Salesforce professionals with a wide range of technical and soft skills can be difficult to find. Often times these are the only things that we look at when hiring an employee or contractor resource. But technical acumen and soft skills aren’t the only thing I look at when hiring a Salesforce professional. That’s certainly not to say those attributes aren’t important, because they are. They just simply won’t be the focus of this post.
Whether you are hiring a Consultant, Administrator, Developer, Business Analyst, etc. you can’t just look at Technical ability and soft skills. There are three areas that I also evaluate during the hiring process that are outside of technical ability which I feel gives me a better sense of whether the hire will be successful or not.
Cultural fit questions are key to a good hire. I work at a startup so things change quickly and that’s part of our culture. When interviewing a candidate, I need to make sure that they prove to me that they adapt to change quickly and thrive in an unstructured environment. Maybe your organization is very structured and some people don’t work well in those environments. If you only restrict yourself to skill based questions you miss out on seeing if this person will “fit” into your organization.
Cultural Fit isn’t just your responsibility but it’s also the candidates. Your candidate should be asking you questions about what it’s like to work at your organization and what the culture looks like. If they don’t maybe it’s not that important to them. But do you really want someone on your team that doesn’t care about your organizations culture?
I always ask candidates when was the last time they learned something new within the Salesforce ecosystem. Especially for the more senior candidates. As technology continues to expand those that don’t take it upon themselves to self-improve will be left behind. I want people on my team that value life-long learning and understand that you’re never done learning.
Sure, you might have gotten your Salesforce Developer certification back in 2008 but do you know anything about Wave Analytics? What’s the last Trailhead badge you earned? Have you attended any Salesforce training webinars recently?
In the Salesforce ecosystem we have so many opportunities to learn and continue to learn that we all should be taking advantage of those resources. The level of commitment to self-improvement a candidate shows is a strong indicator of future learning potential within your organization.
Creativity and Critical Thinking
Creativity is sometimes hard to gauge as is Critical Thinking. I generally approach this area of evaluation by asking a scenario based question and ask the candidate to walk me through their thought process. I generally hire Salesforce Technical resources that will be troubleshooting technical issues on the Force.com platform. To test this specific position, I give the candidate a scenario where a problem is presented and there are many potential root causes. This allows me to see not only what the candidate knows technically but also how they evaluate the problem and think through it.
For example, I often present candidates with this sort of question: My Visualforce page I just created isn’t visible on my community… Walk me through how you would find the root cause of this issue.
This is a good scenario because the question is specific and there are multiple sources for an answer as well as multiple ways to get to those answers.
As you hire Salesforce resources consider adding in questions that evaluate Cultural Fit, Life-long Learning, and Creativity/Critical Thinking instead of just technical skills. If you do you will likely have a better hiring outcome because you are doing a much more well-rounded evaluation.
About the author:
James Goerke has been working with Salesforce since 2008 and has a deep breadth of industry and Salesforce experience across all of the platform features. He has a passion for customer experience and delivering customer wow at every interaction. James currently runs a small Global Support team for Vlocity Inc. and its a blast! He also volunteers his time with the Mentorship Program on the Salesforce Success Community and with the Red Cross.