Hiring your next Salesforce Rockstar – Part 1 of 3

Two points of housekeeping before I kick this blog post off.

  1. Sorry, it has been so long since I’ve last blogged. I have several excuses lined up and none of them really measure up to my personal commitment to this blog and that’s on me to fix.
  2. The below blog is my personal experience over the last few years of hiring Salesforce professionals and certainly isn’t an exhaustive list. Use this as one of several points of research.


I hate the term Rockstar. Its overused and I’m part of the problem. Rockstar implies that you are the best in your area of expertise, among the entire Salesforce ecosystem. I mean, come on, if everyone is a Rockstar then no one is. By definition, yes, there is A Rockstar out there. There has to be someone that is, indeed, “the best”. But you don’t need that person and here’s why:

  1. They are super expensive and would only produce marginally better products than, let’s say, the Rockstar Understudy
  2. Note the title of this blog is “Your Rockstar” not “A Rockstar” – Talent should be tailored as much as possible to your specific company and situation.

So, James, you ask with smitten how do I find “My Rockstar” then?

First, we must talk about Defining Your Need. I’ve made several mistakes over the years which have honed my skill set in defining what type of talent is needed.

Most Frequent Task

In this category, you define what you’ll be doing most frequently and then building a list of tasks that are likely to be the day-to-day tasks done most of the time. Then, match these tasks with skill sets needed. Are you writing and/or reviewing Apex code? Then you need development skill sets. Reviewing business requirements and generating customer stories? You need more business Analyst skills then. Here’s an actual example exercise I went through for one of our technical roles. This helped me realize that I didn’t need a Salesforce Admin skill set but rather more of a Developer/Business Analyst skill set.



Soft Skills

I can’t say enough about soft skills. I’ll expand this out to ancillary skills as well. Soft skills are skills that are hard to define with things like coding tests and certifications. Being able to work well within teams and communicate clearly to customers and internal resources are almost always needed. But there are several soft skills which you know you need and should always test. Often times these are honed from professional experience.

I’ll expand on ancillary skill sets for a moment. You may be an in a situation where you can’t find everything you want in candidates or are priced out of that kind of candidates. In that situation, you can look at ancillary skill sets to round out your skill set requirements. For example, if you need Apex/Visualforce experience but found a good candidate with Salesforce Admin experience and some JavaScript and HTML experience but no Apex/Visualforce experience. You can take a risk and this candidate and leverage Trailhead to help them learn the Salesforce side of things. If candidates have coding experience in similar languages or even Admin experience in similar CRM’s then learning the Salesforce side of things is exponentially easier.


Gut Check

There’s really no replacement for your gut feeling on candidates. Will they fit in with your company culture? Are they committed to your companies mission? Are they looking for the type of role you’re looking for or are they settling? These are important questions you need to ask yourself and be honest about your responses. In the end, its better for you and better for the candidate to be open and honest up front.




Designing Process Builder Criteria to Handle Record Types with Old Data

I haven’t blogged in forever… I have an excuse. Here she is:


My beautiful girl, Teagan Elizabeth Goerke

I had to give you all a good reason for being absent for so long. Now that the cute stuff is over, let’s get down to business. Process Builder business that is.

I recently ran into this scenario and you might run into it too. I’ll share how to fix it.

Business Scenario: Old records have no Record Type associated with them but more recent records do have a record type assigned

Error: Process fails with “The flow failed to access the value for [example] because it hasn’t been set or assigned.”

The more relevant error in our scenario is this:

Error element myDecision (FlowDecision).
The flow failed to access the value for myVariable_current.RecordType.Name because it hasn’t been set or assigned.

When records don’t have a record type assigned they technically do. It’s called the Master Record Type and each object gets one when it’s created, even standard objects. You just can’t see it. So, it’s odd that this error would come up with this scenario. I would expect it if we were working with a lookup variable that wasn’t required. But I didn’t expect it for Record Type. But it seems Process Builder can’t see the Master Record Type either. Bummer.

We have two fixes:

  1. Update all our records with a Record Type – Somewhat impractical for some situations
  2. Design our Process Builder to work with blank Record Types – Much more practical

I’ll focus on #2.

You should read this article as it describes the fix: https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=Process-fails-with-The-flow-failed-to-access-the-value-for-example-because-it-hasn-t-been-set-or-assigned&language=en_US&type=1

But here’s a walk through:

Screenshot - 8_26_2017 , 7_25_16 AM

No Record Type

Now our Process

In our first design we only accommodate for the Record Type:

Screenshot - 8_26_2017 , 7_29_19 AM.png

But this design will cause errors for blank record types.

A better design is to first check for a blank record type as well as a specific record type. Like this:

Screenshot - 8_26_2017 , 7_32_41 AM

It’s important to note that you should always put the blank Record Type criteria step as always before any additional Record Type criteria evaluation against other values. It doesn’t have to absolutely be first but it needs to be before all the other Record Type references.

As a best practice from a Design perspective, if your Object contains records with blank Record Types then you should build your Processes to accommodate those records or your users will get errors and no one likes flow errors.

WalkMe adds a Free Chrome Extension for the Salesforce Power User

I don’t pitch products on my blog. Or Companies. But if you’re going to release something super useful and make if free then you get a shout out. WalkMe recently released a super useful Chrome Extension called Super Tools (https://supertools.walkme.com/#). I installed it this morning and its already helping me be more productive. There are two features of Super Tools that are key for any Salesforce User but your Power Users will find it most useful.


This tool takes over the Global Search result and returns a scrollable result page within the Global Search. It also groups by object type and searches Reports!

Image 04-06-2017 06-04-09

SuperSearch – Better

Image 04-06-2017 06-04-10

Standard Global Search – Meh… Ok


Have you ever exported a report just to make a few changes you didn’t want to do through the UI? Have you ever opened a bunch of tabs off of a report so you could edit the records manually? No more! With SuperEdit you can now inline edit directly in the report.

Image 04-06-2017 06-04-08

I can’t stop myself from making Star Wars references

5 Salesforce Quirks every Salesforce Admin should know – Part 1 0f 5 – Lead Master-Detail Relationships

I wanted to do a series of posts on those quirky things in Salesforce that you run into and when you do you end of doing one of these:


But, every Salesforce Admin should know about these. In this post, and the next 4, I’ll outline a few quirky features in Salesforce and how to avoid/use them to your benefit. Today, we start with Lead Master-Detail Relationships.


The long and short of it is that you can’t create a Master-Detail relationship on the Lead Object. If you’re really interested in the documentation that describes this here you go – https://developer.salesforce.com/docs/atlas.en-us.api.meta/api/relationships_among_objects.htm

As always, I encourage you to vote on this Idea – https://success.salesforce.com/ideaView?id=08730000000Bq50

So, Master-Detail Relationships give us some great benefits like the ability to do Roll-Up Summaries for instance. Here’s some work arounds.

  1. Create a lookup field and make the field required
  2. Create a lookup field and use
  3. Create a Many-to-Many relationship via a Junction object
  4. Use an app like Lookup Helper (https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N30000009wj3REAQ) or Roll-Up Helper (https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N30000009i3UpEAI)
  5. Utilize Flow/Process Builder
  6. Apex

The important thing to remember, when you’re planning implementations around Leads you need to consider the Master-Detail Relationship limit in your design.

Multi-Select Picklist Formulas

Business Problem:

Most Salesforce Administrators have run into this issue from one time or another.  A Multi-Select Picklist is not accessible in formulae.  This is frustrating because Multi-Select picklists are great choices for data quality and user experience and it’s not always known at the planning stages that you will need to utilize the field in question for a formula.  
Formula Solution:

INCLUDES(Multi_Select_Picklist__c , “A”), “A”,
INCLUDES(Multi_Select_Picklist__c , “B”), “B”,
INCLUDES(Multi_Select_Picklist__c , “C”), “C”

A while back, Salesforce.com released the use of the INCLUDES()function which is a function that checks a text based value and returns a boolean (true/false) value.  Since the database result of a Multi-Select Picklist is a text based value we can utilize the INCLUDES() function.  By database result, I mean how the value is actually stored in Salesforce.com.  When you save a Multi-Select Picklist it’s values are saved as text with comma’s separating the values you selected.  In the example above, If I selected all the values the value that is stored is actually “A, B, C”

But… what if I select more than one option in my Multi-Select Picklist?  In this case, you must build in each option included in a AND() Function.  Here’s an example:

INCLUDES(Multi_Select_Picklist__c , “A”),
INCLUDES(Multi_Select_Picklist__c , “B”)
, “A; B”, NULL

Using a Picklist in a Validation Rule

Business Problem:

It’s not uncommon for businesses to use picklists to ensure data quality and conformity.  This often comes up when working with Opportunities.  A good example of this is listing the Competitor that you lost a deal to in order to track who your biggest competitor is.
Formula Rule Solution:

ISPICKVAL(StageName,”Closed Lost”),
ISPICKVAL( Competitor__c, “Competitor_Picklist_Value1”)),
ISPICKVAL( Competitor__c, “
ISPICKVAL( Competitor__c, “

Let’s break this validation rule down.  In this rule I am introducing the NOT() function which is a great function for determining is something is NOT true… or false if you are following the logic.  However, the NOT() function only works with one parameter at a time.  Let me explain.


ISPICKVAL( Competitor__c, “Competitor_Picklist_Value1”),
ISPICKVAL( Competitor__c, “Competitor_Picklist_Value2”),
ISPICKVAL( Competitor__c, “Competitor_Picklist_Value3”)


The NOT() function will only work with one parameter.

The odd thing here is that if your picklist is actually a multi-select picklist you don’t need all this mumbo-jumbo.  All you need is something that looks like this:

ISPICKVAL(StageName,”Closed Lost”),

Next Birthdate Formula

Business Problem:

Often times businesses will want to track customers/clients birthdays.  However, it’s also nice to know that a birthday is coming up (in the future) instead of just the birthday date. 
Formula Rule Solution:

MONTH( Birthdate ) >MONTH(TODAY()),
DAY(Birthdate) + 1 > DAY(TODAY())
DATE( YEAR(TODAY()), MONTH( Birthdate), DAY(Birthdate)),
DATE( YEAR(TODAY())+1, MONTH( Birthdate), DAY(Birthdate))

* This formula works with any date field but Birthdate is the standard field name on Contacts
** Please note: Person Account fields are not yet available via formula’s so this PersonBirthdate will not work here.