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HelloWork Heats Up & JobiJoba Eyes America

This week on The Chad & Cheese Podcast Does Europe, the boys dive into the world of recruitment aggregators and the challenges they face with the rise of AI in talent acquisition. They discuss how some aggregators are adapting with personalization and AI capabilities, while others struggle to evolve and invest, potentially leading to their demise. The podcast also covers the potential rise of pay-per-apply models driven by AI predictions. Plus, they share their thoughts on recent industry news, including the shutdown of Finnish HRtech startup Workfellow, the launch of Amsterdam-based Samen Slimmer AI's venture Qneiform, the legal ruling affecting anonymity of reviewers on sites like Kununu, HelloWork's impressive growth and the birth of JobiJoba (what?) and a whole lot more.



[music]


Intro: 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.


[music]


Joel: Oh yeah. Three guys who just imposed a few sanctions of their own on Russia. You are listening to the Chad and Cheese Podcast, Does Europe. I'm your co-host, Joel Jamieson Cheeseman.

Chad: This is Chad, short-form video, Sowash.

Lieven: I'm Lieven, did I mention we're organizing E-recruitment Congress yet? Van Nieuwenhuyze.

Joel: Once or twice. Once or twice. On this episode, AI threatens, Germany tells Kununu, ku-no-no and HelloWork, more like Hello Prophets. Am I right? Let's do this.

Chad: They're not called sanctions when you do it Cheeseman, they're called spanctions.

[laughter]

Lieven: Step bro.

Joel: Spanctions. What's up boys?

Chad: Another day in paradise, kids. I'm just excited. I'm getting prepped for a little, I don't know, time in Amsterdam. Time with Lieven, huh?

Joel: Hello?

Lieven: Yeah. Some love in Amsterdam.

SFX: What are you doing step-bro?

Joel: Are you excited to see us Lieven?

Lieven: I am. I actually am. It's been so long.

Chad: It has been a while.

Lieven: So long.

Joel: Lieven parachutes in on those shows and we see him for like 12 minutes.

Chad: He does.

Joel: And he's out. He's James Bond of conferences.

Chad: Comes in, shakes some babies, kisses some hands.

Lieven: Busy, busy, busy.

Joel: So Lieven, I'm curious. We're getting a lot of new stories and editorials here in the US about the two year anniversary of Ukraine. As a European what's the consensus there? What's the talk over there, across the pond about Ukraine?

Lieven: We're still deciding on not letting Russia win. Macron, the French President, just for the first time mentioned sending troops to Ukraine. And that's something, yeah it's something different. It's something else than just sending our F-16, sending troops.

SFX: Shoutout.

Chad: All right. Shout out to the EU. That's right. This is the European podcast. It just makes sense.

Joel: That's why we do this show man.

Chad: The EU will investigate whether ByteDance's TikTok breached online content rules aimed at protecting children and ensuring transparent advertising. EU industry chief, Thierry Breton, stated "Today, we open an investigation into TikTok over suspected breach of transparency and obligation to protect minors." A lot behind that. TikTok's owner, ByteDance, could face fines up to 6% of its global turnover, that's global revenue for all you Americans out there, if TikTok is found guilty of breaching DSA rules. Now, expected revenues for TikTok in 2024, $9.4 billion, 6% of that would be over half a billion Euros. This! I love me some TikTok, but I love this new fine structure even better from the EU and hopefully the US looks to adopt it.

Joel: All right, I skipped to my shout. Here's a teaser.

SFX: Welcome to all things Scottish. Our slogan is, if it's not Scottish, it's trash.

Joel: Alright, on last show, I mentioned, I gave a shout to Six Nations, the rugby tournament. There's a great Netflix documentary, which I think Chad, you just watched or watched some episodes. February, like beginning of March in the US is horrible for sports. Football's over, hockey's like right in the season. Basketball, no one cares like until March Madness, we have this gap. And thank God that Six Nations for me, I'm embracing it. We had Scotland and England.

Lieven: Yeah.

Joel: Which are two of the better teams apparently. It was what one, LinkedIn connection told me was a cracker, which apparently is a good game.

[laughter]

Joel: If it's a cracker. Cracker has a different meaning in the US but if a game is a cracker, it's a hell of a game. So I'm down with it. I got Peacock just so I can watch these things. We're gonna be in Europe for St. Patrick's Day. St. Patrick's Day, we get Ireland versus Scotland. I'm all in, I'm down with it. Another shout out to Six Nations and rugby in general.

Chad: It's like Italy's get another wooden spoon.

Joel: Wooden spoon. And Ireland, two years straight. Scotland could stand in the way. It's gonna be an interesting game.

Chad: Ireland is a fucking juggernaut, dude.

Joel: And I gotta tell you, Chad, as a parent, you try to embrace things that your kids enjoy.

Chad: Yes.

Joel: For whatever reason, my son loves Manchester England and he loves Man United.

Chad: There we go.

Joel: So we have bonded in the last few weeks over Manchester United...

Chad: Dig it.

Joel: Who's a pretty good team, with some pretty good players. So yeah, I'm embracing Premier League Soccer as well. God help me.

Lieven: Man U are crackers. Don't you use it like that.

Joel: We are crackers. Yes. Yes.

Lieven: You said...

Chad: Man U and crackers. Did you see what he just did there? My God. What's your shout out Lieven?

Lieven: My shout out actually has something to do with recruitment.

Joel: Yeah.

Lieven: Which brings us back to our business. It's a shout out to Accent's new CEO, and Accent is one of our bigger companies within the group. They have new CEO and this is nothing new because we have 52 companies. There's constantly some new CEO somewhere. But this one is actually pretty interesting. His name is Stijn Vandervorst, and he used to be working for the past, I think 12 years or something in Japan where he was a president of... I keep forgetting how to pronounce the name in English.

Chad: Adidas.

Joel: Adidas.

Lieven: Adidas. That's the one.

Chad: Adidas.

Lieven: Adidas.

Joel: You got a premier league spot.

Lieven: Maybe I should call it Nike, it's easier. But it was Adidas. And the thing I like about it is he's really experienced within e-commerce. And I've been saying for years, we should manage our recruitment like e-commerce website. Because it's about speed and it's about convenience and it's about trust. So I'm very happy now we're bringing someone with that background into our company in a senior role so we can speed the digital recruitment up a bit. So welcome Stijn and my up-sucking is finished for now. Thanks.

[laughter]

Joel: Love it. Love it, love it. Well, do I hear...

[music]

Lieven: Yeah!

Chad: That's the Kebu playlist. What's going on here?

Lieven: Yeah.

Chad: The E-recruitment Congress Kebu playlist. I love it.

Joel: Kebu. That must mean we're going to Europe to see Lieven pretty soon. I can't wait.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: Lieven. Tell us about this Kebu thing, tell us about the Congress, what the hell is going on?

Chad: Well, first off, first off, you can't see it because we don't have it on video. Maybe I'll pull it out. But Lieven's face just lit up as soon as the synthesizer started playing.

Joel: The white guy over by with the dance hands.

[laughter]

Lieven: I think. I think Kebu is a cracker.

[laughter]

Lieven: He's a cracker.

Chad: All right, so what are we doing in, what are we doing in Amsterdam?

Lieven: What you'll be doing in Amsterdam? I don't know, but Kebu is cool. And by the way, you promised me not to do it before the end of the Congress. So yeah, Congress, when is it? March 19th in Amsterdam. But we were talking about Kebu, Kebu is a Finnish guy and he's absolute specialist on analog synthesizers. And his channel has over 150 million views. So he's really big in a very small community and a community of synthesizer nerds. But the guy is really cool. He has a huge collection of vintage synthesizers. He is going to start his European tour with our Congress. So he'll be bringing some numbers during the show, during the Congress, but afterwards, I think it starts at 6pm or something, he's going to bring his whole new album, which will be synthesizer legends. And you just heard, I think it was what did we hear? Miami Vice? No?

Joel: Jan Hammer. Ron Kebu.

[laughter]

Lieven: Jan Hammer. Of course. Yeah. It was...

SFX: Oops, winning.

Lieven: Isn't it from Miami Vice? Isn't that the opening tune?

Joel: No, that's original. I've never heard that.

Chad: That's a Kebu.

Lieven: Oh yeah. No, but that one was a cover from, I think from in Miami Vice somewhere. Jan Hammer composed it.

Chad: Yeah, you got me.

Lieven: Yeah. Jan Hammer was a Czech synthesizer guy in the '80s, I think. And he was the Miami guy opening tune composer. But I think this wasn't maybe Miami Vice.

Chad: Lieven listens to synthesizer podcasts by the way, guys.

Joel: Here's all we have to know. A bunch of Europeans wearing black with a disco ball, keyboard...

Lieven: It's not... No, no, no.

Joel: If a keytar doesn't come out, I don't want it. There better be a keytar and working the boards.

Lieven: It's even better than a keytar. He is got like those roll-ons...

Joel: 200 of Kebu's biggest fans. I can't wait to see these people. It's going to be nuts.

Lieven: I'll be standing on the front row because it's going to be a cracker. It's gonna be a cracker.

[laughter]

Lieven: Okay, so Kebu, it's one of the reasons why you have to be at E-recruitment Congress.

Joel: Yes.

Lieven: The guy came, especially from Finland, or will be coming, especially from Finland with a van filled up to the roof.

Joel: He was in a Volkswagen van from 1967.

[laughter]

Lieven: He is going to be driving for two days straight on to be just on time to bring his famous Kebu songs. You'll love it, you'll love it.

Joel: I love it. Give us those dates again Lieven and where they can sign up?

Lieven: March 19th in Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, which is a beautiful location. It's the best concert hall in Amsterdam and the Netherlands, I'm sure. It's amazing. Also, the tech will be wow. And Chad and Cheese will be hosting, so.

Chad: Yeah, and that's where you sign up. You go to chadcheese.com/events. Chadcheese.com/events. That's where you sign up. There's even a discount code that Lieven doesn't want you to use, but use it.

Lieven: No, because I was just... I was just going to say it's almost sold out. So we don't actually want people using discount codes anymore. So we would like everyone to pay the full... Yeah. It's only 680 Euros and you get Kebu. Kebu, I mean.

Chad: Here is the code.

Joel: Kebu is in the house everybody.

Lieven: Author Hilke Schellmann, maybe for some people that will be more impressive than Kebu. Hilke Schellmann who just wrote a book, The Algorithm. You had her in our podcast. Yeah.

Joel: Yeah.

Chad: Love me some Hilke.

Lieven: Love you some Hilke indeed.

Chad: Love me some Hilke and some AI.

[music]

SFX: Topics.

Lieven: Topics.

Joel: Lieven, did you have a thought there?

Chad: No, he was doing topics.

Lieven: I said topics.

Joel: Oh, you said topics. Okay. All right guys. Is AI a threat or not? Recruitment aggregators are facing change with the rise of AI and talent acquisition. Some may struggle as AI-driven candidate applications increase impacting demand and ad spend. Those adapting with personalization and AI capabilities may thrive while others could perish due to a lack of evolution and investment. Pay-per-apply models might become more prevalent as AI helps predict application volumes. Winners, losers, Chad, your thoughts.

Chad: Job boards have had to, job sites, any technology in the space has had to evolve quickly. And now because of the velocity of how fast everything's moving from a technology standpoint, it's gonna be more important than ever. Being able to just focus on PPC as we saw, Indeed tried to get a pay-per-application and pay-per-start and apply. They had a false start. I see them no question in the future doing that, going down the funnel and I see every other job board or job aggregator that's out there, they're going to have to do the same. You can't just play the same on the surface level model that you did before. You're gonna have to start going down the funnel and start looking for cost-per-qualified candidates. Did the person actually meet the requirements in the job, much like an MQL.

Chad: So in sales and marketing for years, they've had MQLs, the actual qualified marketing leads, right? We need to get to something like that as well. Where we're going down the funnel, we know they meet the qualifications and that is worth a hell of a lot more than just a stink and click. Candidate screening and matching, candidate testing, if you take a look at, like LinkUp for instance, they used to be an aggregator and they've pivoted into the data side of the house. So I see a lot of these smaller job boards focusing on down funnel, more qualified. And then some of these bigger organizations, like a LinkUp did, they pivoted into data. So there's be a lot of pivoting that's happening.

SFX: Just the tip.

Joel: Let's have a little history lesson kids. So in the early days of job boards, you would generally pick a category, sales, nursing, whatever, and then you would pick a location and then it would serve you the jobs in date order, not exactly the most efficient way to look for jobs. Keyword search came into it, which also led to keyword stuffing and keyword density issues. People putting all kinds of words in job postings. The algos got better. They knew titles were more important than say like text at the bottom of the page. Long story short, we haven't gone that far from where we originated 20, 25 years ago. I talk about LinkedIn on a fairly regular basis about how bad their related searches are. LinkedIn, okay, Microsoft owned, OpenAI, connected, engaged. It still thinks that I'm looking for host jobs at my local Chili's and Applebee's because I'm a co-host of a podcast. Not exactly mind-blowing AI going on at LinkedIn.

Chad: Well, you actually go to those establishments a lot.

Joel: LinkedIn, it's not tracking my location, I'm sure.

Chad: You don't know that.

Joel: Maybe it is. Maybe it is. Listen to this week's podcast. But I just think it's sort of a silly conversation because there are only few companies that have gotten this right, like Netflix. Netflix found out that people waste 17.8 minutes on average browsing possible TV and movie options before they actually select what they wanna watch. It's much more efficient to get better about what people wanna watch. TikTok grew because I didn't have to search, I didn't have to follow anybody. It just knew that I wanted bug fights and big booty Latinas, like magically knew that about me and kept serving me that because...

Chad: Magically.

Chad: It's my preference. Can anyone really see a day where we go to any job site and it just serves up what we want. I don't anytime soon, maybe, maybe not, but is this a threat? To me, this is a non-issue because we're so far behind TikTok and Netflix in this game that I don't even know why it's a discussion. We're still in the dark ages in recruitment and job search and knowing what people want and how to give them what they want, even when they don't even know that they want it like TikTok. So for me, like, it's a fun post to say is AI a threat and AI is on the tip of everyone's tongue. But look, we're still basically help wanted ads in the window, but that window has become a computer screen and we're still searching much like we did 20, 25 years ago.

Lieven: So I think Joel, you're saying we need kittens, more kittens in the vacancies.

Joel: I said bug fights.

Lieven: I'm playing... Latinos, Latinos you said, right?

Joel: Maybe some more Kebu.

Lieven: Kebu. Yeah.

Joel: Oh my God. It's like Pavlov's dog with him, man.

Lieven: Anyway, okay. So if you ask the aggregators, will AI be a threat? They'll say, of course it won't be a threat. We will use it to offer better matchmaking. And thanks to AI, aggregators will be able to offer a better user experience by integrating high quality chatbots and blah, blah, blah. But if you look at aggregators today, why are they very good? Or why are they very known? It's because of excelling in search engine marketing. They own the search engine results pages.

Lieven: Indeed, for example, is top of class, at least in Europe, and I guess in the US as well, in search engine marketing. The problem is search engines, they offer you websites. If you ask something, you get a list of websites. But tools like ChatGPT and Gemini and Copilot, they offer you answers. You ask a question, you get answers. So just imagine if you ask, and I did it, if you ask Gemini and Copilot and ChatGPT, something like, give me a list of five major companies which are hiring engineers in Brussels today, have a good reputation and pay better than average, then they won't tell you to go to Indeed. They'll just offer you a list with hiring companies. And they offer you the answer. And the intermediary is cut out, they're eliminated. And this might become a problem if you ask me for those aggregators, because ChatGPT is taking over their job as a platform. And I tried it and just with the three big ones, Copilot really sucks and they suck mostly at everything today.

Lieven: So, but they suck at this as well and in a bad way. Gemini gave a pretty good answer, but ChatGPT like always was the best. And it actually offered me 5 major companies in Brussels hiring maintenance engineers. And according to some websites, ChatGPT claims to have checked, offered a bigger than average salary. And I checked the sites and it was right, those companies were actually hiring. So this is still basic, basic, but it could make a very big difference. And of course, I know those companies used to be good in search engine marketing, so probably they will become very good in AI optimization. But still, it's something new and they'll have to adapt. But we were talking about Kebu, right?

[music]

Joel: Behavior-wise, I go, someone dies, I'm like, how old was so-and-so? And Google just gives me the answer. I don't have to go to a website about the... I don't have to go to Wikipedia and their website, it just gives me the answer. I mean, job search for the most part is still archaic. I can't just say, what are the best jobs for SEOs in Indianapolis? And it gives me the 10 best. I still have to do some stuff. It doesn't just give me the answer. But what Lieven mentions is a real possibility. At some point, AI could know so much about you on Google or wherever we are, our Copilot will know what our profile is, it'll know what the jobs are out there and it'll say like, hey, there's a perfect job for you. You want me to apply to it? Sure. And it does the interview for you and it schedules you for the whatever like that's a real...

Chad: Too far.

Joel: That could happen, but it's probably not going to happen out of Indeed. It's probably going to happen out of the Google or like a big big AI company.

Chad: Yeah, I don't know. I really see that... Okay, so first and foremost, all these AI models we've talked about, it's a commodity. Everybody has them, everybody's going to have them. Right? So they're going to be everywhere. The thing that differentiates all of those AI models is data. That's it. So if you take a look at some of these, let's say for instance, like a niche job board. They go into their database and they go into their database of candidates and then they start training off of the jobs that they're saying on a daily basis, come into the feeds and out.

Chad: So you've got the job market side of the house. Then you also have the candidate data. And then you invite them back to answer more information, that kind of thing. And then you start to create a model that's more of an engagement model than it is just sit and wait. Because that's what we have now. We just sit back and we wait for stupid LinkedIn emails to come to you. They just don't match. We have technology and everybody's gonna have the technology to be able to match that much faster and then reach out via SMS, via email, whatever it is, say this job looks perfect for you. And then since we have your information, how about a one-click apply? I think that's much closer than you think. We have, I agree, been in the dark ages, but I expect, again, with the velocity of all this tech and how fast things are moving. That a lot of these companies, we'll talk about one of them later, a lot of these companies are going to have to. They're gonna be forced to change very quickly or die.

Joel: The challenge is you're on Google every day, you're on Facebook every day. I mean, people go to job sites when they need a job, and then they don't go back. I mean, LinkedIn is the most probable winner in this. Because I know you're gonna say only recruiters and salespeople go to LinkedIn. Which that's a valid point. But I personally spend way more time on LinkedIn than any job board and they still suck at it. So like...

Chad: You're in this industry. So yeah.

Joel: But I'm there and they still don't know that much about me, apparently.

Chad: No, I agree.

Joel: So how can Indeed, where I go every two or three years because I need a job, how are they gonna know what my preferences are? Like it's really hard.

Chad: Again, it flips the model, it flips the model. Instead of LinkedIn sitting there waiting for you to actually come in and do your thing, it's all about being able to force engagement, right? To be able to bring people back in by giving them relevant content, which job boards have not done for years. As you'd said, co-host, right? Has nothing to do with restaurants.

Joel: If Indeed could just figure out how to bring bug fights into my job search, I'd be there a lot more often.

[laughter]

Chad: But again, that comes down to the going down the funnel. To be able to be more sticky, you have to get more data. To be able to get more relevant, you have to get more data, right? And these companies, these job sites have to get... These technologies have to get more sticky.

Joel: Lieven, any thoughts before we transition?

Lieven: No, no thoughts.

Joel: We'll take a break from this. And come back with some hot takes.

Chad: Should hit the Kebu again.

Joel: All right, you want some more Kebu? Yeah, you know our listeners want some more of this.

[music]

Chad: Oh yeah. This is now what we're gonna call the hot take playlist.

Joel: Hot take playlist. Because nothing's hotter than Kebu's keyboard, baby. All right.

Lieven: By the way I checked, and this actually is Miami Vice. It's a theme song of Miami Vice and Kebu... No, sorry, Jan Hammer, he composed it. He composed the music for 90 episodes of Miami Vice until 2006.

Joel: Is he gonna show up in a white suit with some pink T-shirt and some tapered bottoms?

Chad: Enough Kebu already for God's sakes, Jesus.

Lieven: And a Ferrari.

Joel: Let's get to some hot take. Finnish HRtech startup Workfellow has ceased operations due to challenges faced in 2023, leading to bankruptcy. Founded in 2019, the company raised $3 million in seed funding led by OpenOcean with additional backing from Icebreaker.vc, both of which sound very Finnish. As in Finland for our US listeners. And a few angel investors. Lieven, you got a few thoughts on Workfellow. What you got?

Lieven: Only one, just one. They used to be Finnish, but now they're finished. Next.

[laughter]

Lieven: I'm so funny.

Chad: A dad joke.

Lieven: Kebu is Finnish too and he's not finished.

Joel: Kebu brings the best out of Lieven, doesn't it?

Lieven: I know.

Chad: So it's interesting because it looks like a Workfellow, much like SmartRecruiters, had a botched acquisition.

Lieven: A what?

Chad: Botched acquisition. They had an acquisition that was starting to come through and it just fell apart, right? I went on to Crunchbase to check out more about Workfellow, because I didn't know that much about them. And this is the description of the organization. "Workfellow is a work intelligence platform to accelerate enterprise digital transformation journey. Plug and play to see the next best development cases all the time."

SFX: Doesn't anyone notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

Chad: What the fuck was that? Then you get into their areas of solution. Digital transformation. Most people don't even know what the fuck that means. Improved automation, process development in accounting, real estate, telecom, global BPO, and procurement was supposed to be coming soon. I mean, they are all over the map. One of the biggest issues we see with startups is that they overcomplicate the problem, the product, and the solution story, right? And they don't stay disciplined in a specific category. Accounting, real estate, telecom, global BPO. What the fuck man? They're all over the place. It was too broad, too fast without the funds obviously, that they need. They only had 6.1 million USD. So this doesn't surprise me. Again, we see this with startups a lot. There's not enough discipline, they go all over the place, they try to PhD the marketing, and it all just implodes.

SFX: Just the tip.

Joel: I echo all of that. You know, when I first started reading through it, I thought, man, these guys just timed it just badly, because it's the year of efficiency, and what these guys do is make your organization more efficient. So in a world where they should be kicking ass, they're filing for bankruptcy. So, Chad, you're right on in that startups. You're in that seed round, that pre... That three to five million dollars. Focus, focus, focus. You need to be focused, and your customers and prospects need to know what the hell you do. If you can't explain it in an elevator ride or a three by five postcard, it's too complicated. You need to dumb it down. And we find this with companies. You said PhD it to death. You get too many brains, maybe there's a little desperation like well, this product isn't working, let's focus on this market. Oh, that's not working, focus on this. And before you know it, you're a salad of chaos. And what the hell are we doing? So, yeah.

Chad: And no calories.

Joel: And by the way, they hired too many people. They had almost 30 people hired. I mean, you can go through a few million dollars with 30 people, 30 employees real fast. And by the way, most of those people were not salespeople bringing in cash. So this was mismanaged, it was badly marketed, and it was like too much, too fast. And now, they are Finnish'd with two Ns. Thank you, Lieven for that.

Lieven: You're so welcome.

Chad: Anything to add, Lieven? Did you know these guys well or at all?

Lieven: No, I've never heard about them.

Joel: You could have bought them for real cheap.

Lieven: Yeah, I checked their website, but I didn't know them before, but if they were launched in 2019, so they had a few years to spend the three million they got. But indeed, if you hire 30 people, it goes fast.

Joel: They're the most happiest country on the planet, so I think they're probably going to do just fine.

SFX: Another one.

Lieven: Wasn't that Norway? Could be.

Joel: All right, well, from Finland to Amsterdam.

Lieven: Yeah.

Joel: The Amsterdam-based Samen Slimmer has launched its first venture, Qneiform. Qneiform, based in Budapest, or as Chad likes to say, Budapest, also in London and the Netherlands, aims to transform talent acquisition in finance and law. Samen Slimmer AI put in 700,000 Euros in investment and a dedicated engineering team to help startups like Qneiform bring their products to market quickly. Don't say QAnon, it's Qneiform. Chad, your thoughts?

Chad: Well, if there is any segment in this industry that needs disruption, it's executive search. So using algorithms to be able to identify, engage, and place executives faster will provide an opportunity for this company to squeeze competitor margins with lower fees and still make one hell of a profit. So I think there's no question. You take a look at some of the very high margin companies that are out there, executive search has been, and I believe it will continue to be that. How do you make it faster? How do you make it stronger? How do you make it cheaper, but still get a nice size margin? I like these guys. I like these guys so much that I might book a trip to Budapest just to...

SFX: Oops, winning.

Joel: I knew I'd get you to say it. Budapest. All right. Okay. Front runner for worst brand ever in our space. Qneiform is awful. No one can spell that, I can barely say it.

Chad: That's a very good point.

Joel: Like change the name ASAP. It's a horrible name. Okay, that aside, we don't know a ton about these guys because they are an invite only. You have to get on the waitlist to sort of see behind the curtain. But clearly, they're doing things right financially. They're growing at an organic pace. If you look at their LinkedIn data, they're adding headcount at a pretty organic rate with, I assume, profits. Their CEO has experience in recruiting. He was doing it for seven years apparently prior to the organization. I do think these segments of law and others are just right for innovation and disruption. And probably my favorite thing about this company is they're not afraid to talk a little trash. This is a quote from I think their blog post. It says, "Moonhub, Eightfold, Chad's favorite, Findem, HeroHunt, PeopleGPT all promised to revolutionize recruitment yet are based on the same poor quality data that has plagued recruitment for decades."

Joel: So any startup who's willing to trash Eightfold, frankly, gets gold stars in my book. So Qneiform, change the name and you're onto something my friends.

Chad: Executive Search, you know a little bit about this Lieven, right?

Lieven: Yeah. You just said if there is one business that needs disruption, it's executive search. I'm not sure about that, but I'm sure if there's one business that is getting disrupted right now, it's law and the business where you don't want to be in today, I think as a search and selection agency is in law profiles because all those jobs are getting automated right now. So where you used to have like one lawyer and five people helping the big lawyer, you'll only have one person helping the big lawyer right now. And there will come a day where the lawyer himself will be able to use tools like ChatGPT. So I think this is right behind translators is going down fast. I think finance is a very good runner up. So if those people, Qneiform, that's it, are specializing now in finance and in law, I wouldn't be the one investing in it, but that's only my two cents.

Joel: Good enough. Good enough.

SFX: Another one.

Joel: All right. From Finland to Amsterdam and Budapest to Germany. In Germany, the Hamburg Higher Regional Court, which I've never been in, has ruled that companies have the right to know the identity of reviewers on sites like Kununu. For our American listeners, that's the equivalent of Glassdoor in Europe. Rejecting anonymity for reviewers, employers can also have reviews deleted, citing the need for review authenticity and employer protection against false reviews. Chad, your thoughts on the Kununu, no, no.

[laughter]

Chad: So in Europe, I'm sure this is a different country by country, but in Europe, I would expect that all of the worker protections that are in place would allow for employees to feel like they can be more transparent without employer retaliation, unlike here in the US when you fire somebody for looking cross-eyed at somebody. So Lieven, there are better workplace protections, especially in Germany, where they have strong unions. So why might employees feel like they need to be anonymous? Is there that fear that's there? Because you do have better protections than many, many other areas in the world.

Lieven: If you're still working for the company, it's probably not a good idea to publicly complain about your employer. So then you might want to become anonymous because you want to stay there, but you also want to complain. But to be honest, I totally agree. Anonymous complaints should be banned because it's just not fair. If you want to attack a company, you have to be open with it and you have to be blunt enough to say it. It's just too easy to be anonymous and to tell all kinds of things if you can't be confronted with your talk. So I tend to agree with the banning of it.

Chad: Yeah, I think the Kununus of the world, the Glassdoors of the world, one thing they can't do is ensure that that individual actually worked for the organization, right? It could be just trolls talking shit.

Lieven: Yeah, of course. It could be a competitor.

Chad: Yeah, that was one of the reasons why this ruling went that way, because you need to be able to prove the accuser did actually work, number one. And then secondarily, again, there are worker protections in place in Europe. But again, I think this is a much different discussion happening in the EU versus here in the US.

Joel: Yeah This is from Publishers Weekly. I'm sure a publication we all read on a regular basis.

Lieven: On a weekly basis, even.

Joel: Weekly, sorry. Sorry. Yes. There you go. This is going to prove my point exactly. "The percent of US adults who read novels or short stories declined at a 17% rate from 45.2% in 2012 to 37.6% in 2022, the lowest share on record." Kununu doesn't have a legal problem, they have a humanity problem. No one reads anymore. These sites like Glassdoor and Kununu that rely on people literally going to a keyboard, and typing what's it like, the pros and cons of a company are so yesterday. People want to go on TikTok, they want to go on Instagram, they want to talk trash, and by the way, anonymity doesn't matter anymore. Gen Z doesn't care. They want the dopa hit of the likes and the love that they're going to get on TikTok.

Joel: They don't care about upsetting a company. They'd rather get people love them on TikTok. So to me, the real threat to these guys is not the law, it's that people don't write or read anymore until they adopt some sort of video way to review these things. But even then, it's going to fail because no one's going to hang out at Kununu for video reviews. They're going to hang out on TikTok where in between the big booty Latinas, I get an occasional rant about how much it sucks working at Walmart. That's what people want to watch, that's the kind of content that people want to put on the internet. So to me, Glassdoor, Kununu, these are antiquated businesses. Who cares what the courts do? The human condition is going to put these folks out of business. They have bigger problems than the Hamburg Higher Regional Court.

Chad: How long does Kununu have do you think, or even Glassdoor have before they are literally worthless?

Joel: This is where I get into trouble, Sowash, because you put me on the hook for when is something going to die, and then I say it's going to die, and then you go online and say Cheeseman says Glassdoor is dead, and then all these haters come out.

Chad: You love it.

Joel: I love that dopa hit, and you love the dopa hit, so we're just as guilty as everyone else. But if these companies are around in 10 years, I'll be shocked.

Chad: Yeah. How about you Lieven? What do you think?

Lieven: Eight years. Eight years, yeah.

Chad: Eight years. I'm going to bet a dollar. Go ahead.

Lieven: I think we're going to cancel them all. The generation, what's it called, is going to cancel them all.

Joel: Gen Z.

Chad: Alpha, after them.

SFX: Another one.

Joel: All right. HelloWork, a France-based job board operator reported a 15.9% year-on-year revenue increase to USD 117 million in 2023, attributing its growth to acquisitions and investments in innovation. The company, which doubled in size over four years, plans further acquisitions and international expansion despite the recent passing of co-founder Jerome Armbruster which we talked about on the show. HelloWork has apparently achieved what few other job boards have done recently, continued growth and internationalization. Chad, what's your take on HelloWork?

Chad: How can you have a job board with such a great name like HelloWork.com and then another one that you're talking about taking to the US, Jobijoba. Jobijoba I mean, I think it's a dot com. I can't remember. Anyway, those two sites accounted for 70% of the revenue, right? That's pretty legit. The company had previously said that it earmarked a minimum of $55 million for acquisitions between '23 and '26. So they're looking to acquire, they're looking to spread out and go to the US. But wait, there's more. Wait, there's more. Jobijoba once again is going to have a budget of several millions of Euros allocated to market it in the US.

Joel: And they're going to need every penny of it.

Chad: Yeah, I just don't understand why organizations who are doing incredibly well don't double down where they're doing well, because they understand that market. Taking Jobijoba... I'm making a prediction, taking Jobijoba to the US is going to crash. Right? And all the millions of Euros that they spend is going to be for naught. I hate to see this. I really hate to see this. I'd rather see HelloWork and Jobijoba stay in the EU, do really well, get better penetration.

Joel: That's right. A job board success story.

Chad: It is.

Joel: Not so fast.

Chad: It is.

Joel: Not so fast, my friend.

Chad: Not here.

Joel: Not so fast. All right. The numbers look great, but I think they're a tad bit skewed.

Chad: Oh, wait a minute. Wait a minute.

Joel: They've made acquisitions, which bring in money, but you haven't really innovated or built more customers. You've just bought companies that bring in more money. So that's great. But is it really like robust growth? I question that. Increased visibility, they quoted that in the press release. Increased visibility is Latin for a lot of advertising dollars. And like I said, they're going to need it for Jobijoba, Jabba the Hutt or whatever the fuck this job board's name is. So they're spending more. They're adding to the bottom line because they're spending more. You get the theme here, they're spending more, they're coming to different countries. Again, they're spending more money to set up shop in the UK, they're coming to Spain, Switzerland according to the press release. Look, it's pretty easy to copy and paste and open up in new countries, spend more money and hire more people there. They're falling into the same trap of Indeed, ZipRecruiter. It's this never ending cycle of spend more money, get more money in clients posting stuff. But you have to spend more money to get candidates to come to the site, which then apply to that. It's like this never ending cycle of advertising. And as soon as you shut that off, the traffic dries up. We've seen it multiple times in our...

Chad: Super-bowl ads.

Joel: Yeah, period in this industry. And good God, a name like Jobijoba makes Qneiform look like a good brand name. Good Lord. Who's in the marketing department at this company? We're taking Jobijoba to the US. Are you fucking kidding me, dude? Are you fucking kidding me?

Chad: Wait a minute, Lieven loves him. His favorite T-shirt is his Jobijoba T-shirt.

Lieven: I love myself a Jobijoba, but...

Joel: I want a Jobijoba T-shirt. Hit me up. I'll give you my address in the US, and I'll be the first American to wear the Jobijoba brand on our shores, I promise.

Chad: You can just send some to Lieven in Amsterdam and we'll just pick 'em up there. It'd be much easier.

Joel: Yes. Give me a case of Duval and put that in the box.

Lieven: So people, I feel obliged... Listeners of Chad and Cheese, I feel obliged to tell you something. Every time Jobijoba was mentioned, they'll get one bottle. They were promised by Jobijoba one bottle each time they mentioned their name. So this explains. Anyways, we were talking about HelloWork...

Chad: It is fun to say.

Lieven: HelloWork, not Jobijoba. Does it come for me as well? Getting the bottles? Jobijoba. But HelloWork. It's French and that's about anything positive I can say about them I feel. I prefer Jobijoba.

Joel: Maybe that makes sense. It's a European name, but I'm telling you as an American my whole life, this Jobijoba is not happening in America. It ain't.

Chad: Well, I mean they're looking to expand the UK. They've got all these other areas that they're looking to expand again.

Joel: Unless they call Disney and get Jabba the Hutt as their spokesperson, Jobijoba is not happening...

Chad: It's still not going to.

Joel: In America.

Chad: Still not going to work.

Lieven: I love it.

Chad: Something that looks like a big pile of shit.

SFX: 60% of the time...

Chad: Is not attracting people.

SFX: It works everytime.

Joel: Okay All right. Let's move on to Goot Job. Yeah. Germany's Zeit Publishing Group has acquired a majority stake...

Chad: Zeit.

Joel: In Berlin's GoodJobs, not Goot Jobs. Terms were not disclosed. GoodJobs ensures job postings aim to have a positive impact on the environment and society. The group sees the investment as expanding its offering to a relevant and attractive market segment, which is Latin for Gen Z. Chad, what are your thoughts on GoodJobs?

Chad: I think I want to hear from Lieven on this one. This is... We talked about in podcasts past about newspapers getting behind some of these organizations, which provides more power obviously and money to them. Here in the US, we kind of laugh at that, but Lieven had actually said that that's something that actually means something over there. Give me some feedback here Lieven, what do you think about this?

Lieven: So GoodJobs is focusing on social and sustainable jobs. So if you ask me, it smells like underpaid. So GoodJobs might sound good, but it's not so good paid jobs, I feel, definitely in Germany. But anyways, if you're Gen Z and you want to make yourself useful, definitely go to Goodjobs.eu and become a better person. I myself was from Gen X and I went for the money.

SFX: Oops winning.

Lieven: So GoodJobs you have goods, then you have better, and you have best, but you can start at GoodJobs.

Chad: Yeah, I mean the only thing I can say about this is again, we're still seeing whether we like it or not, proliferation of job boards that are not just going out there as in HelloWork and the HelloWork group actually making cash, but they're getting investment. Again, the market is much different in Europe than it is in the US but still there's cash to be had and the there are hills of job boards and obviously GoodJobs is seeing some of the good cash.

Joel: Yeah, I think on the weekly show, we talked about Hatch in Australia and I said yeah somebody must've been stung by a scorpion or some other poisonous, somebody at GoodJobs had some bad schnitzel in this case. Look, I know everyone wants to be the cool thing. They want to be like Gen Z darlings. This ain't your daddy's Studebaker, right? They want to be the cool thing. We're all about the environment, we're all about all those things that Gen Z loves. And unfortunately for X, all the three X'ers on this call, Gen Z is the future. They're the largest generation the world has ever seen, I believe. Anyone can correct me on that, which means they're going to be a myriad of services and products that are aimed to get their business. And for better or worse, the kids love the ESG narrative and GoodJobs and Hatch are a trend that we all get to enjoy as old white people, that this is the way that it's going to be. Is it going to be successful? I doubt it. We're talking about cold hard cash Lieven, we're talking about opportunities, we're talking about advancing your career, not saving the planet. Although that's nice to think about when you do it. Get off my lawn Sowash.

Lieven: Young punk, but I think Gen Z might be the biggest population if you look at it from a global perspective. But in the West, it's definitely a small one if you compare it to the baby boomers, Gen Z, is actually it's pretty small. And I really still feel GoodJobs is a terrible name because then someone launches BetterJobs and you're totally fucked IN GoodJobs. So you never should call yourself good.

Chad: And again, taking a look at Gen Z as a target market in Germany alone, you're looking at less than 14% of the German population. That's 11.5-ish, 0.6 million people. Is that a large enough segment to actually make money off of? That's the question, right? And is it too broad and are they way too entry level at that point? Because yeah, you're not going to get a great job as an entry level.

Lieven: Definitely not on GoodJobs. If you only got GoodJobs, you won't find a great job. No.

Chad: Do the economics actually work behind this, which is what we talked about with Hatch.

Lieven: 11, or how many people did you say? 11 million or something?

Chad: 11.5 million. Yeah.

Lieven: That's still a lot of people. If those becomes your candidates, your client, that's a lot of clients. So.

Chad: If you get 'em all, yeah, if you get 'em all.

Lieven: Even if you get a small percentage of them, it's still plenty. But questions are are those people, will they... The moment they graduate and the moment they enter the job market, will they still be interested in the social part of it? I'm not sure if I look at my students, they're all very Gen Z until they start looking for a job and then they want to have cash, definitely.

Joel: And there's also a bigger picture. GoodJobs is a publication. They have other good stuff that they're growing. So they're trying to build this whole monolithic holistic thing, and jobs is...

Chad: Ecosystem.

Joel: Yeah, like jobs is a piece of it. So they don't need to have every Gen Z person using it to call it a success. But look, historically publications that try to be a lot of things to a lot of different people usually end up being nothing to no one. See ya! See you soon Lieven. See you soon.

Lieven: See you soon, Dean.

Joel: And we'll also be seeing...

Chad: Going out on some Kebu.

Lieven: That's right. Yes.

Joel: That's right. Chill the dooble.

Lieven: I love it.

Joel: Fire up the red light district Lieven. We're coming to Europe. Another one in the can boys. We'll see you soon. We out.

SFX: We out.

Chad: We out.

Outro: Thank you for listening to, what's it called? A podcast, the 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. There's so many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Anyhoo, 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 www.chadcheese.com. Just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. This is so weird. We out.

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