The “kununity” has been around for a while now. Here’s what your business needs to know about it.
Have you heard? The employer rating platform “kununu” started a new question-and-answer service in early November under the name “kununity”. It enables potential job applicants to post questions about a company and, optimally, to get answers from current or former employees of the company. Of course, the company also receives the questions so that it can respond.
What’s changing as a result of the kununity?
Employers are rated on kununu on a scale from 1 (poor) to 5 (very good). Rating takes place in various predetermined categories for which stars are awarded, and factors such as management conduct, work-life balance and career opportunities are surveyed. Anyone who rates a company can also add a free-form text, to which the company can respond if it chooses. That’s basically the end of it for the employees; the next step is that potential applicants can view the ratings, either as general cumulative statistics or in detailed individual assessments.
With the kununity, the portal is taking the next logical step by allowing questions and answers that didn’t fit into the previous pattern. In a post, kununu writes:
“More information ultimately leads to better decisions. We believe in the power that diverse opinions and perspectives give to those trying to form a complete impression of an employer. And we believe the numerous ratings can provide valuable input for companies looking to become better employers and to understand how their employer brands are perceived on the job market.
Kununu is aiming for an open exchange between (anonymized) applicants, (ex-)employees and companies. The questions and answers remain visible in the company’s profile, so that issues that have already been discussed don’t need to be revisited continually.
Is kununu’s new question feature a threat to businesses?
kununu is aware of the criticism and displeasure it faces from some companies. Transparency is not for everybody. As a matter of principle, some people don’t think it should be possible to rate companies anonymously – and the practice can lead to problems, such as when a rating oversteps the bounds of freedom of expression.
To keep that from happening too often, kununu has introduced a number of rules. For instance, its terms and conditions prohibit the use of expletives and innuendo, and that allows the platform, when in doubt, to remove offending posts simply and unbureaucratically.
That won’t change with the new “Ask me anything” feature. In fact, now it’s actually possible to answer individual questions directly, so that companies themselves can take the initiative. Depending on the number of questions, that might mean more work. But in our opinion, the kununity isn’t a threat.
What do I have to do to get the most out of the kununity?
First decide who in your company is responsible for dealing with incoming questions and rating notifications from kununu. Usually that should be the HR department or its manager. If technical questions are asked, individual departments can be consulted as needed.
Regardless of the type of question, thank the sender. And make it a principle at least to respond to every question. In our opinion, an open discussion about your work environment is absolutely legitimate in these times when many companies claim to have a good corporate culture, flat hierarchies, flexible work hours, etc. View this new feature as an opportunity and convince your employees to act as ambassadors for your company – and not just in terms of answering questions. Actively encourage your employees to post ratings for your company during working hours. That increases your chances of making a good overall impression for your company. And keep in mind that the discussion in the Internet will take place whether you’re involved or not. That’s why we advise you to define a clear approach to exploit the platform’s capabilities for your competitive advantage in the war for talent.
Overall, how important is kununu anyway?
Of course you could say, “There are so many rating platforms. Why should this one interest me?” One answer is that kununu was the world’s first platform for rating employers, so it’s an important player in this market. After it was taken over by Xing, it even opened an office in the U.S. – with positive results: The “Google for Jobs” service shows kununu ratings in its job search results. That ought to be a good indication of the platform’s current importance.
Visit kununu at: www.kununu.de
Mirco Welsing, Head of the Employer Branding Competence Circle, Deutscher Marketing Verband
TMC GmbH – The Marketing Company
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