Own Your Brand! w/ Dan Sirk, CMO at Kununu

Employment branding is HOTT!

While most think of Glassdoor or Indeed when the topic of anonymous employee reviews comes up, there's an entire universe of platforms hoping to help employers improve their reputation, both nationally and globally. European-based kununu is one such offering, and we sat down with CMO Dan Sirk at a recent SHRM conference to learn more about the growing landscape.

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Joel: At SHRM talent in Las Vegas, pleasure to introduce Dan Sirk--

Dan: A pleasure.

Joel: From Kununu. Dan is the CMO of the North American or just US--

Dan: US.

Joel: Is there a Canadian CMO as well?

Dan: There's not a Canadian CMO.

Joel: Okay. So you're the head guy in North America.

Dan: You're the Chief marketing dude.

Chad: Yeah. Chief marketing dude.

Joel: So, many of our listeners don't know Kununu, never heard of Kununu--

Dan: What?

Joel: So, yeah, it's true. Now, if we're an Austrian based show or where ever you guys were ... I'm sure you'll talk about that a little bit.

Dan: Yep.

Joel: So give us the spiel on Kununu and we'll sort of dig into your thoughts and opinions on the industry and what's going on.

Dan: Yeah. Absolutely. So, Kununu is an employer branding and review platform, right. So, we think about what we do, we basically help companies tell their story. Then we make sure that we get that story in front of candidates at those key moments when it would influence their behavior, whether they're looking ... thinking about applying or their thinking about taking a job with the company.

Joel: It's fair to say you are a competitor to Glassdoor, reviews on Indeed; some companies that our listeners are certainly familiar with, yes?

Dan: Yes. Absolutely. I think an implicit in that question is, well what makes you guys different, right.

Chad: He's good at this. He's good at this.

Dan: He must be CMO.

Chad: Chief marketing dude, CMD.

Dan: Yeah. So, when you talk about Glassdoor, even if you ask Glassdoor what they are right, they tend to operate as a job board. Indeed also creates as a job board, right. So when you think about what that means it tends to mean that they're really trying to get candidates when they come through the door to apply to as many potential jobs on the platform.

Joel: Are you saying they're a job board primarily?

Dan: Yes.

Joel: Okay.

Chad: There you go.

Joel: Someone said it, finally.

Chad: Finally.

Joel: Thank God. Finally.

Dan: Glassdoor says it too. So I think we are ... we're really in it for the companies and our jobs done when somebody's actually applied for that job, we're not to get that person to go to any other job opportunities.

Joel: And Kununu is Icelandic for blank page right?

Chad: Icelandic?

Dan: Swahili.

Chad: Swahili. To have your hands right when you do it too.

Dan: Depends on who ask you and when you ask them but yeah.

Joel: So you originated in Europe, you have a pretty big presence there as well. A couple years ago you partnered with Monster to power their reviews. How is that going, how long is that relationship, are you looking to partner with other job sites as well?

Dan: Yeah. That relationship has been going really well. Monster has been an effective partner for us. With Google for jobs, it's a similar architecture right. These entities are looking to leverage our star ratings and our content to try and gain more traction and engagement with the folks who are engaging with that platform.

Joel: Google for jobs will present reviews on your site or at least the number of stars in the Google for Jobs. Has that met a nice increase in traffic for you guys?

Dan: Nice bump. Really nice bump.

Chad: Really? That's cool.

Dan: Yeah. Google for jobs actually didn't break out the traffic associated with Google for jobs relative to conventional search until recently, but back when we launched we saw literally a doubling of our organic traffic.

Joel: Wow. Okay. And are you looking ... is your marketing ... so partnering with other job sites is that something in the offing, is CMO, how are you guys getting your name out there, how are you sort of cutting through the clutter?

Dan: Yeah. I mean we're open to conversations about anything. We're an insurgent in this market and we're trying to make noise. I think when we think about from a marketing standpoint what we want to accomplish it's we really want to focus on the user and delivering value for the user. That's both on the C side and on the B side. When we think about the customers, what can we do to support their work, and then on the C side making sure that candidates getting to understand what it's like to work at a company before they take a job there, that's our purpose.

Joel: I feel a transparency question coming from Chad Sowash who loves transparency.

Chad: Yes. Been holding back for so long. So on the transparency side of the house, how do you actually position this to company's with regard to; transparency is here, how do you embrace it on Kununu versus --

Joel: Putting your head in the sand.

Chad: Yeah. How do you embrace it?