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Hiring your next Salesforce Rockstar - Part 1 of 3

Two points of housekeeping before I kick this blog post off.

  1. Sorry, it has been so long since I've last blogged. I have several excuses lined up and none of them really measure up to my personal commitment to this blog and that's on me to fix.
  2. The below blog is my personal experience over the last few years of hiring Salesforce professionals and certainly isn't an exhaustive list. Use this as one of several points of research.

I hate the term Rockstar. Its overused and I'm part of the problem. Rockstar implies that you are the best in your area of expertise, among the entire Salesforce ecosystem. I mean, come on, if everyone is a Rockstar then no one is. By definition, yes, there is A Rockstar out there. There has to be someone that is, indeed, "the best". But you don't need that person and here's why:

  1. They are super expensive and would only produce marginally better products than, let's say, the Rockstar Understudy
  2. Note the title of this blog is "Your Rockstar" not "A Rockstar" - Talent should be tailored as much as possible to your specific company and situation.

So, James, you ask with smitten how do I find "My Rockstar" then?

First, we must talk about Defining Your Need. I've made several mistakes over the years which have honed my skill set in defining what type of talent is needed.

Most Frequent Task

In this category, you define what you'll be doing most frequently and then building a list of tasks that are likely to be the day-to-day tasks done most of the time. Then, match these tasks with skill sets needed. Are you writing and/or reviewing Apex code? Then you need development skill sets. Reviewing business requirements and generating customer stories? You need more business Analyst skills then. Here's an actual example exercise I went through for one of our technical roles. This helped me realize that I didn't need a Salesforce Admin skill set but rather more of a Developer/Business Analyst skill set.

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Soft Skills

I can't say enough about soft skills. I'll expand this out to ancillary skills as well. Soft skills are skills that are hard to define with things like coding tests and certifications. Being able to work well within teams and communicate clearly to customers and internal resources are almost always needed. But there are several soft skills which you know you need and should always test. Often times these are honed from professional experience.

I'll expand on ancillary skill sets for a moment. You may be an in a situation where you can't find everything you want in candidates or are priced out of that kind of candidates. In that situation, you can look at ancillary skill sets to round out your skill set requirements. For example, if you need Apex/Visualforce experience but found a good candidate with Salesforce Admin experience and some JavaScript and HTML experience but no Apex/Visualforce experience. You can take a risk and this candidate and leverage Trailhead to help them learn the Salesforce side of things. If candidates have coding experience in similar languages or even Admin experience in similar CRM's then learning the Salesforce side of things is exponentially easier.

Gut Check

There's really no replacement for your gut feeling on candidates. Will they fit in with your company culture? Are they committed to your companies mission? Are they looking for the type of role you're looking for or are they settling? These are important questions you need to ask yourself and be honest about your responses. In the end, its better for you and better for the candidate to be open and honest up front.