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StepStone's Rebrand: Fresh Look or Lipstick on a Pig?

Join Chad and Lieven in this week’s episode as they dive into Europe’s hottest tech news. With Joel savoring Singaporean street food, the duo tackles LinkedIn’s new AI career coaches and the impact of Bullhorn acquiring Text Kernel on the recruitment industry. They explore Revolut’s surprising move into HR tech with Revolut People, discussing potential privacy concerns and market implications.


Lieven passionately defends traditional brewing against AI enhancements in Belgian beer, while Chad shares his excitement. They also critique StepStone’s recent rebranding efforts and its potential impact on the company's future.


Tune in for a lively discussion on AI, recruitment tech, and European innovations, all with a side of humor and a dash of Belgian beer.


PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION


Chad Sowash (00:07.593)

yeah.


Chad Sowash (00:40.233)

yeah, baby. Welcome to another lactose free Chad and leaving does Europe this this this week Joel is gorging himself with Singapore street food. Good for him. So leaving joins me to talk about all things Europe. That's right. AI is coming for your Belgian beer. Tex Colonel tells us why they sold to Bullhorn. Revolut goes people and Stepstone gets out the lipstick.


Let's do this.


Chad Sowash (01:19.195)

Wow, man. So go figure. Cheeseman's gone. Thank God, because now we can talk soccer and he won't get, he won't know what's going on. We call it European football because we're both Europeans right now, right? So what do you think? Euro 2024. What do you think about Belgium?


Lieven (01:33.614)

I don't know.


Lieven (01:39.054)

I heard they lost?


Chad Sowash (01:40.809)

Yeah, they might not make it out of the group phase, my friend. And that is, which is weird because just a few years ago, they were like one of the favorites to make it to, you know, at least the semi -finals. So they haven't been playing very well.


Lieven (01:45.326)

Nah, boho.


Lieven (01:58.094)

No, so I was told but I'm not planning on watching so I don't really care but I'm sure many people might.


Chad Sowash (02:08.521)

Yeah, Germany is doing well. I mean, France and Bapé got his nose broken. I mean, there's been he's playing tonight, though, from what we're hearing, he'll probably play with one of those those funky looking masks. So he'll look like, you know, he's from Phantom of the Opera or some shit like that. But yeah, at the end of the day, Portugal didn't look good. So but they still won. So it's it's it's only hopefully up for upward and onward for here for them.


Lieven (02:15.854)

Ow.


Lieven (02:22.334)

No.


Chad Sowash (02:37.417)

But the Netherlands, you have friends in the Netherlands who they're looking pretty good.


Lieven (02:42.254)

They're already planning the champion party, I think. It's always like that with our Dutch colleagues. They're so enthusiastic and totally believing in their own football capabilities.


Chad Sowash (02:45.737)

Ha ha!


Chad Sowash (02:54.025)

Yes, they remind me of the Swedes because the Swedes believe that everything Swedish is the best, right? And it's almost the same when you go to the Netherlands. It's like they're very confident that they have the answer and they know the best, right? And in many cases, unfortunately, that's not the case.


Lieven (02:59.79)

Okay.


Lieven (03:15.31)

But they're also very chumba wumba, they get kicked down every time again, they never become world champion, but every time again they get up and they're there again.


Chad Sowash (03:18.633)

Ha ha!


Chad Sowash (03:24.073)

they get up and they'll be back again. Yes, yes. Okay, well, I tell you what, let's go ahead and let's move this along with our favorites.


I'll just go ahead and you kick it off.


Lieven (03:39.886)

What do I kick off? the shout out, sorry. Okay.


Chad Sowash (03:41.321)

Shout outs, it's shout out time. shout out time.


Lieven (03:46.894)

Okay, my shout out goes to LinkedIn's new career coaches. I'm not sure if you saw the article, but according to an article in Wired from last week, it looks like LinkedIn is finally going to capitalize on their relationship with OpenAI. So both LinkedIn and OpenAI were bought by Microsoft. So I thought they're like siblings. They should be using each other's software and now finally they're going to do it. So I'm going to quote in the article that says something like,


Chad Sowash (03:51.145)

Ha!


Chad Sowash (04:05.193)

Mm -hmm.


Chad Sowash (04:11.401)

huh.


Lieven (04:15.022)

LinkedIn is introducing chats with generative AI career experts based on real people. Other new AI tools within the platform will help people write resumes and cover letters and evaluate their qualifications for posted jobs. And I like the idea. So they're actually going to make like virtual versions of those HR influencers. And I've checked the names. I didn't know any of them. There was a Lisa. There was two others.


probably big in the US, but not big in Belgium. I didn't know them, but it's a cool idea. They're going to make virtual versions of real people, NHR, and they're going to use those people to help you with your career. That's cool. And the chatbots will allow premium subscribers to ask questions like, how can I negotiate my salary? And the chatbot is trained on the cost work of those real life coaches and they will answer.


Chad Sowash (05:01.033)

Yeah


Lieven (05:11.822)

Anyway, to make a long story short, I went to LinkedIn and I went to the job board part. And I actually found something looking a bit like AI. And I tested it. And then it didn't work. And then I gave up. But I'm sure it's just momentarily not malfunctioning things. So they'll be back up. But at this point, for me, it didn't work. But I do like the idea.


Chad Sowash (05:20.073)

Mm -hmm.


Chad Sowash (05:28.137)

Hahaha


Chad Sowash (05:40.265)

I like the idea. I mean, the biggest problem with LinkedIn is they have so much data and their system has been shit from a matching standpoint and just being able to get us literally the basic relevant information. So hopefully this new AI and these new large language models will be able to make more sense of the data that they have. Because I've said it a million times, LinkedIn has more career data and contextual data about me.


Lieven (05:48.302)

Hmm.


Chad Sowash (06:09.673)

than any other social platform that's out there today. And yet they are the worst performing from a matching standpoint. They don't really provide relevance in your feed. They just provide things that your friends throw out there, right? So which, you know, I think that's okay that just an algorithm that you don't have to screw with versus one that, you know, you do. So hopefully this is this is a step forward for them because man, they've really sucked them technical side for years.


Lieven (06:32.27)

Mm -hmm.


Lieven (06:38.83)

Yeah, and I don't even mind their algorithm for the news feeds. But what I don't like is their job matching as we speak. So just an example. It's so easy. It should be so easy. I get a job notification whenever there's a new job for a CMO in Belgium. I just like to know when some company is looking for new CMOs. It's my business. And so I follow the keyword CMO. And I now got a job for an engineer designing CMOS.


Chad Sowash (06:46.345)

horrible.


Chad Sowash (06:50.121)

Yeah.


Lieven (07:08.014)

chips, CMOS chips. OK, I get the point, but we're 2024. They should be able to do better. CMO, CMOS, that's like in the 1990s. And now, I think using OpenAI, even a chat -shape EBT matching should do better. It should do much better because it's context sensitive.


Chad Sowash (07:08.393)

Hahaha


Chad Sowash (07:16.425)

keyword matching.


Chad Sowash (07:21.353)

It is. It totally is.


Chad Sowash (07:30.057)

Yeah.


Lieven (07:32.686)

So I hope they get this right, because that would actually make a big difference, not only for the job seeker, but also for us as the people who paid our bonuses.


Chad Sowash (07:41.609)

Yeah, yeah, no shit, right? Yeah, well, we're gonna go ahead and we're gonna stick with AI with my shout out. My shout out is to AI Beer. Researchers in Belgium, that's right, Belgium use AI to improve taste of beer.


Lieven (07:58.83)

Uhhh...


Chad Sowash (08:00.937)

This is straight out of the Guardian, quote, where whether you prefer a fruity lambic or a complex Trappist Belgian beers have long been famed for their variety, quality and heritage. No question Belgian beer kicks ass. Now researchers say they have harnessed the power of AI to make brews even better. Professor Ken Verstrepen of KU Leuven University.


Lieven (08:16.75)

Hmm.


Lieven (08:28.878)

Indeed.


Chad Sowash (08:30.665)

is, I don't know what that is, who led the research said AI could help tease apart the complex relationships involved in human aroma perception. End quote. Leaven, are you ready for some AI infused beer?


Lieven (08:46.954)

No, I'd say don't touch my beer. I love AI, I love beer, but you don't have to mingle it up. It's by the way pronounced K .U. Leuven, Catholic University of Leuven, which is the oldest university, I think one of the oldest even in the world, the third oldest. Beautiful, beautiful city. And good to know, Leuven is the city where Abbe Inbaf, you know, the biggest brewery in the world, I think so, has its headquarters. They used to have their headquarters there, probably in Luxembourg because they...


Chad Sowash (08:48.969)

Ha ha ha ha ha!


Chad Sowash (09:01.353)

really?


Chad Sowash (09:09.673)

yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.


wow.


Lieven (09:15.886)

can pay less taxes, but the stala is grown in Leuven. It's a beautiful student city, but it's also a beer city in Belgium. Leuven, that's right.


Chad Sowash (09:17.257)

Mm -hmm.


Chad Sowash (09:22.793)

Leuven.


Chad Sowash (09:27.401)

So, Levin says, stay away from his beer AI.


Lieven (09:32.334)

Okay. I'm at.


Chad Sowash (09:33.769)

Now, we're gonna jump into some idea that was from wargame. It's in case you haven't seen that the 1980s film with Matthew Broderick. He actually he hacked into a defense computer, a DOD computer. And yeah, they played war games. Anyway, events are next and we're not going to have any war games at Wreckfest. Wreckfest is happening July 11, just north of London, England at Nebworth Park. The place is amazing.


Lieven (09:37.934)

Huh.


Lieven (09:41.57)

Thanks for watching!


Chad Sowash (10:03.401)

I personally can't wait to get back. So many friends, so much good shit happening in the industry. Can't wait to hear from all these different mouthpieces. We're really looking forward to seeing everybody there. So come over to the disrupt stage where we're gonna be talking about technology all damn day. Joel and I are gonna be emceeing at the disrupt stage, July 11th, Nebworth Park at RecFest. And you are gonna be on the beach.


Lieven (10:28.558)

And I was there last year and it was amazing indeed. It was the first time I was there and it's impressive. The whole festival sphere and happy people. The weather was even nice. People drinking beer on an HR festival. It's cool. So did I.


Chad Sowash (10:44.233)

Love it.


We like to call it recruit a Palooza because like a Lollapalooza, you know, there's music at the end. I mean, it's just, it's, it's just the environment of a festival, right? A recruitment technology festival.


Lieven (10:49.806)

What was that?


Lieven (10:54.318)

Yeah.


Lieven (10:58.126)

Yeah.


And I want to copy it. I mean, at House of HR, we have our own festival. It's going to be somewhere in September for our own colleagues. And we also have the eRecruitment Congress. So if we would just match up those two, we would have something as good as the... Yeah. Yeah.


Chad Sowash (11:03.433)

Hahaha!


Chad Sowash (11:09.193)

Mmm.


Yeah.


Chad Sowash (11:17.193)

Yeah, I don't know. We're gonna have to talk to Jamie about it. Maybe we can, maybe there can be an infusion, a house of HR, rec fest infusion. That would be pretty awesome. Let's create some better world with some new, shall we? Topics! All right, kids, that's right. Bullhorn buys text kernel. This week the bullhorn.


Lieven (11:26.222)

and together create a better world.


Chad Sowash (11:44.009)

staffing applicant tracking system acquired parsing and matching powerhouse text kernel. We talked about the news on last week's show entitled quote bullhorn strikes back and indeed end quote. So check that out and listen to our friend of the show right now. Text kernel CEO Harard Mulder give us his thoughts and insights on the text kernel acquisition by bullhorn. Here we go. Listen to Harard.


Chad Sowash (13:41.929)

All I gotta say is get out of my head, Herard. How did you know what I was thinking? I mean, come on, man. But seriously, what are you thinking, Levin?


Lieven (13:44.558)

Thank you.


Lieven (13:50.222)

I was thinking what was the multiple they paid? He didn't mention a multiple, did he? No, I honestly was thinking what was the multiple? He sounds very happy so the multiple must be pretty high.


Chad Sowash (13:55.313)

He did not. And they've...


Chad Sowash (14:03.017)

I can't imagine that it wasn't. He is holding that very close to his breast pocket. I'll tell you that, because I tried to get it out of him and I couldn't get it out of him, but go ahead.


Lieven (14:05.198)

Nah.


Lieven (14:10.126)

By the way Chad, do you remember where you were March 19th, 2024?


Chad Sowash (14:20.137)

no. What's that? Okay.


Lieven (14:21.646)

I will tell you. March 19th you were in Amsterdam at House of HR's Irrecruitment Congress. And do you know who else was there? And who was there also? Bullhorn! Do you think it's a coincidence?


Chad Sowash (14:26.921)

Harard.


Bullhorn. it could have been a match made in heaven. That could have been a house of HR.


Lieven (14:37.518)

It's a match made in Amsterdam, man. It's like we prepared this, or we didn't. But it's a match made in Amsterdam. OK, I know it could be a coincidence, but the biggest deals are made at House of HR's Irreglutant Congress in Amsterdam. It is known. So I don't think it's a coincidence. But anyway, I already congratulated Gerard. Nice done. Nicely done. And I think also for Bullhorn, it makes sense. If you look at the two products, it's like you say, a match made in heaven. It's...


Chad Sowash (14:45.445)

Nice.


Lieven (15:07.47)

That's a good idea. And at House of HR, we use both Bullhorn and Text Kernel. So if those two are even going to be working closer together, we only can be very enthusiastic about it. And the AI parts will become more important. And if Text Kernel will enable us to create better shortlists and to even address candidate pools, external candidate pools, which they do, that would be a big gain for us.


Chad Sowash (15:19.593)

Yeah.


Chad Sowash (15:36.073)

Mm -hmm.


Lieven (15:36.142)

So if I get it right, they can match through, for example, LinkedIn. Candidates we don't even know, match them with our own vacancies and import them and parse all the information to Bullhorn. And if it works smooth, then this is very, very nice. So thank you, Bullhorn. Thank you, TextCarnal.


Chad Sowash (15:58.057)

Yeah, I think even even more important that they can match to the candidates that you've already paid for, right? And they can do it with a very high trust content at that point and make it much easier. But I have to say that when Harard called me about a week ago, about a week before announcing the deal, I was fucking shocked. And the last time I was this shocked was when Robert


Lieven (16:04.878)

Hmm.


Chad Sowash (16:23.145)

called me and said that they were selling Sovereign to Text Colonel. Now why, you might ask, why was I so shocked? Because these companies have huge portfolios of business and less than a handful of real competitors. They are printing money. I shit you not. These guys, I remember talking to Robert Ruff before he sold Sovereign to Text Colonel. And I know that Text Colonel has been growing their footprint.


Lieven (16:26.606)

yeah.


Chad Sowash (16:52.681)

But let's go ahead. Let's go ahead and get to Harard's point. So I totally agree with you I don't know what the multiple is but I guarantee you it is damn damn big number one Harard points to 10 ,000 companies in in Bullhorn. That's a huge portfolio But from Bullhorn's standpoint, I believe it's a huge market differentiator for companies like yours that turning 10 ,000


Lieven (17:02.35)

Hmm.


Chad Sowash (17:21.321)

customers into 20 ,000 or more rather, I mean, in short order. But what about Tex Kernel's portfolio and their ability to continue to provide parsing and matching to tech companies, HR tech companies all over the world because that's what they do today. So I believe this is an expansion of Bullhorn's TAM, which is awesome. And I believe the upside here is great for Tex Kernel, but it's even better for Bullhorn.


Lieven (17:50.094)

Hmm.


Chad Sowash (17:50.281)

Number two, AI is becoming a commodity quickly, which means data is queen on the chessboard and using the data of 10 ,000 bullhorn companies to improve text kernels algorithms is enormous. So many have said on the socials that text kernel wasn't long for the world because AI would be infringing on their market share. And I would agree if


TexKernel wasn't already well beyond the rest of the market in building domain specific large language models. They've been doing this. They've been working with AI, right? And now they've been working with generative AI for years now. And nobody has the data and expertise that TexKernel had before this acquisition. And now they can pump jet fuel into those models with all of that data from Bullhorn.


I think the biggest issue for me, and I said this on the weekly show, is this is a massive, massive lift for an applicant tracking system in a company like Bullhorn. Can they pull this off? That's the big question. You've worked with Bullhorn. Do you think they can actually make something this massive happen?


Lieven (19:01.326)

Mm -hmm.


Lieven (19:07.47)

I think if one applicant tracking system can do it, it's probably Bullhorn. They are massive themselves. They have the right people. They have some, they have big teams. They have the experience, they have the knowledge. They can, I'm pretty confident. And they wouldn't pay the extreme multiple they did if they weren't convinced that they were going to pull it off, I think.


Chad Sowash (19:15.177)

Mm -hmm.


Chad Sowash (19:30.089)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I hope they can do it. This can go in many different directions from a product standpoint, because once again, like you said, data and having data lakes and data oceans, that's the new power in this industry. It's not having AI, because everybody's going to have AI. That's going to be the commodity. It's the data that you can actually crunch on. Yeah.


Lieven (19:49.454)

Hmm.


Lieven (19:57.678)

That's right. AI is like a consumer product. It's so easy to use, certainly. You're right.


Chad Sowash (19:59.337)

So I think.


Yep. Yeah. Yeah. And we're talking about having, again, a domain master, not just somebody who understands the domain, but a domain master like a company like Text Kernel. And they have so few competitors. And I tell you right now, in talking to some of those competitors, they are happy as happy can be, and they should be, because you know, or at least you feel,


that Tex Colonel got a great multiple, number one. And number two, this gives them, those competitors, an opportunity to actually go after the market and start sowing doubt about what Tex Colonel can do because now they're owned by Bullhorn. So it's going to be interesting. And I do like this disruption for Bullhorn and for the rest of the market.


Lieven (20:53.102)

I agree.


Chad Sowash (20:53.961)

I dig it. Okay, kids, we're going to take a quick break and come back and talk about Revolut going people.


Chad Sowash (21:04.713)

So apparently the FinTech company Revolut are launching HR tech called Revolut People. This is from their website. Quote, the platform for all things people. Tackle all your employee needs in one place. Haven't heard that before. From performance and HR to hiring, no matter your size or where your team's based.


It's the engine behind our 30 times people growth and now we're building it to businesses around the globe." End quote. So friend of the show, Neil Dunwoody, turned us on to this actually happening. Had no clue that Revolute, which is again, it's a fintech company out of the UK, had no clue of this new development. Here are some of Neil's insights from LinkedIn from a post entitled,


Why Revolut's move into HR recruitment tech is alarming. Quote, Revolut, known for disrupting banking, is now targeting the HR recruitment tech sector. I was emailed today by one of their sales team, imagine that, it instantly set off alarms for me. I could be behind the curve on this one. I heard rumors, but thought it was a myth. However, the strategic shift raises key concerns. Here are the key concerns. Get ready, leaving.


Data privacy concerns with access to extensive financial data. How secure is your data with Revolut entering HR? Market monopolization. Revolut's entry might limit competition challenging smaller HR startups. Focus shift. Is Revolut overextending itself by diversifying into HR? Could this impact their core financial services quality? Employee surveillance.


not a good thing. Advanced tech in recruitment process raises concerns about intrusive monitoring and data -centric decision -making. As Revolut expands, it's crucial for the community to ensure this move upholds privacy, fairness, and market competitiveness. Leaving, big issues, data privacy concerns, market monopolization, focus and surveillance. What do you think about Revolut's


Chad Sowash (23:25.673)

move and Neal's comments.


Lieven (23:28.782)

To be honest, I didn't even know Revolutes. I don't think, I could be mistaken, but I don't think they're active outside the UK. At least they're definitely not active in Belgium and the Netherlands and the markets I follow. There is a link of course between HR and banking and that's payrolling. It's all about the money. And I can imagine banks getting active in HR, but I've never heard something like this. And maybe the...


Chad Sowash (23:36.873)

Mm -hmm.


Chad Sowash (23:53.129)

Yeah, yeah.


Lieven (23:56.942)

the things we just summed up are right it could be endangering if i had a bank called Revolute and they would have something to do with my chart then i would switch banks i wouldn't like the two together so i'm not definitely sure if that's a very good idea then but i don't really know enough about this to


Chad Sowash (24:18.505)

Yeah.


Lieven (24:25.966)

give some interesting remarks and writes.


Chad Sowash (24:29.097)

It's interesting because they actually created this platform and we've seen this over the years. So I remember when applicant tracking systems first started, companies started to build their own, right? They started to build in -house applicant tracking systems. You still see them today, but they're much more rare today than they were back in the early aughts. But what they never did, these companies, they never built it and then sold it to other people. That's what Revolut's doing. They built this for themselves.


Lieven (24:38.702)

Hmm.


Chad Sowash (24:57.097)

Number one, they didn't want to deal with another applicant tracking system. And guess what? They were like, hey, guess what? This is working really well for us. We. Yeah, yeah, they have they have 10 ,000 plus employees that are managed in 60 plus different countries with 1 .9 million applications per year. So they're obviously a rather large company. And now they just want to productize this now.


Lieven (24:58.67)

Okay, okay, okay, yeah.


Lieven (25:05.806)

So they're white labeling it and reselling it. That's a great idea.


Chad Sowash (25:26.921)

Here's the thing I want to go ahead and I want to hit Neil's points point by point data privacy concerns their FinTech. So privacy is a part of risk assessment on a daily basis. So I don't think privacy data privacy is an issue market monopolization. I don't believe Revolut has the experience nor the understanding of this market enough to think about them as a monopoly especially at this early juncture plus.


They say that they're going into enterprise. Well, let's see how they do to penetrate the SME market first. I don't see them going very far, very fast with this because we've, once again, you see a bunch of companies who have no clue what they're doing in HR and they start an HR company and it crashes and burns pretty quick. Focus, focus. I definitely agree.


on the focus because it's suspect. But even more suspect is their inexperience in the space. Just because they built an in -house system that fits their needs does not mean it fits the needs of the market. Not everybody hires like Revolut does. Go ahead.


Lieven (26:39.278)

Not necessarily, but it might be. Maybe they found something and they thought if nobody has it, then we're going to build it ourselves. And maybe they found the Holy Grail and then I think white labeling it and reselling it is a great idea. And we also had a few projects like that one, something we thought we needed. And in the end, we developed it ourselves because we couldn't find it in the markets. And I asked our CEO, I asked Rikka, couldn't we?


Chad Sowash (26:47.145)

Yeah? Yeah?


Chad Sowash (27:03.817)

Mm.


Lieven (27:06.99)

white label this and resell it. But she said, and she's totally right. We're not in the business of selling software. This would be just too time consuming to get it started and we keep it to ourselves. But sometimes if you think you know better, well, do it. And maybe have a little bit of what's called revolution. Maybe they knew better and maybe they did come up with something really intrusive and something great. And then I wish them all the luck. And I'm starting to feel kind of some sympathy for them. I really didn't know them. So they're not big where I am, I think.


Chad Sowash (27:13.609)

Focus. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.


Chad Sowash (27:22.985)

Yeah.


Chad Sowash (27:32.521)

Ha!


Chad Sowash (27:36.937)

Well, the big difference between Revolut and you guys building something is that you're in this industry. So you understand and that's, I think, much different than somebody who's in FinTech. The surveillance point, I totally agree. I agree with that on all levels of all products. We have to have some type of watchdog that's happening around that. But last but not least, Neil, thanks for bringing this to our attention, man. Personally, I see this...


Lieven (27:46.094)

Yeah, that's right.


Chad Sowash (28:04.297)

much like Google creating an applicant tracking system, which they did. And then they ditched it about a year after they launched it. Because I don't believe Revolut understands what they've gotten themselves into and just how small of a total addressable market this is compared to FinTech. If they would have gotten into payroll systems, as you'd said right out of the gate, Levin, I would have said, this is smart.


Lieven (28:07.758)

Hmm.


Chad Sowash (28:33.321)

This makes, this just makes sense. You could, you could do daily pay kind of things. There are so many things you can do around the fintech piece of it. This is smart. What they did here, I totally believe is out of bounds. Google shut theirs down. Facebook tried to get into work, workspaces, those types of things. Companies who don't understand this business, and especially the size of this business, usually shut it down. Now they'll probably keep it for themselves cause it's working.


but at the end of the day, I don't see this getting much traction.


Lieven (29:06.798)

Hmm?


Chad Sowash (29:06.953)

That's just me. That's just me. Now, let's talk about putting a new shade of lipstick on a pig. Let's talk about that. So, StepStone CEO, our friends over at StepStone, Sebastian Detmers, announced changes to StepStone's brand in a LinkedIn post earlier this week. Quote, we are thrilled to announce that we are now live with our new brand design in the UK, Ireland, and Northern Ireland.


Our job search platforms have received a stunning new brand design now featured on Total Jobs in the UK, Irish Jobs in Ireland and NI Jobs in Northern Ireland." What exactly does that mean? Well, now when you visit Total Jobs, Irish Jobs or NI Jobs, they will all have a unified stepstone color scheme. What do you think about that, Leven? Everybody together.


Unified, united as one family. What do you think?


Lieven (30:07.47)

All right. I think the guy just wanted to give his marketing team some recognition. They have been going through the whole rebranding period and it was a lot of work and all you wanted to thank them and to give them some recognition. But in times when everyone is talking about innovation and disruption and AI and how are we going to change the world of work? I think changing some colors is not something.


Chad Sowash (30:08.905)

hahahaha


Chad Sowash (30:18.505)

Mm -hmm.


Lieven (30:34.99)

The CEO of a job board should be bragging about, but it's just me. Maybe I totally missed it. I don't know.


Chad Sowash (30:40.057)

Yeah. No, I think you're spot on. I think it's a different shade of pig on the, or different shade of lipstick on the same pig. StepStone has bigger issues than color schemes. And here's some of the problems that I see right out of the gate. Just reading this, right? Problem number one, they pick the ugliest option available. Total jobs had this bright green that pops.


Lieven (30:53.454)

Hmm.


Chad Sowash (31:06.857)

and it's now gone. So if you go into a conference, one of the things that really differentiates the booze are the color schemes, right? And the total jobs color scheme just pops. Irish jobs, bright yellow, which leapt off a black background, gone. And NI jobs, well, it's certainly better than the new boring ass stepstone palette. So that's my problem number one. The new palette is just...


boring and ugly as hell. Problem number two, we've learned and I believe as we've watched with House of HR and how you guys operate that allowing companies to better align with their national community is key. Now, StepStone isn't changing the names of the sites, don't get me wrong, not yet at least, but when an invading country comes in, they automatically post their flag, they post their colors. That's what this feels like.


And Britain, Ireland and Northern Ireland won't like not bearing their color or the not or bearing the colors of German stepstone. OK, I see that as a problem. One of the things that you guys do is you allow the brands to keep their own character, to stay local. Right. What stepstone is doing here is they're starting to slowly drain that from these platforms. Problem number three.


Lieven (32:19.374)

Hmm.


Chad Sowash (32:38.121)

Changing colors won't help traditional tech against new and more innovative ways to attract, engage, and hire candidates in all of these countries. StepStone acquired the chatbot company, Maya Systems, over three years ago, and they have failed to embed the tech across their platforms. They've had opportunities to actually advance their tech.


These three problems are the reason why AppCast, that's right kids, AppCast should be the parent company and StepStone and Sebastian should sit back and learn from Chris Foreman who I believe should be teaching the entire group because he has demonstrated that his strategy and AppCast strategy in this industry is a completely different level than anyone that we've seen from StepStone or


Alex, Axle Springer. So some some pretty big problems I see. What do you think about that?


Lieven (33:40.558)

Mm -hmm, could be right. I was just wondering how about the IPO? Did we hear anything in the IPO?


Chad Sowash (33:49.097)

That's a good, that's another good point. That's another great point. How does, how does new colors help you get to IPO faster? I, and again, this is the CEO. And again, there he's looking to provide recognition to marketing and whatnot. And it's kind of like a little pat on the head, but how does a CEO announcing new brand colors actually move you closer to IPO? How does that move you closer to better revenues? Right? How does that move you closer to innovation?


Lieven (33:50.99)

Hmm?


Lieven (34:17.55)

I think this is a non -event and they probably know it, but they shared it anyway. But I didn't hear anything about the IPO anymore, so I think that's... Is it still on the agenda, I think?


Chad Sowash (34:30.121)

I think it's still on the agenda. I think they're waiting till 25 to see how things shake out. It will be interesting, but I do have to agree that, you know, this first off, StepStone hasn't really been in the news over the past month or so. So maybe Sebastian just wants to try to get something that's out there. But I love when companies, especially CEOs, talk about stupid shit.


Lieven (34:44.398)

Mm -hmm.


Chad Sowash (34:57.289)

because we get to talk about it on the show, Levin. That's right. And...


Lieven (35:00.782)

That's right.


Chad Sowash (35:06.473)

It's that time. It's time to get ready for a little Euro 2024 and to grab some of that AI Belgian beer.


Lieven (35:14.318)

Don't touch our beer. The beer has been great since, I don't know, the 13th century? Why should it be touched by AI?


Chad Sowash (35:18.537)

Alright kids.


Chad Sowash (35:26.089)

It's all about evolution, my friend. We out!


Lieven (35:28.278)

We out.


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