Businesses are embracing Salesforce.com in a big way. However, something may be preventing those businesses from giving the company and its customer success platform an even tighter hug – the lack of talent. Quite simply, it’s becoming harder and harder to find the technical and specialized skills that companies need to make Salesforce operate to its full potential, or to capitalize on some of the new exciting aspects of the platform.
In North America, Salesforce Developer jobs outpace available talent by more than 4:1. Technical Architect jobs outpace available talent by an astounding 10:1, and demand for these qualified professionals is only increasing. It can already be time-consuming, costly and overwhelming to find the right people for the right job when you need them, and as Salesforce continues its double digit revenue growth and acquisition pace, it’s not going to get any easier.
Companies have a few different options when it comes to sourcing talent. If a company is looking for a full-time hire, it can turn to one of the many recruiters out there. If it’s looking to contract full or part-time resources, there are thousands of consultancies or systems integrators to choose from. For those willing to put in the time, a company can brave the freelance market. There are pros and cons to each of one of these approaches, which I covered in this recent blog, but none is perfect.
There is another talent model emerging that could be the answer for many companies looking to close the talent gap. The Salesforce talent broker.
Brokerages aren’t a new concept. In fact, they’ve been around since the 1700s, helping facilitate financial transactions and reducing the risk and complexity of investing. These early brokers lowered the barrier of entry to investing for a wider group of people who might not otherwise have the time, knowledge, or means to pursue those investment opportunities. Brokers also provided businesses with a new way to reach new capital and a wider swath of customers.
Four centuries later in the new digital world, businesses are turning to talent brokers for the same reasons. A broker can significantly reduce the time and complexity it takes to find, vet, and manage the talent that many businesses need to fill skills and capacity gaps, especially those with urgent needs. For those supplying those in-demand resources, a broker can lower the barrier of entry to getting into that market and increase their market reach.
This may sound eerily familiar to a recruiting firm model, however, a broker is more than just a matchmaker. Talent brokers also offer the tools, support, and guidance that talent seekers and talent providers need in today’s growing and changing business environment.
Here are a few ways a broker can make life easier for those seeking or providing Salesforce talent:
- Access to a larger network of buyers and sellers: Brokers put a lot of work into finding Salesforce customers who need talent so talent suppliers don’t have to. Salesforce may have more than 150,000 customers, but finding them, educating them, and getting them through a sales process takes more time and energy than many small service providers or freelancers are willing to give. Talent brokers also provide access to a curated community of talent that might be difficult for customers to reach and vet without help. There are more than 1,000 consulting partners in the Salesforce ecosystem, 700+ of them with fewer than 10 employees. Add the thousands of Salesforce freelancers out there and you have to wonder if the talent gap is more a matter of access than a supply shortage.
- A customized solution for a specific need: A business’ Salesforce needs are as diverse as an individual’s investment profile, and just as a broker can help find a customized investment opportunity so too can they help customers find an answer for their unique talent needs. For example, some companies with a dedicated internal Salesforce team might just need a few hours of an experienced architect to guide a long-term roadmap, or a CPQ specialist for an upcoming implementation. Other companies might need an entire team of analysts, developers and integration specialists for a large scale implementation, or just some part-time admin help. Talent suppliers have different needs and objectives as well. While some freelancers or firms might be looking for full time work, others could just be looking for a few hours to fill in the gaps.
- Better rates: Brokers are also often able to negotiate better rates for customers and suppliers than they may have gotten on their own. Unlike the larger Salesforce service providers, brokers don’t have the rising costs of hiring, housing, and retaining an in-demand workforce. They merely have to tap into it, which means fewer overhead costs are passed on to customers. Because brokers aren’t locked into supporting a full-time workforce, they are also less likely to lock customers into long-term contracts. Brokers can assist talent suppliers too in establishing the right rates since they are entrenched in the talent market and know what rates are competitive, especially for specialized and in-demand skills.
- Shared risk: Unlike traditional recruiters or freelancer marketplaces, which can be more transactional in nature, a good broker will share the risk with their customers and suppliers. They won’t just make a connection, take their cut, and leave. Instead, they will stay engaged throughout the relationship, checking in to make sure both parties’ needs are being met, that bills are being paid, and if things go off track, they are there to fix it.
- Tools to manage programs and relationships: E*Trade changed the game for financial brokerages when it introduced technology that individuals could use to manage their investments in real-time. The best talent brokerages have a similar focus on technology, giving their customers and suppliers tools to better manage programs and relationships. For example, our proprietary 10K Connect platform gives all parties involved transparency and real-time updates into what work needs to be done, when it will be done, who is doing the work, and how long it takes. It also provides automated tools to help our experts manage the full lifecycle of their Salesforce work, and clients to can see everything going on with their account.
- Guidance and best practices: A good broker should be a valued partner to both customers and suppliers, and that means really understanding a company or person’s unique needs. Then providing them with guidance to achieve their objectives. A good broker helps customers understand the roles and skills they need, and how teams, projects and programs should be structured for the best chance of success.
These are just a few of the benefits that a Salesforce talent broker like 10K Advisors can offer. A talent broker won’t replace the need for recruiters or consulting firms anytime soon, just as a financial broker doesn’t replace the need for investment firms or banks. However it is a great alternative for customers who have bought into the Salesforce vision but who are short on the skills or capacity to bring it to life, or for those who want to take advantage of the rapidly growing gig economy in a more substantial way.
If you are curious about how a broker can help with your particular needs, just ask. You can contact us here or DM me on Twitter at @hammnick.