Has Indeed finally gone too far? We dig into the latest from the Indeed / Glassdoor cartel. Their new pricing model is giving customers fits, stickin' it to small- and medium-sized businesses, and in some cases, making taxpayers foot the bill for their evil deeds. Then it’s time for a little Who’d Ya' Rather with Magic.dev and Kanarys. Jumping into Upwork's new full-time offering and a trip back in time where child labor is all the rage in Minnesota and Iowa follow what’s already a bangin' episode. Want more? We dissect bounced checks, unhappy customers, and ruined Thailand vacations, compliments of Starbucks.
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INTRO: Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman 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: Oooh, yeah. UFOs, Russian offenses, toxic clouds, killer earthquakes, Chinese sanctions and Raquel Welch is dead. So how is your week going? Hi, kids. You're listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. This is your co-host, Joel "Fantastic Voyage" Cheesman.
Chad: This is Chad "What's my name" Sowash.
Joel: And on this week's show: Indeed commits highway robbery, Upwork goes full monty, and Who'd You Rather. Let's do this.
Chad: So why do referees always have to kill amazing games? That was an amazing, amazing fucking Super Bowl and then in the last two minutes a ref steps in and fucks the whole thing. That could have been just an... I still think the Kansas City Chiefs would have won, so I don't think they changed the outcome, but they changed the whole feel of the game. It was fucking crazy.
Joel: And what a boring last four minutes, so anti-climactic. Let's run the clock out, kick a field goal.
Chad: Well, the ref allowed that shit to happen.
Joel: Yeah, I know.
Joel: I know. What are you gonna do? Yeah, you should let them play it out in the last few minutes.
Chad: At least. Yeah. And especially when it's that close. But yeah, that was fucking sick. What did you love about the Super Bowl?
Joel: Mostly the snacks my wife made for the game, which included the jalapeno poppers.
Chad: Oooh, that's nice.
Joel: The wings.
Chad: That's nice.
Joel: The Philly cheesesteaks.
Chad: Mmm. Oh, damn.
Joel: And the Kansas City barbecue. So we went like full bore, both sides were represented. It was nice. But it was a great game. I thought Philly was gonna... I thought it was gonna be a blowout. I thought Mahomes was gonna be hurt. But again, you don't go against the GOAT. Whoever has the better quarterback tends to win these games and it happened again on Sunday. The ads, meh. The half-time show, meh.
Chad: I loved the half-time show. I love Rihanna, first off, and then all the shit that they were doing. She was pregnant, she looked great, she's got amazing fucking songs. And then the American sign language interpreter that they had, that was like the cherry on top. Everything seemed like it was just perfect. It wasn't as good as Prince, don't get me wrong. I really, really enjoyed the halftime show.
Joel: Yeah, I gotta go back to Prince, man. Prince ruined it from here on out. No one...
Chad: Love that guy.
Joel: Ever since Purple Rain in the rain in high heels, stand alone on stage, everything else is just sort of sophomoric to me. Unless Oasis gets back together and plays the half-time show, which I know isn't gonna happen.
Chad: God! Let's hope not. I cannot stand 15 minutes of whining.
Joel: Speaking of Dave Grohl, Dave Grohl and Canada, my co-host and my wife represented in one ad. That was fun.
Chad: Yeah, that was pretty nice.
Joel: By the way, I got my physical, my annual physical, this week and my liver got a A-plus which means another year of debauchery for me, my friend. My liver is still holding fort.
Chad: Apparently, I'm not doing my job. I'm sorry. Apologies.
Joel: Our sponsors need to try a lot harder. Our fans need to send us more shit.
Chad: More Bourbon, kids. Okay, so your favorite ad. Let's just get that out of the way. What was your favorite ad?
Joel: Favorite ad has probably got to go to the Farmer's Dog, aging hounds. You gotta have that one that makes you cry. I remember the Audi ad with the father-daughter. That one's similar. Yeah, this one got me choked up. Farmer's Dog. You?
Chad: This was not a great season for ads, let's just put it that way. The Workday ad was actually pretty good but I liked the PopCorners. I'd never heard of PopCorners before, now I know it. And the whole Breaking Bad, "Give me seven flavors."
Chad: Yeah, it was funny. It was funny. But it wasn't great. It wasn't great.
Joel: Yeah, the two ads that would make me buy something because of the ad would be the PopCorners and the Farmer's. The Farmer's Dog, unfortunately, we feed our dog insects because that's what my wife does for a living. So I wouldn't be able to buy the Farmer's Dog unless they start offering insects as an option, which probably isn't going to happen. I would say that as an overall theme of the ads, I think as Gen X-ers our time has come. For years growing up, it was like they're targeting boomers, boomers have all the money, boomers are... Boomer, boomer, boomer. This year was finally Gen X. Clueless, Matt & Ben, Ben Stiller, Steve Martin, the Rock Star has sort of bled into Gen X. So I feel like, from that perspective, we're finally the target market for advertisers. Even the Pepsi. You remember you and I growing up...
Chad: That doesn't make me happy.
Joel: Pepsi was the choice of a new generation. It was Cindy Crawford, Shaq was doing ads. And now it's a grey-haired Ben Stiller and an even grayer-haired Steve Martin that's pitching me Pepsi. That's how far Pepsi has fallen since the '80s and '90s. But I digress.
Chad: And to bring the party down, I can't believe somebody bought an anti-Tesla ad, the anti-auto pilot driving. I mean, spent like $7 million on just trying to tank the Tesla stock. I mean, Elon can do that without anybody's help, so. It was weird. It was really weird.
Joel: Yeah. Elon has not needed any help to tank the Tesla stock this year. Alright. Well, for those that listen, the recruitment marketing show, we'll get into more detail about ads and dive into more subject matter of the advertising in the Super Bowl. But that was a nice little 30,000-foot level of what Chad and I thought of the Super Bowl and the ads.
Chad: Shout-outs. Let's do some shout-outs.
Chad: I'm gonna hit some. First off, really quick, thank you iCIMS, Workhuman and Next for the swag. Really appreciate the swag.
Joel: ICIMS is just showing off.
Chad: We'll actually have clothes on their backs for the next year, so we really appreciate that. But yeah, no, iCIMS, they upped their swag game, I have to say.
Joel: Yeah, they brought the Yeti back, they ditched... What was it? The Coleman, the Colemanist?
Chad: It was the Coleman, yeah.
Joel: Yeah, they did. Back to the Yeti, like the Herschel backpack, yeah, iCIMS is just showing off at this point.
Chad: Well, Workhuman did send a nice little package in a Bluetooth speaker, which you've gotta love the goods. [chuckle] It was good stuff, good stuff. And I am wearing my Tie-Dye, my Tie-Dye Next shirts. So love all around. Love all around.
Joel: Yeah, love all around. My wife just can't not comment about how much NASCAR [laughter] I look like every day with vendor logos. Alright, my shout-out goes to G2's best HR products of 2023.
Joel: Popular product review site, G2, has just published its best stuff for 2023, and here's where some of our most talked about companies in HR landed. Number four was BambooHR, number eight was Hireology, number 10, Personio, our friends in Germany, focused on Europe; number 16, their competitor, Hibob; number 18, Deel; 23, Greenhouse; 24, Sense and number 26, Remote. Everyone else was pretty much a boring payroll something rather. If you wanna check out the rest, of the list, head out to G2, that's G and the number 2, dot com for the full list of 50 as well as other software providers in every category that you can imagine.
Chad: It's interesting 'cause there's so many fucking platforms that are out there right now. I mean, point solutions, etcetera, etcetera. I don't know how they keep all that shit straight to try to actually rank them, not to mention they're all over the place in the different segments, right? Pay, you've got applicant tracking, you have EOR. Anyway, anyway, it's...
Joel: Let's be honest, all these best of lists are just clickbait and things for podcasters to talk about.
Joel: And it works, 'cause we're talking about it.
Chad: There you go. Merry Christmas. My next shout-out goes to Mona Sloane over at NYU for inviting us to participate...
Chad: Yeah, [chuckle] to participate in NYU's Institute for Public Knowledge, and their Co-opting AI's recruiting panel scheduled for next Wednesday, that's popping up pretty quick, February 22nd. So look for that, it's Co-opting AI's recruiting panel and sitting on it.
Joel: We're everywhere, man. We're everywhere. We're gonna make... People are gonna get sick of us. [laughter] Well, I guess if they haven't done it by now, I guess maybe they're not.
Chad: Too late.
Joel: Yeah, it's too late. Alright, I gotta shout-out to our friends at Recruit Holdings.
Joel: Chad, try as we might to inflict pain and suffering on the 800-pound gorilla, things seem to be okay at our favorite cartel. Recruit Holdings says the number of job postings on Indeed.com was close to its year earlier level of Q3F fiscal year 2023, while job seeker activity on recruitment marketplace, an employer review site, Glassdoor, expanded year-over-year the revenue from their HR technology segment, which includes Indeed and Glassdoor, increased over 24% year-over-year to 2.1 billion USD. Apparently, all you suckers out there listening are still writing blank checks to the Death Star.
Chad: Oh yes, it's not gonna be us that brings them down, they're gonna bring themselves down if it ever happens. Shout-out to Ryan Steelberg, the CEO of Veritone, for coming on the show this week to break down what is actually happening in the world of AI. The guy lives it 24/7. We talked about large models like ChatGPT, more powerful domain-specific models and orchestrated models. So a lot of these things, we dug into. Everybody's talking about ChatGPT and trying to create the next recruiting platform from it, which is, I think, the stupidest fucking thing in the world. But Ryan jumps into it to actually talk through all these different things. And not to mention, we're also talking about the company that gives you The Chad and Cheese foreign language podcast. Yes, their tech is what actually cloned our voices and turned them into The Chad and Cheese German, Spanish, Portuguese and French podcasts. That's how fucking cool they are.
SFX: Shall we play a game?
Joel: Moving from one Death Star to another, shout-out to Adam Karpiak. Adam saw the Workday ad on the Super Bowl, just as we did, and commented. Adam describes himself on LinkedIn as an opinionated recruiter. He shared the following on LinkedIn, "If Workday can afford Super Bowl commercials, they can afford to fix their online applications." Amen, said a whole lot of commentators or commenters on that post. Of course, this made me think about your prediction, Chad, that Workday was getting a little bit cozy with our friends at Paradox, and what better way to fix your applications than to acquire Paradox.
Chad: That would just be the start. I can't imagine. Alright, events. You're ready for events?
Joel: Events. Where are we going, Chad?
Chad: Alright. First and foremost, travels sponsored by Shaker Recruitment Marketing. That's right. You can go to shaker.com. And if you need some recruitment marketing needs, you might wanna check them out. We're gonna be at UNLEASH the 25th through the 27th of April in Lost Wages. That's right, kids, Las Vegas. This year, it's gonna be at the cas... Not the casino.
Joel: In GM, right?
Chad: No, it's gonna be at the CAESARS FORUM.
Joel: Oh, CAESARS.
Chad: CAESARS FORUM. Then we find ourselves in Coronado Bay at iCIMS INSPIRE in May. Then we go ahead and find ourselves on a plane to Knebworth Park for RecFest in London, which you cannot miss people. And let me go ahead and close the loop here the RecFest super duper early bird 50% off discount is still going on for Nashville...
Chad: Which is happening in September. This is an amazing opportunity for you guys to actually get all your TA teams together, and this is a great for an all-hands day. Enjoy, learn, drink, eat, be merry at RecFest. Just go to chadcheese.com, click on Events in the upper right hand corner, register for all of them. We've got a long list of events we're gonna be at.
Joel: You keep your own hands away from me Chad at these events, that's what I'm saying.
Chad: Damn it.
Joel: You think there'll be some alcohol and maybe a few Chad Cheese T-shirts at these events?
Chad: There will be plenty, and they will be free.
Joel: Probably plenty. And they will be free. So if you haven't gotten your Chad & Cheese T-shirt or gotten free booze from us, you gotta hit up chadcheese.com, hit the free link and we have a new round of winners from this month Chad, Carlos Fernandez has won whiskey from us...
Joel: Sponsored by Textkernel, Madison Richard got beer from Aspen Tech Labs.
Chad: Love it.
Joel: Our birthday, Rum with Plumb for the month goes to Andrew Mall of beautiful Cleveland, Ohio, and pretty much everyone gets T-shirts that's powered by our friends at JobGet, but you gotta play if you wanna win. Head out to chadcheese.com and sign up today.
Chad: Topics! Layoffs.
Joel: That's right, as we've been doing past few weeks...
Joel: Let's talk about some layoffs in our space, alright, we got Hacker Earth, which I've never heard of, but apparently it's in our space, 8% haircut, GitHub owned by Microsoft; a 10% cut, Nomad Health, which we've talked quite favorably is cutting 17% of its HQ, which the underscore of HQ means not the actual people doing the health care work at Nomad Health.
Joel: And LinkedIn has reportedly laid off a large number of its global recruitment team, the company has not disclosed the number of employees affected however, but if you know, if you're out there and you know, please hit us up at chadcheese.com, and let us know how deep the cut went at LinkedIn. And also our friends at hireEZ are rumored to have had a haircut. I reached out to our friend, Shannon Pritchett, and she was quick to reply with, "We made the decision to restructure staff, which has reduced our current overall head count in an effort to maximize efficiency and put hireEZ in the strongest possible position for customers. Our goal for the restructure is to invest in providing the best customer experience. For those that were impacted, we are committed to taking care of them as best we can throughout the transition." So from our PR 101 class, that is the response from our friends at hireEZ.
Chad: It's interesting 'cause GitHub and LinkedIn, both Microsoft companies make this happen, and GitHub actually said that they're actually moving to fully remote to cut office space. So I think that's interesting that they probably could have cut more heads, but they're going to look at saving money on office space, so it's like you're starting to see some molding of I think just different cultures.
Joel: That's right, you can keep the ping pong table and the coffee machine, save a few jobs while you're at it and ditch some of that real estate.
Chad: It's a good idea.
Joel: Let's talk about Indeed in the news. Seasoned recruiter Angela Holbrook of Boise Idaho took to LinkedIn recently to express her disdain for Indeed's new pricing model. Quote, "I really dislike their pay per application platform. It's terrible and takes advantage of businesses that don't know better. Here's an example of a client where I was added to their Indeed account. $3500 was wasted on fruitless applications. I could have advertised both jobs for under $250." In case you missed that, that's 3500 versus 250 and fill the positions. "Hiring managers were allowed free rein in Indeed to post jobs and not reviewing resumes in a timely manner and getting charged for applications whether they were qualified or not, highway robbery," she says. It goes on, but you get the idea, obviously this sparked a flood of disgruntled comments. If only everyone just listened to our podcast Chad and we could stay away from all this nonsense. Unfortunately, it's an issue. Your thoughts?
Chad: Yeah, so in that post, she actually showed the two jobs that she was talking about, and one showed 24 applications at a cost of $132, which is $43 per application. Remember last week we were talking about the pissed off Kinnock who was paying $15 per application, $43 per application. Then the second example was 41 applications at a cost of about $2500, which was $61 per application. So here's what we're saying, huge failings on the Indeed side of the house. First and foremost, Indeed is forcing candidates to register to indeed, that's number one. Registration makes the apply process easier. Okay, so you've got that whole one-click application touch. An easier process, it doesn't mean you're gonna get qualified applicants, just more that are going to apply. Then you're tasking the hiring company with declining unqualified candidates. Your platform is supposed to be bringing me qualified candidates, but yet now I have to spend more time to kick these candidates to the curb so I don't have to pay for them. So Indeed is getting paid per applicant, so making the app apply process easier, drives their revenue and also the work the clients have to do. So what they're looking to do here fairly simply is companies are just not going to do the work...
Chad: And they're going to pay for all of these unqualified individuals, period. That's all that's gonna happen. And then there was a nugget from the Job Board Doctor I wanna throw out to you real quick, quote, "Indeed has paused its entire trusted media network," no explanation, no definite restart date. And then I reached out to one of my other contacts, and they said that trusted media network partners have also received a reduction in budget by Indeed. So first off, we're seeing this huge change and people are going wild and getting pissed off about it, then we're starting to see a shut down, pause and/or reduction in the spend to the trusted media network. What the fuck is going on here?
Joel: Cats and dogs living together. That's what's going on here. It's funny, Jim Durbin, if we're name dropping, went through the terms of service and predicted that people would just get caught off-guard and have these huge bills. Sadly, it's the small businesses that are gonna get really kicked in the ass on this because they don't have dedicated people watching this every hour to see what's going on, and they end up waking up with thousands of dollars in advertising bills. Indeed was nice enough to come out of its ivory tower, and visit Linkedin and make a reply to to all the hubbub that was going on. They said, "We're making this change based on feedback we've received from our clients that they don't want to pay for clicks that never lead to an application. The goal is to help better connect employers with quality talent right away, increase your speed to hire, and most importantly, ensure you only pay for results in a rapidly changing job market." I'm not sure they even read the initial post by Angela. They just copied and paste this out of their PR handbook, but they did at least come down from the ivory tower to reply.
Joel: Another example that Angela mentioning this in terms of small businesses, she said, quote, "As another example, I'm volunteering my time with the police department right now. The captain got ahead of himself and made a post and within one day had $900 worth of spending charges for applications that could not be used, which wastes not only our time reviewing, but applicant time and gets their hopes up in the process."
Chad: And tax dollars.
Joel: $900 in one day, that's terrifying, especially for a government agency funded by our tax dollars. Thanks a lot, Indeed. Because of you, we all lose. Well done. Well done.
Chad: Bastards. Bastards.
Joel: I feel like this won't be the last time we talk about people upset with Indeed's new pay model, but I could be wrong. In the meantime, let's play a little Who'd You Rather. That's right, Chad, you and I pick two companies. I read a small summary of the recent round of money that they've raised, talk about what they do, and then you or I chime in on whether we'd rather do one or the other, I'll let the audience figure out what Who'd You Rather actually means. So first up, we have Magic.dev.
Joel: I guess it's just Magic, but it's Magic.dev. Anyway, they've raised 23 million in a Series A funding round led by Alphabet's CapitalG. The funding brings the total raised by the company to $28 million. Magic's product aims to operate like an AI pair programmer, able to communicate in natural language and collaborate on complex code changes. The company's co-founder and CEO, Eric Sternberger, said that the adoption of AI assistance in the workplace will be as impactful as the industrial revolution, whoa. Their tagline is, "Software that builds software," I kinda like that, by the way. Alright, next up, we have Kanarys. Dallas-based Kanarys has raised $5 million in a Series A round, this brings the total capital raised to $10.5 million. The company plans to use the funds to expand its technology platform and hire six new executives focused on DEIB engineering, finance, operations, product marketing and sales. Kanarys uses data to identify DEI blind spots in areas such as talent acquisition, retention, performance review and pay practices, enabling companies to take targeted, immediate action. So Chad, Magic.dev and Kanarys, who'd you rather?
Chad: Kanarys is doing all that hiring, but the one person who's not there who was actually our show back in 2021, is Star Carter, who was co-founder and COO. She walked about three months ago. I don't have much hope for the DEIB space because there's billions of dollars that are being spent on training every year by companies just so that they can check a box, and none of it has to do with outcomes. So that's one of the reasons why I'm going with Magic.dev. Domain-specific AI is where the smart money and power is gonna go. I wanna see it go to DEIB where there's outcomes, but where it's gonna go is in domain-specific AI, this is what we talked to Ryan about. We can talk about the general big data set platforms like ChatGPT, but these more focused and specialized areas of AI is where the magic is gonna happen. See what I did there? See what I did there? [laughter]
Joel: Dad joke alert. Alright, that one goes to Magic.dev. Alright, which wave am I surfing? After two years of gains, diversity, equity and inclusion programs nationwide, well, they appear to be stalling, Chad. In a recent survey from Glassdoor in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in 2020, access to DEI initiatives jumped from 29% in 2019 to 43% in 2021, but... But through the third quarter of 2022, that number has dipped to 41%, not an awful decline, but it's definitely not growth. I, like you, I'm fearful that all the DEI budgets that we saw spike in the wake of George Floyd are going to progressively go down and down as people just move on to other things. Replacing high-priced code monkeys, however, with an AI-powered programmer. Yeah, that sounds like a pretty huge wave to me that I'd like to get on. It may not be Magic.dev who ultimately wins the programmer for programmer war, but it's going to happen nonetheless. Frankly, I hope they both make it, I hope they both survive and thrive but for me, Magic.dev is a way smarter bet here, and for that reason, really for that reason alone, it is who I'd rather.
Joel: And that is another episode of Who'd You Rather. Let's take a quick break. Listen to the ads, everybody, 'cause there is no show without the ads, and we'll be right back to talk about more invigorating topics.
Chad: Invigorating. Really? [laughter]
Joel: You like that? Doesn't my face say invigorating?
Chad: Inspirational, yes.
Joel: Inspired topics about Upwork and child labor. Yeah, this is great. Alright, let's go to Upwork. Freelance marketplace, in case you didn't know. Upwork is launching full-time hiring for all of its customers, in a move that the company said is a quote "major expansion of its offerings." The company is enabling small and medium-sized businesses to use Upwork's compliance, payroll and contract management tools to hire highly skilled professionals for full-time work arrangements. The company is also upgrading its enterprise suite services to support large businesses identifying and taking on full-time workers through customized onboarding workflows and systems integrations. The move aims to provide clients with greater flexibility in choosing work arrangements and empower people on both sides of the work marketplace. Chad, your thoughts on Upwork moving away from freelance only to full-time.
Chad: Well, if you take a look at Upwork stock price, you can see that the pandemic was extremely good for them, and now the world is somewhat back to normal and the stock has plummeted back to where it was pre-pandemic.
Chad: So how exactly do you goose the stock? Well, you open up a total addressable market and set your sights on Indeed. Indeed starts pissing off clients with a bait and switch product, can Upwork step in and be the knight in shining armor? That's the question. Over 30% of Fortune 100 companies already use Upwork, so why not focus on wallet share with these companies for starters? Plus, Upwork's 2022 Future Workforce Report shows that 93% of hiring managers often and occasionally convert freelancers into full-time employee. So this is just a part of the normal process, and now they'll be able to make cash off of it.
Joel: I love your Indeed take on that. That's interesting. When I first heard this, it sounded a little bit like Netflix putting ads in their service, I wasn't that hip to it. It felt like they have this brand of freelance work, and to kind of pivot away from that and I don't know, be a job board or a Remote or something platform, seemed like a stretch for me. But then, I remembered over 100,000 tech workers have lost their job in the last six months, and you know what, a lot of those tech workers, they wanna work full-time, but they don't really wanna work work at an office or for a particular company. They want a little bit more flexibility. So I think a lot of them are probably discovering Upwork if they didn't know about it before, and are probably realizing that, hey, there's full-time jobs or full-time gigs available where I know I'm gonna be employed month after month, project after project. That's a pretty appealing thing if I'm a tech worker. I think they'll still be able to provide services on the freelance side for people who make banner ads or voice-overs for Samuel L. Jackson impersonations.
Joel: That'll still be something that they do, but I think that makes a lot of sense. How many companies adopt that on the small and medium size? That's left to be seen. I think a lot of companies will be able to hire one person in-house to manage these teams on Upwork without having the office space or a lot of the things that typically come with that. Now, one of the things that I didn't see at all in the announcements was healthcare benefits. So Upwork is still not providing healthcare benefits, and I still think that's gonna be something for people who want contract work or "full-time work," is it full-time if it's not healthcare benefits? I think that's gonna be something that's gonna be tough for Upwork to handle. To your point of stock price, I think it's up 3% since its announcement, not a huge bump, and it's certainly fallen a ton since the pandemic. I like the move, whether people adopt it, whether other companies follow suit... Like LinkedIn should be doing some of this shit. I'm really amazed LinkedIn doesn't get into this game of gigs. They kind of have been dabbling in it, kinda like the ATS business and stories and video, they just kind of get half pregnant on most of this stuff.
Joel: I'm not real inspired by anything that they're doing, but Upwork, they've been a really good service, I use it for a lot of my stuff. Why not full-time work for people that don't wanna necessarily go through the interviewing process and everything that goes with working at a company full-time? I'm down. I'm down with it.
Chad: Yeah. It's a try before you buy kind of scenario though too. You get a contractor in then you want them to come full-time, so we've seen this. We've seen this in the past, this could prospectively just goose more of that happening, and that's what companies like to do anyway. They love to be able to try because they feel like there's less risk versus reward. And again, I really think this is a play for just a bigger addressable market for Upwork. It makes good sense. I'm surprised that it took 'em so long to get here, but they were so fucking busy during the pandemic, I don't know that they could do anything other than just try to keep up with what was going on.
Joel: Yeah, and not only the techies that have lost their job in the last six months, but a lot of people that have been driving Ubers or living on DoorDash have probably gotten a little tired of the whole rat race of driving for Uber or doing the gig economy thing. But they don't wanna go back to work full-time for someone. This is a nice bridge between kinda full-time work, but kinda gig work, and I think it'll appeal to a lot of people, so I'm interested to see where this thing goes. I'm excited, unlike our next story, which has me a lot less excited.
Chad: Yeah, this should come with a disclaimer that make sure that... Take your belts and shoelaces and put them in the other room. Go ahead.
Joel: I never thought we'd talk about something like this on this show.
Chad: I didn't either.
Joel: But here we are. Here we are in 2023, not 1823. Okay.
Joel: As a tight labor market drives the need for more workers, some US states are looking to relax child labor laws to fill the gaps.
Joel: Proposed bills in Minnesota and Iowa would allow 14 year olds to work in industrial freezers and meat coolers, and 16 and 17 year olds to work in construction jobs respectively. Some argue that relaxing child labor laws fills a need, but opponents believe it's dangerous and subjecting young people to hazardous environments. Critics also argue that such jobs could stick it to the poor as they're less likely to employ middle or upper class children. Wow. Okay, Chad, your thoughts on the revival of child labor in America.
Chad: So, we mentioned Iowa and Minnesota, but also Wisconsin had this all the way and got vetoed. Okay, so it's three states, and these are all Republican-led bills. The average meat packer salary is $30,000 a year, that's the median across the United States. In Iowa, where they're really trying to get these kids to pack meat, it's $25,000 a year. $25,000 a year. So I wonder why they can't find people to fill these jobs because nobody's gonna do the shitty work for $25,000 a year, let alone a kid. So let's dig into the economics a little bit further.
Chad: This is from Reuters, Tyson Foods, Global Foods, JBS, National Beef Packing Company and Seaboard Corp, their financial statements showed a 120% collective jump in the gross profits since the pandemic, and a 500% increase in net income. These companies recently announced 1 billion in new dividends and stock buybacks on top of the more than 3 billion they paid to shareholders since the pandemic began. These are companies who are crying that they don't have people, but they're paying $25,000 a year. Now, they can't get somebody to actually go in for a $13 an hour job, and they're like, "Hey, let's see if the kids will do it," this is where we're at in the United States. In 1938, we put child protection in place. 1938, what the fuck is going on here?
Joel: Not even in the midst of a war where so many men went to fight did we need child labor to make bullets and grenades. But in 2023... And by the way, kids aren't gonna choose to do these jobs, the parents in impoverished houses are gonna make their kids take these jobs...
Chad: They have no choice.
Joel: Because it's a $20,000 bump or however much it is for kids, I don't know, but that's who's going to be doing this. And it's incredibly sad. Look, the math on this is easy, and I've talked about this on past shows, a million die in this country from COVID, 10,000 baby boomers reach retirement age every day in this country, immigration went to zero pretty much for two years. There's no surprise that we need people to do these jobs.
Joel: The answer is, the COVID people aren't gonna come back from the dead, the boomers aren't gonna un-retire to do these jobs. Immigration has to be embraced in this country, we're a country of immigrants. The good news is we're coming back to pre-COVID immigration numbers, but we need to 2x that to fill the jobs that we're saying should be done by children. And don't forget that labor is good or immigration is good for America, not just for these jobs, but half of the Fortune 500 founders are either immigrants themselves or they are children of immigrants. So immigrants aren't just packing your meat, they're also starting companies like Google and Tesla, okay. So immigration is something that America needs to embrace again and what a perfect way to do it than say, you want child labor or do you want more immigration, and I think a lot of people are gonna choose immigration in that equation.
Chad: Well, Republican State Senator Rich Draheim, chief author of the Minnesota bill told Business Insider that hiring youth employees is valuable experience for the teenagers involved and that businesses often can't afford to pay employees more. Did you hear the stock buyback bullshit I just talked about? Okay, okay, okay, I can't make this shit up. Then the Senator said, good for Minnesota. And I quote, "Eliminating work opportunities for youth just because of their age will make it even harder for businesses to find reliable employees." I agree immigration is a part of the pie, but they have to pay people more, they have the money to pay people more, they need to pay people more. We need to focus on not building fucking walls, and if they put some of this money into, I don't know, automation, that might also help. There are opportunities here for this industry, which is industrialized, to say the least, to grow and move. But they're not going to because we have senators who are doing nothing but taking the grease from the lobby, it's fucking crazy.
Joel: The grease from the lobby. Our labor laws are fine, kids, it's our immigration policies that need help. By the way, Chad, you know who's from Minnesota?
Chad: Who? [laughter]
Joel: We'll be right back. Oh Chad, I had Starbucks this morning.
Chad: You did not. [laughter]
Joel: Times are tough. Times are tough at Starbucks, Chad.
Chad: Times are tough at Starbucks.
Joel: A man in Oklahoma...
Chad: Said nobody ever, yes.
Joel: Was reportedly charged almost $5000 for a couple of cups of coffee at Starbucks due to a Venti-sized tipping error. After contesting the charge, the customer claims Starbucks sent him two reimbursement checks that allegedly... You ready for this? Bounced. Leading him to involve the Tulsa Police Department. He has since had to postpone his family's trip to Thailand due to the financial strain. All is not lost at Starbucks, however. They're not going out of business. A spokesperson for Starbucks stated that the company addressed the error and the customer cashed a reimbursement check on February 6th. However, it's still not a very good look, Chad. What are your thoughts on Starbucks' Venti-sized error?
Chad: This is 1938? What are they doing sending checks? What the fuck is this? Why don't you just wire the goddamn money to my account? When's the last time you cashed a check? [laughter]
Joel: I don't know, Chad. I'm gonna have to think about that and get back to you with that...
Chad: What the fuck?
Joel: Next week. By the way, we discussed Super Bowl ads earlier. What did you think of the Dunkin's ad with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez?
Chad: Dunkin Donuts, you've got great donuts, you got great coffee. You don't need Ben Affleck. Now, Jen, JLo, that's okay. [laughter]
Chad: My friend, the only thing better than big booty Latinas and bug fights, big booty Latinas and donuts. We out.
Joel: We out.
S?: Wow, look at you. You made it through an entire episode of the Chad and Cheese podcast. Or maybe you cheated and fast forwarded to the end. Either way, there is no doubt you wish you had that time back, valuable time you could have used to buy nutritious meal at Taco Bell, enjoy a pour of your favorite whiskey, or just watch big booty Latinas and bug fights on TikTok. No, you hung out with these two chuckle heads instead. Now, go take a shower and wash off all the guilt. Let's save some soap because you'll be back. Like an awful trainwreck, you can't look away. And like Chad's favorite Western, you can't quit them either. We out.