We’re excited to announce the debut of recruitAbility’s podcast, “Nothing’s Sacred,” where we discuss business innovations and trends that are transforming the way companies approach recruiting, onboarding, employee retention, employee engagement, and more.
Co-hosted by recruitAbility founder & CEO Nad Elias and 3rd & Lamar co-founder & CEO Nick Schenck, “Nothing’s Sacred” will offer listeners practical advice on how to navigate these trends so that your business wins.
On Episode 1, we discuss the sudden impact of the Coronavirus on the economy and share what we are doing to adjust to these circumstances. Listen to the podcast on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher. In the near future, “Nothing’s Sacred” will be available on Pandora, too.
Scroll down for the full transcript.
Nothing’s Sacred: Episode 1 Transcript
[00:00:37] Nick Schenck: Hello, and welcome to episode one of the “Nothing’s Sacred” podcast. I’m the co-host Nick Schenck, and I’m here with my good friend, Nad Elias, CEO of recruitAbility. Nad, thanks for joining me. Why don’t you tell people a little bit about yourself and then also about recruitAbility.
[00:00:52] Nad Elias: Yeah. Thanks, Nick. Excited to be doing this with you.
[00:00:55] I’ve been a recruiter for 20-plus years. It was the first job I got out of college. It’s the only professional job I’ve ever had. I started recruitAbility three years ago. We are a recruiting and technology firm focused on helping companies scale all over the U.S., including Austin.
[00:01:19] And, and actually Nick, I placed you here in Austin.
[00:01:22] Nick Schenck: Yeah, that was a great experience. The fact that we’re still talking means it was a good experience. I can vouch for you as a recruiter. But yeah, I distinctly remember applying for a job that you were placing and you wanted to pre-screen me just to make sure I was up for the task.
[00:01:39] We met at Kerbey Lane Cafe and you grilled me over breakfast and I ended up getting the job. It worked out. It was great. So I’m glad we’ve kept in touch.
[00:01:48] And you know, when we met two weeks ago to talk about doing this podcast, we threw around a few different ideas, but what stuck to us was all the workplace is changing. You know, the way people approach work now is different than it was two years ago, five years ago, 10 years ago, and then it’s going to change also in another year, two years, five years. It’s not only how people approach work, it’s what they expect from work. It’s where they do their work.
[00:02:16] And you’re really on the front lines of this because you are interacting with all these companies and you’re seeing how these changes in the workplace are affecting and impacting these companies. So in this podcast, I think we can touch upon a lot of these topics, and it’s especially relevant in current days with how the Coronavirus is affecting the workplace.
[00:02:39] So yeah, that’s “Nothing’s Sacred.” Nad, is that your recollection?
[00:02:43] Nad Elias: Yeah, absolutely. The traditional ways and what we see in workplace behaviors, how we interact with each other, our coworkers, our customers, our vendors, everything’s changed. And it’s always changing. And I think it’s important as organizations that we adapt, evolve and adapt with those changes.
[00:03:08] Nick Schenck: Definitely. And that’s actually a great segue to what’s happening right now in the world with coronavirus and just the economic downturn associated with that. You’re on the front lines of that. What are you seeing out there right now?
[00:03:22] Nad Elias: You know, in our business, in recruiting, we tend to be a leading indicator when it comes to economic ups and downs.
[00:03:34] We see things happen – most of the time – before it starts happening [on a larger scale]. For example, the job markets, you know, when companies are looking to grow and hire and interview, we take away the ability for, candidates to be able to travel, for people to be able to have in-house interviews. We effectively limit that because of, obviously, what’s going on in the world with this pandemic. We’ve seen a pretty abrupt halt. There are still companies that are growing when it comes to replacing existing hires, or somebody leaves the company and they have to fill a hole.
[00:04:28] But when it comes to organic growth, there’s uncertainty, there’s fear right now. And nobody knows how long it’s going to last. You know, this isn’t something that we’ve seen before. We’ve seen the financial markets in 2008 crash. But we can’t base that timeline on what’s happening now, because we don’t know.
[00:04:51] I think that that’s the fear right now. It’s the uncertainty. And my feeling on it is, you know, we hunker down because it’ll pass and when it passes, it’s going to come back in a [big] way and we just gotta hunker down and make it through. We’re all stuck at home right now.
[00:05:13] Who doesn’t want to go out to eat. Right? We all want to go to a restaurant as soon as the restaurants open up, I mean, they’re going to get flooded with people. Right? It’s the same for our industry. It’s the same for a lot of industries that are being affected right now and are just trying to hunker down and hold on.
[00:05:28] Nick Schenck: What – in terms of your business – February to March, can you share some of the metrics that you’re seeing in terms of the drop-off?
[00:05:39] Nad Elias: Yeah, sure. January and February were record months for us. In March, we experienced a 60% downturn in sales. It all happened in about a week. And this isn’t a sob story. That’s just the reality. And we’ve all been through it. I’ve been through it and we’ll get by and it’s really how you adapt and evolve. But we had a 60% loss in sales for March. We’re entering April right now. I expect it to be at that or even a little bit worse.
[00:06:15] And then who knows after that, right? But it is right now how we hold on, how we make sure that the people that work with us and work for us and that have committed to being here, have the opportunity to stay here. It’s something that’s very personal to me.
[00:06:40] And I’m sure you feel the same way, Nick, in your organization. But the people that work for us, this isn’t their fault, you know? And it’s one of those things. We’re trying to figure out ways that we keep moving forward as an organization and everybody puts in the time and puts in the work so we can get past this thing.
[00:07:01] Nick Schenck: Yeah, for us, we’re just trying to focus on what industries are actually gonna be seeing more demand in this environment. So liquor, beer, delivery, Blue Apron stock has popped after being like around a dollar [per share], I think Blue Apron is around $16 a share now.
[00:07:23] Nad Elias: I was just talking with Richard, our Head of Ops, on how much our alcohol consumption has risen in the last five days, just from being at home. And you make frequent trips to buy bottles of wine and types of liquor and beer during these times.
[00:07:45] But video communications and…
[00:07:48] Nick Schenck: Zoom.
[00:07:49] Nad Elias: Their stock is up a hundred percent in the last month.
[00:07:51] Nick Schenck: Zoom’s market cap right now has surpassed Uber’s. So, uh, they’re doing well.
[00:07:57] Nad Elias: Yeah. And there’s some local companies as well. Um, you know, Lifesize is a company we’ve done some work with here in town. Plivo is a company that we’re doing some work with that actually is moving their operations to Austin. They’re in the video space as well.
[00:08:13] These companies are gonna need to grow. They’re going to need engineering support, tech support of all different levels – obviously sales, marketing as they try and adapt to this environment. Which is probably a good segue into what we’re seeing in these types of environments right now and how the workforces have been able to adapt.
[00:08:37] We talked about nothing being sacred. I mean, look, we’re having our staff meetings right now via Zoom, the entire company on a Zoom call, right? And I just got off the call with Entrepreneurs Organization, this association that I’m a part of with business owners all over the world.
[00:08:56] We’re on a Zoom call. There’s roughly 13,000 members and these are 40 leaders representing these 30,000. We’re all on the same Zoom call – all over the world. That’s how we communicate now.
[00:09:07] Nick Schenck: That’s awesome technology, and I’m learning new lessons, right? People know about email etiquette. But I’m learning about video call etiquette. For instance, you should have your camera on. Most people do, and if you don’t have your camera on, I think people kind of look at it like, wait, what’s going on there? I always figured like, no one wants to see my face up close to my computer camera. But I guess it’s a personal thing. It’s better interaction if you can see the person there.
[00:09:37] Do you guys have any other rules, like when you do your Zoom calls about video call etiquette?
[00:09:44] Nad Elias: Last week, you know, most of us now we’re working virtually, we’re working from our homes and, and my wife cracked up because I call it – there’s a waist-up and a waist-down etiquette.
[00:09:56] You always joke about the guys you see on ESPN on SportsCenter, right? What are they wearing under their suits, you know, from the waist down. You have to have waist-up etiquette on a podcast, right? You don’t need waist-down etiquette.
[00:10:08] Nick Schenck: On a video call?
[00:10:09] Nad Elias: Sorry. Yeah, on a video call. Unless you’re doing a stand-up, right? If you’re doing a stand-up, then it’s different. But it’s how you look from the waist up. It seems to matter the most.
[00:10:20] Nick Schenck: Just to transition back to what you’re seeing out in the marketplace now, what are ways, maybe the Top 3, Top 5 ways you’re seeing companies try to conserve cash?
[00:10:35] Nad Elias: The easiest one right now is, you got to push out your vendors. Everybody understands what we’re going through right now. And the first thing that we did is we just had honest conversations with our vendors and said, “Look, it’s not that you’re doing a bad job. Look what’s going on around us, right.”
[00:11:00] And having honest conversations and saying we’re committed to working with you all. We just need to get past this time. I think that’s the first thing that we did. If there was any pending interviews or people that we were looking to bring in on – we had an offer out to a senior account executive to bring onto our team. I got on the phone and I told him, “Look, it doesn’t make sense for you to come on right now because you’re not going to have much to sell for a couple of months, and I think we’ll get past this and I’ll be calling him up and we’ll be hiring him as well as our marketing and inside sales team. All the initiatives that we initially had, we’re going to move forward with.
[00:11:49] We’re still moving forward from a sales and marketing perspective. We’re doing it with the team that we have.
[00:11:56] And then I talk a lot about utilization with our teams, right? You know, you have a team and their focus might be one responsibility. Like in our case, it might be recruiting or research. In an environment like this, your responsibilities just got combined and they just got multiplied, right? You’re going to be asked to do a lot more because I need to have you at 100% utilization. Right? That’s how we’re going to grow as an organization and continue to get past this. You can’t sit at home at 50% utilization because you have nothing else to work on.
[00:12:30] We have to find something for you to do, and that’s how we’re gonna get past this time. I don’t want to say it’s a cost cutting tool, but that’s a way to sustain during this time.
[00:12:49] Nick Schenck: Are businesses moving what were previously full-time roles and moving them to contract roles?
[00:12:55] Nad Elias: You know, we’ve seen a lot of different things. Halliburton, you know, a big energy company out of Houston. They went to a one-week on, one -week off. They cut everybody’s salary by 50%, and they said, we’re not going to do layoffs. We expect you to work one week. And then we expect you not to work the next week.
[00:13:15] It’s different if you have a commission sales environment because you’re going to be working when you’re working. But that was a move that they made, right? Their engineers, everybody on their staff. So look, when you’re working, you’re working. When you’re not, you’re not, and we’re going to cut your salary by 50%.
[00:13:28] If utilization becomes an issue, that’s the most common solution is we do salary decreases based on percentage. We see that with a lot of companies. The general mindset is right now, as I’ve talked to companies all over the world is, you know, we don’t want to have to lay off anybody.
[00:13:56] We’re dealing with a pandemic, right? You’re dealing with something we’ve never had to deal with before. So, you know, again, it’s not their fault. And there’s ways, you know, there’s initiatives by our state governments and our federal governments that might aid in that down the line. We’ll see.
[00:14:14] But right now it’s just a matter of hunkering down and how can we get through these next 3 months? And my feeling is let’s make it to July 4th. And then let’s see what kind of Independence Day we have, right? That’s the mindset that we’re taking as a company and making sure that the teams that we have with us right now are with us come July.
[00:14:40] Nick Schenck: What has going through 2008 and the financial crisis then taught you – or what did you learn from that – that you’re applying to what’s going on now?
[00:14:52] Nad Elias: As soon as you see it coming, start making the moves. That’s the most important learning that I took away from 2008. Because we didn’t do that.
[00:15:06] We were like, “Oh, you know, we’re good. We’re good. We’ll get past this. We got a lot of business.” We were a big company, the company I was a part of at the time. In one week, we lost 60% of our customer base because of the semiconductor industry, and the markets crashed here in Austin.
[00:15:34] We still hung on a bit too long to the point where we had to do partner cash calls and all put money in the business just to keep the doors open. And we believed in the business. It wasn’t a matter of that. It was just, you’re not seeing the signs, right?
[00:15:50] I think as owners in a business or CEOs or presidents, it’s our job to steward the business to make it through these times. Because everybody comes out better on the other side when we do that. We have to make tough decisions to get to that point.
[00:16:15] In 2008, I didn’t make those decisions quick enough. And I told myself, we’ll make them earlier and we’ll move quickly and we’ll hunker down and conserve cash, which is what everybody tells you right now. It’s the most important thing that we can do is buy yourself a runway, you know, conserve cash, buy yourself a runway.
[00:16:38] I use this analogy and I’m sure it’s been used plenty of times before, but it’s like Bubba Gump Shrimp after the hurricane. They’re the only shrimp boat left and there’s shrimp for everybody. That’s what happens when you come out of something like this. So how you hunker down and make it through the hurricane, make it through the storm, that tells us a lot about what it’s gonna look like on the other side.
[00:17:07] Nick Schenck: Forrest Gump is my favorite movie, so thank you.
[00:17:08] Nad Elias: Is it really?
[00:17:09] Nick Schenck: Yeah, I love that movie. It’s the one movie where it’s like a drama, a comedy – like a romantic comedy – and it’s like every genre of film packed into one.
[00:17:20] Nad Elias: And it doesn’t feel like 3 hours. It’s like three and half hours long, and you’re like, man, this movie is still going. It’s great. It’s got three different movies within one movie, right?
[00:17:28] Nick Schenck: Yeah. I love that film.
[00:17:30] But in 2008, I was working for the Houston Texans in the NFL and Houston didn’t get hit that hard [economically] compared to obviously like California, Florida.
[00:17:40] And the oil and gas industry, I think did pretty well in that time, too. So Houston was actually, you know the Houston Texans, they were worried about their sponsorship base eroding during the financial crisis, but they didn’t get hit that hard. So I was very fortunate to stay with the Texans during that time.
[00:17:59] But what I do remember is the amount of transparency that the leaders of the organization had. You mentioned in a blog on your site. David sacks, he’s a venture capital investor. He mentioned happy talk versus hard talk. And his thesis was that in times like these – adverse economic times – that employees don’t want to hear happy talk.
[00:18:27] Because the natural instinct, I think for leaders, is to try to reassure their employees. But employees don’t like to be lied to, and they don’t want to hear happy talk when they know that’s not the reality. And then there’s a disconnect there. So he says, you know, having hard talk with your employees about the actual circumstances that are happening, is the best move that a leader can make, which I loved.
[00:18:54] And the Houston Texans did a great job of that.
[00:18:59] Why did that resonate with you? And does hard talk come easy to you when you’re communicating to your staff?
[00:19:04] Nad Elias: It does, and I think for me, it always has. That was something that, you know, when I set out and started recruitAbility, one of our core values is brutal transparency.
[00:19:14] And I use the word brutal in the core value because we’re going to have that level of transparency with our team, with our customers, with our vendors. Everybody that interacts with us is going to get the brutal and honest truth out of me all of the time. And you know, I think as a leader, I owe that to them.
[00:19:37] I like hearing you say the Texans were like that. I love sports analogies, and obviously we’re both big sports nuts. The leaders that have had the most transparency over time, they’re the ones that you remember. They’re the ones that people talk about.
[00:19:54] The ones that don’t – they’re the ones that seem to end up in jail half the time. But, you know, for us, I’ve been very honest with my team and I’ll say this right now, because my hope is that they’re gonna listen to this at some point.
[00:20:13] I love everybody that works for us, and we’re going to be making some tough decisions. We’ve already made some, but we make these decisions with the mindset that everybody is going to be here when we come out of this thing. Right? And that’s the conversations that I have with my team and what I’m asking of them now.
[00:20:32] If you’re doing your job every day, you’re going to have a job, right? And I think that’s what we’re trying to communicate and help them get to that point. It’s tough right now. The main focus of your responsibilities is less because there’s not as much business out there. And you’re being asked to do it from your house. Right? And so there isn’t anybody to be able to – like me or Richard, our head of ops, or some of our senior people on our team – to help teach you new ways of doing things aside from virtually and [through] Zoom. So it’s really hard what we’re having to do right now. And just maintain utilization.
[00:21:21] Nick Schenck: Especially if school gets canceled for the rest of the year and you’re trying to homeschool your kids while you’re working from home. It just becomes chaotic really quick. And then you imagine anxiety will just pick up as weeks go on.
[00:21:38] Nad Elias: How long were you in Houston for?
[00:21:40] Nick Schenck: I was there from 2005 through 2012.
[00:21:45] Nad Elias: So you lived through probably a couple of downturns in the energy market. So were there some learnings that you took during that time? Because Houston doesn’t ride the national economy. It kind of rides its own. It kind of rides oil. Up and down.
[00:22:03] Nick Schenck: I was always fortunate because the NFL seemed to be immune to some of those dips. And you know, the Houston Texans, their first season was in 2002. They were a novelty. I mean they’d had some really bad seasons to start off, but they were still this shiny object. People were so happy that football was back in Houston. They sold out every game. I always felt like sort of immune to that [the bad economy]. But later on, I would say around 2008, that was when I started to be a little concerned. Because that was the first time that I heard from the ownership and the leaders of the organization like, “Hey, some of these big sponsors, they may be questioning their investment here. And so we have to think about what additional ways we can add value to these sponsorship deals.” And that was a wake-up call for sure. And then obviously getting out of the NFL, that’s like a whole new world.
[00:23:05] When I moved to Austin and started working for Green Mountain Energy, that’s when I started to really understand how these macroeconomic trends can have huge implications on the business. So I guess you could say the first, maybe 8-9 years of my career, I was wrapped in bubble wrap from those macro trends.
[00:23:28] Nad Elias: And you see what’s happening now in sports. I was watching the Mavs game. I’m a Mavs fan. I’m a Dallas fan in general. I was watching the Mavs game when they came down and decided they were shutting down the NBA. They were able to interview – I don’t know if you saw this – they were able to interview Mark Cuban, really in real-time. Like he found out about it on his phone while the Mavs were playing, and they interviewed him. And he’s usually somebody that would say something pretty brash. He’s prone to doing that. And all he could say was, “Look, we’re dealing with a problem we’ve never dealt with before. And my concern is for the people that work for this organization that are janitors and, you know, work our food stands, and mop up the floors. We gotta make sure that they have a job, because they have nothing to do with this. He came out and said that and just was almost emotional in the middle of a basketball game and that showed the reality of the situation, but also that it’s touching every industry, right?
[00:24:42] This is the one thing that sports, you know, isn’t invincible. Right? They’re getting hit just as hard, if not harder.
[00:24:51] Nick Schenck: In times like these, sports would be a welcome distraction, but that can’t even happen. It’s just so surreal.
[00:24:59] I gained a lot of respect for Mark Cuban when he did say that because I think that led to, you know, Kevin Love, Giannis Antetokounmpo, donating money to make sure that the gameday workers are taken care of during the break.
[00:25:12] And I think Mark Cuban started that trend. And beyond that, if you follow Mark Cuban on Twitter, he’s not gonna pull any punches. He is posting what he thinks the government should be doing in times like these. And whether you agree with him or not, it’s pretty thought provoking, right?
[00:25:28] Making sure that businesses who don’t lay off employees, he’s suggesting that the government covers all of their expenses, so there’s no overdraft fees. Businesses can’t overdraft as long as they keep their employees for as long as this lasts. Like I said, I don’t agree with everything he says, but he’s throwing some ideas out there that I think are getting a lot of people talking.
[00:25:53] He’s an interesting guy because sometimes, I’m like, he’s getting fined like half a million dollars by the NBA for spouting off about the refs. I’m like, this guy’s a loose cannon. But then on the other hand, it seems like he’s got a really good, genuine heart and he’s thinking about the “small people” in this situation, which I think is admirable.
[00:26:13] Nad Elias: Yeah. I heard him speak about four years ago, five years ago, through this EO organization that I’m a part of. I’ll never forget what he said when he was asked about, what’s the one thing that keeps him going. And he said, work every day like somebody is trying to take it from you. Because they are. He goes, if you don’t get up and come to work every day and work your hardest, somebody else’s out there coming in earlier and working harder.
[00:26:41] And again, that might not apply to some of the millennials out there today, but that was his sort of words of wisdom.
[00:26:49] I always joke with, sort of, the millennial mindset. My first job out of college, I got ahead because I beat my boss in and I stayed till after him. And you know just worked my ass off when I was there. You tell that to a millennial now, they’ll call you inefficient. So how do you mean? I can, I can do more with less time.
[00:27:08] And for the most part, they’re probably right. They actually can. But the mindset is different when they’re like, “Yeah, I’ll just jump on, you know, at 11 o’clock and run through my emails this evening instead of doing it at the office.” And that’s a lot of the nothing’s sacred mindset of the podcast. It’s how these mentalities have shifted.
[00:27:30] Last side note about sports, ESPN is now showing – I was watching rock skipping yesterday. Seriously, it’s like they’re hurting for sports now. You worked at FloSports, which had a lot of different, you know, alternative sports.
[00:27:46] Nick Schenck: Non-mainstream sports.
[00:27:46] Nad Elias: [Rock skipping] is a sport that you don’t need a lot of people to watch. There’s video of this guy having a rock-skipping contest on the lake. That’s great.
[00:27:58] Nick Schenck: I’m glad they have a sense of humor in this situation. That’s funny.
[00:28:04] Before we wrap up, I want to talk about a couple of things. You know, there’s some trends that have happened in the workplace – distributed teams, remote work – that were happening regardless of the Coronavirus. And you know, you could argue that the Coronavirus is only going to accelerate those trends.
[00:28:20] But I’m going to take a different stance. I actually think that when this is all said and done, the dust settles. People are going to value in-office environments more because the human interaction and extemporaneous conversations that happen in an office environment that can’t happen as easily in remote working environments – those are going to be accentuated. People are going to recognize those even more. So that when we all get back to work, I think teams are going to place more of an emphasis on being in an office because they miss those things during this break. Do you agree or disagree?
[00:29:01] Nad Elias: Totally. I’ve noticed that just in the two weeks since we’ve been virtual and we’ve always had – I call it a work-remote day every Thursday. We ask our staff to experience Austin. You can work out of your house, but you can also go work out of a coffee shop or plug-in somewhere where you can just see what’s around you and take time to appreciate that. And there’s been some hinting at the office that they might like one more day like that. And we have an easy setup. We could work from home and I completely trust my team to do their job.
[00:29:37] We actually had one of our team members come into the office on Friday just because she had to come into the office. She just had to be out of…she just couldn’t be at home anymore.
[00:29:48] And I agree. I think we’ll start seeing a shift towards a need for more of that. But also, you know, look, a lot of companies aren’t set up the way we are. And being able to adjust to being successful in a virtual environment. So the ability to have a combination of both. I think we’ll see more of that.
[00:30:10] I was clearing my calendar – just for this week and next week – of all of the coffees and lunches that I had, right? So if somebody says I can accomplish the same thing over a Zoom call that I could have over a cup of coffee. They might just say, “Hey, look, I don’t need to have coffee with you. Just set up a Zoom.” And I think we might see less lunches and coffees and more like video Hangouts.
[00:30:37] Nick Schenck: I think maybe that will happen. Not me. I still need that face-to-face.
[00:30:45] Nad Elias: Just last weekend, on Saturday, I had a happy hour celebrating my mom’s birthday.
[00:30:51] With both my sisters and their families, my wife, my kids, and my parents were centered all over the state of Texas and we jumped on a Zoom call from 5-6:30 p.m. on a Saturday each with a drink in hand and celebrated my mom’s birthday.
[00:31:05] Nick Schenck: Oh, that’s cool.
[00:31:06] Nad Elias: It was really [cool]. And you’re seeing that happen all over, right?
[00:31:10] I mean, people are doing these virtual happy hours where you just jump into a room and have some drinks and you have happy hour. Right. I think we’re going to see more of that.
[00:31:20] Nick Schenck: I was walking my dog this weekend, and this is near the Bryker Woods area of Austin, and I saw the funniest thing.
[00:31:28] There’s like four families that you knew kind of lived near each other, and they were all parked on the front lawn of one house, but their chairs were located like 12 feet away from each other. And it was just so surreal to see that. And obviously they’re trying to social distance, but it was like, they were far enough away where they couldn’t just have a normal conversation. They were probably speaking a little louder than normal, and I’m sure that they got a laugh out of it, too. But try to walk your dog, or if you don’t have a dog, just take a walk around your neighborhood, I’m sure you’ll see that this coming weekend.
[00:31:57] Nad Elias: Yeah, it’s crazy. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it, too. And you wonder what level of normalcy, if that even is normalcy, that we’ll get back to after all this.
[00:32:08] I was talking to a buddy of mine the other day. I don’t know that we’ll ever go back to handshakes. I don’t know that people even like shaking hands in the first place.
[00:32:20] I mean, who wants to touch somebody else’s hand? Who knows where that hand’s been. And it’s like the normal thing to do. You look someone in the eye and you shake their hand. Well, if that’s not normal anymore. Now if I can just walk up and you know, give you like a Namaste or something and that becomes the normal thing to do, people would probably love that. They’re like, “Look, it’s cool now. We don’t have to shake hands.” It’s understood. I respect you. You respect me.
[00:32:41] Nick Schenck: But a lot of people like the shaking hands because they can make a judgment on somebody based on the firmness of their handshake. So I guess, if people start doing the Namaste, what are they going to use to judge someone? The length of the eye contact?
[00:32:56] Nad Elias: How you verbalize your smile and what have you. I don’t know. But it’s interesting to see, like, like just in the last week when you do have a meeting or a conversation with somebody, you know, the handshake’s off, right?
[00:33:15] Nobody is shaking hands, but they’re also, you know, they’re moving back as they’re talking to you and expecting you to move back and like, they’re shifting. You move forward. I move back when it’s my turn to talk. I move forward. You move back. It’s just weird. We’re just not used to it. And I don’t know what part of that becomes accepted.
[00:33:41] Nick Schenck: The Coronavirus is definitely a big win for the anti-close talker movement. Nobody likes close-talkers. And this is definitely putting an end to that, I feel.
[00:33:53] Nad Elias: That and gamers. Man, gamers are now told that they have to stay inside. You can’t talk to anybody. They’ve been social distancing their whole life. They just got told everybody else has to do it.
[00:34:08] Nick Schenck: Going back to what we were saying previously about the office environment and people placing a premium on that after this, which I definitely believe in.
[00:34:17] Going back to the sports analogy, in sports, there’s glue guys, right? People that they don’t necessarily show up in the stat sheet, but they’re big for chemistry. In a remote-office environment, the glue guy gets hurt, right? Because they’re not – they can’t interact with people and sort of bridge gaps between different people in the workplace.
[00:34:37] And so I think that there are glue guys and girls in workplaces, and in a remote environment, they’re probably just like, “Ah!” And extroverts, too, are probably feeling pretty isolated now. And so I would say people – just like you mentioned – are going to be so excited to go back to restaurants.
[00:34:59] There’s going to be a big segment of the workforce that’s just going to be excited to be around other people again, and they’re going to be flocking back to the office, is what I’m guessing.
[00:35:07] Nad Elias: Yeah. We’re kicking this podcast off and we’re going to be focusing a lot on workplace trends and changes.
[00:35:24] And this one comes at a very interesting time. I don’t want the message to be doom and gloom. The message is reality right now. And if there’s any takeaways that our listeners can have, it really is, what kind of moves we should make right now – as business owners, as leaders, as team members, as employees. I talked to my team the other day and I said, “Look guys, watch your personal finances right now. Hunker down. Make it through the next three months. Because you’ll come out this on the other side and it’ll be Bubba Gump shrimp.”
[00:36:08] There is optimism, right? We don’t need the pandemic – but we need something like this to really – from an economic perspective – to jolt us. Right. It’s like getting the things that shock you when you’re about to die, right? We’ve been living off some fat. This isn’t a bad thing economically. I know it feels really bad, but it’s a lesson in hunkering down and going out and grabbing what we can.
[00:36:48] Nick Schenck: I think that’s a good way to wrap up the first episode. We appreciate everyone tuning in. We’ll be back with the second episode pretty soon. Nad, thanks for the first podcast. It’s been a pleasure. We’ll talk soon.
[00:37:01] Nad Elias: Yeah. Sounds good. Thanks Nick.