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Firing Squad: Hyperjob's Janis Kreilis

Effective LinkedIn outreach can be the difference between a recruiter on Skid Row and one on Easy St. One start-up that promises to put headhunters on the fast track to champagne ‘n' cocaine is HyperJob, a solution that says it'll replace your plain-text job descriptions with interactive job microsites. The solution, founded by Janis Kreilis, CEO and co-founder, uses A.I. to evaluate LinkedIn profiles and craft individual messages with artificial intelligence from there. Hmmm, another start-up relying on LinkedIn for its success. What could possibly go wrong? Gotta listen to see if HyperJob survived the Firing Squad or not.


Intro: Like Shark Tank? Then you'll love Firing Squad. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman are here to put the recruiting industry's bravest, ballsiest and baddest startups through the gauntlet to see if they've got what it takes to make it out alive. Dig a foxhole and duck for cover, kids. The Chad and Cheese Podcast is taking it to a whole other level.

Joel: All right, all right, all right. It's another Firing Squad, everybody. It's your favorite guilty pleasure, a.k.a the Chad and Cheese Podcast. I'm your co-host Joel Cheeseman. Joined as always, the Barney to my Fred, Chad Sowash is in the house. And today we are happy to welcome Janis Kreilis, CEO and cofounder at Hyperjob. Janis, welcome to Firing Squad.

Janis Kreilis: Hey, what's up Joe? Great being here. [laughter]

Joel: He's excited obviously. Well, Janis, for our listeners that don't know you, give us a little bit about you the person, before we get into the company.

Janis Kreilis: Yeah, sure. Born and raised in Riga, Latvia. That's the Baltic countries. US educated, spent four years in Philly, at UPenn, got my Bachelor's there. Two more years in New York, my masters there. In between those two things, I traveled across the world, was living in West Africa, Middle East, Far East, in a completely unrelated sector, the oil and gas. But then I came back to Latvia in, was that 2016, founded an NGO for networking with people like myself, you know, people who come back with this global experience. And through that segued into my first business, which was a recruitment agency specifically tailored to bring more talents to the Baltic countries. Yeah, I love music. I play pretty much the guitar, the keys, the drums. Now I have a wonderful one and a half year old at home, lovely wife. And yeah, that's, I guess the twitter bio.

Joel: What is the most famous band from Latvia of all time?


Janis Kreilis: You wouldn't know it but, [laughter] We have a band called Brainstorm. It's basically like they've written half of the pop rock songs in the country.

Joel: I like the name, Brainstorm.

Janis Kreilis: Yeah, they've be going...

Joel: I'm down.

Janis Kreilis: Yeah, they've be... [laughter] They've be going for like, I don't know, 25 years now or something. Still super popular.

Joel: I'm down. I'm down for Brainstorm. I'm down for Brainstorm.

Chad: I'm down. [laughter]

Joel: Chad, give him some Brainstorm and tell him what he's won today.


Chad: Well, welcome Janis to the Firing Squad. Now, this is how it's going to work, my friend. At the sound of the bell, you're going to have two minutes to pitch Hyperjob. At the end of two minutes, we're going to hit you with 20 minutes or so of Q&A. So be sure to be concise or you gonna to get hit by the crickets. That just means move along, tighten it up and be swift about it. At the end of Q&A, you're going to hear either a big applause, which means you've passed Hyper Speed, passed Ludicrous speed. Congratulations, you've gone Plaid, the Golf Clap.


Chad: Hyper Speed might be on the road map, but you're nowhere near hitting that velocity. Try harder, or the Firing Squad. No hyper speed for you kid. You'll be lucky to break the speed limit in the school zone with this satellite. Junk it and start over. That's Firing Squad. Are you ready?

Janis Kreilis: Absolutely. That's great.

Joel: God, I love a good Spaceballs reference. All right, Janis, pitch the company starting now.

Janis Kreilis: So, Hyperjob allows companies to replace their plain text job descriptions with interactive and engaging job microsites. These microsites have helped our customers convert passive candidates up to... Improvement of either from 60% to six times. What I mean by microsite is basically each job description we move it from plain text, typewriter era, into a unique web page for each position that features everything about the company, that features multimedia such as images and videos, including a welcome video from the hiring manager. And then moving on to what is the pitch from the company. What are the requirements on the position? What is the team like, everything around, also the office? Hybrid, is it remote? Going into details like what's the hiring process like?

Janis Kreilis: So, basically do you have a full picture of the position? And yeah, we have a great candidate feedback on that. So like I said, better, better improvement, kind of improvement in conversion ratios. On top of that, we're right now building a delivery mechanism to help companies engage with passive candidates better. So, in the kind of space of outbound recruitment, we have a CRM. We have our leveraging AI to help recruiters build short lists out of screen profiles on LinkedIn to reach out to candidates in an automated but personalized way. Yeah, so going for the full toolkit to engage with passive talent.

Janis Kreilis: Finally, there's analytics. For employer branding teams, if you compare regular plain text positions, you can't really analyze much there. We have a full scope of any marketer would do on a landing page, visits, bounce rates, section clicks so that you can actually improve the conversion rates. The inspiration for Hyperjob comes from the realization that in many ways recruitment is marketing and sales, yet where marketers have great tools available to source and reach out to and convert leads...

Joel: All right, Janis, your two minutes...

Janis Kreilis: Yes. We need to bring this over.

Joel: Is now over. All right, Janis, as we normally do on Firing Squad, let's start with the name is for sale. Did you investigate buying that? What's the story behind the name Hyperjob?

Janis Kreilis: The story is, yeah, I guess the kind of illusion was with text and hyper text right? The old days of Internet where HTML comes in or you kind of move from analog, which is literally a typewritten document into something that has links, can be clicked, is digital. So we said, job descriptions and hypertext comes together in Hyperjob. So yes, that's the kind of the core product. We haven't bought the dot com yet. We don't really see the point just now, but we have looked at it.

Joel: So have you explored the price tag? Have you explored like what it would take?


Janis Kreilis: If it was $500, it would be ours, but I think it was like 20K or something, so.

Joel: Okay.

Janis Kreilis: So, we're like not at this moment, but it's on the radar.

Joel: All right, let's talk about money for a sec. You guys are largely bootstrapped. You founded the company a couple years ago. You raised about $587,000... Is a series A or a seed round in the offing, are you gonna continue to bootstrap it? Talk about funding?

Janis Kreilis: Yeah, sure, so we've raised two accelerators by this point in pre-seed round. Right now, we are still actually evaluating two options. We will continue bootstrapping for a while, two reasons. We actually want to get more customer feedback and build the product out before we go into the seed round. And the second part is, well, it's no secret that the fundraising environment right now, especially in HR tech is amazing. SO, [laughter] I gonna maybe wait a bit more to actually have a better round.

Joel: In Riga, Latvia, it doesn't have the price tag that a Silicon Valley headquarters might have.

Janis Kreilis: Yes, that is saving us... Actually is making us way easier to bootstrap. However, that's a problem when it comes to raising from the US, because when we're doing the pre-seed round, American investors are like, "First off, what is a pre-seed round? 'Cause we do maybe angel rounds. And Why are you raising so little?" And I'm like, "Well, here's an explanation, it's just, it's not as costly to build something here and sell back to the US." So, yeah.

Chad: So let's talk about experience here. You went from oil and gas, which is a slightly lucrative industry to a not so lucrative industry in some cases, HR. So why make that move?

Janis Kreilis: I just love people you know. [laughter]

Chad: Don't give me the bullshit answer, I want the real answer Janis.


Janis Kreilis: With all honesty, the oil and gas gig, I love the energy industry, actually, my Master's is in energy, I like it, but put it very bluntly, Latvia is a small country, we don't have that kind of an industry here. There's not a lot of opportunities. So I knew I wanted to come back here, and I just knew that, "Hey, this could remain in my background, but I need to find something else here." And yeah, I'm kinda HR for myself is kind of an accident, I'll be frank, I stumbled into it. The idea... How I got into this, as I was saying is we had this network, these meet-ups of globally experienced Latvians in Riga and I kind of also stumbled into that. And at some point, employers started coming to our meet-ups and saying, "Hey, do you have some good talent like people who are looking for work? And to me, basically a scream like, here's the business opportunity, we have a good network and there's a good demand for it. So, that's how the first recruitment agency was born and...

Chad: Okay.

Janis Kreilis: Yeah, I was a newcomer, and man, in the first year, I discovered every reason why there's so many different clauses in these like recruitment contracts. [laughter]

Chad: So, let's jump into it. Let's jump into the company real quick. How many employees do you currently have?

Janis Kreilis: We have six in the core team and two and a half freelancers, like two full-time and part-time...

Chad: Okay. So, you have more products than you have employees because your product, at least a product list on the website, is source and match, attract and gauge, convert, which are your microsite, manage and nurture, analyze and improve, integrate and collaborate. That's the products or even services that are more staffing services. But those are some very extensive technologies in that list of products. You've only been around for two years, so why are you focusing so heavily on the Convert product? Which to be quite frank, it's just a microsite. Microsites has been around for well over a decade. Why are you focusing so heavily on that product?

Janis Kreilis: Well, because it's actually a real innovation in the sector. In these two years, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but...

Chad: Sure.

Janis Kreilis: We haven't really seen of the same approach. The basically like the spotlight on, hey, you know what, your job description or job ads, job post, whatever you wanna call it, actually makes a big difference in the results or the performance of your outreach and how you can attract people. So, that's the first thing. And you know when you're... For example, [chuckle] we've done some A/B tests with some customers of ours. So, imagine like source 50 people and 50 people, get them the same kind of outreach messaging sequences, and in the test batch, you get two interviews and with Hyperjob you get 12 interviews and candidates are like, "Wow, this is great."

Chad: But a microsite is different than your attract and engage. The attract and engage is, that's outreach. I'm talking about microsite. So let's not blur of lines here real quick. Have you ever heard of a company called Jobs2web?

Janis Kreilis: No, I haven't, unfortunately.

Chad: So, more than 10 years ago, they were actually bought by...

Joel: SAP.

Chad: Applicant Tracking system, yeah, SAP but it was...

Joel: SuccessFactors.

Chad: Yeah, SuccessFactors. This was a big trend more than 10 years ago, before you obviously got into the space. Most applicant tracking systems, most organizations have this type of "content management system" that's more of a cosmetic layer, but the problem is Janis, they don't fucking use it. So, how can you make it easier for them to actually use it and make it more practical so that they can get more qualified and relevant candidates?

Janis Kreilis: Yeah, sure. So, behind the microsite, we have this builder, and we've made it very, very easy for people. It takes about 20 minutes to fill out information, check a couple of boxes, and you have that branded and ready to go.

Chad: Twenty minutes per microsite?

Janis Kreilis: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Chad: Okay.

Janis Kreilis: Plus once you filled out the company profile, Again, it's about this content management. If you look at traditional job ads or job posts, they're all copies of each other. It's analog, messy text-based information. Here we have structured information, right? Once you've filled out let's say something on your company's profile, right? Right now we're like 300 people. In a month, we're about 400 people. I don't need to update all the job posts individually. There's centralized content management that we have.

Janis Kreilis: And plus the ease is also, you'd never start with a blank page. You have a framework that you fill out in our builder, so your hiring manager can talk to recruiter and use that as a way to, "Okay, what is the assignment? What are we offering? What's the role like?" And you're done. Because otherwise, typically what ends up happening is you have an intake interview that takes both about an hour or so. It generates a lot of information. Then, in plain text, you never wanna like present a Tolstoy novel. So you kind of throw most of it out and then you hide it from your candidates, then you go back and kind of re-explain everything to people when they're actually kind of in the first intro interviews. If you use modern UI, you can have a wealth of info, and at the same time, don't overwhelm your potential candidates. So, I don't know if that answers your question, but...

Joel: So, Chad went back in the day with Jobs2web, I'm gonna go back in the day with another one that Chad will probably know and you will not, company called VisualCV. The idea of the company was that instead of a text-only resume, you'd have pictures and screenshots of your degrees and videos, etcetera. It didn't take off for a variety of reasons, but one of the main reasons it didn't take off was because computers need to index your resume, so then it can go into an ATS and it can be searchable, and spiders can understand what's on the resume. When you start throwing columns and pictures, it gets really confused.

Joel: Let's fast forward to today. You have Google for Jobs that needs to be sort of easily read a job. You have programmatic solutions, you have XML feeds of your jobs. And all this stuff is based on and founded in the belief that your text will be easily indexed, everything will go into the machine and get spit out in a standardized way. You're nodding your head very aggressively for the listeners out there. So, my question is, why do we need pretty jobs when we have Google for Jobs, programmatic, XML feeds? All these things go against what you're doing. Convince me that we need pretty job postings instead of standardized ones.

Janis Kreilis: So, all of what you mentioned is addressing the job seeker market. It's inbound. You post your job, people apply, people who are looking for your jobs. However, with the expansion of the talent gap or the talent shortage, again, not talking about right now, but just two years ago, you would see a rise in outbound recruiting. When people... The right people don't apply, what do you do then? You have to go out and hunt for them, reach out on, let's say LinkedIn, other platforms. And here actually, you as a recruiter, you are the applicant. Because they get like 30 to 40 recruiter messages then every month. So then it's a question of how do you stand out?

Janis Kreilis: And if you are trying then to sell and market to somebody, they're not coming to you, you are coming out to them, it plays a big difference from just plain text to actually having something that act as a sales material. So, that's the short answer. The analogy I would say, [laughter] given my background, and the unfortunate fact that I was a born in the Soviet Union, there were no products there. So there was no marketing. Whatever you would throw on the shelves, people would buy. It's the same way. If customers are coming to you like, "Hey, I want to work for you." It doesn't really matter that much. Yes, true. But for the roles you cannot close via your traditional channels where talent is becoming scarce, you need to fight for it, you need every tool needed. And that's why when... To answer Chad's question, why are we focusing so much on conversion? That's where conversion is really important, right?

Joel: Yeah.

Janis Kreilis: Give them a good pitch, find them in a better way, personalize the outreach, convert at every point of the way.

Joel: It's a better hand out than most essentially. A piece of collateral essentially to pass to a candidate to get their attention. Yours is prettier.

Janis Kreilis: Exactly.

Joel: So, let's talk about sourcing for a second. So, a big part of your product suite is we go out to LinkedIn, we message folks, which I'm assuming is in mail and not trying to grab an email address or a phone number. You can talk about that. But essentially you're leveraging LinkedIn a lot to source. Now, we've seen a lot of volatility, to say the least in the sourcing business in the last couple of years. We've seen hiQ get sued to oblivion by LinkedIn. We've seen HiringSolved go out of business essentially, we've seen SeekOut pivot, we've seen Hiretual become hireEZ. I'm scared about the future of sourcing as a business. Convince me that you're gonna be bulletproof.

Janis Kreilis: Right. Why is sourcing happening? It's because is basically a market response to a shortage of talent. And the two trends I'm thinking about is the shortage doesn't seem to be going away in the long term. If you look at the smart people at Korn Ferry, McKenzie, they've kind of evaluated that we're just not churning out enough skilled people in the IT space and digital services and so on. And the second thing is demographics, right? Boomers are retiring, Gen Z is a small generation, not gonna replace everybody. It just points to the fact that there will not be enough talent for everybody. Again, right now we're in a dip, it's a bit of a respite.

Joel: Let me rephrase my question a little. So there's the future sourcing, and I do agree, like there will still be recruiters trying to find needles in the haystack. My fear is that the automation piece connected to LinkedIn, that scares me. So put my mind at ease that you're not gonna get destroyed by LinkedIn.

Janis Kreilis: Hmm.

Chad: What happens if they cut you off?

Joel: Yeah.

Janis Kreilis: Cut us off. [laughter]

Joel: They identify the bots and shut you down.

Janis Kreilis: Yeah. Well, actually.

Joel: Is that not gonna happen and why? [laughter],

Janis Kreilis: We're not really scraping LinkedIn in an automated way that would kind of say like, go... That would break the normal flow of somebody's work.

Joel: But You are automating, going to profiles on LinkedIn, in-mailing people. You are automating that process.

Janis Kreilis: Yeah, we're working on that.

Joel: And LinkedIn has police that are looking at that and identifying it as a way to identify automation, which they don't like. So what are you doing to bulletproof yourself from LinkedIn's monitors?

Janis Kreilis: You need to cap or basically you cannot give people weird superpowers on LinkedIn, right? Like send a message to a thousand people, right? So you need to cap their actions. So basically that... In a way, yes, there is an automated software run... Like doing the work, but it cannot do more than I would normally do in a day's kind of a normal workday. So you don't wanna break LinkedIn, right? It's more about playing by the rules and automating the stuff that... Okay, I need to message a hundred people, that would take me like two hours. I can run the script that does that for me, but it's not like I'm gonna do it in like one minute, right? That's the part if that goes into direction.

Joel: So you're doing as much as you can to look like a human connected to someone's individual LinkedIn account so that you don't get flagged.

Janis Kreilis: That's what you need to do. And...

Joel: All right.

Janis Kreilis: And also you don't want to enable spam, right? That break... Like that just breaks the industry for everybody.

Chad: What's your plan? What's your plan B if they do cut you off?

Joel: There are actually alternative sources. I mean, as you'll see, right? HireEZ of this world and SeekOut. There are alternative ways, and actually we... If you kind of look at the outbound recruitment funnel, right? There's the lead gen/getting the people's profiles, then reaching out to them and then conversion. And we see LinkedIn as a great source of profile data, but there are others who are actually actively working to replace LinkedIn.

Chad: So. You don't have to reach out through LinkedIn to be able to have a conversation with this individual. So therefore, it's not going to prod LinkedIn to say you're a bad player. Totally get it. Okay.

Janis Kreilis: Yeah.

Chad: So on the actual website itself, it says pick the best matches without opening each profile. Go beyond LinkedIn search filters, yada, yada, yada. This is all focused around AI and scoring each profile. So a couple of questions. Who parses and matches these candidates? Is it a technology partner that you have or is it your IP?

Janis Kreilis: So I'll be... Full disclosure, this is a pilot feature right now we're working on with a couple of pilot customers. What we are essentially doing is imagine a workflow where I've... Let's say I've used LinkedIn's filters to have a list of 200 potential matches, right?

Chad: I totally get it. That's not my question.

Janis Kreilis: Yeah.

Chad: My question is, are you using a partner to help you do that or have you built the IP?

Janis Kreilis: We haven't built it. We're actually leveraging GPT from OpenAI.

Chad: Okay. That's what I wanted to know.

Janis Kreilis: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Chad: So, who audits the scoring algorithm?

Janis Kreilis: In terms of legal audit or in terms of the actual output?

Chad: The actual scoring mechanism, right? So if you think about it, Amazon had an algorithm that went crazy that just kicked all the females to the curb, right? Because of its learning, the behavioral learning, right? What's to stop your algorithm from giving white dudes a 100% and females 50% [laughter]? No, what's the auditing answer there? This is, if you're working with an algorithm, especially when you're talking about OpenAI or what have you, this shit could go off the rails really quick. So what do you do to audit it to ensure that does not happen?

Janis Kreilis: We actually don't enable the algorithm to do the full audit, the way you describe it. It's mostly about scorecarding and saying, answering questions for me. Like, Hey, please check if this person is also a freelancer at the same time. Please check if they're... They have like a PHP on their skills, but it was used only in university. And just go in and give me that information and it's not the AI that makes decisions. So we're not doing this, basically like, "Hey, AI, go out and find the people." And then yeah, you get into all sorts of really bad business, right? It's more about just look at it, look at each profile, and give me specific things that I'm looking for so I can take the decision then.

Chad: Okay. Well, when you say use AI to score each profile on your website, you might not wanna say that if that's not exactly what's happening now.

Janis Kreilis: Point taken. Thanks. [laughter]

Chad: Yes. I mean, think about what you're actually saying to the people, right? And the perspective ramifications that are gonna smack you square in the face. So is the attract and engage product where you generate and send personal messages for each candidate, is that a product of OpenAI as well?

Janis Kreilis: Yes. So what we're doing there, again, working on the pilots with the same customers is that we are looking at ways, again, not replacing recruiters, not automating everything, but having somebody's profile and having the Hyperjob page, right? We know the requirements and then combining those, leveraging GPT to write a good intro message. But again, we're basically giving them a first draft of like, "Hey, do you like this? Then use it. If not, you can always rewrite." It's not about like, completely replacing the recruiters.

Chad: Gotcha. So are you going direct to companies on this, or are you trying to actually partner with staffing companies and or other tech companies to partner so that you can get penetration into their portfolio? Are you going direct or are you trying to go through partnership?

Janis Kreilis: We are doing... Yeah, one is going directly for the internal sourcing recruitment teams. We are also starting to work with a couple of agencies who are partners in recruitment to see whether that partnership model works where they use the product and they onboard their customers.

Chad: Okay. So what are you focusing on from a total addressable market when we're talking about geography? What is your focal area for geography?

Janis Kreilis: Yeah, two of them actually. One is the East Coast right now in the US and the other is the UK and Scandinavia, because these are English speaking markets in specific niches. Right? Specifically tech, because that's where the talent shortage still is very much available.

Joel: You talked about agencies getting this in front of them. What's been their response?

Janis Kreilis: A mixed, I will be frank. Some of them, the more progressive ones who you can see, they're happy to adopt new tools, are quite excited, and they're like, yep, sure, let's have a trial. Let's get the candidate feedback. Awesome. And then there's also a more, I would say a traditional business who says, Hey, we've been in this, we're doing this for 25 years and we know how it's done and all is going well, and no thanks.

Joel: Got it. And so agencies makes me think that you're targeting larger companies. What does a client usually look like, and particularly location-wise, you're in Europe, are most of your clients European? What size companies or who would you like to be in the portfolio? Talk about what the ideal client looks like.

Janis Kreilis: Yeah, it's a bit of a smorgasbord to be frank. So on one end we have the German unicorn Personio, which is an HR tech company itself. They are using... Their entire sourcing team is using Hyperjob for more than a year now. So they're like a perfect customer. They have a lot of open positions, they do their own sourcing, they're very tech driven, analytics driven, really good. Here in the Nordic region, we have a global service center for one of the major banks, and their IT team is using this. So they need to hunt, right? So it's a completely different sector, but a similar need. So yeah. [laughter] that's like a couple.

Joel: I guess what I'm looking for, are these enterprises that you need? Are these... Can the solo recruiter leverage your tool? What does that look like? I don't need specific companies, but generally, yeah.

Janis Kreilis: Yeah. All the way... To start with these thousands of people all the way down to the single recruiter or down to a, I don't know, a startup, a scale up with just a couple of people...

Joel: Okay. Anywhere in the world or English-based? Do you do other languages or?

Janis Kreilis: Yeah, we do German as well, we implemented Swedish also. We're just like... They're hunting for people in the Western world mostly, we don't see us as like geography kind of constricted.

Joel: Okay. So your TAM is large. It's restricted only by how fast you can add languages to it.

Janis Kreilis: Yeah, pretty much.

Joel: Another threat in addition to the LinkedIn police, I think the advent of video and automation, right? So recruiters don't actually have to do the follow-up, right? Bots can have a conversation through In-Mail or whatever. Is that in your roadmap for the product that you're building? Will it always be a human sort of mediation product? Talk about taking humans out of the equation or not?

Janis Kreilis: I think, yes, we have thought about this quite a lot. The idea is [laughter], I'm gonna sound pretty corny, but you wanna automate the tedious and kind of personalize the meaningful. So yes, a true human connection I think we shouldn't take that out the equation. But things like scheduling, answering factual questions, emailing back and forth, a lot of that can be automated. So again, in the context of inbound, I think this automation will come much faster because then job seekers are... They want something from the companies. In the outbound space when you're trying to sell, candidates feel it very fast if you're being spammy or being like automating the process. So you want to keep this level of control. You wanna leverage AI's, let's say, write the first message, but you wanna check it anyway, right? You want have that conversation. So we're not going for a full a 100% like replace your recruiter in the next couple years, definitely. But to make them more efficient, to make them actually have more time to speak to people, yeah, that's what we'd like.

Joel: Chad, I don't know about you, but this sounds really fucking expensive. Janis, talk about your pricing structure.

Janis Kreilis: Right now we're charging 249 per recruiter seat per month. Yeah, the experimental features, we're still deciding on the pricing together with the first customers. 'cause yeah, we need to actually pinpoint the value there. Plus we need to pay GPT for it.

Joel: All right, the non-answer answer, I love it. All right, Janis, are you prepared to face the Firing Squad?

Janis Kreilis: Yes. I'm all Zen, I'm ready to face the squad.

Joel: All right, Chad, get him. [laughter]

Chad: Oh my God, Janis, I gotta tell you, man, I love automation. I love the idea of taking the mundane tasks away from recruiters so that they can actually provide more white glove type of time and experience to job seekers. I love the opportunity of giving the job seeker a much better user experience and providing better conversions. I love killing the candidate black hole, which we've suffered for decades. So at the end of the day, I really love what you guys are doing. Here are the aspects, here's where the but comes in. Timing, which is not great, and you said that. Not just from a funding standpoint. If you were doing this two years ago, for many aspects, you'd be ahead of the curve. Today you're not. Vision, I believe we need pretty jobs. Okay? I believe we need that.

Chad: I totally do. It's a better experience with better conversions, but people won't take 20 minutes to create a single microsite, or they will just half-ass it, right? That's the problem. They just won't take the time to do it, which we've seen for decades in HR, which is why this hasn't worked in the past. Leaning heavily on LinkedIn is never a good strategy. Leaning heavy on Twitter or what have you, being able to lean that heavily on any platform, never a good strategy. The business model in itself, I believe, right out of the gate, should be really focused heavily on the staffing side of the house, because first and foremost, recruiting is their business. They understand the actual, if they can get better conversions, they get more candidates. And what are more candidates to them? It's money. That's what they care about, right?

Chad: If they can do that faster, they can do it quicker, they can blow up margins, that's what matters the most. And they will take the time to actually build those things out. The TAM you're talking about regionally, US and the UK, pick one, my friend. You don't have enough money to do both. They're two entirely different animals. I will say it again, we speak English, but that doesn't mean a fucking thing, my friend. It doesn't. We are two entirely different animals. The UK staffing market incredibly different than the US staffing market, right? Same thing on the corporate side versus on both sides of the pond. And then threats. The biggest threat here is that everybody will be using OpenAI-like tech to pull this off. So these products will become features overnight, and that will be happening incredibly soon. So at the end of the day, I love everything that you're doing, but because of all those reasons, I gotta give you a Firing Squad, my friend.

Joel: Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

Chad: Sorry, Janis. Sorry my friend.

Janis Kreilis: Go in. I've been shot. [laughter]

Joel: All right, don't roll up in a ball in the corner yet. [laughter] It's my turn. All right, so what I don't like, let's start with that. The bad news first. Chad underscored a lot of that. Look, this feels like a call that we did a time warp 15 years ago, talking about landing pages, pretty jobs, leveraging LinkedIn, maybe not a decade ago, but like the sourcing model is really volatile right now. Relying on LinkedIn is really volatile. Hopefully you're integrating with services where your email list or whatever database kind of becoming a HubSpot for recruitment that you're leveraging already existing candidates. I feel like that's probably where you're gonna have to eventually go. The fancy job descriptions, I do think if the... The point is simply, this is a brochure online that I can give to someone, that's fine. But people can't rely on this to make a lot of pretty jobs in their database and then leverage standardization. So I think you kind of get that, and this is a different animal. Those are the things I don't like overall.

Joel: Let's get to what I do like. I like your education. You sort of, were really humble on that. You're Ivy League educated, you're smart guy, your resume and your profile show that. So I think you've got the wits in you to figure this thing out. You haven't taken really any money, let's be honest, in the big scheme of things. So you have a lot of room to pivot, you have a lot of time to figure it out. I'm guessing your labor costs are really low [laughter] from where you are. So there's not a lot of pressure to figure it out or go home. I do think you'll figure something out. I think the AI side of it, I like the fact that you're talking about ChatGPT and OpenAI. I do think a tool where you push a button, this whole thing automates candidate outreach and pretty jobs and video maybe you eventually get into, I think you'll figure that part out. Most of all, I love the vote of confidence from Personio. I talk a lot about them on the show. They've got a lot of money. Clearly, they have backing from investors that believe in what they're doing. And that my friend is your payday. If Personio loves you and doesn't write a check in the next 12 to 18 months, then shame on them because they missed the market.

Joel: And if your goal here is to make a product where you make 10x of your investment, I think that is very doable with the money you've taken and the partner that you have apparently built and engaged with. In Personio, there are a lot of other whales in Europe that you can start knocking on the door, I think, getting attention just because you have the Personio relationship. So for that, the challenges are still there, and they stop me from giving you the full applause. I think you still have some work to do, I think you still have some pivoting to do, maybe some more bridges to build. But for that reason, I'm gonna give you. The Golf Clap.

Janis Kreilis: Yeah.

Joel: The Golf Clap.

Janis Kreilis: Awesome. [laughter]

Joel: So not your best day, but maybe not your worst day. How do you feel?

Janis Kreilis: I feel great. I mean, I'd rather get honest output, right? Like honest feedback. I would love to hear, actually look into more of these things that you mentioned though. The things that were done 10 years ago in the first wave to actually learn from that. I appreciate the kind of words, Joel. It's... I don't go around bashing like, Hey, Ivy League, yada, yada, two schools and full scholarships.

Joel: I'll do it for you, man. It's all good.

Janis Kreilis: Yeah, thank you. Appreciate that. [laughter] But yes I agree there's still a lot of things we need to figure out. That's what I'm saying, a lot of pilots were doing. And yeah, a lot of challenges to overcome in terms of how do we automate the process? How do we make the creation easier? So yeah, thanks so much.

Joel: Sounds good, man. Well, hopefully in a few years you can come back on the show, tell Chad to suck it, and you made a ton of money. [laughter] And then...

Chad: I hope you do. [laughter]

Joel: You guys can go have a Gin or whatever they drink. [laughter]

Janis Kreilis: I'll just take Chad out with that.

Joel: Where you're...

Janis Kreilis: You know that. A load of money...

Joel: And feed him to the fishes. Feed him to the fishes for all I care. [laughter] To be honest, our listeners that wanna learn more about you, where would you send them?

Janis Kreilis:

Joel: Soon to be I'm sure.

Janis Kreilis: Hopeful.

Joel: With that chad. Another one is in the can, we out?

Chad: We out.

Outro: This has been the Firing Squad. Be sure to subscribe to the Chad and Cheese podcast so you don't miss an episode. And if you're a startup who wants to face the Firing Squad, contact the boys at today. That's


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