We traveled to Torekov Hotell in Sweden and joining us all the way from the USA was the podcast duo and HR specialists Chad and Cheese. With their unique insights and experience in the recruitment, HR-tech, and start-up industry, we sat them down to talk about Tengai’s future.


How it all started

In December 2018 we started an online guerilla campaign after Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman, also known by Chad and Cheese, called Tengai “the creepy robot” in their podcast. And from there it went… We accepted their Death Match Challenge and met for the first time at TaTechEurope in Portugal.

Together Chad and Cheese have over 40 years of combined experience in the recruitment industry and they bring a unique perspective and brash flavor to the recruitment industry. They have been involved in Monster.com, Randstad, CareerBoard, Recruiting.com, and many more. Today, their popular podcast has a big following where they cover everything from small to groundbreaking.

The idea behind the meet-up was to challenge ourselves to discuss the future, innovation, and current offerings. Chad Sowash's thoughts on this:

"I would say that you, obviously, have the leadership who isn’t afraid to bring a couple of guys in knowing that they’re going to spill their guts. They did that for a reason and it could have been for entertainment value. But I think it mainly was to better understand the markets that are more mature. To be able to look into that crystal ball and ask 'What can we do now to be able to be more innovative in this country, and really blow everybody else out of the water?'"

He continues: 

“Diversity is a mission. Unbiased recruiting is a mission. That stuff is important. We’re both rooting for you guys, not just because of the cool tech and robots and shit, but because the mission is a good one.”


Some more thoughts from Chad and Cheese:

What are the international market expectations for a service like Tengai?

– Tengai is so far out there, which I think is amazing. It’s so far out that it is well beyond anyone’s expectations. Which is great, because you’re pushing the innovation mark for HR and talent acquisition. So you can kind of like leapfrog up, and then start to talk about things that we all seem to care about. Like being able to hire a more diverse workforce, being more unbiased, and being able to drive efficiencies. But you will need some sort of first-mover types of companies to be able to build business cases to be able to demonstrate that this isn’t just for fun. That this is legit.

– Luckily Tengai is coming out of a staffing and recruitment company. And it’s not just some random company that thought this is a great idea. It’s recruiters who truly know unbiased recruitment, who have created a product for recruiters. Having an understanding of TNG’s 15 plus years, give you a leg up. I think the notoriety is awesome, which is going to give you the conversations and hopefully the leads to do pilots.

– Do you know Thomas Edison? Edison had a workshop lab outside of Detroit. And the word spread very quickly that he was fabricating or creating light. So try to think about when a fire was the only light that you had, right? So people would drive for miles and miles just to sit outside of this lab, looking through windows to see these lights go on and off. And they started thinking about what it meant: Am I going to have this in my home one day? What’s it going to cost? Am I going to get rid of what I currently use? And to me, the industry is in a very similar spot. They’re seeing this thing, an interview robot, and they obviously want to know more about it. They’re very curious about it but there is still so much uncertainty.

– So the question is: will Tengai be the light bulb that’s in every company? I don’t know. But the opportunity is there. The promise is there. So as far as expectations, my God, I don’t know, I, I have no idea what the expectations are.

What is the strongest selling point with Tengai?

– That you’re selling the future.

– Getting people to understand Tengais purpose! Because it’s actually bigger than just trying to put more butts in seats. It’s about diversity. It is about leveling the playing field, it is about all these things that companies say they are into they want to do. But you know, are they committed to do it?

– And again, it’s one of those things where it’ll be great when they understand the potential impact, but first, they have to get behind the purpose overall.

What excites you the most about Tengai?

– Both of us knew Indeed, very early on with very few employees. And to have been able to watch them grow over the years into what they are now has been great. So I love to see this thing grow into an amazing company that affects so many people. Diversity is a mission. Unbiased recruiting is a mission. That stuff is important. We’re both rooting for you guys, not just because of the cool tech and robots and shit, but like the mission is a good one.

– The other thing that’s interesting is the disruption that you’re creating. This scares the hell out of the white guys. Which, ultimately, is the power structure. And at least for now, those are the ones who are still making the decisions. So the wall you have to break through and the ceiling you have to bust through is daunting.

– That it is based on TNG, a company that does people for business, that understands the industry and unconscious bias. I think that is the biggest key. And then growing smart out of Scandinavia instead of trying to attack the rest of the world right now.

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