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Flexibility in the Cloud: How Salesforce is Changing the Landscape of the Workplace and Impacting Women Returners
By Vicki Moritz-Henry, Head of Training, Salesforce Supermums
One word—flexibility. The landscape of the workforce is changing. More and more people are seeking job roles that allow them to have a certain level of flexibility. Flexibility may mean different things for different people. For some, it may mean remote working; allowing them to a more suitable role than they would in their immediate area. For others, it means a mix of office time and working from home. Whatever the definition of flexible working, it has become a major factor in the recruitment and retaining of employees. LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends in 2019 report places flexibility second on the list of workforce trends anticipated to most influence the landscape of HR and recruitment.
Companies such as Salesforce have been on the cutting edge of this new trend. As a product, Salesforce is the #1 selling CRM world-wide and has remained on the cutting edge of CRM and cloud technology through innovation and customer-focused approach. The CRM allows for a complete 360° view of the customer. Built-in analytics allows organisations to make data-driven strategic decisions and automation increases productivity. As a company, Salesforce has retained its place on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For'”, with flexibility playing an integral role in work culture.
These trends leaning toward flexible working allow for a better work-life balance, increased employee satisfaction and retention and for companies to benefit from top-notch talent beyond their surrounding location. The push towards flexible working has even prompted many countries to put legislation in place, such as the United Kingdom’s Flexible Working Act of 2014 which makes flexible working requests an employee right.
Flexible working has had a huge impact on one group in particular - women returners.
The gap in the Salesforce workforce has created an unprecedented opportunity for women returners to benefit from the flexible and well-paid positions Salesforce offers, either within their company or implementing Salesforce solutions to their customers
On the other side of the coin, Salesforce has seen enormous growth. An estimated 3.3M positions are expected to be created within the Salesforce ecosystem by 2022. Workforce development has become a major focus for the companies. For every Salesforce expert in a role in Europe, there are 1.6 open positions that remain unfilled due to a lack of skilled talent.
The solution? The gap in the Salesforce workforce has created an unprecedented opportunity for women returners to benefit from the flexible and well-paid positions Salesforce offers, either within their company or implementing Salesforce solutions to their customers. The cloud-based technology allows for the flexible working environment to balance their work and family lives.
Women returners aren’t the only ones benefiting. The LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends in 2019 report noted soft skills as being the number one factor affecting HR and recruitment, just a notch above flexible working. Many candidates possess the ‘hard’ skills like technical knowledge but are lacking soft skills such as creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management. Employers find that they can efficiently train in technological knowledge, but soft skills are often acquired through experience.
Women returners bring with them a whole set of soft skills that they have built up during their careers before maternity leave. By retraining in Salesforce, they upskill in the technical knowledge that is necessary for positions such as Salesforce administrators, developers, business analysts, project managers, etc. However, it is the soft skills that they bring to the table, which ultimately open doors and increases their value for employers.
Salesforce has recognised this pool of untapped talent. They have championed workforce development training programmes such as Salesforce Supermums, which focuses on empowering women returners relaunching their careers by upskilling in Salesforce. The Salesforce product allows for the flexibility sought by this group of women returners. A Salesforce implementation can be completely virtual, using video-conferencing tools for meetings around scoping, requirements gathering, and user training. The cloud allows for the actual build to be completed anywhere. Some consultancies such as NowItMatters take this opportunity to heart by managing entire implementations virtually with the whole team working remotely.
What do these trends around flexible working and women returners mean for companies using Salesforce? This means that you can tap into a wider talent pool, have less overhead office costs, and increase your diversity & inclusion profile. The landscape of the workforce is changing, and it is time for us to examine our policies, lean into the trend of flexible working, and consider the benefits of hiring women returners.