You Probably Don’t Need to Hire a Full Time Salesforce Developer

“We’re just about to implement Salesforce, we are looking for a Developer.”

When you work in a Salesforce Talent Search firm, you hear it all the time. We hear it so much that it inspired me to write this article. If you are new-ish to Salesforce and have found yourself asking for a Developer, HOLD TIGHT. I think I can save you a lot of time, pain, and money, AND help you find the people you actually need.

Take it from someone who has been in your exact position before. Don’t make the same mistakes I did.

Why Do You Think You Need a Salesforce Developer?

Let’s start by understanding why most people think they need a SFDC Dev. This is an easy question to work through and comes down to three things:

  1. I’ve got a lot of work to do with my Salesforce instance.” A LOT OF WORK. Usually this is something we see when smaller, younger, or non-profit organizations are in the early days of deploying Salesforce, although certainly I’ve seen a pretty wide array of companies. It feels like there is a ton to do (hint: in the right hands, there isn’t that much work and you probably don’t need a high-priced developer for the majority of it).
  2. I have a limited Salesforce budget.” When a new instance is being implemented at smaller organizations, they usually don’t have the budget for a big support staff. Maybe you figure that getting one highly qualified, and moderately more expensive employee is better than two medium level team-members? It’s a common misconception, don’t worry.
  3. Developers are the only people that can build stuff.” At the beginning, it feels like there is a lot to build. Processes and connections that you need (Salesforce folks call these workflows and relationships) and when you are building stuff, a Developer is what you need right? Not quite – not in Salesforce. What you really need is a lot of configuration that’s the job for an Administrator.

Why Don’t I Need a Salesforce Developer?

When you’re new to the Salesforce world it hasn’t hit you yet how easy it is to manage a Salesforce instance. Salesforce Administrators can, and often do, build the core features and customizations you need from a CRM. Salesforce has made building so easy that large value changes are available to many who don’t ever touch code.

Meanwhile, Salesforce Developers tend to get bored when there is nothing left to build. They will get bored after a few months when building morphs into maintenance and upkeep. Bored employees quickly turn into bad employees. It’s not their fault; they’re just overqualified for what you need beyond the initial 3 months.

What Do You Really Need?

First, hire an Administrator to be the CRM Product Owner. If you’re really strapped for cash, you can find part-time Administrators who can manage your instance for just a few hours a week. We recommend hiring someone with three or more years of experience for a new instance.

Then, work with your new Administrator to hire a Developer on a contract basis. Usually three to four months is about right. There is no need to hire someone permanently when you only need them for a few months. After the contract is up, they get to move onto the next new build project and your Administrator can stick around to make sure stuff moves smoothly.

New Salesforce warriors, heed my advice and you’ll do great: hire a good Administrator to take ownership of your CRM and then a Developer for a 8-12 week contract or until a clear need is apparent – or not – for a full time Developer. It’ll be cheaper, you’ll get more done, and won’t have to worry about turnover.

The Principals at TwentyPine know who you need and when you need them; full-time, part-time, contract, and everything in between.

NOTE: The opinion above doesn’t apply if you work at an ISV or a Consulting Partner, where Developers can build and move to a new project pretty quickly. Only Salesforce Customers should be heeding this advice.