3 Myths about Remote Working in the Salesforce Ecosystem
In this post, I will uncover the state of remote working in the Salesforce Ecosystem and explain why the 3 common objections to hiring remote workers I hear most often, are in fact, not true.
Everyone is talking about remote jobs. It is highly beneficial for companies: cost reduction, happier employees, better productivity, and so on.
Remote work is a hot trend, but what is the reality like for experts working in Salesforce, an ecosystem-based entirely around a cloud-based solution?
Over the last 8 months, I experienced this myself – how hard it can be to get a remote job, freelance contract or an internship?
About a year ago, I moved with my family from Paris to Malta. I wanted to have a little bit more time to build my entrepreneurial projects and work remotely. France is a big Salesforce market and Salesforce experts are extremely in-demand there. I used to have a lot of propositions for freelance or employee contracts, in fact, I had so many offers that I assured myself that getting a remote job wouldn’t be such a big deal. Since you have the skills, experience, references, it should be easy, right? But very soon after, I realised that the remote market is completely different from on-site because you are in competition with the entire world.
What Happens Inside the Salesforce Remote Job Market?
Here are two factors I believe have shaped the remote job market for Salesforce experts.
First of all, the majority of remote positions are based in the USA. As you can imagine, American companies will prioritise workers based in the USA. In 90% of cases the job description indicates that the position is for the USA-based candidates only. The primary reason for that is a practical one, related to time-zone; it is much more difficult for the company to work with someone 6 or 10 hours away, than someone who is situated in the same time-zone.
Personally, I applied to Salesforce remote positions for myself and I also sent Partnership Propositions to a lot of consulting companies in the USA, but without much luck.
Ten days ago I started sending messages to Salesforce managers, HR, people working in consulting companies, anyone I could find on LinkedIn related some way or another to Salesforce. I was asking them about paid or non-paid (volunteer) remote internships for students of my online school. Despite the real value we’re offering (trained students who record a short video of their proposal for your project), the word “Remote” is still holding back companies. Quite often, you get the response: Remote? No, thank you.
Why? Now we come to the other reason: trust. Here are 3 myths I have heard from different types of companies while doing my research.
Myth 1: We need Juniors onsite
“We need people on-site because they are juniors and they won’t be able to work alone”.
Well, it is true they are juniors, but why do you think they won’t be able to work alone? I remember my first project very well. When I started to work on the Salesforce platform, I was in the office, but just because I was there physically made no real difference to the level of help my colleagues could give me; because they had their own work to do, they answered my questions as much as they could, and I honestly don’t see how it would have been any different had I been working remotely.
If you have a school with a personal senior mentor who supports the student when they are in need to help, why be afraid of remote since it is really a win-win partnership?
Myth 2: We trust people onsite
“We need people on-site because we are not sure that they actually work at home”.
Without someone watching to keep them accountable, some employers think that standards and work ethic will slip. Well, that is easy to check.
Every step that you do on Salesforce has a visible result. Dashboard configuration, validation or workflow rule. You don’t manage your project without knowing which task your intern or freelancer completes, and which deadline they have for this task, do you?
If you are still in the old project management methods this is a great time to change and start using a result-oriented methodology. This means that remote workers have to work towards goals with deadlines (mini sprints), so it is easy to follow what has been completed. You won’t need to control remote workers, so long as they deliver the work.
This is what we do with our students; you provide a task and our students complete the task remotely. Ask for results, and stop worrying.
Myth 3: We need people onsite for collaboration
“We need people on-site because they have to work closely with users”
It is true that a Salesforce Admin, for example, has to work with users almost on a daily basis – but, it is not true that they have to be in the office to complete this work successfully.
Last year, I worked as a freelancer in a big American company with an office in Paris. In the beginning, I was recruited exactly for this reason “work closely with users in order to provide them support”, but in one year I met users probably two or three times for workshops. The entire work for support was achieved through a ticketing system, and sometimes I called them to better understand their requirements. Later, I completed a Salesforce audit for the same company, and my managers were based in the UK and USA. I’ve never seen them, but still, I was asked to come into the office every day. Why? Because it is better to see the person here, working. However, the side effect is that it’s demotivating that people don’t trust you.
Since January 2019, I probably received about 30-40 job offers, the majority from recruiting companies, and some as a result of applying myself. I barely say the word “Remote” and the conversation stops. So, it is not only about juniors, it works on the same way for experienced experts as well.
We work in an ecosystem-based around a cloud solution, which means that with internet access, remote positions are now a real possibility, especially when it comes to attracting great talent. While companies are chasing to attract the best talent, the best way to do it is to propose flexible and meaningful jobs. However, without fluid communication process and planning on both sides, you may still have some frustrations.
This article covered the remote job market for Salesforce experts, as well as difficulties which can face a candidate when companies avoid hiring remotely, even if remote work is feasible.