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Handshake Eyes Europe

The war in Ukraine continues to pull at the fabric of European economies and companies. That's why we invited Neill Dunwoody of Spryt and to join the boys on his take and insight into what the war means for real people trying to escape the horrors of conflict and make a living. Lumped into Ukraine, we talk about how the war could be impacting Europe economies on a macro level, including companies who have to deal with employees in both Russia and Eastern Europe who take opposing sides. It's a messy world, but we're only getting started. Even messier, the episode veers into talking about a company offering "masturbation pods" for employees to relieve some stress. Yup, we went there.


INTRO (6s):

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 (27s):

Oh Yeah. A new survey says 75% of HR workers believe human beings won't have to be involved in the recruitment process at all in the very near future thanks to AI. Enjoy the shit while it lasts people you are listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast does Europe. I'm your cohost Joel "WALL-E" Cheeseman.

Chad (50s):

I'm Chad "happy socks" Sowash.

Lieven (52s):

And I'm Lieven "totally forgot about the middle name" Van Nieuwenhuyze.

Joel (57s):

On this episode, Handshake has its eye on Europe. HeyJobs gives us a glimpse into the German labor market and Oreo makers want to double stuff their employers. Let's do this.

sfx (1m 11s):

Europe has a bunch of countries in it.

Chad (1m 12s):

I want to hear about Lieven skiing trip.

Joel (1m 16s):

Yeah. Lieven went skiing. Go.

Lieven (1m 18s):

Oh, I went skiing. We went skiing again. Last skiing trip. Last time it was, oh, it was work. You know, I was invited by, by Redmore thanks Redmore. So this time it was just fun. And we had fun! There was sun, there was snow, there were cold drinks and there was a Russian family and they tried to defend Putin's strategy and they claimed the whole war was necessary for Russian's safety.

Chad (1m 45s):

They were actively talking about?

Lieven (1m 50s):


Joel (1m 51s):

Propaganda is a hell of a drug man.

Lieven (1m 53s):

I'm sure they were asked about it. They didn't start itself. But the rest of the bar they claim so it was Russia's rights to do something like that. And after that the bartender refused to serve them. And everyone started to play the bayraktar song under iPhones whenever the guy entered the room or anything so I don't think it was fun to be rich and Russian last week.

Joel (2m 16s):

When Chad and I were kids, every ad in a European ski lift had liked the Swedish bikini team there. Was the Swedish bikini team there, or was that just American advertising?

Lieven (2m 26s):

I've never, ever seen the Swedish bikini team in a ski resort. Damn I missed them.

Joel (2m 32s):

That's a shame.

Chad (2m 33s):

Yeah. You're killing my dreams, killing my dreams.

Joel (2m 35s):

All right. Let's get to our mystery guest shall we?

Chad (2m 39s):

History. Let's do that.

Joel (2m 40s):

He's Neil Dunwoody. He's from Ireland. He's the chief commercial officer and co-founder at Sprite, no legal issues there. I'm sure as well as the head of Techlink Ukraine, which we'll talk about, he has a certificate from LinkedIn on metaverse and NFT marketing.

Chad (2m 58s):

Oh stop.

Joel (2m 59s):

That's so exciting for me. He also says my blue spot is in the mail. We'll see about that, Neil welcome to the podcast.

Neil (3m 7s):

Well, how are you guys? About LinkedIn NFT and marketing, I was bored sitting on the toilet. So it was just something to do for 30 minutes.

Joel (3m 14s):

Oh, well, I don't know where I go from there, but give our listeners a little Twitter bio about you.

Neil (3m 25s):

Yeah. So Neil Dunwoody, 20 years plus in recruitment or recruitment in the middle of the pandemic. So decided I was going to set up a digital health company. And so I have to start up and we work with the NHS and some Antarctic healthcare providers, and then decided to set up Techlink Ukraine, which we're trying to help displaced Ukrainians find opportunities. And we're also trying to help people who are still in Ukraine find projects to work on, as the lads that are related to I'm a massive whiskey fan. I actually part own a distillery in Ireland.

Chad (3m 49s):


Lieven (3m 53s):


Chad (3m 57s):

Oh, yes. That's what I'm talking about. Cheeseman how come we're not in Ireland for this, what's going on?

Joel (4m 8s):

I know Neil's got this going on. And the pandemic kind of squashed the whole, like I'm going to come to Ireland or we're going to come to Ireland and hang out. And he also allegedly mailed me some Blue Spot Irish whiskey, which has not shown up in two years. So somebody at the US postal service got some pretty good whiskey, but yeah, I'm open. The world's okay, man, the airlines don't require masks anymore apparently. So I'm ready. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to party.

Neil (4m 38s):

You can come over and do your podcasts from our distillery and we teach you how to make a bottle of gin you can bring it home with you. And we do a whiskey experience, teach you how to make cocktails, get you drunk.

Chad (4m 49s):

Yeah. That's exactly the type of experience we're looking for. But beyond that, tell us a little bit more about Techlink Ukraine. This seems to be pretty. This seems to be cool. How, how did you come up with this and what is it?

Neil (5m 2s):

Yeah, so basically it started with a girl walking into, I work in a coworking space here in Monon and she walked in, she went to reception. She said, look, she was looking for a job. She just came from Ukraine and just arrive in Ireland three days. And she walked all the way from Kiev to the Polish border and then got a train to Cracow and her friend who was living in <inaudible> Brian from Kracow brought her back. So when I asked her what she was willing to do, she said pretty much she'd do anything. I mean, I said, what was your background back in Ukraine? She was a graphic designer and an qualified lawyer. So in 24 hours, I'd find her a job here in Ireland and or she could work remotely from Monon for an employer in Dublin.

Neil (5m 45s):

And then I reached out to a few techie guys and CTO or CIOs that I know across Europe and the UK. So myself, a guy called Martin Carpenter used to work with me in United Health the area. A couple of other guys. We came together and decided, look, they're technologists. Then I had to build all the tech, in regards to trying to help these people in your Ukraine. I'm a recruiter so I have a lot of connections could ring around and get a lot of companies involved to see what they hire them. And I pretty much started from there. And we built a website. We partnered with a guy who I called from a company called And he built out

Neil (6m 27s):

And which pretty much means that any company can advertise all the roles for free. They can video interview across the platform and Ukrainians can apply and apply for any role. Anybody can search their database of about 15,000 currently Ukrainian candidates matching them up against the roles. And if they want to remotely hire them, they can legally contract and payroll them via the system.

sfx (6m 55s):

Applause and cheers.

Joel (6m 56s):

Good for you man.

Chad (6m 56s):

That's awesome.

Joel (6m 57s):

Are these mostly remote jobs? Are people requiring relocation? Are they mostly sort of knowledge-based jobs? Give us sort of a sense of the flavor of what you're seeing.

Neil (7m 6s):

So we initially started with tech that was kind of the area like I'd spent 20 years in tech recruitment. So I was kind of very we started and then we slowly started to realize that the majority of the people that were displaced weren't from tech backgrounds predominantly, but 80% of those were female. So we have to open it to other areas and are potentially opening to top companies that may be hiring marketing, the HR, accounting, whatever the roles are a mix of in country. So if they come turn to Ireland or the UK to be hired there, or if they're say an Irish and UK, French, German company, then they hire them remotely in the likes of Slovakia, Poland, Romania, wherever the SMB, they want to stay in the 27 member states within the EU and the UK.

Neil (7m 52s):

But we've also had companies out of the U S reach out. We've had companies as far field as Vietnam, tech company in Vietnam. We have a companies in Australia and New Zealand, so pretty much anywhere that's willing to open up their doors to these people and help them. And my biggest ask is that if you're looking to hire these people, they don't have anything. So you have to be willing to potentially pay for rent, pay for flights, potentially give them sign on bonus upfront to help them settle on how do I would put it as not potentially if you're using a recruitment agency, you're saving that fee. So take part of that fee and give it to them. And that's the way we're really pitching it.

Joel (8m 34s):

That's awesome. And are company's open to that for the most part?

Neil (8m 38s):

Yeah. Like I was shocked. We have over 3000 companies have already signed up.

Chad (8m 43s):


Neil (8m 44s):

So it's insane.

Joel (8m 45s):

So far listeners again, how can they find out more? How can they sign up, get some jobs on that site? Where do they go again?

Neil (8m 51s):

If you sign up. So for all the listeners out there, if you want to sign up to, and it's completely free. You sign up, you can post as many jobs as you like. If you're a large organization, you can actually have a lot of roles and you can, we work with different ATS providers. So there's an RSS feed. So you can basically feed them directly from your ATS directly onto the job board and you're good to go.

Joel (9m 18s):

That's outstanding. There are a lot of these. So I mean, hopefully the jobs and opportunities are getting to the people that need it. And I, for one, I speak for everyone on the podcast and everyone out there. Thanks for the work that you're doing on this. It's fantastic, it's fantastic. Thank you.

Chad (9m 36s): Go there.

Joel (9m 37s):


Chad (9m 38s):


Joel (9m 38s):

Who's ready for some shout outs?

Chad (9m 40s):

Give it to me. Let's do it.

Neil (9m 41s):

So I'd like to give a shout out ITUkraine and they're the biggest IT association in Ukrainian. They called Constantine Volnyiv a hundred thousand members there, the best thing, but these guys are still trying to work in a war zone. And if anybody's a recruiter, I'd like to see somebody try and recruit in a war zone.

Chad (9m 59s):

No shit!

Neil (9m 60s):

Good luck to those guys and big shout out.

Chad (10m 3s):


Joel (10m 3s):

For sure. For sure. And there in starts our first shout out, Chad.

Chad (10m 6s):

Yeah know, I'm going to hit the second one and we're going to Shout Out to out of office email. So I go figure they're all over the place. I saw a meme last week, demonstrating the difference between European out of office emails versus American versions and take a listen. You're gonna love this. And, I want the Europeans to kind of, you know, tell me if they think this is right. So first the European version of an out of office, email quote, "I'm away camping for the summer. Please email me back in September" end quote. And that's nice.

Joel (10m 39s):

I like that.

Lieven (10m 40s):

Sounds reasonable.

Chad (10m 43s):

It sounds reasonable. Yeah. So the American version quote, "I have left the office for two hours to undergo kidney surgery, but you can reach me on my cell anytime" end quote.

Joel (10m 56s):

That's not good.

Chad (10m 57s):

Is just about in line with what we're used to here in the US.

Joel (11m 2s):

The two Americans can say, that's totally on par with America's out of office. Yeah, that's totally it. So the Europeans is that right on?

Lieven (11m 8s):

I think I was away last week. I was skiing and I tried to remember what my out of office was, but I guess it was sort of like that it was only for one week, but it said something like you could mail me, but I won't read it so you might as well, not something like that, but only for one week not for the whole summer of course.

Joel (11m 28s):

That'd get you fired in America. You better answer those emails within 24 hours or else.

Neil (11m 33s):

The Irish version is slightly different. It's generally, if you can't reach me, please get my wife.

sfx (11m 44s):

I can make you rich.

Joel (11m 45s):

Awesome. My shout out goes to Jacque Paul, you don't know who Jacque Paul is. He's a 20 something from London. And if you're an avid TikToker, you may already know Jacque, but if not, he accidentally attached a copy of his sexually transmitted disease test results to his job application rather than a cover letter.

Chad (12m 8s):

That my friends that's transparency is what that is. Yeah.

Joel (12m 10s):

Yeah. How could such a thing happen? Well, multitasking, of course. He told the New York Post quote, "I was applying for this job while listening to music, checking the news. I was looking at COVID rates and doing something else on the side" end quote. The bad news he failed to land his dream job. The good news, his tests were negative. He landed another job and he found TikTok gold detailing the story and gaining tens of thousands of followers in the process. Do you believe in happy endings? Yes you do. Shout out to Jacques Paul of London. Lieven.

Lieven (12m 48s):

Shout out. My shout out goes to of course, still Elon Musk.

Chad (12m 54s):

Of course.

Lieven (12m 54s):

Keeping us entertained last week with his bidding on Twitter. So for those who went skiing like I did and didn't follow the news, just a quick updates, you know, a few weeks ago, Elon bought about 10% of Twitter. And then he announced he was going to buy the whole company with a 50% bonus. So a typical example of bump and dump and then Twitter announced they wouldn't let them buy the whole company. So he gave up on the plan, but his 10% certainly was worth like a lot more. So I think once again, the guy has proven to be brilliant and they'll probably sue his ass for manipulating.

Joel (13m 29s):

That's how big of a check is a House of HR writing to own a part of Twitter and go in with Elon? Or are you the only Ilon fan?

Lieven (13m 36s):

I think investing in House of HR is much more sustainable than investing in Twitter. So we're just going to buy around shares.

Chad (13m 43s):

That's a good call. That's a very good guy.

Joel (13m 47s):

Can I give you my conspiracy theory on this? No, probably not. Okay. So everyone's talking about he can't afford it. Why would he do it? It's a mess of a company. Tesla's so much more important. So my little conspiracy theory around this is he wants to buy Twitter. He wants to let Trump back on. He wants to get favoribility with the Republicans. He wants Fox news to talk about how great he is about letting free speech reign again. He's hoping that Trump gets reelected. And if Trump gets reelected, you're going to see deregulation on all the things that Elon is doing. You're going to see government contracts come to things like his boring company. You're going to see EVcar credits come to him. He's got a lot of money to make.

Joel (14m 28s):

If he can get ahold of Twitter and get Trump back on. That's my conspiracy theory. Who else is with me? No.

Chad (14m 36s):

I think he just wants attention that that's it. And any way that he can find attention, any megalomaniac out there much like Trump. I mean he just looking for attention. I don't think this is a long-term strategy.

Neil (14m 48s):

I think the fact that he admitted to couch surfing on his friends, coaches instead of maybe staying in a five-star hotel or actually buying houses in San Francisco. I generally just believe the guy is an attention seeker more so than anything else. So look, he'd probably get bored. I mean, it's like a child, so he's probably gonna turn his attention to TikTok next.

Joel (15m 12s):

And speaking of hogging and wanting attention, Chad and I are back on the road soon. We're going to be in Lieven's backyard of Ostend, Belgium on May 6th leaving tell the listeners. I can't imagine no one knows, but if they don't, what's going on May 6th.

Lieven (15m 28s):

We're getting close. Right? May 6th you're making me nervous.

Joel (15m 30s):

Yeah that show will be live. I think if my math is right.

Lieven (15m 36s):

Alrighty, it could be.

Chad (15m 37s):

We'll be in Belgium when we do it, we'll probably just be doing it at a bar.

Joel (15m 42s):

We're gonna try to be on a yacht.

Chad (15m 44s):

Good call.

Joel (15m 44s):

We'll see how that works out. But yeah. Tell him about the Congress Lieven.

Lieven (15m 48s):

Oh wow. You'll probably be doing it from Casino KURSAAL where the whole event will be. So it's the E-recruitment Congress. We've been talking about it for almost a year right now I guess. It's by far the biggest and the best congress on digital recruitment in Belgium, we have tons of speakers, many people who have been in the show, we are focusing on e-sports. We are focusing on virtual recruitments, all kinds of digital stuff. But if you want to be there, look at on Google and you'll find it. You can still buy some tickets. And if there was still a COVID thing, we would have been sold out by now because we reserved for 400 places in a room where you can set 2000 people, but now we don't need the space anymore so we can fill every seat.

Lieven (16m 41s):

So everyone is welcome. We have about 400 people participating already. So it's a big success. Yes. Belgian standards, of course.

Joel (16m 47s):

And Neil has agreed to supply the liquor for the event, which is great. Thanks.

Lieven (16m 52s):

Yeah. Are you able to meet Chad and Joel who will be giving a live comments on everything happening?

Joel (16m 59s):

And you can also find out more. I think it, where you can see all of our other travels within Europe over the next few months.

Neil (17m 7s):

You're only an hour and 35 minutes from Belgium to Dublin. So.

Lieven (17m 10s):

You are also welcome.

Joel (17m 11s):

Is there a bridge? Can I walk there? Is there like, can I get a bike or a

Chad (17m 21s):

You're not walking

Joel (17m 28s):

A visual submarines or

Chad (17m 29s):

A lime scooter he can take?

Joel (17m 30s):

Get me a lime scooter. That's nice.

Chad (17m 31s):


Joel (17m 32s):

All right, guys, let's talk a little bit of news. Let's talk about Handshake, the platform for recruiting college students announced last week that it acquired Talent Space, a European platform or managing career fairs, both online and in-person. As Handshake's first ever acquisition Handshake says talent space will strengthen its suite of virtual offerings and accelerate their entry beyond the UK office and into continental Europe. What?! Talent space was founded in 2017 and will continue operating from its offices in Berlin, Germany. Quick reminder for our listeners, San Francisco based Handshake recently landed $200 million in funding and is valued at $3.5 billion.

Joel (18m 22s):

That's right. All right, guys, is Europe going to embrace Handshake's entrance into Europe? Or just say talk to the hand, do people still say talk to the hand?

Lieven (18m 32s):

I never said talk to the hand.

Joel (18m 33s):

Virtual. And in real life career events in Europe, what's the story.

Lieven (18m 36s):

I've been looking into this until I get it right. They are approaching a revenue of $100 million. I feel it, they started somewhere $100 million. They didn't state exactly how much it was, but approaching $100 million and they are valued over $3 billion.

Joel (18m 54s):

Yes, three and a half.

Lieven (18m 55s):

Okay. If I follow this course, this means House of HR, which has a revenue of $2.2 billion at my company or our company, 2.2 billion. We should be valued like 60, $60 billion or something.

Joel (19m 7s):

$60 billion

Lieven (19m 8s):

And I'm sure we are worth it, but I don't know about them. $3 billion with a revenue of approaching one hundred. Okay. Nicely done.

Joel (19m 15s):

So House of HR has a lot of companies. Do they have any that are focused on events, whether virtual or in real life, have you looked at companies that are doing this and have looked the other way? Like how big of an opportunity is it in Europe?

Lieven (19m 29s):

It's definitely starting to grow. And I mean, when I read the article, I saw Handshake and I taught this isn't the best name to use during COVID crisis. Because if there's one thing people want to avoid, it's a Handshake. But I understand, I understand.

Chad (19m 47s):

Fist bump.

Joel (19m 47s):

Well, fist bump was taken.

Lieven (19m 49s):

But it's, it's definitely a growing business and virtual events are cool and they're here to stay. I also think it's pretty easy to copy. So that might be a big problem for the investors, but it's a good business. Definitely, but still it's like so overvalued. But you asked about House of HR, we have just to give you an example, we have NowJobs, they're also approaching 100 million euros by themself and they're a platform also reaching out to students like a Handshake is doing.

Joel (20m 19s):

How are they doing it? I mean, I can speak for the Americans. You know, there's a career center at every college. Most colleges have some sort of a career event. They have staff that helps allegedly students get jobs. So what is the business model similar there? Is it a little bit different?

Lieven (20m 35s):

Well, in my opinion, it's easy to reach out to students because they're all looking for a job the moment they graduates. So under our events and you can enter those events. You can sponsor those events as a company, you can organize your own events to reach out to students. And if you're a big company, students are willing to participate. Most universities in Europe are organizing their own job events and they tried to doing it virtually and it never has been a big success. I've participated at some of them and the problem is it's very distant. I mean, people don't reach out to each other. There are possibilities, you can chat, but you don't do it.

Lieven (21m 15s):

I mean, it's so it's not natural. So I think most companies will try to make it real life again, as soon as possible, but some part of virtual world hang on and we'll stay there and start to stay, I'm sure. But a companies focusing on strict virtual, I'm not sure.

Neil (21m 34s):

Yeah. I suppose like even before the mentioned Handshake, there was actually a company that I remember 2015, 2016 called <inaudible> who were at Irish, German co-founded company, trying to do pretty much the same thing. And the issue is, and if you're a large company, you're going to attract people anyway. But when it comes to virtual events, it's so hard to organize it. You're talking to one person, I don't know thing where you do the speed dating kind of virtual event. You last for five minutes and you actually get into a decent conversation the person's cut off on. So then you're trying to track down that person. I think it's been done by multiple other companies, few different times or different iterations.

Neil (22m 16s):

Like in Ireland, we have GradIron which is a large in-person event with talent summit and a number of other events like that. And they tried to do them virtually during COVID. And you'd see at the start, loads of people would sign up. But within 20, 30 minutes, when they realized they were having to listen to talks and things like that, they all just started dropping off. It's hard to try and engage people. I just haven't seen a great iteration yet on this so we're going to bring it into the metaverse where you could potentially meet people in VR space, maybe.

Joel (22m 47s):

Oh shit. He said, metaverse. Have you had any experience in the deal with automated solutions where you're not actually in real life talking to people, but maybe they're chatting?

Neil (22m 57s):

We tried to build it in United Health. And we tried to build three bots. We were pretty unsuccessful and cost a lot of money, to be honest, where we might've had a hundred jobs in United Health and you might've had 2000 applications and you're spending weeks, just watching videos.

Chad (23m 18s):

That to me is, it's not efficient. It doesn't make sense. Right?

Neil (23m 22s):


Chad (23m 22s):

I mean, you and Joel talked about it, I think in the intro, I mean, we're looking at systems becoming more automated. That's not automated. That's that's more time intensive. I mean, first and foremost, I predicted Handshake would be a dead unicorn because their product offering and total addressable market doesn't come close to their valuation, much like Lieven was saying, right. Seven rounds of funding, $434 million USD, 402 million euros. Series F in January, 2022. It's about time. They started acquiring companies that I think Talent Space gives them a foot into Europe where they tried coming into Europe or they've tried, let's say back in 2022.

Chad (24m 11s):

To me, it feels like advancement would be more on the chat bot side of the house, which is more automated in some cases and small, more process flow and RPA, this to me just seems so heavy on human interaction, which we don't have enough fucking recruiters right now.

Joel (24m 32s):

You know, Chad, you mentioned sort of the money and the need to acquire. And we talked about Checkr on our weekly show last week, who has surprisingly a similar valuation as does Handshake. However, whereas Checkr seems very focused on its acquisition strategy and growing into new markets. Handshake seems to be a little bit all over the place, their last round, they talked about taking on LinkedIn. Yeah. How's that going so far? So now it's sort of like, where can we grow? Where can we get a foothold? Obviously Europe is a very natural progression for companies. But I think that the point of career fairs are kind of a crappy business.

Joel (25m 13s):

Nobody wants to be in a space with human beings much anymore. The name is kind of ironic. That was great for Lieven to kind of point that out. And the virtual part of it hasn't gotten quite figured out yet. And somebody that actually does automation, right? Like a conversational AI company is probably going to win in that space and not a company that is just trying to like, you know, reignite the dead, you know, bring back the dead from, bring back the living. What the hell am I saying? Resuscitate a dead industry or dying industry to success to justify a $3.5 billion valuation.

Chad (25m 52s):

Yeah. Any founder today that you hear challenging LinkedIn is nothing more than a fucking Mirage for funding. That's all it is.

Neil (25m 59s):

Yeah. I think realistically to be actually any good at graduate recruitment, you have to get the student when they go in and force you. So when the first year in college like interns is the only way to go to get really good grads on bringing them up through the company and then potentially say, companies like a drone delivery company here. They're sponsoring courses in college. So they're basically cherry picking the grads they want.

Joel (26m 23s):

Can you say more about sponsoring classes in college?

Neil (26m 26s):

Yeah. So basically what they go pick a subject. So for example, when I was in United Health Optum, we try instead of going to the graveyards and digging up COBOL developers, we decided we started reinstilled Colbalt colleges. And we started to Coldwell course in Colbalt IT which was a technical college and donate all our headquarters or so on. That works mana, which is a drone delivery business. And they've realized that UAVs and drones like in Germany and Belgium and every other country in Europe, there's there is drone startups in the US and everything else, but there isn't a huge amount of grads because it's still in its infancy. Basically you're better off going on sponsoring, say electrical engineer and mechanical engineers or biotic engineers.

Neil (27m 9s):

React developers, different things like that. So you go in and you sponsor a protector type. Of course it could be a UAV engineering course or a Colby AI machine learning those types of courses and LP engineers. And if you, if you do, and you're, it's sort of like being you're the brand. So it's this machine learning course sponsored by Pepsi.

Joel (27m 29s):

Well, speaking of drones, we're droning on, let's get this show on the road, shall we let's take a quick break and pay some bills and we'll get to some more news from Europe.

sfx (27m 39s):

Europe has a bunch of countries in it.

Joel (27m 43s):

HeyJobs, they're in the news. This comes from our friend co-founder and CEO of Germany's HeyJobs, Marius Luther. If you miss that show, check the archives at, by the way. The company publishes a job report every month and we were curious what a month into the war in Ukraine would mean for Europe's largest economy. Here's the summary from Marius in a LinkedIn post quote, "There is little change from the previous month on both sides of the market. To date the war on Ukraine seems to have had little impact on the German labor market. Vacancies are at the highest level ever, but are hardly growing anymore. Active job seekers are at their lowest level ever for March, but aren't falling as hard anymore.

Joel (28m 26s):

Recruiting remains difficult" end quote. Sounds a little bit like business as usual, but are Germany and most of Europe whistling past the graveyard when it comes to Ukraine? Neil, I'm sure you have some thoughts as well as Lieven on what Ukraine could mean for the future of Europe's economy and employment outlook.

Lieven (28m 47s):

Definitely. And the sentence I like most about a little article was, recruitment remains difficult for us. We are in the recruitment business, it's our core business. So it sounds rash, but it's good for our business if it's difficult, because I'll give you an example. Our core business is recruitment and we are not going to start building our own cars just because we need cars. So car manufacturers, in my opinion, they won't be doing their own recruitment in a future. Their core business isn't recruitment. We are just better at it than they are. So for our business, it's good to when recruitment gets as difficult as possible and the others will have to start asking us to find their candidates. Maybe this sound a bit too commercial, but I really feel it's true.

Joel (29m 29s):

No, you're kind of on the front lines of this, the Ukraine conflict ultimately good, bad, or no change for the economies of Europe.

Neil (29m 35s):

I think where we are at the minute, it's not going to make a huge difference. I think in the next 4, 6, 12 months where potentially where more people would eventually on forced me have to come out of Ukraine. It will make a difference. So with give tech, as an example, there's just over 600,000 techies in Ukraine. They were just 25,000 tech graduates annually, and then wrote a 25% growth within tech in my country. So they're the second biggest producer per population of tech people in the world next to the states. And so that could potentially fill certain roles, but it made fill it all right on. I think it's not where if you, if you watch the news, it's predominantly, or there's, a shortage of skills in regards to tech or construction, but there's a huge shortage of skills in hospitality, teaching legal, accounting, everything, right?

Neil (30m 24s):

So it's not going to fix everything on. I agree with Lieven the companies will have to rely on recruitment experts.

Chad (30m 30s):

Neil talked about it. And in the last segment, I think the only way and Lieven, take some notes, buddy, cause you guys should start doing this. You should start building into programs for cyber or whatever it is so that you have those individuals, that new talent that's coming out on the other side that you can put into your client's companies. This isn't about having enough people into the specific jobs. For the most part, this is about a skills gap and we need a skills gap solution, not a people solution, a skills gap solution. You get the people you start to create these talent pipelines and companies like staffing companies like like Lieven's could focus more on building talent pipelines, as opposed to, again, we've always talked about swapping spit, trying to pull one from one company and put it in another.

Chad (31m 23s):

That's not gaining anything in the market. Build your own goddamn pipelines. I think that is the future.

Lieven (31m 28s):

Absolutely. And it's not only about pipelines. It's about career paths. We want, so there is a shortage of candidates, so we want to reach out to them and be, want to hire them before the competitors can. But also we want to keep them as close as possible and we want to prolong their contracts. And we want to not just to give them a job we want to be career guides. We want to keep them with us for the whole career, if possible. So we want to offer them kind of a career path and we want to tell them, okay, you're here today, but where would you like to be, let's say in five years? Okay, you want to become a chief information officer, nice, but you need this experience. You need to do these skills and you're like them, but we're going to help you. We're going to offer them to you. We're going to put you at this client for two years, at that client for two years and we're going to teach you or to upscale you to be proficient in whatever you need to be.

Lieven (32m 18s):

And this is the way our business is going to handle the shortage. We're going to tie the people to us. Are we going to try to make them stay for as long as possible? And it will be a hot war, but I think we are better equipped to when it's done other companies

Chad (32m 33s):

Very much.

Neil (32m 34s):

Like I know I've done a bit of work with a company called ProFinder skills, analogies, which are predominantly more for internal talent. But I think the job of the recruiter is going to switch. There's going to be certain recruiters that their role is to find skillsets within a company. So like a large organization, like one of the big four or one of the big multinational blue chips companies when they pitch for a project or they're about to start a new product line or whatever, they analyze the talent internally. But they also look at the talent that people who can be upskilled or reskilled to fill a need. I think that going into the future is potentially internal or talent is more important than I think it's that for example, automating recruitment events In my opinion, I think it's keep what you have an upscale it.

Joel (33m 17s):

I think undoubtedly, undoubtedly, this is bad for the economies of Ukraine and Russia. One is a brain drain by choice. In other words, we've heard about a ton of 100,000, some Russians leaving the country who are mostly knowledge-based workers. The other is brain drain by I guess, life or death. I think as NATO countries opened their doors to fast-track refugees, this means more people in those countries who can work, pay taxes and buy stuff, which is the engine of any economy. I think oddly, this conflict is a growth opportunity for Europe. I also think investment is scared to go into places like China and other authoritarian countries, which means more money into Europe for countries and startups to grow.

Joel (33m 58s):

Unless this war gets totally out of control, services like HeyJobs I think will continue to see success because the economies of Europe will strangely benefit from laser-focused conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Lieven (34m 12s):

Might be cynical, but it's true.

Neil (34m 13s):

I think economies will also scale because there's quite a lot of startups in Ukraine and I've been involved in certain conversations, like taking the startups out of Ukraine and moving them to Ireland or to the UK or Belgium or wherever. So there's potential there for other new businesses and economies of scale and new industries to be created as well as in 5, 10 years, potentially the rebuild the Ukraine. Just huge opportunities for people to go in on that side and invest and try t rebuild the country.

Joel (34m 46s):

Let's talk about Oreo cookies. Shall we? This is from Reuters, Oreo maker, Mondelez Nestle and PepsiCo are facing pushback from workers in Ukraine and Eastern Europe who are angered by the company's decision to maintain some business in Russia. This is according to our internal corporate communications. An internal memo seen by Reuters shows Nestle has seen an unspecified number of Ukraine employees quit and others bullied on social media for remaining with a company doing business with Russia. There are specific examples for each company, but Nestle, who has employees in both Russia and Ukraine stand out. Reuters reported Ukrainian employees refusing to speak with Russian colleagues and an unnamed employee said, quote "on my team, we've stopped working with Russia and never want to work with them again."

Joel (35m 33s):

End quote. We frequently talk about the great resignation, but the war is putting a whole spin on reasons to leave an employer. Lieven I think you might have some thoughts on Nestle.

Lieven (35m 45s):

Not only on Nestle, on the other companies as well, but needlessly specific, they have a very bad reputation on everything that should be human. I mean just Google them, Google Nestle, they have a subReddit it's about an Nestle being evil to have a whole history of stupid things they've said and done. And I myself have said some stupid things, but I'm they are better at it. And I give you an example, but I was 17 years or something and I had a chemistry teacher and I only remember two things from his class. I wasn't the brightest crayon in the pack when it's concerning chemistry, he told me many things, but I remember two.

Lieven (36m 26s):

One, alcohol only solves everything, but problems. And I always remembered that one and the other one was Nestle is a disgusting company. And I listened and he explained to us that they are selling, you know, powdered milk to people in Africa, which can't afford it, and they don't need it, but they give it for free for a few months to those women. And then they stopped making milk from their own and they think they're giving their babies the best possible milk because it's powdered milk. And then suddenly they don't make any more milk themselves because they stopped lactating how they call it and then they start asking money for it. And that's when I heard it, I couldn't even believe it. I looked it up and apparently it's true. And that's the most evil thing I've ever heard.

Lieven (37m 7s):

And I think as a company, if you've done something like that, you will never ever be able to get a good reputation again. You can write as many reports on sustainability as you like, people wont to forgive it. And the same thing is happening all over again, in Russia, they are active in Russia and they stay active in Russia and their CEO said something about the Russian people should be able to buy their great products just as all the other people, because it's not their fault.

Joel (37m 35s):

I think the compromise that they're all going toward is okay. We need to be able to provide diapers and water and formula and sort of these necessities, the problem is they're still selling Kit-Kats and Oreos and things that aren't necessities. And I think, I think more and more companies are trying to rely on, well, they need necessities. We'll cut back on the other stuff. Hopefully this thing will all blow over and we can go back to the way things were and, and apologize. I think from a macro perspective and sort of taken a left turn here, but my whole life I've heard about globalism. Globalism is great and having countries that buy from you and sell you stuff is all very good. And I think it generally is a good thing, but I feel like there's a trend here of sort of the connective tissue of globalism tearing apart.

Joel (38m 21s):

And you're seeing, I think the world split into two different categories. You've got, I guess, the democracies and you have the authoritarian governments, and it's going to be a real question of companies going forward of do we do business with this country, but then also do we build plants and factories and warehouses in these countries? And I think more and more countries like Germany for sure are saying, should we buy our oil from a country that could wage war on us and more and more than countries are going to go away from that. And globalism is going to suffer from it. I think China is the big wild card here. You know, while China is hoarding food that they could potentially give to African countries, for example, that will need it because, it's not being harvested in Ukraine and Russia like it should be.

Joel (39m 8s):

And they're going to build relationships with those countries, with their money and their food to build alliances in the future. So I think the world is a really interesting, dangerous place right now. And this is just sort of a microcosm of that.

Chad (39m 21s):

It goes back to history. I mean, for God's sakes, this is history repeating itself. Hitler started by claiming Sudeten land from adjacent countries that he declared as lands of quote, unquote "German people," much like Russia did with Crimea and now with Ukraine. Now from Reuters Mandalay's European president Gruber responded to some, some posts from his employees by saying, quote, "our culture at Mondelez includes everyone who shares our values and calls for peace. We stand by our colleagues and not by the government/country decisions.' Gruber wrote.

Chad (40m 5s):

So, with something this horrific, you got to pick a side. companies in this age, have to understand that there are consequences for action and inaction. Action is picking aside. Inaction is picking aside. The problem is will the consequences be longterm and the cold hard truth that we keep talking about Russians deserve, you know, to have milk and so on and so forth. Each Russian ruble paid to the state budget in the form of taxes and salaries, helps the aggressor supply its army and kill even more Ukrainian people. It's pretty fucking simple, right? You want to break it down? This is not, this is not a gray area. This is black and white. Make a goddamn decision, pick a side.

Joel (40m 47s):

Yeah. A $billion dollars is still flowing in from Europe to Russia to fund this war.

Neil (40m 52s):

Yes, on Lieven's point on Nestle. Cadbury's in the past couple of weeks, we're still using child labor in Ghana to matter of fact, to basically harvest their CocoaPods pods with machetes. Right? So to be honest, when I hear stuff like that companies that doesn't really surprise me and whatever woke or sustainable reason that they gave for staying within Russia is fair enough. I agree to certain stages that you can't punish the civilians for the acts of their leaders, but at the same time, you have to show support for Ukrainian people. And what else would And we made the decision that we can't work and would not let any employer that has, is still actively working in Russia, advertise roles on our site.

Neil (41m 36s):

And so I would sound on the point that either shit or get off the pot. So it's, it's basically, are you pro Putin, are you pro democracy?

Joel (41m 50s):

Speaking of getting off the pot, let's end the show on a light note and talk about masturbation. Shall we?

Chad (41m 58s):


Joel (41m 59s):

Adult website and social network StripChat based in Cyprus apparently wants their employees to really enjoy their workday. They are now providing masturbation pods where employees can take 30 minutes to truly, you know, punch the clown. Hoping to take advantage of that happy chemical rush to their brains after orgasm StripChat thinks this could help their employees be more productive while at the office. Dubbed quote "wank pods" end quote, they come with an Oculus quest and a 4k led screen for watching X-rated films, as well as lotion, lube and tissues.

Chad (42m 36s):

Any happy sokcs?

Joel (42m 37s):

Apparently this isn't the only company with a masturbation station and StripChat is even leasing out the pods to other companies. This is why calling podcast pods is a dangerous idea. Okay. Who wants to chime in on wank pods at work?

Neil (43m 1s):

30 minutes?

Chad (43m 2s):

And we out.

Joel (43m 4s):

Oh God. All right. We're way over time on this one. Let's give a round of applause to Neil Dunwoody. Our guest host Neil again, people who want to connect with you, where should they go? And also give that Ukrainian URL out again to the listeners.

Neil (43m 21s):

If anybody wants to connect with me on LinkedIn or, but if you're interested in helping the people in Ukraine, either displaced in Ukrainian or companies in Ukraine, you can sign up to

Joel (43m 34s):

Fantastic. It's a great, great cause. And anybody who wants to catch up on episodes on Europe that they missed, they just have to go to Guys. That's been fun.

Neil (43m 51s):

Thank you guys.

Chad and Cheese and Lieven (43m 51s):

We out.

OUTRO (44m 36s):

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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