Attracting talent

5 things Buffer does to attract talent

Find out how Buffer uses employer branding to attract high-quality talent to their team and how your company can do the same.

5 things Buffer does to attract talent

Buffer is one of the frontrunners when it comes to attracting talent. They've crafted an open and positive company culture and managed to make this visible to people who don't even work there. This ability to show the outside world what it's like to work at Buffer is called employer branding. Buffer does all kinds of things to improve their employer branding that you can do too without any huge budgets. Either exactly like Buffer, or a simplified version of it.

We'll walk you through 5 employer branding initiatives that Buffer does and we'll explain why it works and how you can do them in your own way:

1. A blog publication about the company

What Buffer does:

Buffer has its own publication called the Open Culture Blog. It's filled with articles not about their product but about the company. Article topics range from why the Buffer team has a 4-day workweek to how they manage a fully remote team. Interesting stuff!

Why it works:

This transparency about the inner workings of Buffer make it much easier for talent to imagine what it's like working there and if they'd be a good fit. Buffer's openness about the great parts of working there as well as the struggles they face feels like a reflection of an honest and genuine company culture.

How you can do it:

You don't have to hire a team of content writers to create a company blog like this one. You can start by simply having one team member a month write a blog post about what it's like working at your company. This'll add up pretty quickly and it doesn't require anyone to be dedicated to only writing this blog. It's a shared responsibility. They could write about a technology they're currently learning about or they could explain a new team workflow they've set up. Basically, any topic that will give a glimpse of what it's like working at your company will work. You can use a simple blogging platform like Medium that anyone in the team can use.

Buffer's company publication, The Open Culture blog

2. A dedicated career page

What Buffer does:

Buffer has a page with all their job posts and information that's relevant for job seekers. This page is separate from their main site that is focused towards potential customers.

Why it works:

Hiring is actually marketing. In marketing it's best practice to have a place where you speak to one target audience. In this case that's talent! You don't want talent to try and find out what it's like working at your company by looking at your customer site. You need a career page for that!

How you can do it:

No need to start a 6-week long project with your development team to set up a career page. You can easily build one yourself with Homerun which is what Buffer uses for theirs. You can add blocks that will show off your company culture. Add things like a team gallery, a Spotify playlist or a grid to show off your perks. You can customize the layout, color and fonts so that it matches your company's brand.

Buffer's career page made with Homerun.

3. Showing off the company culture with candid photos

What Buffer does:

The photos Buffer shares of their team are candid, authentic and sometimes raw. They're not all clean #officeaesthetics but rather photos shot by the team at team events. They are simple photos shot on a smart phone.

Why it works:

It's common these days to see stylized photos of offices and team members "candidly" at work. Photos that the team takes themselves tell a much more authentic story. They paint a more realistic picture for candidates wanting to know if they'll fit in with your team.

How you can do it:

Encourage your team to take photos at team events or even during meetings. Open a Slack channel or a folder where everyone can share these photos and then use them for your career page, team page, instagram or blog posts. Be sure to check with everyone that they're cool with having these photos published.

An image in one of Buffer's blog posts.

4. Using social media to help candidates get to know your team

What Buffer does:

Buffer created a list on Twitter so that you can follow the whole Buffer team at once. This way you can get to know the team better on a daily basis by catching up on their tweets.

Why it works:

Candidates want to be able to imagine what it's like working at your company. Getting to know the team on a personal level makes this possible. Using Twitter or other social platforms is a great way for people to see the likes, interests and values of the people in your team.

How you can do it:

You can set up a twitter list yourself. Find out how here. You could also consider having a dedicated Instagram account for your team. Something like, @life_at_ companyname. Let people in your team run it so that it's truly a reflection of your team's personality.

Buffer's Twitter list

5. Enrich important job posts with other creative content

What Buffer does:

For their VP of Product role, Joel Gascoigne the CEO and founder of Buffer wrote this extensive article. In it he talks about where Buffer currently stands and why they're hiring this role.

Why it works:

Sometimes you have to think beyond a standard job post to attract high quality experienced talent. These candidates might not be actively looking for a new job, but are open to the right opportunity. Reaching this talent means going in depth about the role and the impact someone could have in this role.

How you can do it:

You can have the person who will work most closely with the new hire write a short article about what their future collaboration will look like. There are some other out of the box ideas you can try though. For example, make a simple video where the manager is interviewed about the role. With Homerun you can easily add that video to your job post to give it that little extra something that'll convince someone to take the leap and apply.

A blog post written by Buffer's CEO and founder about a specific role

For further reading checkout: 

Homerun's guide to Employer Branding

Homerun's guide to attracting talent

Homerun's guide to writing a job description

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