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Why We Ask Our Team to Grade Us Every Month: Buffer’s October Hiring Report

For the first time in October, we saw Buffer’s total team members (bootcampers and full time) rise above 60.

The Buffer team has more than doubled since our last retreat in Iceland, and we’re always giving thought to how to better cultivate the Buffer culture.

As a result, October’s hiring report focuses on some pretty big changes, including asking the whole team to give us a grade each month so we can keep improving.

Read on for all the numbers, experiments and changes in hiring this month!

Asking the team to give us a grade

We’ve been big fans of the Net Promoter Score for some time.

The NPS serves as an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research. We’ve experimented with it on Buffer for Business over the summer.

When Leo & Joel visited Boston in October, they got inspired by the Hubspot team to try an internal version of NPS at Buffer.

Here are the questions we’ve been experimenting with so far in our voluntary survey:

internal NPS survey

For our first survey in October, we collected 38 answers from the 58 team members at the time.

For the first question, “How likely are you to recommend Buffer as a place to work,” we scored an average of 9.48 out of 10.

It’s important for us to be mindful that Buffer is a very unique company and might not be appeal to everyone. We also pay close attention to individual comments and scores that feel more representative than the overall average.

For the second question, “How much personal growth and learning are you experiencing in your current role?” we are at 8.83 out of 10. It will be interesting to break this down by seniority to see how team members might feel at different stages of their journey at Buffer.

Buffer October NPS

We hope asking our team to grade us anonymously every month will help us get the “pulse” of Buffer and understand better how team members feel in terms of overall satisfaction, and personal growth.

We’re very early in assessing how the team feels, especially with new dynamics at play. We’re excited to keep asking questions every six weeks or so to see how things evolve and make sure everyone’s voices continue to be heard.

October’s new teammates!

In October, 9 teammates completed their bootcamp and 6 of them will be joining us full time. We’re so excited to welcome:

Welcome, everyone!

In addition, 8 new team members joined us for their bootcamp starting in October, and at least another 8  will be starting Bootcamp in November.

October by the numbers

In October, we had 1,992 conversations with a total of 1,667 applicants.  

That’s quite an increase, in terms of people we’ve been able to speak with, from September’s 1,545 conversations with a total of 1,414 applicants.

Our “Total Conversations” are the number of email conversations we have open (we sometime have duplicates), “Customers” are our applicants and “New Conversations” are the new email conversations we had through the month.
Our “Total Conversations” are the number of email conversations we have open (we sometime have duplicates), “Customers” are our applicants and “New Conversations” are the new email conversations we had through the month.

This might be partially because of seasonality. Another explanation might be that Deb recently joined us and started her bootcamp as our first Culture Scout. She’s able to give applicants much better care and attention than we ever could before!

We’re currently hiring across 12 open positions, all of which are listed on Buffer’s Journey page.

hiring conversations

It feels like Deb has been awesome at catching up with many conversations that were still pending at the end of September, resulting in a lot more interactions.

Some of our positions (including iOS, Android and Product Creator) are fully staffed for now, so we have suspended some listings, too.

New and updated Journey page

As the team grows and we continue to seek new people to add to the team at a rapid pace, we’re always looking for new ways to help all kinds of people see themselves working at Buffer.

new journey page

In October, we updated our Journey page to include a variety of Instagram pictures from the Buffer Instagram account.

We wanted to create a more personal, relatable experience and let potential new teammates see what team members are up. We hope this offers a closer insight into how we all work and play together as a remote team!

Finally: Moving to TransferMate

Buffer is a remote, international team. Wiring money internationally costs quite a bit of money to both Buffer and Buffer team members for two reasons:

  • There is a flat fee associated with it that changes bank by bank (For me in France, 30€ per wire).
  • The sending and receiving bank provides the exchange rate, which can be quite different than the typical exchange rate.

To mitigate this, Buffer and our awesome accounting firm, Foresight, always sends an extra $100 on every international payment. Now that we are growing quickly, that’s adding up to quite a bit of money: (24 bi-monthly salary payments + 12 monthly expense reports x 30 international teammates) x ($100) = 108K

Up until recently, Buffer was spending up to $108,000 per year on wiring money. We’ve now switched to TransferMate, which doesn’t charge us for issuing international wires. Buffer will now save up to $108,000 per year!

Several team members have seen savings coming in, too, with a decrease of transaction fees and an overall better conversion rate.

What else can we share with you?

We’d love to make this report as informative and transparent as possible.

What kind of information would you like to see here? Are there any questions I can help answer about Buffer hiring in the past month?

I’d love to talk with you in the comments. :)

  • Great news on the hiring. I bet it’s keeping the team busy. :) I was just wondering, for pure curiosity, why TransferMate over TransferWise? Thanks.

  • Always love hearing the hiring reports for Buffer. Congrats on hitting the 60 milestone! That’s so exciting!

  • Wow, your team grows so quick, that is perfect! I’m so much looking forward to where you’ll be in a year or two. It’ll be so great if you’ll share with us more on the issues of the payments to independent contractors like you do in Buffer. How do you do that, what are the charges and regular issues you experience when hiring someone from a new country, what are the best ways how to avoid fees.
    Thanks a lot

  • Leala

    Thank you for sharing and keeping Buffer transparent. These posts are so insightful to leading a great company culture. I agree with Petr, I can’t wait to see where Buffer will be in the next several years! Keep up the great work!

  • Sylvia

    Even though I’m fairly new to Buffer, I definitely can sense a change with all the new hires :D I think everyone on your team brings their own unique personality and strengths, and for me, personally, having a few consistent people that I’ve interacted with helps to keep that “personal” touch even as your team grows larger!

  • Sridhar Rajendran

    You guys make me want to apply at Buffer :)

  • Teresa wolf

    I know more about your company than I do where I currently work! I look forward to reading every post that pops up in my Inbox. I seriously want to apply for a position with your company!

  • Sassy Steph K

    I’m interested in knowing your running percentage of boot campers that move into full time roles? It is common for positions to have a probationary period but it seems like you always loose a few. For the folks you lose, is it typically their choice or Buffer saying it’s not a good fit?

    • Hey Sassy! Great question, we’re often seeing 2 our of 3 bootcampers joining us full-time :) It’s an open discussion between Buffer and the bootcamper on what everyone feel is best going forward

  • Great post Rodolphe! Would be great to see how international teammates manage their finances. I know it doesn’t sound sexy but for all the aspiring remote workers out there, it could be of great value :) – A plus!

    • Definitely want to address this one; it comes up a lot! It’s on my list to tackle very soon! Thanks for the nudge. :)

  • Munly Leong

    LOL its kind of messed up but in a way Im kind of glad that IOS/Android is filled up because I feel like there would be some pressure to step in as dev eventually but essentially my gut is saying if I’m to enjoy the benefits of a nomadic life that comes with working with a company like Buffer, I’d rather a role that is more open/communicative vs dev which is shutting out the world to get stuff done for the most part.

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