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HiBob Buys a Pento & Biden Loves Chips

In this episode, we discuss the acquisition of Pento, a Copenhagen-born payroll automation platform, by HiBob, an Israeli-based HRIS. The terms of the deal remain undisclosed, but the acquisition aims to create an all-in-one solution, streamlining the entire payroll workflow. Founded in 2017, Pento had raised around $54 million. The acquisition is expected to save time for various teams by simplifying the traditionally cumbersome payroll process.

We also delve into the latest earnings reports from various companies in the HR and recruiting industry. Recruit Holdings reported a decrease in revenue due to a contraction in hiring activities in the U.S. and Europe. DHI Group, the owners of Dice and Clearance Jobs, experienced a decline in revenue, primarily driven by a decrease in revenue from Dice. Randstad reported a drop in revenue, attributing it to global economic uncertainty. Monster revenue was also down. Despite a roaring U.S. economy, these companies are facing challenges, including upskilling, less job-hopping, and the need for internal networking.

In other news, the Biden administration announced a $5 billion investment to support research and development in advanced computer chips. This initiative aims to reverse the decline in the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing industry and boost domestic production of advanced semiconductors. However, companies are struggling to adapt quickly enough to a convergence of tech, generational turnover, and the fast pace of change. About 44% of workers' skills are set to be disrupted in the next five years, and about 60% of workers will require training in the next three years.

Jobster, the company behind the world's first predictive job advertising platform, is making a comeback. Jobster, first famous in the mid-2000s, is now back under new ownership. The return of Jobster could signal a new programmatic ad solution in the job market.

Lastly, Neon Money Club, a fintech platform, has launched a new dating app called Score, which requires users to have a credit score of at least 675. Users who are denied access will be directed to resources to improve their financial literacy and credit scores. The app has received mixed reactions due to its exclusionary nature, with some viewing it as aspirational and others seeing it as perpetuating class divides. Neon Money Club has raised over $10 million in venture capital and is the first Black-owned tech business to launch a credit card with AMEX.

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, rash opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up, boys and girls. It's time for the Chad and Jean podcast.


Joel: Ohhhh yeah. The two guys who should have been the ones interviewing Vladimir Putin. What's up, kids? You are listening to the Chad and cheese podcast. I'm your co-host Joel Rasputin Cheeseman.

Chad: This is Chad. One-arm bandit, Sowash.

Joel: And on this week's show, Bob buys a Pento, Jobster is back, and Neon Money Club wants you to score. Let's do this. Welcome back Chad, we missed you last week. For our listeners that don't know, man, what was up?

Chad: After years of sports and military and fighting and all that shit, my shoulder's fucked up. I got a slap tear, I got rotator cuff stuff, I need a bicep ligament thing. So my doctor said, hey, you'll be good, you'll be good, but you'll probably have to get it done in 10 years. I'm like, oh no, fuck that. I'm getting that shit done now. I'm getting it done now. So that's what I had done.

Joel: And was this outpatient?

Chad: Oh, yeah.

Joel: That sounds like a lot of stuff. Biceps, shoulder?

Chad: I came home, they did a shoulder block on me, so if you do any type of shoulder surgery whatsoever, if they ask you if you want a shoulder block, say yes. That's a definite. But I had a shoulder block done, I came home, the shoulder block wore off, I thought I was gonna be in major pain. I literally have not taken any pain meds. The modern medical establishment is wonderful, at least right now, knock on wood. But I wanna thank Serge for stepping in for me. That was nice of him on a short notice.

Joel: Yeah, did you appreciate his Chad impersonation?

Chad: I did, no, I appreciate that.

Joel: Gotcha. So a nerve block is what I should ask for.

Chad: Yeah, it was just literally, there's a bundle, a nerve bundle there, and they just hit it with a bunch of pain blocker.

Joel: So not the cock block is what you're saying.

Chad: No, that's what you're used to, but no, I would go beyond that. Yes. Oh.


Joel: You're bad, you're so bad, you're so bad. All right, well, I hope you're okay to watch the game.

Chad: Oh, yeah.

Joel: The big Super Bowl.

[overlapping conversation]

Joel: What was your take? America needs to know what your takeaway was from the game.

Chad: Yeah, I mean, my prediction was a lazy prediction, 21-28 Kansas City. Kansas City ended up winning 22-25. It was a defensive struggle. The first quarter was brutal. I mean, they were filling each other out. It was like a first date in a Pinto. I mean, at the drive-in. But Mahomes, he had 333 yards, eight different receivers, none of those receivers went over 100 yards. Mahomes was the rushing leader for Kansas City. Then Brock Purdy, for the 49ers, he had eight different receivers. None of them went over 100 yards. McCaffrey didn't even get 100 yards. So, I mean, that just told you how damn good those defenses were. Those quarterbacks, premier quarterbacks. And I mean, Purdy is, he's a new kid. But he's playing damn good ball. And they had to do a lot. And they had to use a lot to be able to win, especially Kansas City.

Joel: So game-wise, I didn't think it'd be high scoring. I predicted 24-21. So 22-25 is pretty damn close to being exact. But I didn't... People were saying like 38-34. I said, I don't think it's gonna be, these are good defenses.

Chad: Yes.

Joel: I just always thought that, and this is what the best quarterbacks do when the game is on the line, when it's like, you gotta get the first down, you gotta get, like Mahomes is that guy. And when you said the rushing yards, it was that rush he had on third down, I think, that really put him in position to make the move at the end. So it was a great game. You don't see many overtimes. That was awesome. There was a lot of criticism of Romo at the end, who started like mansplaining overtime, and didn't give like the color guy the chance to really call the play, sort of a la bird steals the ball, something like really historic. So that was kind of funny for me, Romo-wise. What did you think of the commercials?

Chad: You know what, I hated the fucking commercials and here's why. It seemed like they never stopped, is like CBS was, they were using their commentators and their early NFL show guys to do commercials too. So you never knew when you're in a commercial, and you're like, oh fuck, it's another commercial. So it's like they never stopped. And it's one thing that I've noticed in watching a lot of European football, is like they don't have commercials, hardly at all. So when they start watching American football, they fucking freak out, because it's nothing but commercials. And that's what I felt like. I was like, Jesus, this is the first time I've actually watched a Super Bowl where I didn't wanna see more commercials. Usually I wanna see the commercials because they're spending so much money, so much brain power. This time I'm like, fuck, this is horrible, stop this. Just play the fucking game.

Joel: Well again, that's defenses. So when it's all three and out, you go to a commercial break, and then they're going to commercial breaks because the defense has played so well. I agree that they just sort of bled together. Like every time you looked up, there was more commercials. There wasn't a lot of I'm on the tip of my seat waiting for more commercials. But I will say like, I did love the BMW walk-in, talking like walk-in, partly because he's part of our show, technically. I did love the DeVito-Arnold reunion a la Twins in the state font, like a good neighbor. Oh, no it's neighbour. That way pretty good.

Chad: Yeah, neighbor, no neighbor, neighbor.

Joel: I felt like Bud Light got it right with comedy. That's what they should be doing, making us laugh. So the beer genie, then they threw in Peyton Manning like they should have, like he doesn't belong here, but now he is, as opposed to like, he's throwing Bud Lights to people. And then I did love, because you and I both really liked a few years back, the Audi commercial with the girl who was the race car driver. Like I certainly choked up. And this year, Dove had their Hard Knocks commercial where they talked about girls and being very conscious about the way they look and their bodies, and that 45% of girls leave sports by the age of 14. And Stella has gotten out of volleyball, oddly enough, at the age of 14. And I know Emma also, at a similar age, got out of soccer. So that kind of hit home for me, like, oh, am I missing something? Like obviously we're blind to everything. So I thought, oh man, is this a thing? So it got me really thinking, which most commercials do not. So shout out to those commercials. The halftime show, I don't know what to think of that. It was so over the top, I liked it, but then it was so over the top that I'm like, damn, just play the songs, man. He's on roller skates, he's taking his shirt off, he's got like an ab shirt that glows in the dark.

Chad: I thought he was gonna totally bite it, dude. So when he came out at first and he had that, like, the mic that he had on wasn't working, and then he did a change, and then he had a handheld mic, because they're like, your shit's not working, here's a handheld mic. Then everything, I think, was awesome since then. Luda came on, I mean, you just had, I really liked it. And usually I'm not a big halftime show guy, other than Prince, Prince does, his halftime show was the best of all time, period. But I liked it.

Joel: Yeah, if you're gonna do one up on Usher and skates, you gotta do high heels with Prince in a rainstorm. Like, how he didn't slip blows me away.

Chad: Fucking pro, dude.

Joel: I liked it because I couldn't take my eyes off of it. Usually on these things, like, I'll kinda look away, and if I know a song I like, I'll check it. I was glued, who's next, who's coming up, what's gonna blow, like, what's gonna happen. So all around it was A plus Super Bowl, I think, from the game to the, you hate the commercials, so that'll be a ding on you, but the halftime show was all, it was all good, it was all good. It's like a weekly show of Chad and Cheese. You only get it once a year.

Chad: Yes, yes. But you only get it once a year. I've also gotten spoiled, because when I'm in Europe, I watch all the games in their, like, encapsulated form on YouTube, so they're like 13 minutes long. And now I'm getting kind of like in that no commercial kind of vibe. But yeah, no, it was a great game. I really enjoyed the game. I love defensive battles.

Joel: All right, let's get to some shout outs.

SFX: Shout outs!

Joel: We've got some show to do here, Sowash, and there's a lot to talk about. I'm gonna start with Waymo. Chad, yes, the robots, the automated beings among us took another hit last week. Waymo, the self-driving car owned by Google, I don't know if you saw this, was set on fire by some rabble rousers in San Francisco. It's Lunar New Year. San Francisco has a very large Chinese population. Apparently, the car got confused by the fireworks that were going off. I can't blame the developers for not planning on fireworks and sort of planning for that, but the car stopped, got confused. People said, let's break windows, let's set fireworks off in the car, which then set the car on fire, and there's tons of images and video, like people were taking tons of video. Everyone was really good about hiding their face, so everyone's kind of onto the self-journalistic trend that's going on. But damn, Waymo, man, that sucks, and we keep talking about this, whether it's the janitorial Walmart robot that someone takes a Louisville slug or two, or the wheeled food delivery robots that people steal food out of and take a Domino's and ride around town. I mean, this is a problem. This is a big problem. This is why we can't have nice things, people.

Chad: It's exactly why we can't have nice things. Son of a bitch, man. Yeah, that's crazy. Yeah, you think robots are gonna take over? I don't think so, because we got people with baseball bats. Okay, my shout out goes to our favorite Scott.

SFX: Welcome to all things Scottish. Our slogan is, if it's no Scottish, it's crap.

Chad: That is Stephen McGrath for starting a new position as Product Experience Manager, I have no fucking clue what that means, at Poetry on March 1st. And I'd like to say, Adam Gordon, my friend, for the love of God and all that's holy, please get Stephen off the damn couch and get him to work.

Joel: Yeah, what's Stephen's title again? How many bottles of scotch should they go through before coming up with that?

Chad: Product Experience Manager, so PXM.

Joel: Sure, sure, I like it. Almost as good as Stephen McGrath's videos in getting him off the couch in a new opportunity. It's free stuff from Chad and Cheese, that's right, Chad. We're giving away t-shirts, we're giving away bourbon. Our friends at Tex Colonel are sponsoring that endeavor. Free beer from Aspen Tech Labs. We got our winners from the month to announce. We got John Middleton was our whiskey winner, Roy Schumacher of Aaron is the beer winner, and Scott Stam celebrated a birthday this month, Chad, and I don't know if I mentioned, but if it's your birthday month, you could win a bottle of rum from our friends at Plum.

SFX: Can you feel the tension in the air right now? I know I can. I can feel it all the way down in my plums.

Joel: Congratulations, Scott Stam for winning a nice bottle of rum you could be the next winner, but you gotta play if you wanna win. You gotta head out to and click the free link and fill it out. Fill out the form and there's your chance to win. Also celebrating a birthday this week goes to listeners Andrew Mall, Jenny, JCK, New Earth, Charles Bretts, Laura Washington, Jim Carragher, Ted Grunewald, Nicole, Nancy McKeon, Farrah Fawcett-Reeves, Allie McBeal-Mergest, Kevin Burgess, Kristi Turnley, and Charlottes Web Ulvros, our friend out in Sweden, celebrating a birthday.

SFX: Happy birthday.

Joel: So have one on us, everybody.

Chad: Very nice. Well, it's also time for events. We're getting ready to go out to Vegas for Transform March 11th through 14th, where we're going to be at the win. We're talking about over 3000 attendees, 100 plus investors, more than 500 startups, and over 300 speakers. Not to mention, we were just talking about free. Oh, yeah, we're giving away free tickets. Five free tickets to Transform. Just go to and click on the Win Free Tickets button.

SFX: Oops, winning.

Chad: Win free tickets. And then register for free stuff while you're at it. Then we're going to Europe, Amsterdam, kids.


Chad: Yes, we're hopping on a plane. And yes, this is the official eRecruitment Congress Kibu synthesizer playlist.

Joel: Is Jan Hammer not available? Is that?


Chad: Have to ask Lieven. Have to ask Lieven. He's really excited that this synthesizer guy is going to Kibu, I'm sorry, Kibu, is going to close out the session. But on March 19th, it's the eRecruitment Congress in Amsterdam, where the knowledge will be flowing. And from my understanding, so will the Belgian beer that Lieven will be bringing in a barrel or barrels. It's a full day in Amsterdam dedicated to filling your brain pan with knowledge around the AI shift in recruitment and technology. Just go to And guess what?

Joel: What?

Chad: For that event, there's also a discount code.

Joel: There is?

Chad: Yes.

Joel: Where can I find that discount code, Chad?

Chad: He wasn't very happy. It's on We made Lieven give us a discount code. He was not happy. They're very frugal over there in Belgium. Just go to in the header. You're actually going to see the discount code. Register, use the discount code, ba-bam, discount.

Joel: We threatened to make him drink a Heineken in Amsterdam. And he said, no, I'll give you the code. I'll give you the code. Don't make me drink a Heineken, Jesus.

Chad: You're welcome, you're welcome.

Joel: By the way, unleash, get Magic Johnson to speak in terms of events. Like that's huge.

Chad: That's big.

Joel: That's huge. Can we get an interview with Magic?


SFX: Stop it!

Joel: Questions for Magic.

Chad: I've got breaking news. I've got breaking news.

Joel: What?

Chad: Just coming over on the phone right before we started. Apparently, SmartRecruiters botched an acquisition. That's right. Smart recruiters botched an acquisition. I just received that news from several sources. The acquisition of SmartRecruiters last minute fell through. So to be clear, SmartRecruiters, the applicant tracking system, was looking at being acquired by another applicant tracking system, and it fell through. So this literally just dropped in my lap, and that's all the information I have. And we have reported that many key leaders on the SmartRecruiter staff have left over the past few months. So the question is, since this deal fell through, are they going to reorg? What are they going to do? Because they have to do something to pivot from this botched acquisition.

Joel: So just to be clear, this wasn't an acquisition they made and announced but then fell through in the final hour. They were going to get acquired. SmartRecruiters were going to get acquired, which would have been probably our lead story had that happened. And we don't know who it was. That was the acquirer.

Chad: It was another applicant tracking system. That's all I know.

Joel: It wasn't a merger thingy. We're like two similar size, let's snuggle up. So the asteroid that hit us can kill us more slowly. What do they do? Obviously, I don't know what caused the deal to fall through. I mean, in these things, it could be as easily as a personality difference. So if the business is okay, and worth a look, there's no question these ATSs are going to consolidate. I mean, we're seeing it with Lever. I mean, we're seeing this, it's going to happen. Employee here at home with Jazz, it's going to happen. So someone's going to buy it. They're not going to go public. They're going to be acquired. It's probably more of a merger thing that's going to happen. ISIMS could be on. I mean, iSIMS had leadership change. I mean, they have money behind them to do that. I mean, a workday. Yeah, I don't know. But people are going to take these pieces off the board. And SmartRecruiters is one of them, apparently. It's going to happen eventually, whether it's this acquirer or not.

Chad: Well, we will have more information, I'm sure, in coming weeks. But again, this literally just hit my phone. So I wanted to be able to throw it out at the listeners.

Joel: This is rumor. Let's put that out there. It's nothing. So no news releases.

Chad: This is rumor. I've got more than one source that came to me with this information. So it is a rumor, although I have had several sources come to me with the information.

Joel: OK, interesting, interesting. Well, maybe HiBob bought, or the deal fell through with them. They're the first news story, the official news story. So Pento, Copenhagen board, London-based payroll automation platform was acquired by HiBob, an Israeli-based HRIS. The terms of the deal remain undisclosed. The acquisition promises to create an all-in-one solution, streamlining the entire payroll flow and saving time for various teams. Founded in 2017, Pento had raised around $54 million. Chad, what are your thoughts on Bob getting a brand new Pento? And a side note, I dated a girl who drove a Pinto in high school. And I got to tell you, the backseat is bigger than you think it would be, just saying.

Chad: It allowed for more junk in the trunk, from what I understand.

Joel: That's right. More cushion in my portion.

Chad: Here's a quote from the article. "The companies did not disclose the exact value of the purchase, but it is estimated to be around 40 million in shares and cash." So as you had said, Crunchbase shows 54 million in total funding, 35 million in Series B from Tiger Global in December of 2021. And we're talking about an estimated 40 million shares in cash. So this looks to be a distressed company who needed a deal to make sure that the company could continue breathing and HiBob seems to be the respirator for Pento. And let's face it, startups all over the globe are either approaching distress or they're in distress right now. And here's a problem I saw with Pento. Their core pricing was $5 per employee per month up to 30 employees max. So let's say that all 400 customers fit into that core pricing bucket.

Chad: They probably didn't, but let's just say that that's $60,000 per month, or I'm sorry, 60,000 pounds per month at 720,000 pounds per year, not even a million pounds per year. So from the article, "According to Pento, it reduced payment processing from weeks to minutes for more than 400 of its UK customers." So the list of Pento deliverables for a company with 30 employees or less is long, plus you're reducing the payment processing for weeks to minutes and only for only 150 pounds a month. So I understand that companies create these three-tiered pricing systems with an almost free version, and then they try to entice customers to use their product. But it costs the organization money to expend so many resources on that specific product, even if it's said to be "automation." So they have to focus on actual products that drive organization toward profitability. So here's what I expect. I expect HiBob to restructure pricing. They'll just go ahead and consume everything that Pento was. They will redistribute in new form and they will actually make it profitable for the organization. They have a large portfolio of companies that are already using the platform. This is going to be a new service. This is what I think, and they will make it so it's actually profitable. Where in this case, what I'm seeing from Pento is this was bargain basement shit, and it came and bit them in the ass.

Joel: Yeah. I think the payroll business really sucks. Aside from background checks, it's a pretty shitty business that a few companies that are huge make margins on and make money on the paychecks of the world, the pay cores, etcetera. So like out of the gate, it's a really tough business. I mean, 400 companies using it with this kind of investment money is not a huge amount of customers.

Chad: No. They're not.

Joel: We don't know what size those customers are. Yeah. This was clearly a business that had, I guess the eight-ball in front of it from the get go. And when you look at HiBob, they probably needed this solution. It's one of the things that they don't have yet. It's probably something a few customers are asking for. They think they can move some people over. They can probably move quite a bit of the Pento folks over to HiBob the ones that are least the bigger companies.

Joel: So that's probably a good move if they can get like a 100 of those companies to become HiBob customers, that'd be a good thing. The other thing that I think we probably don't pay attention to or does have a huge impact, is the fact that HiBob is an Israeli company. And Israel is, if you haven't heard in a bit of a conflict within the region. And if you look at HiBob's employees, they are largely Jerusalem, Israel, like that area...

Chad: Tel Avivs.

Joel: And a lot of those people were probably brought into service because I don't know the specifics of it, but if you're an Israeli citizen and there's a conflict, like you get pulled into the Army in some way.

Chad: From reserves.

Joel: Shape or form... The reserve, you can speak to that more than I can, but HiBob potentially lost some employees for a while.

Chad: I bet This thing that they wanted to build was on the back burner. The one country they have the most sort of synergies with is the UK, in terms of employees office space. So the easy thing was like, where in the UK can we get this service we want to build? Where can we get some talent because our talent is busy or the things are going on, there's volatility. They don't have a footprint in the US yet like they want. So that wasn't an option to me. So my take on this is like, yes, we wanna build this. Our talent is strained as it is. Our resources are strained. Where can we go shopping to get people in a country we know and a service and solution that we need? And Pento to me was probably the perfect fit at, like you mentioned, the perfect price. The stars aligned and this deal was done.

Chad: Right. And Pento was a UK only organization. And I know the UK is a country, but it's one country in Europe. So again, I think we were talking, and again, this is my opinion, taking a look at the pricing models, monetization models, those types of things, the money they've taken, and then also their total adjustable market being the UK. And then understanding the size of the SME market there in the UK too. It just seemed like it was not born to succeed in the first place. And this is, if I have any message to startups out there is, if you are a technical founder, that is fucking awesome. But get somebody in, who understands marketing, get somebody in who understands business models from a revenue standpoint, because you can build the most gorgeous shit all day. But if you can't fricking sell it and make a profit, you're fucked.

Joel: Yeah. And I don't think you can discount the pressure that like Deal is putting on these businesses because people are looking at Deal's numbers and saying, we need to like, kick ourselves in the ass and get growing, or we're gonna fall behind the companies that are, that are doing it well. So I don't discount the pressure a company like Deal is putting on these businesses, either. All right, Chad it must be earning season. 'Cause we got some, we got some quarterly filings that happened. Recruit Holdings reported a 1.5% year on year decrease in revenue during the third quarter of '23, due to a contraction in hiring activities in the US and Europe. Revenue from the US decreased by 17.7% year over year. Total job postings on Indeed declined year over year in the US and many other countries where Indeed and Glassdoor operate, while job seeker activity as measured by traffic to, and applies on Indeed and Glassdoor increased year over year at DHI group, the owners of Dyson clearance jobs, they experienced a 6.2% year over year decline in fourth quarter revenue, primarily driven by a 12.5% decrease in revenue from Dice.

Chad: Ouch.

Joel: ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter releases next week, by the way. But wait, there's more, Chad.

SFX: Another one.

Joel: There's more. Randstad reported an 8.6% year over year drop in revenue blaming global economic uncertainty. US revenue for Randstad fell by 15% Canadian revenue by 11 and US staffing slash in-house services down by 17%. Monster revenue in case you're wondering. And I know that you were, was down 12%. So Chad, your take on the quarterly reports from some of our favorite companies.

Chad: Yeah, I think we were on a tech sugar rush and you know, I believe this is the impact that you're gonna see from the tech industry and job boards and really just across the board, to be quite frank. So Dice is obviously a pure play 1990s version job board that focuses on the tech side of the house. So we can't expect a hit from them. There's no question. I mean, there is no innovation there, there's nothing. But again, 1990s job board tech, so we can't expect any much more from them. So if we're reading the tea leaves right from the Indeed side of the house, they recently expended resources to create a tech network that makes me believe a good amount of their revenue is driven off the tech sector itself. Which would make sense because again, there's drops in revenues, when you're getting higher prices for clicks on tech jobs than the rest of the jobs that are out there.

Chad: And then you see it kind of like, not really fall off a cliff, but they, they come down not just from the amount of jobs technically, but also the price per click. That's a big, that's a big issue. So we were seeing a lot of these organizations, even Randstad, let's say, where they were really milking it. They were milking this tech sugar rush. So this was to be expected. Are they still gonna make a shit ton of cash? And the CEOs drive Maseratis and yachts, they're gonna be fine. Okay. But at the end of the day, this was, we saw a big tech sugar rush, and now they're just coming off the, the tech sugar rush.

Joel: There's a lot going on here. And the last time we talked about the quarterly earning season, it was similarly ugly for the job board space. And those were investment discussions that we had. But these are real numbers. Again, Randstad is in some serious decreases in numbers. So we have traffic going up, revenue going down. So that tells me that there's a lot of pricing pressure, particularly probably from the programmatic players from what I'm hearing. And anytime there's a middleman in business, it's a race to the bottom. And I think with programmatic, it's like, okay, where can I get the cheapest clicks possible? And it's just like this gradual race to how low can we go on those pricing. I also think that companies are getting better at looking at their current workforce. How do we upskill these folks?

Joel: How do we get them in the positions that we're looking for? I really do think that companies are getting the fact that we have people we need to do a better job of skilling them into new jobs. And I also think that companies are getting better about looking at their databases and figuring out how do we find people that were silver and bronze medalists six months ago?

Chad: It's about fucking time.

Joel: And bringing them in as employees, so we don't have to post a job and go through the whole hiring and, and interviewing process. I think companies are getting sort of used to the fact that LinkedIn is gonna be where we source some people. So before we post that job, let's look and see if we can find someone, on LinkedIn. And I think big picture wise, we're seeing data that's showing that the job hopping of the post pandemic world where everyone was getting a 25% increase in pay, that that is slowing down. So people are staying at the job longer. They're not jumping ship as quickly as they used to. And I think that's having an impact on companies not having to post jobs as much as they typically would. And ultimately the four horsemen and other things nipping at the heels of the job board space continue to to feed, if you will. We'll be right back.

Joel: All right, Chad some economy news. Can I interest you in some of that? The Biden administration announced a $5 billion investment to support research and development in advanced computer chips. Despite local efforts to address labor market concerns, the US semiconductor manufacturing industry faces challenges in attracting and retaining talent. The new initiative aims to reverse the industry's decline and boost domestic production of advanced semiconductors. But cool your jets, man, companies are struggling to adapt quickly enough to a convergence of tech generational turnover and things just moving too damn fast. Chad, to keep up with all these demands, about 44% of workers in a recent study have skills that are set to be disrupted in the next five years. Again, that's 44% that are gonna be disrupted. And about 60% of workers will require training in the next three years. This all seems bad to me, Chad, but what are your thoughts.

Chad: Well, first off, let's hit up the US government side of the house, which is doing exactly what it should regarding research and development and innovation, much like the US government and DARPA created the internet. Yeah. The US and DARPA did that kids, it's interesting that people everywhere forgot that the current velocity of today's technology can be pinned directly to the US government creating the internet, which not only help the US economy explode, but economies across the entire globe. So that's what a government's supposed to do. And that's exactly what's going on. Now, this leads to some of the bigger problems, which you talked about the skills gap, because we can have tons of great jobs, but if we don't have individuals with the skills to pay the bills, the jobs to design and produce and sales and customer service profits aren't gonna happen.

Chad: So yes, the linchpin for all of this to work is the American worker who has the skills to pay the bills. So this is on you talent acquisition. This is on you, not just focusing on your current talent acquisition opportunities and also talent management opportunities. You have to think out of the box and maybe even focus a little bit more heavily on training and pay money for that. But wait a minute, wait a minute. Here comes Uncle Joe to the rescue. The National Semiconductor Technology Center is being funded through the Chips and Science Act. The center will help to fund the design and prototyping of new chips. That's cool. In addition to what, what training workers for the sector, Uncle Joe companies say they need skilled workers in order to capitalize on a separate $39 billion being provided to the government or by the government, I'm sorry, to fund new and expanded computer plants.

Chad: So here's Uncle Joe to the rescue. The question is, oh, this is such a game. It drives me fucking crazy. It's like the government comes and bails out the organizations, which is exactly what's happening here. We're gonna spend money to train the people to do the shit that you should be doing. And then later we'll talk about overreach and we'll talk about how the government needs to stay out of our stuff. There's gotta be some type of balance that's happening here. Because every time the government comes into play, it seems like they're bailing you out. The companies who are making historic profits are getting bailed out.

Joel: I think that my take on this is, it's trying to speed up the clock. We have geopolitical issues with China. Taiwan is the major producer of a certain chip that the world needs to do all this AI stuff. And if Taiwan goes under for some reason, the free world is kind of in a pickle to say the least. So the government does what government does, they go, okay, China's a threat. If Taiwan goes away, we're in trouble. So let's pass a bill that says we're gonna fund companies setting up shops, setting up chip making, setting up technologies here in America, which is all good. Political fodder for people that love that stuff. We're gonna set up a warehouse or a building in Ohio and they're gonna love it. And companies are gonna get behind it and it's gonna be great PR and they're gonna get their picture in the local paper and people are gonna love it. And then they found out, oh, shit, we don't have people to do the jobs that we are paying the businesses to stay in the country. So the companies go to government and say, okay, well help us get people. Help us get like, what's going on. And unfortunately Taiwan was a source for early employees. It was like, let's get some visas to these Taiwanese.

Chad: Well it's 'cause they were cheap. That's why.

Joel: Get there first. And lo and behold, Taiwan, well, Taiwan has their own challenges to fill seats in these organizations. So it's like, okay, well we can just wait 20

years and fill the jobs that we have and deal... Well, we don't have that much time. So government, the good part of government is like, let's speed up the clock. Let's gin this thing up. Let's inject some cash and let's get people excited and energized around this initiative. The specifics, were pretty sparse. Exactly what are we gonna do? But dude, I'm all for the onshoring or reshoring of chips and technology and robotics and all that stuff. Because if we rely on China or places that are dangerous, like that puts us in a dangerous place. And I'm not down for that. So to me, this is a security issue more than it is like, let's bail out the banks or let's bail out the car companies. Like to me, this is a genuinely important issue in terms of the security of the country. I don't know how you feel, but like to me, this is 5 billion on our security, not 5 billion to bail out companies. And it's just wasteful.

Chad: But it totally is because when we take a look at when the pandemic happened, we had automakers, we had companies obviously who did, they had no contingencies in place at all. They had one place to get one part. And that part or that chip, they needed to run the entire system on a car or what have you. So we are actually doing business in an incredibly irresponsible way, although making a shit ton of cash that's going directly to the C-suite, going to the shareholders. So as we talk about economics and workforce economics, this is a pure bailout of irresponsible corporate dealings.

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

Joel: Speaking of crazy pills, Chad, they're back. Jobster. Yeah. I said Jobster, first made famous in the mid 2000s behind eccentric founder Jason Goldberg is back from the dead. The domain was sold around 2010 to a company called Zapoint, which is now a holding page for a WordPress blog, "about philosophy." Somewhere around 2018, Zapoint shut things down and it laid dormant until now, visitors at are met with the words, "welcome to Jobster, the world's first, first predictive job advertising platform open for early access registrations now." All signs seem to point to a new programmatic ad solution, but who the hell knows? Chad, what are your thoughts?

Chad: It feels like ghosts of Christmas passed here. Jobster at one time went through like, I don't know, 20 iterations of, of what it could be. But that's back in 2004 to 2008, the prior version of Jobster. Programmatic distribution, realtime bidding matching. I have no fucking clue. We'll see when it comes out. But I wanted to use this time for a little story time because we both have history with Jobster.

Joel: Come come along kids and hear a story from your grandpa.

Chad: 2004 to 2008 Jobster received about $54 million in funding. And that was a lot back then.

Joel: Which was massive back then.

Chad: No, that was a lot back then.

Joel: That was massive back then.

Chad: So after the 2006 raise of about $18 million, Jason Goldberg, the CEO called me one day, I was the VP of Direct Employers Association, and he was totally drunk on this new funding. I mean, he thought he owned the world, which I totally get. And he said, okay, Chad, there at Direct Employers Association, I wanna know how much it's gonna take to buy you. And I said, Jason, you can't buy us. We are a nonprofit consortium of and he didn't want to hear that. So he pulled the Karen, let me talk to your manager. So he wanted to talk to the executive director. And it was just funny that we're seeing what we've seen now, a lot of these companies who are now considered unicorns who are drunk on the cash, some of them are not doing so well. And we saw this back in 2007, 2008, and it's not just because the founder was all over the place. That was part of it. But it seems like when you don't have focus and you're not managing your money and you've got your burn rate through the fucking roof, shit's gonna go bad. And that's what happened at Jobster.

Joel: Everyone from that time period has a Goldberg story. I have many, but I will say that he was... So I was blogging at Cheesehead at the time. And you guys had me come down direct employers to your annual meeting, which is like in the basement of treasure Island, which were the good old days for sure. But Goldberg spoke and I said at the time, Hey, can I record you? And he is like, sure, no problem. So I had like this big Panasonic camera at the time.

Chad: A camcorder.

Joel: And I taped him. And this is his famous like Monster is NASCAR. Monster is a shit product. He like totally killed, killed Monster in his presentation. I had it all on tape. It's still out there. Actually, you can go to YouTube, I think, and search Jason Goldberg Monster is a crap product and see the video.

Joel: But my site traffic and my brand took a spike up into the right when I published that video. But yeah, the dude, he was a dick to employees. The alumni of the old Jobster are really successful now. To many degrees now.

Chad: Great talent.

Joel: Just learning about Jason, Jason is now peddling Web3 stuff at a company he founded called Airstack. He's still getting funding. It's very humorous. If you look at his LinkedIn profile, you know how if a company has a logo, it's on LinkedIn and the logo's there and then the company. And if it's no company or the company's like gone or whatever, there's just a building icon. Most of his things are the building icon because the companies that he founded and ran into the ground, don't have pages anymore.

Joel: So to present day here, I did a little bit of digging. This is a company owned in the Netherlands, apparently bought this thing. It's a group of three guys. They have sites like Jobbird, StudentJob they're behind a company called YoungCapital and a tech accelerator called Dash. But really we don't know a whole hell of a lot. We'll just have to watch how this thing plays out. My guess is these guys have no clue about the history of the domain that they purchased.

Chad: Oh no.

Joel: They probably got on a secondary market, said, oh, Jobster. That's kind of cool. That sounds good. And bought it and have no idea what kind of debt they're dealing with. But yeah, it'll be fun to see this thing come to life or not. I don't know. Netherlands maybe. Maybe they'll have some kibu on the site when you guys go to Netherlands.


Chad: Come to the e-recruitment Congress and let's sit down for a chat.

Joel: All right, Chad let's take a quick break from all this nostalgia. All right, Chad, are you ready to score? Ready to score big? All right. Neon Money Club.

Chad: I have no clue what that means.

Joel: Yeah. If you see a company called Neon Money Club hide your wallet and clutch your pearls. Anyway, they're a FinTech platform and they've launched a new dating app called Score, which requires users to have a credit score of at least 675, users will be able to apply for access. And those denied will be directed to resources to improve their financial literacy and credit scores. Well, that's nice of them. That's nice of them. The app is only available for a limited time and has received mixed reactions, as you can imagine due to its exclusionary nature with some viewing it as aspirational and others seeing it as perpetuating class divides. Neon Money Club has raised over $10 million in venture capital and is the first black-owned tech business to launch a credit card with AmEx. Chad, are you ready to score or is this thing an air ball?

Chad: So did I get this right. This is a dating app matching on credit score is that what I got?

Joel: You can only join if you have a certain credit score or above, which is 675.

Chad: Which is a dating app though, right?

Joel: Yes.

Chad: What's this saying about our society? I mean, we're a society that's in debt more than ever before. We're a society that some cases have to have two to three jobs just to make ends meet. And then we talk about Instagram and social media, which is bad for kids and their self-esteem. Now, newly minted adults who are deep in debt are being rated on something as arbitrary and bullshit as a credit score, as a means to tell whether you're gonna be a good mate or not. I mean I just don't understand how these ridiculous ideas get any money whatsoever. It's crazy. I mean, this is, I think an example. What is, there's so many things that are right about the entrepreneurial spirits in America. But then you think about what's wrong here it is. Here it is. Shit that should never, ever exist. Guess what? Here it is.

Joel: So it's not a new idea. Exclusionary. There's this, there's a dating site called The League, which is mostly Ivy League graduates sort of an upper cross now. You get on a waiting list with them and they approve you or not. Which tells me they're probably letting a lot of women in and like only guys that have Ivy Leagues and whatever.

Chad: Oh, of course. Yeah.

Joel: So look, it's no secret. Women are looking for a guy who is financially secure, cancel me or whatever. But like that is, that is something that women probably look for.

Chad: Dude, at 20. Were you financially secure? No fucking way. I wasn't either.

Joel: Let me finish my thoughts, man.

Chad: I wasn't either. [laughter]

Joel: Let me finish my thoughts. So yes. Like they're gonna exclude a lot of 20 somethings. For sure.

Chad: Not cool.

Joel: And maybe that's their goal. Maybe their goal is like, okay, all these young guys that are horny, they're gonna fail the test and we're gonna funnel them into our financial services funnel. Maybe that's it. And that's kind of like I mean a bit of an evil genius kind of thing, if you will.

Chad: Boner killer.

Joel: Boner killer. But look, dude, I mean, Tinder is built on what I look like, kind of my basic interests. And if there's a physical thing, then I'm gonna swipe right and see what happens. I can't imagine the... I mean you're getting... No one's gonna choose someone just because of their credit score. Like you can't be a troll. And have an 800 credit score.

Chad: I don't get it.

Joel: And like, pull chicks. Like that's just not how this shit works. So I don't know man. This is gonna be like there was an app called People back in the day where you could rate individuals like professionally. And it was like Yelp for People and everyone hated it and it didn't work. And now it's gone. I assume that dating by credit score is not going to be a thing. I just hope that Apple Podcasts never require a certain credit score for this show, because the money is funny and the credit, don't get it on Chad and Cheese. You know what I'm saying? We are out.

Outro: Thank you for listening to, what's it called, the podcast, with Chad, with Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting, they talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of shoutouts 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. Anywho. 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. It's so weird. We out.


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