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Tips to Hire & Retain the Best SFMC Talent

5 Tips to Hire and Retain the Top Salesforce Marketing Cloud Talent

5 proven tips to hire and retain the best SFMC talent for your email marketing team ...

In 2017, IDC predicted that the “Salesforce economy” would create 3.3 million new jobs by 2022. More recently, in 2021, IDC scaled up its forecast to 9.3 million jobs by 2026. That’s 9.3 million jobs that Salesforce and its ecosystem of partners will create in the next four years. A majority of these jobs will require specific digital and occupational skills, such as skills related to SFMC.

You need talented SFMC specialists to make the most of the vast – and growing – SFMC platform. Without them, you might struggle to use SFMC properly and end up with an expensive and low-ROI white elephant on your hands.

So, how can you capture the maximum ROI from your SFMC investment?

How can you hire the right SFMC Architects/Administrators/Developers/Marketers/Designers experts to work with and in your email marketing team?

The 5 tips below will help. Read on!

1. Ask them about their Trailhead activities

There are many reasons SFMC is one of the world’s most popular email marketing platforms. One is that in addition to its vast range of features, functionalities, and integrations, its ecosystem includes Trailhead, a free online learning platform. Trailhead provides interactive and gamified lessons plus numerous learning paths for anyone looking to develop their SFMC and email marketing expertise.

Look for candidates who spend time on Trailhead. These candidates are most likely to take ownership of their own learning and development, are interested in reskilling and upskilling, and have the motivation to succeed in their roles – all qualities that will help the organization succeed with SFMC.

Also look for SFMC specialists who:

  • Have earned Trailhead Superbadges: Superbadges demonstrate their hands-on SFMC skills through real-world business scenarios
  • Participate in the Trailblazer Community
  • Are involved with programs like Trailblazer Connect for additional training and to build connections in the Trailblazer Community
  • Have independently built apps to solve real-world problems in the Trailhead Playground
  • Can talk about their preferred Trailhead modules and projects in detail to demonstrate their SFMC expertise

2. Look for transferable skills and experience

Too many companies restrict their search for SFMC specialists with narrow job descriptions (JDs). While it’s not wrong to assess and compare candidates on the basis of SFMC experience and certifications, it’s not a good idea to assess and compare them solely on the basis of these parameters.

Many people can make excellent SFMC specialists, even if they don’t have SFMC-specific experience. For this reason, you should look for candidates who bring transferable experiences and skills that could be valuable for your SFMC team.

  • Can they prove their ability to be customer-centric and to anticipate client needs?
  • Do they have a history of making proactive suggestions in their previous roles?
  • Are they good at time management and request prioritization?
  • Do they pay attention to small details while also keeping an eye on the big picture?
  • Do they focus on work/output quality and make an effort to consistently improve?
  • Are they passionate about enhancing customer experiences?
  • Do they work well with others? At the same time, do they take accountability for their own work?

Candidates who can tick all (or most) of these boxes usually do well in SFMC roles, so do ask pointed questions to assess these qualities. Focus on behavioral questions as well as “what did you do”-type questions to understand if they have the experience, attitudes, and transferable skills that will apply well to the role you are interviewing them for.

3. Look for perseverance and tenacity in aiming for SFMC certifications

The best and most passionate SFMC specialists work hard to obtain and maintain their SFMC certifications. That said, not everyone holds SFMC certifications but may still have the experience and skills you need for your SFMC team. For this reason, it’s important not to look only for certified SFMC candidates and not to be put off by candidates who have not passed one or more SFMC certification exams.

A candidate’s platform knowledge, level of commitment, and willingness to learn are more important qualities than certificates, so assess them on the basis of these qualities instead of rejecting them for not holding a certificate. If they have not had the opportunity to pursue a certification, ask why. If possible, tell them that you will give them this opportunity if they join your team. Also look at their Trailhead profile to see if they are committed to ongoing learning about SFMC. And perhaps most importantly, show these candidates that you appreciate their perseverance, tenacity, resilience, and growth mindset, and want to work with them and support them as they pursue a certificate, regardless of how many attempts it takes.

4. Strengthen your employer brand

A strong employer brand is how your company is perceived in the employment market. Do your current employees say good things about the firm? Is the company considered a great place to work? Can you attract the right type of candidates to apply for open roles? If you said “no” to any of these questions, you need to work on strengthening the employer brand.

First ask yourself these questions:

  • You have unrealistic expectations of the team and its members
  • You lack clarity on what each SFMC resource will be responsible for
  • You assume that the different Salesforce specialties are interchangeable and consequently pressure people to do things they are not qualified for or interested in
  • You don’t give team members the required resources to do their jobs well
  • You don’t give them decision-making power and constantly micromanage them

The answers will reveal why you are unable to attract (and retain) the best SFMC talent to your organization. They will also act as useful guidelines to help you avoid these mistakes in future, which will then help strengthen your employer brand and make the company more desirable to the best SFMC talent.

Other ways to strengthen the employer brand:

  • Build and promote a company culture that encourages learning and thrives on growth
  • Maintain a positive working environment where everyone is treated fairly and with respect
  • Clearly communicate the expectations (roles and responsibilities, technical skills, soft skills) for each SFMC role
  • Promote the employer brand on social media with employee stories, case studies, blog posts, and other authentic and unique content
  • Add a careers page to your website detailing why your company is a great place to work for top SFMC talent

5. Provide learning and development opportunities

One effective way to attract top SFMC talent is to showcase the learning and development (L&D) opportunities the company provides to all SFMC specialists. Show them which Trailhead courses and certifications they can pursue to advance their careers with the company. Install Trail Tracker to assign learning topics and badges to each team member and track their progress vis-à-vis their colleagues. Connect their achievements to KPIs and/or compensation so they have an additional incentive to keep learning and to benefit the organization with their SFMC knowledge and skills.

Encourage them to participate in the Trailblazer Community and to attend local Salesforce meetups to collaborate with or learn from other SFMC professionals. Invite external SFMC experts to offer private workshops and organize sessions where team members can share their learnings and insights with each other in a collaborative, safe space.

In addition to L&D opportunities, here are some other ways to attract and retain the best SFMC talent in your organization:

  • Offer competitive compensation
  • Offer additional perks, such as flex hours, reimbursement for exam fees, etc.
  • Encourage them to take charge of their learning and career growth, and support them with both
  • Show them how they and their work matter to the company
  • Encourage them to ask questions about the company and their role, not only during the interview but also after they are hired

Wrap Up

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is one of the best investments you can make for your email marketing program. But to make the most of this investment, you need talented and passionate SFMC specialists in your team. Considering the demand for these specialists, it’s not easy to find them, much less to retain them. Fortunately, if you follow the 5 tips we have discussed here, you will improve your chances of attracting and retaining the best SFMC talent in your organization.

We hope you found this brief guide useful. If you need further support with your SFMC email marketing program, contact Email Uplers.

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    Chintan Doshi

    Chintan is the Sr. Manager Email Marketing & CRM at Email Uplers. He loves email marketing and has been in the industry from last seven years. His track record of email marketing success covers building email programs from scratch and using data-driven strategies to turn around underperforming accounts.

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