Commodity: In economics, where the market treats the good or service as equivalent or to be perceived with no differentiation.
Goods: Cotton, cattle, wheat
Services (which I realize services may not be really considered a commodity): Gas station, dry-cleaners, car wash
In reading a recent article involving a senior level Salesforce professional, he mentioned he felt that the role of a Salesforce Administrator may eventually become a commodity.
Therefore, I wanted to do a little analysis on how the market is doing using LinkedIn as the primary source of data.
In searching for the title of Salesforce Administrator in the U.S. there are 2,305 jobs currently posted over the last 30 days, with each one having on average of 40 applicants, some many more, some many less based on company, city, job description, etc.
Then I wanted to see how many Salesforce Administrators are in the total candidate pool (irrespective of looking for new opportunities), that number tallies 47,523 with ~10% of those looking for new opportunities (4,724).
Therefore, approximately 2 candidates are available for every 1 job that’s currently posted (very high-level analysis, all things being equal).
Doing a similar analysis for Salesforce Developer openings, there’s 5,453 available positions, with 8,806 total developers in the candidate pool and 10% of those looking for new opportunities (899), so for every developer looking, they have about 6 possible jobs available to them.
Obviously, there’s some variables to this analysis regarding US Citizens, H1-B contractors, experience levels, permanent vs contract, overlap with multiple staffing companies posting the same position, etc. but even with a +- 10% variance, hopefully the numbers are telling.
But, this article is not about comparing Devs to Admins but rather it’s about differentiating yourself in the Admin space to avoid a “commodity” type situation where you don’t want to be.
Therefore, as your Salesforce career continues to evolve, please start (or continue) asking yourself these types of questions:
- Can the work I’m currently doing be either outsourced or given to someone at a lower salary and experience level or even combined into another existing position? Or asked a different way, will the company I’m working for severely feel the impact of losing me?
- Am I doing more than just basic administrative tasks day to day and instead building innovative solutions that take significant time, thought and industry/product knowledge to complete?
- Do I know if my stakeholders are getting the value that Salesforce offers and if not, what can I do to help influence that?
- Am I challenging what is being asked of me in a professional manner while offering creative suggestions or ideas to make things better for the company and end users?
- Can I be more proactive and engaging with our end users to find out what they need and want rather than waiting for them to come to me?
- Am I willing to tip my toe in uncharted territory to expand my experience level by taking on new projects, leadership opportunities, or possibly getting more involved with custom coding and integration?
- Do I stay up to date with the seasonal release notes and/or 3rd party applications by working on prototyping ideas to help my company’s business operations in driving better ways of working?
- Do I engage with others by teaching, sharing ideas, collaborating and paying it forward to those less experienced then me?
- Am I thought of as the 1st person to turn to across various lines of business as they know that I can get the job done by meeting or exceeding their expectations while not having to ask multiple times for an update by keeping them informed of my progress along the way?
- Am I in tune with the strategic direction and road-map of where the company and my department is going and can I lead the way to help contribute to that success?
If you have doubts around any of these, maybe it’s best to ask those in your organization what they think or even have them provide suggestions that they would like to see you take initiative on.
I realize there might be risk in hearing what you might not want to hear, but the intent is to drive your career forward and continue to find out strategic opportunities to do so.
Maybe these types of questions are already on your annual/quarterly reviews and goals you strive for every day.
The key is for you and the value you have to offer to continue to stay in short supply and high demand to prevent you from falling into a commodity driven Salesforce talent market.
Hopefully, these ideas help you in doing so.