European Business: Mr. Prüller, you’ve been working for kununu since last year. Did you yourself use kununu before then to give a review or find information?
Johannes Prüller: Yes, I actually have. But not only to inform me personally about potential employers, but also in my time as a business consultant. Every time a company with a communication problem got in touch with us, one of the first checks was via kununu. We wanted to get a feeling of how employees are currently perceiving the respective company.
European Business: Kununu is considered to be the largest employer rating platform in Europe. What its factors of success in your opinion?
Johannes Prüller: Employer rating platforms complement personal networks. If you, as an applicant, want to know what it’s like working for a potential employer today, you’ll start by finding out if you know anyone who works there. If you don’t, then it’s worth taking a look at kununu. There are more than two million testimonials about 500,000 companies – and they’re from the people who know them best: employees and job applicants. Within just a few minutes, I can form my own opinion about an employer – without using the company’s own communication. kununu provides transparency to corporate structures.
"Within just a few minutes, I can form my own opinion about an employer – without using the company’s own communication." Johannes PrüllerHead of Global Communications & Insights at kununu GmbH
European Business: One claim on your website is “Find out what it’s really like.” How do you ensure that the reviews reflect reality and are not just about former employees letting off steam?
Johannes Prüller: It’s worth taking a look at our database. Two thirds of the reviews on kununu are positive. Clearly, you can also find criticism from disappointed employees. And that’s a good thing. But as diverse as the experiences at work are, the motivation behind reviewing an employer is just as diverse. We recommend that every employee be in line with not only the law, but also with moral guidelines when turning in a review. Constructive criticism is always more productive. Clear suggestions for improvement give the employer the chance to remedy any shortcomings. In these cases, everyone benefits.
"We recommend that every employee be in line with not only the law, but also with moral guidelines when turning in a review." Johannes PrüllerHead of Global Communications & Insights at kununu GmbH
European Business: When asked about them, companies often seem to ascribe little importance to the reviews, especially the bad ones. To what extent do you share this impression?
Johannes Prüller: You can’t say that on a whole because every employer reacts differently to reviews. But yes, there are those companies who pay little attention to kununu. That’s okay, of course, even though I personally think that’s rather risky in times of social media. Others deal extensively with feedback because they want to understand how their employer brand is perceived on the job applicant market. And because they want to improve as an employer. The advantage of kununu: the reviews and testimonials discuss precisely those topics that staff are currently dealing with. What used to be elicited just once a year in a staff survey is now available at the push of a button – and can be solved sooner.
"kununu will become a community (“kununity”) that directly connects jobseekers with other users and insiders from a company." Johannes PrüllerHead of Global Communications & Insights at kununu GmbH
European Business: In particular with digital services, change is a constant. How will kununu align itself in the future to stay attractive?
Johannes Prüller: While user reviews and testimonials will continue to form the foundation of the platform, we are currently supplementing kununu with a level for relevant information in real-time style. kununu will become a community (“kununity”) that directly connects jobseekers with other users and insiders from a company. In the future, every company profile will have a new tab called ‘Questions’. Here, users will have the opportunity to ask employers their individual and detailed questions – and to receive the answers directly from those who know best: current employees, former staff, other applicants, or partners, relatives and friends of employees – and of course the company itself. Because we know: Our users don’t want to just read but also ask questions.
Interview: Markus Büssecker