Week Two of Chad & Cheese's back-to-back travels is a tour de force that finds the boys in Paris for Unleash - taking residency at the Textkernel booth - after a stint in Vegas for HR Tech. The recruiting news never sleeps, of course, so the boys are covering alerts out of LinkedIn, Stack Overflow, The Martec, Yardstik and Citibank this week. Additionally, there's an extensive list of shoutouts from their European adventures and a few special birthday announcements. Grab a baguette and a chunk o' fromage, Pierre! There's a podcast révolution goin' on up in here!
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Intro: Hide your kids. Lock the doors. You're listening to HR's Most Dangerous Podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman 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. Recording this week from UNLEASH in Paris with a residency at the Textkernel booth. You are listening to the Chad and Cheese Podcast, I'm your co-host, Joel, Joel Cheesman.
Chad: And this is Chad, T-shirt and underwear, Sowash.
Joel: And on this week's abbreviated episode, we're talking UNLEASH LinkedIn layoffs.
Joel: And sandwich sacking and who'd you rather. Let's do this. We got McGrath.
Chad: Oh, dude.
Chad: That intro was so loud. Oh, that was so loud.
Joel: Was it?
Chad: Oh, so loud. My head hurts.
Joel: Like bad recording or bad...
Chad: No, like my head hurts.
Joel: It's just loud. Okay. If you don't know, Stephen McGrath, our favorite Scott.
SFX: Welcome to all things Scottish. Our slogan is, "If it's no Scottish, it's crap."
Chad: We love you too, Adam. And Mike.
Joel: So dinner last night, Adam... Yeah, Adam and Mike's dinner with Scots. So we go out with Stephen McGrath, who's celebrating a 33rd birthday today...
Chad: At midnight last night. Yeah.
Joel: So as we record this. Yes. Yes, at midnight last night. We're in the final place to get drinks, both our wives are 80 sheets to the wind...
Joel: At this point.
Joel: Totally toasted. And I say, "Just get me a Jack and Coke." Jack's easy to drink, 80%... Like it's easy. It's like the Bud Light of whiskeys.
Joel: I come back, I'm drinking this thing, dude bought me a triple shot Jack and Coke. That's what we're dealing with here in Paris. Thanks, Stephen. Thanks, Stephen.
Chad: Oh, dude. Yeah. No, Julie was... She was out after all the wine. Her and Christine obviously were out drinking earlier while we were working, and then they just carried along. And yeah no. So, yeah, we got McGrath.
Joel: I'm fine.
Chad: Yeah, Julie's like...
Joel: I'm fine, let's go.
Chad: He's an enabler. I'm like, yeah, yeah, go ahead blame McGrath... Blame Stephen.
Joel: He's just Scottish. He's not an enabler. He's just Scottish.
Chad: That's who he is. That's who he is man.
Joel: Happy birthday though to him. We obviously love him.
Chad: Yes. Yes.
SFX: Shout out.
Joel: All right, so let's get to it. We got a short show. We got to get back to UNLEASH and all the things that we have. So first shout out... Or just show some love, Textkernel, we were in Textkernel 's booth yesterday, got some great interviews that will be dropping in the coming weeks. But thanks to them, they were very hospitable. Love Gerard, their CEO, he's always great. So first shout out definitely to them.
Joel: Second one for me, Talking Job. The startups here are great and they have a competition, which I think your daughter...
Joel: Helps set up.
Chad: She actually runs it. Yeah.
Joel: Yeah, runs that thing. So Talking Job, if you don't know... I'm not sure where they're out of, but their basic premise is that you apply through voice and it transcribes everything, as opposed to messaging or texting which is paradox...
Chad: Yeah. It's sexy. It's sexy.
Joel: Someone would do. Yeah, like the kids like talking, they like talking, Siri, Alexa, whatever. We've been talking about voice for a while. So these guys won, so congrats to them. I've already mentioned Adam Gordon, Stephen McGrath. Thanks for a great dinner and a good time last night. And also, hi, Bob, had a party, rooftop party here that was really crowded...
Chad: It was. It was.
Joel: And really popular. So shout out to them. By the way, headquartered in Israel. I checked with them and they said all of their employees were safe and sound, so that's good.
Joel: Good. Good to hear that from them as well. What do you got?
Chad: So a shout out to all the fans out there and the people that we see at shows that we don't get a chance to hang out with. I mean, we get texts all night, that type of thing. We can only be in so many places at once. It happened last week in Vegas. It's going to happen wherever we go. But we... Amazing time. And again, the rooftop, we got to see a bunch of people hang out for a little bit. But again, if we didn't get to hang out with you here, hopefully maybe the next place we might be able to hang with you. So shout out to all of our fans and our friends who got the Chad and Cheese shaft last night.
Joel: Yeah. Yeah. And as an abbreviated show, we're not gonna do travel, we're not gonna do like fantasy football from our friends at Factory Fix. But you will be in London in December, which is our final end of year travel. So the only chance you get to see us this year is Chad in London at TAtech.
Chad: Early December.
Joel: How great is France?
Chad: France is amazing.
Joel: Probably like your whole life you've heard, French are rude.
Chad: Oh, no.
Joel: They hate Americans. Like they're just miserable people.
Joel: They're just... They're great. France is so great. Everything about... Even the shitty parts of France are pretty good in my book. And by the way, I was introduced to French coffee, similar to Irish coffee, but instead of a Jameson, you throw in some cognac.
Joel: So if you haven't tried a French coffee, please do so. And it really helps if you have the French whipped cream on top, the homemade stuff, which is really nice.
Chad: And a little biscotti on top. One of those, yeah.
Joel: Yes. Yes. Little dessert all day doesn't hurt. You can do that in France.
Chad: And talking about that, we're not doing birthdays, but I do have to give a shout out to my... Our middle kid, Emma, who turned 22 last week. 22. Jesus. And my niece who actually got married. So congratulations, Hayley and Chris, which I had to do between Vegas, wedding, France. So, yeah, it's been a hell of a couple of week and a half.
Joel: How's does it feel to have a 22-year-old daughter? Is it surreal?
Chad: It so feels like a 12-year-old up here. So, yes, it is very surreal.
Joel: So I'm sure like you and most people listening, Facebook throws out your memories.
Joel: And obviously, every day I get memories of Stella and my kids, and it's just... It's so surreal.
Chad: It is.
Joel: When they were young, and where they are now. Like, I can't imagine 22. And you probably look back when... She's probably still a 12-year-old girl.
Joel: At least I know Stella is to me, so anyway.
Chad: Watching Kennedy run shit at UNLEASH is just like you were in high school yesterday dude.
Joel: Dude, she's a girl boss. She's in control. [laughter] like, I love it. I love it. Quick rant 'cause we were talking about HR Tech.
Joel: And we'll get to UNLEASH takeaways here in a second. But I just have to point out Phenom. Who a company that a lot of people know, a lot of people probably use. They're pretty good at the fake advertising. [laughter] We talk about fake news. They posted on LinkedIn, the sphere. Which we got to see you too. We talked about most people have seen this thing on social media and online, but anyway, they took their logo and like put it on the sphere and made it move as if it was real. By all accounts, that was not a real ad. They didn't pay the $650,000 to have an ad on the sphere. And if they did, if that was their ad, they wasted their money. So anyway.
Joel: That was shitty. Yeah.
Joel: Total fake, total BS, if anybody fell for them advertising on the sphere, like you've been fooled. And you shouldn't do that shit. [laughter] I mean, if it was an obvious, like, Hey, haha, we're here, but they kind of made it look like we really are on the sphere. We're here at HR Tech. So anyway.
Chad: And somebody in marketing thought they were geniuses though. I guarantee you.
Joel: Who, yeah. Who Green-lighted that shit. [laughter] I dunno. [laughter] Yes. Let's fake, by the way, they also have like 60,000 LinkedIn followers as a employment software solution. A little bit unrealistic. I don't know. Maybe.
Chad: Right? That's a lot of people.
Joel: I'm not, allegations, allegations. Go see who's following them and see if they look real. That's all I'm saying. That's all I'm saying.
Chad: That's all I got, it's all I got.
Joel: All right. You ready for some UNLEASH takeaways? I wanna know what you think so far of the show?
Chad: Yeah. Other than all the shots and rooftop parties.
SFX: All right. All right. All right.
Chad: Talked to Elliot. Even before we talked to the staff at UNLEASH, we noticed that there was something much different this week than there was last week. HR Tech was... HR tech is, as I said last week, HR Tech is HR tech kind of is like same as it ever was. Not for, not here at UNLEASH. The enthusiasm and excitement that we saw here was amazing. And you saw it as soon as you walked in the hall. I mean, people were early. It was just, it was amazing. Now, later we found out that they had record numbers, right?
Chad: So even though you little pussy Americans who stayed home because of the "bedbug" infestation, many who I talked to at HR Tech said, no, I'm not going to pairs because of that. Well, guess what? You missed out. And they had record numbers. It was amazing. It really was, it felt like a, it might just be me, but it felt like a new level of excitement for UNLEASH. We've been to UNLEASH before. We enjoy UNLEASH. We love the way that it's set up. You've got stages, integrated in with the expo hall. It's all like togetherness in, some form or fashion around community. But in this case, it just seemed like it was heightened tremendously. I don't know why. But it just did.
Joel: Yeah. I think part of that is with COVID, COVID was over for America probably a little bit before it was Europe. So there's a little bit more pent up energy or demand to just get the hell outta the house. Obviously coming to Paris in fall isn't a bad thing. Look, there are two conferences that I look forward to every year. It's RecFest in London and it's UNLEASH in Paris. Part of it's location. Part of it is just the energy, the uniqueness of the show. I'm over the whole like, go away for an hour, sit through a PAR PowerPoint, come back for coffee, talk to a few vendors, go back out from the expo hall. Come in for a drink, like that. It's just so played RecFest. Totally throws that on its ear.
Chad: Oh yeah.
Joel: But UNLEASH, like you mentioned, it's all together. The energy is there, there seems to be a mentality around Americans that we know it all. We know all the companies. [laughter] We know everything, there's a curiosity and an engagement with Europeans. That's almost a humility of I'm here to learn. I know that I don't know everything. There are Americans here, there are Brits here. There are so many different viewpoints. But I'm here to learn and ask good questions. Americans don't have that mentality. Maybe it's just 'cause it's America, but it's so refreshing to come here and have that engagement that I think is hard to find in America.
Chad: Yeah. And it feels like we're just all business all the time too. Which is, it sucks and it's flat and it's stale. Right? We're here. It's not just all business all the time. And don't get me wrong, we see people, at the HR techs or whatever shows we go to in the US and, we have a good time. Okay. There's no question there. But when we're talking about business, it just seems like everybody, just wants to get down to business.
Chad: Here, it's not that way. It's more about the relationship before it is the business. And that might actually have something to do. One of the key ingredients to the excitement that we actually see here. And also at RecFest, because these two shows, these two shows, my favorite shows, they're both European shows who came to the US and they bring an excitement that the other shows just don't.
Joel: Yeah. The competitiveness that's going to come with RecFest coming to America. UNLEASH in America. Apparently HR Tech's gonna come to Europe in a bigger way. Like, yeah, the competitiveness is gonna be turned up to 11. I guess that'll at least be interesting. I don't know if it's good for business, but it will at least be interesting. My fellow Americans, if you haven't been to either RecFest in London or UNLEASH in Paris, you're missing out. Skip HR Tech next year. [laughter] And come to Paris. [laughter]
Chad: Oh, that hurts my head.
Joel: Editing that one's gonna be fun for you. Isn't it?
Joel: Okay. Alright guys. We got some layoffs on Monday, LinkedIn who is not at UNLEASH and was not at HR Tech.
Chad: Weird. Weird.
Joel: By the way, said it was cutting 668 people. The third round of layoffs at the Microsoft owned unit this year. Meanwhile, developer form Stack Overflow said it would cut its staff by 28%, which according to the verge amounts to 100 jobs. Last year's cuts were more a response to macro economic conditions as big tech firms cut in response to a downturn in ads and corporate spending on enterprise software while startups had to cut costs when venture funding dried up. Today's cuts seem to be caused by a narrower set of factors more specific to individual companies. Chad, what are your thoughts on the news out of LinkedIn and Stack Overflow this week?
Chad: So I thought LinkedIn was interesting because we're talking about roles across engineering, product talent in the finance team. So notice how they didn't mention sales or customer service, that's a good indicator to me. Why? It's very telling from the standpoint that you're owned by Microsoft, you can allow the mothership to absorb some of those duties. Now, I'm not 100% sure that's the case, but it just makes damn good sense. The one thing that's most interesting is the product team. Now, we talked about on this podcast for years about how LinkedIn's product isn't evolving at a rate that, you would think that a market leader would evolve at. Will this be a pivot to Microsoft product engineers? I don't know, but I'd like to start digging in further to see, I mean, because this could be a turning point for LinkedIn in a very, very good way.
Chad: This is all just a supposition at this point because we don't know. But if you take a look at it and you think about it, being able to dig into the core of the mothership, there might be some opportunities here. But the good, the good thing just from a market standpoint is that again, when you see the cutting of sales and customer service, there's an issue going to Stack Overflow, there's an issue. Significantly reducing the size of the go-to market organization. That's a problem. The go-to market sales team, that's a problem. And we talked about when Stack added talent as a product and thought, that might actually make sense because of what they actually actually do. It could be somewhat fluid but I'm not sure that it is. I think that Stack, which is a communication and efficiencies tools for teams, right? For actual organizations. Talent probably doesn't need to resolve or at least be in that platform unless it's a separate team that knows how to sell it. Because the teams, the communications, the efficiencies, the dev stuff that they do, from Stack Overflow, that is a much different product.
Chad: That's a much different story. That's a much different sales pitch than talent is. So I think maybe they're trying to open that tam a little bit too much. It did sound like it, it seemed like it made sense, but I think what we're seeing here is that it just didn't make sense for Stack, which is good for organizations like the hacker jobs, the hacker ranks and whatnot.
SFX: Doesn't anyone notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.
Joel: So, layoffs at LinkedIn probably is from a suffering of or weakness in recruiting. Its biggest revenue source remains recruiting fees and a lack of a strong growth in advertising is probably part of that layoff round as well. LinkedIn may also be shifting employees to a market where labor is cheaper. CNBC had a story recently about LinkedIn "Ramping up hiring in India"
Chad: How's that make any sense?
Joel: Little offshoring could be the case. Interestingly this news came a day after the Financial Times published a piece about how great LinkedIn was creating a, "New breed of influencers." So usage remains strong although popularity doesn't translate into revenue, unfortunately.
Chad: Right. Right. It should.
Joel: It should. Linkedin should be better at advertising and providing better recruiting tools.
Chad: They need better products.
Joel: And better products. Yes, for sure. And if they're more job seekers, they should be using LinkedIn as well and paying them for those services. Stack Overflow's move, maybe the strongest sign yet as to how chatGPT is going to fuck around with digital businesses for the foreseeable future. Stack Overflow cut 10% of staff in May after doubling its workforce to more than 500 people last year. The sugar rush that you like to talk about, now that was before ChatGPT was launched. I remember that. It was the information who reported in April that Stack Overflow was one of several software companies that they thought was a danger because of the rapid rise of generative AI. As tech companies start to file quarterly earnings throughout October, it's gonna be really clear as to how deep and the reasons why these layoffs are happening. For now, the cut to LinkedIn suggests at least some big tech firms are being more careful and being more disciplined around labor costs. But until we get some earnings reports, it's gonna be hard to say for sure.
Chad: Yeah. Agreed. I don't know that the Stack Overflow thing, has much to do with generative AI yet. I don't think we're there. I think it will. I think it will, I think we'll actually see more of the coding as it gets smarter, because we're in co-pilot phase right now. And the co-pilot phase is really just teaching the algorithms to do what we're doing. It seems cool. It's like, oh, I've got a co-pilot to help me out, but we're really just teaching the algorithms to do what we do. I don't think we're there yet. So I think we will be having that conversation. I personally think, when you take a look at cutting a go to market sales team, there's a product problem. There's a product problem, and they need to at least kill a product that was being supported by that go-to market team and then focus, narrowly focus on what they're actually doing well at. And again, I think we both thought that talent was gonna be good for Stack Overflow, but as you dig into it a little bit more, their product, their original product set, talent really doesn't fit within their original product set from a sales standpoint. So I think that's what's happening, but I think we will see the impact of generative AI down the road.
Joel: Yeah. And GitHub, who is owned by Microsoft/LinkedIn hasn't had these kind of cuts either, so that's interesting. By the way, ICEMS launching a co-pilot this week at UNLEASH. Barely missed the cut for us to talk about, but I'm sure we'll be talking about co-pilots.
Chad: On their high resolution screens [laughter] in the booth. [laughter] Dude, it was like, okay, so it was funny and we love ICEMS. Okay, but we gotta give them some shit. [laughter] They have these big ass screens. Big screens, right?
Chad: It's like, and they're showing the co-pilot and they're on these grainy ass, almost 1970s...
Chad: Resolution. It was, oh my God. And we said something to some of the staff and they're, oh my God, I can't stop looking at it now.
Joel: Yeah. I didn't notice it until you said something, but now I can't unsee it. Yeah. I was looking for the knob from the old...
Joel: '80s, '70s...
Chad: Yeah. Oh God.
Chad: That was so fucking hilarious. You have the rabbit ears, it's like, oh, wait a minute. We can get this in here.
Joel: Someone get the aluminum to clear up the picture a little bit on this thing. Oh, geez. All right. When we come back a little who'd you rather. Alright, Chad, let's play a little who'd you rather.
Joel: I'm gonna talk about two startups that have recently gotten funding, and you and I will pick who we'd rather. Are you ready to play?
Chad: Let's do it.
Joel: Who'd you rather. In this corner we have the MarTech Sydney based. The MarTech has raised eight million in funding. The company employs AI to enhance personalized talent marketing. They count companies like Marriott, Vodafone, and Adobe as clients, leveraging employee advocates to create videos and stories promoting working for the companies, and then distributing them across various platforms for recruitment campaigns. They have offices in the US, the UK, and Australia. And in this corner, Minneapolis based Yardstik has secured an additional 12 million in funding. This brings their total to $24 million. The funds will be used to expand operations, broaden their business reach and enhance development efforts. Yardstik provides trust and safety tools and expertise for high volume hiring businesses to safely screen, verify and onboard workers at scale, particularly in the gig economy. They employ 42 people while the MarTech employs 29 people. So, Chad, Yardstik and the MarTech. Who'd you rather?
Chad: I think they're both good names. The MarTech. MarTech, everybody knows marketing technology, but being the Chad of the Chad and Cheese podcast, I like the MarTech.
Chad: Launching this year. That's what the article said. CrunchBase has a 2015 date is when they found it. And the CEO on his LinkedIn has 2018, so I have no clue when this thing actually started.
Joel: They're Australian. They probably don't know either.
Chad: Yeah. That's a good point. But I'm going with the momentum on this one. If you take a look at the MarTech, it's $8 million for an Aussie recruitment marketing company.
Chad: That's a lot of money.
Chad: For an Australian company. And especially in this space or this time right now, the MarTech signed, as you'd said, Sainsbury's, Marriott, Vodafone, Adobe. They've got some pretty big names that they have on already. Plus the, it seems like the CEO Raj has been in the marketing space since 2007. On the other hand, the Yardstik number one, I'm not a background check guy. That's your area. Number two, job seekers paying for their own background checks, you can just fuck off. Okay. I'd rather the MarTech all day.
Joel: Oh, the MarTech.
SFX: Aai, Papi.
Joel: Good one. Chad. Alright. So two very distinct businesses on this who'd you rather. Yardstik is trying to compete in the boring, settled, established market, known as background checks which has its Coke, its Pepsi, and its Fanta with the likes of Sterling and Checker. I hate the background check business, low margins with any margins. It's a race to the bottom. And I hate startups who think they can put a dent in this crusty old grandfather of an industry. Now, the MarTech, I'm not so big on the name, the, like the Facebook, they were smart enough to take the out of the Facebook.
Chad: Give 'em Time. Give 'em. Give 'em time.
Joel: If they could have just named it MarTech or something, that would've been better. But aside from the name, the MarTech is diving into a growing segment that doesn't really have a clear platform of choice. Talent marketing is a growing niche that companies have a growing interest in. How do we leverage TikTok? How do we leverage reels? We get it all the time. We come to these conferences and when we talk to people, I look at the MarTech almost as a do it yourself agency, a ad agency solution where you can provide your own videos and posts and they leverage job description marketing. It's sort of like a hoot suite for recruitment marketers. I think if you're a shaker or an agency, look at these guys really strongly and see is there stuff we can take from this and give to our clients 'cause I think what they're doing is really, really solid. There's also a ton of room to grow for the MarTech, whereas the Yardstik is gonna be fighting for every yard. Get it Yardstik, see what I did there?
Chad: I get it.
Joel: Even in hangover mode I got dad jokes. So it...
Chad: Every inch.
Joel: Yeah. Every inch they're fighting for... There's a ton of room to grow for MarTech as a result. I would much rather the MarTech over Yardstik. And by the way Chad, Yardstik was my nickname in college. Just a side note on that.
Joel: We'll be right back. Alright, Chad.
Joel: Are you ready for a sandwich sacking? Sacking is what the Brits call firing, by the way, in case our...
Chad: Oh yes. Gotcha.
Joel: American friends don't know. Alright. The bank...
Chad: Sandwich sack.
Joel: Yeah. A banking analyst from Britain who was terminated from his job at Citibank for expensing two sandwiches and other items on a work trip to Amsterdam, has lost his legal battle for unfair dismissal. He claimed that he consumed the items himself while the bank suspected he bought them for his partner, launching an investigation while arguing that the expenses were within the bank's daily limit. The judge ruled in favor of the employer stating that the issue was about the employee's failure to provide a full and frank disclosure rather than the amount of money involved. The judge emphasized Citibank's commitment to honesty from its employees and considered the dismissal to be a reasonable response to the misrepresentation allegation. Chad, what's your take on the double sandwich dismissal?
Chad: So he wasn't fired for buying a sandwich, he was... He was fired for lying is what they're saying, but still, I mean. Okay, we don't know the past of this guy. Okay, he could be a liar. And this is just a long stream of a paper trail of why they got rid of him, but because I can't think of something that's under $100 for a bank to actually get rich, banks are swimming in money, literally, they're swimming in money, so I don't know why this would be a problem other than they just wanted to get rid of a problem player, a problem child in the organization. That's all I can figure out here, but I think it's... To be able to get, in having Citibank's name tied to a sandwich sacking, that's not great for optics no matter what, whether you think the guy was a liar or not a liar. It doesn't matter.
Joel: Are you saying Citibank should have better things to do than launching an investigation on sandwiches?
SFX: 60% of the time, it works every time.
Joel: Okay. First of all, let's not shame people for eating two sandwiches at a time that's just not cool and not that unusual, by the way, secondly, Citibank probably wanted this dude gone, if he was crushing it, they wouldn't care if he was ordering flaming yon and lobster for breakfast, lunch and dinner, let's be honest. Laying people off in Europe is usually tougher than the US, so this must have been the easiest route for Citibank to cut this guy loose, to blame it on the sandwich debacle and lying. Third, at face value, this is a lesson for all the kids out there, you can build a lifetime of trust only to have it all taken away because of one discretion, in this case, it was kind of a funny discretion, but nevertheless still a lie, if that little voice inside your head is saying, don't do it, it's usually a good policy to listen to that internal voice, and by the way, Chad, my inner voice is saying right now, why the hell are we recording a podcast. We're in Paris for God's sakes. Viva la France, we out.
Outro: Wow, look at you, you made it through an entire episode of the Chad and Cheese Podcast. Or maybe you cheated and fast forwarded to the end. Either way, there's no doubt you wish you had that time back, valuable time you could have used to buy a nutritious meal at Taco Bell and 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 chuckle heads instead. Now, go take a shower and wash off all the guilt, but save some soap, because you'll be back like an awful train wreck, you can't look away and like Chad's favorite western, you can't quit them either. We out.