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iCIMS CEO Abruptly Steps Down



This week was all over the map. After less than a year on the job, iCIMS' CEO is stepping down in a rather unexpected way, the EEOC settled its first AI-based hiring discrimination case, Recruiter.com sold some IP to Job Mobz (who?), college degrees lose more luster, tech jobs remain strong after layoffs from Big Tech throughout 2023 and chatbots continue to have their fans, as well as their detractors. Oh, and robotaxis are invading San Francisco. The summer may be starting to wind down, but the recruiting news remains red hot! Enjoy, Like and Share!


TRASNCRIPTION SPONSORED BY:


Intro: Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion, and loads of snark, buckle up boys and girls, it's time for the Chad and Cheese Podcast.


[music]


Joel: Oh, yeah. It's National Bad Poetry Day. There once was a man from Nantucket. I'll let you guys google the rest of that one. Are you listening? Yes. You are listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. This is your co-host, Joel Edgar Allen Cheesman.


Chad: And this is Chad "The sugar rushes over" Sowash.


Joel: And on this week's show, iCIMS CEO says, see ya. The EEOC chalks up a win against AI and college degrees. We don't need no stinking college degrees. Let's do this. What's up, man?


Chad: What is up?


Joel: That's your Buckeyes jersey on.


Chad: Yes. I'm so excited.


Joel: For those of you watching on YouTube can see that.


Chad: That's right.


Joel: If you haven't checked us out on YouTube, please do so.


Chad: Come on.


[chuckle]


Joel: Youtube.com/@chadcheese.


Chad: Yes. I'm pretty stoked. Couple of things though. I think right out of the gate you wanted to throw some love out to Maui in Hawaii.


Joel: Yes. It would behoove us to mention the fires in Maui. My first marriage was in Maui, so there is a certain place in my heart for the island. But just the visuals and the stories are just horrible.


Chad: Yeah. It's crazy.


Joel: If you can, there are a lot of donation platforms and charities that are helping out Maui. If you can, go on the web search some causes that you're in favor of, and... Yes.


Chad: Find a reputable charity and get some cash to them. Get some clothes to them, get to whatever you can. I think that's the key.


Joel: Stay away from the scams on, I don't know, Twitter.


[laughter]


Chad: X.


Joel: Don't go to an ad handle and give money.


[laughter]


Chad: Oh, Jesus Christ. Don't do that. Don't do that.


Joel: So speaking of football...


Chad: Yes.


Joel: You're in your football jersey and football is right around the corner, but we have some Women's World Cup that's going down. We got Spain and England. Two traditional powerhouses. I'm assuming with your Portuguese heritage...


[laughter]


Joel: And real estate empire, that you're leaning Spain or is there a rivalry there that you hate Spain? I don't know.


Chad: No, I, definitely, I love Spain. I go to La Liga games when I'm there, so, the Spanish women look great. The Brits are having some injury issues, as we said, in the green room. And I would love to see Spain win. That would be pretty great. Portuguese not too fond of the Spanish, but I think they would rather see Spain win than England. England is kind of the US, the Mini America over in Europe. So if anybody's hated the most in Europe, I'm gonna go ahead and say it's probably the UK.


Joel: Okay. Followed by probably the Danes or somebody, the Swedes, I don't know. I don't know.


Chad: [laughter] And you're gonna follow along because you've only been on the Brit train.


Joel: Hey, 64% ancestry.com can't be wrong. I got to root for the lionesses.


[laughter]


Joel: Lioness. I don't know what the...


Chad: I just want to see a great match. And there's been some pretty great matches, so can't wait.


Joel: And Messi keeps tearing it up. That dude may officially bring soccer to the US.


Chad: He's gonna prove you wrong. 'Cause you said there was no way that...


Joel: No.


Chad: Even Messi can bring... And and I think that like back in the Beckham days, there's kind of like been this nudge of soccer in the US where it's gotten more popular, it's gotten more popular, it's gotten more popular. And now we can watch Premier League all on TV where we couldn't back then. La Liga and even Bundesliga which I love watching all that. So, I think that it's a lot more popular. And then you got the goat. This guy is the greatest of all time. There's no fucking, and he just is. He's here in the US. He is lighting things up, and he is filling fucking stadiums. And that to me is just amazing.


Joel: Yeah he is. You've seen Billy Madison, Adam Sandler when it, what is it? Dodgeball?


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: Or he's just destroying.


[laughter]


Joel: That's basically what it looks like. The friendlies that are played when Man U comes over, or Chelsea, I think that's cool. And apparently the demand is so high on Apple that there's rumors of Apple buying ESPN because there's so much appetite for the soccer that's on Apple TV. So anyway, that's...


Chad: Amazing.


Joel: That's rumors that that I'm hearing on CNBC.


[laughter]


SFX: Shout out.


Joel: Let's get to some shout outs, shall we? We gotta a lot of content to cover on this week's show. So I'm gonna give a shout out to Robotaxis in California. If you haven't heard, California regulators have voted in favor of Robotaxi operators expanding their paid driverless services in the city of San Francisco, a major milestone toward commercializing the technology. You can guess what happened next, Chad? Just one day after the vote, driverless vehicles brought traffic in parts of San Francisco to a standstill. A group of around 10 Robotaxis stopped in the middle of a city street for about 15 minutes with their hazard lights on, while cars, with human drivers were stuck behind and between driverless ones with no option but to wait until the situation resolved. Robotaxi company crews blame the issue on "wireless bandwidth constraints" due to a nearby music festival. So things are off to a great start. Shout out to Robotaxis in beautiful San Francisco.


Chad: Oh, love that. Oof. My first shout out's gonna be somewhat of a rant. Okay?


Joel: Okay. I like these. It's been a while. It's been a while. Get it out, baby.


Chad: It has, it has. Shout out to all the people saying the market is down and tightening up. Okay. So, we've both heard this, we've heard this. We've heard it on TV shows, on podcasts, even on fucking calls that we've both been on. Okay. Kids listen up. The market was fucking flooded with ridiculous amounts of cash for years, and that was not normal. We saw an amazing amount of startups created. Yes. Unicorns fed with mountains of cash. Yes. Tams exploded. Vaporware narratives grew all across this fine land, that wasn't normal. What we're feeling today, this is normal. And because of that sugar rush as we predicted for years on this very show...


Chad: We're gonna see consolidations, dead unicorns, and a vast amount of startups that were just gonna quickly fade away. But this is great news, that companies who aren't solving real problems are just vaporware or overhyped platforms and horrible go-to-markets that we've seen left and right. Well, they won't be around long because only the incredibly well-disciplined are going to survive. So, the market has been noisy and crowded, but on the positive side, we're gonna get a much better market full of products that are more honed, more focused, and just better for the end user. So, shout out to all of those startups out there who are honing those skills and they're not spending cash like drunken sailors.


Joel: And we will continue with the fun-filled layoff reports every week when the shit hits the fan.


[laughter]


SFX: Hasn't anyone noticed this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!


Chad: There'll be fade away reports, much like JUNECO. They're still not back.


Joel: Fade away acquisition. Yeah.


Chad: Juneco.co, yeah, Jesus!


Joel: Okay, Chad, sometimes you wanna just get in that DeLorean and go back to the future and make new decisions or different choices...


Chad: Really?


Joel: From days in the past. And if we could go back to 2005 in our own industry, Chad, I bet Monster and Crew Builder might've thought twice about letting their content go freely to Indeed for that heroin drip of traffic.


[laughter]


Joel: Well, fast forward to today, we see where Indeed is, now we see where Monster and Career Builder are.


Chad: Exactly. Yes.


Joel: The media, and particularly journalism, is in a similar situation. Back in the same timeframe, they had Google sharing their stuff freely on Google. Well, Google made buckets of cash. New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, etcetera, faded into the...


Chad: Abyss.


[laughter]


Joel: Afterglow of big profits. Yes, well, apparently they've learned their lesson, Chad. My shout out goes out to the New York Times. This week it was reported that they are basically blocking AI. So, open AI companies that are using their content to build large language models, well, that's a threat to New York Times. Hopefully they've learned their lesson, they've blocked their content from those services. I'm sure they would give it up for a fee though, Chad, and I'm sure it's a fee that Google's barred, or Microsoft, who's an investor in open AI, would freely write some cheques to get access to the New York Times content. Shout out to them. And if you're a New York Times shareholder, that's probably good news too in the long run. Shout out to the New York Times.


Chad: Yes, and if you haven't heard of Google's Gemini project, that is beyond barred. So, go check that out. And that project won't be getting New York Times as well.


Chad: What's it called again?


Chad: Gemini.


[laughter]


Chad: Which you and I are both Geminis.


Joel: From both Geminis, yes, we should know, we should know.


Chad: So, I created an office hours session on my calendar a couple of years ago, so that startups who reach out looking for advice could get 30 minutes with me. So, I dedicated about five hours a week to those sessions. And in the last three months, requests have gone crazy. They've exploded on my calendar. So, I wanted to give a shout out to all the eager startups out there who are digging in, they're hyper-focused, they're looking for advice, they're looking for answers. If it takes a few weeks for me to get back with you, my apologies, but I will get back with you. Or in the meantime, soak up these weekly episodes, kids.


SFX: All right, all right, all right.


Joel: How am I just now hearing about your open office hours? Like, can you sign up at chadcheese.com? Do I need to DM you, like what?


Chad: I didn't make it something that was public as of yet, because I had so many startups just naturally coming to me. LinkedIn, Twitter, I mean, wherever they could find me, they would message me. And I automatically had just a link set up to office hours. And it would be nice and easy. So, it gave me an opportunity to meet some of the new startups that are out there, get some ideas of what was going on, those types of things, and give them at least a little nugget of advice before they came on firing squad, possibly, and got shot to shit.


Joel: Okay. And this is free of charge to them?


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: All right, well, if you were flooded before...


[laughter]


Joel: We've just talked about it on the show. I'm sure the calls will stop after we talk about this one. All right, let's get free shirt.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: Which also is free of charge here on the show, thanks to our generous sponsors. If you haven't signed up, you gotta go to chadcheese.com. Our listeners know this. Click the free link, give us your information. We're talking free T-shirts, really soft plush, top 100% grade T-shirts, yeah.


Chad: Tri-blend, yeah.


Joel: Tri-blend, yeah, really nice T-shirts from our friends at JobGet. We've got Bourbon. Chad and I each select a Bourbon of choice and we send it to you. That's from our friends at Texkernel. The winner of this month for whiskey goes to Cody Nelson. We've got beer from our friends at Aspen Tech Labs. Listener Eddie O'Neill is enjoying some free beer on us this month.


Chad: Nice.


Joel: And Rum has partnered with us. They want to send a birthday each month, a very nice bottle of Rum. Rum with plum. Get it, Chad?


Chad: I get it. That is nice. Awesome.


Joel: That's what we do here. We market shit on the show, Chad.


[laughter]


Joel: But you can't win if you don't play the game. And you gotta go to chadcheese.com. Click that free link and give us your information for a chance at all these wonderful goodies.


Chad: And did you see Chris Cleland gave us a shout out on LinkedIn after taking the plum assessment. 'Cause we always throw out there, if you haven't had your plum assessment, it's free. It's kinda cool. Gives you a little insights on yourself. Apparently he got his plum assessment and he says it was spot on. So all you have to do is go to plum.io. Check that bad boy out.


Joel: There you go. You mentioned plum. Plum is... We'll get to travel. I don't know if you want to jump to that yet. Oh, the shaker hat's coming on. Again, our YouTube viewers know about this. All right. Let's start breaking down our travels coming up, Chad.


Chad: Oh, kids. We are four weeks out from Wreckfest. I'm starting to get the shivers right now.


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: Where the Chad and Cheese will be MCing the disrupt stage all day on day one at Bicentennial Park in Nashville, Tennessee with special guests Lynn and Tracy from the Talent Rebel cast and those crazy Canucks Serge and Shelly from the recruitment Lex Podcast.


SFX: Hey, we're doing our movie don't Wreck our show you loser.


[laughter]


Chad: They're gonna wreck our show. I guarantee it.


Joel: Yeah. They're gonna wreck our show.


Chad: If you haven't been to Wreckfest before, Joel, what is Wreckfest like?


Joel: Wreckfest, it's the first time in America. We know the show very well in England. I'm guessing the Brits are bringing the game that they have in Medworth to Nashville. We're talking circus tents, we're talking Ferris wheels.


[laughter]


Joel: I'm still lobbying for the mechanical bull.


Chad: No, they're having a mechanical bull.


Joel: Oh. Okay. All right.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: See, this is a conference that listens to the fans.


Chad: They do, they do. Yeah.


Joel: And they listen and they follow through. So, mechanical bulls, tents, great food, I'm assuming some food trucks will be there with some great, oh, Nashville hot chicken, I'm hoping, I'm hoping, Chad, Nashville hot chicken, some barbecue, I'm sure, good, good stuff. But, Chad, every good party needs a damn good pre-party. Is there one in town? Have you heard?


Chad: So, the Chad and Cheese want to ensure that Wreckfest starts out with a bang, a bang bang, if you will.


[music]


SFX: Bang bang! On the score, David! Bang bang! You're what? Tin roof! Rusted!


Joel: Nice. What's that about?


Chad: Most people don't even know what that tin roof rusted means. You should look it up.


Joel: Without the kids.


Chad: Anyway on September 12th from 7:00-9:00 we're gonna be at the Tin Roof a bar right on Broadway that's where everything happens kids. Where 50 lucky listeners that's five zero lucky listeners...


Joel: That's exclusive.


Chad: Will get to enjoy free drinks, free food, Nashville music and a little up close and personal time with the Chad and Cheese. None of these...


SFX: All right, all right, all right.


Chad: None of these kids would be possible without our friends over at Aaron app and plum.io.


Joel: Yes. Yes.


Chad: Are you feeling the pre-FOMO yet?


Joel: I am feeling, I'm feeling it.


[laughter]


Joel: And I... Chad, the rumor is Nashville hot chicken lollipops. Oh my god.


[laughter]


Joel: Oh my god, are you kidding me? Can you say...


Chad: Chicken on a stick.


Intro: Can you say careless whisper to my belly Chad?


[laughter]


[music]


Joel: Nashville Hot Chicken Lollipops. And we're not talking about just beer and wine Chad.


Chad: No, what?


Joel: No no, no that's that's not how we roll baby. We're talking whiskey. We're talking bourbon, whiskey.


Chad: Top Scotch baby.


Joel: Scotch, Irish.


[laughter]


Joel: Yeah, Buffalo trace like Everything you're gonna be happy at this party Chad. It's not even live yet If you're listening and you're a big fan, you're gonna be in Nashville. Hit Chad and I up on the DMs. We'll see if we can fit you in on that Evite.


Chad: No promises.


Joel: Evite list, and get you in this party. But it's gonna be a awesome time on Broadway. Just the right start to the party just to get your beak wet.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: Get your beak wet. Get your mind right. And, it's gonna be a hell of a time. And like Chad said, great sponsors with Aaron and Plum footing the bill for the good time.


Chad: Yes.


SFX: Woo. Really. It's birthday time. Can you feel the tension in the air right now. [laughter] I know I can. I can feel it all the way down in my plums.


Joel: Talk of Plum, man, I can't stay away from the soundbites.


Chad: Gotta do it. You gotta do it.


Joel: So another trip around the sun for some of our listeners, that includes Sean Kelleher, Brian Thompson, who you might remember. We met couple Canadians.


Chad: Oh yeah, Rectxt.


Joel: The last time we were both in Nashville and we had some, see. Yep. Had some hot chicken.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: Learned about Rectxt and, met a couple crazy Canadians Brad and Brian happy birthday to Brian Thompson also Marley Huckabee, Pete Cucci, Alex Campo, Julie Personius, Brittany Kaiser, Chris long, Stephen Fogarty, Richard Cho and Jerry the Godfather Crispin.


SFX: Happy birthday.


Joel: All celebrating another trip around the sun.


Chad: Sean Kelleher and I actually, we're together 18 year olds down in Panama together. We were in the Army together back in the day.


Joel: That Sean?


Chad: Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. Big shout out to Sean. Happy birthday buddy.


Joel: Okay. I love it. So you have a football jersey on, I got my FactoryFix t-shirt on Chad. We gotta talk about fantasy football. One of my favorite things each year.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: We get 12 guys together. We play fantasy football.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: Every week we're gonna do the power rankings. What do you call it in soccer? The something board.


Chad: The league table?


Joel: Yeah. The league table. We'll read the league table.


Chad: The tables.


Joel: Yeah. [laughter] The tables. But I can't wait. I love fantasy football. I love football. So, shout out to FactoryFix wearing my t-shirt.


Chad: Yes.


Joel: Maybe we can get some t-shirts for everyone in the league this year. Everyone that's signed up, stay tuned on that one. But always, always excited for a little fantasy football with my real football.


Chad: Exactly. A couple of real quick events. We've got GEMS 2023 Virtual Talent Summit that's happening September 20th. And we're going to be at HR Tech Mandalay Bay, October. Joel and I are going to be in the Fuel50 booth. Two days.


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: Two days in a row, right? Probably you might be able to come over get some beer from us. I don't know. We gotta sneak it past the guards. Anyway, all of these wonderful events that we're going to go to Chadcheese.com/events or just go to Chadcheese.com, click events in the upper right-hand corner, and register baby. Love to see you there.


[music]


SFX: Topics.


Joel: People are gonna hate us for this episode. All right. But we got some good blood in the streets for the first story everybody. All right. November of last year iCIMS announced Brian Provost would lead the company replacing CEO Steve Lucas who had been CEO since 2020 if my math is right that's less than a year. For the latest CEO Chad with no official announcement yet. Details are sparse. But Chad what's your take and what have you heard about this news out of iCIMS?


Chad: I literally just received an official announcement and then we'll talk a little bit about kinda like the impact on this bad boy. So this is from iCIMS. Brian Provost has resigned from his position as CEO of iCIMS a decision that he made for personal reasons. A search is underway for a new CEO, who can help pave the way for our next phase of growth and innovation. There's a lot more but that pretty much contextualizes what happened. This was not designed kids. Right out of the gate, we had people pinging us saying, "Oh look what happened. They must be down. They kicked him out already." Literally, I think it was Monday morning or Monday or Tuesday morning. It was early this week. I got on the phone with Pr. This person was on vacation. She had no clue. And this is not how iCIMS works. This is not how Vista works. If something's happening and it's designed then there will be this smart rollout. This was not, they were shocked. They did not know what happened. So I don't know what's happening. Hopefully that Brian and his family are okay. Again hopefully everybody's okay. But this is not something that was designed.


Joel: Yeah. We have some audio from the investor meeting following this announcement.


SFX: No, God, please. No no no.


SFX: So little backstory. ICIMS was owned by the same guy for a long time, got a big investment and they brought a new CEO and the idea was IPO just rolled this baby out. Then the pandemic happened and then inflation happened and the market shit dumped happened. So Lucas who was there for three years, guy was at Marketo, like had the marketing chops to kind of take this thing to the next level. He left last year. Brian came in, who had sold a previous company called Ascentis to UKG. And I had opined at the time...


[laughter]


Joel: And our prediction show said iCIMS will sell to UKG. 'Cause if you wanna sell, if you can't go IPO, sell the company to a big dog like UKG. And how what better way to do that than to have the guy that's already sold something to that company.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: So.


Chad: Yeah, connections.


Joel: Personal health family well-being aside, that's a different story but as it is, how I see this is, Brian got in there they weren't gonna go IPO for probably one to two years. Didn't wanna wait around, talked to UKG, talked to some other buyers I'm sure and realize this is not happening and if I can't sell this thing, if I'm not cashing out an IPO then why stick around? And thus the exit. It is very odd that people were blindsided by this, that there wasn't a sort of lights runway someone to come in. As soon as he was out, it looks like the lights were on and no one was home. And there's push the panic button. But this is not good news for iCIMS. I'm sure we'll get more information as it trickles out but just on the surface, this looks bad for everybody.


Chad: I don't think it happened the way that you think it did. I don't think he was looking at IPO, I don't think he was looking at sale and everything was souring. I don't think it had anything to do with that. Because if it did, as a professional which he is, he would've backed out, they would've had a designed rollout of him leaving. And they would've had somebody to backfill ASAP. So I think this is something that's, I don't wanna say a more akin to an emergency. But you don't have somebody pull out and eject from an organization like this. I mean that's just the most unprofessional thing to do in the world. But if it's family, which is much more important than business or it is your personal health, which is again more important than business then you hit that fucking eject button.


Joel: Yeah. It definitely reeks of emergency, had no other choice. This was something I couldn't get get out of. So if that's the case our heart and thoughts go out to him and his family.


Chad: Yeah. What does Vista do though?


Joel: It's a rough spot to be in the industry and a lot of companies are going through this, I don't know no man's land of no IPO, no new money. What are we gonna do? No buyers and iCIMS I think is in that category but.


Chad: So they go back to their portfolio of CEOs of all the companies that they've pushed money into and all the acquisitions that they've made or had made or what have you.


Joel: They pick up the phone and they call our boy I'm on bra and say [laughter] "Can you come out of retirement baby? Come out to Edison New Jersey." And they will tell you, "all no. Maybe I'll maybe I'll take... " No I'll probably wouldn't wanna take up.


Chad: I'll doesn't wanna do that now. Fuck that.


Joel: Yeah. They have a stable of folks.


[laughter]


Chad: They do. They have a portfolio. I mean they're.


Joel: Yeah. And they probably have an ATS full of potential CEOs. Who knows?


[laughter]


Joel: Who knows? They're using candid ID to comb keep the database for potential CEOs maybe. Yeah.


Chad: Yeah, yeah.


Joel: Crazy. All right. Let's get to our next story. Harvard Business Review, also known as the HBR. And our friends at Paradox, have conducted research on the impact of AI in recruiting. Their study found that 97% of those using automated technologies and hiring, reported positive outcomes including more effective hiring and reduced candidate drop-off. The report also highlighted that 91% of decision-makers believe AI and automation are crucial for long-term business success. Chad your take on this new study from our friends at Harvard and Paradox.


Chad: Yeah. I believe this report is telling anyone with half a brain what they already know.


Joel: Or people listening to our show anyway.


Chad: Yeah. [laughter] Anybody who has half a brain kinda gets this. So here are my top three reasons why AI and automation and hiring are imminent. And it's actually backed by this report. Number one, humans can't scale fast enough to provide a great experience for candidates. So the black hole sucks. We know that, and it's damaging brands left and right. Number two, on the flip side, it's hard to retain great recruiters when they are saddled with mundane tasks like scheduling interviews. So this will help recruiter retention. And number three, the market is more fluid today than it ever has been. It's moving faster, ups and downs side to side. I mean it's all over the place. And we need systems that can reflect that and that can meet the ever-changing market instead of stagnant tech stacks which is exactly what we've had for years.


Chad: So those are my three top reasons why this just makes sense. And I think everybody sees it coming, in the report 92% said that organizations need to invest more in talent acquisition to remain competitive. No shit. It's called talent acquisition. We need the talent to be competitive. If we don't have talent, then we're fucked. 46% cited screening and assessments as tech. They most want to improve in the hiring process. They should probably check out Plum.io followed by applicant communications at 39%. Funny thing here. Just 4%. Just 4%.


[laughter]


Chad: Said that their organization is currently very effective at hiring talent it needs. Yeah. No shit. Our industry is slow as fuck. And we have process methodologies that literally go back to pre-ATS, I mean we're talking about paper shit. I mean literally, they took papers and they went, put this electronically into our system right? I mean we're still that far behind.


Joel: Yeah. 4% saying that their shit is innovative means there's 96% of the market that's ready to buy your product, which is which is great news for paradox. By the way, did you have a list? Did you have a list of things to say? Like you know what they say about your list though Chad?


Chad: What?


SFX: 60% of the time? It works every time.


Chad: [laughter] Every time. Yeah.


Joel: All right. So this study involved...


Chad: That's good batting average by the way.


Joel: 300. It's not bad. It's Hall of Fame numbers, but free throw percentage not so good. Their study involved 326 senior leaders. So these are the people who write the checks. The people that care about the metrics, care about engagement, care about the black hole, and getting rid of the black hole. And worried about engagement. So it would make sense that the people they asked would have such high numbers and percentages of favorability towards this. My question becomes let's ask what the franchise owner thinks. Let's ask what the candidate thinks. Those would be much more interesting numbers. 'Cause what we're seeing, and we will talk about this at the end of the show, there's a growing number of stories about misscheduling, miscommunication, tech breakdown, just perceptions being out of line with what reality is with job seekers and business owners.


Joel: So we talked about this, we talked about the article I think out of Fortune or wherever like a lot of this is growing pains. A lot of this is like there'll be bumps in the road. But it would be interesting to see if they asked job seekers how they felt about the process. It might be great but we, I haven't seen anything that shows me all job seekers are 100% behind chatbots and talking to robots. 100% of all franchise owners are on board with this technology. That would be a different number I think than the 326 senior executives that they questioned on this survey.


Chad: Asking job seekers anything is fucking worthless. Because first and foremost, they're doing it once in a while and they have really no idea on what the standard is. We know the standard shit. And those talent acquisition professionals do. Now franchise owners, I bet if you start asking them questions around trying to get people in, scheduling, those types of things, I bet they'd be on board. I'd be interested in that. But the job seeker side of the house, a lot of those surveys that I've that I see weekly, and we get flooded with on job seeker surveys, they're fucking ridiculous. And they're worthless. They are. It's like asking my sister about fucking nanotechnology. She'll give you what she thinks, but she has no fucking background or idea or standard to even understand it. [laughter]


Joel: Chad let me remind you that we are a podcast of the people.


[laughter]


Joel: We listen to the people, Chad.


Chad: And our people are the recruiters.


Joel: It matters when one job seeker that's had a bad experience goes to TikTok and 100s of 1000s if not a million plus people see this, and drag your brand through the mud that matters.


[overlapping conversation]


Joel: It should matter to brand managers, it should matter to marketers. It should matter to recruiters and people in our business. So to say that job seekers don't matter, social media says they do matter, because people embrace this stuff and run with it and it can be very detrimental to your brand. Let me bring out Bud Light as an example of what social media can do to a brand.


Chad: The Forbes article, I mean the hack job on the Forbes article that we talked about last week. Yeah.


Joel: Yep. Yep. Let's move from Forbes, to Bloomberg Law. One of my favorite publications, Chad.


[laughter]


Joel: As you can guess. The EEOC settled its first AI-based hiring discrimination case. Let me repeat that. Its first discrimination case against iTutor Group, to the tune of $365,000. The company allegedly programmed its recruitment software to reject older applicants. The story didn't say what old was defined as, I guess you can use your imagination on that. However, the secrecy inherent to AI tools make it challenging for job seekers to even identify discrimination and report it to the EEOC in the first place. Employment attorneys say the agency is fighting an uphill battle as it typically relies on job seekers and employees to flag potential bias. Despite the EEOC's emphasis on addressing AI bias, there hasn't been any known litigation on the issue by the commission, aside from this case on iTutor Group settlement. Chad, what's your take on this uphill battle for the EEOC?


Chad: Yeah, I mean that had nothing to do with AI, that had to do with stupid humans programming the system to do stupid shit. That's just dumb. That has nothing to do with AI, that has to do with stupid humans. One thing I thought was an interesting, quote from the article, "many AI tools which are becoming increasingly popular in HR departments are trained on historical data that can contain built-in biases." Was it a bad bias or a good bias? In this case, it wasn't a bias at all. It was a stupid decision. The Amazon example, was obviously a bad bias because it kicked out all females for tech roles. But you can also say that there are good bias, if that bias has created a diverse talent pool in the end product in the hiring process.


Chad: So you've gotta remember when you start using AI and automation to scale, you're in effect handling more candidates because your ability to scale with AI and automation. The new ability to scale, also scales your bias. Meaning companies should see the bias good or bad much faster because the sample sizes are much larger. The key here for every single hiring company out there is auditing. Having an audit expert on staff or just a phone call away, having frequent and regular audits and engaging with the EEOC and OFCCP to just demonstrate that you're trying to actually work through with some of these different measures. I mean I've worked with major Fortune 500 companies from all over the world with the OFCCP on the OCCP side of the house, in building the National Labor Exchange. And many of the biggest brands in the world had great relationships with the government auditors. While some companies tried to hang in the shadows hoping they didn't get noticed, you're gonna get noticed. Which is why the smart companies have proactive outreach and proactive auditing. This is incredibly important. We're not gonna get by with the vendor did it or the algorithm went awry?


Joel: So this is a good time to mention, we're doing a thing with Jim next week with EOC commissioner, Keith Sonderling. And I think this is a fascinating issue. I'm no lawyer. I only read Bloomberg Law when it comes up on my feed.


[laughter]


Joel: But this seems to me like a real nasty game of whack-a-ball. Historically yes, whistleblowers came to the EOC told them about what their companies were doing. Obviously, if more people came out, that raised the red flag that much more. If it's harder and harder for whistleblowers to know what the hell is going on, then does the flow of reporting decrease to the EOC? That's something I'd love to ask our friend Keith Sonderling. Is the EOC creating any technology around applying to jobs in a scaled fashion where they can do it quickly, to see like can we trip up a company's AI to discriminate against us whether it's birthday or where they graduated or something like their name. That would be interesting to know if the EOC is doing stuff like that because I think their ability to scale and find discrimination cases is gonna take technology and not just people reporting.


Chad: Yeah. I think it's interesting because we've actually talked to some "experts" who have gone through and done, and actually did what you did. They applied for jobs. That's not how you do it because you can't scale that way. That's one, that's an anecdote. So what you do is you have the data and I've been through these audits before, the thing is you're gonna... The numbers are the numbers, whether those numbers are 10X or not it doesn't matter. You're still gonna have that pipeline and the continuing way that we're auditing today, we're going through audits today, they can continue because the audits are the same. It's just the point in which we're finding the bias, in which all the females are getting knocked out. That's part of the process.


Chad: So yeah, they're not gonna be going through much like you described. That's anecdotal. They're gonna be going through the data and that's what they've done for years. They will continue to do that. They've got laws in the books that demonstrate that. So I don't see that as a problem. I see that as, for the EEOC, I see it as a problem for companies to be able to keep up with it. So they need to audit themselves more frequently to ensure that if they do have algorithms in place and they are all based on any type of behavior whatsoever, then they can start to have signals that are indicators that say, "Hey we need to check this out."


Joel: I'm glad you said females knocked out and not knocked up.


SFX: Just the tip.


Joel: Let's take a quick break and talk some more news. All right, Chad. A company we never talk about but is a public company.


[laughter]


Joel: And we probably should talk about the more is in the news. Recruiter.com Group is selling intellectual property including the domain Recruiter.com to RPO company Job Mobz. The deal involves a 1.5 million cash payment at closing and additional 250,000 after 90 days and a 10% stake in Job Mobz for Recruiter.com shareholders. The two companies have agreed to share quarterly profits starting in Q1, 2024 and have entered a three-year services agreement with Recruiter.com Group managing online services like job boards, and their recruiter marketplace. Chad any thoughts on the Recruiter.com Job Mobz deal?


Chad: Hey, the best thing about Recruiter.com is the domain. The rest of it just seems like the island of misfit toys. I know they've been around for a while. I couldn't tell you what they do. It's all over the place for me. So I mean I think I would use them almost as an example for many startups that are out there, is don't do business like that. 'Cause they're all over the place. And how can I not know what the fuck that company's doing? [chuckle] A company name Recruiter.com that's had acquisitions, to me it is one of the strangest animals that has been in our space for a very long time and I'm surprised they're still alive.


Joel: So this is a public company, but don't get excited people. This is a 25 cent penny stock. It's up 25-some percent on this news, but it didn't have far to go, to get to 20%. This was a $30 stock not that long ago. But they've had reverse stock splits most recently as 2021. It's just a crappy business. There's neural, it's a weird ride of like acquisitions, restructuring, selling IP. They just sold their healthcare component to somebody. Miles Jennings, who is the, I think founder or CEO, I've known him for a long time. Nice guy. But you're right. Like for a show that covers this industry, we know very little if not anything about this company. Like their marketing sucks. They never reach out to us with news. I only knew about this news 'cause I went and looked up this news story and then found out all the crazy shit that they've been doing for the last five to seven years. Look, G2 for reviews is kind of the go-to. So I went to G2 to see the kind of reviews recruiter.com has. They have one fucking review, one review of someone that uses their services on G2.


Chad: Did Miles do that review?


Joel: It's anonymous. It's anonymous, who knows? Okay. Like via Glassdoor, they have an overall rating of three... About 3.1 out of five, based on 45 reviews left by employees. 54% of employees would only would recommend. So like half would recommend working there. 48% had a positive outlook for the company. So basically we're talking like Joe Biden territory for favorability with the employees. This is not a good look for a company. It's not really good signs for a prosperous growing company that you should invest in. And to me, this is just the wheels falling off and getting rid of the domain, which you said is probably the one thing that they have that's a value just does not bode well for the future of this company. I suspect they'll be delisted at some point from the public markets. But whether or not we'll know about it, who knows? 'cause they've never reached out before. Maybe we should add them to the newsfeed and see if anything comes over.


Joel: But otherwise, this company is a big nothing burger for the most part. But we do like Miles. We do like Miles. All right, next story. Let's talk about tech, jobs and college degrees. LinkedIn research shows that job advertisements in the UK not requiring a college degree increased by 90% between 2021 and 2022. The trend towards skills-based hiring is exemplified by companies like Google, Microsoft, IBM, and Apple removing degree requirements to increase diversity in their talent pools. The emphasis on skills over degrees has raised concerns for recent graduates who are racking up record amounts of debt in the process. Chad, I know you have a few thoughts on college degrees and the need for one or not.


Chad: Degrees for many jobs have long been a filtering mechanism for talent acquisition professionals. Hiring companies had too many candidates applying for jobs and they couldn't manage it. So instead of building more efficient tech stocks or processes, they would add a bachelor's degree or a master's degree to the job requirement to cut the amount of, "qualified candidates". So now, guess what kids, the pendulum swings the other way in hiring companies are falling flat on their face. To me, it just, none of this makes sense. It didn't make sense in the first place when we started to see this happen because we started to see college degrees going up and that was when the market was different and we had more job seekers than we had jobs. But when it swings back around the other way, which it has, you're fucking yourself. So instead of just fixing it, this is like a bandaid on a sunken chest wound. And that's what happens.


Joel: So I'm old enough to remember the days where if you didn't have a college degree, just don't even fucking try or think about applying to most jobs, frankly that were out there. The world has changed significantly. We have online learning, we have gig economies, we have greater competition for employers to where they should relax the degree mandate on candidates. I think the diversity play was big in that 2020, '21, '22 timeframe. I think maybe they said they were doing that for that, but I think competition was such that they, if they didn't remove that, they would find it much harder to hire people. You can get degrees, you can get credentialed online, particularly for developing jobs. Engineering, cybersecurity for example. Like, you can get a basic degree certification for that and get a job, a well-paying job pretty quickly.


Joel: So high school graduates are figuring out, well, I don't have to go to college. I can go for six months or a year and have a job at a pretty nice position as a cybersecurity professional or whatever. Your kids are out of the nest. I have kids that are entering late high school to college areas. And my advice to them is, I still think long-term that brands are important to have something where people are lazy. People like shorthand. People wanna see a LinkedIn profile that has a college that I recognize to know, okay, this person is educated or this person has a certain certain skill set or has achieved this certain level of success in life. I think for the tier two schools, for the small liberal arts schools that cost a fortune, look, no one in California knows what DePauw or Hanover is.


Joel: And those schools cost a ton of money. If you go out of state, just a state school, it's three x if my kids go to Wisconsin versus Indiana. I think like for or me, and this is just personal story, if you're a college that isn't a brand name, I think that the value of what you have, unless it's a real specific skill like a Rose-Hulman for engineering, that your value to people is only going to go down. Because there used to be a day where you just had to have a degree. The people that would go to a state school, a second tier school that would've normally stayed four years just because they had to have the degree to have the job, they don't need that anymore. So those schools in the middle, I think are gonna suffer quite a bit as people need them less and less, and certainly don't need the bill and the headaches that come with those degrees going into the future. So to me, this is a natural evolution of kind of how the educational system is gonna shake out out.


Chad: You're a little biased too. You have a wife that's a professor, and your kids can prospectively go to school for free which is not the case for most. And going into debt which is a wonderful thing for your family. But for most Americans, it's just not the case.


Joel: So it's half off, not free. And my wife married me, so how fucking smart can she actually be? Let's be honest, let's be honest. It's not a good future for her either.


[overlapping conversation]


Chad: You were smart.


Joel: All right. Well, let's talk about some layoffs in tech. Sorry. Job strength in tech.


Chad: There you go.


Joel: Despite a series of high profile layoffs in Big Tech over the past year, the jobs outlook in the sector has held fairly strong TechCrunch reports. It notes that the overall July jobs report was quote, more than decent for a supposedly slowing economy with unemployment at 3.6% nationally. But zooming in on tech shows a sector with unemployment now back under 2% based on CompTIA research, the number of digital job openings is still growing too, though, at a slower pace compared to last year. Chad, your take on the consistently strong job market for techies.


Chad: The tech industry isn't only about for tech companies, right? The trucking company or the trucking industry needs tech people. Education, communication, retail, entertainment, healthcare, financial services, yada, yada, yada. All those industries need tech people. This is always going to be strong and it should continue to be strong. Then add the CHIPS Act into the equation, as we talked about last week we don't have enough talent for the jobs the government is creating. Yes. The US government is creating jobs and corporate America is falling flat on their face again, that's the thing. Both the tech and the degree examples demonstrate that in the past, we talent acquisition, we weren't really trying to fix the problem and meet the market where it was, we need to invest in our middle schools, our high schools, our community colleges, things that are close, and we need to start creating actual talent pipelines around these tech sector positions. And again, we had a whole pretty much segment last week around CHIPS on this. We have to be able to be smarter in building for the next 10 to 20 to 30 years instead of like we do here in the US. We're only thinking quarter to quarter. We can't continue to live and strive that way.


Joel: Yep. By the way, I have a call out to Erik Estrada. He's still on the fence about coming on the show to talk about the CHIPS Act I think he's confused about what we...


Chad: Yes, I can't wait.


Joel: What we actually wanna talk about, so... I can't wait. So for years, big tech, hoarded hoarded, the best developers in the world. And companies that wanted great tech talent, couldn't afford it, couldn't get access to it because the Googles and the Apples of the world just overpaid and hoarded tech people when money was free. Well, those big tech companies have laid off a lot of tech workers. So companies that couldn't afford those workers a year ago, two years ago, suddenly find themselves in a position where, holy shit, these developers that used to work at these big companies now wanna work for me. So you can bet your ass that if I get access to this talent and I have stuff I've wanted to build for months or years, I'm gonna hire this talent and get this stuff built and grow my company.


Joel: I think that's what we're seeing now with strength in the tech sector. You mentioned the CHIP stuff, cybersecurity remains a big thing. We got solar and batteries and lit. Like, there's so much new stuff that these companies and you're also talking about startups in AI and environmental businesses for climate change that are coming online. And they're being founded by these same developers that are then turning around and hiring their friends that were at the company and saying, Hey, come work for us and get stock and like, make it big. So the evolution of this is just trickling down to they're being released. This talent pool has been released, they've been freed, and now they're going off and, and doing their own thing and getting new opportunities.


Chad: But we need more.


Joel: Yeah. The question is, we don't have enough people for the CHIPs to be made in this country. So we need to relax our immigration rules to let these folks in, to let them stay once they get a college degree or get educated in these industries. AI to me, is only gonna support the growth of more and more of these businesses because if you don't need... If you need three developers instead of 10, or you need 10 instead of 20, AI will support that. But those folks are gonna go get jobs at other companies where they're needed. And this will just sort of domino effect. But to me, if you're in the tech sector, I initially thought this is a bad sign for like, sites that help you find and hire tech folks. But some of this data outta TechCrunch tells me that, geez, there's, there's a lot of opportunity, a lot of runway, yeah.


Joel: With talented tech people to get jobs to start companies. Once the capital starts getting freed with inflation going down or the barring rate going down like Katy bar the door, there's gonna be so many companies get so much money around these ideas and initiatives that it's gonna be fun to talk about. And we're gonna get a lot of new companies, I'm sure do some cool stuff in our space as well. Let's take a quick break and talk about McDonald's as we're on the cusp of, you guessed it. Lunch...


Chad: Mickey D's.


Joel: All right. Chad, a TikTok user. You've heard of TikTok, right? Yeah.


Chad: Oh yeah.


Joel: If you're not following us on TikTok, we're putting our shorts from the show up. It's a nice little highlight reel.


Chad: Oh, it's fun.


Joel: Of what's going on? Anyway...


Chad: It's fun.


Joel: A TikTok user. Let's call him Tristan because that's his username. Recently criticized McDonald's in a video after he arrived on time for a scheduled job interview. Oh, let's just have a listen and, and you can decide for yourself.


SFX: "I applied at McDonald's in my hometown and I had an interview at 11 o'clock. It's now 11:08. And you're thinking, why are you in your car, Tristan? So here's confirmation of text, multiple texts from the recruiter saying, Hey, you have an interview, a 30 minute interview on August 10th, which is today at 11:00 AM. Your interview will be held at this location then, Hey, again, 10:01. Hey Tristan. Your 30 minute in-person interview will be held at McDonald's in one hour, reminding me this was yesterday, telling me that this is happening. All of it, following the, this is the whole thread of the application process verification, the interview time, the interview day, how long it's gonna be. I walk up to the front counter at 10:50 and I say, hello, I am here for an interview. Guy looks at me dead in the face and says, no, you don't. And I said, I do. I filled out the application online. He said, no you don't. No one is here to interview. He starts handing me a paper application and said, no, you have to fill the application on paper. And I said, I've been receiving text from the recruiter here, it's supposed to be at 11:00.


Joel: Fuck.


SFX: He said yeah, no one is here to hire you. So he hands me a piece of paper, he hands me a pen, goes back to work. And like, nothing happened. So I'm sitting there like, I shouldn't have to take this because I've had multiple texts and I've had multiple confirmation. I've talked to a physical recruiter about what time this is supposed to be. I set this up with a physical or a virtually physical person. Talked to the other lady and she said, yeah, that person that's supposed to interview you is not supposed to be here for another 2 hours. And I was like, they want me to wait for two hours?


Joel: Virtually physical. So some things are really interesting here. He thinks he's actually talking to a recruiter, like I think he really thinks a human being. He says virtually, like but I know this because my son applied to McDonald's through Paradox and Olivia, and the same process happened. Text messages. Schedule, you get fired up your interview is today. And there's apparently a disconnect. I don't know if it's widespread.


Chad: So what happened with your son when he got there? Were they ready?


Joel: They were ready. Either this McDonald has totally dropped the ball. But anyway, like I was saying, this guy's post 400,000-some views.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: A ton of comments of people saying the same thing. They weren't all McDonald's, of course. Walmart was in there. I think target a couple of Domino's maybe I saw comments on. So we need to get the tech and the humans right with automation and the humans at the location to make sure this stuff doesn't happen. Because job seekers think they're talking to real people. And when you're not there when they show up and you don't show up for two hours, that's bad for everybody. What are your thoughts?


Chad: I think it's fairly simple. This is a human problem, period. Number one, from a management problem, being able to actually manage your own fucking calendar when you have a system that's doing all the work for you. And number two, the setup on the front-end, this is a human problem. I mean, literally, it's getting mad at the hammer when you needed a screwdriver in the first fucking place. I mean, these guys, it drives me fucking crazy. So McDonald's in that case, it was more than likely it was a franchise issue. I know that I've heard many individuals who have gone through McDonald's, like Cole did. And it was like, boom. It was quick, it was easy, it was streamlined, it was nothing.


Joel: Mm-hmm.


Chad: These are the blips in the radar, which you are correct, that are going to get a lot of views. That could be one location that's a problem in the tens of thousands that are throughout the United States.


Joel: Technology would be great if it weren't for all the people. The worker had no clue either.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: So, like the management at this McDonald's needs to let everyone know. Like, hey, we have this computer system that chats with candidates and if they come in and say, I've applied like they have through this system and not hand someone a paper application, that's just miserable. You need to educate your people on what the hell is going on. By the way, Chad, have you heard Mark Zuckerberg regularly eats 4000 calories at McDonald's as part of his new training regimen? Oh, yes. Here's his diet, Chad. 20 McNuggets, a Quarter Pounder, large fries, Oreo McFlurry, apple pie, and a couple of the cheeseburgers just for some snacks later. Are you kidding me? What a lightweight. What kind of weak ass is that? Shit, Chad. That's what I call a snack. We out. We out.


Outro: Wow, look at you. You made it through an entire episode of the Chad and Cheese podcast. Or maybe you cheated and fast forwarded it to the end. Either way, there's no doubt you wish you had that time back. Valuable time you could have used to buy a nutritious meal at Taco Bell, enjoy a pour of your favorite whiskey, or just watch big booty Latinas and bug-fights on TikTok. No, you hung out with these two chuckleheads instead. Now go take a shower and wash off all the guilt. But save some soap because you'll be back like an awful train wreck. You can't look away. And like Chad's favorite Western, you can't quit them either. We out.

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