| 6 min read

A Hire Perspective: Adapting to the Ever-Changing Salesforce Market

Over the last 20 years, Salesforce has grown from a small startup into a true powerhouse in the Cloud Technologies space, holding just under 20% of the total market share.

Of course, as Salesforce has grown, so too has the need for professionals with the niche skillsets to fuel the ecosystem. Whilst Salesforce themselves have done an impressive job of fostering an environment that enables professionals to grow, and have worked hard to increase the influx of skills onto the Salesforce market, the question still remains: how can business go about finding the resources they need?  

As specialists in the Salesforce ecosystem, we’ve put our heads together to provide our perspective on how organizations can navigate this incredibly competitive market.

Based on years of experience recruiting Salesforce talent, as well as input from Salesforce professionals and hiring managers from some of the leading companies across the country, we’ve identified three major trends in the ecosystem that hold organizations back from attracting top talent in the marketplace, and ultimately, how to overcome these challenges and ensure success moving forward. 

Speed of the market

As we all know, the Salesforce ecosystem is built around its core technologies of Sales, Service, Marketing Cloud, etc. However, the company has also gone after two verticals in particular, with a steadfast focus on Healthcare and Financial Services.

The emergence of the Financial Service Cloud and Health Cloud has surely changed the Salesforce market, in that both premier clouds have created unique skills gaps within the ecosystem. The emergence of these clouds has been a real catalyst of the candidate-driven marketplace we operate in today. Top talent with the skills required to manage Financial Service Cloud, for example, come from very narrow pool of candidates who are ahead of the curve because they have learnt an industry specific part of a modern version of today’s Salesforce platform. 

This issue of niche skills is further compounded by the likes of Field Service Lightning; a particularly hot commodity in the Salesforce market today with a projected 800% growth in 2019 alone. When you have particular skillsets rising and falling at such a rapid rate, it is invariably difficult for internal talent teams within businesses to identify and, more importantly, engage the right talent, at the right time.

We notice, in particular, how numerous businesses will tend to require specific skillsets at a particular time; for instance, given the current rise in Field Service Lightning, multiple organizations are now searching for individuals who can help to implement this new technology.

So, with the speed at which the market is shifting and growing, companies have to constantly anticipate the next up and coming skill set, and tailor their search accordingly. If they’re unable to do so, businesses are at risk of having vacancies last days, weeks, or months longer than they should – or they could even be left unfilled.

In order to do so, it requires having a specialist on board, who knows the market, can track the trends, and ensure you’re ahead of the curve when it comes to sourcing and engaging talent before everyone else in the ecosystem does. The phrase “it takes a village” has never been truer than in the Salesforce ecosystem today, with the need to select a partner who can educate your organization on the market, the value of candidates and skillsets, and the changes your businesses need to make never being more important.

Ever-increasing salaries

Salaries in any ecosystem will always depend on a wide number of variables, however with a tight labor market – such as Salesforce – there is always a trend of salaries increasing across the board. When determining a salary there are obviously the standard considerations such as location, cost of living, unemployment rate and availability of talent in the local market to start and, with that in mind, it’s no surprise that major metropolis’ like NYC and SF are going to have higher salaries based on cost of living in those areas, but you’d be surprised of the pull of “Salary Gravity” these areas can have on the rest of the country.

For instance, the lack of talent in general in the eco-system means more small market companies must relocate from the big markets, which in turn drives up the market value for these professionals. Additionally, in markets like D.C. where the partner market is extremely competitive, we’ve seen salaries explode. whereas in other similar sized markets like Boston, which don’t have the same partner presence, we’re seeing the salaries move up more gradually. We attribute this to a lack of visibility of competition in those markets that are more dominated by End User clients. This, in turn, creates starved markets where there just simply is not enough talent to go around and candidates are king!

In addition to these factors, candidates can influence their salaries by utilising the tools Salesforce offers their community. The partners in the market will tell you that certifications have become paramount to determining the value of a candidate in the eco-system. Indeed, some candidates agree that in order to make your way up the technical ladder of the eco-system you’re going to need certifications in order to compete with the crowd. However, this value is not evenly distributed throughout the market and, with the labor market being so tight, we’ve seen that End User’s, in mid markets especially, are more willing to look past a candidate without certifications, whereas, partners are more likely to utilize the certifications as a bar to assess talent.

So, when it comes to determining a salary band for a particular candidate or skillset, there are a lot of factors that come into play. Simply put, quite often businesses just aren’t aware of quite how many things they need to consider when they put a price tag on a vacancy. However, by educating yourself and your internal talent teams on the state of the market in your region, and the changing trends that might be having an extraneous effect on what your candidates are demanding, you’re likely to find yourself offering a more realistic salary that will – in turn – attract more viable candidates.

Your Employer Branding and Value Proposition

Lastly, one topic which is often overlooked when it comes to sourcing talent is how an organization is selling themselves in the market. However, in a candidate driven market, candidates have more choice than ever when it comes down to their career and – as a result – it is now more important than ever for companies to build their brand and to build a value proposition that will help them stand out in the market. These days, working from home and flexible PTO aren’t anything special; indeed, if you google that you can probably pull up a whole list of businesses offering these are benefits.

Indeed, speaking to a number of candidates, we’ve found that it’s no longer about how many benefits a business can list on their job spec, but instead the focus is now more on how a business can make themselves stand out. What is clear, therefore, is that there has been a definite shift in candidate behavior and, driven by the burgeoning skills gap, candidates are aware that they can now demand more from their business.

As a result, companies need to stay true to principles and look after their employees by providing them the right tools to be successful. Indeed, the main reasons we are seeing candidates leave businesses is because they feel undervalued and not listened to and so those companies who complicate the simple recipe of success of validating their employees are going to lose out on the best talent in the marketplace.

Indeed, if more companies emphasized their culture and values in their pitch, and truly worked to define their employer brand and value proposition, we believe they would see more positive results when it comes to candidate engagement. As Kristian Bright, Senior Recruiter @ Deliveroo put it "When you are trying to engage with a wider audience you have to be clear about what you are offering, and why someone would want to work with you."

All this advice may seem like simple and self-explanatory information, but the truth is nothing is more key to success than the fundamentals. The message from the market right now is clear; being able to leverage the right partnerships in the marketplace will keep you informed and educated on how the factors we’ve spoken about change and fluctuate over time and as new variables enter the market.

In short, it comes down to staying educated on the skill gaps and salaries in the market to understand how to compete and putting the candidate first when pitching your business. Combining both aspects will help you to build a solid recipe for quality engagement, enabling you to source the talent you need to continue the growth of your Salesforce proficiencies and wider digital capabilities.