Hiring at Buffer in February: 2,024 Applicants, 3 Offers Made

It’s been a great month for growing the Buffer team in February. The team is currently 17 people, with 3 new people who have started their bootcamp in February. There were also 3 more offers made in February and all 3 have accepted their offers and will join us in March.

Here’s an overview of everything happening in the individual areas:

Applications overview

We saw an awesome amount of 2,024 applications from some truly amazing candidates come in in February for the 10 positions we’re currently hiring for.

Engineering: 180 applicants

49 Android Hacker applicants
57 Frontend Hacker applicants
5 Growth Hacker applicants
19 Reliability Hacker applicants
50 Backend Hacker applicants (some of the above also part of this group)

Happiness: 783 applicants

585 Happiness Hero applicants
198 Weekend Warrior applicants

Community:

536 Community Champion applicants

Marketing:

269 Content Crafter applicants

Designers:

256 Designer applicants

Interviews and offers made

Out of 13 interviews we did in January, we made 3 offers to amazing new team members to take part in the Buffer Bootcamp.

Here is a break-down by area:

February hiring

Outlook and thoughts

Growing the engineering and product team

One of the biggest bottlenecks we’re seeing right now is that our engineering and design resources are spread a bit too thinly across all the amazing product areas. We put a renewed focus on inviting more great engineers and designers to join the Buffer team.

Hacker News Who is Hiring

We had some great success with the HN “Who is Hiring?” thread at the beginning of March already and we believe the HN community is often closely aligned with the Buffer values and culture.

More technical blogging

We realized that we haven’t shared too much about the technical setup of Buffer, which might pique the interest of more people. We kicked off a number blogposts we wanted to write this week and hope to put more insights about Buffer’s internal structure, both technically and culturally out there.

No sales team for now

For now, we decided that we wouldn’t go and build a sales team. The reason for this is that we’d rather try and go the Customer Success route for now. Sales teams come with a lot of interesting challenges and some of them don’t quite seem to be aligned with the type of culture and company we want to build at this point.

10 open positions!

In addition to the 9 different positions that we’re looking for, we’ve started to look for one more candidates to expand the Buffer team: Growth Hacker. We’ve started to focus heavily on building out our growth dashboard and are excited to focus on optimizing our key metrics with the help from a new team member excited about shaping these areas with the team.

Want to join the Buffer team? We’re looking for help in all these areas!

  • http://tomgibson.eu/ Tom Gibson

    It’s great to see the team continue to grow!

    I wonder if one way to encourage more engineering and product peeps would be to talk more about the plans you have for Buffer. I could see how someone might think that, from an engineering perspective, there’s not a massive project on offer.

    Obviously, you’ve got big plans, but Business, for example, ‘came out of nowhere’. Perhaps some impression of the road map for Buffer would help encourage more engineers to apply.

    Last month, you said you were trialling form-based applications. Have you had any luck with this?

    I’d also be really interested to read how you felt a sales team wouldn’t align with your culture. It’s something I kinda agree with, but would love to hear your thoughts on!

    The Community role seems really difficult to fill – it’s been up a while now, and has had a lot of interest, but few are being picked for the interview stage. At the same time, the job listing hasn’t changed – do you think there could be a need for further specificity in the listing? Or is it more a matter of cultural fit?

    Sorry for the brainspill! The Open blog gives such good insight and is becoming a really useful resource :-)

  • http://zachsb.com/ Zach Solomon-Beloin

    Hey Leo,

    Is there anything I can do to help you fill the community role?

  • Bonnaventure James

    Interesting look at your process, you’re so open. I applied for the Community Champion role, and was surprised to see it still posted. That didn’t deter me from applying again though!

    I like the idea of being able to get a lot of applications, or even interviewing a few candidates and not feeling pressured to hire someone if it’s not a good fit. So much stress can be avoided by hiring someone who “will do for now”.

    • LeoWid

      Great point! You’re absolutely right James, since we have such a big focus on culture, we just want to find a person that’ll be a good fit in absolute terms, and not in relative “out of these applicants” type of approach.

  • kbradnam

    I find these statistics fascinating. Finding the right person who will fits in at Buffer seems akin to finding a needle in a haystack…and I mean that as a compliment as it suggests that you are patient enough to find the *right* person. Good luck with your ongoing search.

    • LeoWid

      Very true! We often discuss internally “are we crazy to turn that many amazing people away, just because they don’t “quite” align with everything?”, and then we think about the long-term and the fact that small compromises might stack over time, which helps us to be very disciplined.

      • exim

        Well, you shouldn’t treat a human as some fixed solid piece of material… It is natural for humans to adapt and align for the given situation. So please treat humans as organisms changing over the time, i.e. what they are actually.

  • Carrie

    Really interesting how open this is. I can tell right now that that community champion role is really two jobs rolled into one. Perhaps that’s why it’s been difficult to fill? The job looks like it has two goals: growth + customer loyalty, which require two very different specialties and skill sets.

    • http://www.semihealthyblog.com/ Amanda @ Semi-Health Nut

      I agree and @tomgibsonwords:disqus mentioned something similar below. I wonder if it should be broken into two different positions? It would probably make it seem less daunting to those applying and you would likely be able to find a better fit!

      • Carrie

        I agree. I mean, not that they asked me, but this is an open forum. ;)

        This is a super common problem with Community Builder job postings, nothing to be surprised by. I’ve spoken with a few founders who didn’t even realize there was a distinction between social media and community.

  • Anna Zocher

    How many applications did you receive for iOS Hacker?

  • Kimberly Davis

    My question is, what are your minimum requirements for each of the positions? I have looked for something similar in here and I’m coming up empty.

  • http://kobak.org kobak

    Great to have so much insight. Thanks for keeping the community updated. Out of 536 Community applications nobody made until the interview. The ratio is similar for the other positions.

    Can you share best practices, why an application is eligible for an interview and why not. Thanks, keep up the openness!

    • http://mattg.is/ Matthew Gallizzi

      Hey Kobak! They share some more info on the application process here: http://open.bufferapp.com/how-we-hire/ – one of the things they look at heavily is the wording in each e-mail (as written communication is very important in remote environments) :)

  • http://www.vendhq.com/careers Kirsti Grant

    This is really interesting. Thanks for sharing! I have a couple of questions.
    Did you advertise this role beyond your own website and social media sharing?
    Did you receive a similar amount of applications in January?
    What’s your process in refining those high numbers down to such a small amount of interviews?
    How do you ensure candidates have a wonderful experience with your recruitment process?

    I’m of the opinion that the least amount of people I have to decline the better it is for the brand. I don’t want thousands of people going “yeah, I got declined from Vend” so I rarely advertise.

    I’d love to chat some more about this directly if you’re open to it?

  • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

    Love the open-ness!

  • http://www.bpjoneslivesitup.com Barbara Palazuelos

    I too applied for the Community Champion role, and was very politely turned down, and appreciate the honesty of your company as a whole. I’m wondering if you would consider letting those of us who weren’t accepted know what it was that you didn’t see on our applications, what you were hoping to see, and how we could improve and possibly catch the hiring eyes for similar positions within this market. I am striving for a ‘work-from-home’ position so I can spend time living with family abroad to experience their culture. Any feedback would be gratefully accepted and appreciated.

  • http://katetilton.com/ Kate Tilton

    I really appreciate the update Leo! As someone who applied for a job at Buffer learning more about the process and statistics is really comforting. Thank you!