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

Nov 17, 2015 5 min readReports

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. :)

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