| 5 min read

Why Is Technical Salesforce Talent So Hard to Source in Germany?

It’s not surprising to hear that, in the current Salesforce market, it’s tough to engage strong technical talent. Aside from the fact that Salesforce professionals are in high-demand in general, we’re seeing an increasing number of consultancies coming into the market and snatching up talent. And yet, further compounding the situation, in-house customers are looking to build their own technical teams internally in order to save on costs and keep the skills inside their own business.

These three factors are culminating in one very real problem: a large depletion of technically skills candidates to join organisations and spearhead their use of the Salesforce platform.

Yet, these skills are crucial for companies who want to take advantage of the capabilities of Salesforce’s Lightning Platform and create functionalities outside of the norm that will enable them to stand above their competitors in today’s competitive landscape. So, the question remains, how do businesses hire technical talent in Germany today?

To help answer this question, we went straight to the horse’s mouth and spoke with Markus Spillner, who is currently Head of the Competence Centre at Adesso AG, and currently responsible for leading Adesso into the German market. We sat down with Markus and quizzed him on his thoughts about hiring Salesforce professionals in today’s climate.

Here’s what he had to say about why so many businesses in Germany are struggling to find the technical talent they need today…

 

An Immature Workplace

One of the first reasons Spillner put forward was the relative immaturity of the Salesforce marketplace in Germany as compared to other regions not only in Europe, but across the globe. Indeed, Salesforce itself has only been present in the German market for a few years, when compared to the likes of the US and UK.

With Salesforce bursting onto the scene in Germany so rapidly, there was a sudden and huge growth in demand for individuals who could navigate the platform to join organisations looking to get a foot up; the natural result of which was a higher demand in an ecosystem that has overall less experience.

Spillner maintained that, whilst the market is definitely more immature, the ecosystem in Germany is thriving, and the likes of MeetUps and the Trailblazer community have helped the ecosystem to get up to speed as the market for Salesforce continues to grow exponentially. Indeed, it could be seen as surprising that there is such an appetite for a German Salesforce community, considering the difficulty that most businesses have sourcing talent, but through our discussions with numerous candidates we’ve learnt that the appetite for a German Ohana is definitely there – even if the candidates don’t immediately seem to be.

 

An Educated Candidate

This is where Spillner’s second trend comes into play. Clearly, there is an appetite for the German marketplace to grow and evolve, and for a full-fledge community to be built underneath to support it. However, there has been a massive change in the behaviour of candidates that leads businesses and internal talent teams alike to believe that the talent doesn’t exist; more educated candidates. In particular, candidates with less experience who have very quickly caught onto the increasing demand for Salesforce professionals.

The result, according to Spillner, is that more junior professionals are under the impression that they can demand much higher salaries and are not engaging with businesses who don’t or won’t meet that. In contrast to senior candidates – who are charging much closer to the standard market rate – junior candidates seem to be falsely inflating the market demand by making themselves unavailable.

So, despite the demand for a Salesforce community, and despite the existence of Salesforce professionals within Germany, it appears that the difficulty in sourcing and engaging technical talent stems from the candidates themselves.

 

A Level Playing Field

Spillner also drew attention to a massive challenge that is often a fundamental blocker for many organisations’ ability to engage talent; their story. Nowadays, talent acquisition is as much about sourcing candidates as it is about marketing your organisation; indeed, with so many businesses seeking Salesforce talent, those who aren’t taking the time to develop a strong employee value proposition and brand are missing a trick. 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”

Unfortunately, Spillner noted that often businesses don’t consider this when it comes to their talent acquisition strategy, and so their outreach falls on the deaf ears of candidates who simply have too much choice. For Spillner, he finds that Adesso AG has a high success rate in engaging and attracting talent due to a combination of a strong employer brand, but also their trust in talent partners such as Third Republic who know the market, know their business, and understand how to find the right match and cut through the noise to find the right individuals who will fit seamlessly into the organisation.

  

A New Approach to Hiring

As if the marketplace wasn’t complicated enough, Spillner identified a fourth, and final, factor that is influencing businesses search for technical talent. It’s common knowledge now that whilst identification of talent is easy, engaging professionals is now the hard bit – and in fact has never been harder. Salesforce developers, solution and technical architects are a finite skill to find and it’s becoming increasingly challenging as the eco system grows.

In Spillner’s opinion, the way forward therefore to invest in young talent and to upskill employees – rather than trying to find the finished product. It’s an opinion that is echoed by Solution Architect, Gemma Emmett, who maintains that

If businesses focus on building the skills of their Salesforce employees, not just trying to hire the finished product, the skills gap could be closed quicker than it currently is

Adesso themselves are devoted to hiring university students and young developers, and to increasingly scaling their technical team by bringing in this young talent who want to dive in and learn on the job.

 

In an ecosystem like Salesforce, where technical talent is relatively difficult to come by, businesses need to accept that new talent needs to be brought into the ecosystem and learn these skills somehow. As the ecosystem continues to expand and evolve, more talent is going to be needed to continue this development of technical applications. So, businesses who cut themselves off from upskilling either current or new employees, and who aren’t thinking about the long-term when it comes to their talent acquisition plans and their digital capabilities, are quickly going to find themselves hitting a wall.