Shortly before Dreamforce 2013, Salesforce announced that it will launch a new certification verification page on certification.salesforce.com. In addition to the new page launch they also rolled out new logos. I’d like to focus on what this change- the addition of a new Salesforce certification verification page means for you and for your company.
Transparency is everything
As with every certification there will be those people who think that the internet is so vast that they won’t get caught. So they do a Google image search, copy and paste, and suddenly they are certified. Well fakers, your day of reckoning has arrived! Following the best practices of any notable certification in the industry, the Salesforce certification is finally a verifiable certification. Now, you should know that individuals have the option of opting out of this public validation. But in doing so you are only casting doubt about your certification.
From youtube’s change to the commenting function, to an increase in sites offering single sign-on, transparency is king on the internet. The days of hiding behind an anonymous profile and “creatively borrowing” content that isn’t yours is over. If you list your certifications then you need be prepared to prove it.
What this Transparency means for you
According to the email that Salesforce sent out – “others can search for you by name or email address and view the certifications you hold. The certification verification page will list your name, location, all of your active Salesforce.com certifications, and the date you became certified. By referring to the certification verification page, customers and partners will be able to easily validate your expertise, as displayed below.” This is great! With every presentation I give I list my certifications and now you will be able to verify them.
Of course with transparency means you need to keep your online profile(s) up to date. Which should be obvious if you are working in cloud computing. A paper resume isn’t enough, your website, about.me page, and blog are your resume- so make sure they updated information.
Here are my tips to manage this upcoming change:
1. Check your blog, LinkedIn, and About.me page and update it if you haven’t already.
2. If you have a difficult name to spell be sure to include it on the page, or if you are like me and abbreviate your name give people the name to search on with a link.
3. This isn’t NASCAR, so keep your profile pictures clean! I’m proud of my certifications, which is why I give you a page to learn about me. What I don’t do is clutter up my profile picture with my certifications. Your profile picture doesn’t have to tell your life story and look like a sticker book, keep it clean and help people find you.
What this transparency means for your company
Prior to interviewing any job candidate you should go through a resume review and include verification of their certifications. Companies hiring a new Admin or developer for the first time can struggle with what questions to ask because they are generally not that familiar with Salesforce themselves. I want to present to you what I consider the gold standard for a position listing – Salesforce Administrator. What I like about that listing is has built in questions to challenge the candidates. In addition you will also want to set up an exercise to test the candidates skills.
As with any purchasing decision you will want to vet who will be working with and their experience. It would be very difficult for me to sit across the table from a client if I didn’t have a certification. If you are a customer looking to engage with a consulting company you have every right to ask if certified professionals will be working on your project. With the new verification site you can see if those professionals have the certifications they claim.
The Certifications to ask for
Deciding what your Salesforce Admins should have in terms of certification should be based on a job and skill analysis. You don’t always need a Certified Developer on staff. In fact, hiring an over qualified Admin or Developer can leave feeling bored and unfulfilled- which means you will be doing more hiring again.
Certifications don’t replace experience and the reverse holds true. Not every Admin or Developer needs to have a computer science or engineering degree. Understanding Salesforce is a teachable skill, you should always look for individuals that have the right attitude for your organization and the desire to learn.