Salesforce Technical Recruiting Market – Unqualified Applicants

As the demand for the Salesforce technical developer skillset continues, so does the number of nuances in the recruiting business that’s associated with it. If you’re new to the situation, I wanted to share some ideas of what I’m challenged with. (Note: this primarily applies to contract H1-B positions).

Problem #2 – Unqualified Applicants (Please see my other article Problem #1 – Resume Factories)

After spending countless hours filtering through the volumes of Salesforce Developer resumes to find a candidate that I believe has the technical skill set, the interview process gets interesting. The process I take for a Salesforce Developer is much different than screening for any other type of position primarily because the time it takes to find and adequately screen a qualified applicant. 

Some may question this approach or find it can be intimidating as a candidate, and I try to do it in a professional and friendly way, but since the market is such a mess, I need to be as effective as possible during the process.

I find it’s best practice to not spend a lot of time asking about the candidates Salesforce career progression but rather just spending a few minutes asking about the last project they worked on and then diving deeper into a few of the bullet points that they have outlined which helped them stand out from other candidates (see my previous post on “Resume Factories” for those examples). 

If the applicant can speak to those specific technical development tasks in detail, then the next step is to start asking scenario based technical solutions (if I had a requirement of X, how would I solve it) or examples of when one solution would be used versus another and why (configuration versus customization). From that point, I jump into some of the technical text book Q&A around areas of customization, key development concepts, best practices, error handling, etc.

Usually within the 1st 5 to 10 minutes, I’ll understand if the developer has the experience they state they have, but when the conversation goes completely off the rails which it often does, I ask myself:

How did this candidate work at the companies they stated in their resume? Most are Global 1000 companies and I imagine the company’s internal technical team went through the same (most likely more) technical screening process as I did. 

1.      Maybe, the candidate worked where they said they worked, but their role was completely different than what their resume stated (Admin versus Developer, for example).

One way to help alleviate this is asking for references of past employers which then I’ve seen leads to receiving fake names, other consultants they worked beside and not direct managers, or Gmail email addresses of someone portraying to be their manager. Ugh!

2.      Since Salesforce has many technical concepts, a candidate often tries to answer a question in a vague and indirect way to a recruiter while touching on some of the Salesforce terminology and buzzwords with the hopes that it’s enough to get the candidate into the next round. We often call this approach of rambling “cooking the answers”.

“Google is your friend” and as crazy as this sounds, I’ve run into situations where the candidate either puts me on mute (or sometimes doesn’t) and will Google the answers during the interview process in real time. (Laughing to myself as I write this due to the how asinine this is.)

The reality of the market has made it clear to me that this process is strictly a numbers game from an applicant/sourcing point of view. X number of applicants equals Y number of 1st round interviews which equals Z number of 2nd round interviews and so on. Since so much time and energy is spent on the qualification side, I’m not sure how internal HR/Talent Acquisition departments and other external recruiting agencies are navigating through the masses.   

Recommendation for candidates:

Most is obvious. Do not do any of the above. If you don’t know an answer to a question, it’s best to say you’re not sure or to ask for more clarity. I don’t expect a candidate to know the answer to every technical concept discussed during the interview, but when the answer provided is a guess or “cooked”, your validity of an applicant quickly goes downhill. 

When references are requested, please provide accurate information, as I do call and/or email these.

Please reach out to me if you would like further guidance.

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