Buffer’s Pledge to New and Existing Team Members

Nov 18, 2014 2 min readOpen
Photo of Joel Gascoigne
Joel Gascoigne

CEO and co-founder @ Buffer

For as long as we’ve run Buffer, we’ve had to send new team members some form of employment agreement. We’re currently in the middle of raising $3.5m in new funding and, as part of the due diligence in this funding round, we’ve been revisited these agreements.

We’ve never felt completely comfortable about the agreements we send out, and it can often be a shock and in stark contrast to the style of the rest of our hiring process, where we try to take extra steps to show that we truly care about people.

When we revisited the agreements, this discomfort became emphasized again and a few people on the team were awesome enough to ask questions about some of the implications of the agreement.

Here’s the agreement. It’s fairly standard and although some of the wording can be difficult and even scary, we understand the need for it:

Buffer – Form of Employment Agreement (CA, Nov. 2014)_(Palib2_7143537_1)…

There are some parts of this that we felt could be a shock to read, such as:

I agree that all inventions developed by me during the period of time I am in the employ of the Company (including during my off-duty hours) are the sole property of the Company.

This time around, we felt compelled to truly address the concerns and our own feeling that the employment agreement could sometimes feel a little misaligned with our culture of caring (or, as we like to say, “it didn’t feel completely ‘Buffery'”).

Our solution was to come up with a pledge to all team members at Buffer. It is completely legally sound, yet is genuine and shows our trust and care for new and existing team members. It’s something we plan to always share alongside the employment agreement, in some ways as an explanation of the agreement as we see it.

I’ve casually mentioned the pledge to a few people and the first thing they ask is, “Can you show me?” and “Will you publish it?”

Today, we’re excited to be fully transparent and share the pledge.

Thanks so much for being part of Buffer and expanding the culture and values and how much we can help customers.

As part of joining the team, as with any other company, there are a number of legal forms to fill out. Some of these can seem intimidating, and we wanted to take a moment to clarify some of it and share our pledge to you.

To begin with, we must say that this pledge does not modify the agreements that you, as an existing or new team member, are signing. In the rare case of a conflict, the agreements will control. To help you understand our view, we want to share our additional thoughts:

This pledge is a work in progress and we might find things to add to it from time to time. The nature of it will never change.

Thanks again,

Joel, Leo, Sunil and Carolyn

Do you have anything similar in your company? I’d love your thoughts on how you’ve solved challenges when it comes to employment agreements. Let me know in the comments below!

Brought to you by

Try Buffer for free

140,000+ small businesses like yours use Buffer to build their brand on social media every month

Get started now

Related Articles

woman examining a floor to ceiling bookshelf
OpenMar 29, 2024
Lessons from Unreasonable Hospitality: A Favorite Read From Our Customer Advocacy Team

How the Buffer Customer Advocacy Team set up their book club, plus their key takeaways from their first read: Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Guidara.

ai in content
OpenMar 14, 2024
How Buffer’s Content Team Uses AI

In this article, the Buffer Content team shares exactly how and where we use AI in our work.

OpenMar 13, 2024
TikTok Might be Banned in the U.S.: What It Means for Buffer and How Marketers Can Prepare

Here we go again. If you work in social media, it’s nothing new to adapt and change your strategy based on the ever-changing algorithms and the rise and fall of social networks. (Who else was on Vine? 🙋🏻‍♀️) But, of course, we wish you didn’t have to. The latest wave for social media marketers and creators is that TikTok might be banned in the U.S. The short-form video app has become one of the most widely-used social media platforms and is credited with impacting trends and cultural shifts.

140,000+ people like you use Buffer to build their brand on social media every month