Just as the stock market bounces back to all-time highs after the Coronavirus pandemic gripped the global economy in early 2020, we are now seeing the same thing with Salesforce job trends.
During 2020, a lot of Salesforce projects were put on hold, at least until there was some light at the end of the tunnel. But throughout 2021, businesses have been doubling down on cloud technology, and Salesforce is no exception. This has brought us right back to the crazy Salesforce job market we’re all familiar with.
Over the past month, I’ve been speaking with a variety of thought leaders around the world to get their take on how they see Salesforce job trends developing in 2022 and beyond…
It seems there has always been a skills shortage in the Salesforce ecosystem. Anyone attempting to hire in recent years will have realized that finding people with the right skills is no easy feat.
Salesforce has pioneered platforms such as Trailhead, initiatives such as Certification Days, and training programs such as the Talent Alliance – all to bring new professionals into the ecosystem. Whilst these have been extremely successful, nothing could prepare the Salesforce job market for the enormous investment in cloud technology from businesses in 2021.
The skills shortage is still significant, and businesses are finding it harder than ever to hire Salesforce talent. On the one hand, this is fantastic news for candidates, who can cherry pick the organizations they work for (along with a decent jump in salary). On the other hand, this past year has been a real struggle for employers. A change of tact is needed on ‘how to hire’.
Entry Level Programs
As the skills shortage has existed for as long as I can remember, it’s always a good idea to explore a potential career in Salesforce. You could argue that the opportunity has never been greater than it is in 2022. So there’s no better time to start your career…
With the natural combination of the skills shortage and a substantial increase in salaries, employers are looking for more cost-effective ways to build up their own talent.
“I see this being an opportune time to start your career in the Salesforce ecosystem. Not only does the industry continue to grow, but the inflation of salaries of those currently in the ecosystem has resulted in a lot of companies now focusing on hiring brand new talent who are looking for an entry-level role, using schemes such as the Salesforce Pathfinder Program.” – Sarah Dallimore, COO, Pracedo
Whilst there are a few different programs similar to Pathfinder that are run by Salesforce, there has also been a rise in the number of external training partners helping entry-level Salesforce professionals.
These training programs aim to take people from outside the world of Salesforce and ensure they are well-positioned to land an entry-level job, having upskilled with a mixture of technical and softer skills.
“In North America, we see starting salaries from $65,000 to $90,000 for entry-level jobs with the average being $72,000. However, we have seen more consistent outlier high offers, with 7% of members receiving offers above $90,000.” – Bradley Rice, Talent Stacker
This goes to show that employers are willing to pay fairly high starting salaries for professionals that have gone through a training program such as Talent Stacker.
For existing Salesforce professionals, the key to levelling up your career is specialization. Whilst this wasn’t too relevant five or six years ago, the Salesforce ecosystem has expanded so much in recent years. It’s now commonplace to be an expert at Sales Cloud or Lightning, but not so much Financial Services Cloud or Field Service Lightning.
“The impact of Covid on the market has seen companies turn to technology even more in order to provide an engaging and hyper-personalised experience for their customers. This has seen the increasing popularity of products such as Marketing Cloud, Experience Cloud, CPQ and Tableau. Demonstrating your knowledge/skills in these areas will help you stand out from the crowd. – Sarah Dallimore, COO, Pracedo
For an overview of the products that are currently most in demand, check out page 18 of the Mason Frank Salary Guide, which details the percentage of Salesforce professionals proficient with each product.
Another trend we have seen skyrocket in 2021, is the rise of Salesforce DevOps. Whilst certain apps (such as Gearset, Copado, and AutoRABIT) have been around for years, Covid has further accelerated the need for DevOps, especially when development teams are working remotely.
Vernon Keenan from SalesforceDevops.Net believes that there is a big opportunity in this space – not only for those working at DevOps providers, but also for end users and consultancies that implement DevOps best practices, much like a Salesforce implementation.
“I believe that more senior Salesforce DevOps opportunities will tend to reside with consultancies and system integrators. These firms often set up processes and then move on to the next company. I also believe there will be a ton of opportunities for more junior DevOps specialists working at Salesforce end-users using Copado, AutoRABIT, Flosum, Gearset, and Blue Canvas.” – Vernon Keenan, Salesforce DevOps
It’s no secret that Sales jobs in the Salesforce ecosystem are paid even more than some of the most senior Salesforce specialists. In our list of highest paying Salesforce jobs, a VP of Sales will make even more on their base salary (not taking commission into account) than a Technical Architect on $174,000.
Read more: Top 10 Highest Paying Salesforce Jobs
I can also speak from first-hand experience as to how hard it is finding experienced Salesforce sales professionals. As well as having impeccable sales acumen, you need to be familiar with Salesforce, its products, and the ecosystem as a whole.
In my chat with Mike, he pointed out that during the pandemic, pressure increased on demand generation leaders to search for new, digital lead sources that weren’t just events. Alliances roles are a logical choice for this, to support building out relationships with Salesforce themselves, as well as other AppExchange companies, and Salesforce consultancies.
“These roles in the states will have a starting salary of low six figures but will track much higher with experience. If I were a more junior AE, SE, or SDR at a Salesforce ISV, I would be raising my hand to work on some of these efforts to get experience and carve out a role all to myself.” – Mike David, GTM Guides
Mike suggests that anyone who is interested in exploring a career in Alliances should check out the Association for Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) – they have a great book on the topic.
By now I’m sure you’ve heard the news that Flow is the future. Workflow Rules and Process Builders are officially being retired, in favor of the most powerful declarative automation tool.
Whilst most agree that Flow is fantastic, allowing you to do almost anything a Developer can with Apex, there is a fairly steep learning curve. This provides an opportunity for Admins to stand out from the crowd, potentially specializing in a new type of role. Bradley Rice sees this as a crossroads for Admins; they can either go down the route of becoming more specialized with Flow, or remain in a truly administrative role.
“I believe in 2022 there will continue to be a focus on Flow automation and we will see a more mainstream acceptance of a new role likely defined as a Declarative Developer.” – Bradley Rice, Talent Stacker
Salesforce has doubled down on Declarative tools, primarily to allow businesses to innovate at even faster speeds than before. It may take an expensive Developer a whole day to create a complex automation using Apex, but this time could be halved with a Declarative Developer.
The last trend to cover for 2022 is the rise of the freelancer, or independent consultant. There are a couple of forces at play here which have made freelancing a more viable way of life for a lot of Salesforce professionals, as well as opening up the market.
Firstly, with salaries on the up, it’s becoming more expensive than ever to hire a Salesforce Admin or consultancy to run your Org. Erick Mahle of Ohanaly, a platform for Salesforce freelancers, pointed out the following…
“Average Salary research shows that in the United States, a Salesforce Administrator will make between $97,000 – $122,000 a year. Similarly, consulting companies are charging hourly rates well north of $200/hr and requiring a large number of hours with their managed services packages.” – Erick Mahle, Ohanaly
Read more: Average Salesforce Salaries 2021
Sarah Dallimore of Pracedo also points out that we are going through “The Great Resignation”. Candidates are moving jobs in pursuit of an increased salary and favorable benefits, such as the remote working they became accustomed to during the pandemic.
“For smaller businesses, it will be unlikely that they will have any form of contingency plan in place should key employees leave and therefore it could take quite some time to find a suitable replacement. As such, I see a growing need in 2022 for short-term temporary solutions to bridge the gap in the form of freelancers or independent consultants.” – Sarah Dallimore, COO, Pracedo
Whilst there has always been a need for freelancers, previously mentioned factors may be creating a much bigger market for them going forward. This provides a fantastic opportunity for those who want to make the leap and work for themselves.
Alongside the possibility of working for yourself, freelancing comes with other benefits. In a LinkedIn poll carried out by Ohanaly, 35% of respondents mentioned that the ability to decide when they work has become a new priority, while another 35% mentioned that the ability to decide where they can work from is increasingly important.
It’s hard to compare these statistics to a time before the pandemic, but I think it’s safe to say that attitudes to work have changed, and people are now realizing that a standard 9-5 job in an office isn’t the only path forward.
If you are interested in starting your own Salesforce business but are put off by the risk involved, Nick Hamm from 10K believes there’s never been a safer bet. Last year, 10K’s annual Salesforce Talent Ecosystem Report found that global Salesforce talent demand has skyrocketed – up 364% since 2020.
“This is game-changing news for Salesforce experts of every kind. Talent demand not only bounced back from a tumultuous and uncertain 2020 but has also far exceeded pre-pandemic levels. Customers are all in on digital transformation and there are virtually endless opportunities for Salesforce experts to evolve their careers to meet the rising demand for their skills. The ecosystem’s future is bright, and Salesforce experts can feel confident in taking the road to entrepreneurship.” – Nick Hamm, 10K
Read more: Become an Independent Salesforce Consultant
Salesforce job trends are always an interesting topic. If there’s one thing I have personally taken away from these conversations, it’s that the opportunity has never been greater for Salesforce professionals in general. Whether you are just starting out your career, or you’re five years in and looking for the next big thing to focus on, there really is an opportunity for everyone.
But 2022 could also be the year you completely pivot your career and lifestyle. Salesforce DevOps, for example, whilst still in the Salesforce ecosystem, could challenge you in a completely new niche. Or maybe you’ll take charge of your life and become your own boss by freelancing. The Salesforce ecosystem is your oyster!