Hiring vs. Training: SFDC Admins & Force.com Developers

In a tight market for Salesforce (SFDC) talent, many companies are asking: “Should I hire an experienced professional or train a current staff member?”

Offering a career path to existing employees can be a valuable asset. At the same time, it is critical we preserve and maximize our investment in SFDC. How do we reconcile? While customers are highly encouraged to have a minimum of one SFDC professional who possesses prior real-world experience, following are some additional factors to consider:

  • SIZE Larger SFDC instances typically translate to more complex processes and customizations.  Do you have the bandwidth to train or do you need someone to make an immediate impact?
  • USER BASE The variety of business groups using SFDC dictates complexity. It is key to have an SFDC “choreographer” who understands the impact of enhancement requests to all users and has the ability to make critical recommendations.
  • EXISTING STAFF Do you already have a seasoned SFDC Admin or Developer who has the ability AND time to mentor an internal employee? If so, and you can wait for the employee to ramp, this may be an option. You may wish to consider hiring a contractor who can contribute immediately while your employee is training.
  • SFDC STATUS Is your SFDC instance running like a well-oiled machine? Are you brand new or in need of an optimization? Established SFDC customers boasting optimal performance, adoption, and an existing “Lead SFDC Admin”, may be in a position to promote from within.
  • FUTURE PLANS Will business processes be changing significantly? Is an acquisition or merger on the horizon? If so, it will be critical to have an Admin/Developer with real-world hands-on experience as part of your team- ideally with data migration expertise.
  • EXECUTIVE ADOPTION Are executives leveraging SFDC analytics? Do they need new reports/dashboards on a regular basis? Execs are looking for good data and they want it yesterday. If you do not have a seasoned Admin, you may opt for hiring.

​In summary, several factors dictate whether it makes sense to hire a seasoned professional or to train from within.  If you have existing SFDC expertise on staff and can afford the time to train, promoting from within can be a great morale booster. With that said, it is critical to have at minimum, one seasoned Admin or Developer with real-world experience who fully understands SFDC limitations, impact and capabilities.

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