We’re in a really lucky place at Buffer the place we at all times have an incredible group of people that apply after we submit job openings. Consequently, we’ve got to make some fairly troublesome selections. Lately at Buffer, we’ve employed for a number of positions and had lots of of functions for every:

  • For Workers Product Supervisor, 657 individuals utilized
  • For Senior Engineering Supervisor, 564 individuals utilized
  • For Advertising and marketing UX Designer, 516 individuals utilized

Based mostly on these outcomes and previous expertise, we thought there was a possible that we’d see a excessive variety of candidates for the Content material Author function. Plus, we anticipated that a lot of our superb prospects and group members could be enthusiastic about and certified for a job like this, and that’s exactly what occurred.

We initially wished to depart the Content material Author function open for 2 weeks to obtain functions however determined to shorten it to at least one week due to the unbelievable response we acquired. In an effort to be clear about this, we put the brand new deadline proper on the job posting a number of days prematurely.

In the long run, we had 1,518 candidates for the Content material Author function in a single week.

This was each thrilling and just a little overwhelming. We’re a reasonably small workforce at Buffer — presently 79 individuals — and in our case, we had 4 individuals reviewing 1,518 functions, so it was an enormous process.

We managed to answer to everybody inside three weeks of closing the applying, however that was nonetheless a reasonably lengthy timeline so far as this stuff go.

Making use of for a job may be time-consuming, and we had an in depth utility course of. It’s comprehensible that after receiving a rejection electronic mail, some candidates had been eager for suggestions to study why they weren’t moved ahead. We are able to’t reply to everybody at that quantity of functions — although I want we might!

As a substitute, we’ve put collectively this weblog submit with extra about our utility course of for the Content material Author function at Buffer and a few basic themes we observed in functions we had been rejecting. These won’t apply to everybody, however we hope this may be useful to a couple of us who need readability on this course of, or who’re making use of for future roles at Buffer or elsewhere.

Concerning the utility

Earlier than we share the key causes we didn’t transfer functions ahead, right here is a bit more in regards to the utility we had candidates fill out. That is the primary piece of data that our workforce reviewed alongside each applicant’s resume.

Along with asking the applicant for his or her identify, pronouns, portfolio or web site, and resume, the applying touched on three areas: expertise, data of Buffer and our house, and alignment with Buffer values.

How we assessed expertise

Listed here are the 4 utility questions we needed to assess expertise degree:

  1. Please choose all areas you could have advertising and marketing expertise with: (You aren’t required to have abilities in every of those areas, that is simply an evaluation.) Choices had been: Content material writing, Content material advertising and marketing, Social media advertising and marketing, Video advertising and marketing, Video creation, Graphic design, Analysis, Knowledge evaluation, Conducting interviews, Electronic mail advertising and marketing, Audio modifying, Podcast internet hosting.
  2. Please share three URLs for articles that you just’re happy with:
  3. Write a brief pitch for the sort of piece you’ll wish to write for the Buffer weblog (buffer.com/resources): (Max 250 characters)
  4. Why did you pitch that subject? (Max 250 characters)

You’ll discover that we requested for a most of 250 characters right here — that’s primarily as a result of we wished to check candidates on whether or not they might condense their concepts, which is a crucial talent for this place, and secondly as a result of it’s simpler for our workforce to overview shorter inputs.

How we assessed data of Buffer and our house

We had 5 questions that had been extra targeted on Buffer, our trade, and data of the house we cowl on our Content material workforce:

  1. Have you ever used Buffer earlier than? (Y/N)
  2. If sure, what did you utilize Buffer for? Why was Buffer the device you chose? (Max 250 characters)
  3. What’s your method to rising your private model? (Max 250 characters)
  4. What’s a current development in advertising and marketing or social media that you just’re a fan of? (Max 250 characters)
  5. How would you incorporate that development into your content material creation course of at Buffer? (Max 250 characters)

How we assessed values

Values are an enormous focus for us at Buffer, and we’ve had a wide range of ways we assess values over time. This time, we requested three high-level questions that will give us a good thought of whether or not an applicant was a match for Buffer’s values and distant tradition. Nevertheless, a values evaluation continues all through the interview rounds.

The three questions we requested had been:

  1. How do you method speaking successfully in a distant surroundings? (It’s okay to speak about instruments, however please suppose past that, too.)
  2. Please share your method to selling an inclusive work surroundings, and embody an instance out of your skilled previous.
  3. Please share a time once you realized you is perhaps unsuitable about one thing. What was the end result? What did you study? (Please use an expert instance, if in case you have one.)

Themes we noticed in functions we didn’t transfer ahead

A number of greater themes got here by means of with functions that we didn’t transfer ahead that transcend not demonstrating the abilities we had been in search of, or being misaligned with Buffer’s values. This record received’t cowl the entire causes an utility may need been rejected, however it’s a broad reflection of what we had been seeing.

1. The applying was incomplete

A number of functions had been incomplete or the place an applicant selected to skip a query, generally even writing, “I don’t have a solution for this.” The entire functions we moved ahead had been accomplished solely.

2. The applying didn’t observe the rules

Numerous questions had a 250-character restrict. We didn’t instantly reject individuals over the restrict, as a result of some individuals misinterpret it as 250 phrases and stored to that all through their utility. Nevertheless, many functions wrote over a number of hundred phrases, and people didn’t get moved ahead.

3. The pitch wasn’t particular sufficient or was not tailor-made to our weblog

We requested each applicant to pitch a subject for the Buffer weblog, and we put a variety of weight behind this query as a result of developing with concepts for weblog posts and sharing them with the remainder of the content material workforce is an enormous a part of this function.

Plenty of functions didn’t pitch a selected subject or pitched one thing unrelated to some other content material on our weblog. We seemed for pitches crafted with our current content material in thoughts and for strong explanations of these pitches.

4. The writing samples weren’t related to the function

The primary bullet level underneath the necessities for this function was that we had been in search of individuals with expertise writing about social media, advertising and marketing, and enterprise matters. We learn every utility first, however finally when the writing samples weren’t related to these matters, we’d not transfer an utility ahead.

5. The applying was clearly written by AI

Extra usually than I anticipated, we’d encounter a block of textual content written very unnaturally. We used a device referred to as Copyleaks to substantiate whether or not or not it was written by AI. After all, no AI detector is 100% correct however there are broad patterns we observed amongst content material flagged as written by AI. In the long run, we had a bigger variety of functions written by AI than I anticipated. We’re all for utilizing AI in our content material creation course of, however we by no means publish or submit ultimate variations solely written by AI.

6. The particular person was very unfamiliar with Buffer

We ask whether or not or not somebody has used Buffer earlier than as a result of for Advertising and marketing roles specifically, we’ve discovered a considerable profit to working with individuals who already perceive Buffer’s product and goal buyer.

We didn’t instantly reject individuals in the event that they hadn’t used Buffer, however it was a large profit to any utility to have used Buffer earlier than and researched how we function at Buffer earlier than making use of. In lots of functions, it could be clear the particular person wasn’t acquainted with Buffer, and we didn’t transfer these functions  ahead.

It’s potential you utilized for the function, and also you’re studying this realizing that none of those apply to you — in that case, I wish to say I’m grateful for the time you spent making use of and that you’d contemplate Buffer as a spot to work.

Personally, I utilized to Buffer thrice earlier than I joined the workforce, and that has been the expertise of quite a few others on the workforce as properly. You’re very welcome to use to Buffer sooner or later if Buffer nonetheless calls to you as a spot to work, and within the meantime, we’d be thrilled to have you ever as a member of our community.

We’re wishing everybody who utilized all the most effective with what’s subsequent for them and, once more, are so grateful for the overwhelmingly constructive response we acquired to this job opening. ❤️


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