Since my employer, a startup, is thinking about hiring entry-level admins, we had to take a step back and define a clear and narrow scope for the role. I thought it was worthwhile to share our team's thought process about what's in an entry-level position, the scope of work they do, and what their competencies should be (or strive to be) in the Salesforce ecosystem.
Salesforce professionals help create easy-to-read, easy to maintain, secure, and scalable software at their core. Generally, they work closely with other Salesforce professionals and business stakeholders to make sure their work accelerates their employer’s business.
If you’re an entry-level Salesforce professional, you have little to no industry experience shipping software to production Salesforce orgs. You likely have some fundamentals down. For example, you probably did some Trailheads, or may have dabbled in a Focus on Force or Mike Wheeler course. You likely have a certification or two.
Despite your fundamentals, you require a lot of oversight and support from both your manager and your teammates - especially from senior team members. Fear not because when your team assigns you clearly defined subtasks, you will accomplish them independently.
A note to hiring managers: Know that you will not set up your Salesforce newbies for success if you do not clearly define problems for them to solve.
What’s my scope of work?
As an entry-level Salesforce professional, your manager or senior team members will limit the scope of your work to smaller sub-tasks. What do I mean by this? Let’s take some examples.
- Your team’s current focus is locking down any modifications to accounts with completed contracts. So, your sub-task is to create a validation rule only to allow admins to modify Closed Won Opps, but the business logic has been clearly defined for you ahead of time.
- Your team’s Case Assignment process forgot to account for internal Cases, so you are asked to modify a Flow, but the exact Decision Outcome you are supposed to change is written out for you.
- Your team is supposed to build a custom Apex REST solution to interact with your internal team’s APIs. Your sub-task is to write a function, but the function name, pseudocode, was given to you. There are probably already test classes written for them. You’ll also validate the code against a UAT sandbox.
- Your team owns the HRIS to Salesforce integration, but sometimes specific roles in Workday don’t map to a Profile, permissions set mapping in Salesforce. Sometimes, your sub-task is to provision new users, where all the information you need to create them will already be on the ticket.
- The Sales Ops team asks the Salesforce team to proof-of-concept a new lead-to-account matching solution. Your developer lead tasks you to install a managed package, where the link to the package and the environments you should install it are already in the user story assigned to you.
- Your IT director asks your manager to identify all workflow rules in an org. Your manager then breaks that ask into a minor task and asks you to outline all Case workflow rules and put them in a sheet.
These are all examples of clearly defined sub-tasks that you could be assigned, where you are working on a small part of a larger initiative your Salesforce team is spearheading.
Keep in mind that your managers will work with you to grow your skillset and partner with you to demonstrate it to your immediate teammates.
What are my competencies?
- Completing work: You become more productive by learning about all the customizations and best practices for being a steward of your Salesforce org. You demonstrate ownership by completing subtasks that are clearly defined. These subtasks have clearly defined criteria for success. With some instruction and guidance, you can efficiently complete these.
- Thinking critically: You can quickly learn and rapidly progress when you’re in constant feedback loops with a manager invested in your success.
- Collaborating: You know how to get feedback from coworkers and mentors. You accept feedback and act on it fast. You work on leveling up your soft skills. You can rework and contribute to existing documentation.
- Strategizing: You learn about your team’s Salesforce org strategy and technical trade-offs they have to make to deliver. You also ask clarifying questions when you don’t understand something.
- Developing expertise: You have some Salesforce fundamentals. The vital part is choosing to learn as much as possible from your team and internal and external resources. That’s where you’ll cultivate your expertise.
If you want to read what I think a mid-level role at a startup looks like, click here to read more.
If you're interested in learning what it's like to be a Salesforce Developer, click here to read more.