This week's episode reads like an alternative to the movie Boogie Nights. We're talkin' Mya, Wade & Wendy, strippers and exploding vaginas. Oh, and we even have a European standing in for Chad, who's basking in the Costa Rica sunshine. A-hole! To stick it to him, we discuss Amazon and checks from the government in his absence. Let's get funky! As always, Sovren, JobAdx and Jobvite are bringing the kink.
PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:
Cheesy does it here. Chad is in beautiful Costa Rica this week, which means you get me a guest host and a finished product that resembles a Grateful Dead bootleg more than it does the silky smooth production quality you're used to. Hey, whatever. It's not like we're solving world peace up in here.
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. are
Oh yeah! Because cheese pizzas are the best pizzas. Anyway. Hey kids, it's Joel "pole dancer" Cheeseman.
I'm gonna Leavin, you'll never pronounce my name correctly.
True that on this week show StepStone and the Maya munchies, startups hope to dethrone, LinkedIn and stripping ain't easy. Sit tight. We're building bridges across the Atlantic this week
INTRO accident... (1m 13s):
Hide your kids, lock the doors you're listening to,
SOVREN PARSER PROMO (1m 15s):
You already know that Sovren makes the world's best resume CV parser, but did you know that Sovren also makes the world's best AI matching engine? Only Sovren's AI matching engine goes beyond the buzzwords. With Sovren you control how the engine thinks with every match the Sovren engine tells you what matched and exactly how each matching document was scored. And if you don't agree with the way it's scored the matches, you can simply move some sliders to tell it, to score the matches your way. No other engine on earth gives you that combination of insight and control. With Sovren, matching isn't some frustrating "black box, trust us, it's magic, one shot deal"
SOVREN PARSER PROMO (1m 59s):
like all the others. No, with Sovren, matching is completely understandable, completely controllable, and actually kind of fun. Sovren ~ software so human you'll want to take it to dinner.
Joel (2m 21s):
Welcome to the show.
Leavin (2m 23s):
Hi Joel. Thanks for having me.
Joel (2m 25s):
So say your last name again for everybody
Leavin (2m 28s):
Von Neuenheuser <inaudible>.
Joel (2m 30s):
Von Bismarck what? Well just call you leave, leavin' Las Vegas.
Leavin (2m 37s):
It's almost the same thing, I guess.
Joel (2m 38s):
Nice, nice. So thanks for guest co-hosting with me today in Chad's absence, we've already pushed a soundbite that we weren't supposed to, or at least I have. So we've got our mistake out of the way, which means it's going to be a silky smooth show, the rest of the way. So for our listeners and that's a hundred percent, pretty much, don't know who you are. Give us your Twitter bio.
Leavin (3m 2s):
Okay. Twitter, meaning fast?
Joel (3m 4s):
Leavin (3m 4s):
Okay. Sure. I am <inaudible> I'm Chief Digital Arts Heads of HR and in the U S you probably don't know <inaudible> and most people in Europe, I guess don't know either, but we're a staffing company, temping company, specialized in recruitment and engineering solutions and specialized staffing. We're active in 10 European countries. And we have about $2 billion of revenue. So we're not small, but we are not as big as adequate around start yet. We are on our way. We are growing fast and I'm chief digital meaning responsible for digital innovation, either commitments, those kinds of things.
Leavin (3m 46s):
And I've been in the business for about 20 years, I guess, now? I started at a local newspaper, a local, I mean, Belgium and Belgium newspaper. I launched the job ads, which the website for the job bird for the newspaper. I've worked for US <inaudible> people for some other companies, but always within recruitment and digital.
Joel (4m 9s):
Okay, well, let's cut to the important stuff. Your favorite Belgian beer is what?
Leavin (4m 14s):
<inaudible> It's a Tapas to beer brewed by the monks in West <inaudible>. Exclusive but my mom happens to be a old friend of the <inaudible>, Chief monk , and I just have to drive to West <inaudible> and they fill my car with beer.
Joel (4m 34s):
Is that the one where they only have like a few distribution days a year and you have to like be there at the right time or know the right people. Is that the same monastery?
Leavin (4m 44s):
That is the one.
Joel (4m 45s):
Wow. So for our listeners, Leavin, I think saw me speak in the mid two thousands and reached out to me a couple of years ago when we could still travel and said, Hey, do you want to come to our annual conference and do a little talk about whatever you want? And I said, sure, why not? Went out to a middle, middle aged city, some Renaissance, whatever alcove in Belgium. Leavin fed me beers showed me a good time and I can tell you he's, you know, in his 20 years experience, the dude is super sharp in this industry. He knows Europe as good as anybody that I've ever talked to.
Joel (5m 25s):
And for those reasons, a little teaser here, everybody, you're going to hear a lot more from Leavin in the future. I'll just Leavin, it at that, if you know what I'm saying. So Leavin fan of the show, you know, we got to do shout outs. So I'm gonna let you do the first one, my friend.
Leavin (5m 41s):
Okay. Then one, just one big shout out to my boss. <inaudible> who finally got COVID. She's been avoiding it for two years now, but she finally got covered and I wish her all the best.
Joel (5m 56s):
So in Europe is finally got COVID a badge of honor. I don't understand why that's a shout out?
Leavin (6m 1s):
Well, no, but she's evading it for almost two years and now it's caught up with her. So we feel sorry for her, and we hope she's getting better fast because I miss her.
Joel (6m 13s):
Well, if she's listening to her best employee on this sad excuse for a podcast she's not doing very well at the moment. Anyway, so how has COVID how's it going? How's the vaccination going in Europe?
Leavin (6m 26s):
Oh, it depends on what country you're in. Belgium is going slow. The other countries, some are doing great. The Nordics are pretty advanced, I guess, Ireland as well, UK, probably too. But in Belgium, they've been talking a lot about what vaccine are we going to give? And then they were all sold out so we had to wait.
Joel (6m 47s):
Well, thankfully, a lot of countries are opening up to travel, which makes Chad and I very happy. So hopefully we'll be able to have some of that Belgian brew, face-to-face at some point in the fall.,
Leavin (6m 60s):
I'm expecting you on November the 18th of November to be precise. And
Joel (7m 6s):
Look at you! Throwing in the plugs. Yeah, seriously in the podcast. I like that. What was that date again? Leavin November what?
Leavin (7m 15s):
Number 18th. It's our <inaudible> day. And it's <inaudible> recruitment conference to Congress at which you spoke a few years ago in <inaudible>. Now it's an Austin's it's at the sea and we're going to do it a hybrid, so if COVID stops bothering us, you'll be there present. I will be there anyway, but you will be there live and otherwise it will be virtual. Sorry
Joel (7m 38s):
It's hard to drink beer virtually as good as the stuff that comes out of Belgium. So anyway, hopefully we can get there in person. I've got a couple shout outs. Number one, I've got a shout out for Gwyneth Paltrow. I'm not sure she's got gotten COVID yet or not, but anyway, her company GOOP, which I've never bought anything from, is being sued. So a Texas man is suing Paltrow's company, over a $75 candle called you ready for this? The candle is called "this smells like my vagina." The Texas man said the candle exploded in his bedroom.
Joel (8m 22s):
This has to be a joke, right?
Leavin (8m 25s):
I hope it is. Not sure.
Joel (8m 29s):
I don't know what source of the candle that smells like Gwyneth vagina or getting sued because it exploded in your bedroom. Anyway. Shout out to Gwyneth. I hope that lawsuit pans out in your favor. My second shout out goes to Harry and Charlie.
Leavin (8m 45s):
Joel (8m 45s):
Who the fuck are Harry and Charlie, you might be asking? You've probably seen the YouTube video of Charlie bit me, where the two young English boys are playing a little slap and tickle. Charlie bites Harry, and the cute as hell quote, "Charlie, you bit me. That hurt, Charlie." You've seen this video right, Leavin?
Leavin (9m 5s):
I saw it.
Joel (9m 7s):
This thing's been viewed 800 million times, probably a billion since we've been talking about this news story. So anyway, the boys are grown up. This happened in 2007, so they're legal age now. And they are auctioning off the official or the original video of this Epic bite on the internet as an NFT. You can find out more at Charliebitme.com, which is actually starting in about two days. So by the time you listen to this podcast, you head on over to Charliebitme.com and you can make a play for that lovely video, with a nice NFT purchase, which will probably go for a hundred million plus, seeing how NFTs are going these days.
Joel (9m 55s):
My last little tidbit is, I got to talk about free shit. If you like bourbon, if you like awesome tri-blend t-shirts. If you like whiskey. We got it! You got to head out to Chadcheese.com/free. We've got shirts sponsored by Emissary. We've got whiskey sponsored by Sovren and we have beer sponsored by AdZuna. So if you haven't done that yet, kids get on out to chadcheese.com/free and sign up today. And with that, we got some news hot off the presses.
Joel (10m 37s):
This came across my desk this morning, actually. So pandoLogic, sponsor of the show has announced that they have acquired chatbot Wade and Wendy. So there'll be a shred on this that will probably go out before this weekly show so check the archives for this. But basically terms were not disclosed, which usually means it was cheaper than the investors would like to have announced. They're keeping all the employees at the company, there are currently 14, that will stay with the organization. Wade and Wendy brand will continue to live, but it will have a Pando company quote "under the logo,"
Joel (11m 19s):
as it appears on websites and conferences and wherever, wherever else, you see the Wade and Wendy logo. The company was founded in 2015 and they had raised roughly, they had raised 11 and a half million dollars from a variety of investors, including Ron Stott innovation fund, which is from your neck of the woods, Leavin. Any comment about this impending feeding frenzy on chatbots? I assume they're all the rage in Europe just as they are here in America.
Leavin (11m 49s):
Yeah, we acquired our own. We have Dora at happy recruiter or at least we have a part in it. And we felt if we want to play with the big voice, we need a chatbot. We were right, because it actually works. We're doing our own recruitment through chatbots. We were reaching out to people on social media, trying to find those passive job seekers and the chatbot is doing the hard work it's getting in touch with people, it's asking the right questions, trying to make appointments. And then our recruiters can spend time on the things they are actually good in, making conversation with interested people.
Joel (12m 26s):
Yep. And I assume scheduling as part of that as well, which we hear is a real nice, nice feature of chatbots. That scheduling is a real pain in the ass.
Leavin (12m 35s):
Working 24 hours, seven days. So people can answer the questions when they want.
Joel (12m 41s):
No doubt. Now, did you acquire a Happy Recruiter used to be a sponsor for a minute. Did you acquire those guys?
Leavin (12m 47s):
Yeah, we have part of them. We were shareholder not to the whole thing.
Joel (12m 53s):
Okay. They were looking to grow in the U S, have they started expanding effectively?
Leavin (12m 59s):
In Europe they are. In the US, maybe, I know there are plans, but I should talk to them. I'm not sure about US. I do know about Europe.
Joel (13m 10s):
Well, obviously, if they were advertising on our show for a minute, they're looking to get into the US to some degree, because that is the bulk of our listeners.
Leavin (13m 17s):
So free advertising now.
Joel (13m 19s):
Yes so that is free advertising now they're in the U S now whether they like it or not, and I didn't know that you had acquired them so I didn't set you up for a freebie ad there, by the way. So, so the chatbot feeding frenzy continues. This was a shred out late last week, at StepStone, another company in your neck of the woods had acquired Maya, who was basically the pioneer, the OG of the recruiting chatbots. So this is Dusseldorf based StepStone acquired San Francisco based Maya, pioneer in the chat bots technology. The new technology will become part of Step Stone's, autonomous matching platform.
Joel (14m 0s):
That's trademarked. Based in machine learning, conversational AI will enable job seekers to find matching job opportunities, even without actively searching for them. The technology draws conclusions from talking to the candidate and then suggesting suitable jobs, via text message, WhatsApp or onsite chat. Total jobs, which is a big name in the UK will be the first Step Stone's job platforms to integrate its new autonomous matching technology powered by Maya. Step Stone's total jobs platform in Germany will integrate the technology after the UK later this year. Maya Systems was founded in 2012 and raised around $52 million.
Joel (14m 43s):
So the feeding frenzy continues. Interestingly, from this on May 10th, there was a news story on the internet that had been deleted. The archive was still available. There was some speculation by me as to why the story had been deleted. After I sort of published it and the shred, went out, Maya and StepStone, officially released the news. So there was some speculation as to why they wanted to keep it quiet and it could have just been timing, right? They were gonna, they were going to announce it anyway, but someone, someone jumped the gun. Interestingly, Axel Springer, who owns all these companies also owns App Cast, which could be the reason why they wanted to keep it quiet.
Joel (15m 32s):
You'll remember that after they acquired App Cast, there was another feeding frenzy in the programmatic universe specifically Indeed acquired Click IQ and has since launched their own little programmatic solution called Indeed IQ. Do you expect more and more chatbots to be bought up? And do you, are you suspicious at all that the terms of these deals aren't being disclosed? Because I think the assumption was that these would be pretty big deals, as in a hundred million plus, and it looks like they're going for a little less than maybe, people like me thought they would. What are your thoughts?
Leavin (16m 14s):
Huh? Can't say anything intelligent about the amounts. Actually have no clue, but I'm sure does traditional job boards they need to do something. And for example, StepStone, they've been there for 20 years, I guess, more, even more? And when I started working, StepStone was the number one job board in Europe. And if you needed a job, you went to StepStone. But now I just did a survey with my students at Entrepreneur University. I also am a part-time teacher and a guest lecturer. And she did,<inaudible> from our subscription on the subjects, how are young people finding their first jobs and how are companies reaching out to young people to starters?
Leavin (16m 59s):
And so it's really interesting. We did a big survey on what channels are those people using? And we asked them what job boards do you know? And we actually feed them the name, We said do you know Monster? Do you know StepStone? Do you know a big one in Belgium, Job Ads et cetera? And StepStone, two out of three people never heard of it. They just, it didn't ring a bell. Monster, even three out of four, meaning those companies haven't been advertising enough and the new generation just doesn't know it. They've never been looking for a job so why would they know a company hiring or an intermediary in hiring people? So I guess for step one, they need to do something.
Leavin (17m 39s):
And they used to be a job board. They still are with a paper credit's business model, which is in my opinion, outdated. And you have to pay per click and pay per lead even. So paper credit is old school. And they have a CV database, which is also outdated because you have now LinkedIn with the best CV database in the world, I guess. It's self-sustainable. so they need to do something. And if they want to reach out to passive job seekers, I guess the chatbots are the way to go. <inaudible>
Joel (18m 12s):
So, so, so basically, your thesis is that these old school job boards, these old creaky cobweb ridden job boards are trying to be with the cool kids by buying up the chatbots and hoping that that will reinvigorate their connection with younger folks, who obviously are messaging and chatting 24 hours a day.
Leavin (18m 33s):
Joel (18m 34s):
Curious how Indeed fared in your survey. Were they part of the data-set?
Leavin (18m 41s):
Yeah. And the name didn't ring a bell at all. They were, but it's been two years so probably now they're getting bigger, but in those days they weren't very known, but people found them through Google, I guess. And they just didn't realize it was Indeed they were clicking on. And now the name is the brand is getting more recognition and nice to know Indeed is making lots of commercials in Belgium and the surrounding countries because they want to stretch us, stretch it as long as they can, I guess.
Joel (19m 14s):
Yeah. Because they have to.
Leavin (19m 16s):
They have to.
Joel (19m 17s):
How about Glass Door? Were they on the survey?
Leavin (19m 20s):
No, not at all because at that point I probably hardly knew to myself.
Joel (19m 25s):
Leavin (19m 25s):
Glassdoor, isn't really a thing here. And now it is because Google for jobs was launched and they have an agreement. And, Glassdoor is mentioned constantly with the salary survey or the benchmark, or how do you call it? But people are getting to know it now, but it's going slow.
Joel (19m 42s):
So, so that leads us, that segues into our next story. This is how we re roll on this show. So Indeed, Glassdoor's parent company recruit holdings came out with fourth quarter revenue growth this past quarter that was boosted by the likes of Glassdoor and Indeed. So Japanese staffing firm Recruit Holdings reported revenue this week for the fourth quarter, ended 31st of March of five point $61 billion. Good God, that's a lot of money. This was an increase of 4% when compared to the same period last year, the group's HR technology business, which includes Indeed and Glassdoor drove growth during the quarter, the revenue increase in HR technology was primarily driven by increased demand for sponsored job advertising.
Joel (20m 31s):
For the fiscal year, approximately 75% of HR technology revenue was derived from business clients in the US. That's kind of interesting US is driving a lot of the revenue here. So by the 26th of March jobs postings on Indeed in the U S were 13.5% above those from February 1st, 2020. The company's guidance is for growth of between 40 and 50%, damm, for its HR technology division again, including Indeed and Glassdoor. Also Recruit Holdings announced this week, a little bit of a sidebar here that it aims to have women in half of its senior executive roles within 10 years.
Joel (21m 15s):
So it looks like you'll be seeing a lot more of Indeed and Glassdoor, when you look at this 50, 40% growth. And the fact that 75% of that looks like it's coming from the US. A lot of room for growth, what kind of odds do you give them to make any kind of, you know, significant traction over in Europe?
Leavin (21m 34s):
Hm. They are growing fast, I guess, and they're gaining ground, but I don't like the way Indeed is working today. And I feel, and I'm still a believer Google for Jobs is going to solve its little growing pains and they'll be bigger to become better and they will play Indeed out of the markets. But that's my opinion. We had our issues with Indeed and they deliver us lots of traffic and it works, but it's not always easy. I feel they, when I, when I'm teaching, actually I teach E-recruitment.
Leavin (22m 17s):
I used to tell my students Indeed is the job board of the future, while I don't do that anymore, that I don't feel there are the job board of the future. They used to be the job board of the future and now they have to reinvent themselves. And I feel they are constantly on the lookout for something new. And they started virtual fairs, et cetera, and new businesses. And they're constantly changing positions, but we don't really know what they are going to do. I have no idea.
Joel (22m 44s):
Well, it's interesting your take on a Glassdoor being a zero until their pay, pay information started showing up on Google for jobs. I assume their Glassdoor jobs are on Google for jobs as well, whereas people, so now people can find them there. I I'm guessing I haven't heard anything about Indeed adding their jobs to Google for jobs over in Europe for a while. I know that they were testing, I think in France for a bit of time. Are you seeing anything on your end, in terms of more Indeed content showing up on Google for jobs or driving more traffic through Google for jobs, or are they still sort of absent and just running, advertising?
Leavin (23m 25s):
Their absent, but just in the organic search, we can still find them. They are still on top, but not Google for jobs the top of the top. So I guess they must feel it.
Joel (23m 36s):
Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Okay. Well, speaking of on top and hoping to stay on top, a lot of companies, startups have their eye on LinkedIn and dethroning those guys. So Upstream, a Miami-based professional networking platform raised 2.75 million in seed money this week, bringing their total raise to 3.25 million in order to take on LinkedIn. Unlike LinkedIn Upstream focuses on generating meaningful, meaningful connections between its members. And one way they go about it is by hosting digital events that start with a speaker followed by a breakout match session that are five minutes each.
Joel (24m 19s):
A Tech Crunch rider called it LinkedIn meets Clubhouse meets Hop In, said, Alex Taub co-founder and CEO of Upstream quote" You don't go to LinkedIn to meet people. You don't hang out and spend meaningful time there." end quote. Another LinkedIn want to be called Hardy is another notable newcomer who's making some waves and I've personally gotten some invites in my inbox. So Leavin, I drank the Kool-Aid from LinkedIn regularly, but where are your thoughts on LinkedIn's blossoming competition? You give them a shot or not so much?
Leavin (24m 58s):
I do actually, because LinkedIn has been struggling and I'm reading on LinkedIn, well, I've been following them since they launched, I guess, and, we've been working with them and I've visited their conferences worldwide and I've been working with LinkedIn daily. So I think I know them. And they've been struggling with finding people who could deliver content, which was good enough because today the content on LinkedIn mostly is people shouting out to other people and saying meaningless stuff like a good leader is the one who's a whatever. So HR nonsense, in my opinion.
Joel (25m 35s):
Leavin (25m 35s):
All just soft kinds of stuff and they tried launching LinkedIn articles to get people to write essays, but it never worked. People use it as a career marketing technique to launch their vacancies on the articles. They have no LinkedIn live and you can live stream on LinkedIn and it's works, but if you see the number of people looking at it's always a low. Just so one of our big competitors launching in a while, I was on the stream launching, well, they have 200 people watching the stream. Sorry about a feel they should be talking to you they would have more or listeners.
Joel (26m 18s):
Leavin (26m 19s):
So I think it's a good thing that LinkedIn gets a decent competitor. I hope it will be a decent competitor, it's a good thing, will make them less arrogant, which today, in my opinion, sometimes they are. And maybe , what you said, something in between LinkedIn and what were the other two, you mentioned?
Joel (26m 42s):
Clubhouse and HopIn, which is sort of a virtual event.
Leavin (26m 48s):
I really don't like Clubhouse myself, but I guess some people do. And HopIn is a virtual fair, so if they can mix those three, why not?
Joel (26m 58s):
I think you've moved my needle a little bit. I mean, I think what you said in terms of arrogance, hubris is a good word that I like to use a lot. I mean, look, they're pretty satisfied with what's going on. I think they have 750 million users, you know, heading fast 800 and a billion here. At some point they still have the network effects of that's where people are. Particularly old people like me. So, you know, when I got the invite to Hardy, the comment I had internally was like, why in the hell am I going to fill out another like profile? When I already have one on LinkedIn, I already have thousands of followers and connections and I get traction there.
Joel (27m 43s):
Like, there's no reason for someone my age to move off of LinkedIn. However, there's a whole new generation and you mentioned teaching students. There's a new crop of people every year that are looking for ways to connect professionally. And I think like, you know, those people are going to look for other homes besides LinkedIn. I think a lot of them will set up shop in LinkedIn because they feel like that's where the companies are. And that's where, you know, I can get traction in my career, but I think they'll have another foot in other places. I know like a Bumble, Bumble here in the U S in particular, is a popular dating site, which apparently is getting traction with sort of friend relationships and potentially business relationships.
Joel (28m 29s):
So there's going to be an audience that gravitates somewhere other than LinkedIn and you know, why not? And I think LinkedIn has become a little stale. I think they're trying to throw things like stories and video and live stuff, you know, at the market. But I mean, stories, for example, I mean, stories are the lifeblood of Instagram and Snapchat, and I see very little traction for stories on LinkedIn. So I think you're onto something and saying like, Hey, they're kind of satisfied. They're making a lot of money and they're going to make a lot of money with the job. You know, jobs heating up but longer term, you know, competition is good.
Joel (29m 11s):
And I think younger people will be looking for an alternative to LinkedIn, just like they look for an alternative to Facebook and Instagram and others. So, nice take on that. Let's, let's take a quick break. And when we get back, we'll talk about free money, which is something you Europeans know a lot about.
Jobvite PROMO (29m 32s):
You know, Steve, it feels like we keep getting pushed to hire more and better candidates with no more budget. Right? I wish there was a way to get better results from what we're doing. Actually, I heard in episode of Chad and Cheese about this framework from Jobvite. Oh yeah. Evolve. It's a technology agnostic framework to help TA teams get better results from their recruiting efforts. And we don't even have to be a Jobvite by customer to use it. I bet we would get better results if we orchestrated all of our efforts. You mean like a centralized process and all of our channels working together? For sure, whether it's job boards, social, or even texting with candidates. Let's do that. jobvite.com/evolve.
Jobvite PROMO (30m 12s):
I'll send you the link. Cool. I'm going to finish watching this episode of Bridgerton.
Joel (30m 17s):
So I feel a little guilty talking about Amazon with Chad not here, cause it's his favorite topic of all the topics I think we have, but we've been dealing with in the US a big problem with people not wanting to go work. And there are a lot of theories around this, whether it's, they're getting government checks, unemployment checks and stimulus checks to live. And then they're just sort of, you know, gigging, driving Uber and Doordash cars and whatnot, gigging on the side. Issues of mothers having to stay home, because I think 50% of schools are still closed, which is a real travesty in this country.
Joel (30m 59s):
As well as, you know, other things, but companies and now governments are trying to do all that they can to get people off the couch and back into work. So news out this week, Amazon plans to add 75,000 workers in the US and Canada in a hiring spree that could ultimately bring its total US workforce to over 1 million people. The retailer said the new positions will pay an average of $17 per hour. They recently moved it up to from 15. The minimum wage here in the US is well, it's nothing to write home about. Anyway, they also said that they would offer a thousand dollars signing bonuses, with an extra $100 going to new hires who are fully vaccinated.
Joel (31m 47s):
Additionally States like Connecticut and Montana are giving out free money for people to accept job offers and get back to work instead of laying low collecting unemployment benefits. Also in the news this week, Bank of America announced that they will be paying a $25 minimum wage by 2025. And that they will also only do business with companies who had a minimum wage of at least $15. Now Leavin, as a citizen of the EU, I suppose these sorts of cash incentives are no big deal, right? Europeans are used to money for nothing.
Leavin (32m 28s):
Yes, the moment we are born, we start receiving money.
Joel (32m 34s):
So who, why, why work at all in Europe or does nobody really work in Europe?
Leavin (32m 38s):
Passion, we love working.
Joel (32m 41s):
Are the service industry companies finding it hard to get people back to work? Is Covid the underlying challenge in Europe at this point, like what's, keeping distribution centers hard to find work? Are governments finding that they have to incentivize folks to get back to work. Like what's the situation over in Europe right now.
Leavin (33m 6s):
In most countries, it really is a problem. We struggled to find the right people. And as you sense, you get money just to keep you alive for doing nothing. But if the difference is too small for just staying at home, not working and then for working at a minimum wage, if that's different as too small, why would you work? And as you said that you can do some gigs on the sideline without I guess, paying much taxes, or if you pay any taxes at all. But that is a problem. And in Europe, the problem basically is the taxes you pay as a working citizen. Labor is taxed a lot.
Leavin (33m 46s):
The companies pay a lot, but the tax, how do you call it? The weights? The tax weight is huge much higher in the US, I guess. And that's a problem. So then that's all income is just too low compared to what you get for not working and employment wages.
Joel (34m 4s):
Yep. Now when the pandemic hit, I think the US had a much different perspective on how to tackle the Commonwealth. Our strategy was basically loan money to companies to then furlough or keep them, keep employees on the payroll, and then hopes that, okay, when we can go back to work, you still have those employees. And then the money that you borrowed from the government or underwritten by the government, you'd be able to pay back with no interest. Or sometimes they were sort of free loans, depending on a variety of circumstances. Whereas Europe basically said, we're just going to pay the people.
Joel (34m 48s):
We're going to send money to people. It's not, I mean, they're going to be furloughed. They're going to be sent home. Did, do you find that that was a stronger strategy to just pay folks as opposed to give money to companies? Or would you have rather had more corporate help or welfare?
Leavin (35m 6s):
Hmm. During this pandemic, most governments did both. People were given money, but the companies also. I mean in Belgium and you've been there, we have lots of pubs and cafes. And they had really hard time because they have been closed for over a year and we just kept them alive and the government was paying them. And I believe it was for just a single person, but it was 3000 Euros they got just to close. For those very old pubs, which you sometimes still have in those little villages in Belgium, where there is a lady, eighty years old serving three beers a day to the neighbor, but she still works, she actually, I guess, made more money than before.
Leavin (35m 54s):
So in some, some cases, it was, in my opinion, a waste of money on some pubs shouldn't probably have been kept alive, but in our cases it was God's gifts that the government kept all those restaurants and pubs alive. And so it's not that we didn't do anything, we did, but it costs so much money. And sometimes I think shouldn't, they just have been investing in more hospitals and kept everyone working, where possible, instead of closing everything down and I'm paying to keep it alive.
Joel (36m 28s):
Yeah. Now I know in the U S I think the last number I saw was around a hundred thousand restaurants had closed across the US. Are you seeing a lot of pubs, restaurants, maybe historically relevant? Have, are they gone? Are they going under in Europe? Are they just sort of closed? And they'll be opening up as soon as the world opens up?
Leavin (36m 51s):
We have less companies going broke than before because of the government's money they are giving. So those companies, stores, restaurants have been opening last week on the terraces in Belgium, for example.
Joel (37m 6s):