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Indeed's Smokescreen & LinkedIn's Jet Engine

News has been slow since the holidays, but things are getting back to normal. Most notably, Indeed and LinkedIn are still doing stupid stuff, and we're happy to oblige with some razor-sharp commentary. They're the gift that keeps on giving. Additionally, DJ Sol at Goldman Sachs has finally figured out and fixed racism ... hallelujah! OK, not really, but you decide. Plus, it's a Who'd Ya' Rather, pitting PerformYard against Mercor (call it the 2 a.m. edition, because neither choice is all that appealing). How can it get even better, you ask? Can we interest you in Pornhub's annual report on global porn consumption? Spoiler alert: It's a lot to swallow. Talking about the data! There are some real sickos out there. Wait, did I mention our bulging Spotify metrics?

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Intro (podcast Introduction): 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 & Cheese Podcast.

Joel: Oh, yeah. Two guys who will never get a ticket to Davos. What's up, kids? You are listening to the Chad & Cheese Podcast. I'm your co-host, Joel DJ Cheeseman.

Chad: This is Chad, it's fucking cold in here, Sowash.

Joel: And on this episode, Indeed, Goldman Sachs, LinkedIn, and PornHub. One of these things is not like the other. Let's do this.


SFX (sound Effects): Emotional damage.

Chad: So, talking about cold, how was Canada? You went to Canada. You did the Canadian hockey thing.

Joel: Canada's great. Quick shout-out to the hiring branch folks, Stefan, Kevin, Beth, very hospitable as you would imagine Canadians to be. Took us to the Canadiens game. Very passionate about that sport. There they are in the north. Edmonton was in town. The Oilers have Connor McDavid, arguably the best player there. They booed every time he got the puck.

Chad: Boo! You suck!

Joel: Yeah, it was good. It was good old-fashioned fun. My wife, who's from Canada, as most of our listeners know, loves the snow. She got a little bit of snow. She got cold weather. The one negative, I would say, would the train ride from basically London to Montreal. Sounds really romantic. It's sitting on a tough seat for many, many, many hours. Imagine the worst seat you've had on an airplane and do that for like eight hours plus.

Chad: Really? Huh.

Joel: It's a little rough. They promoted free drinks, but they limit it to like one an hour. The train engine had issues. We had to sit at a station for like three hours until they got the next train.

Chad: Fuck.

Joel: So the romantic trip wasn't romantic because it was dark the whole time. We were going from Toronto basically to Montreal, but never been to Montreal. It's a very nice city. A cool mix of old-time vibey, Frenchy stuff and kind of newer things. Good food there. All around good trip. And when I came home, it was colder here in the Midwest than it was in Canada, although cold on both fronts.

Chad: I saw actually Stephen O'Donnell in Scotland bitching about how cold it was. Not even close to as cold as it is here. So it's like Scotland is warmer than it is here in Indiana. But I do have something. I'm gonna make you jealous. Are you ready?

Joel: You got Taco Bell for lunch.

Chad: No.

Joel: Okay.

Chad: Guess what I'm doing this weekend? Fully immersive VR experience called Sandbox. So we have one here in Indianapolis. Five of us are going and we're playing a game called Deadwood Valley, where you're a military team that's dropped into a town in the middle of nowhere that is infested with zombies and it's your job to clear it out. So saw this. We did some really cool things. I think I told you about the game that we did in London with the guys from Talent Nexus. That was the Squid Games. They've got that here too. But again, that wasn't fully immersive. This is fully immersive. So pretty stoked to go try that out.

Joel: How is it more fully immersive with this VR versus the Squid Game VR?

Chad: This is VR here in Indianapolis. What we did in London was, it was a room that literally had projections on the wall. So that's the big difference. So when you've got the screen on your face, they can project all this stuff like scary ass zombies and shit like that. And it's like you're there versus being in a room with just seeing projected wall stuff. Now, the projected wall stuff was really cool, but I'm really stoked to do this immersive VR experience this weekend.

Joel: Yeah. They had one of these near me a few years ago, like pre-pandemic. I'm sure the pandemic put them out of business, but it was basically like a bunch of cubicles and people with headsets on, like you said, fighting zombies, shooting cowboys. And like one was a car. You were like racing through Montenegro or something. And my wife and her sister did it and they wanted to throw up after doing it. So hopefully you don't have the same reaction. Kids were fine. Kids don't have an issue. But I guess the older folks, the older folks aren't quite attuned to the things that the young kids like. But yeah, that sounds a lot of fun. Get really drunk, I guess, would be my advice. And then really soak it all in, I guess, is what you should do.

Chad: Okay. I'll do it.

Joel: By the way, shout out to our friend Evan, sent me a Taco Bell gift card just because I think I did something nice. He is like the PR guy. Anything you do nice for him, he sends you something. So get to know Evan if you like free shit.

Chad: There's gonna be a video, unboxing video of something that Evan sent me. So you'll see, it's a little bit better than the Taco Bell.

Joel: A little bit better. I have hard time, hard time thinking about that. Let's get to shout-out, shall we?

Chad: Yes.

Joel: My first one is, you know, we get asked all the time, what's the best ATS? What's the best chat bot? What's the best this or that? And sometimes you just got to look at look at some review sites out there. G2 is probably one of the more well-known legitimate, I guess I would say, resources out there for reviews. Anyway, they've they've dropped their Winter 2024 Best ATS's out there. And I just want to read those out for you. So the best for small business, they give to Zoho Recruit. The best for mid market, Greenhouse. I can buy that. Best for enterprise, Greenhouse. That's two for Greenhouse if you're keeping score at home. Best by G2 user satisfaction is 100Hires, which I've never heard of. I don't know if you have or not.

Chad: No, no. No.

Joel: Yeah. Okay. So we'll... Whatever. Best ease of use goes to Vultus Recruit, another one I have not heard of. Do you know Vultus?

Chad: No.

Joel: No. Okay. And the best free goes to Zoho. So if we're keeping at home, Zoho and Greenhouse are ones that we know and can at least say that it exists. And we know some people there. Vultus and 100Hires, no clue. If you're using it, love it, let us know. If not, we would say tread carefully if you're going to use those services.

Chad: I'd say if you were probably talking to the Daniel, the CEO of Greenhouse, and he would say that they're not an enterprise applicant tracking system. G2, I think it's interesting, they do reviews for everything, but they know much about nothing.

Joel: Yeah it's all reviewer. There's not a curated expert list the people to go in. So, yes, the system could be gamed probably pretty easily.

Chad: Yes.

Joel: So, yeah, use with caution. But I thought, you know, we get asked a lot, what are the best ATS's? This is what G2 says are the best ATS's.

Chad: And those aren't it, other than maybe Greenhouse for, you know, small. Shout out to listeners and guests. So our Spotify rap numbers came out for 2023 and our listeners grew by 25%. Streams grew by 48% and our followers grew by 46%. So, thanks. Thanks to all guests who graced us with their voices, their experience and all of our listeners who gave us a hard time on a weekly basis. They gave us bourbon and also a lot of love and kudos. So thanks all because the industry needs to have some of these hard discussions that we have. And a lot of times we're the only ones that are having them. Thanks for listening. Thanks for connecting.

Chad: Not to mention, I got to say, just last week we received messages from Bulgaria in Dubai and Shane from Dubai knows exactly how to get Cheese excited as he pitched us coming to Dubai for a McDonald's grand Big Mac, which is basically a Big Mac with quarter pounder patties. So if you're watching us on YouTube, you can probably start to see Joel is drooling right about now.

Joel: So these are just Spotify numbers, right? They don't calculate from everything.

Chad: No, Spotify.

Joel: So that was... Yeah, I was pretty impressed. Spotify is kind of a hipper thing. I'm going to tell my kids that we have increased Spotify numbers and see if they actually finally think that I'm cool. But that's probably a long shot. By the way, thanks for everyone who commented and liked Chad's share of this image. He needs affirmation. He wasn't hugged a lot as a child. So everyone coming out and loving the things that he shares helps all of us.

Chad: Nothing wrong with hugs, Cheeseman.

Joel: Nothing wrong with hugs and nothing wrong, my second shout-out, to booze being delivered to your front door. And as our listeners know...

Chad: My favorite.

Joel: And many of the listeners that have signed up for free shit, which we'll get to in a second, know that Drizly, Drizly has been a trusted partner of ours.

Chad: Yes, they have.

Joel: When I say partner, I mean, we give them money and then they do the service.

Chad: They do stuff.

Joel: That they were paid to do. But Drizly was early on probably the only one other than like a mail service that would deliver booze within, you know, a few hours if you...

Chad: Great service, too.

Joel: Wanted to do that. They started in 2012. They grew organically. A couple of guys in Boston, I think, said, hey, why can't I get my beer delivered? And they're like, oh, let's create a business around this. So they did that.

Chad: There we go.

Joel: They're bought by Uber in '19, I think, for one point whatever billion dollars. So these guys cashed out on a great idea. Now, as many of you know, Uber Eats is a service that delivers just about everything. Instacart, DoorDash, even Total Wine here. A couple of some of the people in the US know about Total Wine, they deliver, which they use DoorDash basically when you buy from them. But anyway, the news out this week and I was originally crushed because we had a report about Bird scooters filing for bankruptcy.

Joel: Drizly is getting shut down. Now, on the surface, that sounds horrible. What kind of life do we live? What kind of world do we live in if scooters and and booze at your doorstep are gone? So they're shutting the brand down, but they're going to wrap it into Uber and Uber will be delivering everything from groceries to picking you up to whatever. So it's it's not dead per se. But if you love the Drizly Grizzly, you know, I love the branding, the red. It's just great. They were actually at... Actually they were at SHRM National this year. There was a booth for Drizly.

Joel: They gave me some swag. I felt a real bond with this product and now it's gone. So in that sense, it's kind of a bad news. But never fear, kids, Chad & Cheese will still be able to deliver booze to your doorstep, but you got to sign up. You got to sign up. And let's just jump right to it before your next shout-out, Chad. Go to Click the free link. Sign up. We're talking about beer from Aspen Tech Labs, a bourbon selection for both Chad and I from Textkernel and, of course, free T-shirts from our friends at JobGet, which, by the way, we're formulating our new shirts for the next year. So make sure you get that new shirt. You got to go to Click the free link for that for that good stuff that we deliver.

Chad: My next shout-out, my last shout-out is going to go to the Pie2Pie podcast. Yes, I actually said that, Pie2Pie podcast. You thought we had a good name, Cheeseman. And here's why. I'm going to go ahead and share this video. Here we go.

Pie2Pie Podcast: Everybody in our pizzeria makes at least 50 or $60,000 a year. And, you know, and the leadership makes close to $100,000 a year. That's what it costs to have people that are good at their job and care about it. And the reason that people don't care about their job out there in the world is because they get treated like we don't care about them. And if you don't care about your employees, what do you expect? You know what I'm saying? Like slavery is over, people. It's time to treat people well and care about them. Unfortunately, for the people that get to keep whatever's left at the end of the month, that means you've got to pay them well. You know, it would be really nice if I could just make lots of money and not care.

Joel: Pizzeria, 50, 60K a year.

Chad: Yeah.

Joel: Did I hear that right?

Chad: Yeah. But did you see what he did there, though? He equated money, paying someone a living wage, to caring about your employees. Not a high five or a pat on the back, money, money. Now, don't get me wrong. Motivating employees is important, but it's fucking hard to motivate someone who is more worried about, you know, how they're gonna, I don't know, fucking pay the next house payment, car payment, feed the kids. So if you care about your employees, pay your employees. We talked about last week on a shout-out how an HR professional said a high five or a pat on the back is just as good as a raise. That's bullshit, kids, pay them, pay them, pay them.

Joel: That must be some fucking good pizza if they can give wages like that. And I was transfixed by the logo. It was the LA like Dodgers logo. And the A was a piece like a slice of pizza. That's genius.

Chad: That's pretty sweet.

Joel: And why the Dodgers haven't killed that, I don't know why. But yeah, good on that. Good on that.

Chad: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Is it time for birthdays? I run with plum. What's going on?

Outro: I can feel it all the way down in my plums.

Joel: That's right, Chad. Another year around the sun for some of our listeners. And if you've been listening to our fantasy football updates, you know that that I love a good nickname. And for some reason I can't control myself. I'm starting to give nicknames to the birthday people. So, apologies. You're just, I just, I need my fix. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. All right. So celebrating another year around the sun, we got Tom Bartles and James. See what I did there? Chris Grosjean, Chanel Nelson, Michael O'Dell, Beckham Jr., Joanne Lockwood, Chris Russell, the love muscle, Marvelous Marvin Morgan, Steve Empringham, Jason Roberts, Robbin Schooling, Michelle Cryer and Tommy Boy, Tom Eckhart are all celebrating another year around the sun. Are the nicknames too much? Should I not do... I mean, you laughed. So if you laugh, somebody else probably...

Chad: Apparently, you know more about Chris Russell than we do.


Joel: His wife has a Twitter account that you should check out.

Chad: Okay. Anyway, events, events. Here we go.

Joel: We'll get to the PornHub stuff later, folks. Don't worry. Don't worry.

Chad: So TA Week in San Diego, January 29th through the 1st of February. Join us at the San Diego Zoo. Have you ever been to the San Diego Zoo?

Joel: I have not, but it's world famous.

Chad: I've heard from many people listening to this podcast that it is amazing. So if you're going to be at TA Week on day zero, that's Monday, January 29th from 2:00 to 5:00 Pacific Time, we're going to be at the zoo to experience the biggest koala colony outside of Australia. There it is. Look at it, YouTube, kids. And listener, listener, you can win free tickets into the zoo by heading off to, click on the events link in the upper right hand corner or just go to And right there on the header, you can register to go to the zoo with us on day one. And then on day two, we're going to be in the qualify booth interviewing the best and brightest practitioners that are out there. And this event is going to be a lot of fun. And I can't wait, dude, because I am totally fucking ready to leave the gray of Indiana and get some SoCal sun on my skin. You know what I mean?

Joel: You've been here for a minute. You were in Portugal.

Chad: I know.

Joel: You're here for like... You'll be here for like a week and then...

Chad: My tan is fading. This is bullshit. Then in March, 11th through 14th we're going to be at the Wynn for Transform Vegas. This is a big show. We haven't been at this one, over 3000 attendees, 100 plus investors, more than 500 startups, 300 speakers. Our first time. Once again, if you if you've never been before, we're gonna be there. It's in Vegas at the Wynn. Go to If you register on the site, guess what? You're going to see a discount code. That's right. Chad & Cheese always looking to save you cash.

Joel: Yeah, we're expanding our footprint, Chad. We haven't been to TA Week. We haven't been to Transform, you know, so we're bulging. I like it. I like the exposure. And by the way, speaking of bulging, our travel is sponsored by our friends at Shaker Recruitment Marketing as always.

Chad: I got to say real quick for them, they send one of the smartest Christmas presents or New Year's presents or holiday gifts. And here's why, kids, it's balsamic and it's olive oil. And it's got the Shaker logo on it. Now, if it was booze, you generally wouldn't leave it on your counter all year until it's used up. You go put it with your booze cabinet or what have you. But this, you put out on your counter and you have the Shaker logo until you use it all. And it takes a while to use the size bottle that they have. So that's, I thought about this week, that's incredibly smart from the kids over at Shaker Recruitment Marketing.

Joel: Yeah, I keep mine in the bathroom. It's great on my skin to keep it nice and smooth, but still...

Chad: I don't want to know what you use that for.

Joel: It's the same point, Chad, it sits there for a while. I've got a lot of skin, but still it takes a while to empty that thing.

Chad: I don't want to know. I don't want to know.

Joel: That's good. Shaker in the household all year round. That's what I love. And I guess that's it. There's no more fantasy football. I feel so lonely. I need that hello darkness, my old friend soundbite. Unfortunately, I guess we don't have it.

Chad: Simon & Garfunkel to start the show.

Joel: So good. So good. All right. Indeed. That's right. We're starting with Indeed. I know you're surprised, has launched Tech Network, an industry-specific programmatic ad service allowing enterprise-scale customers to distribute job ads across 50 plus tech websites. The platform aims to help employers fill hard-to-find roles with a healthcare focused network coming soon. The updated service has integrations with over 300 applicant tracking systems aiming to simplify the hiring process. Employers using Tech Network in the US experience a significant increase in relevant applicants from skilled candidates. That's according to, you guessed it, Indeed. The platform is expected to expand to more markets in the near future. Chad, your thoughts on the Indeed Tech Network?

Chad: Why wasn't Indeed doing this already? They bought ClickIQ how many fucking years ago. They weren't already using their advanced tech, yeah, that's sarcasm, kids, to target qualified candidates. They're literally announcing that they never were really targeting relevant candidates before. So it was all bullshit. Before this, it was all bullshit. You never got relevant stuff as it was. And if you're using Indeed, you probably knew that anyway. So this sounds like either a cry for help or even a diversion more than a new product. And seriously, how do you get the market to stop talking about your failed pay-per-apply or pay-per-started-apply products? Well, you create something they should have accomplished 10 years ago. I would label this maybe even more as an Indeed smokescreen. Also the love they gave for like having 300 plus ATS integrations, total bullshit. If you've ever worked with an applicant tracking system before, everyone in the industry knows that integrating with an ATS is fucking hard. Routine maintenance breaks it. Pixels don't work. And when you're as big of a bully as Indeed is, no applicant tracking system really wants to see you succeed.

Chad: And we know that because we've had candid conversations with applicant tracking system leaders for well over a decade. They hate those motherfuckers. Last but not least, a word of warning for job sites that are involved in this new product. Ask yourself what happens when the bulk of your specialized candidates are now in Indeed's database. What happens then? What happens? Indeed cuts off your revenue stream and you die. That's what happens. There are a lot of job sites, and I got a lot of messages this morning around this, there are a lot of job sites that are not doing well right now.

Joel: No.

Chad: And Indeed knows that they are looking for cash. They're looking for the heroin, right? This is Indeed's way of giving that little heroin drip. And a lot of these job sites are gonna get suckered into it. They're gonna push all their specialized candidates into Indeed and then Indeed is just going to fucking boa constrictor their ass and kill them.

Joel: In addition to the IQ comment about being programmatic, my second thought was why would they kill the API? They were the backfill for so many job sites for free. All they had to do was target specific niches. The other thing that popped in my head was a trip back to the future in that when I was at Job Options, our primary marketing strategy was to partner with industry sites, associations, news sites and then we would power a job site. People would click jobs if they went to whatever site and then they would see our jobs. If they applied or posted their resume that it would be posted onto our network. All the pricing stuff was... Like we powered the whole thing. Google killed it. Google killed that whole model because that was a much cheaper way to get traffic. It turns out people that go to a new site do click jobs but it's like 10% of the of the visitors whereas Google if I search jobs, like everyone's clicking those links.

Joel: So that model is super old and that made me think, well now that Google for Jobs is here, Indeed is maybe back in the situation where okay well we can't rely on Google for the traffic anymore. How do we leverage what we have to do that? So they're like, let's go back to the old partner model where we'll power jobs for people, and this is also the recruitology/job case model. So you're seeing now these job case sites pop up. They're more or less on newspaper sites, so it's like locally focused. So Indeed is partnered with, I guess, Wired according to the news release, Stack Overflow and a few others like that. It reeks of we're desperate. We can't get traffic, and now let's create a new way to get money from people. So now their salespeople can call all the companies looking for tech talent and say, oh, we have 50 plus sites in our tech network. It's only gonna cost you X to be on this network. So now they're gonna get more money out of people and then when healthcare launches, like no surprise that's probably the second biggest dollar amount you can grab is healthcare.

Joel: So now they're gonna call all the healthcare systems and say, oh, we have this new health network with all these sites that you know. I wouldn't be surprised if they're if they're paying Wired to have that real estate. That would be an interesting twist, is if Indeed is paying some people to have that real estate because if Wired's giving to them for free or even a rev share, I think they they are cheating themselves out of some profit. So this feels like a story from 25 plus years ago is new again because of the same issues. No search traffic and let's see how we can get more money and make it look like we're strategically helping you target these specific individuals. I think it's a big...

Chad: Back to we talked about Stack Overflow actually ditching their jobs and their careers section that they wanted to go after. It didn't work, kids. Do you think putting a jobs link that didn't work before but having it powered by Indeed is going to work? It's not gonna fucking work. So what's gonna happen is they're going to charge more CPC wise because they've got these names that they're gonna throw on marketing material and it's all fucking, it's again, it's all fucking smoke and mirrors. This is the Indeed smokescreen. That's what it is.

Joel: Yeah if you know the model hit us up on on the socials. Are they paying for this real estate? Are they rev sharing it? What's going on here? I'd like to know.

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

Joel: And more pills. Let's go to our friends at LinkedIn. They've introduced new job search features aimed at making career transitions easier for users. The new collections feature categorizes jobs based on interest such as sports or gaming, making it easier for users to discover relevant opportunities. Additionally, LinkedIn says users now have more control over their job preferences, allowing them to set criteria like employment type, pay preference, and location such as remote work. Preferences matching the users criteria are highlighted, wait for it, in green. Should the competition be green with envy, Chad? Your thoughts.

Chad: So bad. So bad. Oh, you mean about LinkedIn, not the joke. Yeah.

Joel: Yeah, sorry.

Chad: So last week, Joel, you pondered the the power of GenAI in LinkedIn and my response is that it'll be like strapping a jet engine on a Cessna. And this week, well, they they proved me right. What kind of sorry ass search bullshit is this? We're using GenAI, and if you're watching us on, if you're not watching us on YouTube, I'm using the air quotes, kids, "GenAI." Dude you can do that with basic fucking search and match. I mean, dumbed down search and match. Not the more advanced stuff like Textkernel. So they had more advanced stuff with other vendors available to them that they just never used. So they're receiving a rise in applications because their platform sucked in the first place. They could do nothing but go up and now they've applied 2010 basic search methodology and they want to call it AI. I call bullshit. LinkedIn, listen up, your platform is old. Your tech is in heavy tech debt and here's a message to your sugar daddy, Microsoft. Microsoft, do yourself a favor and implode LinkedIn. Help them build something that works starting from the ground up and then stop that basic bitch AI narrative. It's beneath you. They've got a lot of great talent. They've got a lot of great tech. They just need to be running parallel like Monster should have done during the Indeed days to be able to build this thing up and then continue to build that moat.

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

Joel: If you are connected me on LinkedIn, you know that I regularly like to post related search results that I typically get from Glassdoor which tells me that I should be a janitor at my local high school or maybe making pizza pies at the local Papa John's. Now, I have nothing against Papa John's. They make a damn good pizza, and its founder is from Ball State University, but we won't go into him, because he got in a little bit of trouble a few years after that. Anyway, for the first time, I showed a related search from LinkedIn who thinks I should be a host at my local Olive Garden. Now, I don't know if it took the fact that I have... The fact that I'm a co-host on a podcast...

Chad: Probably.

Joel: And somehow thinks that I'm a host at a restaurant, but that is just bad AI if nothing else.

Chad: It's not AI.

Joel: Yeah, I don't know what the hell... I don't know what's going on. I don't know if they just... Because the OpenAI, like Microsoft and OpenAI, LinkedIn should be crushing the AI like related search. You should feel like you're on Netflix when you're on LinkedIn about jobs that are applicable to you. They clearly are not getting the job done because co-host of a podcast and hostess or host of a restaurant are really far apart from each other. I'm seeing more and more job stuff in profiles, in searches I do. Like if you worked at a certain company and you're searching someone, they'll have like jobs at that company. So they're focused more on jobs and I get the fact that, you know, a recent story, applicant... They said that applications have risen 50% in the US as well as 36% globally with 85% of working people contemplating changing jobs this year.

Joel: So somebody at the high ups at LinkedIn said there's gonna be a lot of job search traffic, how do we get more people to our jobs? And the flip side of that is they're probably getting less job search traffic maybe because of Google, maybe because of people figuring other ways to get jobs like watching TikToks where people are saying they're paying 60 grand to their pizzerias. I don't know what's going on but they are clearly falling down on the job search from traffic perspective, companies are probably telling them we're not getting the traffic that we used to or that we want... So they are hell bent whether they do it right or wrong to get more traffic and try to get more people to apply to these jobs, but as my related search results show, they are failing miserably at that task.

Chad: Horrible, horrible, horrible.

Joel: We'll be right back.

SFX (sound Effects): Just the tip.

Joel: All right, Chad, who's ready for a little Who'd You Rather? That's right, that's right.

Chad: Let's go, let's go.

Joel: You know how it works, kids. We talk about two companies that have recently gotten a little bit of funding and Chad and I will review those companies and tell you who we'd rather. So if you're ready to play, Chad, let's get to company number one, Mercor has secured 3.6 million dollars in funding. The company introduces an AI-powered platform for automated candidate vetting. Mercor promises to pull data from various sources to create a holistic applicant profile, enabling quick, precise matches for specific roles. Founded in 2023, they claim to have achieved seven figure annual recurring revenue and boast a talent pool of 100,000 users across 25 countries. That is, Mercor!

Joel: And in this corner, we have PerformYard. They secured $95 million in funding, which they say will be used to enhance their software suite and expand the team. The platform, founded in 2013, not quite a startup, offers tools for performance reviews, feedback, and employee engagement surveys. Claiming over 1500 business customers, PerformYard says it has experienced 5x revenue growth in the last four years. Chad, who'd you rather, PerformYard or Mercor?

Chad: Now, Mercor, very much like parkour, got to say their explainer video was really sharp. They did a really good job on that. And here's my problem. The CEO and founder has no experience in this space. And here's an example, "our crawlers automatically pull information from resumes, GitHub, personal portfolios, websites, and more to create a picture of every applicant." So that sounds exactly like the same message a HiringSolved or Crowded had about six to seven years ago, right? Then PerformYard, PerformYard, on the other hand, really needs to start tying their retention and productivity platform to the end result that the C-suite really cares about, slow attrition and bigger revenues. They have exactly what every other platform would kill to have, but the marketing message is falling way short of the C-suite's give a shit mark. But no matter, this Who'd You Rather is pretty lopsided. And I'd rather have a more established player who needs to tweak their message over a newcomer with little to no experience. I would rather the Yard, PerformYard.


Joel: All right. This was a hard one to pick because they're both sort of eh in my book. So Mercor, you're right. Mercor is sourcing with a new wrapper. It's a chatbot sort of interface. You chat like, hey, I need some PHP developers. And you go through a chat kind of scenario. It's all tech-focused. And we know that tech layoffs are sort of a thing these days. So the amount of people that are hiring tech, I know, is probably at the floor and going up from here. But it's not exactly the best place to do business. At the moment, we've seen a major, major collapse of the sourcing tool, whether it's SeekOut, sort of, I don't know what they're doing currently. HiringSolved, gone. Hiretual, rebranded. There's just, it's been commoditized. So I don't know. Just making this a chat thing isn't going to change the game for sourcing. So I'm not super interested in them. And then I go to PerformYard.

Joel: They've been around a long time. It hasn't happened yet, which kind of makes me a little bit concerned. They've, 95 million in funding. They got to be doing something right.

Chad: A lot of cash.

Joel: That says something about that. Although we know the risks of raising too much money sometimes is better than the opposite side of that. My big problem with PerformYard is the competition. You got Lattice, you got 15Five, Leapsome, Trakstar, Culture Amp. There's a lot of competition. So do I pick the company where they have little competition because all the competition is gone or rebranded? Or do I take the company that has a ton of competition and is going to have a hell of a hard time making it? So this is a really tough one. And I refuse to not pick either. So if you put a gun to my head, a virtual gun in this case, because you're going to the VR shooting zombies, I'm going to have to go with Mercor because there's nobody left. And maybe it's just timing. Maybe it's a QR code thing.

Chad: Could be, could be.

Joel: Everyone had QR codes for a while, and then everyone went out of business with QR codes, and then the pandemic happened, and then QR codes were cool again. So maybe Mercor is going to be cool again.

Chad: Maybe.

Joel: Maybe. Yeah, maybe parachute pants are back. Maybe Z cavariccis are back, and maybe sourcing for tech talent is back. So in this case, for me, Mercor. And that is another game of Who'd You Rather. All right, Chad, let's get to one of your favorite guys.

Chad: Who?

Joel: Goldman Sachs and DJ Sol. Goldman Sachs has ended its Launch With GS initiative, committing 1 billion to companies led by women and people of color. The bank claims to have fulfilled its goal, deploying the funds to nearly 60 investments. So I guess Goldman Sachs solved racism, Chad. I missed that headline.

Chad: Yeah, I did too.

Joel: Regina Green, the head of Launch With GS, announced her departure, and the bank is shifting focus to the One Million Black Women initiative, pledging $10 billion in investment capital over 10 years. The move comes amid broader challenges for diversity programs, and Goldman facing criticism for extending beyond its core business. Chad, are you picking up what DJ Sol is dropping?

Chad: So I got to say, over the past weeks and months, we've seen several privileged individuals claim that they want to claw back these types of promises or programs. And instead of focusing on that, let's focus on something real world and working class. And nothing is more working class than the military. So earlier this week, on Monday, Martin Luther King Day, John Popelka shared his story on LinkedIn, and it was a lot like mine. So first off, John and I, who have never met, although we both grew up in Ohio, where racism flourished, we joined the army, where about 50% of our basic training classes were diverse. Both John and I had very influential leaders of color all throughout our careers in the military. Those leaders shaped us and the people that we are today. But I want to mimic what John writes in his post, "I thank God for the leaders in my life who deprogrammed all that bullshit out of me." He goes on to say, "love and gratitude to all of the change agents past and present who worked tirelessly to make the American dream a little more accessible to all." That last part, make the American dream a little bit more accessible to all, that just stuck with me after reading about the DEIB programs being demonized and cut our country, our success, our failures, everything happened as a melting pot.

Chad: And to not understand our greatest strength, which is diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, is to not understand our history and how we got here and what America truly is. So shout out to John Popelka, who showed us a little bit of his soul this week. And then also that's the working class and how the impact actually happens, unlike a DJ Sol who is pissing and moaning at a country club, right? This is this is the real world.

Joel: Yeah, I feel like a broken record on the DEI conversation because ever... And we talked about it, ever since the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action, we knew that companies would start unplugging from these initiatives, that the PR machine would pay less attention to that as a result. And it was sort of a green light to strike that down. And in accordance to your friend, these initiatives, affirmative action, for example if you're a kid of color in this country, and you hear affirmative action is gone, are you more or less likely to apply to a prestigious university? I don't know. But I would guess less, because you feel like maybe there's no way that you're going to get in. So why even bother? That may or may not be the reality. But the perception is there. And I think perception has a really strong presence in this issue. Because $10 billion over 10 years, okay, $10 billion sounds like a lot of money. $10 billion over 10 years to Goldman Sachs is not, it's a great headline. And there's nothing saying that two years from now, they don't cancel this initiative...

Chad: Yes.

Joel: And do something else, and then just keep moving the ball, keeping the media on their toes and what the hell's going on. You really have to look at the proof. Proof is in the pudding, right? So anytime I hear these DEI stories, and people get out or people, people are committed to it, go to their website, go to their about us page, and look at their executive team. I'm serious. Because if they don't walk the walk, then fuck them. And if you go to Goldman Sachs' about us page and their executive site, let me get these numbers right here for you, Chad. They have six white guys on their executive team. And they have two white women. I said white twice there and I didn't say color once. So if Goldman wants to really walk the walk, let's get some persons of color on the executive team. How about that? That would be that would be a good start. We'll be right back.

SFX (sound Effects): I'm as mad as hell. And I'm not gonna take this anymore.

Joel: Can I interest you in some PornHub data, Chad? I know you love data.

Chad: Oh, Jesus.

Joel: PornHub has released its annual report on global porn consumption. The report includes various data points and charts analyzing trends in online adult content consumption. Some notable findings include the popularity of certain categories linked to racial and ethnic terms highlighting issues of fetishization and sexual racism. Additionally, the report notes a rise in searches for trans porn, with baby boomers and cisgender women contributing to increased interest. The report also provides state specific data revealing unique preferences in different regions, such as Maryland's interest in glory holes, and Missouri's top search being transformation. Chad, there's a lot to swallow here.

SFX (sound Effects): What are you doing, step bro?

Joel: Your thoughts?

Chad: Yeah, I got nothing, dude. I looked at the list and I didn't know some of the terms. I'm looking and I'm like, what the fuck? But but some of the information really didn't surprise me because they were talking about some of the more mature terms, like mature sex, porn, what have you.

Joel: Sure.

Chad: And again, it's baby boomers. They've got nothing to do. They've retired. They're taking these little fucking blue pills. And they're getting told no, apparently. So they got to do something. They got to do something. So it just kind of makes sense.

Joel: Old dicks, young chicks never gets old.

Chad: Blame the boomers.

Joel: Some of my faves here, Chad, the boomers' favorite category was smoking. Are they smoking during sex? Are they smoking brisket? I don't know why smoking would be the top search term.

Chad: Like the Marlboro Man? Are they looking for the Marlboro Man sex?

Joel: I don't know, they're reconnecting with the '60s and '70s. Everybody smoked, like that's how they had sex, and they want to relive that, I don't know. "Star Wars" was the top movie character search, that makes total sense, unless Chewbacca is something more...

Chad: Princess Leia.

Joel: More popular than Princess Leia, totally get that. So the top relative searches by state when compared to other searches by those by those states. So North Dakota's number one search term was loud wet sex.

SFX (sound Effects): We are experiencing technical issues.

Joel: Loud wet sex in North Dakota. Go figure. Mississippi was furry. Connecticut, Connecticut. This is good. Talk about some freakazoids in Connecticut. Speaking of Chris Russell's love muscle, double vagina. Double vagina was the number one.

Chad: I don't... No, stop.

Joel: I don't even, I don't know. I don't even know what's going on here. So Chad, I wanted to look at our top search terms at Chad & cheese for the year because I don't think we'd get anything close to that. But so for those that are interested, layoffs and iCIMS was very good to us in 2023. We had Beamer layoffs, iCIMS layoffs, Veritone layoffs, Radancy layoffs and Deal layoffs being top terms that sent people to the site. In terms of iCIMS, iCIMS CEO resigns was a top search term as well as iCIMS CEO steps down. And my favorite, who is iCIMS CEO? Those were top search terms for our site. And the number one search term that was not Chad or Cheese, that had Chad or Cheese in it was, wanna take a guess?

Chad: Indeed.

Joel: Oh, close. Keep going. Indeed blank.

Chad: Indeed sucks.

Joel: Yes. Yes. Way to go, Chad.

Chad: Yes. Yes.

Joel: Indeed, the gift that keeps on giving, just like PornHub. We out.

Chad: We out.

Outro: Wow, look at you. You made it through an entire episode of the Chad & Cheese Podcast. Or maybe you cheated and fast forwarded 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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