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LinkedIn Loses Again

Recording live from Ostend, Belgium, ahead of the House of HR conference, the boys are in the kind of zone only a pint of Chimay can inspire. LinkedIn loses again and Comparably says it’s probably time to stop thinking Glassdoor is vulnerable (and chalk up another acquisition where terms aren’t disclosed). The boys then play a little buy-or-sell with BarRaiser, Valence and Pando “Don’t Call Us Logical.” Nike vs. Airbnb wraps up the show making us question which WFH policy will rule the future (hint: it rhymes with “hairbnb”).

Oh yeah, and you gotta about the boys wild Amsterdam adventure with sponsor Textkernel. Cheers!


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, we are recording live from Ostend, Belgium so the next round of waffles is on me. Hey kids, you're listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. This is your co-host Joel "sexual healing' Cheeseman.

Chad (34s):

This is Chad "I wish I knew how to get on a train" Sowash.

Joel (38s):

And on this week's show, LinkedIn loses again.

Chad (40s):

Oh no.

Joel (41s):

Pando raises the bar and ZoomInfo go shopping. Let's do this. Little Sexual Healing, so little known fact, Marvin Gaye for the kids out in the audience that don't know arguably the greatest singer of all time in popular music.

Chad (56s):

Yes. No question.

Joel (56s):

If you haven't heard of his rendition of the national anthem, do yourself a favor and YouTube that one from the all star game.

Chad (1m 4s):

Aand then Jimmy Hendricks after that.

Joel (1m 6s):

So anyway, Marvin spent some time here in Ostend, Belgium. Lived here.

Chad (1m 11s):

I had no clue.

Joel (1m 12s):

No clue, right? I Googled things to do and Ostend, and he's got an actual tour called the Digital Love tour, which is appropriate now. Yes, he lived here. There's video footage. There's a documentary of him hanging out with some Belgians and having a good time, but he apparently read and or recorded Sexual Healing right here in Ostend.

Chad (1m 34s):


Joel (1m 34s):

So I'm feelin' the love.

Chad (1m 36s):


Joel (1m 36s):

So I'm Joel "Sexual Healing" Cheeseman for this this week.

Chad (1m 39s):

Very nice. My favorite Marvin Gaye song is What's Going On?

Joel (1m 44s):

And album as well.

Chad (1m 45s):

Oh my God. That song I can listen to it like on repeat all day. Amazing in the guy's voice. I mean, Heard it Through the Grape Vine. I mean, he's got so much good stuff, but anyway, yes,

Joel (1m 56s):

Much, much great greatness from 1971. That song and album was released.

Chad (2m 3s):


Joel (2m 3s):

50 almost one, two years ago.

Chad (2m 5s):

Years ago. Yes. Yes. So we are in, obviously Ostend, every time Lieven says it, it sounds like you saying Austin, like Austin, Texas.

Joel (2m 17s):

That's what I thought it was at first, Austin. I thought, well, that's a weird place for a European conference.

Chad (2m 26s):

Belgium conference.

Joel (2m 26s):

I've seen it spelled many different ways as well.

Chad (2m 29s):

Yeah. Well we're not just in Belgium, kids. We, actually took a train yesterday to

Joel (2m 38s):

Amsterdam baby.

Chad (2m 38s):

Joel's first time in Amsterdam.

Joel (2m 40s):

Amsterdam Virgin.

Chad (2m 41s):

And we didn't hit the red light district. I know we're going to, we need at least the whole weekend for that.

Joel (2m 45s):

My wife tracks me on my iPhone. So I can't be caught in the red light district.

Chad (2m 48s):

That's why you keep it in the hotel.

Joel (2m 52s):

Does that work for you? That doesn't work for me.

Chad (2m 54s):

She doesn't track me so I don't have to worry about that.

Joel (2m 57s):

So beautiful city.

Chad (2m 58s):


Joel (2m 59s):

The most chill artsy fartsy place I think I've ever been.

Chad (3m 2s):


Joel (3m 2s):

I felt like I was in a Willy Wonka sort of art deco movie from the seventies.

Chad (3m 9s):

Oh my God.

Joel (3m 11s):

Great architecture, great history and great company. We met up with our friends at Textkernel Gerrad, Samantha and Chris, all friends of the show. And it was great meeting them and having, having some quality time with a sponsor, eating good food and drinking good beer and having good conversation much of which will be off the record Chad. We will do that for odd requests.

Chad (3m 34s):

Not to mention the beer just tastes so much better when somebody else is buying it.

Joel (3m 38s):

I got a question though, is the beer alcohol content on some sort of metric system here in Europe? Because it seems a little higher than it does back in the states. So I don't know if that's a metrics thing or what?

Chad (3m 50s):

yes. The ABV percentage is on metric system. I don't, I don't know. We'll have to look that one up for later

Joel (3m 55s):

I know a guy we can ask.

Chad (3m 57s):

We can. One thing that we need to do, though, I've got to cover this quick is I, we didn't get home till 2:00 AM last night asked we had so much fun and Amsterdam. No, no. Chad fucked up the train.

Joel (4m 10s):

I'm just going to let you sink on this one. I'm going to stay quiet over here, drinking my Chimay, man.

Chad (4m 15s):

It's really fucked up in Joel was actually pointing at the train saying, Hey, I think this is our train. I'm looking at the board, which hadn't updated yet. And I'm like, no board said this isn't our train. Are you sure this isn't the train? He asked like 10 times I'm like, and the board doesn't say it's the train. So it's not the train. Yes,

Joel (4m 32s):

It's right behind this one.

Chad (4m 34s):

As soon as it left the board updated and I went, oh shit, that was our train. So, you know, that was not good. So

Joel (4m 42s):

As a side note, I saw no bar in the airport, so we were doubly screwed and that we had to just sit there and just take it. No, no medicine to help take wash down that pill.

Chad (4m 56s):

We have a Congress tomorrow.

Joel (4m 58s):

We do. We actually have to work on this trip.

Chad (4m 59s):

If you want to call that work. Well, we

Joel (5m 1s):

Definitely work.

Chad (5m 2s):

Have to work. What? Classify that.

Joel (5m 3s):

We have to throw fruit from a balcony at people. Yeah. We are a full on the E-recruiting Congress put on by our friends at House of HR love though, if you haven't listened to the European podcast and gotten a taste of Lieven's, sarcastic knowledge of the industry and the continent, you gotta tune in for that.

Chad (5m 23s):

So good.

Joel (5m 23s):

But they invited us to come in and sit in the balcony, which allegedly there's a bar and it's totally entrapment. I feel bad for the last few speakers that are going up, but we're gonna heckle and interview and get some good content for you guys. Excited about what's going on in Europe. Tons of money, tons of startups, tons of cool stuff going on here. And I'm really excited to see some old friends, meet some new ones and get some good content. Hopefully deliver that to the listeners of the Chad and Cheese podcast.

Chad (5m 57s):

Planes, trains, and bird scooters, got us to the House of HR.

Joel (6m 1s):

Love me a bird scooter, baby.

Chad (6m 3s):

E-recruitment, Congress. I cannot wait. Then the next week I get to actually go back to my new home. Hopefully knock on wood. We get to close on a condo.

Joel (6m 13s):

Podcaster in Portugal, by the way on bird scooters, a lot less fun here in Europe, because they actually have lanes for bikes and scooters. In the states you got to ride the snake baby. It's a wild ride. So it was a little less, less exciting riding, the bird scooter.

Chad (6m 29s):

You might get Christine on a bird scooter here.

Joel (6m 32s):

I could she loves Europe for so many reasons. I could maybe do that.

Chad (6m 35s):

I had taking a header in Paris is not a good reason.

Joel (6m 37s):

Yes. Paris is a little snake-ish. That's a little more dangerous than Belgium apparently.

Chad (6m 44s):

And we should do some shout outs. Let me go ahead and throw the first one out there to Darrian Mikell, you might know this kid. He was on Firing Squad, the CEO founder of Qualifi. That's the weird

Joel (6m 59s):

the koala.

Chad (7m 0s):

Yeah, the Qualifi, but it's spelled weird. Anyway, anyway, he won the Rising Entrepreneur Mirror award during TechPoint's 23rd annual Mirror Awards gala honoring the best tech in Indiana. One of the things that I think really drives me crazy about our industry is when people say, oh, you're from Indiana. Motherfucker the industry literally was born in Indiana. We have so many like tech Recruitment Tech, HR Tech, TA tech, experts in this space in Indianapolis and around Indianapolis in Indiana. To have the Mirror Awards and have a guy like Darrian, who by the way, got I think a double applause on Firing Squad, which I think the Mirror Awards actually listened to and that actually helped him win.

Joel (7m 49s):

Really everyone that touches our show has huge success. Whether it's acquisitions, awards, whatever you need to be on the show because good fortune will follow you. By the way, there needs to be a Wikipedia page on Indiana's contribution to the online employment. Can we get somebody on that?

Chad (8m 4s):

No Shit.

Joel (8m 7s):

Anyone want to do that? That'd be Great. Yeah.

Chad (8m 11s):

Jerry Crispin, maybe. I don't know.

Joel (8m 13s):

From New Jersey. Yes,

Chad (8m 15s):

But seriously. Well, he cares about history though.

Joel (8m 19s):

That's history.

Chad (8m 20s):

But seriously congrats Darrian and the team over at Qualifi for winning the Mirror.

Joel (8m 25s):

Well Chad an event that is not in Indiana, but very close on the shores of Chicago. I got to talk about Perks Con. Perks Con is a thing happening May 11th.

Chad (8m 36s):

Is this porn?

Joel (8m 37s):

Nope, perks like employee perks.

Chad (8m 39s):

I know, but you never know these days.

Joel (8m 41s):

Depending on the employer, we've talked about the wank room or the wank pod. So I don't no word if the wank pod is going to be at Perks Con, but who knows since Perks Con happening in the windy city features quote "the best and employee perks and benefits", but that's not all Chad.

Chad (8m 59s):


Joel (8m 59s):

This year Perks Con is pulling out all the stops from a signature champagne toast to a full metaverse experience. But wait, that's not all Chad.

Chad (9m 12s):


Joel (9m 12s):

Perks Con is also introducing its own NFT quote unquote "golden tickets" this year where 20 randomly selected attendees will have their digital event ticket transformed to a valuable NFT offering lifetime attendance at Perks Con.

Chad (9m 29s):


Joel (9m 30s):

Holy hell conferences are taking it up a notch. Everyone pay attention. If you're not doing it, Perks Con style, you're just not doing it right.

Chad (9m 36s):

Yeah. You said, pull out and then taking it up. And I thought you going to say taking you up something else. A big shout out to

Joel (9m 47s):

That's a perk

Chad (9m 48s):

Big shout out to Facebook who is pulling podcast, their podcast app out. They're pulling out of the podcast platform. Podcasting is hard, man. I mean, I don't know how many podcasts. They're like a million podcasts that are out there. And like 70% of them have six episodes. And that's it. And people, I mean, they just stop because it's not easy. It's really hard. Let's put it that. I'm saying this from the shores of Belgiun, by the way.

Joel (10m 15s):

Pulling out. It's really hard. We got it Chad.

Chad (10m 18s):

But Facebook, obviously they couldn't handle it. And this is interesting to me because the content that they would be able to pull in could have been amazing. Right? Why do you, why do you see them pulling out with something like this?

Joel (10m 31s):

Well, they've got their hands full with this whole metaverse thing. So I think just like pulling out jobs, they're cutting some fat and maybe took a lesson from our friends at CNN and said, you know, packing up shop and pulling the cord is maybe not the worst thing in the world.

Chad (10m 49s):


Joel (10m 49s):

What's interesting to me, as well, as you might remember, bulletin that they launched a few months ago, maybe a year ago, which was their content play.

Chad (11m 0s):


Joel (11m 0s):

They paid high-profile thought leaders to add content. Yeah. Everyone's have sort of forgotten about it at this point. I don't even know if it's still alive, but bulletin and may get it's plugged polled soon as well. And I'll add Chad, you might remember LinkedIn launched its podcast thing of a jiggy

Chad (11m 20s):

Shit. I forgot

Joel (11m 21s):

Which eeryone has already forgotten about it. That was back in February. So I wouldn't be surprised if LinkedIn takes a little cue from Facebook and shuts down it's podcast offering some relate to stories that had no business getting into either.

Chad (11m 36s):

It's not easy kids. It's not easy.

Joel (11m 38s):

Pat ourselves on the back real quick. If we can do it, everyone can do it. Shout out to Sonic Chad

Chad (11m 45s):

Sonic. Yep.

Joel (11m 46s):

What goes with a great beer? What goes with a good beer is a great burger. Sonic has been producing them for a long time. Anyway, that's not what we're here to talk about. The great American hospitality LLC company, ASonic licensed Z we're in Europe. A lot of people don't know Sonic, but they serve up good burgers, I think fast food style.

Chad (12m 8s):


Joel (12m 9s):

They have partnered with Daily Pay to provide an on-demand pay functionality to its employees. Through this partnership hundreds of Sonic employees can now access their pay immediately after completing a shift. Why isn't everybody doing this, Chad?

Chad (12m 22s):

Because they like holding on to cash? That's why. Yeah. I mean it, there's no question if you want to provide perks to your employees and hopefully get them off the payday fucking loans and shit like that, just give them the fucking money, man. I mean, we, in the U S we have a huge issue with payday loans and people just digging holes, and I'm already talking about low wage-earners. Right? So we've gotta be able to do something to be able to help them get cash faster. Maybe pay them a better wage too? Fuck I don't know. But anyway, this is a great move.

Joel (12m 54s):

Great morality. Great thing to do, but also good business sense, Chad, because paying your people the day of is probably a good retention and recruiting tool. I know that if I was in that line of work, I would probably gravitate toward a company that paid me the day that I worked, as opposed to waiting two weeks. Do people still do two weeks? Right?

Chad (13m 13s):

They do.

Joel (13m 14s):

Good Lord. Well, think of that for nursing. I mean, for everything seriously. I mean, it just makes good sense. The other shout out to Recruit CRM's marketing department. Okay. So we had Recruit CRM on the show. They did firing squad. They did very well, but for most companies that's enough. They do the show and maybe the CEO shares it on on LinkedIn/ companies should really take this kind of content marketing to the next level and Recruit CRM to their credit, they did an actual image of your mug with my mug and it's a cartoon animated head.

Joel (13m 56s):

And then they did the same with their CEO. So it was a consistent cartoon kind of thingy. Created, you know, listen to the podcast. Here's our company, yada, yada, and marketed that on social media. And I just think it's that little extra something that not enough marketing departments do. And I just wanted to point it out. Like this is not a big company. Right? But they, they went the extra mile and we appreciated it. And we thought enough to say something on the show that marketing people do better.

Chad (14m 25s):

Content, baby content.

Joel (14m 27s):

So many great tidbits from not just our show, but other other times you're on podcasts or like.

Chad (14m 34s):

So easy! Soundbites.

Joel (14m 34s):

Soundbites, visuals. Yeah. A lot of stuff that you can be

Chad (14m 37s):

Like, oh yeah.

Joel (14m 38s):

Don't just, don't just give money to Facebook and Google and call it a day. Think outside the box a little bit. Yes. Chad, let's talk about free shit real quick.

Chad (14m 46s):

Free shit.

Joel (14m 47s):

Got to talk about it. All right guys, if you love free shit and who doesn't.

Chad (14m 57s):

I love these free olives that we got at the bar.

Joel (14m 59s):

Starburst cracker things. Delicious.

Chad (15m 1s):


Joel (15m 1s):

Yeah. Who knew? So, everyone loves free shit, but you gotta register to win. You gotta take a little extra step than most people.

Chad (15m 9s):

It's easy.

Joel (15m 10s):

You gotta go to, click on the link, put in your information. We're talking about free t-shirts and not some crappy Hanes beefy tee, we're talking about tri-blend, comb cotton. Like we spare no expense

Chad (15m 25s):

Comb cotton,

Joel (15m 25s):

That's thanks to Emissary, who's sponsoring that effort. We also have beer from our friends at Pillar and solid quality whiskey. I'm kind of in a scotch mood here that we're in Europe, or maybe Cognac or something we might have to throw out this month. But anyway, if you like whiskey, you have, you had a chance to win that. Just go to, click on the free link and register today.

Chad (15m 51s):


Joel (15m 52s):

And with that.

Chad (15m 52s):


Joel (15m 53s):

All right, Chad, LinkedIn is in the news again. Remember last week they were suing HighQ?

Chad (16m 2s):


Joel (16m 2s):

The media seemed to think was a big win for the industry. It was a little win for LinkedIn's legal department, for sure. Anyway, LinkedIn, and the US Department of Labor have settled allegations that the business networking, social media company failed to pay its male and female workers equally.

Chad (16m 25s):


Joel (16m 26s):

LinkedIn is required to pay the effected employees $1.8 million. So they looked in the couch cushion for that pay back. They paid back wages and interest. They're set to hold compliance, training and evaluate their pay equity over the next three years. I'm not sure why it's going to take three years? But anyway, the Serta ledges pay discrimination that denied 686 female workers at the company, San Francisco and Sunnyvale locations between March of '15 and March of '17. I know this kind of shit gets you fired up Chad. Thoughts?

Chad (16m 57s):

Yeah. I mean, that's back wages that they should have paid in the first place with interest, yada yada, yada, the EEOC, the U S government needs to be fining people. Okay. That's not a fine, that's the money that these people earned and they should have had in the first place. Right? So we're sitting in saying, oh, they're finally coming to the table and doing what they should have. Well, they didn't, they got caught. They should've got fined. They didn't get fined. So this is $1.8 million that they owed these people in the first place. In the statement on Monday, LinkedIn said it agreed to settle the matter, but denied that they paid the employees unequally.

Chad (17m 37s):

That is total complete bullshit in my opinion. Here's a quote "in 2021," this is something that they, you know, they did cause this was coming out and they knew this, this information was coming out on the settlement and they knew they were going to settle. So they had to do something. Here's a quote. "In 2021, we conducted an equal pay analysis and found that globally for every one dollar earned by men, our female employees earn 99 cents on the dollar, which is closer than the most, in the U S are employees of color earned a dollar for every dollar earned by our white employees," LinkedIn side. I love it. When companies share a fraction of their comp data, because you know, those are their best numbers.

Chad (18m 24s):

Now show us the worst. This is why full pay transparency is a must. Again, EEOC listen, PR firms and compliance pros believe that the crumbs are good enough, right? The employees, candidates and future employees all deserve that data out in the wild. Everybody should know how companies are paying. And this shouldn't be a, oh, wait a minute, the US government had to dig into this data, right? It should be out there for everybody. And this just demonstrates that a big company like LinkedIn owned by Microsoft, they still have a bunch of skeletons in their closet.

Chad (19m 5s):

They're only showing two pieces of data here.

Joel (19m 7s):

Yeah. Chad, I know you love pay transparency. Thank goodness government is taking the initiative to make this the law of the land because these fees that these companies are enduring.

Chad (19m 23s):


Joel (19m 24s):

Put that in quotes, just are not going to change the system.

Chad (19m 30s):


Joel (19m 30s):

The feet of LinkedIn, this is for 686 workers. That's not like four workers, right? That's a significant number. You might remember Google was required to pay $3.8 million last year for a compensation and hiring discrimination suit that happened there. This is chump change to Google, LinkedIn, these big tech companies. So unless the fees are going to be legitimate and the rewards are going to be significant. Remember there are legal fees in this. There are. I mean, if you really cut down on how much is going in terms of the workers, I mean, I don't know if it's worth it to go through the time and energy and legal battles to make this something that you want to do.

Joel (20m 17s):

So long story short I'm glad to see state governments, local governments, maybe federal governments at some point, make pay transparency the law of the land. Because I think this case shows that the fines are not going to get it done.

Chad (20m 30s):

Oh no. Well, in this again, this is not a fine, they need to be fined. And you point out a great, great area that is not covered. So they cover $1.8 million. What about all the time and that taxpayer money that was used to be able to get to this point, right? They need to fucking pony up for that shit too. This is not just about the employees who got fucked. This is now about the American taxpayer who's getting fucked, right. So again, Hey, great point. Great point.

Joel (21m 4s):

Money Chad. It's <inaudible> these motherfuckers. So let's talk about getting paid only if the details of the transaction are not disclosed.

Chad (21m 14s):

Go figure, go figure.

Joel (21m 15s):

Glassdoor wannabe Comparably has been acquired by ZoomInfo, a public company that trades under the ticker ZI. For those who don't know, Zoom collects data on people and organizations to support marketing, sales and recruiting initiatives details were not disclosed. Founded in 2015 by entrepreneur Jason Nazar, Comparablyy, he had raised a total of $13.8 million dollars. Comparably says it has 15 million reviews, enjoys 150% year over year growth, and saw more than 20 million visitors come to its employer review site last year. Nazar and the rest of the Comparably team will join ZoomInfo, which has 3000 employees and will also grow Comparably his team of just under a hundred people.

Joel (22m 1s):

The Comparably brand and product will remain intact. Chad, you got any thoughts on this deal?

Chad (22m 6s):

I'm finishing a cracker.

Joel (22m 7s):

They're so good. It's like a cheese garlic pepper explosion in your mouth.

Chad (22m 10s):

Gotta wash it down with <inaudible> here. Give me a second. Give me a second. Oh, that's good. I'm going to get a Duvel next to it. There's no question. Okay. So this is an interesting, because ZoomInfo is talking about attracting and hiring talent, number one and employer branding and recruitment marketing. I don't think those are areas that are really long-term and strategic wins for ZoomInfo, much like Google, Facebook and Stack Overflow. We've seen all those three organizations, big organizations jump out of talent acquisition and hiring and all that stuff. So I see ZoomInfo continuing to pull the data, for data's sake because they are a data company.

Chad (22m 51s):

I don't see them staying in the space at all, because I mean, if you think about all the different areas of business and business intelligence that they can actually go out and in rake in the cash, this is not one of them.

Joel (23m 5s):

There are two sides to this story from my perspective. So let's talk about the Comparably side real quick. The keyword there is 2015 founding. So if my math is right, 2022 minus 2015 is seven years. Seven years is typically the runway startups get by investors to have a liquidation event. And what did we have here? A liquidation event. So I think in large part, this deal had to be done in terms of the clock ticking from the investors.

Chad (23m 31s):

So a fire sale, you think?

Joel (23m 33s):

I don't know if it's a fire, it's a sale that had to happen, whether or not they took bottom dollar and we'll never know because the terms were not disclosed, but I have to think that it was not a hundred plus million dollar deal on this company. We can all agree that Comparably, he did not take down or really compete with Glassdoor in any significant way. They had partnered with ZipRecruiter late last year, which go to ZipRecruiter and try to find the Comparably data and reviews. Like it's not a real tight integration.

Chad (24m 8s):

Which is a failure for ZipRecruiter and Comparably. But I mean, but seriously, this because of ZipRecruiter really wants to compete with Indeed, they need to have the review data. I mean, a lot of that, that Glassdoor has in, I mean already integrated into Indeed.

Joel (24m 24s):

Yeah, I think so. There's, I don't know. Cause Monster a while back partnered with <inaudible>, for reviews, which they've since gotten rid of. So there there's some

Chad (24m 34s):

Is <inaudible> even around anymore.

Joel (24m 34s):

They're big in Europe, just like us Chad. So, so there's some disconnect with job boards thinking they can just plug in a little bit of data and I saw, I'm not sure what, what's the problem there, the disconnect there, but back to Comparably their founder is a serial entrepreneur guy. He, you know, founded a company before this one. So I think he was probably fed up with this whole employment business. He's probably got other ideas. My guess is he'll stick around for a year and then he'll become an advisor to the company and go start something else. So for Comparably, I think it was just, it was an attempt to take on Glassdoor, maybe, do it in a different way.

Joel (25m 17s):

It simply didn't work out. And I think that they found a buyer in ZoomInfo that made that work. Now let's go to ZoomInfo, the other piece of this commentary. So ZoomInfo, your member really started out as, almost a people search really early on. I can remember ZoomInfo where they would ask like send in business cards. And if you, if you put in people's info, you would get certain number of searches back. So there was sort of this crowd sourcing of data. So you you'd get a bunch of business cards put in their data and then you'd get a number of searches or credits or something. So anyway, they've evolved since then. They're a big company, publicly traded company and they have these three, three main segments that they targeted sales, marketing, and recruiting.

Joel (26m 5s):

Well, we talk a lot about the people search business and recruiting, becoming commoditized, right? We talk about Seek Out, Hiring Solved, Hire Easy, you know, all pivoting their businesses because it's becoming a commodity to search people online. So to me, if you were to argue why this works, it may be simply, Hey, look, if we can keep Comparably, separate, get employers to use that, maybe make it free, maybe make it like at least a loss leader, a lead funnel part of Zoom's business and say, Hey, you're using Comparably to build your brand, why not use ZoomInfo to source candidates and find people?

Joel (26m 47s):

So in that case it might work. Otherwise it feels a lot like putting a, you know, square peg in a round hole. It doesn't really make a lot of sense unless you think about, well, it could be a lead generator for the ZoomInfo recruiting business. So anyway, that's a long-winded way of saying like, this doesn't make a lot of sense. I think it was a startup that didn't quite make it, this story will be forgotten. I've already kind of forgotten about it, talking about it.

Chad (27m 17s):

I think Comparably will be forgotten in the next couple of years, it'll fade away and next thing you know, you're like, and I also think ZoomInfo. Won't go down the track of hiring and recruiting so it'll just kind of like disappear.

Joel (27m 34s):

Yeah. Okay. Well time will tell.

Chad (27m 35s):

That's where I'm at.

Joel (27m 37s):

Let's take a quick break and pay some bills and we'll do a little buy or sell. For sure.

Chad (27m 41s):

Love it.

Joel (27m 42s):

Might need another beer.

Chad (27m 43s):

All right Chad are you ready for a little buy or sell. I am always ready for buy or sell.

Joel (27m 47s):

Our listeners know how this works. We've got three startups who got money this week, and we're going to read a little summary and Chad and I are either going to buy or sell those startups. Number one is Bar Raiser, which makes me think of hell raiser, which gave me some nightmares last night. They tout themselves as "an interview as a service provider". That's clever. The company claims to be a quote, "groundbreaking AI enhanced smart interviewing platform" and has raised $4.2 million in seed money. Bar Raiser's, AI powered platform quote "schedules, candidate interviews around the clock, utilizes a global community of 800 plus recognized experts from leading companies to do those interviews"

Joel (28m 35s):

end quote. The funding will be used to expand the company's geographical presence and enable Bar Raiser to scale its engineering and data science teams. Chad are you ready to raise a glass to Bar Raiser or is this one a sell?

Chad (28m 53s):

So I'm a huge fan of interviewing tech. Anything to help expedite and scale the process during one of the worst bottlenecks in recruiting, which is interviewing. Interviewing sucks, but there are way too many questions when you're on the outside, looking in as a prospective client. Here's a quote from the press release "Bar Raiser's, AI powered platform, schedules candidate interviews around the clock, utilizing a global community of 800 plus recognized experts from leading companies" end quote. So is this platform all AI? They talk about AI a lot, right?

Chad (29m 35s):

No, there are 800 plus recognized industry experts for what? Are they doing the interviews or is the AI doing the interviews? Did the 800 plus experts help train the AI? And if so, who audits the AI? I mean, whether the 800 plus are experts or not, they're human and they hold biases. If the experts are performing the interview, then it's not AI. Right. And it's not scalable. And there's a lot of pay that has to go into that. Right? So too many questions, most around compliance, bias risk, and just an AI not incredibly scaled smoke screen, they're using AI a lot, but it feels like it's human powered.

Chad (30m 20s):

So this is an easy sell for me.

Joel (30m 23s):

All right. We don't have our soundboard cause we're live, but that's a sell for Mr. Sowash. So I like you, and it really enjoy video interviewing or interviewing technology. Sorry, there is video as part of this. I also think that companies hate hiring recruiters. I think if companies could streamline the number of recruiters that they have, maybe even making it zero, whether that's by automation or a tool like this, I think it makes a lot of sense. If I can have a team of quote unquote "experts" doing the interviewing and they're experienced with particular skill sets and asking the right questions and maybe getting just a feel for a candidate that I normally, maybe wouldn't, if I'm not a career recruiter in a specific skillset?

Joel (31m 10s):

I think this works where I think that it's a little tricky is these people don't work for the company. So how do you interview for a company and the first touch point with that company is a contractor pay to do the interviewing? Now I know that staffing and head hunting like that sort of normal in many cases, but I think it's just a little bit weird to have this person that is just sort of on contract to interview you. They may not know a lot about the company. So if you have questions about the culture, the benefits, et cetera, I mean, what do they say if they don't know? Oh, well, we'll get to that later. Or I'll send you a chat bot to talk to about benefits.

Joel (31m 53s):

So I think there are some disparate pieces that are a little bit in question here, but overall I think that the trend of replacing recruiters, reducing head count, having experts on contract to help you with the hiring process is a good thing. So for me, Chad, it's a buy! It's a buy.

Chad (32m 19s):

Really? Wow!

Joel (32m 19s):

Let's go company number two.

Chad (32m 20s):

Okay. Valance.

Joel (32m 21s):

Valance! This startup based in beautiful Toronto, Canada, don't call it Toronto Chad, cause that's not how the Canadian say it. Founded in 2017 describes itself as a set of tools for talent and development, specifically teams based coaching in an organization. Valanced lets managers track team performance by certain metrics. And if they deem it necessary, intervene with quote "guided conversations" end quote. Guided. The New York based company announced this week, it raised $25 million in a series. A round customers include Fortune 500 brands like, Ooh, Coca-Cola, Boston Scientific, Alumina and Applied Materials.

Joel (33m 5s):

Chad, are you ready to get down with Valance? Or is this one a dumper?

Chad (33m 11s):

So it's interesting because after years of working hybrid remote, you know, the whole COVID thing, companies are panicking about hybrid and remote. They've been doing this for years, but they're fucking panicking right now. So how will we ever manage these people? How will we drive and develop better teamwork? The sky is falling. I mean, this is chicken little 101 and that's what's happening in the market right now. So well Valanced provides somewhat of an easy button for a company to hit during panic season. It feels like a little bit of a spyware platform wrapped into a remote teamwork, kind of deal.

Chad (33m 54s):

But I think companies will hit the Valance easy button. And I see a company like this being a perfect acquisition target for a company like Remote, who has a ton of fucking cash, which would broaden their Tam and wallet share. So for me, it's a buy. Now one big point of advice for Valance, get a few industry advisors and to help them around, go to market at this point. Do it quick! Because this is the time, there's going to be a window. You have to get this done, but you, they don't have enough experience on their team. I believe to actually get this done quickly on a go to market side.

Joel (34m 33s):

And Chad and I are for sale. Just say you know Valance.

Chad (34m 39s):

Now I wasn't doing that, but why don't ya.

Joel (34m 42s):

Slide in Chad's DMS. Alright. Valance work look work from home has made conversations and engagement more important than ever. Plus retention and internal mobility are vital in light of quote" the great resignation"

Chad (34m 55s):

It is.

Joel (34m 55s):

Companies like Valance. It kind of feels old school unlike, I don't know, tracking biometrics where you can wear an aura ring and companies sort of find out how you're feeling, but maybe the world needs a little old school human interaction. And to me, that sort of what Valance is hoping to do. I think they play in that lane. I think they'll get a ton of competition and you've already commented on some of the burgeoning startups that are looking to compete in this space, as well as some of the big guys that are making inroads into the whole remote work from home. How do we keep it human? How do we keep people engaged? But I also like it as you do as an acquisition target for someone in the very near future.

Joel (35m 39s):

And I think the 25 million that they have make it affordable for a lot of companies. So for me as well. It's a buy.

Chad (35m 49s):

Man you're buying everything.

Joel (35m 50s):

Let's go to Panda, oh, wait for this, let's go to Pando, don't call them logical. This San Francisco based startup says it's an employee career progression platform that aims to make the insights gleaned from an annual review available year round. CEO, Barbara Gago said in a Forbes interview quote, "the biggest mistake that companies are making today is keeping employees in the dark about their future." end quote. The company is coming out of its beta period and launching with a $6.9 million in seed and pre-seed funding. The Pando platform allows employees and managers to continuously track competency scores on things like communication, project management, mentorship, community building, and other contributions to the workplace.

Joel (36m 40s):

Customers include our friends at Oyster HR, Shipwell and Fidelity. Pando, not to be confused with podcast sponsor, Pandologic currently targets businesses with 50 to a thousand employees. Chad, are you doing the Pando or you don't the Pando?

Chad (36m 52s):

This is an Amsterdam company! We're in close proximity. As a matter of fact, we were there yesterday. We could have met up with the founder, but the founder and CEO has a background, pretty impressive background with Greenhouse and Culture Amp, right? So I expect a lot from this, but Pando is selling employee progression. Have you heard that term during the current state of the market? No, no, no words like internal mobility, retention are selling right now, nothing on the homepage or the about page says anything about internal mobility or retention.

Chad (37m 32s):

If you understand this industry, which she should, you know, she was in marketing for these organizations, by the way. You know, those are the two topics that are incredibly hot right now. If a startup can't understand how to articulate the product, that's a huge warning sign. If the company brings in some industry experts, again, understands the industry problems and then wraps this new message around the brand, it might be a buy, but at this point they have no clue what the problem is in the industry. So it's a sell for me.

Joel (38m 12s):

Oh wow. That's two sells for Mr. Sowash. All right. Blame it on the millennials. Different than Valance's sort of deep conversations that I think they're trying to drive with employees, this is a continuous feedback loop that I think millennials have driven is something that they need and have to have an employment. No word on gen Z's opinion on this sort of stuff, they seem to be a little bit tougher, rough around the edges. I guess the time will tell on that. But to me, this has already been done. You mentioned Culture Amp, 15 five has been around for a decade. You have big players like Lattice looking into this sort of business.

Joel (38m 52s):

So two things there. One is if it's been around for 10 years, why hasn't it been a huge win? Why hasn't 15, Five gone public or been bought for a ton of money? Right? So to me, like there's no track record that this is a huge deal. Will millennials change that? Will it become that much more popular? Will they not go to the people with big dollars that are more platform related that can provide this service for companies. So from, to me, it just feels a lot like a knife in a gunfight.

Chad (39m 23s):


Joel (39m 23s):

I don't think it ends well for Pando. I'm also not going to be surprised if a cease and desist from our friends at Pandologic make its way to Pando. I don't know. I think a sales person says, Hey, I'm from Pando. Although they do have, which is good on them, that they were able to get that for. But for me, this is like, it's been there, done that. They don't have the, the guns to come in fighting and be competitive. So for me, Pando, they are my sell for the week.

Chad (39m 53s):

To buys in one sell from Cheeseman, two sells and a buy for me.

Joel (39m 57s):

Sounds about right. Let's take a quick break. So let's come back and talk a little Nike and Airbnb. Yes. Chad, there's a leak I want to say.

Chad (40m 8s):

Is that what that sound was?

Joel (40m 9s):

There was a leak. Nike this week announced a phased return to US offices requiring most workers to return by May 3rd. What is today? May 5th. Oh my God they're already at work.

Chad (40m 20s):

Can they make up their minds? It's like, they're remote. There's a hybrid there. I mean, oh my God.

Joel (40m 26s):

So they're, they're going with a three, two hybrid model. An internal email back in December.

Chad (40m 32s):

Isn't that a defense. I think that's a defense.

Joel (40m 35s):

It sounds a little bit like a boiling pot of frog to me, but let's dig into this. Back in December a secret memo that leaked, revealed that only 54% of employees thought Nike's plan to return to the office back then gave them enough flexibility. Fast forward to today and Nike has changed his tune a little bit saying quote, "we are phasing our return over the coming months to give you the time space and flexibility to plan and prepare." That's what they told workers. Nike said in the message they quote, "embodied flexibility" Chad.

Chad (41m 10s):


Joel (41m 11s):

On the other side of that coin, let's talk a little Airbnb.

Chad (41m 15s):


Joel (41m 15s):

In contrast our friends at Airbnb, a company that seems to do just about everything right? Am I right? Has taken a different approach announcing on their website, not a leak Chad, not an email leak. On their website from their CEO says that workers can basically do whatever the hell they want. Home, office, mom's basement. Airbnb don't give a shit. They've been more productive than ever. They found that working from home increases productivity, increases profits, and they are full on in board, not just the tip. The company CEO wrote quote "today's startups have embraced remote work and flexibility.

Joel (41m 59s):

And I think this will become the predominant way that we all work 10 years from now." This is where the world is going. Chad who really embodies flexibility again? Is it Nike or is it Airbnb? Your thoughts?

Chad (42m 13s):

Ooh, I think, I think Nike's lost their way, man, but before I get there, I gotta say, Brian Chesky is my fucking hero. Not because of this move, but because of his consistency or his constant focus on what is best for his employees, number one. Hosts and then the company, he understands that driving revenue doesn't happen without those stakeholders. There are plenty of old white dudes out there that will fund or become stockholders, right? But the most important humans are the employees and the hosts who live in bleed, AirBnB for the last 40 years, we focused on the old white dudes who have the money.

Chad (43m 2s):

Those are not the people who are actually making the organizations run. So as I had said, I feel like Nike is truly lost their way in comparison. In this email 40- 54% of employees thought Nike's plan to return to the office gave them. So an internal email that month revealed that only 54% of employees thought Nike's plan to return to the office gave them enough flexibility. Again, flexibility isn't a forced measure and it's not boiling the frog, which I think Nike's trying to do here. So when we are in such a tight labor market where you want the best and brightest, right?

Chad (43m 42s):

You're not going to be able to get it in a three, two scenario where people, it's transparent. What you're trying to do is force people back into the office for five days. That's all there is to it, right? So I think Nike is losing here. Airbnb will get much better talent, no question

Joel (44m 4s):

Two well-known companies. Two very different companies. Nike is a 50 year old business that makes a physical shoe as well as clothes and a bunch of other stuff. Making stuff lends itself to being with someone. And you and I have talked about, could the iPhone been made today in a work for home environment?

Chad (44m 22s):

I think it could easily.

Joel (44m 24s):

You say, yes. I have my doubts. We talk about remote work, getting messy, big banks, get your ass back to work. That's the culture. That's just the way I think that's going to be. Airbnb, tech companies. He's right. 10 years from now. I don't know if they'll have offices and if they have offices, it'll be, you know, barista serving coffee and entertainment and bowling. I don't know what that'll look like.

Chad (44m 51s):

Stand up comics at five o'clock.

Joel (44m 52s):

If your job is, you know, coding, selling, you know, dealing with funnels and, you know, cloud computing, like there's no reason to be in a physical office. Now. I think we both agree that it's going to take 10 years for everything to figure out like, okay, I want to work for JP Morgan. You know, I want to work for a big Wall Street firm and I know that if I want to do that, I have to go to work every day and I have to put on a suit and I have to meet with clients. And this is if I choose that route of work, that's what I'm going to do. If that's not for me, I have alternate. I have options, right there going to be people who want to make shoes or Teslas or pat Peloton bags that realize if I want to do that, I have to be in the office for a particular, you know, particular time to put my hands on the product, to make the product, to coordinate with other people that are making the product.

Joel (45m 38s):

So I think maybe things are going into like a three tiered employer, right? Like it's either you're here all the time. You're here kind of sorta, or we don't give a shit. And it seems to me like the big reshuffling will be the employees at Nike who don't want to go to work at all. They're going to go work for the Airbnb's of the world.

Chad (45m 58s):

There will be challenger shoe companies that will actually provide more, more flexibility that will actually drain that talent from them. And that's what we're seeing from the banking and Goldman Sachs and Jamie Diamond and whatnot. You're seeing challenger companies saying, guess what? Those assholes won't do it. We will do it.

Joel (46m 12s):

That's a great point. Because when you look at companies like Allbirds and up and coming shoe companies, which by the way, who would ever say, I'm going to make a shoe company, like why would you go after the dollars in brands that are in there? But anyway, people do it. I agree with you. I agree with you. And so the it'll come down to what percentage of people want to work whenever they want wherever they want, however they want. How many want to do hybrid and how many like want to just balls out, go to the office and do that whole game. I don't have an answer for that. And I don't think you do either, but I think both of us probably expect a greater number of people to want the flexibility, to do whatever the hell they want, wherever the hell they want, whenever the hell they want.

Joel (46m 53s):

So in that case, the employers that offer that, are going to get the best people period. So if you, as an organization, aren't thinking about how do we make that world happen? You're just going to lose. You're going to lose in the future.

Chad (47m 10s):

I agree. And last but not least for me, I think every company should look at Brian Chesky and his leadership and not his moves, but, how authentic he is. He is transparent. He is authentic when he fucks up, he says, he's fucked up. That to me, shows real true leadership.

Joel (47m 33s):

Tale of two companies. The Nike story was leaked emails from employees. Airbnb. I had to do a double-take because

Chad (47m 41s):


Joel (47m 43s):

This is on Airbnb's website and it's from Brian Chesky. Yes. Like that's a tale of two companies, a tale of two different times, in business and the future favors the Airbnb's of the world.

Chad (48m 0s):

Agreed. And we're going to enjoy a tale of two beers.

Joel (48m 4s):

What's going on. Hey, what's going on?

Chad (48m 7s):

Going finish our <inaudible> and get a <inaudible>.

Joel (48m 10s):

We're on a beach in Belgium drinking beer. Life is good.

Chad and Cheese (48m 13s):

We out.

OUTRO (48m 52s):

Thank you for listening to, what's it called? The podcast with Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of Shout Outs of people, you don't even know and yet you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one cheddar, blue, nacho, pepper jack, Swiss. So many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Any hoo be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts, that way you won't miss an episode. And while you're at it, visit just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. Is so weird. We out.


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