What is the hardest thing about hiring Salesforce professionals?

Salesforce is the number one customer relationship management tool for the ninth consecutive year. The digital transformations companies in every industry because of the Covid-19 pandemic and changing consumer expectations drove the expansion of the Salesforce talent market to levels no one could have predicted prior to 2020. Businesses are challenged to source talent to effectively build and implement these new products and stay ahead of the technological learning curve.

This year the Computer Futures team attended Salesforce World Tour NYC, one of the many major events taking place this year after a two-year hiatus from Salesforce in-person events. We listened, learned, and asked questions from other industry professionals to find out what hiring managers in the Salesforce ecosystem found most difficult in their searches for top talent.

In this first piece of our “What’s New In Salesforce” article series, we offer our insights and explanations on the biggest pain points that people hiring Salesforce talent face, as well as solutions on how to overcome their challenges. In 2018, we produced a similar article, 3 Biggest Concerns We Heard from Salesforce Hiring Managers at Dreamforce, which discussed the problems at the time. It is interesting to see how things changed with the times and the technology.

Fake Candidates and Candidate “Catfishing”

The issue: The tech industry experiences more than their fair share of unqualified or deceptive candidates, and Salesforce is no exception. Some job seekers embellish resumes, recite buzzwords, inaccurately report certifications, and exaggerate their experience on past projects. When such a person makes it through the interview process, the company spends months onboarding and training them only to end up with sub-par work and the complicated matter of ending the employment relationship.

The challenge: A company’s own hiring resources and many other Salesforce staffing firms operating in the sector without a certain depth of understanding of the platforms and tools do not necessarily know what to ask or what red flags to look for from a candidate. Additionally, actual qualified talent may not be the best at interviewing and can be easily passed over during the process.

The solution: Working with a top tier specialty Salesforce staffing firm is the most effective way to reduce or eliminate the potential for catfish candidates. Computer Futures has a proprietary accreditation process for vetting candidates that most other tech staffing firms do not. Our network of talent is based on referrals from our top placed Salesforce contractors. The people we place often are not searching for a role at all and are not widely available to the hiring market.

Price Inflation and Limited Hiring Budgets

The issue: Salaries and market rates have been generally high in the tech industry for years, particularly in the Salesforce ecosystem. With the digital transformation coupled with inflation, Salesforce salaries are high because professionals do their research and know their worth. In our recent global candidate survey, 61% of respondents reported that rate and/or salary plus benefits is the single most important factor in the search for a new role.

The challenge: Hiring budgets adjust to the market at a slower rate than candidate expectations. Many companies are resorting to posting jobs that are not actually to be filled just to get an idea of appropriate salary expectations for certain qualifications, then using the information gained to inform their offerings. By then, qualified candidates have moved on and the company has missed their chance. Further, the internal process of expanding a hiring budget within an organization can be inherently lengthy and dependent on internal factors outside of the hiring managers’ control.

The solution: Conducting pre-emptive research to determine appropriate rates for a given role or set of responsibilities is the best way to adjust hiring practices. This gives them an advantage in being first off the mark to offer a competitive compensation package that the top Salesforce talent will respond to. Computer Futures takes this responsibility off the shoulders of the company, providing the insight needed based on our deep connection to the industry to inform companies what the standard should be for the professionals they need.

Implementing Diversity Correctly

The issue: Wanting to hire for diversity and the ability to do so are very different matters, and organizations often do not know how to implement a DE&I strategy that wins top candidates, retains the workforce, and builds a positive reputation for good. The Salesforce ecosystem is particularly sensitive to the issue of DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion) and expectations for such are high.

The challenge: Many organizational leaders are unwilling or unable to ask themselves difficult questions and drive change to become an attractive workplace for diverse candidates, leaving the best talent to go elsewhere. Companies who “just hire whoever is most qualified” are working in an age and in a world that is far behind others competing in the same talent pool.

The solution: Employers must look at the broadest possible candidate pool to fill critical roles and add value to their organizations through diverse hiring. Companies should focus their efforts on keeping a pipeline of diverse candidates and investing in programs that serve the need for the organization as a whole. Computer Futures has an earned reputation in the Salesforce industry for properly sourcing diverse talent and contributing to raising standards of equality for the STEM industry as a whole.

Find out more about our efforts through Breaking the Glass and the STEM Equity Coalition.

Offering Innovative and Lucrative Work

The issue: The Great Resignation has given way to the Great Attrition, a movement characterized by the desire to do work that not only pays better but is more fulfilling both professionally and personally. Top Salesforce talent with the ability to choose to work anywhere they want prefer to take on roles that truly impact the business’ bottom line. Further, they want to gain experience and exposure to more interesting work that challenges them to grow and do better and makes a difference in the Salesforce world. The ultimate Salesforce professionals who bring notoriety and attention to an organization are not attracted to companies who do not offer work that piques their interest.

The challenge: Most companies’ primary focus is on finding the talent for the roles they need filled, rather than adapting roles to fit the best qualified and most exceptional talent available. Finding a balance between the two is essential to attracting the Salesforce talent can deliver the most value to an organization but is difficult to execute when the short-term needs of the business are weighed against the long-term good of the company.

The solution: A specialty Salesforce recruiting firm has the insight guide a client to a job description that will serve the business being attractive to the talent of the caliber they want. Computer Futures’ highly referral-based network of Salesforce specialists is full of such people. We have the competitive edge in matching the top talent available with the most innovative companies and projects in search of them.

The Real Issue for Salesforce Hiring Managers

These top challenges for the Salesforce industry all point to one major takeaway: There is not enough qualified talent in the Salesforce ecosystem for employers to be doing things the way they have always done them. The changing times call for changed practices. Hiring managers should not be focusing on eliminating their top challenges but adapting their processes to meet the talent market where it is. Companies should bring their talent acquisition to the professionals and let Computer Futures find and place the top Salesforce talent.

A special thank you to Benjamin Williams, Salesforce Recruitment Consultant and Account Manager for his contributions to this article. 

Find out more about Computer Futures' Salesforce community