A lot of people have asked us how we hire at Buffer and how to go about getting an interview for one of our open positions. I hope I can shine some light on it here!
The best candidates for us, we’ve found, have all four of these attributes:
I’d love to share a bit more about each of these 4 attributes.
The 4 qualities that create a match
1. Alignment with the 10 Buffer values
Probably the most important element we look for is alignment with the 1o Buffer values.
The main way we try to gauge this in practice is by looking at the wording of each email and seeing how well it feels in line with our culture. Especially since we’re a remote team, written communication gets a lot of weight, and gauging emotions from it is important for us.
Secondly, we heavily rely on a candidate’s social media postings. We’ll check out their Twitter accounts, how individuals Tweet and whether their postings feel in line with our culture. Is there a lot of positivity or a lot of complaining? Would their posts feel great to see on on our team Twitter list?
These elements help us begin to understand what type of cultural contribution a candidate would bring.
2. A bias toward action
Then there’s entrepreneurial spirit. We’ve always valued doers and makers at Buffer, as well as moving fast, occasionally breaking things and asking for forgiveness instead of permission.
It all goes back to something our teammate Steven said once that we all really related to:
“Being a part of a startup is like trying to build a bike while riding it.”
As a startup, we’re moving at a very fast pace that can be hard to keep up with for some. So things like having successful side projects, having worked for another startup before, or being able to show us in another way that you’re comfortable with a fast pace is also a big plus.
3. Buffer use and understanding of the product
Another quite important factor is usage and knowledge of Buffer, the product and the company. We believe that if someone has used the product for at least 2-3 months consistently, they are in a much better place to come on board and make positive changes at Buffer.
There are often wonderful candidates with amazing skills and great cultural alignment who are interested in joining us. As soon as we see they’re not using Buffer we send them a friendly note that we hire on the basis that everyone use Buffer as one of 4 key components.
4. Skill and experience in the role
We look at résumés quite little when we work on growing the team. Of course we need to know that you’ve got the skills and experience for the position in question, but that’s a secondary element for us.
We look mainly for relevant experience to the particular role someone is applying, and less at academic achievements. For example, Niel, one of our awesome front end engineers, is completely self-taught. Of course, academic achievements are welcome to be mentioned.
Over to you!
We know our formula isn’t perfect – we’ve made many adjustments along the way, and we’re still learning.
The best advice I can give is to follow along with Buffer, get to know the company and the product and see if our culture resonates with you—We have found that our culture is very particular and doesn’t work well for all.
Once you’ve seen how we do things and you like how we go about running a company, get in touch.
We have many positions open right now – does one of them belong to you?