Hiring Report: What salesforce.com Wants In New Staff Hires

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Company Name: Salesforce.com Company Focus: Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in on-demand business services. The company's Salesforce suite of on-demand CRM applications allows customers to manage and share all of their sales, support, marketing and partner information on-demand. Customers can also take advantage of Successforce, salesforce.com's world-class training, support, consulting and best practices offerings. Headquarters: San Francisco, CA Office Locations: San Francisco, CA, San Mateo, CA, Santa Monica, CA, New York, NY, Dublin, Ireland, Ecublens, Switzerland, Singapore, Camberely, Surrey, England, Sydney, NSW, Tokyo, Japan Web site: www.salesforce.com Founded: 1999
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The Company: As of January 31, 2007, salesforce.com manages customer information for approximately 29,800 customers and approximately 646,000 paying subscribers including Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), America Online (AOL), Avis Budget Group, Inc, Dow Jones Newswires, Polycom and SunTrust Banks. Hiring Leaders: Erin Flynn, VP Global Recruiting, brings 15 years of experience to salesforce.com. She oversees worldwide recruiting, defining and driving programs to attract and retain top talent. Flynn joined salesforce.com in 2004 after four years with PeopleSoft, where she was Director, Corporate and Executive Recruiting. Prior to PeopleSoft, she held senior positions at Idealab! and Ellington Wells International. Are you looking to hire on more IT staff this year? With the exponential growth of saleforce.com, we continue to aggressively seek more IT staff specifically in the areas of software development, quality assurance, systems test, and usability. Developers at salesforce.com build highly scalable on-demand applications used by millions of people every day on an on-demand application model that businesses in all sizes are embrace rapidly. Developers design, develop, test and debug highly scalable and highly available web applications, using cutting edge technologies to build easy-to-use functions and features our customers look for in each of the quarterly releases. Given all the news about the talent crunch, have you or are you finding it more difficult to find qualified IT professionals? The demand for top talent in IT/development is very competitive. Demand, as evidenced by both our professional and university recruiting efforts, is significant. It is not uncommon for candidates to entertain multiple offers from high profile and well branded organizations, as well as small start-ups that we compete with frequently for technical talent. What are your primary recruiting strategies? Our model is a corporate recruiting/in-house team with all the resources, tools, processes and infrastructure to support our own internal recruiting "machine". Our strategies run the full lifecycle of great recruiting and customer/candidate relationship management—from direct sourcing/relationship building (using our own proprietary CRM/Talent Management solution built on the salesforce.com platform) to employee referrals, university recruiting, events, online sourcing (resume mining, job postings), search engine marketing, and more. What is the hiring process? Typically our hiring process consists first of a 45 minute phone interview with a recruiter. Our Recruiters are best-in-class functional experts that partner with the business in which they support. Beyond competencies defined by a hiring manager and a recruiter in a job description/requisition, salesforce.com sets an extremely high bar on culture fit to our organization. The next step in the recruiting process are a series of onsite interviews with the Hiring Manager and group of peers and other managers. These typically consist of four to five interviews. In many cases, candidates are also given a technical interview to assess their level of technical proficiency in software development logic and coding. The final interview is with an executive in our R&D organization such as Parker Harris (EVP Technology, original co-founder). What should candidates know before they interview at Salesforce.com? They should understand our business model—on-demand applications and our vision for changing the way that small, medium and large businesses worldwide manage information. What makes for an outstanding potential hire? A unique combination of "stellar and committed" individuals. A candidate that thrives at salesforce.com enjoys a fast-paced, highly participative environment and who is passionate about yet to be discovered technologies and desire to see the immediate results of their efforts in a global marketplace. What are red flags you look for when reviewing resumes, doing interviews—what are some issues that thwart candidates? We seek candidates that have always been in front of new and evolving technologies. Red flags may include lack of consistent track record of taking on additional responsibilities, weak analytical problem solving, excessive "job hopping,"and lack of a technical degree. What kind of non-IT skills do your IT team members need, if any? Teamwork, intellectual honesty, communications skills, collaborative work ethic. How important is the cover letter in job queries? Not significantly important. More important is to leverage your own or a network like LinkedIn to find someone you know that works at salesforce.com. This gives you the opportunity to "look under the hood", learn about the business and since the majority of jobs today are still sourced and filled by networks (referrals, etc.) an endorsement (by a friend, colleague, partner, customer) also provides a strong channel for a potential candidate to become engaged into the recruiting process. Is the IT organization looking for certified skills?
  • Expert understanding of Object Oriented Programming
  • Expert knowledge of Java
  • Expert knowledge of SQL and understanding of relational database schema design OR
  • Expert knowledge of rich client concepts and technology
  • Experience building multi-tier scalable applications
  • Ability to learn quickly in a dynamic environment
  • Bachelor's Degree in computer science or equivalent experience
Does the organization hire 'newbies' and invest in training and how well does that work, and if not, why not? Yes. We have a comprehensive University Recruiting Program that has proven to be extremely successful in hiring Software Development and QA Engineers. The Class of 2007 will include approximately 40 new college development grads (BS or MS in EE/CS) from some of the leading universities in the country such as Carnegie Mellon University, Cal Berkeley, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Stanford University, UC Davis, Santa Clara University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. This includes a six-week formal training and on boarding program, with a mentor/buddy and structured rotational opportunities to understand the business, receive extensive product training to "hit the ground running." What characteristics or personality traits do you want in a hire, and don't want?
  • Passion
  • Strong work ethic
  • Desire to "change the world" via technology and to give back to the community.
What does your company offer IT specialists as an employer? Salesforce.com is committed to maintaining the highest level of employee job satisfaction, and offers the opportunity for employees to help shape the future of technology and The Business Web. Whether individuals are an experienced candidate or a university standout, employee ideas and efforts have a direct and immediate impact on the company, with career-defining results. Our iterative development process (multiple releases) also means that Development employees see how their efforts are quickly brought to market to a loyal and passionate customer base. Given this exalted history, it's no surprise that working at salesforce.com means collaborating with the best of the best. It means being surrounded by peers and leaders who consistently motivate and inspire. Everyone from the founders to our most recent hires, work as a team to create, market, and sell a superior product that customers love to use. We offer an outstanding compensation and benefits package, including a company-paid gym membership, healthy snacks, a culture of innovation and teamwork, plus a revolutionary corporate philanthropy program that provides employees with monthly paid time-off for community service work. Other recent articles from TechCareers Hiring Report: Symphony Services' Holistic Approach To Recruiting Hiring Report: PEQ Consulting Hunting For Support Help, Field Service Techs
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