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Zalando, Xing, Rocket, Groupon, Project A – the secret employee reviews of 5 notable German companies Written by Charmaine Li on 10. January 2013

Kununu company reviews

Kununu company reviews

Vienna-based employer assessment tool Kununu hit the headlines this week thanks to a multi-million acquisition by Xing. Similar to the US site Glassdoor, Kununu allows users to anonymously review employers on various factors such as work environment, manager behaviour, work-life balance, training and benefits. The platform allows jobseekers in the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) to gain deeper insight into the company and insider perspectives on a typical work day.

So how do some of the biggest German employers fair? Including new buyer Xing themselves? Read on for a rundown of the choicest reviews…

5 German companies, according to users on Kununu

To give you an idea of how employers are ranked and reviewed on Kununu, we’ve compiled a condensed breakdown of companies to provide you with an inside look. [All quoted experiences translated from German.]

1) Zalando is the Berlin-based and Rocket Internet-operated eCommerce company that specialises in fashion and lifestyle products. Since 2008, the company has expanded to various countries across Europe such as Austria, France, The Netherlands and Belgium.


Employee rating: 2.68 out of 5 (from 47 user reviews)
Areas of strength: Image, team cohesion, equality
Areas of weakness: Communication, career/training

Positive experience:

Equality: It all depends on skills and less on origin or sex – I like that. If you’re good, you have good chances
Career/education: The incredible success of the company has only come about because risks and achievements were rewarded. Many young people get the chance to really take a lot of responsibility
Image: People who appreciate a successful company will have a lot of fun here

Negative experience:

Supervisor behavior: Unfortunately, most managers have no experience – leadership is completely different, no real support of employees
Working atmosphere: No recognition, pressure from above
Working conditions (space, …): Nightmare – small Ikea table as desktop replacement, overcrowded areas with poor air – dirty kitchen
Work-life balance: There is none – overtime is taken for granted
Working with colleagues 45 +: There is hardly older colleagues – probably because of the low salaries…

2) Xing is a profesional networking platform, also known as LinkedIn’s German counterpart. Earlier this week, the company announced its acquisition of Kununu for €3.6 million.


Employee rating: 3.74 out of 5 (from 58 user reviews)
Areas of strength:
team cohesion, image, work atmosphere
Areas of weakness: career/training, working conditions

Positive experience:

Flat hierarchies, productive collaboration between colleagues, high flexibility in the design of work processes, good product

Negative Experience:

XING still lives on social networking hype… There is no sustainable strategy and it is always changing. For years, there has been no new features, only superficial changes. Therefore, the work is largely ad hoc and short-term quick fixes, blind actions. There is no sustainable product development. It’s boring, superficial and debilitating. Lately, XING seems to, without reason, separate the employees who dare to express their opinions openly. So if you’re in the mood to keep your mouth shut, blindly follow the herd and celebrate the financial achievements of the Board, you should work here.

3) Groupon, the discount coupon service, faced a tumultuous year in 2012 with leaked emails attacking “slavedriver” CEO Daniel Glasner and subsequently, the departure of two senior executives.
GrouponEmployee rating: 2.25 out of 5 (from 100 user reviews)
Areas of strength: Team cohesion, interesting tasks/projects
Areas of weakness: Work-life balance, social consciousness
Positive experience:

Pros: Young,cool company with opportunities for advancement. (Two people have been promoted)
Cons: There used to be many problems, but now it’s pretty much all good.
Suggestions for improvement: First, free Red Bull 🙂

Negative experience:

Supervisor behavior: Managers have no experience. They constantly give only pressure and more pressure
Colleagues closeness: I was alone and there was no cohesion between colleagues
Interesting tasks: Every day was the same. The only thing that matters are deals, deals and more deals
Working atmosphere: I dare say that, 90% of employees terminated voluntarily. Nobody hangs on to the company and will only stay until he has a new job. Hence, the atmosphere is just devastating

4) Rocket Internet, founded in 2007 by the Samwer brothers, is a notorious mega-cloning factory headquartered in Berlin. The company operates in over 40 countries and are behind ventures such as Zalando, Wimdu and Plinga. Recently, there has been speculation that the company is preparing for an IPO.

Rocket Internet

Employee rating: 3.75 out of 5 (from 19 user reviews)
Areas of strength:
Interesting tasks, team cohesion
Areas of weakness:
Work-life balance, social consciousness

Positive experience:

Pro: Rocket is a great company to work for. I was working with an excellent team consisting of very talented and competent people. The working atmosphere was great! New ideas are always welcome and you get the resources you need to implement them. It is a fast-paced environment which offers great opportunities for your professional development. Everybody works very hard but at the same time the company does not forget about the wellbeing of its employees. There are several employee events. Moreover, you get beverages, cereals and fruits for free. You can also decide for yourself at what time in the morning you would like to start work. Rocket employs only the best of the best, so working for them means learning from the best and meeting a lot of talented people from all over the world since it is a very international company as well. Furthermore, working for Rocket Internet opens a lot of doors for you in the eCommerce sector.

Negative experience:

Supervisor behavior: Not very good!
Working environment: There’s no proper offices. Every day one has to search for a new chair and desk!
Communication: Very very bad communication. In fact, you dont know who is who until they fire you
Work-life balance: You have to even work on weekends! And it does not mean that you wont get fired when the project is almost completed
Equality: Most of the employees are male… so one can not really say much about it
Dealing with colleagues 45+: There are mostly young employees. The bosses who are older than 45 are very bad at communication, the only thing they communicate is when it’s time to fire the employees!
Career/training: No chance! Forget it!
Image: They alway fire the employees during the probation period, which means one is working their ass off with the surprise of being fired! Very bad image. Ex-employees created another company named Project A. The ones who run the thing, are very unfriendly. They dont know anything about project planning and risks. They only think of employees as robots!

5) Project A Ventures is a Berlin-based company that supports and develops new ventures in the internet and mobile space. Founded by ex-Rocket Internet managing directors in 2012, the company acts as an investment firm as well as a “company builder”.

Project A Ventures

Employee rating: 4.57 out of 5 (from 13 user reviews)
Areas of strength:
Image, work atmosphere
Areas of weaknesses:
Working conditions, work-life balance

Positive experience:

Colleagues Closeness: Helpful
Interesting tasks: Every day is different, it’s always interesting
Communication: Open and uncomplicated communication across all levels and sectors

Pros: You can get a taste of both the startup world, observe many recent developments and trends, and still work in a professional and experienced team
Cons: Even after thinking for a long time, I couldn’t think of anything
Suggestions for improvement: First, we need more bananas 😉

Negative experience:

Some days are a little too dynamic… All of a sudden there is a change of direction – it’s not always easy to keep up – typical startup budget

Image credit: flickr user mark sebastian

For related posts, check out:

Xing acquires “Glassdoor for Germany” Kununu for up to €9.4m
Groupon manager attacks “slavedriver” CEO Daniel Glasner with two leaked emails
More Groupon troubles as Daniel Glasner and Philipp Magin jump ship