How to budget for talent acquisition during a Salesforce project

Recruitment can be challenging and expensive in the wrong hands. 

Whether you’re implementing Salesforce for the first time or customizing your existing instance, you’ll need to find the right talent to plan, oversee and execute your project.

That talent also needs to be at the right price for your business, and if you’re looking for professionals in an unfamiliar market like Salesforce, you’ll likely encounter unanticipated talent acquisition costs.

Here’s eight to look out for when you’re budgeting for your next hire.

1. Training

You might be bringing in a Salesforce expert, but even the MVPs of the Salesforce world need time to hit the ground running. If you use a custom build, have a particularly niche application or product, or you have unusual internal processes, they’ll need time to learn your way of working.

That could mean shadowing an existing member of your business, or bringing in a third party contractor or trainer to coach your new recruit.

Phoebe Aitken is a Senior Human Resource Specialist at Voices, the world’s largest source of voiceover talent. For Phoebe, staff training is an essential item on your budget sheet, and aligns a company’s professional development budget with its recruitment budget.


 Phoebe Aitken Voices

Phoebe Aitken, Senior Human Resource Specialist at Voices

“In addition to all the traditional costs associated with hiring, we also set a professional development budget at the beginning of the year so we can plan the costs of certifications and ongoing training for our Salesforce staff. This could be everything from putting them through an independent training course to sending them to a Salesforce event or user group to increase their knowledge base.”


2. Onboarding materials

Irrespective of your company size, you’ll need onboarding materials to bring your new recruit up to speed. While not outside of your wheelhouse, it takes time and effort, particularly if you’re new to working with tech-minded employees. With a growing trend you need to revise a new benefits and compensation package to reflect their role.

Let’s not forget what onboarding is in its essence—a way to make the new hire feel welcome and ensure they have everything they need to do their job. If this involves taking them for lunch on their first day or funding a team night out, why not? Just be sure to budget for this to avoid these expenses being queried (especially if your receipts are from cocktail bars)!

3. Travel expenses

Salesforce is an industry with a particularly prominent talent gap, so you might need to bring in experts from the other side of the country if you want to start building a great team. In these circumstances, it might be appropriate to pay for the travel expenses of the interviewee, otherwise they may not be willing to take the journey if there’s a risk of them losing money as a result.

4. Job boards and advertising

Getting full visibility on your vacancy can be difficult unless you work with either a job board or a recruiter (who will often have their own job board credits). With Salesforce talent being so in demand, you need to ensure your job opening is put in front of as many people as possible, and the right people at that.

Job boards are not only valuable for connecting relevant candidates with your vacancy through natural web searches (either through a search engine such as Google or through the job board itself), but they will also position your vacancy to any candidates who have searched around Salesforce in the past. New positions are often circulated via email, so your vacancy will also be positioned to professionals who aren’t actively looking for a job but may be tempted by a fresh new challenge.

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5. Skills assessments

While an applicant may have all the relevant qualifications and experience to look strong on paper, having them complete a technical skills assessment is a great way to measure how efficient they are, how they cope under pressure, and ultimately how good they are at the job they’re being hired to do.

You have options when it comes to how you assess candidates. There are plenty of skills assessments devised by third parties, but if you have the resource, you may be better off tasking an in-house Salesforce pro with putting together their own test or practical exercise. This way will ensure the candidate is being tested on using your Salesforce instance, which may be different to others if you have a custom build or use specific products.

“We’re fortunate enough to have our own internal recruitment team, so we save money on staffing there, but we do tend to use specialist recruitment companies for the more technical roles,” says Lauren Claydon, Global Head of HR at Mason Frank.

“We also use employee assessment systems to determine how valuable the new staff member could be to the business. These systems help us identify the specific values that drive performance in the business, and measure attributes in a candidate that are proven to predict how someone will perform in a role and how long they will stay in a role. This is not an essential expense, but we find it extremely valuable when recruiting, as it ensures all decisions are data-driven and eliminates bias.

“Staff benefits are an additional expense, but if you already have a robust benefits package set up in your business, you shouldn’t have to dedicate too much time to devising these. Otherwise, you may have to offer your staff member a bespoke benefits package based on their role and circumstances, which can be costly. You also have consider the tax implications of recruiting new staff members.”


 Lauren Claydon Frank Recruitment Group

Lauren Claydon, Global Head of HR at Mason Frank

“We use employee assessment systems to determine how valuable the new staff member could be to the business. These systems help us identify the specific values that drive performance in the business, and measure attributes in a candidate that are proven to predict how someone will perform in a role and how long they will stay in a role. This is not an essential expense, but we find it extremely valuable when recruiting, as it ensures all decisions are data-driven and eliminates bias.”


6. A careers website

Even if you’re using a job board to boost the visibility of your vacancy, you still need to host it somewhere on your company website. Ideally you will have a dedicated careers section on the website where any new vacancies can be published and viewed by the public—this also enables your vacancies to be shared on social media such as LinkedIn, or in relevant professional user groups.

Having a permanent careers section offers a great opportunity for those with a genuine interest in your company to get on board wherever they can. This will require a dedication of time and budget to set up, however, particularly if you outsource your web development work.

7. Referral bonuses

If you already employ Salesforce professionals, the likelihood is they will have a network of peers you could potentially recruit from, either through connections they’ve made in previous workplaces or in online communities (Salesforce has a very strong online user base, which is well worth taking advantage of).

A good way to incentivize employees to put forward suitable candidates for the role is to set up a referral scheme, which will reward employees with a bonus if their connection is successfully onboarded and stays with the company for a significant period. The bonus doesn’t have to be huge, but is still worth budgeting for.

8. External recruiters

When taking into account all the individual costs associated with Salesforce staffing, it can actually make more sense to work with a recruiter so that all these elements are consolidated into one comprehensive recruitment service. What’s more, the experience recruiters possess in their specialist market is invaluable, and they’ll almost certainly have access to a higher calibre of talent than you will through conventional candidate sourcing.

Recruiters also tend to have good relationships with job boards and commonly incur the type of expenses associated with staffing, so think of a recruiter as a package deal—working with one will often be less expensive than paying for these services separately. A recruiter can also set your budget for you, so you don’t have to take the time to do this yourself and won’t be surprised by unexpected costs halfway through the project.

As the largest Salesforce recruiter in the world, we are well-positioned to advise you on your talent search, from budgeting to candidate sourcing, to smooth onboarding.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mason Frank today for a free staffing consultation, or even browse our free Salesforce candidate search to find your next hire.