The unexpected trait Salesforce looks for in job candidates

Salesforce receives 1,300 job applications every day.

How can you make yours stand out?

According to Ana Recio, senior vice president of global recruiting, technical chops are hardly enough for the multibillion dollar cloud computing company. In reviewing résumés and in job interviews, Salesforce looks for people who genuinely want to make a difference in the world.

“We just constantly look for people who have that extra sparkle,” she said.

If that concept sounds fuzzy, Recio said there are a number of factors the company uses to determine whether a candidate is the change agent they’re looking for — no matter whether they’re applying for an entry-level or a senior role.

In particular, they look at the impression you made on your previous organisation: “What did you do to differentiate your job from others? What was your absolute impact, your legacy? We always look for people who truly were kind of thought leaders and change agents.”

For example, Recio said, maybe you launched an incredibly successful product or you marketed that product a little differently than usual.

Just as important, Recio said the company is interested in the way you spend your time outside of work. Many current employees have volunteered abroad; others are renowned musicians; one is a former Olympiad.

“It’s almost like work is their hobby because their personal lives are full of these incredible accomplishments,” she said.

These experiences are assets in job candidates because Salesforce prides itself on enabling employees to give back to their communities. The company uses the 1-1-1 model, meaning they dedicate 1% of their equity, 1% of their employee time, and 1% of their product to form the Salesforce Foundation.

In fact, Recio said Salesforce gives employees six fully paid days a year “to go out and make a difference.” Some people have travelled to Costa Rica to build houses; others have stayed local and volunteered at their kids’ schools.

To be sure, Salesforce isn’t the only organisation that encourages humanitarianism — companies from Deloitte to Autodesk also pay their employees to volunteer. Presumably, these companies also value a job candidate’s demonstrated interest in social change.

Yet Salesforce sees itself as the go-to place for talented applicants with the potential and drive to change the world.

“Of course we’re going to lead the industry in all these different categories,” Recio said, referring to Salesforce’s technological innovations. “But in addition we’re also going to lead the industry in enabling people to really shine outside of here, too.”

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