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Peak Stepstone? Google Jobs Lands & Lieven Predictions



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With an upcoming annual conference, Lieven's been really busy, but he found some time for a chat with all the news coming out of Europe lately. First up, Stepstone is touting its best year ever, but at least one co-host if calling for peak Stepstone, meaning it's call downhill from here. Another reason for pessimism is the entry of Google for Jobs in Stepstone's backyard: Germany. It's going to be interesting, and maybe Appcast, Stepstone's shiny new toy, can save the day? We discuss. And how about a little Buy-or-Sell, reviewing startups Demando, JobCannon, and Bubty (no, it's not a new techno band out of Finland). Then we roll a grenade down the hall and give you Lieven's predictions for 2024 (spoiler alert: Goodbye SEO).


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[music]


Intro: 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: Oh, yeah. Three guys who will never get admitted in to NATO. What's up boys and girls? You are listening to the Chad and Cheese Podcast Does Europe. I'm your co-host Joel Davos Cheeseman.


Chad: This is Chad I'm going Demando Sowash.


Lieven: And I'm Lieven organizing congresses since 1976 Van Nieuwenhuyze. [laughter]


Joel: And on this episode, Google for Jobs comes for Europe's biggest economy, Stepstone's best year ever and a little buy or sell. Let's do this.


SFX: Emotional damage.


Joel: Lieven, where have you been?


Lieven: Ah, I've been working. Working.


Joel: What? I thought it was a European vacation. One of those 18-week getaways to the Swiss Alps. But no you've been working. Huh?


Chad: No, he was skiing. They were skiing in there. [laughter]


Lieven: I was also in the Alps but we've been working actually on the congress. I wasn't lying about organizing congresses. I've been pretty busy organizing this one.


Chad: Talk a little bit about it. We're gonna be in Amsterdam where we're in the center of everything. What's going on?


Lieven: Well, this is already the fifth edition and you've been part, Joel, of three I think. And Chad was also there twice I think.


Joel: Yep.


Lieven: Yeah. So this is the fifth edition of the E-recruitment congress. And each year it's getting better. This time we're moving from Belgium to the Netherlands, to Amsterdam because my Dutch colleagues thinks it's where it's happening, so [laughter] we pretend to believe them.


Joel: Holland, where it's cool if you're Belgian.


Lieven: It's so cool to be Belgian, they love our voice. Anyways, anyways. E-recruitment congress, March 19th in Amsterdam at Muziekgebouw which is the most beautiful congress... It's not a congress location. Actually, it's a music hall, a very beautiful one. It's really impressive.


Chad: Oh, nice.


Lieven: Near the water. A beautiful scenery, close to the center and right next to the Amsterdam railway station, so if you...


Chad: Perfect.


Lieven: Come by plane or by... Yeah, it's really convenient. We have a great list of people. Also Hilke Schellmann will be...


Chad: She was just on the show. Yes.


Joel: There you go. There you go.


Lieven: I was so busy trying to convince her to be at my show but then she was at yours. Okay, whatever.

[laughter] But she'll be there and as you all know, she's written a great book, In The Algorithm. I ordered it at

Amazon and I still didn't get it but I'm sure it's on its way. I should have ordered it at Amazon Belgium, not the Americas probably it takes some time there. But I've been hearing tons of good stuff about it. And what I find interesting is she's actually very... She's a critic voice about AI and jobs. And most people who are going to be talking about AI at the congress will be very enthusiastic because they're going to try to sell the audience some of their products which are all AI based of course.


Chad: Imagine that.


Lieven: She's probably... Yeah. She will be the more critical kind of voice which I like.


Joel: She'll be a cold bucket of water for some of those folks.


Lieven: I'm sure. I'm sure. [laughter]


Chad: She's an investigative reporter, so she did her work. She did some digging and she found some things out. But I mean that's a good thing. That's why we have a free press, kids.


Joel: The clothes can't get clean without the agitator. Right, Chad? [laughter] And Hilke is the agitator.


Chad: That's what I'm talking about.


Lieven: Yes. And I've been communicating with her for a few weeks now and I'm looking forward to meeting her. I haven't met her yet but looking forward to. We have lots of other people. Just check the website. It's E-recruitment congress. If you put it in Google, I'm sure we'll be on top. It should be, huh?


Joel: I think it's on our events page too if you're at chadcheese.com.


Chad: It is. /events.


Joel: And a coupon code may be coming soon.


Lieven: Yes. I was just going to mention it. If you happen to stumble upon the Chad and Cheese page, you might find entry codes which gives you access to the congress for 50%.


Chad: What!


Joel: Whoa! That's a deep discount.


Lieven: That's a deal. I know, I know. We only have 750 places and it'll be sold out, so don't wait.


Joel: Can I get Belgian beer in Holland, Lieven? 'Cause if I can't then that's a problem.


Lieven: We'll bring it. We'll bring it.


Joel: I can't drink Amstel Lite for a week. I just can't. I can't bring myself.


Lieven: No, of course not. Or Heineken.


Chad: Nobody wants Heineken. Come on.


Joel: Can't do that.


Chad: No, no, no, no. No.


Joel: Can't do that.


Lieven: The best Belgian beer we can find in large amounts...


Chad: Barrels. Barrels. Barrels of beer.


Joel: That's what I'm talking about. We're gonna have the college refrigerator behind our table where we're in

the cheap seats there at the congress. Looking forward to it. Looking forward to it. All right. Let's get to a little business.


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


Chad: My shout out this week goes to Carrefour, one of France's biggest supermarket chains who will stop selling Pepsi products in their latest clash between retailers and their suppliers over inflated prices. The move marks an escalation in Carrefour's attempts to pressure some of the world's biggest consumer goods companies to cut their prices after hiking. It seems that greedflation is being combated with a new, what they call... Joel would know this, shrinkflation campaign.


Joel: What?


Chad: Where grocery stores are slapping warnings on product ranging from lint chocolates to Lipton iced tea advertising customers that say they have shrunk the size of the product but they are still charging more even though the raw materials cost less. That's right. So vive la France. Vive la révolution and shout out to

Carrefour.


Joel: All right, guys. I have a bit of a somber, sad shout out today.


Chad: Don't be a wet towel.


Joel: Jerome Armbruster... Sorry, no relation to Max. President of French-based recruitment group, HelloWork passed away last Thursday I believe. 53-years-old, married and a father of one was cycling when he was hit by a car which then drove away.


Chad: Wow.


Joel: The driver of the car apparently was apprehended and will face the justice system. But our hearts go out to Jerome and his family and the employees at HelloWork. So, somber shoutout. Tragedy does happen and it affects all of us in some ways. So again, hearts out to Jerome.


Chad: Cycling is dangerous, kids. Make sure you're wearing that helmet. Make sure you've got all the reflective gear. A friend of mine actually was on a team that cycled over 750 miles. There were six of them on the team, they all at least got hit once by a car. At least once by a car.


Joel: Geez.


Chad: Be careful out there, kids. Be careful.

Joel: And you think with the Tour de France that drivers would be more aware of cyclists in the country but...


Chad: Apparently you haven't been driving in Europe very often.


Joel: Yeah. I don't do a lot of bike riding, I'm sure that surprises you.


Chad: Well, you'll see a lot of those in Amsterdam.


[music]


Chad: Topics


Joel: I'll be lucky if I get some walking in with some wooden shoes. But other than that, not a lot of exercise for me. All right. Let's talk about Stepstone.


Chad: What?


Joel: They apparently experienced their best year ever in revenue back in 2023, surpassing the $1 billion mark that they hit in 2022. Despite that, CEO Sebastian Dettmers said that the long-planned initial public offering is being deferred due to current market conditions stating that the company is not in a hurry. In case you missed it, Stepstone is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Axel or 'Akwell' if you're an Eddie Murphy fan, Springer Group and operates in more than 40 job boards internationally as well as Programmatic Powerhouse, Appcast. Chad, your thoughts on Stepstone's best year ever.


Chad: So all of this is obviously encompassing the Appcast money, right?


Joel: Yeah, I would assume so.


Chad: Okay. So one thing... I'm waiting for this to happen. I'm waiting for them to actually kick Sebastian to the curb. They rebrand, they flip it and Appcast becomes the parent company and they put Chris Forman into that position because Appcast is the future of this company. Stepstone is not the future of this company. As soon as 'Akwell' Springer understands that, I think it's gonna be fairly simple. But we've talked about this on several occasions. Is a job board going to be the future of the industry? No. Will it be, I don't know, AI and targeting and branding or recruitment marketing? I wanna see the switch, Appcast becomes the big dog and Stepstone goes where they should be, which is underneath the big dog.


Joel: Yes. The 40 job boards are not the future unless you believe a franchise of frozen yogurt shops is the future of technology. No. [laughter]


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


Joel: The job board crusaders are gonna be mad about that comment. Look, they had a layoff of about 5% in 2020...


Chad: Layoffs?


Joel: In November, which I'm sure helped their end of year revenue number. But they got some competition coming. I agree, Appcast is the future. I don't think there's a chance they leave the Stepstone brand and Lieven can talk to this 'cause he's in Europe, Stepstone is still a big swing and you know what? In Europe, so I don't see them flipping to Appcast which no one knows...


Chad: In Germany.


Joel: Except the American guys for the European Podcast. Indeed is now the number one site in Germany. LinkedIn is now the number three site I believe in Germany. It's the number one site in Spain. It's coming really, really hard. And our next story will prove that Google is... Yeah, I said coming hard, Sowash. Everyone's coming hard in Europe but more than that, I don't know if we've seen peak Stepstone. You'll remember that the music industry had its best year right around Napster time. You see a lot of these companies, you saw Monster hit peak Monster right around the time Indeed started taking big chunks out of it. So I would be concerned if I'm at Stepstone that we might be at peak Stepstone. It may be just downhill from here.


Joel: I think the IPO question is really interesting. I made in my prediction show, our prediction show that there would be no IPOs in 2024. I was concerned that Stepstone might be the one... Them or Personio, I thought there might be a European wild card. I don't think an IPO is gonna happen this year because you look at what's going on in Europe, Germany's in recession, UK's potentially gonna be in recession. Like it's probably not a great time to go public, so to wait a year is gonna be interesting and in that year's time, Indeed, LinkedIn and probably Google are gonna continue to take chunks out of that market share. I think we may have hit peak Stepstone.


Lieven: My mother used to tell me, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. So I should shut up. But I never listened to her. Concerning the IPO, there is a recession, it's not even a big one, I think we're already... It's not even a real recession, it's just a slowing down the economy in most cases. Germany had a recession but recessions normally take 12, maybe 18 months max and by the end of this year everything will be behind us or something really weird, a black swan should happen. But normally, it will be behind us. And I'm sure Stepstone by then will have thought about something new as an excuse not to do the IPO because they know it'll not succeed and if you try it once and you screw up, you can't do it again.


Chad: Nope.


Lieven: Because people will never ever trust you again.


Joel: Unless Elon buys you, then you can do a do-over. But I don't see that happening either.


Chad: No.


Lieven: Not even Elon will buy Stepstone.


Chad: No. Well, and again I mean the IPO, if you have Appcast as the big boy and you're going to IPO, you're talking about more advanced technologies than a job board. This is just prepping. To be able to get ready for IPO you've gotta get a narrative pulled together and the narrative of a job board leading an IPO, I'm sorry, go ahead do it.


Lieven: 15 years ago they should have tried, not now. No but really.


Chad: Yeah.


Joel: They need to buy CareerBuilder and Monster on a 2-for-1 BOGO deal...


Chad: Don't do it. Don't do it.


Joel: And then put in AppCast jobs exclusively on those boards and then maybe they can go IPO on Wall

Street.


Chad: And then rename the company as Tech Debt Inc.


Joel: Monster Cast Board Builder.


Chad: Tech Debt Inc.


Lieven: So if you're interested in outdated technology and an outdated business model then you should invest.


Chad: No, thanks.


Joel: Yeah.


Chad: No.

Joel: No, not gonna happen. Not gonna happen.


SFX: Europe has a bunch of countries in it.


Joel: All right. Well, like we said, Stepstone cannot rest because here come the Americans. I talked about Indeed and LinkedIn making big cuts into their market share. Well, Google is apparently rolling out Google for Jobs in Germany, Europe's largest economy following previous testing in Austria back in 2023. This comes on the heels of Indeed and LinkedIn, both of which are based in the US gaining ground in Germany and more broadly all across Europe in the past year with the latter overtaking new work-owned, Zing. Remember Zing, everybody? We talked about them in Germany last year to take the number three position. Hat tip to Alexander Churkovski for his fine in the wild there that he shared on LinkedIn. Chad, your thoughts on Google for Jobs opening up in Germany?


Chad: Yeah. I mean it's a grind. I mean we just talked about Stepstone. It's old tech. They need something new because when you have the Indeeds of the world that literally they're just grinding, they're grinding every year and they're gaining more market share. LinkedIn, grinding, gaining more market share and then you have fucking Google, are you kidding me? I mean you've got to be able to differentiate yourself and you can't do that by going head-to-head with a Google, LinkedIn and Indeed. That's why again it just makes more sense, you're proving me right with all of this stuff. They've got to go pure AppCast and they got to do it quick.

Joel: So, job postings it's largely a race to the bottom in profitability and these big companies that don't... Let's be honest, don't make their living on job postings are coming in and they have AI that you don't have, they have brand awareness that you don't have, they have reach that you don't have...


Chad: Scale.


Joel: It's very challenging. I mean think about it. It's Indeed, it's Stepstone, it's LinkedIn, it'll be Google soon. Zing is in there. Zing doesn't know what the hell... They don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.


Chad: They'll be out soon.


Joel: So are you gonna compete with Google? Good luck with that. I mean, Lieven can speak to Google's brand awareness and power in Europe. I'm sure it's similar to that in the US. But look, Germany has... They're in a recession. I know it's a small one. It's an itty bitty recession. But recession means people are looking for jobs. And it makes sense if you're going to launch some job offerings, if you're Google, like do it when people are more likely to look for jobs. And I guarantee you Google has data that's saying trends in Germany are going up based on job searches. So maybe now it's a good time to do that. I also think it's really smart for Google to do this because of all the EU regulations and political issues that they have.


Joel: Similar to how TikTok is really good about showing TikTok ads and how great TikTok is to help like old people commute with each other and like ministers to build their churches, that's really good to run during the GOP debates and political news that will help you build your brand. It's good for Google to go in front of EU regulators and say we're helping people get jobs. We're helping companies grow in Europe because of our Google for Jobs offering. I don't know if that'll be the spin that they put on it but I think it would be smart for them to do so. Overall, again I think we're at peak Stepstone and Google coming to town only underscores the fact that Stepstone has some serious problems in their future.

Lieven: I think you said it all. And if Stepstone has a future because you were talking about their future, if they have a future I won't be in it. No future for Stepstone. No, no but I think Google for Jobs, Indeed, they're going to own Stepstone. They're still growing. We see the figures here. We measure everything. It's going more slow than I expected. I thought there would have been... The growth would have been faster but they are steadily growing.


Joel: The Google growth?


Lieven: Yeah.


Joel: You thought it would be faster?


Lieven: Yeah. I thought Google for Jobs would be more dominating faster. But it took them some time. And I'm not sure when did they launch here, four years ago, five maybe? Something like that. And we have one out of four candidates comes through Google for Jobs right now. What you have to imagine, we hired over 100,000 people last year.


Chad: Wow.


Lieven: So that's quite a lot.


Chad: Yeah. 25% is...


Lieven: Yeah. And it's not for all companies. It's like the temping companies. So for the high end search and selection agencies is different. That's mostly calling on it. It's like those people are passive job seekers. But for the active job seekers, Google for Jobs is great.

Joel: Yeah. So currently they're in 40 countries. So in the, what? Seven, eight years or whatever that they've been launched, that's a pretty slow roll. I expect that it'll quicken as they roll more and more countries out.

Lieven: Yeah, I guess so.


Chad: But they never really launched anything. They started to just throw some UI together, they've been beta testing, et cetera, et cetera. Let's take a look at Indeed, a company that was focused and they have tried to penetrate these markets. And in many of these European markets they are still not number one, right? So it's taken Indeed this long, which this is their expertise to actually try to climb that ladder. Google, they haven't even tried yet. So when they start trying, I think we are gonna see a big dip, let's just say that in the StepStones and the Indeeds of the world.


Lieven: And I always think Google should be able to do better, because they know everything about every user. Every search I've ever done has been recorded somewhere. I'm sure... They basically invented scraping. So I'm sure they've scraped my LinkedIn profile. When I log in using Google, my Google login on all kinds of websites, they know it. So they know everything about me, they have like a file, it's enormous. And they should be able to offer me the one job that I'm looking for. They know everything about me. So their matching is, to be honest, it's pretty basic right now. They could do so much better and I think they will do. The moment they take the time to improve their stuff, it'll be great. And then Stepstone is a goner.


Chad: Soon as they unleash DeepMind into it, yeah.

Joel: And let's be fair, like Google has a lot of legal issues in Europe. So the fact that they're moving slowly may not... Shouldn't be that big of a surprise to us. And by the way, Monster is still a thing in Europe, so Europe also is a little slow to accept new things like Google for Jobs.


Lieven: Yeah. Monster, I'd prefer... I wouldn't call it still a thing. [laughter] The name still exists, but if I ask my students Monster, they say that's an energy drink. They don't know about job boards.


Joel: It's the number five site in Germany, sort of like the Utz potato chip. You know, it's still around, but you only see it in a few different convenience stores.


Lieven: Yeah.


Chad: They're called crisps, Cheeseman.


Joel: Yeah. They're called crisps.


Chad: They're called crisps. Yeah.


Lieven: Here, they don't even have a sales team left. They used to have a sales team in Belgium.


Joel: Really?


Lieven: They closed down the offices, they just left. And I think the last one put the lights out and then they were gone. [laughter]


Joel: Well, speaking of lights out, let's close this topic and when we get back, we'll talk a little buy or sell.


SFX: Europe has a bunch of countries in it.


Joel: All right, boys. Who's up for a little buy or sell? I know...


Chad: Let's do it.


Joel: I sure am. All right. You know... You all know how it works. We talk about three companies that have recently gotten money and each of us will buy or sell that company. Here we go. All right. Number one, we have JobCannon. People in the US that have seen that commercial will know what I'm talking about. [laughter] UK's JobCannon has secured a $500,000 pre-seed investment. JobCannon employs AI aiming to streamline job searches and talent acquisition, focusing on assessments to validate candidates' skill, hoping to reduce hiring time and provide more efficient matches between job seekers and employers. The funding will support improving soft skills testing, incorporating hard skills tests, and collaborating with PhD level specialists for test enhancements. Chad, are you buy or sell on JobCannon?


Chad: JobCannon seems to be all over the place. For example, on the site I search for data engineer jobs, they're only 12, which I understand they're very early in the game, but those jobs are from the UK, Ukraine, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and France. That's a big problem because they are still very small. So they need to pick a region for marketing and sales focus, because half a million in seed funding, that's gonna be gone before you know it. Okay? So plus, are they a tech oriented job site or general? General won't work. There's already too much noise in the market. So they need to attack a vertical, become an expert in that vertical, and then expand services in that vertical or pick another industry that's close and start to slowly expand that way. I hope these guys, they do well, but unless they stop going all over the map with everything they're doing, they just aren't going to have a chance. They need to focus on footprint, they need to focus on discipline, and until they can get there, unfortunately, kids, it's gonna be a sell for me.


Joel: So their website is a trip. I didn't know if it was a pitch for glamor shots 2.0, if they were selling sunglasses and eyewear or they were selling like video game software. It's everyone's AI, everyone's wearing sunglasses. I wasn't really sure what they were aiming for with the site. I'm a real stickler for copyright dates if you're a company and they're still copyrighted 2023, so they need to fix that. That's a little thing of mine that I'm finicky about. Look, they are focused on tech right now although they're talking about expanding it to all industries or categories, which Chad, to your point is gonna make it really, really tough. And I'm not sure developing in tech right now with as much layoffs that we're seeing in tech is a great target anyway. I'd focus on healthcare if they were doing that.


Joel: Another hangup I have with them is that it's an amazing amount of work for job seekers to get into the system. I hate sites where it's like, do this long form test, do this, do like this thing when they can easily click over to Indeed or LinkedIn or wherever and easily apply to jobs. They don't have to go to the site that they've never heard of called JobCannon that may or may not have any customers that will find me on this site. So I can't imagine that they're getting the best of the best developers putting in their information on the site when it takes so long to do that. And then the last strike for me was they really, really pound on their AI capabilities. Okay. Pound on your AI capabilities, but you know what, your competition has a lot bigger ammunition in that AI boat. So to me, this company really felt like a knife in a gunfight. So just like Chad, this is a sell on JobCannon.


Lieven: Yeah. JobCannon. Given the fact this was founded by two Ukrainians and two Israelians, I see where they got the name from. Can imagine the cannons being top of mind.


Chad: That escalated quickly.


Lieven: They focus on assessment, which is nothing new. And I had the same feeling when looking at their sight as, was it Joel who said it or was it Chad?


Joel: Glamor shots, selling sunglasses. Yeah.


Lieven: The glamor. Yeah. Yeah. Indeed, yeah. [laughter] So it's also like this looks like something my kids could make in a weekend, but... Okay, he's very smart, I have to admit he's a very smart kid, but still in a weekend. Yeah. Anyways, anyways, so, sell.


Joel: All right. Next up we have Netherlands-based Bubty. They've secured $1.9 million in seed funding. The platform utilizes AI driven technology, allowing companies to move away from traditional third party marketplaces and establish internal talent pools for managing freelancers. Claiming 240% growth in ARR over two years, the funding will support Bubty's expansion into, you guessed it, the US of A. Chad, are you a buy or sell on Bubty?


Chad: 240% growth of nothing is not a lot. Let's go with a quote here, "Bubty lets companies move away from traditional third-party marketplaces and build their own internal private talent pools." Okay, let's get something straight here, Bubty. Right out of the gate, some of the biggest hiring companies in the world spend hundreds of millions of dollars in recruitment marketing to amass huge candidate databases already, and then they do nothing with them, and that's on the full-time employment side of the house, right? So, Bubty believes those companies are ready for the contractor side of the equation. No, they're not. They're not even fucking close, guys. You're selling to the wrong market, which means until they align their product with adoption and the needs of the market, this is an easy, easy, easy sell.


SFX: No. God, please, no.


Joel: All right. I feel a little differently about Bubty. By the way, any site that can make me think of busty is always a good start for any site.


Chad: Anything that aligns with PornHub is good for Joel.


Joel: Yeah, Chipotle and busts are pretty much a winner for my buy or sell ratings. [laughter] I understand this as like a white labeled Upwork or Fiverr, where you have your own private label co-branded or branded solution, you have your application's contract workers, you can manage them from inside your platform instead of Upwork or Fiverr. I like that they have their Trustpilot rating right on their site. I don't know how anyone else feels about that, but I like having some sort of a confirmation that they're a legitimate company. They have an office in New York City, so at least they have some presence. It may be a virtual office for all I know, but who cares? They're in America already, which I think is gonna be much more amenable market to them going forward. And they have a really strong integration strategy. They're integrated with pretty much everybody that you could think of that would matter. So for me, I'm gonna go the other way on this. I think Bubty is a buy.


SFX: Oh, my God, I love Chipotle. Chipotle is my life.


Chad: It's named Bubty. [laughter]


Joel: All right, Lieven, you're the tiebreaker.


Lieven: Bubty. I totally agree, if you start from scratch, 240% gain means nothing. I mean, twice nothing still is nothing. But I kind of like the industry. I mean, freelance platforms, one out of two people almost globally spoken is a freelancer. I agree, it will only grow. In some industries however, freelancers are... The wages are eroding, the salaries because of mostly AI. And that's something you have to take into account because most of those platforms, their business model is they take a small amount of the fees getting paid but if the fees are going down because of AI, then you get less. But I do believe freelance will keep on growing, and definitely in most industries, it will be a decent business. But the whole Bubty thing, it couldn't charm me. So, I think it'll be a sell.


SFX: No. God, please, no.


Joel: That's a sell from Lieven. All right, guys, here we go.


Chad: You get Bubty.


Joel: Here we go. I got Bubty'ed. I got Bubty'ed. All right. Chad's favorite name in the startup competition is Demando. All right, the Stockholm based company has raised about 700 to 15,000 US dollars. Demando focuses on passive recruitment, offering a platform that anonymizes candidates allowing employers to identify and contact them based on skills and experience. Demando claims to have over 50,000 registered candidates saying this indicates a demand for an alternative to traditional job changing methods. Chad, are you a buy or sell on Demando?


Chad: So last week, Indeed announcing their move into the tech sector provided market validation for the talent tech vendors like Demando and our friends over at Hackajob. Indeed has a broad reach and they can see what industries are ripe for the picking. And they chose the tech industry. So they chose that tech industry because they know there's fucking cash there, which is a very good sign for vendors like Demando. I see these types of vendors getting acquired by staffing companies and involving the staffing model to bring a more demand projects to the tech sector. Vendors like Demando could conquer their respective regions, and in this case, really focusing on the Nordics and then get acquired by, oh, I don't know, little companies like the House of HR. I'm incredibly bullish on evolution that's happening in this sector, which is why I'm going Demando. This is a buy.


[music]


Joel: Wow. Man, I feel about this company similar to how I felt about Ada. I don't know if you guys remember

Ada or not. Paul Forster...


Lieven: Yeah.


Joel: Indeed co-founder, invested in them and they were...


Chad: Great marketing and that was about it.


Joel: And they were acquired. Yeah. You, you, you, Ada, no. So they got acquired, but we don't know how much for, and what... It was basically a job board for the Gen Zs. Like something to make them feel cool, like this isn't your daddy's job board. To me, this is the same thing. It's a job board with a different shade of lipstick on it. They're trying to appeal to the youngins. I think the youngins are gonna go where the jobs are, not just where somebody riding a skateboard on Venice Beach is on the homepage. Like I think content is what's gonna win. And I don't think these guys have it. They'll probably get acquired by somebody for an undisclosed amount. So if that's success, then have at it. But as far as I'm concerned, that is a big no for me. This one is a sell. No Demando for you.


SFX: No. God, please, no.


Lieven: Nah, I feel kind of different. They focus on passive candidates, which is mostly LinkedIn's playing garden. So normally I would say, huh, good luck. They launched in 2015 and they still exist, so they must be doing something right. Maybe they just don't pay their people that much. I'm a strong believer in the importance of reaching out to passive job seekers, and if they have something interesting to offer, I might give it a look. The Nordics are an interesting region. But the reason why I will definitely buy them is because Schibsted is a very old and a very big media group, so they have tons of advertising power. And if they... If some company can keep this alive and make it even grow, it's a company like Schibsted. And those local job sites, they only survive if they have a big newspaper group behind them. And in this case Schibsted's investing, yeah, it's a buy.


[music]


Joel: And that's why we have Lieven on the show for that European perspective. All right, everybody, that is another round of, you guessed it, buy or sell. When we get back, Lieven's 2024 predictions.

Lieven: Oh, I thought you were never going to ask.


[music]


Joel: All right, Lieven, listeners know that Chad and I have given our predictions for 2024, but our European listeners want to know what you think about 2024 on the prediction side of the house. On your first one, apparently you have four, unless another one has come up since we've been in the green room, but let's go to number one here.


Lieven: Okay. I'm going to take my time for the predictions.


[music]


Lieven: Okay. For the first time, we will see the impact AI has on the study choices of young people. Job security or the lack of job security will steer study choices, and I feel blue collar educations are gaining in popularity. And it's actually happening already. For the first time in years, the nurses students or the subscriptions for those students' education, whatever, is growing. It was going down for quite some time. Now it's growing and it's not because of COVID...


[foreign language]


Lieven: It's because of job security. So I think AI will have an impact and this will have a big impact and we'll see it for the first time this year. Blue collar is gaining ground for the first time in centuries.


Joel: I like it. I like it. By the way, you wouldn't believe the number of nursing students at my local strip club, but that's a different podcast altogether. Let's get to number two prediction for Lieven.


Lieven: Okay. I think in 2024, companies will stop calling all their new AI assistants copilots because at some point they will realize it's getting confusing. It's an important one. No more copilots.

Joel: Do you have a name that it will become or you're just like, no copilot? And that upsets Chad greatly 'cause he loves the term copilot.


Chad: I do love copilot.


Lieven: But everything is called copilot right now, it's so confusing.


Chad: That's a good point.


Lieven: Yeah. People are talking about copilot, but what copilot are they talking about? We are constantly arguing about stuff, which apparently is... Whatever. It's confusing. Stop it. Stop using copilot.

Joel: I think they should change their name to Bubty. My Bubty is with me and ready to negotiate with you. All right, let's get to the number three prediction for Lieven.


Lieven: I am sure that AI optimization is going to become a big thing this year. How to get your company mentioned in ChatGPT. And actually, it's difficult. I tried it already and like you have SEO companies, you'll have AI optimization companies and by 2041, HR will have discovered it was important, but this year marketing will jump on it.


Joel: Yeah, no doubt. I know you listen to our weekly show, but the New York Times suing...


Lieven: Oh, I don't. listen.


Joel: Yeah, you never listen to the show. You don't even know who the hell we are. And so New York Times, OpenAI, who can use the content, who can plug it into their systems, is gonna be a big issue. I think there's a great opportunity professionally to be an agent for these content providers to...


Lieven: Absolutely.


Joel: To negotiate with all the AI solutions and get them the best price to access their content. I think that would be an interesting job for 2024, but that was not your prediction. Your prediction was?


Lieven: People will actually use AI agencies to optimize their presence within AI. I'm going to give you an example. Recently, I needed a hotel in Amsterdam. So I checked, I asked ChatGPT, can you give me a hotel close to the airport, which has a great restaurant and a few other stuff. Enter. And it gave me a list with five hotels. And then I wondered why would that hotel be on top? It was a good choice. It was a good hotel and it had all the options I wanted. But then I thought, damn, some companies would be very happy to be on top on ChatGPT, and how can you manipulate this? And I started experimenting and it's not easy, but I think we can.


Joel: SEO is so last decade. It's time for AIO.


Lieven: Optimization.


Joel: That's right. All right.


Chad: AIO.


Joel: Let's get to your fourth and final prediction.


Lieven: Of course, something you will probably also predict it's Randstad once again won't find a buyer for

Monster. And finally, they will sell the furniture and close everything down. [laughter]


Chad: So don't you think that it's just about time that they just go ahead, call it quits and just shut it down. It just blows my...


Joel: Sell it to Stepstone.


Chad: It blows my mind that they're still allowing this anchor to hang around their neck and anybody else like Stepstone who wants to buy an anchor, like CareerBuilder or Monster, go ahead and do it. But why haven't they done this yet, Lieven? It's been an anchor.


Lieven: I was told and maybe it was even in our show, I don't remember.


Joel: Our show.


Lieven: But it was the last CEO... Now it's van't Noordende, but he's a new one. But the last one, he was the one who actually wanted to buy Monster. And as long as he was present, they just couldn't close it down because then they would have to tell the CEO that his decision sucked. So they didn't dare to. And now with van't Noordende, he can clean up the ship and call it a day.


Joel: I like it. Call him Lieven Domus, everybody. That is another episode of the Chad and Cheese Podcast

Does Europe. We out.


Outro: Thank you for listening to, what's it called? A podcast. The 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. Anywho, 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 www.chadcheese.com. Just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. It's so weird. We out.

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