Building Tomorrow’s Salesforce Professionals

By Jennifer Stredler | July 27, 2018 | Pro Bono, Volunteering, Workforce Development

Salesforce and Salesforce.org are committed to investing in young people from the classroom to the boardroom. Our Future Ready program works closely with schools to provide the best learning environment for students in their communities; promotes STEM education, especially for girls and students from underrepresented populations; and supports young adults in building the skills and experience needed to enter the professional workforce, especially in technology careers.

“At Salesforce.org, we believe businesses have a responsibility to ensure nobody is left behind,” said Ebony Frelix, EVP Philanthropy and Engagement, Salesforce.org. “We’re committed to giving back to the communities in which we live and work and are proud to support initiatives to ensure a diverse, skilled and talented workforce.”

Salesforce employees help newcomers build their skills and networks
Salesforce employees help newcomers build their skills and networks.

We are proud to have Salesforce colleagues from across the world who share our passion for building skills and providing opportunities for diverse aspiring talent. In cities across the globe, Salesforce employees have conceptualized and designed workforce development initiatives to address the skills and opportunity gap by providing individuals from diverse backgrounds with the technical and business training they need to obtain jobs in the growing Salesforce ecosystem. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is reshaping every business, industry, and economy, and widening the gap between available skilled jobs and employees with those skills. There are nearly six million unemployed youth in the US, and 22% of veterans are seeking employment (Prudential).

Salesforce employee volunteers are eager to tackle this challenge. Their efforts are based on the involvement and position of various critical stakeholders:

  • The Salesforce ecosystem needs more skilled workers, and the demand is continually growing.
  • There are NGOs that support young adults and are in need of additional capacity and training to help students/clients find jobs.
  • Salesforce employees are looking for ways to use their seven days of Volunteer Time Off (VTO) to contribute their Salesforce skills to help diverse populations get jobs.

Workforce development program volunteers from Salesforce in Israel
Workforce development program volunteers from Salesforce in Israel

In Israel, employees developed a program to empower individuals to enhance their technology skills, establish careers, and integrate in the Salesforce ecosystem. Salesforce volunteers in Israel partner with workforce development-focused nonprofit organizations such as Gvahim, ITworks, and Gehserelhanoar to recruit participants. Each organization works with different constituents such as newcomers to Israel, Arabs in Israel, the Jewish Orthodox community, and at-risk youth.

Once students were selected for the Salesforce training program, various employees from different parts of the business including AEs, CSMs, Solution Engineers, and Architects led trainings and helped students prepare for the Salesforce Administrator certification exam. The program also included students participating in pro bono work to help local nonprofits with Salesforce implementation in partnerships with mentors from Salesforce partners. These pro bono projects helped nonprofits fulfill their missions, while also providing students with real-world experience to help build their careers— a true win-win! Thanks to committed volunteer teachers and hardworking, dedicated students, the program has had impressive early results. As of last month, nine participants already found full-time Salesforce Administrator jobs and six are certified Salesforce Admins! Students also gained self-confidence through the program and many are continuing to pursue their goal of working in the Salesforce ecosystem.

Volunteer activities and workforce development discussions in Paris
Volunteer activities and workforce development discussions in Paris

More than 2000 miles away, Salesforce is experiencing rapid growth in France, with increasing employee headcount and a growing customer base. The ecosystem of Salesforce customers and partners in France will create more than 37,000 direct jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs by 2022, and $24.3 billion in new business revenue, according to research by IDC. As part of the Paris Code initiative, Salesforce is working with Paris-based nonprofit organizations like Social Builder to train and support women who are out of the labor force to return to work by securing well-paying tech jobs.

Similar to their colleagues in Israel, Paris employees are coaching Social Builder students in becoming Salesforce Administrators. The program started with 60 women attending an introductory webinar about Salesforce. As the program continued, prospective students leveraged Trailhead to learn more about Salesforce, earning points and badges that were used to determine who would secure an interview for this employee-led training program. Ultimately, 15 women were selected for the program, which included mentoring from Salesforce employees or employees from SI partners (Talan, Viseo & Cap Gemini), as well as five day Salesforce Administrator training course offered by another Salesforce SI partner, EI-Technologies. In addition, students received coaching sessions with employees as well as mock interviews. So far, the results have been outstanding, with 14 of the 15 women becoming certified Salesforce Administrators, and eight already working in the ecosystem!

Workforce development volunteers in Germany. Photo credit: Yvonne Alber
Workforce development volunteers in Germany. Photo credit: Yvonne Albers

Finally, in Germany, as part of the academic program of ReDI Digital School of Integration, Salesforce piloted a three month Salesforce Administrator training course, led by employee volunteers. ReDI School of Digital Integration is a non-profit digital school for tech-interested newcomers in Germany. Twelve students attended the course every Monday and Wednesday in order to learn everything needed to prepare for the Salesforce Administrator certification. Students were asylum seekers in Munich and Berlin with an average age of 24, and they came from various countries including Nigeria, Syria, Afghanistan, and Jordan. Many of the newcomers had some prior IT experience, and all were eager to build their careers in Germany with Salesforce. All courses were taught via Trailhead in the Munich Salesforce office.

Sophie Jonke from ReDI said, “Teaming up with Salesforce for one of our courses for newcomers is the ideal way to empower a diverse workforce with the skills needed for tech jobs.”

This volunteer-led initiative started as part of Buddyforce, a newcomer mentoring program started in the Munich Hub, where employees explored various ways to help their mentees prepare for jobs in the Salesforce ecosystem. Among the German students, three newcomers have earned their Salesforce Administrator certification and one has been hired by Salesforce.

Despite distinct countries, languages, and cultures, several themes ring true — diverse adults and young adults across the globe are hungry to be trained to work in the Salesforce ecosystem, and passionate Salesforce employees are committed to helping them achieve their goals!