Salesforce Staffing: Hiring vs. Outsourcing
If you’ve found your way here, odds are you are a business or technology leader who is already sold on using Salesforce to be a central part of your business operations and technical architecture. Now, you have to make a decision about how to hit the ground running so that you can reap the most business value from your decision to use Salesforce.
Depending on your use cases for Salesforce and the size of your team, there are a couple of different options that may work for you in terms of staffing up to accomplish the necessary work. It is not uncommon to find that the best option for you is actually a mixture of the options we’ll go through below.
Internally hiring is often a comfortable idea, because it is probably how most of the rest of your company works in areas like marketing, sales, and HR. This can be a great decision if you deeply value the structure of working with the same people in the longer-term and are willing to give up some flexibility to do so.
There are two common challenges with hiring though: speed and talent. Hiring takes a long time, period. According to Harvard Business Review studies, it typically takes 8 months for a new employee to reach their expected level of productivity (after the time it takes to hire!). The top Salesforce admin and engineering talent have a lot of choices, making recruiting and retention difficult and hiring costs significant for top talent. These challenges can be overcome to build a core team internally with Salesforce expertise over time, but it is difficult to move at the speed you want exclusively by hiring internally.
Consulting firms can deliver a full team with great track records of Salesforce implementations to come in and solve your business needs. These projects tend to be well documented, well staffed, and of course expensive to the client. They also take time to get started, between negotiating the contract, introducing the consulting team to your business, and kicking it off.
One meaningful additional value of using a consulting firm is the clear process and project management. The best consulting firms have best practices for everything from kicking off a new project to training the users at the end of an implementation. As a business leader when you’re getting a contract with a consulting firm in place, be sure that there are clear milestones along the way and that payment is attached to truly meeting those milestones that help your business. This ensures alignment throughout the lifetime of a relationship with a consulting firm.
Due to the significant cost of working with a consulting firm, it becomes really important to define the beginning and end of the consulting. It’s common to have the implementation done by a consulting firm and then have the maintenance and support work handed back to your internal team, in this case be sure your team gets up-to-speed before the contract ends so they are ready to take over. In this way, a combination of internal hiring and consulting can get your business where it needs to go if managed carefully.
Pinkus Partners falls into a somewhat more specialized and niche category, what we call Specialized Staffing for Salesforce talent. We find that specialized staffing is the most flexible and efficient way to augment either (or both) of the above two options. It is much faster and lower commitment than either hiring internally or committing to a major engagement with a consulting firm, so can be used on its own or to easily fill out the skillsets you are having difficulty finding other ways.
In the case of using specialized staffing, you can tell a company like ours exactly the talent you want (no more, no less) and we will connect you with folks that have already been vetted for those skills and experience with similar projects. It is generally more affordable than retaining an entire consulting team, particularly if the project is smaller or ongoing. Given the wars for top talent in technology in general, and Salesforce talent specifically, it can be nice to simply have specialized staffing contracts in place without having to worry about the recruiting and retention of hiring internally.
Let us know if you would like to connect with Pinkus Partners to discuss the needs of your business and how we can help.