Google Jobs Antitrust

Adzuna CEO and Founder Doug Monro have a thing or two to say about Google's anti-competitive practices, particularly around job search. He's even joined his fellow European industry heads in an official complaint against Big G, so deciding whether or not to have him on the podcast was a no-brainer.

In addition to search, Doug has a lot to say about programmatic advertising, fraudulent job postings, problems with your ATS of choice, and XML feeds (boy, does he have something to say about XML feeds!).

Enjoy the Sovren powered pod!


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Doug (0s):

I think the argument that everything Google is doing is, is just to make the consumer experience better is pretty weak. And it doesn't make them. I mean, if they, if they are, they've not done a very good job of it.

INTRO (10s):

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 (30s):

Oh yeah. The British are coming. The British are coming. What's up everybody? This is Joel Cheeseman of the Chad and Cheese podcast joined as always by the King of quiona Chad Sowash and today we're joined honored to have founder CEO of Adzuna on the show, Doug Monro. Cheerio, top of the morning to you, whatever you guys say over there. What's up?

Doug (56s):

Hi guys. It's great to be on the show. I'm a big fan.

Joel (59s):

Full disclosure Adzuna is a sponsor of beer drop, which we love you.

Chad (1m 5s):

And our fans are big fans.

Joel (1m 7s):

Your employees are big fans. Cause I think they're getting beer too. But anyway, we appreciate, we appreciate it even though our livers hate it, Doug. For those who don't know what is Adzuna real quick, give us a Twitter description.

Doug (1m 20s):

Yeah, sure. So Adzuna is a search engine for jobs, we bring together every job in the world in one place, or at least in 16 countries, we operate in US, UK and many others and add great useful tools with data and search to help job seekers zero in on their perfect role.

Joel (1m 37s):

Founded in 2011?

Doug (1m 40s):

2011. So nine years ago. Yeah, in the UK, we expanded over the next couple years to enter into Europe and Australia and Russia. And then we've been in the US and North America for about three years and growing really quickly there.

Joel (1m 52s):


Chad (1m 52s):

Awesome. Awesome. Well, tell us about, tell us about 2020. Smacked us around, but we've seen some companies rallied and then into 2021, which seems to be hijacked by 2020 to be quite Frank, how did COVID start to impact the business and what have you seen since then?

Doug (2m 11s):

Yeah, I mean, it was a crazy year for everyone and I guess, you know, first thoughts with everyone who's been ill or suffered or lost their job in the pandemic, my brother's a doctor in an emergency room, so he's had a fun year. In the UK and we've got the special, extra mutant variant over here.

Chad (2m 32s):

Thanks for that.

Joel (2m 33s):

Thanks for that.

Doug (2m 37s):

So 2020 was a hard year for our business as well. And in April we dropped about half the business from where we'd been on a really nice trajectory prior to that, you know, and it was hard times we cut some costs, but made the tough decision to keep the whole team on and focus and double down on improving our technology and improving our experience for job seekers and to help people who we knew were going to need our service. And every single month, since from April through to November, we grew back and by the last quarter of the year, we were above where we started. So it turned out to be a good decision, lot of hard work by the team.

Joel (3m 14s):

Real quick. When you say 50%, are we talking 50% decrease in job postings, customer's, head count? What are we talking about?

Doug (3m 21s):

50% decrease in inventory. So jobs and in our revenue. And pretty much overnight, within a couple of weeks.

Joel (3m 29s):


Doug (3m 29s):

So that was a shocker. I'm sure that was the same for many other businesses and some had it worse and some had it better. What we were, and we track the vacancy levels all the way through that and publish a lot of PR and data around that. And they're back, much closer to where they were even now, even with craziness in the last month or two. Which is great to see, and our businesses reflected that and done better than that. So we're up above where we were. That's required a lot of adaptation, we had to change a product focus around remote jobs or the categories that have done well, like healthcare and logistics. We've also been able to use the fact that we're in many countries to, you know, to adapt. So some, you know, some countries have been hit harder than others.

Chad (4m 7s):


Doug (4m 7s):

And not always exactly the job market has been hit exactly as you might think from looking at COVID cases.

Joel (4m 14s):

Say more about the global predicament, are there countries that are significantly down? Is the US a real, real screwed up case? Like what globally? Talk more about that.

Doug (4m 24s):

So I actually have all our markets, the UK was the hardest hit. I think that was a combination of being a services economy and also the way that governments reacted. So the British government introduced a very generous furlough scheme, which basically said, "Hey, everybody don't work for nine months and we'll pay you." So that, that doesn't really encourage hiring because everyone's frozen in place. I think the US we saw a much, a big drop as well, but a faster recovery than we saw in the UK, because amongst other reasons, I think a stimulus package was kind of designed to keep business going rather than freeze it, or to encourage people to go out and spend the money that the government sending them.

Chad (5m 3s):

Not much of that.

Doug (5m 5s):

This debate about more of it coming or not, I think. Yeah. And then other markets were all over the place. I mean, Italy was hit very, very hard early on, which you'd expect. Germany held up much better because it had very few cases for a long time, although the last few months, I think had been a bit harder in Germany. France has been very up and down for us different market and Australia is pretty solid. Pretty good now. I mean, they've hardly got any cases of COVID at all. And we're in Australia and New Zealand as well, which feel like they've almost come out the other side of the pandemic now.

Chad (5m 33s):

So, yeah, discipline.

Doug (5m 34s):

So it's been a real mix. And every month we've had to shift our resource Chad, you know, team members shift between working at one market and another, and I'm focused on sales teams and so on. And we have quite a lot of multi-country business too. So, you know, someone in our US team might sell a campaign in Europe or vice versa. So that, that also helps.

Chad (5m 54s):

So now have you always been a full remote team? So this wasn't a hard change for you, or was it a hard pivot? It seems like from a business standpoint and being able to stay nimble, as you were just talking about switching resources from country to country or industry to industry, whatever it was, you were pretty nimble there. How, how easy was that for you and was it because you were already remote beforehand? Or why was it, why was it so easy?

Doug (6m 20s):

So before the pandemic, we were about 40% remote, or at least out of our London office. So we're sort of 60% London office teams in the US and Australia. And then most of our tech team remote, who are literally worked from home and a whole bunch of different countries, the biggest one Greece, but lots of others. So we were already set up for it. I mean our third employee was a remote employee on the tech side. So we've done it for nine years as a business managed multi-country multi time zone, you know, remote work. It was still a big shock, and it's not everyone working remotely because they've decided that will be fun