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2022 Best Podcast Award
Disability Solutions

Lever? I Hardly Know Her!

If Chad & Cheese ever opened a restaurant, this episode might give you an idea of the menu items. In addition to talking about the acquisition of Lever by Employ (Jobvite, JazzHR), layoffs at you favorite companies, and Tesla putting its ATS in the rearview mirror, food and beverage take center stage. Big news out of Taco Bell, Chik-fil-A, and your favorite beer distributors. Kinda job-related.

Anyone else hungry?


Disability Solutions helps support and educate your workforce through disability awareness and inclusion training.

INTRO (1s):

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

Joel (22s):

Oh yeah. Two guys the United States will never send to Taiwan. Hey boys and girls, you're listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. This is your cohost. Joel "¡Yo quiero Cheeseman!" and

Chad (36s):

This is Chad "is that a hellfire?" Sowash.

Joel (39s):

And on this week's show 'Lever? I hardly even know her,' Tesla leaves its ATS in the rear view mirror and so much fried chicken and beer we hardly have room for Taco Bell's Mexican pizza.

Chad (53s):

Oh God.

Joel (54s):

Let's do this.

Chad (55s):

So dude, how do you hit a terrorist on a balcony with a hell fire missile and not kill everyone in the fucking building?

Joel (1m 4s):

It's science.

Chad (1m 5s):

The hellfire R9X. That's how kids?

Joel (1m 9s):


Chad (1m 10s):

Oh my God. For all those kids who don't know what the fuck I'm talking about. So Al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in a drone strike earlier this week. So that was actually done with the hell fire missile without any explosives, total kinetic energy. I mean, one of the things that the US is good at is wars and weapons. Everything else, not so much.

Joel (1m 34s):

And we do fast food pretty well too, which we will get to in this show. Chad, I promise, I promise. By the way, I know we talk occasionally about what we're binging and watching. Have you checked out the Old Man on Hulu?

Chad (1m 47s):

I have not yet. Yeah, we saw it, but it looks good. Have you watched it?

Joel (1m 50s):

Well, we're up to date on it.

Chad (1m 52s):


Joel (1m 53s):

Yes. We have watched the final episode. I forgot I was falling asleep at the end, but that doesn't mean it's not good. It just means that I'm old and tired, but yeah, the Old Man is, is quality of television. If you, if you get a chance to look at it. Should we get the shoutouts?

Chad (2m 7s):


Joel (2m 8s):

This could be a long show. Let's get to it. All right. I got a shout out for the globally recognized publication, Chad, you're gonna know this one, the Employee Experience Magazine.

Chad (2m 18s):

Oh Yeah. I think I've seen those in bathrooms all over the world.

Joel (2m 21s):

Yeah. You know, you know, you know, Time, National Geographic and the Employee Experience Magazine. Anyway. Well we love lists.

Chad (2m 29s):


Joel (2m 29s):

Even when the list is on a site and a publication that no one's ever heard of.

Chad (2m 34s):


Joel (2m 34s):

The EEM as the kids call them publish their top 20 HR podcast and yours truly are included. Saying quote "Chad Sowash and Joel Cheeseman have successfully created the self called most dangerous HR podcast. The charismatic, sincere and fun duo wants to discuss spicy and not so common topics".

Chad (3m 3s):


Joel (3m 3s):

"Spicy, charismatic and fun," pretty sure I dated her back in high school, but not someone I'd want to have my baby. Shout out to Employee Experience Magazine surely available at all fine bookstores and bodega's near you.

Chad (3m 15s):

I took a look at that top 20. I literally could only identify five. I had no clue who the other fucking 15 were. So before we get all excited about making a list, let's just, yeah. Let's let's not get excited!

Joel (3m 27s):

Yeah. And I love how they put, like it said no particular order. It's like we don't, we didn't really actually listen to these shows. We just gonna put 'em on and hope they talk about us on their podcast.

Chad (3m 36s):

Either way. Thank you so much.

Joel (3m 37s):

Which we are dumb enough to do.

Chad (3m 39s):

We appreciate the list. My first shout out, goes to the crew over at FactoryFix.

Joel (3m 46s):

There you go.

Chad (3m 46s):

Remember a couple of weeks ago when we were talking about RecFest and you asked whether I was jealous that our friends over at the Tapod podcast had trucker hats and we did not. Well, the FactoryFix clan heard your veiled ask and they sent us Chad and Cheese trucker hats with little FactoryFix logo love on 'em. So big shout out to the gang at FactoryFix.

Joel (4m 12s):

Glad they sent you a trucker hat. I got nothing.

Chad (4m 15s):

I've got two. I've got one for you. It's okay. It's okay.

Joel (4m 18s):

All right. Good. All right. Good. And at first I thought why I'm on a hat with Santa Claus for some reason you came out with a totally white beard.

Chad (4m 28s):


Joel (4m 29s):

And I had purple hair. So I'm not sure if it's a different podcast that they were they're thinking of, but yeah the visuals have something to left be desired in terms of sticking to brand.

Chad (4m 39s):

Yeah. So I think in their haste, they went with the first vendor they could find who had about four colors.

Joel (4m 47s):

Much like this show their heart's in the right place and sometimes the brain doesn't quite keep up.

Chad (4m 53s):

That's why they love us so much.

Joel (4m 54s):

Yeah, that's right. But speaking of on brand, let's talk about Sally Millick that's right. She's our latest winner of whiskey!

Chad (5m 2s):

Love her!

Joel (5m 3s):

Sponsored by our friends at Textkernel. For those that don't know, by the way, you gotta go to to get that chance to get free stuff. Anyway, she posed her winnings on social media this week, but more importantly, Chad, did you see Sally's bar? I guess she calls it a speakeasy in the background of her pic? Jesus Christ! I wanna party at Sally's house.

Chad (5m 26s):


Joel (5m 26s):

Shout Out, shout out to Sally. And, what time should I be there? And, what kind of dip should I bring for the chips? Good Lord.

Chad (5m 33s):

Let's find flights to Rochester, New York now. Let's get there.

Joel (5m 36s):

No, we can drive there. Shit. Party bus.

Chad (5m 39s):

Fuck that. In talking about Sally Millick, she actually pointed out that friend, Tina Davis, she actually posted a selfie with the Chad and Cheese t-shirt that we missed several months ago.

Joel (5m 53s):


Chad (5m 53s):

So I guess better, late than never. Tina Davis thanks for posting and we do have some new t-shirts coming sometime soon. Do we not? Do we have an update on that?

Joel (6m 5s):

Sure. I'll update. Okay. Because we talked about last week. All right. So historically we've put up a competition on 99 designs. Typically they perform very well we get 30 to 50, really interesting, pretty good design ideas. And this year it was a big pile of shit. It was awful.

Chad (6m 25s):


Joel (6m 26s):

So I've gone to fivrr. I'm getting four designers to do some designs. We'll pick like four and then we'll put it up for a vote. So I think we're gonna get some interesting stuff this year versus what be done previously. But yes, there will be shirts. They'll be kick ass and there'll be quality shirts. Chad, not these Haynes Beefy-tee, a hundred percent cotton shit. We go tri! We go tri-blend on our shirts.

Chad (6m 48s):

Oh yeah.

Joel (6m 49s):

So I appreciate the patience. We'll get there. A big thanks to our sponsor JobGet on the t-shirts they're coming. For the holidays we will have t-shirts I promise

Chad (6m 58s):

For the holidays and we're gonna have a promotion. So that again, once again, our listeners can pick which t-shirt they want. So look out for the promotion and yes t-shirts via JobGet. Thanks guys over at JobGet we're excited about it.

Joel (7m 14s):

No doubt. No doubt. And my next shout out, Chad. Oh yeah. You know what that means?

Chad (7m 22s):

Oh Fuck.

Joel (7m 22s):

As reported by every major news outlet, including I think the Employee Experience Magazine, Chad! The Bell's, the Bell's Mexican pizzas, finally returning to menus following the three month absence. Back when we initiate initially reported this when it returned Chad, the pizza is coming back permanently on September 15th after demand was higher than expected back in May and caused them to run out roughly two weeks after the relaunch. Yes, Virginia. There is a Santa Claus. He's on our hat and he loves him some Mexican pizza from Taco Bell.

Joel (8m 3s):

Shout out to the Bell, everybody.

Chad (8m 5s):

Oh, very nice. Shout out to JT O'Donnell for the elevated Blanton's package that arrived on my doorstep this week. A couple of old fashioned rock glasses, crystal hand etched, Glen, Karen glasses and maple syrup aged in bourbon cask. That's right. When JT does it, she does it. Right. So quick shout out to JT O'Donnell!

Joel (8m 30s):

Nice. Shout out. Nice. Shout out. All right guys. I mentioned it, but you gotta get on click. The link. We got whiskey from Textkernel. We got beer. Who's our new beer? Aspen Tech Labs. We got so many new sponsors I can't even keep up, but you gotta go to the site. And also, by the way, if you like our show hit our show, we don't care, leave a review on wherever you listen to podcasts. We like getting feedback. It's our oxygen. And we weren't really hugged much as children. So we like hearing people love us or hate us. As long as you give us some attention.

Chad (9m 4s):

We're latchkey kids go figure. And that being said, latchkey kids. We're leaving the fucking house kids. That's right events. So Joel, how much do you love being back at events?

Joel (9m 16s):

I love being back at events. I love seeing people. I love free stuff that I get.

Chad (9m 23s):


Joel (9m 23s):

I love Oasis cover bands. Yeah. I love it all. I love it all. How about you?

Chad (9m 27s):

Well guess what? September 13th through the 16th in Las Vegas, we are going to be at HR tech. October? October 5th through the 7th we're gonna be at InspireHR in Nashville, Tennessee kids. That's right. The Nash Vegas. That's yeah. We're going from Vegas to Nash Vegas. We're gonna have problems here.

sfx (9m 49s):

What did you say?

Chad (9m 51s):

Yeah. And last but never least October 12th and 13th. It is get ready Unleash World in gay Paris. That's right. If you are in Europe and you have never gone to an Unleash World before, get your ass to Unleash World register today. If you're in the US and you haven't been? It's a reason to go to Paris. Number one, number two, it's one of the best events in the world. Get your ass to gay Paris for Unleash.

Joel (10m 28s):

No doubt. And Chad who supports our travel efforts?

Chad (10m 32s):

Our friends at Shaker Recruitment Marketing.

Joel (10m 34s):

Exactly. And some more friends of ours. Let's talk about birthdays. People are celebrating another trip around the sun. We're talking about Kim Bates Happy Birthday! Christy, our first super fan. I think Moon out in Utah! Stephanie Pendrass I have to like do a double take on a lot of these names. So we don't, I don't like a Seymour Butts. Doesn't slip through which I know. Well, Rachel Tascholaude Michael Malludy Kip Birthwhistle. Sally Millick>. Yeah. Didn't she just went a bunch of whiskey? She sure as hell did!

Joel (11m 13s):

That was some nice timing. Neil Costa

Chad (11m 18s):

Hire Clix!

Joel (11m 18s):

Longtime influencer, Jaylee. Brendan. Cruickshank out at Emissary, man. George Jetson. What?

Chad (11m 24s):

George Jetson. You saw this all over social media this week. Kids that's because George Jetson was supposedly born. I think it was on Sunday. I think it was actually July 31st, 2022. So happy birthday, new baby George Jetson.

Joel (11m 41s):

Yeah. Yeah. Thank God for social media. Otherwise, every year we wouldn't see like back to the future memes and George Jetson's initial birthday and all kinds of good stuff. Thanks, internet!

Chad (12m 1s):


Joel (12m 1s):

All right, Employ.

Chad (12m 1s):


Joel (12m 3s):

The artist formerly known as Jobvite, I guess, has acquired San Francisco based Lever. Terms of the deal were not disclosed along with Greenhouse Lever, enjoyed a "cool kids" and I'm using air quotes on that one label for maybe longer than it deserved. Nevertheless, Employ a brand that encompasses Jobvite, JazzHR and NXTThingRPO said, the acquisition will enable Lever and employee to grow faster together. That's how that works. Founded in 2012 Lever employs just over 300 folks, that's according to LinkedIn. It's consolidation, baby. Chad, your thoughts.

Chad (12m 42s):

So I've been hearing rumblings that Greenhouse has been eating Lever's lunch for about 18 to 24 months, maybe longer. So I dug into those rumblings after this acquisition news hit the wire to pretty much, you know, chat with other platform leaders that integrate with applicant tracking systems to see if those rumblings were true. And I had multiple leaders from multiple platforms say without divulging numbers, that yes, since the pandemic they've seen a dramatic switch from Lever to Greenhouse. Again, those are platforms that integrate with ATSs. So when their customers switch, it's quite noticeable. In the market, I believe one of Lever's biggest issues was its inability to pick a lane or picking it too late because between enterprise and SMB, there's a big gap.

Chad (13m 33s):

And that's a really big lane to try to try to drive through. Although some would say the SMB market is huge. You and I would would agree, but then disagree. And we'll talk about that in a minute.

Joel (13m 47s):


Chad (13m 47s):

I would counter with SMB also fucking sucks. Case in point client acquisition. You have to spend tons of cash to acquire clients. It's a cash burn fest. SMB is a transactional game, not a real platform play and competitors. So quick question as we start to think about this in the SMB arena, who do you think the biggest competitor is for a company like Lever?

Joel (14m 14s):

Oh, Smart Recruiters? Maybe.

Chad (14m 16s):

And that's what you would automatically think from an ATS standpoint. But remember these are small small companies. Indeed, Zip Recruiter and job platforms like Jobcase that offer more than just post and pre mechanisms.

Joel (14m 27s):


Chad (14m 28s):

Right. You can go to Indeed today, post a job, go through their assessment, their interviewing, all that other fun stuff. You don't have to buy a platform, right?

Joel (14m 36s):


Chad (14m 36s):

This is all transactional. So as we take a look at this and I think it's hilarious as I listen to other analysts, industry analysts saying, oh, SMB is such a huge market. Yeah. But when you take a look at this market, you're gonna get your lunch fucking fed to you, not just by Freenhouse, but also by Indeed and Zip Recruiter and Jobcase. And are boys over at FactoryFix. Right. So the competition for SMB is so much bigger than trying to play with those white whales on enterprise.

Joel (15m 10s):

Yeah. That's great insight. So, TikTok, isn't just your favorite app Chad. It's also the sound startups here after they've taken a lump sum of money. Lever first took significant money back in 2012 and ended up raising a total of about $123 million when all was said and done. The runway for investors usually lasts around seven years or so. Founder and CEO, Sarah Nahm was let go in 2018 and I'm guessing a liquidation event would've happened sooner, but then COVID hit.

Chad (15m 45s):


Joel (15m 45s):

There's no appetite for ATSs in the public markets currently just ask iCIMS. So Lever was probably out of options. It seems like a decent business, a little bit outta date. And you kind of touched on those points. But to me, everything points to this as investors wanting to cash out and move on to other investments that might have a lot more potential. So when I look at stuff like this, I look at the clock and this was right around that seven to 10 year mark, where it was time to either shit or get off the pot. And I'm guessing they found a good, you know, buyer and Employ now. At $123 million, that price tag is usually pretty high.

Joel (16m 26s):

There's no way in hell that even K1, Employ's sugar daddy was willing to pay, you know, 10X for Lever.

Chad (16m 31s):

No way.

Joel (16m 31s):

I like a lot of their money back for the initial investors. But I doubt there was a whole hell of a lot of money returned to them in terms of profit, which also points to a little bit of a fire sale here. I think that's what happened for the most part. I'll also add that the PR around this was really weird. They announced this on their blogs, which is kind of weird in and of itself. They didn't give like us a heads up and not that we're the end all for media, but there's usually at least some heads up like, Hey, this is going down. Or you know, obviously they give us, when we can talk about it, hey, if you have any questions or wanna bring on the CEO?

Joel (17m 14s):

There was none of that. There's nothing on like PR news services about this. If you go to Google news and search Lever and JobVite or Employ, there's nothing there that's really odd for buying a company that's raised $123 million. That's a brand that people know. Why they wanted to keep it on the down low, why they wanted to keep this quiet? Maybe that reason is obvious. Maybe it's more nuanced than that. But the PR around this was really strange. I just wanted to point that out as well in my comments.

Chad (17m 43s):

I'm gonna hit the clearance rack or the fire sale subject real quick. So even though many people in the industry are saying, this wasn't a clearance rack sale, there's a lot of defenders that are out there. I'm gonna push back and say, okay, maybe Lever didn't wait to hit the 70% markdown rack, but they sure as hell waited long enough to hit the 30 to 50% markdown rack, which is a great acquisition for Employ as they can pull the plug on Lever and feed the Jazz and Jobvite machines with the additional Lever client portfolio. So this is a classic consolidation move, which deserves a big applause.

Chad (18m 23s):

Of course, the question is when do we think they're actually gonna pull the plug on Lever?

Joel (18m 27s):

So I would bring up two things on that. One is, I bet if you asked their investors, if this was on the clearance track or not, I'm betting, they would all say, yeah, we sold it at a deep discount. The second thing is, if the business was doing so well, they wouldn't have fired their CEO. And that's just like, I don't know how you would argue that. So if you think this was a great business, that it was doing very well, answer me why the CEO is let go and answer me or gimme any investors that say, yeah, we cashed out big time on Lever? Cuz I think you'd be hard pressed to find both of those.

Chad (19m 5s):


Joel (19m 5s):

All right, Tesla!

Chad (19m 6s):


Joel (19m 6s):

Your boy Elon. All right. In a piece by the Information. What A pasty fuck, by the way, did you see the pictures of him on a boat? And they might have been doctored, but that was a pasty fat fuck right there. I'm not hating. Dude. I'm not hating you get me a yacht and some sexy washboard as like we could recreate that picture. I think we should make, let's get a yacht or just a pontoon boat. I'll get topless with my white pasty fat ass. And you can spray me down with a hose. I think we could recreate that picture and make some social media gold. Anyway.

Chad (19m 42s):

Let's do it.

Joel (19m 44s):

All right. This is from the Information. Tesla has introduced proprietary software for tracking its job applicants. Three current and former recruiting employees told the publication a move that could lower hiring related costs as CEO, Elon Musk follows through on his goal to reduce the electric vehicle makers reliance on external software vendors. The move by Tesla marks an unusual step to develop internal talent related technology say for some of the biggest tech players, such as Google. Very few have done what Tesla has done. Chad thoughts on Tesla's strategy and should vendors be shaking in their battery powered boots right about now?

Chad (20m 20s):

First and foremost, I would love to be a fly on the wall during this build because this could turn out to be awesome or Amazon. And, what I mean by that is everybody remembers Amazon built tech to source candidates, but they obviously didn't have the appropriate oversight because the algorithm learned that it should and did kick out qualified female candidates to the curb.

Joel (20m 48s):

Yeah. Not good.

Chad (20m 48s):

Now, Tesla, probably one of the most innovative auto companies in the world, believes they can build a full system, which extends well past just sourcing and what Amazon did. But I would say if Stewart Butterfield ran Tesla, this would be a product that would hit the market in a couple years. But I believe Elon and the crew over there will keep this project behind curtains to ensure that nobody knows how they're targeting, attracting, and hiring top talent. Not to mention once you get it out there, the whole EEOC bias machine starts happening. People can look at it, they can point out flaws and they don't want that.

Joel (21m 29s):

Yeah. Yeah. So not sure if you've heard Chad, but HR tech can be really expensive.

Chad (21m 34s):


Joel (21m 35s):

Yeah. And that's shocking. I know. So with hiring, slowing down, along with the economy, it makes sense that companies would look at their recruiting costs. Hello CEO, sticker shock, right. Which then leads to at least Elon saying, 'can't we just build this ourselves?' I think that more enterprise level companies are gonna be asking this question as the economy slows down. We've been talking about Google's homemade ATS for over a decade. Maybe like I'm serious. Like.

Chad (22m 4s):


Joel (22m 5s):

When they made their own ATS, people were like, bloggers, like me at the time were, you know, Bon horrific, like, oh my God, why don't they release this as a product? Which they never really kind of did. Hire wasn't that much like their own ATS anyway.

Chad (22m 18s):


Joel (22m 18s):

But the fact that more enterprise companies, and I don't know, maybe some do, bigger ones do this, but I think a lot of them are gonna ask why can't we do this ourselves? And not necessarily the AI stuff that Amazon did, but just the basic management of candidates applying for jobs. Most people want customized ATS features anyway, which ATSs won't build. So there's gotta be some internal conversation about like, oh, we could customize this just for us. The other side of this and you mentioned this as well, is the smaller businesses out there that are using Indeed, Zip Recruiter, you know, their job board of choice as their ATS. ATS is deem to be in a potential squeeze here, right?

Joel (22m 59s):

They're like at the top end, do they get more big companies making their own ATS and job boards? Aren't what they used to be. I mean, they're more full platform hiring solutions now that small businesses will gravitate toward instead of spending the high prices that they would for an ATS. So I think there's a real interesting dilemma for ATSs going into the future. Our market moves really slowly. So this isn't gonna happen overnight, but I do think it is a potential existential threat to the business from where I'm sitting.

Chad (23m 33s):

Yeah. I don't think so. We've seen this before, when ATSs were, were first created, companies looked at it and they said, oh, we can do that. And then they all just got fucking imploded. This is a house of cards type of scenario.

Joel (23m 45s):


Chad (23m 45s):

If you wanna build it, you have to evolve it. You have to maintain it. Then you have the technical debt. So if you wanna try to build something on the enterprise side, there is a lot of work and cost that most companies will not sustain. It might stick around and be a boat anchor for several years, but it won't work. It can't work, especially at scale. So yes, the Googles of the world, they have engineers to be able to do those types of things. Will Tesla possibly you'll have a onesie. Twosies, but on the enterprise side, I don't see a threat at all. I do continue to see a threat on the SMB side though.

Joel (24m 26s):