You’re gonna feel this one, way deep down in your plums. While the number of companies getting over $50 million in funding these days is light, the number of companies getting millions isn’t waning. That’s why we highlight companies like Plum.io, Workpay, LaborWorx and HireLogic, who’ve gotten funding this week. Want some AI with your startups, we cover news of artificial intelligence algos making layoff decisions at employers. Want some news from the world of remote work? Got that too. Amazon is pivoting to 3-day workweeks, a study of companies going with 4-day workweeks was a great hit and employers who’ve take tax incentives may find themselves forcing employees back to the office. Of course, what episode would be complete with more roasting of Indeed and their new pricing structure; expect this time, the trash talking comes from the buyers on the ground.
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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. Did somebody dial 9-fun-fun. Hey kids, you're listening to the Chad and Cheese podcast. This is your co-host Joel cocaine-bear Cheesman.
Chad: And this is Chad "Dark Brandon" Sowash.
Joel: And on this week's show, get your ass back to the office or the AI will fire you, non-stupid people and a little buy or sell. Let's do this.
Chad: Dude, what a fucking gangster move this week by the White House, literally calling Russia and saying, hey, just so you know, we're coming to Ukraine, we don't give a fuck if you like it or not, we get shot down or something like that, get ready for World War III.
Joel: Jeez. Otherwise, you're a soldier.
Joel: Do you see World War III coming? Because China is squirrely, Iran... It just seems we're progressively getting to a really bad place.
Chad: Yeah. China is not squirrely, China is probably the smartest of our adversaries, they think 100 years in the future, where we think 100 minutes. So I think they're looking long-term with regard to how they could perspective-ly crush us from an economic standpoint in buying up more countries, at least stakes in more countries like Africa, and being able to get those minerals to be able to leverage against us. Oil is not going to be something that they can leverage against us, there are going to be other things that we need to be able to create batteries, whatever it might be, so yeah, and Russia, I think Russia is a perspective issue. I just don't understand why a country with that much land mass and such a low population wants more land. It makes no sense. I know they have a population problem, but because not only are they not growing, but they have people that are leaving because they're afraid, well, even before they could be put in the army, so yeah, I just don't see an issue, I think dirty bombs might be an issue, but I don't think the big ICBM is gonna be popping out.
Joel: I don't know. It's scary, man. It's scary. I'm scared, almost as scared by the way.
Chad: Hold me. Hold me.
Joel: As my first shout out.
Chad: Oh, God.
Joel: First shout out goes to Cole Cheeseman everybody, who got his driver's licence this week. Yeah, talk about scared.
Joel: Anyway, proud of him. He got a whopping 99% in his driver's education class. I'm not sure how he lost 1%, but it's humbling as a father to have a 16-year-old that can drive. It's humbling.
Chad: The instructor took a percentage point off because he needs a haircut, that's what it goes to.
Joel: Dude. He's like Fabio.
Chad: He is.
Joel: Are you kidding me? He's like 6'4" Fabio.
Chad: Without the six pack, yes.
Joel: God damn. It's like scary how... How sexy he is. And he looks just like me, which is the sexiest part.
Chad: Oh, which now you've just blown the whole thing. Okay, shout out, and shout out to our listeners, more specifically, David Pluto, who loves the new Morgan Freeman outro, which is amazing, by the way. Jen Meyers, thanks for pimping the podcast on LinkedIn. Chad Madsen and Chris Murdock for starting off the week with Chad and Cheese t-shirt picks. We love them kids. You get a Chad and Cheese t-shirt, you put it on the socials, you gotta wear it. Okay? And last but not least to Evan White for using ChatGPT to create this little ditty about the Chad and Cheese. Here it comes. Chad and Cheese, a podcasting pair, talk HR tech with style and flair. Their insights are bright, their humor's a delight, a podcast that's beyond compare. That just tells me right there that AI is not going to take our jobs any time soon kids.
Joel: Yeah, yeah, by the way, you mentioned t-shirts, and I'll put in the free plug here real quick. You have to go to chadcheese.com/free or click the free link to get those t-shirts, pretty much everyone that signs up gets one for most part, and thanks to JobGet for footing the bill for the shipping, handling, and creation of those shirts. I wanted to throw it out there, so we don't have to do it at the end of shoutouts. My two shoutouts...
Joel: In a row go to Spotify. Chad, I know you're a Spotify user. I'm a loyal sheep that uses Apple music, of course, but I find the new DJ with AI feature on Spotify really freaking cool.
Joel: So basically, I don't know if you've seen this, but you can play a station with an AI-generated DJ talking to you and playing the songs that you like, so if you go to Spotify, there's a video, and it's like, hey, Max, I noticed you've been... I noticed the summer's coming around, summer's right around the corner, let's check out some summer tunes that you loved last year, and then they'll play like some songs and the DJ come back and play some more... It's like your own personalized DJ playing the songs that you like. I think that's really fucking cool.
Joel: And if you look at how it transfers into employment, imagine you're own employment DJ, who every morning is like, hey Joel, I found a great new marketing job at such and such in downtown Indie. I feel like that's where this could go. As opposed to you saying, hey Alexa, how do I get a job at McDonald's? Alexa will just talk to you in the morning and say, hey, man, I know you're looking for a job. I found a few cool options, you want me go ahead and apply to those for you? And then like, bam, it happens.
Chad: And right after that for you, they will tailor it and they will play Bananarama.
Joel: DJs at Spotify, and then I've got ZipRecruiter, Chad. I don't know this, you're a big Marvel fan?
Joel: Have you seen the new Ant-Man movie?
Chad: I have not.
Joel: Okay, well, ZipRecruiter has partnered with Marvel Studios in its release of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, try to spell that, for a co-branded campaign that promotes the employment platform's one-click apply feature and matching technology. Paul Rudd does not make an appearance in the ad, which is a little bit anti-climactic...
Joel: Thank you. I was not even gonna come with that, you came up with the dad jokes this week, and nothing on the home page of ZipRecruiter talking anything about this partnership with Marvel. So I'm not exactly sure what's going on there, but they paid a lot of money, I assume, to partner with Marvel and you don't even see anything on ZipRecruiter's home page.
Chad: Yes. And Indeed is dropping the fucking ball, and this is a great time for ZipRecruiter to pick that fucker up, I got nothing.
Joel: They should have spent the money and turned this Phil guy, their little AI dude, and turned him into Ant Man for like a month, and have Ant Man man be your job concierge for a month, now that would have been some marketing people, that would've been some marketing.
Chad: Yes. Too easy. Shoutout to professor, Mona Salone over at NYU for having us on the co-opting AI recruitment discussion. It's pretty awesome. I mean, we had a... It was about an hour and a half, discussion around how AI is being co-opted in some cases, by vendors and/or companies, etcetera, etcetera. So I had a great discussion and/or slight argument here and there. It was good times, it was good times.
Joel: Would you ever have thought 15 years ago that higher education would be having guys like us on a webinar talking about what we do as part of their educational enhancement programs? I certainly did not.
Chad: Yeah. 15 years ago, yes, 'cause I've worked with universities for years. For a couple of decades now.
Joel: That's true.
Chad: So it's interesting, it's interesting because when they get outside of their domain, their experienced domain, they are just as dumb as you and I, my friend.
Joel: I hope to God my wife does not listen to this episode. 60% of the time it works, every time.
Joel: Alright, so I mentioned t-shirts for free. We're also giving away booze, which people love even more than free t-shirts.
Chad: Of course.
Joel: So we're talking about Textkernel giving away free bourbon. You and I both pick a bottle, send it to the lucky winner, we're talking free beer from our friends Aspen Tech Labs, and if it's your birthday month, we've partnered with Plum to send you a pricey bottle of rum. Get it? Rum with plum. So if you haven't signed up yet kids, go to chadcheese.com and get your free shit on.
Chad: Get your free shit on, some bourbons, we just sent some bourbon to a lucky winner. Thanks to Textkernel.
Joel: Yes, we did. That was Carlos Fernandez of the Houston metro area, who got two fine bottles of bourbon from the both of us.
Chad: Little bullet coming from me.
Joel: He's very excited. He says, the next time we're in Houston, let him know, he's gonna hook us up. Whatever that means.
Chad: Okay, okay. Wait, you might find out soon.
Joel: We got a date in Houston, baby. Let's do this. And speaking of dates Chad...
Joel: Birthdays are here again.
Chad: Let's talk about it.
Joel: Let's go through real quick of who's celebrating another trip around the sun again, the birthday promotion is sponsored by our friends at Plum. Ryan Filmon...
SFX: Happy birthday!
Joel: Who I think was a bourbon winner back in the day. He won something back in the day. Rebecca Horn, Kristen Urban, Vaishali Umrikar...
Joel: I think I said that right. Collin Parker, Lynn Harker, Christopher Chimento, Ethan Bloomfield, Mike Weston and one of our favorite Irish sons of Ireland, Adam Chambers all celebrate.
SFX: Happy birthday!
Chad: There we go.
Joel: Another trip around the sun everybody.
Chad: Probably the only Irish man who knows how to salsa.
Joel: Yes. Do we know where he is right now?
Chad: Yeah, he's in Mexico. He's in Guadalajara.
Joel: Sure. Okay.
Chad: Why not?
Joel: Is he listening? I don't know. I don't know.
Chad: I'm sure he is. Of course he is.
Joel: St. Patrick's day is coming up. He better be sipping on some Guinness and Irish whiskey, or if he knows what's good for him.
SFX: Happy birthday!
Joel: And then we have travels Chad.
Chad: Oh, we do have travel. Oh shit. I Almost forgot about events. Oh my God. So guess what kids, Unleash America is coming. Vegas baby, in April. We've started a phenomenon, I think with podcasts at events, you're going to see podcast booths popping up all over HR and TA events this year. I promise, just check out the expo halls, including Unleash America, which is gonna be at Caesar's Forum in April, then we've got ICIM's INSPIRE at Coronado Beach in May. And then RecFest London at Knebworth Park in July. The Chad and Cheese are going to once again, have the Chad and Cheese disrupt stage. It was going to be nothing but technology, heckling, and elbow to elbow, it's gonna be standing-room only just like it was last year.
Joel: Oh my God.
Chad: If you want to go to one of these events, you should go to all of these events, go to chadcheese.com, click on events in the upper right hand corner and register for 'em all. We want to see you there and obviously have a beer with you.
Joel: Oh my God, my liver hates me.
Chad: Your liver is fine, you gotta check up. You're good.
Joel: I got my annual check up. I'm good. My cholesterol, not so much, but that's a different story. If you were...
Joel: Fish and chips in London this time...
Chad: Topics! Oh, gotta get my news here, we got news from the trenches kids, you're gonna love this, this is a... This is a new one.
Chad: Over the last couple of weeks, we've reported and shared our opinions of Indeed's latest bait and switch move, and here are some comments from people in the industry, this one from Queen of chatbots, Quincy Valencia. Quincy states easy apply is a disaster. I've had countless clients who got significantly higher traffic from Indeed than other sources, and so they considered it a success, but when you look down funnel, there are very few, if any, hires, that's called a complete waste of money in my book. Then we've got Peter Suchy over at CVS, the quality issues of any easy apply, quick apply, have been compounded with salary transparency, I think many folks get hyper-focused on pay rates and the ease of applying, ignoring many of the qualifications, knowing that so many searches on Indeed start with a blank what field, perhaps they should or could filter easy apply roles for those searches. Don't make it easy to apply when there is no matching data for the search. That's right kids, because they should be using their tech for good, not for just fucking evil.
Chad: Then we've got Keith Sedlak who's a national manager also in talent acquisition, the service from Indeed in this last year has been shocking. Account reps are constantly on "Indeed days off" or otherwise not available. Hey, that'd be great. But we need some help over here. Your clients, he's saying, my mission over the next year is to move completely away from Indeed and specifically slash any spending with them. Amen.
Joel: Yikes. And that everybody is your Indeed update. Alright, Plum.
Joel: We mentioned them with rum, but they're in the news this week.
Chad: They are.
Joel: Talent Assessment Platform Plum has secured $6 million in a growth funding round led by Pearson ventures. This brings total funding to $14.5 million. The Ontario, that's Canada Chad, based company platform, uses psychometric data to help employers make better hiring decisions and improve internal career mobility with the aim of matching human potential to job needs, the funding will be used to boost sales, marketing and product development, founded way back in 2012 the company employ 46 people. Your thoughts on the Plum news?
Chad: Well, we have friends over at Plum, right? We've talked to Kaitlin, we know Jason, he actually won the fancy football last year, came in almost dead last I think this year, so I reached out to Jason and said, "Hey dude, can you give me a little snippet? Give me a little love. A little statement." So Jason Putnam is actually the CRO over at Plum. Play that beautiful bean footage Joel.
Joel: Here's Jason.
SFX: Really? Can you feel the tension in the air right now? I know I can, I can feel it all the way down in my plums.
Chad: I don't think that was him. I don't think that's him. That guy get's...
Joel: No, that's not it. That's not it. Sorry. Alright, here's Jason everybody.
Chad: Joel and Chad asked me to hop on and provide a quick statement about our funding round we announced yesterday, so happy to do that. There are a few things in life that are guaranteed as we've all heard, death, taxes, the Buffalo Bills breaking your heart, and sponsors of friends of the Chad and Cheese podcast, raising capital with very, very amazing terms, which is what we did yesterday. We've spent the last decade harnessing and perfecting the combination of science and technology, and it all proves that when people flourish, business thrives, and that's really what we care about. We want those people to flourish and we want the businesses to thrive. We're on the heels of really an amazing year, that's all 100% year of your growth, and we've seen velocity really speed up exponentially as we've headed into 2023, really looking forward to utilizing these funds to double down on sales and marketing, and add to the RDMAs and clients that we have today, and ensure we can add more clients who see their business thrive by their talent blossoming. Thanks to Joel and Chad for allowing me to give a quick update, as always appreciate it, keep listening, and if you need to know anything about Plum, please feel free to reach out.
Chad: I think I actually got bingo on my buzzword bingo after that.
Joel: Can I give you a sound bite guys, can I give you a sound bite? Not our CEO, I wanna do it.
Chad: He loves the show. Guy loves the show. What are you gonna say? There was something missing from the press release that was glaring. Did you notice what it was in today's age?
Joel: You're gonna tell us.
Chad: So AI wasn't mentioned at all. Plum isn't slapping AI on their platform like everyone else has. Do you think that helps or hurts them, in the age of ChatGPT and "AI?"
Joel: Well, first of all, I wanna highlight the fact that this is another fine Canadian company that has raised money, so very few... We have very few opportunities to highlight a company that's in the 10-year-old phase, that organically grows, that raises money in a methodical manner, that sort of grows into their market opportunity, and I don't think they had to feel as if they were in that AI hip group that came out between, I don't know, 2019 to '22, and still is sort of out there. They've grown with their companies, with their customers, and a lot of it feels as if the world has caught up to them. And the product that they have is something that people need more than ever with a remote workforce, with hoping to have the ability to assess people in a way that works, and they've been honing this for a long time, so when you say like, am I surprised there's no AI in the press release? I just feel like this is a company that we love in regards to, it grows organically, it doesn't get too big too fast, which usually means it goes out of business way too fast.
Joel: These guys have done it right. I feel like they're cooking on all cylinders right now, and it's fun to watch, they've been a friend of the show. We did an interview with their CEO that you should check out in the archives everybody, if you're interested. So I'm not surprised just because they have their eye on the ball, I don't think they're too worried about external hype or what everyone has on their HR tech booth. I think they're taking care of business.
Chad: After the co-opting AI conversation that we had yesterday, this to me is a huge win, because I believe that AI... The AI auditing layer of due diligence will be incredibly messy for any vendor in our space. And that's one that Plum... That's a hoop that Plum is not gonna have to jump through. Also, they mentioned diversity wants, all of the DEIB claims that other competing platforms are making, it's like they're trying to create a... Not Plum, but the rest of the market is trying to create this DEIB easy button, right? It's like this easy button which is... We all know is just total bullshit. So if you check out the plum.io website, you're gonna see solution results that demonstrates the ability to hire a more diverse talent pool. But they aren't plastering it everywhere and calling themselves a "DEIB platform." So I'm a big fan of any vendor who can stand on results and not just try to create this artificial hype train.
Joel: I still wish they would have named the company Egg Plant or Peach.
SFX: What are you doing step bro?
Joel: Alright, there weren't any layoffs to talk about this week. However, layoffs are in the news as well as AI. So as companies continue to lay off large numbers of employees, the use of AI to decide who gets cut is becoming increasingly prevalent. According to a survey of 300 US Human Resources leaders, 98% of them plan to use software and algorithms to help make layoff decisions this year. I'm assuming those are pretty big companies that they surveyed. AI tools originally used for hiring and identifying skills are now being used to identify who should be sacked basically, such as performance grades as well as who's a flight risk which I think is pretty interesting. However, concerns have been raised that algos may be making bias decisions, imagine that, which could result in lawsuits. Oh, boy! Chad, time to bow down to our layoff overlords. What are your thoughts?
Chad: And we wonder why we have a loyalty problem here in the United States, go fucking figure. Now, we've got robots that are firing us. So hearkening back to yesterday's discussion, at-will employment, those were the words uttered by Ifeoma Ajunwa, a tenured professor at UNC, which she said yesterday during our discussion, The US has good regulations around hiring and a lack of regulations regarding firing. Plus, is an algorithm any different than pulling leadership in a room and saying, "We need to cut 20%, go figure it out."? What this is actually doing is just allowing managers to say, "Hey, I wanted to keep you. I wanted to keep you but the algorithm said you had to go." So I think there's more of a finger pointing that's gonna be happening here if it does happen, but this will do nothing more than expand the loyalty divide between employer and employee. Employers just keep stepping on their dicks with golf spikes, I just don't get it.
Joel: Yeah, this is gonna be great PR for corporate America, isn't it? I mean look, ghosting we've talked about for a long, long time.
Joel: People hate, hate rejecting people, whether it's for the interview, whether it's for I want this job and no, I really don't, and it's much easier to just say like, "I'm out, I'm not returning your calls, your emails, I'm just out." Right?
Joel: And what's more uncomfortable than face-to-face or talking through the interview process? It's through the firing process. No one likes, unless you're a psycho freak, laying people off.
Joel: CEOs hate to do it, HR people that have done it for a long time hate to do it...
Joel: Unless you're George Clooney in a Hollywood film, you hate doing it. So, hey, AI to the rescue. AI is gonna like grade everyone, look at all your productivity, see what you've done in terms of sales or efficiencies, etcetera. And if you can't cut the mustard baby, the AI says you're out. It's not on me. The email they send out automatically, they do it once a year, ghosting is a thing, why not ghosting in layoffs? The sad part is, Americans will get used to this, it'll be a story for about a year or two just like email layoffs and texting layoffs. And then we get numb to it and it's just the way that it is. It's a sad, scary, creepy future that our kids are gonna inherit, it's unfortunate. But telling people face-to-face bad news is not fun, and we've apparently found an algorithm that'll make life a lot easier and more comfortable.
Chad: Yeah. I think it's gonna backfire, I don't think we will go this way. And managers will be told, you're getting paid to manage and part of the management process is firing. So the brand loyalty number one, we start taking a look at brands that actually buy shit, that's gonna be the first domino to fall, because they're gonna say, "Holy shit, we're pissing off people who are actually buying stuff." And they know people, and oh, wait a minute, we had all this PR out in the press and those people buy stuff. So that's gonna be the first domino. Then you're gonna have all these companies who hear about being fired by algorithm, by a company A, B, C, so I think it's gonna backfire and I think this is not gonna be a part of it. Will AI actually spit out reports that you can reference to be able to perspectively shortlist? Yeah. But we have reports that do that anyway. If this moves from human firing to algorithm firing, it's gonna backfire and then we're gonna just see it go back to the old way of doing things.
Joel: It'll be fine, dude. We'll put a Starbucks coupon code in the firing letter.
Joel: Or the AI will know what you like. So I'd get a Mexican pizza from Taco Bell and it'll make it all better when I get fired.
Chad: A year's worth of Mexican pizzas.
Joel: Bingo baby. Problem solved, problem solved. We'll be back. Who's ready for a little buy or sell Chad?
Chad: Ooh, pick me, pick me, pick me.
Joel: That's right, that's right. All right kids, here's how we play. We talk about three companies that have recently raised money, we do a little summary and then Chad or I will buy or sell the company. Are you ready, Chad?
Chad: Let's do it.
Joel: All right, Virginia-based Higher Logic, an AI-powered hiring interview intelligent solution has raised $6 million in a Series A funding round. This brings total funding to $10 million. Higher Logic uses conversational analytics and AI to listen to interviews and provide objective candidate insights for better hiring decisions. The investment will be used to advance the platform's capabilities, expand go-to-market activities and meet the demands of the firm's growing customer base. Founded in 2021, they employ 15 people. Are you a buy or sell on Higher Logic?
Chad: AI-enabled hiring, interview intelligence solution. Can you imagine auditing this fucking thing? They talk on the website a lot about structured interviews, you don't need AI to analyze structured interviews. If they're structured, you understand what the responses are, you can actually score off the responses. Having AI actually score off of the responses to me, is black box hell. And you can't sprinkle enough AI fairy dust on this solution to make it worth my while, so it's a sell for me.
Joel: So this company sounds like if Nick Livingston and the gang at Honeit got really stoned or drunk one night and decided that this thing was a good idea.
Joel: I think Honeit needs a Pepsi to its Coke, someone that can transcribe interviews and shareable and coordination with other recruiters. There are very few companies that do this. Unfortunately, Higher Logic is not it kids. Nick has sobered up and everything is back to normal. If you're looking for something that does what Higher Logic does, give the kids at Honeit a call for those transcription interview recording needs.
Joel: This one for me also is a sell. All right, Georgia-based LaborWorx, that worx with an X, a tech-enabled staffing startup that connects construction and manufacturing companies with on-demand workers has raised $4.2 million in funding. The platform matches understaffed farms with certified professionals and aims to combat the skilled worker shortage facing industries such as manufacturing. The funding will be used to grow the existing team in Georgia, expand in Texas and the Carolinas, increased client acquisition and introduce a mobile app this summer. Founded last year, the company employs 15 folks. LaborWorx, buy or sell.
Chad: These guys have really entrenched knowledge and experience in this space. The problem is they don't understand the basic economics, supply versus demand. They're playing toward the demand side, they don't have enough fucking supply. This feels like a new truck ran out of gas before you actually get off the showroom floor. If we want to be able to create solutions for construction, manufacturing, so on and so forth, we have to create the talent 'cause it does not fucking exist. We don't have a demand problem kids, we have a supply problem. This is a sell for me.
Joel: That's a sell. So you know I love a good wave, Chad. I'm a big surfer from way back in the day, the Lake Erie Surf Club was part of my extracurricular activities.
Chad: You'd be on Alum Creek.
Joel: Anyway, I love a good wave and I think the shittiest company you can imagine on a good wave can have a pretty good business. And you and I talked to Patrick O'Rahilly at FactoryFix this week, be on the lookout for that interview everybody. But there's clearly an issue, 7 million American men basically opted out of the workforce. They need to somehow get manufacturing jobs filled, people are writing blank checks for the promise that you can fill my manufacturing positions. I don't really care what this company does or who's managing it, they're in the right place at the right time which means they're gonna get customers. This one is a buy from me everybody. Let's go to Africa, shall we?
Chad: Ooh, Toto.
Joel: Kenyan-based HR payroll startup Workpay which by the way in autocorrect becomes Workday every time you type it, but that's a different issue. They're set to expand their services across 40 African countries, nearly double its current reach after raising $2.7 million in a Pre-Series A round. This brings total funding to $5.3 million. Workpay offers tools that allow employers to pay salaries in local currencies across Africa, file taxes and process employee benefits. It also enables employers to track and manage employee time, attendance and leave days. Founded in 2017, the company employees 69 people. Toto time. Africa's Workpay Chad, are a buy or sell?
Chad: One word here, opportunity. Africa is a growth market. Sub-Saharan Africa has more than one billion people, half of whom will be under the age of 25 by 2050. This is a market and a continent that is going to hit a development patch, and that companies on that path will have to pay their people. Economic growth has stalled since the pandemic but I predict it's gonna pick up for Africa and African companies. This is going to be long-term, but I think big buy for me.
Joel: Yeah, we love India, Africa, South America. Talk about areas with young populations, the work, remote work. These areas of the world are primed to blow up. And you may have missed it but LinkedIn this week announced that they now have 100 million users in India...
Chad: In India. Yeah.
Joel: Of all places, right?
Joel: So here comes India on the LinkedIn train...
Joel: Which is good for business, and the Kool-Aid is even sweeter at LinkedIn. But that's not what we're talking about, we're talking about Workpay. I love Africa. 7% growth yearly now in most of those markets. Most are open to business, open to opportunities, open to investments. Companies from China to US, to European companies are gonna be moving in. My only fear for these guys is you have global competitors with a lot of money, the remotes, the deals, the oysters, etcetera, that are all in that marketplace. So either this is a really nice acquisition for somebody, because I really knew there's something to be said for local companies, locally...
Joel: Owned businesses that are doing business with people in the local market.
Joel: So a big platform like Remote or whoever should write a check ASAP, in my opinion, to buy these guys up. Keep the brand, keep the management, keep it as an African company...
Joel: And really build a footprint in that continent because it is gonna be blowing up in the next century, not just decade. It also is...
Joel: No. You know what?
Joel: It's a sexy buy for me.
Chad: It is sexy.
Joel: Damn it. It is so sexy.
Joel: Almost as sexy as a four-day workweek. Alright, let's get to some news here rapid fire style. We call it the Back to Work Block everybody. Number one, we've got the world's largest four-day work week trial which involves 61 companies and 2900 workers has concluded, and 56 companies have opted to continue the experiment with 18 making it a permanent change. Companies also reported a 57% reduction in staff departures doing the trial period. This was a huge story on every network here in the US this week. Also in the Back to Work Block, we have Amazon, they've announced that the company is ending its full-time work from home policy for corporate employees. Employees will now be required to spend at least three days a week working from the office. Previously, individual managers could decide when and if their employees were required to be in the office.
Joel: And last, some companies may be encouraging employees to return to the office in order to maintain state and local tax breaks negotiated on the assumption that employees filling offices will support nearby businesses and pay taxes. Cities and states are projected to start enforcing the terms of these agreements. From New York City, Mayor Eric Adams is reconsidering his requirement that city employees work in the office five days a week because people aren't applying to those jobs. Four days, three days, all the days to keep your tax benefits. Chad, what's your take on this Back to Work Block?
Chad: Imagine that, putting your employees through bullshit commutes and additional time away from their families, so that those companies can hold on tightly to those corporate welfare from the cities and states. Here's my prediction, this is what I think is gonna happen in the US, they're going to weaponize the four-day work week. And here's how it's all gonna shake out, and companies are gonna roll this out. They're gonna say, "Hey, we're gonna boil the frog here. We're gonna move to a four-day work week, but you've gotta come back to the office." And after a year or so, they're gonna declare that the four-day work week was a bust, and the demand that everybody goes back Monday through Friday, it's definitely the boiling of the frog. We saw Google, we saw Amazon, we saw tons of companies say, "No, work from home forever." And now guess what, it's time to boil the frog kids. Tax breaks, control, all of that shit, and this is the road map. That's my prediction.
Joel: The tax incentives was something I never considered, I don't know if you had or not, but that is a huge thing. There's a lot of companies, particularly in America, I don't have a good feel for the rest of the world but many local governments, state governments...
Joel: They roll out the red carpet to get companies to come to their state or local market, and they give tax incentives to do so. And part of those agreements really are, you gotta build a headquarters or a warehouse or something, you gotta employ people that live here in this market, so that we can get our tax base up, that we can make them happy and we can get reelected. It's a huge deal, I can't believe I've never thought of it or it's never come up until now in this Bloomberg story from this week. But you're right, man, this is the boiling of the frog. As if like empty office space and paying for that wasn't like tough on companies, now you're getting a lot of companies that are facing angry governments that are asking, where are the people that are supposed to be spending money and getting salaries and paying taxes in this local market?
Joel: I think this is a no-win situation for workers, unless you're a really small business, really agile, if you were built like this beforehand. If you're an old crusty established company, there's a really good chance that you have some tax incentive somewhere, some office space somewhere. And whenever, wherever has become three days, three days will become four days and they'll look at this study and say, "Hey man, four days is awesome. See, the studies show." And then before you know it, like it's five days or four days out of five, is still pretty good. You can still lease office space, you can still tell the government, "Hey, our people are here four out of five days a week." That's probably the way around all this stuff. We're headed, just like casual Friday, it's the no in the office Friday and everyone will become used to that, and it will be a four-day workweek everywhere.
Chad: Now, we hear when the politicians are out, welfare moms and that kind of shit, we should be talking about the welfare corporations, because that's what this is kids. All the taxes are being paid off of the employee base, not the actual company, which is one of the reasons why we have issues with infrastructure. You don't have money put into the system, it's hard to buy roads and infrastructure and I don't know, get rid of lead pipes and shit like that.
Joel: Make our railways safer. How about that? That'd be a nice start.
Chad: Yeah, let's not just make them safer, let's do fucking high speed. Come on.
Joel: Alright, so we know what the stupid people are doing, when we come back from the break, we'll find out what the non-stupid people are doing. Alright Chad, this is from our beloved Ohio. A pizzeria in Columbus has sparked controversy after displaying a sign that reads, "Now hiring non-stupid people," on their fence. While some found the advertisement hilarious, others found it offensive and some said they would not eat there or work there. The owner, Jayden Dunigan, said the sign was meant to be a joke and not targeted at anyone. She added that the meaning behind the sign was that many of their hires have no work ethic. Get off my lawn. Chad, your thoughts.
Chad: The irony here is that comment is stupid. Okay, so non-stupid people, oh wow, that's amazing. You're making a stupid comment. Working fast food means low salaries and little to no benefits. And while the franchise owner in many cases is out enjoying time with the family on their boat in Alum Creek just north, on the north side of Columbus, and yet nobody wants to work anymore. So owners are going to have to start slinging pizza dough or closing the door. Capitalism is a bitch.
Joel: Chad, I applaud this move as the best PR campaign of the year. This story was everywhere, I guarantee you they sold a hell of a lot more pizzas. They probably got a good number of candidates that apply to these jobs, and they probably even made some hires. Now for some historical context here, a Texas business owner, this is shocking, I know, a Texas business owner pretty much did the same thing back in 2022 and the business, according to the owner, attracted three solid applicants within one day and made a hire within three days of that sign being posted. Desperate times, desperate measures. Unfortunately, there's no word yet if there's an AI algorithm that will fire non-stupid people.
Joel: We out.
Chad: We out.
Morgan: Wow, look at you, you made it through an entire episode of The Chad & Cheese Podcast or maybe you cheated and fast-forwarded to the end. Either way, there is no doubt you wish you had that time back, valuable time you could have used to buy a nutritious meal at Taco Bell, enjoy a pour of your favorite whiskey or just watch big booty Latinas and bug fights on TikTok. No, you hung out with these two chuckleheads instead. Now, go take a shower and wash off all the guilt. Let's save some soap because you'll be back. Like an awful trainwreck, you can't look away. And like Chad's favorite western, you can't quit them either. We out.