flow in understanding where all these individuals are going to?

Geert (28m 37s):

Yeah. And that, that data is also is available on even on a global scale. That's and that's where you see the migration flow. If you look at Romania, for example, the migration flow goes there from east to west Europe. So people living in Romania are going to work in more in Germany or in the Netherlands or in France, because they can buy more Big Macs in total of the money they make. But to lose off, to gain the losses they have on the labor markets, Romania gets people from outside Europe and brings them into Romania. And that's how the flow works. So they bring in it more from Asia into Europe and Romanians go to the rest part of Europe.

Geert (29m 22s):

So that's the migration flow goes also from east to west in Europe.

Chad (29m 29s):

Gotcha. Well, Geert-Jan Waasdorp kids that's right. CEO and founder of the Intelligence Group. JG. If somebody wants to actually, you know, I don't know, go download the European talent intelligence manual for 2022. Where would you send them?

Geert (29m 49s):

Well, I would send them to our website, www.intelligence/ And the manual is free to download, just register your name and you get some emails from us. No, just kidding. You get the manual from us. And I hope it surprises everybody in Europe, but also outside of Europe.

Chad (30m 8s):

Oh, excellent. Man. I, again, I appreciate it. This is some great data. I'd be surprised if you don't have a ton of people downloading this, just to be able to understand what's happening in the neighborhood, not to mention taking a look across the pond.

Joel (30m 22s):

Chad, That's another one in the can. Lots of fun. And we out.

Chad (30m 28s):

We out.

OUTRO (30m 23s):

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.

OUTRO (31m 7s):

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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