We’re in a really lucky place at Buffer the place we all the time have a tremendous group of people that apply after we put up job openings. Consequently, we now have to make some fairly troublesome selections. Lately at Buffer, we’ve employed for a number of positions and had a whole bunch of functions for every:

  • For Workers Product Supervisor, 657 folks utilized
  • For Senior Engineering Supervisor, 564 folks utilized
  • For Advertising UX Designer, 516 folks 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 lots of our wonderful clients and group members can be enthusiastic about and certified for a task 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 obtained. 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 a little bit overwhelming. We’re a reasonably small crew at Buffer — at present 79 folks — and in our case, we had 4 folks reviewing 1,518 functions, so it was an enormous activity.

We managed to answer to everybody inside three weeks of closing the appliance, 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 e mail, some candidates have 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 put up 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 have been rejecting. These won’t apply to everybody, however we hope this may be useful to some 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 foremost 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 knowledge that our crew reviewed alongside each applicant’s resume.

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

How we assessed expertise

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

  1. Please choose all areas you have got advertising and marketing expertise with: (You aren’t required to have expertise in every of those areas, that is simply an evaluation.) Choices have 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 pleased with:
  3. Write a brief pitch for the type of piece you’d need 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 vital talent for this place, and secondly as a result of it’s simpler for our crew to overview shorter inputs.

How we assessed information of Buffer and our area

We had 5 questions that have been extra targeted on Buffer, our business, and information of the area we cowl on our Content material crew:

  1. Have you ever used Buffer earlier than? (Y/N)
  2. If sure, what did you employ Buffer for? Why was Buffer the software 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 quite a lot of ways we assess values over time. This time, we requested three high-level questions that will give us a good concept of whether or not an applicant was a match for Buffer’s values and distant tradition. Nonetheless, a values evaluation continues all through the interview rounds.

The three questions we requested have been:

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

Themes we noticed in functions we didn’t transfer ahead

A number of greater themes got here via with functions that we didn’t transfer ahead that transcend not demonstrating the talents we have been on the lookout for, or being misaligned with Buffer’s values. This listing gained’t cowl the entire causes an utility may need been rejected, however it’s a broad reflection of what we have been seeing.

1. The applying was incomplete

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

2. The applying didn’t comply with the rules

Lots of questions had a 250-character restrict. We didn’t instantly reject folks over the restrict, as a result of some folks misinterpret it as 250 phrases and saved to that all through their utility. Nonetheless, 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 number 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 crew is an enormous a part of this function.

Numerous functions didn’t pitch a particular subject or pitched one thing unrelated to every other content material on our weblog. We appeared 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 below the necessities for this function was that we have been on the lookout for folks 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 software known as Copyleaks to substantiate whether or not or not it was written by AI. After all, no AI detector is one hundred pc 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 closing variations totally written by AI.

6. The individual was very unfamiliar with Buffer

We ask whether or not or not somebody has used Buffer earlier than as a result of for Advertising 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 folks in the event that they hadn’t used Buffer, nevertheless 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 will be clear the individual wasn’t aware of 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 need 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 3 times earlier than I joined the crew, and that has been the expertise of various others on the crew 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 optimistic response we obtained to this job opening. ❤️

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