World Staffing Podcast #10 with Hans Bukow, CEO & Co-Founder at eTeki Inc.


Intro: This is a brand new episode of the World Staffing Podcast. The interview podcast brought to you by, where we meet with entrepreneurs, successful business owners and the greatest minds of the staffing industry. We're interested in what drives them, what inspires them. We want to know what their everyday work looks like and what keeps them up at night.

We should all learn from them and at the same time, have a good time. And this is your host, Jan Jedlinski.

Jan Jedlinski: Welcome to a brand new episode of the World Staffing Podcast. Today with a very special guest, a friend, advisor, mentor, investor, and staffing industry expert. He's the inventor of smart wallet plates, smart home devices. He's the founder of 2ework. One of the leading independent consulting suppliers in Europe. He was the CEO of Provade VMS, advising tons of companies in the HR tech and SaaS world.

And he recently took the role as the CEO and co-founder at eTeki, a global marketplace for technical interviews. Welcome to the World Staffing Podcast, Hans.

Hans Bukow: Thank you so much, Jan. I really appreciate it. Thanks for the kind words as you were running through it. I didn't realize how much time I've already spent in this industry, but we're very glad to be here.

Jan Jedlinski: Cool. Awesome. You know, talking about your time in the industry, I have obviously tons of questions for you about eTeki and more things, but before we dive in, tell us a little bit about your story in the staffing industry and you know, your journey through the last couple of years or last decade. So to say.

Hans Bukow: Sure.

You know, I first started, I'm an engineer by degree and started with a lot of systems designed for advanced robotic systems. So believe it or not, I was doing a lot of high-tech stuff. But interestingly enough, the pressures, even at that time, when I started that company to automate large-scale factories, wasn't processes and understanding supply chains.

So over time, interestingly enough, especially in the first world markets like the U.S. and Europe, people started to become, you know, the gating item for processes and pretty getting things done, even in factories. And that kind of led me into taking a lot of what we had done and what I would kind of refer to as my first career.

In large-scale automation in factories and process and supply chain and applying it to the companies and their need for that from a people perspective, you know, workforce. And that's how a company called the ework began. It was intermixed with the beginning of the internet, around and that came up with an idea at the time for a marketplace, an exchange for EU workers, for what we've quickly referred to in those days as e-workers, which consists of you know, knowledge workers, all looking on the internet for work.

And that was the Genesis of the sort of human cloud, the marketplace, the platforms for finding professional knowledge workers online. And that was around to survive .com. We obviously had to figure out a way to get this technology consumed. So I'm kind of credited with having been part of the initiation of VMS as a technology.

But we did it from the internet. I like to tell the other VMS people, you know, the granddaddies of VMS that we kind of came from the outside in while most of the other companies feel glass and others were starting from the inside out, but we took VMS. We took it into the hospital. ework was one of the few that took it into the hospitals.

We never lost sight of the marketplace , and we actually even added an employer of record with the work services to the businesses. ework itself also became another brand. I had started in parallel, one in Europe. Now known as E work group. ework group isn't an ework exchange company. It did very well.

I appealed in 2008 and you work in the United States, broke up its parts and sold it as we kind of moved on to doing other things. I took time off, came back. I had a good friend that had started Provade, got involved with an affiliated company, Pinnacle as well. And try to see what we could do with that, especially with our alignment with Oracle technology at the time.

And then last year left that opportunity after we sold it to an Oracle platinum partner founded at home and started thinking about other things got heavily involved in remote work and the processes associated with them because of the pandemic, everybody working remotely, and then got introduced to the original founder of eTeki who was very interested in taking it global and taking it to the next level.

So I am in the process now of looking and doing that for eTeki. As you rightfully mentioned, the marketplace for a technology interview.

Jan Jedlinski: Awesome. That's fantastic.

Hans Bukow: So that's how I got here. Yeah.

Jan Jedlinski: Fantastic background, super fascinating from the marketplace side on, ework and you know, to the VMS side, you know, not really marketplace, but also two sides that you have to manage.

And now the marketplace for technical interviews. Tell us a little bit more about eTeki. I find its super fascinating sort of technical interview as a service. How does it work and who are the customers and what's the workflow.

Hans Bukow: Yeah. The original instance has been in business for about five years.

Interestingly enough, it has a lot of roots in India. The original founder, the original group, you know, needed it for themselves. It just didn't want to consume a lot of their own people's time interviewing. So they created a simple service. That allows other experts to participate in interviews and really bestows a lot of trust in that model.

So, you know, it took off that way. A lot of the work is done in India, where it's obviously a very dynamic market that the numbers for much higher. Price points are a lot more pressurized, but the marketplace sort of viewed it as if we're going to scale. And we're going to find true experts for skills that are very, you know, very much in demand right here right now.

And it's always changing it. It did merit a marketplace model very much the way we had thought about things for ework. So I found that there was a lot of synergy from all the work we had done before. We operate in the US and in India. And we'll open and get to Europe here before the end of the year. And the idea is to recruit and create opportunities for those that could land on the, in, on the site on mark, on the marketplace as providers, service providers, almost freelancers, and we give them a lot of resources as well in a dashboard and the whole place.

You know, very similar to some of the marketplaces you see for ride share, you know, and other services micro services, perhaps in this case, it's something that you're already an expert in. So interestingly enough, you know, being invited and courted from things that you already are well-recognized for.

And then of course, to get the opportunity to contribute now on those being interviewed, the big distinction versus automated assessment, and some of the other tools, obviously that are there to test your skills. Is that you get a much more collaborative experience. It's a more balanced experience with someone who is interviewing you.

It tends to steer and go into direction. That makes sense. Obviously it's guided by an interview script that the person or the company that's requested that interview has given some guidance, but it's generally purposefully left independent, so the expert can do their work. And then they write an assessment report.

And that report. It has got a rubric. It's kind of an interviewing technique, a scope that is unique to what eTeki does. And it also provides assets like video assets, coding assets, things that all combined into a comprehensive report on the results of the interview. And we foresee in the future that you would own that possibly depending on you know, who paid for the rights, but you might be given rights as one being interviewed.

To pass that on. So as to basically make the whole interviewing cycle, which is a necessity, we all know, and I'll want to make a conclusion and decision to hire, you know, so that we're not all burning up so much time interviewing re interviewing and doing it in an unstructured manner and not having good feedback and good information from it and overall a good experience.

So that's how it all kind of ties together. It fits very well with the direct sourcing, you know, movement right now, and also. EI movement to try to make things more equitable and inclusive. Try to remove some of the biases that might be inside an organization by bringing a third-party outside expert involved in the interviewing process.

So I think it's a very progressive environment. The marketplace, the globalness of price points that hopefully makes the recruitment process a lot more efficient.

Jan Jedlinski: That's great. I find it super interesting specifically 3rd party verification part, which I want to talk about in a second, but let's go back a little bit to the use cases, you know, when somebody is listening to the podcast and they are a client looking to have, you know, high volume of hiring going on, then we'd like to use it or you're a staffing company. I think it fits in both use cases, right?

It could be a staffing company that basically gives the eTeki tool to their recruiters or to their teams to be an addition to their efforts. But it could be also very nicely integrated into the, on the client side rights as a, as a direct sourcing initiative where eTeki essentially becomes part of the entire interviewing process.

And, you know, one thing that I wanted to ask you, is it more for use cases where maybe you don't have somebody internally with that expertise or is it purely an addition to the existing interview that maybe somebody has already done? Where are the use cases, mostly today?

Hans Bukow: Yeah. I mean, there's several ways that the product is used for service issues.

And let me make note that we recently released what we call. Pay per interview versus pay per view, pay per interview. It's a self-service product that actually allows people to order one interview and pay with a credit card. So at a very high, granular level to spot interviews, when you're tight on time.

You know, candidates are very in demand these days. And obviously we don't want to, you know, push them off with waiting for interviews to happen, you know, weeks at a time. So the idea of the marketplace is to give more accessibility. So in some use cases it is for velocity. You know, that people want to get this done right away and it's just, it's all backed up.

Can't get everybody lined up, but we can hopefully find someone on the marketplace that can. In other cases, especially with staffing companies, it is sometimes skills where we're not feeling as confident, the staffing companies that are doing quite well. They want to prove to their clients that they really are committed to finding high quality candidates.

And this is a way to get a third party involved. Just sort of make that point very clear and very upfront that they are fully committed and in other cases, it's part of a staffing operations service within. You know, it's an eTeki inside type of thing. And we partner with them to do that from the corporate side.

I've got a good friend, for example, who is a director at a high-flying, you know, six, $700 million backed startup, literally at a later stage. And they're so desperate and I, I've heard this happened at Google as well. You know, they circulated information requirements that the development staff actually carve out up to a quarter of their time interviewing other candidates.

And most developers, IT people, you know, they want to do IT work. They don't want to spend all day interviewing others. So how do you augment that? How do you know how you add more expertise into the mix? And that's another use case where the, in that case, it's an augmentation activity to a corporate's own in-house ability to interview.

Some of the interviews are done beforehand so that they can gather the information so that the final near final interviews are done in such a way that they benefit from the information that was done from eTeki that re reported from eTeki and other cases, when the recruiters aren't very versed or they really don't have a lot of bandwidth because they're working way up in the pipeline, then they use this more frequently to conduct a little bit more.

Ability shows more ability in the technology assessment and the interviewing before they submit candidates. So in the pipeline of many candidates to the final ones were in the middle there, sometimes further upstream and sometimes a little bit further downstream. So lots of reasons why people are using us and getting the benefit and the ROI is clearly there, especially when you consider the placement rates relative to velocity.

And good information to kind of confirm that your candidate, this is the one

Jan Jedlinski: Can eTeki or do you think eTeki could become this? Twitter or Instagram verified check marks next to the candidate profile. So basically next time the candidate interviews somewhere, they already come up with their verified eTeki interview.

Is that the goal of this?

Hans Bukow: I think that's the ultimate goal is to make this asset, this report, this experience accessible because why replicate it and do it over and over again now very often. Interviews they're unique because, you know, the actual job, a position is a unique position. So you, we want to match a unique ability to that.

So it's not that it will always be the case, but just like we have other profiling that we do, you know, as a way to represent ourselves and represent the opportunity. I do believe that, you know, going forward, that will be the case now for our interviewers, those that conduct the interviews that come onto our marketplace and want to contribute to that way.

We do have a process where they go through training, they go through this technique for improved ability to interview. And also ultimately they have a Peter panelist that reviews there. So they got interviewed themselves actually, and do end up with a certified eTeki certified badge. That obviously gives them a little more status than someone who hasn't gone through the training and hasn't been certified.

And I imagine that will continue to increase. We'll provide more training. It's still very early in this, especially built as a marketplace. So I think there is still a lot of potential for improvement and growth and obviously building up the marketplace. So both consumers and providers are both benefited from the matching.

Jan Jedlinski: I think it's a super exciting model, super timely. And I think when you look at the market across different industries and the cycle, you know, having checkers, you know, we're doing the background checks as a service or other providers. I think the interview as a service model is super exciting. I think there is a lot of opportunities specifically, I think for the third party verification, where eTeki becomes this instance where if you are eTeki verified, then that's your check mark that you have on your candidate profile. And that gives you a potential better status or preference and has less.

Hans Bukow: I think at the very least what it does. I mean, again, you know, an interview.

For specific, right? I mean, people could have a good interview for something they're not really well suited for and a great interview for something they're highly suited for. So this certification, I think, would, you know, from the interview side, we mentioned that already from the, again, that it side, I think what it does suggest, though, is that they're open, you know, they're willing to collaborate and are quite, know, quite you know, already demonstrates somebody had tributes of candidates that, you know, people are looking for.

Interestingly, with the pandemic clearly, and the reach for finding candidates going more global. You know, we also have seen other issues that have popped up typical of, you know, internet behavior, which we'll just classify under the big umbrella of faking, you know, fakes. So an interesting stat I don't have a precise number, but we all cured and looking at some of the material and we've seen it ourselves first hand is that, you know, fake counts are way up, you know, in the order of doubling, since the pandemic began, you might think why have people trying to fake, you know, getting interviews to try to get a job they can't do. But surprisingly, you know, it's a real waste of everyone's time, obviously to let a fake proceed and progress.

But you see that quite a bit more than you did before. And obviously for a staffing operator who is very much entrusted to find the right people, you know, it looks really bad for them to be submitting candidates that are fakes. And we have a lot of technology and ability and theses and professional expert interviewers that are very good at identifying fakes, even embellishments, you know, we're trying to quit blink.

But embellishment of say, oh yeah, I do this. I do that. You know, you're a foreign language speaker. How many people you run to, it says, oh yeah, Jan and I speak German. And then you say a few things and it's kind of clear that they'd speak a little bit, perhaps, but they don't really refer fluid. So it's something like that.

And the technology side where, and especially with, you know, thousands and thousands of technology stacks, lots of things that it's really easy to start spotting. Those that are embellishing. As the company that's going to hire this person to work with them, you can't afford that. You really have to get the match just right.

Jan Jedlinski: Yeah, I agree. I mean, at this point, it's very interesting over the past couple of years, working with the Gustav product that we have, I have heard so many stories that should be every day that there is, you know, fake interviews going on. People faking the actual humans Interview.

Hans Bukow: A lot of the certification documents,

Jan Jedlinski: But even going into. Getting the job. And then somebody at the bank worked for six months. They didn't realize that this was not the candidate that was interviewed. There were even those types of cases. So, and obviously that goes all back to the staffing firm that loses clients, right? So the staffing companies became really hesitant to work with partners, work with not trusted partners in the market, because they didn't want to have those use cases with the bait and switch.

So I think all the eTeki, you could be a real game changer here, Actually

Hans Bukow: Yeah, and we we partner quite a bit, you know, they're all different kinds of what I referred to as intermediate companies intermediaries. And you know, there's a lot of talk about disrupting industries and taking out intermediaries.

And the fact that about it, I've been in this industry now with staff companies for 20 years. And the fact that a matter is there is quite a lot of value. That the intermediary provides expertise, focused, dedication. And this is a partnering effort, you know, we're all going to have to get better, to do more the demand for IT personnel and capacity, you know, versus the supply.

It's a gap that's going to probably stay for a while or even grow. And that just means that all the processes that put all these opportunities together have to improve. And this is a way, you know, given the flexibility of the platform, given the technology, given even the support, we've got a lot of back office people that in some cases, when we're contracted to give a managed service provision to go with the platform, you know, they're in the back there, making sure the interviews are ready, they got back up.

Interviewer is going, these opportunities are important to both candidates and the company. So there is quite a lot of support and added value that we are trying to provide with the other intermediaries or other staffing companies. The other recruitment companies manage services, RPOs, and so on.

Jan Jedlinski: On Because I've heard this over the last 18 months, read conversation than an explosive growth in the conversation that it will be a recruiter less staffing, no recruiters anymore.

What is your take on it? Like no more recruiters in any time soon or the recruiters or they are here to stay.

Hans Bukow: You know, honestly, let's see if I can find an analogy here. It's like, you know, the industry of travel agents, you know, a long time ago, there were travel agents that did everything relative to travel And has that industry diminished clearly it has, but the bottom line is people that are pretty good at planning, travel and doing those things and have that knowledge because it gets more complicated.

They're still around and doing quite well. And I think that the staffing industry, you know, we'll find I've seen them the, you the, the creation of managed service products that went with VMS, there will always be a demand for someone to help you. So, I I'm, I'm, I'm a little bit less gun-ho, you know, maybe 20 years ago when the internet just started and I was a much younger man thinking about how these things, you know, could just all be automated.

I don't think that's going to be the case. I think automation will assist. I think there'll be a lot more value, you know, associated with the technology and what it can do. But I think there will always be a role for a partner that really has your interests in mind and tries to get your help, you know, meaning the corporates and collaborating around the information and be a less, less about, a lot less about information transparency.

Oh, I got, I know a whole bunch of candidates and you don't, there'll be a lot more about, listen, how can we work on this together? I'll take that. You take this and we'll get the job done faster, more efficient. Because my service is valuable and a, and we'll partner on this. So, you know, you always hear a lot about partnering and I think it'll just be pushed more that the proof of partnering will have to come to the surface.

And that's sort of the way I view it. I don't think the whole thing blows up and goes away by any means, but I think there has to be some adaptation, especially around technology and information systems and the collaboration around that information.

Jan Jedlinski: I agree. I agree. And where do you see the biggest growth opportunity for industry overall in the next 5 years?

10 years?

Hans Bukow: Well, that's a really good one. You know, obviously we see programs and we see, you know, especially as it evolved from VMS to MSP, for example, I'll kind of focus more on the staffing side versus the recruitment, which I think that there is a clear analogy with RPO to MSP, but those are value added services that you know, provided by an intermediary that knows a lot about what what it takes to kind of fulfill goals.

I think that the whole area of partnering and developing business models and programs, you know, maybe shared contingency programs that really deliver value, you know, based on results. I think all of that is where the evolution will continue. And so I think that's where it's heading in terms of the models that will improve the ability to integrate technologies. It is clearly always moving and progressing.

You know, how many times do you and I, and others that provide technology, ask for our stuff to be integrated with the stuff that the others are using. So as these integrations become the cases and and you're collaborating around a certain outcome and obviously workflows cases, you know, you use the words yourself, those will become more and more important and how to kind of fit in.

And that of course will beg for a business model that makes sense for achieving outcomes and being driven by those outcomes. So not a lot of specifics there, but I think it's almost what was done in the last 10, 15 years with those types of programs, but taken to a new level and take it obviously to a new level of including platforms like us, because in some respects we're similar.

We're just being done as, you know, as a fast service, as something that's a little bit further away. I wrote a piece on LinkedIn about hybrid and obviously hybrid is identified with remote workers or in hybrid locations. But the piece I wrote about was really like viewing hybrid, meaning my workforce in Europe as a partner workforce and the services that are out there, like eTeki and Upwork and others.

Also providing a level of service that gets integrated in that, you know, clouds are made up of other clouds. And I think this is all going to be interesting as the technology provided that way as a service combined with a partner, as a service to what is typically viewed as the client company and the models and the technology will continue to drive that.

Jan Jedlinski: Yep. Yep. That's interesting. And what do you think? The war for talent when people call right now. And actually we had a conversation before we started the podcast that even though it's not only for the talent process, there's a war for talent service providers. So to say, but what, in your opinion, can companies maybe not corporate side, but also staffing companies.

Do better to attract talent. Is there anything that you think can be done better?

Hans Bukow: Yeah. Yeah. You know, I don't honestly, maybe because it's been around for a while. I don't view it as any different than other times. And that's gone on, you know, it is marketplaces. The economy is rebounding.

There's more demands. The supply, especially in what's viewed as more value, critical, like, like IT services and coding and so on. And, you know, we've got a lot less people on a percentage basis getting into some of these technologies, especially in the first world. And here's a great example. It's found its ability to supply a lot of that talent.

But as these things evolve and, and just, you know, Jan, in the last year I also spent quite a bit of time. Doing some ework, it's my passion from the past, you know, some ework type of consideration for remote work. What is changing? You know, the future of work, all these taglines for what is evolving and some of the latest comments.

So some of the latest things that have happened in the last month or so have been around, you know, burnout and things like, you know, the great resignation where 80% of people are considering changing their jobs because of the pandemic has psychologically. Made them think a lot more about what their meaning in life is, you know, especially, you know, hearing and thinking so much about life, death circumstances with a pandemic, the companies are now becoming more intimate.

I'd like to say, you know, we're on zoom calls, you see dogs running around people holding babies. So the relationships and even Esther Purell is I got an article as of late. And she's a relationship that grew here that talks about, you know, romantic relationships. But the bottom line is she's turned it into work.

And it has taken some of those principles associated with relationships. So the recruitment activity for the scarce talent we'll, we'll start going down that path. And the other thing, frankly, too, is that like any other supply and demand model, and we hear about inflation, there has to be some adjustments to commensurate with the value, man.

Why are these people so much in demand? Well, perhaps it's because they're supplying value to the company that makes them so much in demand and like any other marketplace that is always viewed. You know, especially people's participation both from those that need people to do work. And those that want to do the work.

It's a little bit of a marketplace, as we all know. So the bottom line is in the marketplace, you know, highly in demand, you know, deserves probably compensation levels that, you know, that are commensurate to that. And that is a function of dollars. That is a function of the ability to recognize those skill sets and what's needed.

And I think there is a lot of scarcity of talent from the education side that has to be addressed on a macro level. But then in your ability to compete with the guy sitting next to you on the subway, who's also looking for an IT, even though they're not a direct competitor, not probably not even in your own industry, but you both need that, that IT person, the bottom line is that at certain point it has to be addressed by what the talent does need.

They need meaning; they need other personal, more important things that really motivate them to come to work. And then frankly, if those skills are highly demanded, they need to see the compensation that is more market-like.

Jan Jedlinski: Yep. And also, I think I saw a survey recently where, you know, the commute and the remote work option, you know, on, and just the flexibility was, you know, top of mind for people even below the actual pay.

Right. So I think that's going to be a huge shift in the next few years. And I think. That's also where I think eTeki plays a huge role, right? Because now when you look at the landscape of staffing and recruiting providers, Even Suddenly being able to operate pretty much just with their computer everywhere in the world, online with you know, an employer of record with a service provider, like eTeki with a good LinkedIn account and with clients and a good network of candidates and suddenly can place people everywhere they like.

So I think there's going to be a huge shift in that industry, and I'm very excited to see eTeki succeed on that front. So, it's pretty exciting.

Hans Bukow: Yeah. If you really look at it, one of the things that attracted me to it is it's fundamentally a remote work ability, right? And it happens to be put in the shape of a marketplace, a platform online for you to get some remote work.

You know, some you ework. eTeki being ework. And what that means really is that I'm collaborating with a trusted source to do this work remotely from wherever. And there's a lot of other dimensions that, you know, I don't think are fully appreciated. No online work, the essence of online work, being functional in that you get labs and a bunch of companies that do that is you know, it's this asynchronously being able to specify and understand that an outcome, a task that needs to be done some project, and then someone being able to pick it up from there has the information, has the confidence, has the understanding.

And then does the work and reports it back and that they know that spans time zones. It's really difficult for the whole world, obviously to be all awake at the same time, synchronously communicating very often. Now we're going to have to find more ways to take advantage of our abilities to operate asynchronously because you know, time zones are a big factor in terms of distributing work and pretty work online.

And then of course almost exclusively on knowledge work that is being transmitted through intelligent work, project work, skilled work, you know, through electronic needs. But yes, that by, by inherently, eTeki kind of fits into this model of remote work again, with all the framework associated with the marketplace in the platform ability.

Because it's an interview that's being requested. It's kind of like a mini project. Can you do this for me? And here are all the things you need to do what you do best, and then you do it and then you send me the information. Then I go on and do what I need to do. So it's that decoupling a synchronicity, which is inherent to more success in remote work, which we've all obviously been forced to, more, to do more of and to think more of and make decisions on how to intermingle that with all the other things we want to do, you know, on a personal level.

I've benefited. Everyone, I think, has benefited when they're able to not have to spend a lot of time commuting to a specific location, and then can, you know, use that time perhaps to spend, you know, tutoring their children or seeing a soccer game or doing something like that. And that empowers the individuals to make decisions around how to best use the time.

And time is probably the most valuable thing we've got so far. Everybody wants to power to, to kind of control that. And they'll almost give up their salary or pay for it directly. For any company now that's not really seriously considering how to fit in this new found, you know, way of working into their mix going forward, I think is almost, you know, doomed to, to fall behind and to not succeed.

You have to figure out ways to incorporate this with your workforce.

Jan Jedlinski: I agree. I agree. Hans as a leader in the industry, Is there anything that keeps you up at night these days? Anything that you worry about?

Hans Bukow: Well, obviously besides all of the things that we all worry about, I mean, if I'll sort of segment it more towards business and work, you know, I think obviously is getting, you know eTeki, to the next level in an efficient, you know, value creation.

Obviously we have a challenge. It's something I'm also very interested in with my international background, you know, the cultural aspect, you know, we're a company that's in the United States and in India. And you know, that plays obviously into a lot of bigger thoughts. You know, there was a movement there for a while anti-globalization, you know, before we were all globalizing.

And obviously that caused a lot of stress in the end. And the vigil environments that we're being forced to globalize and, you know, we got a backlash with populism, but ultimately I think it's a global force, especially with communication and the technology, just making it easier for us to interconnect.

I mean, just think about it. That's less than two years ago. We, how many zoom calls were you doing? You know what I mean, people are not engaging as quickly as so connected, you know, you're able to get a message about something that has happened to a friend that's halfway around the globe as if they're right next door, but those forces cannot be ignored.

They cannot stop globalization from progressing. And therefore, you know, we have a lot of issues that come from the fact that we all are different and grew up differently. So I think quite a bit about the cultural aspects of intermingling these companies and I have for a while, because I'm interested in international experiences.

You know how that all kind of comes together and the word culture has come up a lot. You know, how has our culture for the company's culture, you know, how does the company identify a culture that people even from very different backgrounds can rally behind? And that's a work in progress. That's cutting edge thought processes to try to figure out how to do that.

And that's, I spent quite a bit of time contemplating that, you know, how do I make a US, an European and an Indian culture, core group, all interconnected. In such a way that they all feel super excited about where they are, you know, and what's happening with their company.

Jan Jedlinski: I'm really looking forward for more updates from you in the next 6 to 12 months and see how everything is going before I let you go.

Two more questions. One is related to the advice. So what advice would you give somebody who was maybe starting a new recruiting or staffing company, an HR tech company, or any type of, you know, maybe technology company in our industry. And the second question is about your source of industry news, where do you get your industry news from and what do you read everyday to keep yourself up-to-date?

Hans Bukow: Sure. The first one, I think I would have to give a pretty tangible example. You know, when I was heavy into getting VMS off the ground, you know, circa 2000, 2001, we had sponsored contingent workforce shows and we had sponsored some sessions at a Reba, which is a big procurement movement, you know, accompany now, SAP in the day.

So we were on the cutting edge of sort of identifying these services, procurement technology dedicated towards staffing and required and acquiring project based resources, staff augmentation, and so on. So forth. And VMS is known for. And it was a couple of companies without getting too specific where they were just getting started and they knew they couldn't compete with traditional staffing groups.

So they, what did they do? They just set up their systems, embraced the technology and immediately started operating. From the way the companies were providing the demand for talent. And I think, I don't think, I think that's still the way to break in. You know, if you're, you mentioned that young group's getting started.

The technology is changing constantly, as we all know. And the ability to integrate in with that technology is improving constantly as we all know. So I would get started in a way that envisions providing value into those systems, into those technologies so that I could participate more, you know, partner the way some of this technology is driving people to do.

I think there's certain elements of the business model of old, or let's assume the pastimes. That worked very well, you know, being local to certain regions or certain abilities, certain candidate pools and so on. I think that all makes sense because relationships are still in the mix here, but then again, there's, as we know, there's so much efficiency with interconnecting the data through the technology that are emerging, that it just can't be ignored.

It is the way to break in my opinion. So that's sort the way I would think about, you know, getting in the industry and evolving and getting part of it and in private, in some value very much the way, you know, Gustav and your company has done, you know, you guys found some really interesting ways with which to kind of change the model and then connected.

And I think that's the way other companies these days could get into the industry.

Jan Jedlinski: Thanks for the advice.

Hans Bukow: Yeah. I think, um, you know, generically stated obviously, because if I, and many others knew exactly what to do, then we'd all be doing them. Right. So, but I think that's at least strategically or thematically, you know, think of it that way.

As far as where I get my news, you know, I've been around in this industry now for a while. And it's sort of, I kind of say this to my son too. When we find out I don't really look for news. I've got so many notifications and things set up and in searches that, you know and it, it goes for general news as well.

If something's happened on the other side of the planet, and sometimes within minutes, I already know about it. It requires me to screen a lot of stuff. We're looking at a lot of stuff. That's really not as important for the moment. But the bottom line is I tend within a day, at least, or two to find out about what's going on in this particular industry, other areas, you know, my soccer team and all these types of things.

So I don't really run or get one more source or just one source. I also think obviously, You know, with all of that's going on with information distribution that we have to be careful about being too you know, too connected with just one voice. So I have kind a, an open fire hose of information that finds me.

And then you know, whenever I get breaks, throughout the day, even, I'll scan through all that. And then act on what I think is worthy of acting. That's part of the discipline and balancing act of thinking, obviously strategically, you know, some things I got to keep an eye on and tactically, I got to get this thing done by noon, you know, that type of thing.

And as part of, as we all know, that's part of the balancing act or the artwork of being an executive or a manager in any company in any operation. So that's sort of the way I relate to news these days. Somehow, it's almost sometimes a natural filter. If it's important it'll hit my radar because you know, there's radars pointed everywhere.

Jan Jedlinski: Yeah, I tend to be very similar actually. I don't really scan. I get a lot of notifications. Things that interest me. And then I quickly sift through them if they're really relevant. So actually, yeah,

Hans Bukow: There's a great, there's a great little tip jar thing. There's a great book that was actually written.

I'm surprised at how long ago it has been. It's called the Attention Economy which came out during era, you know, very visionary about how it's not even about money. It's not about a lot of things. It's the fact that, you know, it's about people's attention. And there's a lot of people out there that are spending a lot of money to get our attention.

You me, everybody's attention. And obviously that attention has something to do. Hopefully. With the value of information that you are particularly interested in. Right? I mean, I don't get a lot of things that people already know is a waste of their money to try to attract me on. That's just clearly not something I have an aptitude to be interested in, but I would recommend kind of, I never even met the author.

He's probably, you know, smiling every time I keep referring to the Attention Economy, it's been that long ago, but it's surprising for me, how many times I kind of frame it in that thought process. That in today's world. And I think we'll only go more. So it is a lot about capturing attention because like a commodity it's not even a commodity, but the time element is fixed.

Right. So how does that time become something that someone captures from you as, you know, as you pay attention to what they hope you will pay attention to.

Jan Jedlinski: Interesting, Hans, thank you for being here today. That was a great conversation for those who listened today, where can they find you? And they want to learn more about eTeki or yourself.

Hans Bukow: Well, obviously E T E K I, you know, kind of said fun. The, is the service welcome to try us out? It is a possibility now, especially I think in the US first and then we'll go to the other markets. So you want to try us out by all means, please try us out. We're still evolving and growing.

So we'd love a lot of feedback as well on what people think they need help with. We want to do what people value. Absolutely. And personally, a long time ago I, uh, I accepted that there was no hiding on the internet anymore. So Hans HANS Bukow almost anywhere. And you'll find me on LinkedIn. I don't use it too often, but I even have the URL of my name.

So anyway, you'll be able to find me with my name and we'd love to make contact. Anybody's got some great ideas, I'm all ears and have helped startups as you know Jan, for many years as a way to kind of pay forward for all the help that I got throughout my career. I absolutely believe in the entrepreneurial spirit as a core and sort of evolution of mankind and we're going to need more of it, you know, as we all need each other to solve bigger problems.

Jan Jedlinski: Thank you so much, Hans, for that. I really appreciate your support always. So please, everybody who is listening, visit Check out Hans. He's a great advisor and is always happy to help.

And I think eTeki is a great service. So we will also link the description of eTeki and a couple other links in the podcast description. And other than that, Thank you very much Hans for being on the episode. It was a great conversation. We'll check in on another episode in the next 6 to 12 months to see how eTeki has evolved.

And I'm very much looking forward to seeing you also at the World Staffing Summit 22, which will be at the end of January, 5 days, 6 continents over a 100 speakers and we expect 10,000 people from the staffing and recruiting industry to join that event live, obviously online, fully remote. So I'm excited for that.

And until that time, thank you so much for being here and I'll talk to you soon.

Hans Bukow: Thanks so much, Jan, as always appreciate it. And thank you for all the great work you're doing. I'm super excited about the World Staffing Summit as well. I mean, I think that's a perfect example of everybody kind of coming together in the age of a people you know, during or post pandemic and collaborating.

It's a great story and it's a great evolution. And I think I'm really looking forward to participating again. And I want to thank you personally, as well for all the work you're doing to help this industry. And in general, us, you know, all able to kind of help each other, get work done.

Jan Jedlinski: Thank you Hans, appreciated.

Hans Bukow: Thanks. Jan, talk to you soon.

End: You've been listening to the World Staffing Podcast, brought to you by, the digital storefront for your staffing business. If you liked this episode, make sure to subscribe and leave a review so you don't miss out on any future episodes. Got a topic you want us to touch base on.

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Welcome to the World Staffing Podcast where we speak with success-full staffing owners and operators to learn about the things that keep them up at night, their success stories, learnings and failures while building a successful staffing company and their thoughts on the future of the staffing market.

Meet Hans, the CEO of eTeki. He shared his take on what keeps him up at night and advice for new staffing owners as they navigate this challenging industry landscape!

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