Jobcase + Workday

In light of some recent news surrounding the funding of Jobcase, the boys thought it'd be a good time to bring CEO Fred Goff on the podcast and get the nitty-gritty from the source. Topics like current state of the economy, hiring trends and site traffic all get covered too.

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Intro (43s):

Hide your kids! Lock the doors! You're listening to HRS 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.

Joel (1m 13s):

Hello today. We are super excited to welcome Fred Goff.

Chad (1m 18s):

Wait a minute. Wait a minute. He's my favorite SNL character. "You're spending the night with Fred Garvin: Male prostitute."

Joel (1m 27s):

You just know you just aged. You aged us out of about a third of the demographics that usually listen to us. Fred, welcome to the show, man. Where does the podcast find you today?

Fred (1m 38s):

Thanks guys. This is great to be here. You're finding me actually at the first day, I'm actually at 201 Broadway, Cambridge, Massachusetts in Jobcase headquarters. I am the office in the office, the only person, because the office is technically still closed, but I had an occasion to be here. And so I thought I'll talk to Chad and Cheese from the office.

Joel (1m 58s):

Yeah. How long are you gonna stay? Shut down. Are you doing like a, a Google style? Not reopening until 2032 or something?

Fred (2m 5s):

Well, yeah, it might be. We, we went remote on March 12th. I think we kind of put a color code in to make it kind of easy. And one, the color code we went to is red. So nobody comes in right now. We had told the team, kind of early on, back in April, we told the team, we have this yellow color code, which is we that's where if you, we would staff the office and be here, but you don't have to be. And we already said, there's no situation where you would have to choose to come to work.

Fred (2m 37s):

You should feel free independently to work from home or wherever you want for the rest of the year. That said, I expect that post labor day, we'll probably open up in some small fashion and staff support for the office in some small fashion. And it's probably more about independent work. I think guys that, you know, we have 30,000 square feet of square feet of space here, and there's an awful lot of folks that are based in Boston that might enjoy having some, some space to work instead of at home.

Fred (3m 7s):

So I think that it absolutely won't be a mandate to come work at the headquarters, but we think it can be something that a lot of folks might enjoy if we can get it running again.

Joel (3m 17s):

And, and you're not in the low rent district, by the way.

Fred (3m 20s):

Yeah. Yeah. That was like, that was a good lease to sign. We're more expensive where we are the Midtown Manhattan we're right next to the computer science, artificial intelligence lab at MIT by design. And that's pretty expensive real estate.

Chad (3m 36s):

So you can go ahead and, and abducted those computer sciences whenever you need them. Yeah. Yeah. They're all, we're all busy trying to protect us from the next election results and making sure they're honest. So I'll get them after the first easy November, we need them to focus on the right stuff. So they're practicing their Russian right now. Okay. Gotcha. What do you think about remote moving forward, especially for your team, the end of the year kind of partitioning that off, but when everything opens back up, we've seen so many companies talk about they're going to reduce their footprint.

Chad (4m 11s):

Obviously it does save overhead and, and not a low rent district that you're in. What are your thoughts about that in offering more remote, kind of a ability?

Fred (4m 22s):

Well, that's the question of the hour, isn't it? So that's a good one. And my only hesitation is, would do this in consultation with my team and people in culture. But in, in general, I am among the CEOs in the country, who prior to COVID was concerned about remote in terms of we get so much benefit from getting people together etcetera, and post COVID have really understood how productive remote work can be. And it can open up our talent base outside of the Boston community.

Fred (4m 53s):

So we're absolutely going to see an adjustment. I don't see a reduction in footprint. I see we're all going to be using our space differently. So I don't see, you know, we're going to still appreciate the 30,000 square feet we have and probably even expand eventually. But I do see a different cadences of work. I see probably more autonomy and people deciding whether they want to work remote or in the office, but I suspect we'll get to some normal cadence where number of days a week, you really want everybody in for those ideation sessions and whiteboards.

Fred (5m 23s):

And other days it's more optional and more autonomy. I'm definitely going to be different, but I, I'm not on the side of, it's great to be remote 100%. I really miss having my team. I missed the feedback. I think organizations need the glue.

Joel (5m 37s):

So I'm curious, sort of Jobcase wise from a, from an employer perspective, I'm curious about what you're saying as a site. So my, my assumption would be, you know, 40 million newly unemployed people that you guys need more servers or cloud space to handle all the traffic...

Fred (-):


Joel (5m 57s):

But hearing it from you, what do you, what's your take on what you guys are seeing traffic wise? Is there certain segments that surprise you? What's going on with that?

Fred (6m 6s):

So the surprise was in the second quarter. So as you guys well know the normal physics of the labor markets are as unemployment rates go up activity of, of on the consumer side: job seeker workers, employees, or whatever your perspective, rises. This was this overnight depression level we had, actually saw traffic drop across the industry, not just us, everywhere. I think we had less drop than others, but we were, that is not the normal physics of the market. And initially conjecture was the extra ordinary unemployment insurance support was having people stay sidelined.

Fred (6m 43s):

That's not our view as the dust settles. Our view is that the inventory of jobs and other content that, that companies like ours and others use to provoke interest and access had just plummeted. I mean, there was just nothing. And so how many times do you tell someone about the same three or four jobs? And that activity was down, as activity picks up going into the third quarter, we're seeing traffic really just start to skyrocket again. But the surprise was the absence of a traffic in April and may when one would have thought that, that would run through, but who knows maybe some as the dust settles guys, maybe that's also part of the lockdown.

Fred (7m 18s):

Maybe, it's also part of COVID concerns, but I think that's in the rear view mirror and I think normal physics of labor markets move forward much the same, that in the middle of it, you wondered why crude could settle negative on the exchange. And now it's back to normal, normal markets and crude. I think the dislocations are done and we're back to kind of normal normal physics.

Joel (7m 37s):

And how about from an employer perspective or customer perspective? What are your what's sort of your takeaways from the last few months?

Fred (7m 43s):

Pleasantly surprised that the activity on the employer side for us is, is higher than last year and, and continues to grow. I think that we're fortunate. We kind of focus on enterprise and agency and staffing and very strong in employers that hire large volumes at scale. And that tends to be a lot of ETL related, transportation related. And so that is kind of went on fire in the second quarter and continues in the third.

Fred (8m 14s):

I think the listeners of yours and some of our friends that focus on smaller business and hospitality and restaurant, that must be a lot tougher in the COVID era, but I think what's comforting to anybody who's in the labor marketplace as a business, which I think is a lot of your listeners is that the activity of employers using resources and tools to staff, their firms that continues. We don't see a trend of with high unemployment, people are just waiting for organic applications and not interacting with the marketplace.

Fred (8m 46s):

As we know, it, it, it appears that the activity is actually increasing, not decreasing to get more effective and efficient. And I think that's positive for everyone, employers, job seekers and intermediary alike.

Chad (8m 57s):

Are company's coming to you that you haven't seen before? What we're hearing from vendors right now is, is many companies are trying to warp speed their tech so that they can scale later.

Fred (9m 9s):

That's, that's a really pressing question, Chad. We are quite frankly, we've had a very large step function in our number of relationships and our depth of relationships in, in many different employers side of the equation. And our perception is based on two dominant themes from us. One is we, we do have a tremendous amount of scale that we've achieved, and there's not a lot of players out there with the scale that we're able to leverage, for folks. And the second one is, you know, the front pages of every paper are starting to talk about the talking points Jobcase has been championing for five years.

Fred (9m 43s):

We've been talking about worker value and frontline value and, and better treatment, whether it's a benefits coverage for 1099 or pass a living wage for hourly workers, we can keep going through this. We even are obviously strongly on, on a proponent of, of black lives matter and racial justice issues. And as, as these issues come to the forefront, I think, and I hope that one of the reasons we're gaining some traction is people understand that we have authenticity in, in these concerns. And I think that we have helped.

Fred (10m 13s):

I had one CHR reach out and he said to me guys, he said, it's really interesting comment. And he called up and he said, he had heard some podcasts. Maybe yours, let's say it was a Chad & Cheese that it was, yeah, let's re-cut that. And he had actually called from Europe and they've got a us operation. And he said, he called me. He said, because he called Jobcase. He said, they have a bunch of frontline workers that were working throughout the second quarter because they're in food prep in this business, big fortune 500 business. And he's thinking they just can't treat them.

Fred (10m 43s):

They can't call them heroes during the second quarter of COVID and then treat them the same way they did before, afterwards, what can they do to help people with skills and upskills and a whole bunch of questions in, and he had called us with ideas. Cause he knows we've been thinking about that for a while. We've been doing things with Joe Fuller at Harvard and stuff. And so my point is I think that our authenticity about really caring about workers is also a right for the moment as well. And so, yeah, we have a lot new relationships and if anyone's listening to this and we welcome more.

Chad (11m 12s):

You point out a very, very important topic around essential or heroes, right? It's hard to look at somebody and say, well, they're just doing this job, one minute and then the next call them a hero. And then try to think that that just goes away. That they're not essential anymore, that they're not quote unquote a hero anymore. So the big question is for employers, and we've talked about this on the show, we've seen employers drive wages up and add wages during, during this, this danger pay, kind of scenario, but then take it away.

Chad (11m 50s):

Jobcase being a community. Do the actual Jobcasers talk about this is, is there, are there topics that are, that are actually trending because of this on Jobcase? What does the community actually do to pretty much pull people together and then perspectively advocate for them?

Fred (12m 7s):

A couple of thoughts on that, a lot of the advocacy is, is kind of our responsibility. So we, we tend to think in step one empower people individually. And given the scale we have, how do we leverage that scale to advocate for workers? So in as an example, pre-COVID and February 14th, Delta airlines had a windfall bonus. They distributed to their employees. Now last September, Jamie Diamond on JP Morgan and the business round table got a hundred and some CEOs to say, it's about stakeholder value, not shareholder value going forward.

Fred (12m 39s):

We love that statement, but that same year, JP Morgan did a $40 billion shareholder buyback. And our thought is, well, you could have taken 20% of that,. 8 billion and distributed it as a windfall bonus. And you'd still have 32 billion for shareholders. We're not saying one versus the other, but one with the other and those individual employees of JP Morgan could have taken the 35,000 bonus home, which means a ton to a frontline teller. So when Delta does it proactively, what we did is we took out a national campaign, not telling our membership to work for Delta.

Fred (13m 10s):

I mean, of course we did that, but the point was fly Delta. The point was let's reward employers who treat workers well with consumer dollars. And so that is something that we're doing to advocate. In terms of the conversation in the community. I would love to say, this is the point, Chad, I would love to say that Target did it permanently and moved to 15 bucks and people are celebrating that in the community, but, but the reality is people are hurting and a lot of our community is surfacing the anxiety of, of the pain. You know, we, you saw, I think we communicated through social media, you and I, in the same week, there's an article about, you know, mansions and pools selling in Greenwich.