2021_Salesforce Talent Supply and Demand Trends-01

The 10K View: 2021 Salesforce Talent Supply & Demand Trends

On the heels of 2Q and our 2021 Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report, we found there was no surprise that Salesforce is having one hell of a year. So much, in fact, that they raised their FY2022 outlook by $300M — a reflection of a strong spending environment and healthy pipeline across all regions. The ecosystem’s future is bright, and its talent community deserves to celebrate what’s in store for them, too.  

Our research this year revealed two specific talent supply and demand trends that Salesforce, its customers, and experts alike should pay attention to:

  1. The global demand for talent is skyrocketing, up 364% YoY. 
  2. But the rate of growth for supply is slowing, from 29% in 2020 to 23% in 2021. 

The 10K team has been working in the Salesforce ecosystem for more than fifteen years. Without a doubt, we have never seen a period of more rapid and significant change. We’re not claiming to be able to predict the future of how our ecosystem will evolve, but given 10K’s relationships with seasoned experts, customers, and partners of every size across the globe, we do have a few ideas of how these talent supply and demand trends will play out. 

Nick Hamm, Chief Executive Officer 
Nick’s 2021 Supply and Demand Key Takeaways
Supply: Pay attention to South America 
Demand: Demand for Salesforce professionals is higher than ever 

South America’s Salesforce talent supply showed the fastest growth of any region for the second year in a row. But what makes that really interesting is that their supply of Salesforce Developers has now surpassed Australia and New Zealand’s. This is notable because ANZ had a massive head start on South America. 

I would, however, stop short of betting that South America is another India in the making.

South America’s talent supply growth is now at the point where Salesforce partners and customers should start paying attention to this emerging market’s potential. I would, however, stop short of betting that South America is another India in the making. For North American customers, there are some obvious benefits to working with talent in South America, including similar time zones and attractive rates, but by my estimate, it would take another five to ten years for South America’s talent supply to reach India’s breadth, especially with the continued acceleration in supply we’ve seen in India over the past 4 years. 

10K is keeping its eye on the growing talent supply of emerging markets like South America because they’ll play an important role in satisfying the skyrocketing demand we’re seeing today. The steadily slowing supply growth, especially considering the growing demand for specialized skills like CPQ and other eCommerce clouds, will prove to be a major challenge to our ecosystem’s customers’ success. So what can we do to generate more Salesforce experts?

To combat the ecosystem’s growing skills gap, Salesforce needs to invest more in the partner ecosystem, specifically dedicated to accelerating talent development that will satisfy the supply needs of the coming years and beyond.

Salesforce has the biggest pocketbook with the most to lose and the most to gain. To combat the ecosystem’s growing skills gap, Salesforce needs to invest more in the partner ecosystem, specifically dedicated to accelerating talent development that will satisfy the supply needs of the coming years and beyond. Unfortunately, many partners are in a situation where they can’t look that far ahead because of the supply shortage they are already experiencing today. There are already a number of organizations out there, including non-profits like PepUpTech and consulting partners alike, actively dedicated to attracting and training new talent, but they need more capital to help accelerate talent development beyond their existing staffing needs.

Trailhead is a solid foundation for learning the technical aspects of Salesforce products, but unlocking new certifications and badges isn’t enough. The difference between adequate Salesforce talent and the elite, in-demand experts are essential softs skills and contextual experience — they’re the ones out there making a real, long-term impact for customers. It’s Salesforce’s responsibility to help empower partners to round out talent that the ecosystem desperately needs to keep growing at its current pace.  

Mike Martin, Chief Customer Officer  
Mike’s 2021 Supply and Demand Key Takeaways
Supply: The global growth rate is slowing 
Demand: Customers are using Salesforce as the central point of their business 

It’s always been difficult for customers to find the right experts, let alone qualified and specialized, but this year’s findings show that this particular hiring challenge is here to stay. We’re not trying to stir up fear about the global Salesforce talent supply growth’s downward trend, but the reality is Salesforce customers can’t afford to tune out. To put this into context, the global talent supply has increased every year since we first started watching in 2018, but the rate of growth is coming to a screeching halt:

2019’s growth rate: 151% YoY

2020’s growth rate: 29% YoY

This year’s growth rate: 23% YoY

As we see dwindling supply paired with a wild increase in global demand and the steady decentralization of talent amongst the partner ecosystem, Salesforce customers need more resources to compete for talent. This is especially true as more customers turn to Salesforce as the platform for managing multiple essential business functions, from sales and marketing to finance, operations, and customer service. 

Unfortunately, traditional talent acquisition and full-time employment opportunities won’t cut it anymore.

Unfortunately, traditional talent acquisition and full-time employment opportunities won’t cut it anymore. Exploring flexible, on-demand talent models and partnering with independent Salesforce experts will be key for Salesforce customers of every size and industry successfully adapting to our new world of work. 

Customers can tap into talent marketplaces such as Upwork and Fiverr that provide access to Salesforce talent across the world, or partner with Salesforce-dedicated talent platforms such as 10K that guarantee customers receive the vetted, experienced experts they’re seeking. Vetting talent will become more important than ever as we expect more of the ecosystem’s experts and Salesforce-adjacent professionals to jump on the global trend of leaving existing firms and striking out on their own.

Jared Miller, Chief Operating Officer 
Jared’s 2021 Supply and Demand Key Takeaways
Supply: While supply is still growing, experienced supply is much harder to come by 
Demand: Niche skills and experience provide the best opportunities for experts

The global talent supply may still be growing, albeit at a slower pace YoY since we first started our research in 2018, but a persistent challenge for customers remains — experienced supply is getting harder to come by. This is evident when looking at technical architects, for example, who have remained at just 1% of the overall talent supply for the past four years. 

For the ecosystem’s experts, especially the highly experienced, this global spike in demand is a hot opportunity.

As Mike mentioned, Salesforce has become the central force behind multiple business functions, and Salesforce customers can’t expect a single administrator will be sufficient enough to run the show. This is especially true as Salesforce continues to make bold acquisitions, such as Slack, and pushing more of their niche products such as Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, and CPQ. Customers need specialized and deeply experienced talent that will ensure their program is maximizing ROI and serving their unique business operations and objectives. 

If you’re a Salesforce expert who’s spent the past five years or more at full-time consulting gigs, there’s never been a better time to go independent with the safe bet of being wildly successful.

For the ecosystem’s experts, especially the highly experienced, this global spike in demand is a hot opportunity. Since the beginning of 2020, experts seized the moment to skill up with Trailhead to either accept new full-time opportunities with wildly higher pay or strike out on their own as an independent. Salesforce experts are hungry and ready knowing that their skills are in demand and there’s more wiggle room than ever to negotiate work/life balance, remote work, project choices, and compensation. 

If you’re a Salesforce expert who’s spent the past five years or more at full-time consulting gigs, there’s never been a better time to go independent with the safe bet of being wildly successful. Especially if you hold specialized skills specific to product, industry, or large-scale implementations. Salesforce customers at large are looking for you and working with Salesforce talent platforms like 10K can connect you with the right ones while providing support for your independent business.

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