Everything you need to know about hiring Salesforce consultants and developers in 2021

Salesforce Developer Hiring Guide
04 February, 2021 5 min to read

How to Hire Salesforce Developers, Consultants and administrators in 2021: Salaries, Rates, Tips

Today, Salesforce is used as a synonym to a CRM platform since it is the most popular solution when it comes to CRM’s systems, and there are some good reasons for that:

Moreover, Salesforce is provided as a ready-to-use platform. While the solution is integrated with prior adjustments to the needs of a particular business, many features can be customized. Generally, the development and implementation processes are much faster, and costs are significantly lower than for any other solution at the same level. 

But to make sure the solution succeeds, the business needs to have the support and supervision of certified Salesforce developers and consultants. The following are recommendations to keep in mind when hiring consultants and developers for the solution.

What Languages, Frameworks and Tools Salesforce Developers Use

A developer working on Salesforce development and implementation for a business should be familiar with a number of tools, frameworks and languages, in terms of what they are and how to use them.

When thinking of hiring a Salesforce programmer, the knowledge of the following languages, frameworks and tools for the Salesforce app-building is to be checked.


  • Apex is a proprietary programming language provided similar to Java and C#.
  • SOQL is an optimized SQL version to get data from Salesforce databases.
  • SOSL is a language to perform text-based searches in Salesforce databases.
  • Visualforce is a markup language that lets developers create custom Salesforce pages with code that looks a lot like HTML.

Salesforce development platforms:

  • Customer 360 platform (formerly Lightning Platform)
  • Heroku is a cloud platform as a service (PaaS) supporting several programming languages


  • Visualforce framework is a UI framework for the creation of reusable interfaces. It is a component of PaaS.
  • Aura framework is an open-source UI framework built by Salesforce for developing dynamic web apps for mobile and desktop devices.

Tools and API:

  • Fuel API is used to create marketing apps.
  • Lightning App Builder is a simple tool to create app pages.
  • Salesforce mobile SDK is an open-source suite for building HTML5, native and hybrid mobile apps connected to the Salesforce Platform.

In general, the most important areas a Salesforce developer can cover include Salesforce frameworks, Lightning App Builder, SOQL, Apex, and Salesforce APIs.

Salesforce Consultants and Developers Hiring Guide: Step by Step

An important thing to do at the beginning of the hiring process is to establish clear expectations about the level of expertise the candidates must have. A good proof of competence is a Salesforce certificate: a candidate having a certificate of consultancy, development, architecture, or implementation is definitely a skillful one.

Considering how to identify whether a person has the needed range of Salesforce developer skills, the main steps are identified below.

1. Check Where to Find a Salesforce Developer

Having learned what to focus on in a candidate, it is time to start searching for one. Online communities, freelance websites, and even events are the places where Salesforce developers can be hired. For example, Salesforce specialists meetings vs. conferences take place several times a year, which makes it simple to reach out to specialists or get some recommendations from networking. Here are some of them:

Generally, combining several methods of talent sourcing helps extend the list of worthy candidates.

2. Ask a Candidate the Right Questions on the Interview

If you managed not to get lost in a ton of CVs, selected several people with appropriate experience and skills, and went through test tasks, it’s high time to conduct an interview. The interview is a great opportunity to know your candidate better and give them chances to prove they fit the position. But how do you find a middle ground in terms of relevant questions? What questions should be asked to make sure you have found a perfect match? With Salesforce candidates, it may be even harder because of the field complexity. Don’t worry, we will help you cover the questions you need to ask a candidate for the Salesforce position in your project. So let’s jump into the details you need to clarify before making a job offer:

Check for a Technical Background

The technical knowledge of a Salesforce expert is the fundamental precondition of successful solution implementation. What you should ask the candidate:

  • Basic programming knowledge. A candidate should know all about object-oriented programming methods, including data binding, polymorphism, and other areas.
  • Salesforce knowledge and skills. Learning about the candidate’s background can help identify his or her strengths and weaknesses to see whether the expert fits the project needs. Previous experience with building code applications, performing testing or participating in it, as well as conducting code reviews, makes the person a promising candidate.
  • Project experience. Any experience with building a solution to the one that the candidate is being hired for is an advantage. However, the number of projects completed is not the only thing that matters; the approaches the person used to solve problems and complete tasks are what help evaluate how he or she will perform during the new project.

While investigating candidates’ CVs is essential, a deep study of every person’s professional background is what can reveal the level of one’s expertise.

Ask about completed certifications

It goes without saying that a person working with Salesforce should have official proof of competency that can be achieved through official Salesforce certification. Regardless of the desired solution, the hired specialist is to have a Salesforce certification. There are many kinds of the certificate, and each of them is issued to a specialist with a particular level of knowledge and skills in a specific area. In fact, a Salesforce developer hourly rate directly depends on the certification he or she has. 

Here are some common Salesforce certificates:

  • Salesforce Administrator - proves the basics of Salesforce administration.
  • Salesforce Architect - proves architecture design skills.
  • Salesforce Developer - proves the knowledge of app building and development.
  • Salesforce Marketing Credentials Certificate - proves expertise in marketing.
  • Salesforce Consultant - proves skills in consultancy for all kinds of Salesforce solutions.

Follow these steps to verify your candidate's certification:

  • Visit the Trailhead Verification page.
  • Enter the developer’s email beneath "Verify a Salesforce Certified Professional".
  • Click Search, and then click Show Credential.
  • The developer’s credential status will be promoted in the popup.

The presence of any of the listed certificates or even several such in one person ensures their ability to show a worthy performance at a particular stage of Salesforce solution development and implementation.

Talking about Salesforce prediction for 2021, the demand for Salesforce talent is changing and Salesforce Admins should grow their skills and learn how to be a Salesforce developer.

According to the 10K Advisors survey, we see that the most sought Salesforce skills are the ones, that are the hardest to find and retain:

salesforce skills demand

Don’t Forget about the Soft Skills

Any developer must know how to code, but this is not enough for successful project completion. The perfect candidate needs to have at least some knowledge of the industry in which the business operates. In addition, such essentials as communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills definitely add to the candidate’s professionalism.

Salesforce Experts Hourly Rates and Salaries

Every specialist charges a per hour or monthly fee for full-time work, and the Salesforce entry-level salary will be lower than the one of an expert. Also, some candidates ask for an above-average rate on the market and have a deep knowledge of Salesforce Clouds. Still, depending on the person’s background, the Salesforce developer hourly rate differs.


If the target is to invest as little as possible, hiring a freelancer is the best option. Their rates vary, but it is possible to find somebody who can bill $40 per hour, while $75 per hour can be the best rate for a good foreign Salesforce developer, which is lower than a starting rate in the US. Of course, working with a freelancer comes with risks, and these risks may end up requiring higher costs compared to if an experienced specialist was hired from the very start.

Check the certifications and experience of candidates, as it is extremely important in this case since conducting a personal interview would most likely be impossible. Also, feedback from his/her former clients or employers will be helpful.

Freelance Salesforce experts Hourly Rates and Salaries

Local Full-Time Developers

When you consider hiring a person who will help you with Salesforce on a constant basis, it may be a good choice to opt for a local developer. It’s always beneficial to have a person who will be available to take care of ad-hoc and regular Salesforce tasks, especially if you need a person to be available in your office for facilitated communication. However, if you need to have one-time work done, it is not the best choice. On the bright side, this could be a local staff member who is familiar with your Salesforce development plan and knows all the peculiarities of your business needs. It will be much easier to delegate regular management. One more point to consider is the amount of money you are ready to spend. Regular staff members require much more investment in the working place, salary, and other regular expenses.

Indeed tells that the average yearly Salesforce salary is $117,274 (updated on Feb 4, 2021). Here’s a list of the states with the highest average annual salaries in the Salesforce job market:

State Average Annual Salesforce Developer Salary
Washington $122,167
California $129,059
New York $122,264
Colorado $123,373
Texas $104,394
Massachusetts $116,268

These numbers do not necessarily mean that any Salesforce specialists earn the same sum as USA developers. Everything depends on the relevancy of experience, such as previous projects.

Differences in rates by Location

Also, it's necessary to add, that each state of the US has its own salary range compared to the national average. The most interesting, according to Indeed, is that Nevada has a +48% of Salesforce developer salary compared to the national average.

salesforce developer salary United States

Meanwhile, Payscale research says that Salesforce Developers earn +20% to the national average:salesforce developer Pay Difference by Location in the in the United States

But when you know a median for the main positions, it will be much easier to plan the project budget ahead of time, taking into account the salary you are ready to offer to a developer.

Differences in Rates by Experience

It's worth emphasizing that due to Payscale's research you have to take into account that Salesforce developer rates differ according to skills, as well as experience:

salesforce developer rates by experience in the United States

That being said, the Salesforce hourly rate for the consultant will not be the same as for the Salesforce contractor. For example, we may compare salary data: Indeed says that the average salary of a Salesforce Administrator is about $93,280, and at the same time Payscale tells that it is about $67,349 average per year.

Full-Time Remote Developers

While the rates of skilled specialists can get quite high, there is an option of getting a developer with the same set of skills and level of qualification for a lower cost. The solution is to hire a person in a different country.

If you sign a yearly or longer-term contract, an offshore developer hourly rate varies from $35-50. According to the contract conditions, a Salesforce full-time developer will be dedicated solely to your project and work from the outstaffing company office to ensure a stable internet connection and availability. Such a variant allows you to spend 60% less than you would for a full-time local developer.

Dedicating full-time developer resources will help you receive a specialist who will know your project and all its peculiarities to ensure efficient and productive workflow. This strategy ensures the dedicated employee delivers the highest level of commitment working solely on your project.

Registered Salesforce Consulting Partners

If you don’t need full-time workers because the workload is not stable, and working with freelancers is too risky for your business, there is still a way out. The optimal solution here would be to hire Salesforce experts: turn to Salesforce Consulting Partners who have fully equipped teams of experienced staff members to work with Salesforce projects of any complexity.

In this case, 2021 Salesforce consulting rates range from $55 to $130 per hour, regardless of where the specialist is located. The price is reasonable: if the specialist is approved by Salesforce, it means the person is an expert. A certified employee can even provide solutions of a Salesforce architect level, who would charge a minimum of $200 per hour.

Wrap Up

Hiring a Salesforce developer is a long process that requires thorough research, but finding a true expert is crucial to the business. The two most critical areas in the entire process are the cost of development and the type of employee to be hired since they impact each other.

Hiring a freelancer may help cut costs, but the risk of getting an inferior solution is always a possibility. At the same time, a registered Salesforce consulting partner ensures the solution will be delivered on time. Furthermore, working with a Salesforce registered consulting company provides a service where the entire team of specialists meets every business need for one flat rate.

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