Archives for March 2021

What You Should Know About Hiring On-Demand Salesforce Developers

There are many scenarios where a Salesforce customer would need the specialized skills of a Salesforce developer. Whether it’s customizing a Salesforce environment to a particular use case or business need, automating a specific process, developing mobile apps or products on, or integrating multiple systems with Salesforce, employing the right development talent is key to making any solution come to life.  

When hiring a developer, going with a full-time employee could be the best option if you’re dealing with a long-term project or deep knowledge of internal systems is required. In most cases, however, partnering with an independent developer is the way to go.  

Why Salesforce customers should consider independent developers

Sourcing and hiring skilled Salesforce developers is a time-consuming and costly challenge. And, once engaged, that talent can be even harder to keep. The good news is, however, that developers are not typically needed on a full-time basis. Sometimes you just need specialized talent to solve a unique challenge and advance your program. On-demand developers allow you to fill the gaps on your team, extending their bandwidth and providing essential skills to get the work done more efficiently and faster. In fact, many of the best developers we know love solving new problems, and that passion lends well to project-based, contract positions. 

How Salesforce customers stand to benefit from on-demand Salesforce developers 

When it comes to partnering with independent developers, Salesforce customers stand to gain increased: 

  • Accessibility: Generally speaking, most developers have focused specialties. By going with an independent consultant, you gain access to the specific skills you need and choose who you work with based on those.
  • Efficiency: In comparison to hiring a full-time employee or a GSI, it’s faster and easier to get an independent developer started, especially with smaller tasks. Going with a large consultancy is one option, but even after you’ve run the gauntlet of the traditional sales and SOW process to get in their queue, it can still take you 6-9 weeks to get started. Talent brokers and on-demand talent communities can typically connect you with an expert in less than a week. 
  • Affordability: It’s no secret that hiring a FTE takes time, money, and focus. Research we gathered in 2018 shows that it can take on average 62 days to get a full-time developer onboard, and can cost more than $22,000 USD in recruiting expenses. With independent consultants, you only pay for the hours you use.

Where to connect with independent Salesforce developers 

Working with hundreds of Salesforce customers over the years, we know firsthand how difficult it is to find skilled and vetted Salesforce developers. It also doesn’t help recruitment efforts when they’re in especially high demand right now as companies double down on digital transformation initiatives. With that, you have three options to turn to:

  • Referrals: When it comes to finding the top independent developers, it seems that their own networks are their overwhelming choice for finding new clients. In fact, only 11% of the independent experts in our survey cited Salesforce AppExchange as a source for clients and projects. Start by asking your industry peers or business colleagues if they can recommend and vouch for a developer they personally know. 
  • Talent marketplace: When looking for independent talent, your instincts may tell you to first look at a freelance platform such as Upwork or Fiverr. However, in our recent survey of independent Salesforce experts, only 30% said they used those platforms to find work. Our analysis would indicate that those platforms, while good for finding a wide variety of skills, aren’t tailored to providing the most experienced and vetted Salesforce talent. If you’re looking for a similar platform, the Salesforce developers jobs board is active with Salesforce professionals looking for new projects. 
  • Salesforce talent broker: Salesforce-specific talent brokers are dedicated to vetting talent and connecting them with customers in need of their specialized skills. A good broker should act as a valued partner to both the talent and the customers, and that means gaining a deep understanding of a company’s unique needs. Brokers are also typically able to negotiate better rates for customers than they may have gotten on their own. 

The most important hiring criteria for Salesforce developers 

The vetting process is essential to hiring the right developer. This person will be serving as an extension of your team, so it’s important you feel confident they’re the right technical and personality fit before getting work underway. 

When it comes to assessing their hard skills, you may feel inclined to rely on their certifications as the holy grail of how proficient they are. We advise taking certifications with a grain of salt. They don’t necessarily validate an expert’s in-the-field experience, and many Salesforce program owners (81%) have experienced a situation where a candidate or consultant claimed to have a certification or specific experience they did not have.

Soft skills are just as important as proficiency. These individuals are going to be an extension of your team, so gauging their personality, communication style, and organizational skills will also help determine if they are a fit for the business and your team. 

Start by asking questions based on your desired outcomes. Things like “Can you describe a time you helped a sales leader working with Salesforce?” and “How do you work with non-technical stakeholders?” can provide great insight into whether someone is aligned and capable of meeting your needs. 

Determining the right rate for the right talent

Most independents have a standard hourly rate they charge but know it is often a starting place and can range significantly based on experience, skill set, location, length and complexity of the project, and sometimes most importantly, how much they want the work. 

As seen in Mason Frank’s Salesforce Salary Survey, the contract market rates remain lucrative. Here are the average freelance Salesforce Developer rates by country:

  • US: $79–$138 per hour
  • UK: £500–£700 per day
  • France: €500–€650 per day
  • Australia: $1,000–$1,350 per day

How to get started with an on-demand Salesforce developer

In 2021 and beyond, no company can afford to ignore the growing talent pool of skilled, on-demand Salesforce developers. For more in-depth learning about sourcing and partnering with independent talent and how to effectively manage the relationship, download our latest resource, On-Demand Salesforce Talent Guide, or contact the 10K team today to find the developer you’ve been looking for. 

10K’s On-Demand Salesforce Talent Guide Offers Talent Acquisition Strategies for 2021

Just as computers changed how we work and the emergence of the cloud changed where we work, we’re witnessing new market dynamics that are challenging the traditional norms of the workplace yet again. The rules are being rewritten for the way we build and operate 21st-century businesses. 

If I were starting a business in the year 2000, no doubt one of the first things I would be thinking about would be hiring experts to run the core functions of the business – generally sales and marketing, finance and legal, information technology, and human resources. Those employees would, in turn, be tasked with building out their respective teams by hiring more employees. I would be hunting for office space to house this team because they would likely all live in (or move to) close proximity to my business headquarters. 

How to Make On-Demand Talent an Effective Part of Your Salesforce Program

Knowing that technology can help me do more with less, I would make significant investments to procure technology equipment, data centers, and software, hiring even more people to help manage all of these investments. The net-net is that I need to make significant capital investments, hire a lot of employees, and encumber my business with real estate liabilities to build a company of any significant scale, say, greater than $1M per year in revenue.

One of the underlying results of these old-school practices and constraints is that the best talent in any given industry tends to be concentrated into a smaller number of companies. No matter how skilled you are, the entrepreneurial barrier to scaling your talents into a full-fledged business was daunting and required a massive leap of faith (not to mention access to a lot of money). What we consider “traditional employment” with this smaller number of competing companies was the most attractive (and only realistic) route for most experts. 

How might that scenario be different in 2021?

As I type this at my kitchen table, I have all of the tools and support I need to start any variety of businesses instantly available at my fingertips. Think about not only how powerful that is, but how different it is than at the turn of the century. All you need now to start a business is the will and an internet connection. Startups of today can instantly tap into a vast array of technology services to run their businesses, on-demand and without huge capital investments, such as Salesforce, Hubspot, Quickbooks, and Google Apps. This instantly puts them on par with, or even better than, the tech stacks of much larger, established businesses and without huge capital investments.

But the real revolution this has sparked is not just how we access technology – it’s how we access talent. 

With just a few more clicks and keystrokes, I can now find and work with experienced professionals across many specialties and engage them on critical business initiatives within days or sometimes even hours. This is a game-changer, as big or bigger than the impacts of the internet or cloud alone.

This ease of “starting up” coupled with the emergence of talent marketplaces has spurred massive talent decentralization. One person providing their skills and expertise on-demand enables another person to provide their skills and expertise on-demand and so on. This trend has been building slowly over the last decade, with smaller businesses tending to be the primary constituents on both sides of each transaction. In 2021 and beyond, no business of any size can afford to ignore the skilled and growing independent workforce. 

Source: United States Census Bureau

According to US Census data, new business applications, which have been steadily growing over the past 8 years or so, more than doubled at one point in 2020 from a low of 236k in April to a high of nearly 552k just 3 months later in July. New business applications grew nearly 25%, from 3,504,086 in 2019 to 4,353,288 in 2020, and that growth looks to continue in 2021. It turns out that a global pandemic is what it took to accelerate entrepreneurship. 

That trend is especially true when it comes to Salesforce talent.

Over the last 15 years working in the Salesforce consulting ecosystem, the 10K leadership team has helped organizations of all shapes and sizes realize the full potential of the platform to grow their businesses and enhance their relationships with customers. Years ago, we watched as more and more of the most experienced practitioners in the space, including many of our fellow Salesforce MVPs, were choosing to leave traditional employers and strike out on their own. We too felt the pull of working for ourselves, and in 2016 founded 10K as a new type of Salesforce consultancy built to support this growing on-demand workforce and help customers tap into it. 

We saw this as a growing trend in the market, but we could not have predicted that a global pandemic would force (almost overnight) a complete shift in the way businesses source and manage their talent needs. 

COVID has not only accelerated the rise of remote work but has also forced companies to restructure many of their day to day operations. The makeup of their traditional workforces has shifted due to large-scale layoffs, furloughs, halting work visas, etc. This was just the spur many talented experts needed to hang their shingles.

According to Upwork’s most recent U.S. Independent Workforce report, 59 million Americans are now freelancing (36% of the total workforce) and the number of those doing so full time has increased 8% since 2019. Our research in the Salesforce talent ecosystem shows a similar trend. More than 50% of the independent Salesforce consultants we surveyed said their long-term goal was to grow their own business, and 56% said they were unlikely to return to a full-time position or large consulting firm. This means that in an ecosystem where experienced talent is already hard to hire, it’s getting even harder.

And it’s not just individuals who are embracing this new model. Employers are as well. According to Upwork research, 47% of hiring managers are more likely to hire independent professionals in the future than they were before the crisis. Harnessing the power of disparate, unretained workforces is here to stay. 

So how do you make the most out of working with independent consultants?

In our latest On-Demand Salesforce Talent Guide we dive into the benefits of working with an independent workforce, how to identify the right talent, and ways to nurture those relationships once you do identify them. Ultimately, we hope this information will provide you with the guidance and data you need to feel informed and confident in pursuing and achieving a successful partnership that will help you truly make an impact with Salesforce.

Download the guide today.


Tips for Reducing your Salesforce Technical Debt

Creating technical debt for your Salesforce system isn’t the end of the world; it’s an unavoidable necessity. Ward Cunningham, the American computer programmer who coined the term, maybe said it best back in 1992: 

“Shipping first-time code is like going into debt. A little debt speeds development so long as it is paid back promptly with a rewrite… The danger occurs when the debt is not repaid. Every minute spent on not-quite-right code counts as interest on that debt.” 

Decades before cloud-based systems and digital transformation became the norm, Ward recognized a basic truth of development–technical debt is inevitable, but it shouldn’t be unmanageable. Just like any financial loan, it needs to be accounted for and paid off promptly. 

We know technical debt isn’t a new concept, but it always deserves revisiting. That’s why on the heels of our 2020 Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report we felt an obligation to explore technical debt in the context of evolving demands for Salesforce talent, particularly two interesting anomalies:

  • Declining demand for Salesforce Architects
  • Global demand for developers is outpacing architects.

To continue reading, head to Salesforce Ben for the full post.