iCIMS + Candidate.ID Activate!
Marketers make great bedfellows. Who knew? Candidate.ID and iCIMS, that's who. The boys dig into the hottest acquisition news of the week, plus review HackerRank's latest funding round. What else? Layoffs at a unicorn, a "GPS for your Career" and a job-related URL that commanded a six-figure price-tag. Say what? Lastly, porn star Bree Olson breaks down The Great Resignation like only a porn star can. Huzzah!
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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.
Oh yeah. Keep my co-host name out your fucking mouth. Whatever man. Bald jokes are always funny. Yo, it's the Chad and Cheese podcast. This is your co-host Joel "and the Oscar goes to" Cheeseman.
And this is Chad "I love me some universal health care" Sowash.
On this week, show Candidate ID gets a rousing applause. HackerRank makes it rain and porn star Brie Olsen finally helps us break down the great resignation, like only a porn star can let's do this. What happened, man? It's it's been an interesting morning for you.
Yeah, it's been an interesting morning. So my wife is incredibly beautiful, but she's also clumsy as she is beautiful. And so the roads here in Europe, aren't quite as OSHA certified.
Joel (1m 13s):
Yeah they're 3000 years old.
Chad (1m 16s):
Yeah. Right. I mean you've had the same issue, right? I mean, with some, with some lime scooters in Paris.
Joel (1m 21s):
Now, come on now.
Chad (1m 22s):
You're a little bit different. He had, Julie found herself smack dab on the bricks. And so we had to try out the universal health care. We were in and out within just over an hour. They did X-rays really everything. We came to the attendant after and we're like, Hey, where do we pay? And she's like, oh no, we don't need your money. And I'm like, okay?
Joel (1m 48s):
Okay. And, it only took an hour.
Chad (1m 50s):
Yeah. It only took an hour. It was in and out, dude.
Joel (1m 54s):
I think most Americans have a vision of like, you know, skeletons with cobwebs in the corner, you know, waiting to get seen by Dr. So that's very heartwarming that a an hour in, no money, no cast. I mean the x-ray was fine. Julie's okay. And you guys will be hitting happy hour right after the show. I assume so.
Chad (2m 15s):
Amen. Amen. But it won't be the kind of happy hour that Chris Rock had. Give me your take on this. Okay. Like what's your take on the smack? Did you think this was real? Was this bullshit? I mean, tell me about this.
Joel (2m 29s):
So I saw it live and, and I did think initially that it was fake.
Chad (2m 34s):
Yeah, me too!
Joel (2m 35s):
But then when they started muting out Will Smith and sorta everything got jumpy, I thought, oh shit, that wasn't supposed to happen. And then of course it came out that it was real and everything came out. So I have a lot of it. I have a lot to say about this. Most of it has already been said in endless memes and blog posts and podcasts. I won't go too much into it. My worldview as parent one teenager, one tweener and one, you know, toddler basically is I look at the world through their eyes and how they might view this incident. And to me from that point of view, it was just horrible because number one, violence is never, right.
Joel (3m 21s):
Unless it's self-defense. So you have that sort of, one of their heroes, right. Will smell, you know, someone that, that they look up to, or at least have, have enjoyed from that perspective. So not only, you know, was, is it now, you know, he assaults Chris Rock. Yeah. And instead of being like escorted out of the building, or, you know, he got to sit there, he got to get his award, he got to go upstage, he got a standing ovation. And then he partied at the Vanity Fair, you know, shindig for hours on end and got celebrated. So, so one, you know, violence is never the answer. And when it, when it happens, you shouldn't celebrate people that do it. All in all it is horrible.
Joel (4m 1s):
It was a bad look for, I think America, there was very little good about it. Although I do think that Chris Rock.
Chad (4m 12s):
Joel (4m 12s):
Deescalating of the occurrence and sort of, you know, turning the other cheek was admirable. And I think his stock is going to come out of this much higher than Will Smith's.
Chad (4m 23s):
That's my focus. My focus is how Chris Rock handled it. And that was the most mature of any adult in that room. So yeah, I think we should definitely focus on they're going to be assholes in the room. How do you handle them? Right. And that was very admirable. So yeah, I think we should definitely focus instead of all on Will Smith on Chris Rock and how he deals with it. Yep. Definitely team Rock. Excellent. And I'm team shout outs. So let's do that.
Joel (4m 52s):
All right. Shout out. So I'm going to double down on your Will Smith shout out. I'm going to give a shout out to Bruce Willis.
Chad (5m 0s):
Joel (5m 1s):
I don't know if you've read this being over in Europe and all, but he's been diagnosed with a disease called Aphasia, which I had never even heard of, but apparently alter speech and brain function. You string sentences together that have no sense whatsoever. And it's kinda hard to be an actor when you can't speak. So he is going to be retiring from the acting business. Clearly for you and I and our age group one of the most iconic actors, action stars. Heartthrobs for the ladies out there. I mean just a cool dude, Pulp fiction. One of my favorite movies. He's he's great.
Joel (5m 42s):
And all those. So shout out to him really sad, but he has left a great legacy. Pretty good. Particularly for people our age, who were super into movies in the eighties and nineties, and this guy's a rock star. So shout out to him, heart goes out to his family and hope that he lives a happy, healthy life for, for what's left.
Chad (6m 1s):
The best Bruce Willis movie Diehard, original Diehard. Can't beat it.
Joel (6m 6s):
Chad (6m 7s):
Amazing. Right? Another heartthrob that we're going to give a shout out to Anoop Gupta.
Joel (6m 15s):
There you go another heart throb alert.
Chad (6m 18s):
Nominated as a finalist for Geek Wire's C E O of the year, way to go Anoop.
Joel (6m 26s):
Chad (6m 27s):
And let me double down on that one. Quincy Valencia that's right. Kids, queen of the chatbots friend of the show. She is getting a big shout out for being listed as one of the top women in RPO for 2022. I'm going to tell you right now she is tops when it comes to RPO, when it comes to tech, when it comes to this industry, period.
Joel (6m 52s):
Did she get a gold chain for that, or a wrestling belt for that for winning that. Well, then it's bullshit. If she doesn't get any of those things.
Chad (7m 1s):
Joel (7m 1s):
Yeah. Shout out to business travel. This is from the Wall Street Journal it's back. Baby transactions are up significantly over the past nine weeks. According to SAP, Concor a travel and expense software providers, small and medium sized companies are driving much of the acceleration. The increase is driven by a host of factors. Workers are returned to the offices, sorry. Chad restrictions are dropping domestically and internationally the clients who want steered away from in-person meetings are once again, comfortable with face-to-face get togethers. And I, for one can't be happier.
Joel (7m 42s):
Business travel is back, baby.
Chad (7m 44s):
Yeah, it's all good in the business, travel hood, a big shout out to Jobvite's job seeker nation survey. I've got some points of information to share with you and the listeners out there. Great stuff. 45% of candidates are actively looking for a new job or plan to within the next year. So we keep talking about the great resignation. It's still happening kids they're planning for it to happen. 32% would quit a job without having another lined up. That was something you never did know back in the day, right? It's happening all the time right now, 30% have left the job within the first 90 days of starting 58% said, comp is the top factor in the decision-making process.
Chad (8m 37s):
63% of candidates who have interacted with a chat bot, believe they have improved the experience. Did you hear that? Chat bots have improved the experience and last but not least kids, 56% of candidates preferred text or SMS interview scheduling over an email or a phone call. Again, we keep talking about how tech can help you have a better experience. Fucking use it people come on.
Joel (9m 12s):
Speaking of tech, shout out to industry veterans, Sanjay Sathe, founder of RiseSmart. He's got a brand new bag, baby. Succeed Smart, which claims to democratize executive search, whatever the hell that means, has secured $6 million in seed funding. This week, I first met Sanjay back in 2007 ish or so. He was like a three person company in Dallas, Texas, when he was starting RiseSmart. So I wish wish him the best. He's a solid dude. A nice guy. Shout out to Sanjay and suck smart. I mean Succeed Smart, fucking auto correct. Anyway, shout out to Sanjay!
Chad (9m 51s):
Shout outs. All right. Events, baby!
Joel (9m 52s):
Events, baby. We're back on the road. Business travel is back. Where are we going?
Chad (9m 58s):
It's happening? And we're going to be in Belgium May 5th. So if you are in Europe, come on, get a flight. It's just a quick and easy hop. Come to Belgium, go to Erecruitment-congress.com. Check that out and not to mention, get your tickets for Unleash. We're going to be in Vegas, the latter part of May. And to tell you what we are, our schedule is starting to get really tight, really crazy, really hectic. Go to Chadcheese.com, click on events in the top right corner. See where we're going to be. Join us there. Register. Can't wait to see you.
Joel (10m 34s):
Let's have a drink. Have a drink with Chad and Cheese. And while you're there, go to free, get some free shit. By the way, I got to mention, we got shirts by Emissary. We got beer from Pillar and we have whiskey from our friends at Textkernel. When you're at Chadcheese.com after you click on the travel schedule, click free, submit your information. We'll get you some stuff potentially.
Chad (10m 59s):
Delivered to your front door.
Joel (11m 2s):
I think everyone on the list has gotten something at some point. And speaking of getting something. Birthdays, real excited about this one, Jeremy Cheeseman enjoys a birthday today.
Chad (11m 15s):
Joel (11m 17s):
Little man turns five. I think we we recorded our first show a week before he came, about a month early. So this show and my last child will be always connected at the hip, whether that's good or bad. Also celebrating a birthday is a fan, Megan Sharp. Dan Cheeseman, no relation whatsoever, at ZipRecruiter. James Holoman, Palo Barriga, Steve Levy. Mike Timkin no longer a member, he's retired, but he still listens to Chad and Cheese.
Chad (11m 54s):
Joel (11m 54s):
Geez. He knows what's up. Speaking of what's up Elin "Tengai" Martanzon friend on Sweden celebrates another birthday this month. Jessica Rush from Paradox. Hank Stringer from It's Big as well as a hire.com and Rachel Roberts all celebrate this week.
Chad (12m 24s):
Joel (12m 25s):
Have one on Chad and Cheese.
Chad (12m 29s):
Joel (12m 30s):
All right. Our first story, a little bit of news you might've caught a recruitment technology firm. iCIMs has acquired Candidate.id, a vendor of software that automates and personalizes recruitment marketing campaigns. The purchase price was not disclosed. Boo. Candidate IDs management and team of more than 20 people will continue to operate from their Glasgow, Scotland. As part of iCIMS Candidate ID founded in 2016, brings dozens of customers to the table. iCIMS has been on an acquisition spree in recent years, and we've talked about all of them. They've bought text recruiting solution, Text Recruit that's 2018.
Joel (13m 11s):
Recruitment cloud from Jibe 2019. Language processing firm and death match winner Opening.io that was putting money. iCIMS filed for an IPO in August. iCIMS boasts more than 4,000 customers, including 40% of the Fortune 100. Chad, good things happen to good people. Your thoughts.
Chad (13m 28s):
Damn straight. Well, I wanted to have Adam on the show, but you know how it is, he's going to have to be corporate now. So he's getting locked down. So I was like, okay, let me get one question. One question, Adam, why was iCIMS such a good fit for Candidate ID on this acquisition? So go ahead and roll that beautiful bean footage.
Joel (13m 52s):
Sure, so here's Adam Gordon.
Adam (13m 53s):
Well, there's really two answers to that, but the first one is great. So just over two years ago, we saw an announcement from iCIMS that they hired a new CEO and we thought that was quite interesting. But then when we noticed that that person had most recently been the CEO of Marchetto and sold it to Adobe, Scott, and I just thought that's going to be great for us, for anybody listening that doesn't know who Marketo is. It's one of the thoroughbred marketing automation platforms that B2B sales teams would use. And we were just delighted because we knew it was going to shine a spotlight on marketing technology, marketing automation technology within the TA world.
Adam (14m 35s):
And so, you know, we kind of, we kind of wondered whether iCIMS might go and build it. So in marketing automation technology, and if it did, we knew that was going to be good for us, but I mean, we didn't necessarily know this was the way it was going to go, but, you know, we're pretty happy with it. Then the second reason was we got to meet a whole bunch of other people in the business like Diane and Laura Coccaro and Mike Wilczak and Peter Modica, and Al Smith. And we, you know, from summer, last year, right through till now we liked every single one of them.
Adam (15m 17s):
And what we noticed was their vision for what they wanted to do. And what we knew we could do was absolutely aligned, completely aligned. And so then we looked at the customer base at iCIMS and we went, wow, big customer base, lots of in demand talent being hired in healthcare, in tech and business services. And so there was a really good overlap on that. And, you know, we just got to the point where we thought we've really proven this, we've got a good customer base, Candidate ID, but if we want to get to like a thousand customers, we need have described it as bigger wings. We need bigger wings, and there's not really bigger in TA technology than iCIMS.
Adam (15m 59s):
So, you know, the fit for us was really obvious.
Chad (16m 1s):
Really obvious. And in full transparency, I was an investor and advisor so there's going to be a little bias from this side of the mic. It was very interesting for us because we got to see Adam and Scott. I mean, really not back in 2015 when they first started, but early on Adam was on the show. He was also on death match he's on the show multiple times. So we got a chance to really, you know, become friends, right. And to be able to also know the people at iCIMS, you know, Mike Wilczak and the gang over there and then have the conversations around, wait a minute, Steve Lucas is a Marketo guy, Jesus Christ, man.
Chad (16m 41s):
This could be perfect. And it, and it actually ended up this way, who would have known that it ended up this way. I'm glad it did at the end of the day. That that to me is awesome, but think about it and let's get into the market real quick. Jobvite just released their new evolve platform that unified all their tech, including their marketing automation. And now iCIMS plucks the best Marketo for recruiting platform off the board. I think, and you tell me what you think? Is this a holy shit moment for Phenom and Beamery right now?
Joel (17m 17s):
I would say, so. We talk about the platform wars quite a bit, and it looks like those companies maybe need a bigger boat at this point, need to find a suitor. But I had four things that I wanted to focus on, on this. If you'll, if you'll humor me, please. My first reaction to this was a little bit of sadness, actually, because I knew the odds of someone we both liked so much personally, Adam was probably on his way out of the industry. Eventually like Aman Brar, Shane Gray, Eric Kostelnik and others. Adam is likely to get the hell out of Dodge. Once his contractual obligations are fulfilled. Time will tell on that, I guess we'll see.
Joel (17m 59s):
But I had initial sadness. Like, it will be sad if Adam leaves the industry. My second, was I love that Candidate ID took note of Marketo's former CEO taking over iCIMS as an open door to get a deal done. So often we talk about the buyer being the one who finds the deals, whether it's maybe through their marketplace or something else. And sometimes it's the acquired company that initiates a deal. So there's a lesson there for startups out there if you see a window open, like jumped through it as soon as possible, and use this as a guide. Third, I wonder how this plays into the iCIMS IPO, which feels a little stalled to me at this point.
Joel (18m 42s):
I appreciate that timing may be, isn't great to go public with the market crashing, global conflict, et cetera, but acquiring a business before the IPO is a bit odd to me. Anyway, time will tell on that and, we'll see, but, lastly, you mentioned that, or you touched on, it was the crowdfunding strategy that candidate ID chose is going to be, I think, a future trend that we're going to see more and more of, particularly as you see success stories like this one. I know you invested, obviously I think others like Tim Sackett industry, folks were able to get in on a company that they've read about that they've researched maybe that they're actually using or recommending to customers.
Joel (19m 22s):
And I think that's exciting to think that you don't have to be a venture capitalist or have a certain amount of income or have certain licenses to invest in these companies is really, really cool. Side note Paradox is investing arm, took a little piece of Candidate ID as well. So they had a nice little payday. I think crowdfunding is going to gain steam in light of the this deal. I've grabbed a small piece of ThisWay Global last year there on we fund. I think they still are more than anything just to learn how the process goes. And I'd like to ask you, you know, did you get a check immediately? Like, they used like a European platform, right?
Joel (20m 2s):
You can talk about that if you want, if not, that's no big deal, but I think that would be an interesting lesson for the audience who want to get involved in crowdfunding. So a lot of facets to this deal, and I think it just begs a lot of thoughtfulness about what it means for the future, as well as sort of how it impacts companies in the present.
Chad (20m 23s):
Short answer. Money's already in the account. Okay. If you take a look at this, I mean, Candidate ID only took $3 million, right? We talk about unicorns all the time, but I think the real stories, the real platforms that make this industry run are the workhorses and Candidate ID was one of those work horses. You know, we do talk about, and I'm gonna give, I'm gonna give some shit to Beamery and freedom, because they are the bigger, the bigger platforms that are out there right now. But originally, you know, their messaging was around trying to be really good at marketing automation. Again, trying to be that Marketo for recruiting and trying to bridge that gap.
Chad (21m 4s):
But after receiving tons of cash, tons of funding, they had to broaden up their product offering to justify a greater Tam for investors. And then they lost focus and they never, ever got an opportunity really to become that Marketo for recruiting, just because they took so much money. So when we talk about all of these unicorns, it's fun, don't get me wrong. It is fun, but we can't forget about these smaller organizations who didn't take a lot of money, or maybe they're still fucking bootstrapping, or they turn down money. Right? We talk about a Hire Easy. If you, a few months ago, there was a lot more money than I think it was $26 million there to take, but the CEO said, guess what?
Chad (21m 48s):
I don't want that dilution. So, it's really interesting to see the path that organizations take. And this is just a great success story for a great team.
Joel (21m 56s):
Yeah. It's not too little money that thanks companies, it's too much money, which is a great segue into our next news story, assuming you're done with a Candidate ID and ICIMS. So let's talk about HackerRank and holy shit, we got a unicorn alert possibly on this one, although it's not official. HackerRank, a coding challenged hiring platform announced a $60 million series D funding around bringing its total raise to $115 million. Investors included the Randstad innovation fund and Recruit Holdings, owner of Indeed and Glassdoor. Isn't that interesting? Vivek Ravisankar, which I probably did not say correctly, CEO of HackerRank said, quote, it's never been more critical to hire the right developer with the right skillset"
Joel (22m 44s):
end quote HackerRank reported It has more than 2,800 customers, including more than 25% of the fortune 100 and a community of 18 million developers. It is based in mountain View, California. This is exciting news for our buddy Vivek isn't it Chad?
Chad (22m 57s):
It sure is. And can you imagine how Vivek and the crew over at HackerRanks felt when they heard Stack Overflow was pulling out of the jobs and talent market? Right. So, I mean, so think of this now Stack Overflow's exit in this market is going to create a vacuum that now HackerRank with this money can fill and that's now that's their job, right? They've got to take a look at what the market that Stack was going to have. They've got to fill that before somebody else does. So it's time to go aggressive and take hold of becoming the alpha male in the market that right now doesn't really have a dominant alpha, right?
Chad (23m 37s):
There are a ton of different organizations, a ton of different platforms, but there's no real alpha per se. And we all thought that GitHub was going to be a much bigger player after the acquisition, by Microsoft. And then obviously coupling strategies, not tech, but coupling strategies with LinkedIn, but that didn't happen either. So the pole position is there to be had, and hopefully Vivek and HackerRank can grab it.
Joel (24m 4s):
Yeah. And it's a great contrast to the Beamerys and the Phenoms of the world in terms of money raised, and time to do that. So HackerRank has been around for a long time. It was founded back in '09.
Chad (24m 19s):
Joel (24m 19s):
And up until now, they've been very conservative with the fundraising. This company has never felt like a flip. It's never, it's never felt like a get big and go, you know, go hard and then sell. And it's always felt like a community and not as much of a corporate entity. And I think that's just sort of the organic nature of how it's grown at this point. The number of potential buyers is dwindling. When you start raising this much money, remember Microsoft acquiring GitHub in 2018 for $7.5 billion. So I'm wondering if now HackerRank is eyeing an IPO? Which I really hope they pursue.
Joel (24m 59s):
I'm frankly, tired of monitoring Dice. Let's get HackerRank on the public markets and show a DAX and Zip, how it's done. I'll add that. GitHub is facing some community backlash. You can Google it if you're interested, but that could also be driving HackerRanks interest in sort of staying solo and not selling to a big Goliath. So I, as well as I think you are rooting for HackerRank and I would love to see them go public on their own and let the cards fall where they may. I think they'd have a lot of success based on what they do, which is fantastic work. And they've been doing it for a long time.
Chad (25m 36s):
Yeah, I agree. And definitely go onto Google and search Chadcheese and Vivek and HackerRank. We actually interviewed him a couple of years ago. Great guy, great guy. And one of the things he said that I thought was incredibly poignant was there are enough developers out there. We keep saying that there's a lack of developers. He totally called bullshit on that said there are enough developers, if you are looking remote and now, and this was before the pandemic, right? Guess what? Everybody's fucking remote. So, I mean, he was fashion forward. No question.
Joel (26m 12s):
We love us some good bullshit callers. Don't we Chad? Well, let's take a quick break and pay some bills and we'll talk about more startups and money and stuff. And we're back
Chad (26m 21s):
Back on the rise or not so much.
Joel (26m 23s):
There's gotta be a bad joke in there somewhere. A bad dad joke. All right, let's talk about Workrise a little less than a year ago. Austin start-up Workrise also known as RigUp, which has grown by linking businesses in the energy sector with needed workers raised $300 million. That was just a year ago Chad, in new funding this week, the company announced it is laying off some employees. The news comes less than a year after the company touted a pre-funding valuation of $2.9 billion.
Chad (26m 59s):
Joel (26m 60s):
Executives couldn't immediately be reached for details on how many employees were impacted, but commenters on glass door and blind estimated layoffs will be in the hundreds. Chad, what do you make of this news?
Chad (27m 9s):
Unicorn down. Unicorn down. Like I said, you know, it's not all about the money, right? A lot of it has to do with go to market. It has to be on around understanding the markets. They talk about in very vague terms, verticals, shutting down verticals that are obviously underperforming. What fucking verticals are you talking about in the energy market? You know, there are some that obviously we want to try to get away from coal and petroleum, but I mean, where? What other verticals right? To me, this feels like a diversion. It's weird. It really is. I don't think it seems more like mismanagement than it does anything else, because this is when they should be fucking booming.
Joel (27m 54s):
Chad (27m 55s):
I don't know. But in a letter to employees procured by our friends over at the Aim Group so way to go aim group, the letter said, quote, "we will immediately right-size parts of our business and divert from others. We've signed buyers for one of our businesses and are exploring sales for the rest" close quote. So again, what the fuck is going on? Are you selling them off? Are you shutting them down? Again it seems like a diversion. We don't know what's really going on there.
Joel (28m 25s):
Yeah, I agree. This one's a hard one to break down because we don't know how the company is pivoting right there. They haven't been very transparent on that. You know, thanks to Russia jobs and energy and opportunities should be smoking hot right now. This should be a shit hot company. I have a hard time thinking that they're just ignoring that opportunity. Also wonder how the air ball that was the build back better initiative at the federal government level. Hasn't had a negative impact on companies like Workrise. Big federal checks mean a lot of opportunity and job postings, which isn't going to happen because that legislation got voted down.
Joel (29m 8s):
When you're valued at almost $3.3 billion, the rope gets really short and the room for error shrinks significantly. I'll say it again. Companies don't fail because they take too little money. They fail because they take too much money in. This might be in full effect with Workrise. The question going forward to me is this. Is Workrise, a Canary in the coal mine for all the unicorns we've been highlighting for the past 24 months? I say yes, but only time will tell Chad.
Chad (29m 40s):
I think it is the Canary in the coal mine for all of those organizations who literally have no focus and discipline. And that's hard unless you actually break down and understand their go to market. If you, if you can better understand that, then you can see where especially a startup's going to go awry, right? When they're going to go into his tail spin and they're going to fucking nose dive. That's the hard part though, to be able to actually get in. And, you know, as an advisor, in some cases, I get a chance to actually peak my nose in and see some of those things. And you do as well in this case. Is it good to market? Is it leadership? I mean, I can't see where it would be anything else because this is a shit hot market, but for the rest of the unicorns, I mean, they should, they should definitely be scared and they should be taking notes.
Joel (30m 27s):
Yeah. I mean, on a macro level, when you see, you know, Zoom and DoorDash, fill in whatever high flying COVID inspired stocks that you can think of are all down 40, 50, 60%. If you don't think that's impacting our industry, although these aren't public companies, you're dead wrong. And a lot of investors are looking at these. You're going to see a lot of down rounds. You're going to see a lot of layoffs. You're going to see a lot of bad news. I think coming out of these companies. And we'll be happy to talk about it here on the show. And speaking of happy about talking about it, let's get into FutureFit. It's a GPS for your career.
Joel (31m 8s):
Chad, FutureFit AI, a New York city-based AI powered career navigation platform provider has closed on a first funding round of $4.5 million. The investment was co-led by JP Morgan Chase and Acumen America. FutureFit AI says it is the market leader as the navigation layer of workforce development, seamlessly connecting multiple stakeholders and solutions in one comprehensive user journey. The platform uses "advanced labor market data and ethical machine learning algorithms to identify an individual’s ‘starting point’ in the labor market, recommend best fit career path ‘destinations’, and build a personalized roadmap of learning, resources, and work opportunities to successfully guide them from point A to point B."
Joel (31m 52s):
Chad, are you feeling FutureFit or is this one a little too baggy for your Baby Gap like frame?
Chad (31m 59s):
So this is a perfect example of what we were just talking about around discipline. These guys need to pick a fucking lane for God's sakes. They only have $5.5 million in total. Crunchbase is missing a million for some reason. They don't know whether to focus on users, corporate or government, right? And they're not big enough to be able to go after all of them. If you're trying to go after transactional. And you're trying to get everybody to actually download this fucking thing and use it for career track the GPS for your career, that is an entirely different model than going after talent acquisition. Right? And they have a very, very, very light touch on talent acquisition. I am kind of like all the talent management pieces on their website.
Chad (32m 42s):
So, I mean, again, they need to pick a fucking lane. These guys are way too early and way too small to be this broad in this fucking nebulous. This is the perfect example of what you shouldn't be doing as a startup.
Joel (32m 57s):
Sounds like a sell from you, Chad. I don't know. Sounds like a sell. I man, I hate companies like this GPS for your career, like fuck off. Give me a break.
Chad (33m 11s):
Tinder for your career.
Joel (33m 12s):
It feels predatory to me, like a resume writing service or the Ladders or Job Box. It's vaporware to help employers feel good about themselves for thinking they're actually helping their workforce. There's no transparency around the pricing of this shit or what, the product actually is. You got to sign up for a demo for everything they throw around big logos. Like, you know, they're the shit. They say they've been featured in the Economist, really the Economist, but I can't Google any proof that they've ever been in the Economist. I hate these kinds of companies and I'm a huge sell on it. And I'll echo your sentiments like future fuck fit, man. Fuck them. All right, let's move on.
Joel (33m 53s):
Let's not give any more oxygen please to FutureFit. Let's give it to cybersecurityjobs.com. All right. This is, from our friend of the podcast, Chris Russell, the mad scientist of recording technology. He says, quote "is a keyword based job domain for an industry niche worth $200,000." Well, the new owner of cybersecurity jobs.com thinks so. They just purchased it at auction via Sedo. The sale is the biggest jobs related domain purchase in quite a while. Niche domains like this, don't usually sell for six figures.
Joel (34m 32s):
Chad, what do you make of this "investment"? And I put "investment" in air quotes.
Chad (34m 38s):
So 2007 called and they want their exact match domain marketing back. That's exactly what I think. They're already way behind players like HackerRank and a domain won't fix that. Right? So this to me feels like pets.com. The, you know, the.com bubble, which is preparing to bust. There's way too much money being flushed into this market for stupid shit. Like a domain that is, I think what seven syllables. This is fucking ridiculous.
Joel (35m 8s):
Seven. I never thought of it as number of syllables anyway. So a quick history of URLs for the kids out there, there was a time when really only the.com mattered. So if you could, if you could acquire that good, good for you. There was a time when the SEO benefits of an exact match or exact key phrase domain was a good thing. You actually ranked well, when you owned Toledojobs.com. Those days are gone because Google has said, it's not that big a deal. Sometimes it still works, but it's not a slam dunk like it used to be right. And type in traffic used to be a real thing. People actually used to put in what they were searching for.