Throughout 2021 and in early 2022, El Transformador has been a key feature of Capital Radio’s programme schedule as a radio space that explores the digital future of the business world. Salesforce has been busy asking the questions and providing answers to the great digital challenges and changes of our time.
A few weeks back, Armelle Jaclot, head of marketing at ISDI CRM, Fabián Gradolph, head of communications at Salesforce, and Eduardo Castillo, professor of communications and programme host, got together to discuss the job opportunities that are now emerging thanks to specific training in digital skills.
How do you train in digital talent?
There is an increasing demand within the market for professionals to support the digital strategies now being pursued by companies. The figures point to a promising future and outlook in a labour market where skilled talent is in short supply.
The most astute businesses have realised that the difficulty in meeting the demand for these kinds of profiles also shows us the roadmap we need to follow, through educational projects aligned with the needs of the business and by training teams and incorporating the professionals who are now entering this market through upskilling or reskilling paths.
Eduardo Castillo boils things down as follows: the figures pose a great challenge. Fabián Gradolph believes he has the answer: “We need to focus our aim; it’s one thing to talk in general but quite another to appreciate that we are facing a challenge when it comes to digital talent and in figuring out exactly what we need to do”.
This is something that Salesforce is working towards “alongside ISDI CRM, one of our dearest and most appreciated partners and with whom we are undertaking many initiatives to develop digital talent”.
ISDI and the digital transformation of companies
Eduardo Castillo then remarks on ISDI’s role as a leading academy in digital transformation and how, even before the whole talk on digital transformation became a hot topic, “they were already transforming people’s digital training. Nowadays ISDI is a benchmark. How do you train people and what do you train them in?” With this frank statement and concise question, Castillo gave the mic to Armelle Jaclot.
“At ISDI we’ve been training companies, professionals and individuals in digital transformation for 11 years. More than a decade and now at a faster pace than ever,” she explains. We do this in close proximity with businesses and learners. We design our programmes based on the feedback we receive from the businesses we train, which enables allows us to closely align our master’s courses, bootcamps and other training with the real needs of the market.
And we are able to do this even when needs abruptly change and we have to adapt on the spot. This is essential for a project that already has 20,000 learners, with campuses and headquarters in Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and Mexico, and bootcamps in Silicon Valley and Harvard.
University students are now crying out for training that readies them for the real needs of today’s and tomorrow’s companies, and not how things were like ten years ago.
Aligning training and market needs
Castillo stresses the importance of listening to what people are calling out for: “It has always been said that universities should listen to businesses, because they are the real thermometer of where a country’s socio-economic objectives are heading.”
“There is a place for everyone,” adds Gradolph, “for public-private partnerships and for private training organisations, such as ISDI, which are playing an essential role. It doesn’t always have to be the university. We need to open our minds to the kind of training that professionals should be given. The training can be online or face-to-face, or last one month, three months, or six months… the options are endless when developing each of your skills.
“Businesses know what they need. It’s good to listen to them… so why not ask them this: How do you see the future? What are your needs?” Gradolph had the answer to Castillo’s question: “Just like us, ISDI listens closely to its clients whose tech and non-tech businesses need to incorporate digital talent”.
What do companies need (and insist on)?
Taking up the ideas shared previously, Armelle Jaclot explains how ISDI CRM came about as a project: “…from a need for companies to train their teams in Salesforce technology,” adding that “Businesses know that they need it, but they don’t in themselves have the ability to train and optimise their use of these tools. That’s why and how the joint project between ISDI and Salesforce was born. We are seeking to train people by giving them these skills and returning that talent to the market”.
“At ISDI CRM we have noticed two things: there are companies that are already using Salesforce, but are unable to optimise their use of this tool; and we are also seeing exponential growth in the need for this talent within companies. By embracing this training, they are staying ahead of the market”. To meet these new demands being made by businesses, ISDI CRM offers “short training courses created alongside Salesforce”.
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It’s all about “anticipating market demand,” Castillo reiterates. The market is calling for it. We can now see that there is a growing demand for digital jobs, though more significantly a problem of not being able to meet that demand.”
Digital talent beyond the technology
The figures are telling: “More than 64% of large European companies and more than 50% of European SMEs were already finding it hard to satisfy their needs for digital talent.”
And that’s not the only problem: “Many jobs that are not purely technological also require digital skills. ISDI CRM is readying people to use Salesforce tools, such as those dedicated to digital marketing. These people are not computer scientists, they are marketing types,” explains Gradolph.
Our jobs are evolving and many of them are either disappearing or going digital
Armelle Jaclot clarifies that “This point is really important because in reality the people who come to train at ISDI CRM often have very different profiles. Our jobs are evolving and many of them are either disappearing or going digital. And whether you’re beginning your career or already have many years under your belt, you need to evolve with the market.”
As a communications professional focused on digital transformation, Eduardo Castillo sees things as follows: “We are not talking about purely technological companies. All companies, no matter the sector, now need to undergo a digital transformation process that will change the way they do business and their organisation. They are going to need a minimum set of digital skills if they are to survive, even within their home market.”
What do you learn and how do you learn it at ISDI CRM?
What we generally do at ISDI CRM when it comes to digitising skills is — aside from theoretical learning — to teach learners how to perform specific tasks that they will need to do on a day-to-day basis,” explains Armelle Jaclot. While we used to see profiles more geared towards sales, IT and so forth, we are now seeing more varied profiles, including those fresh out of university, professionals aged over 50, and women who have been away from the job market and are now looking to rejoin”.
Fabian Gradolph points out that “in the eyes of the company, it is really important to broaden our field of vision and where we look for talent. There is relatively little to go around and if all companies —our partners— go looking for the same type of professional, with specific qualifications, certifications and level of experience, then they’ll have to battle it out for a very limited talent pool. One of our aims is to expand the pool of professionals that can be tapped into. For example, we are now working to reskill groups of unemployed women so that they can get certified and rejoin the labour market.
In response to Eduardo Castillo’s question about whether “many people effectively exclude themselves from the job opportunities that exist in the false belief that it is too difficult or too technical” to acquire a digital or technological knowledge base, Armelle replies that “there are so many job opportunities in Salesforce that training is the right path for anyone who wants to secure their future career. It is a relatively simple tool to learn and, above all, one accessible to any profile.”
Training, specialisation and certification
As the El Transformador episode on ISDI CRM approached its final block, the conversation turned to how to transform that need for talent into a competitive edge in the labour market and business world… And with it one of the key questions: obtaining official certification for Salesforce skills.
To ensure that the training translates into specialisation and expertise for companies and qualified employment for individuals, “we accompany our learners all the way through to certification,” explains Armelle Jaclot, “giving them all the resources they need to achieve this official Salesforce certification, which validates all the knowledge they have acquired in their training with ISDI CRM”.
Fabian Gradolph adds that “This is massively important, especially for our partners and when they are going to implement a project for a client, who wants assurance that the professionals who are going to take part in the project are officially certified.”
Eduardo Castillo agrees that this is very much on the minds of “human resources departments and, above all, the knowledge areas of our society, which now wants to undertake new businesses and venture along new paths”.
So, do you need existing digital knowledge to be able to undertake these training courses and make the switch to the kind of career we’ve been talking about on this programme? Armelle Jaclot clarifies that you don’t need to be an expert in digital tools. Rather, “You can build and develop your profile by taking successive training courses. For example, a marketing specialist can receive training in Marketing Cloud or Pardot to incorporate knowledge of marketing automation tools that are essential in today’s market. The same goes for a person with a sales profile who gets trained in Sales Cloud.”
“Someone with a completely different profile can also receive further training. At ISDI CRM,” Jaclot concluded, “we have a guidance department that analyses the knowledge background of each person, sees where they want to go, and offers them advice on what kind of training they should go for. We have all sorts of profiles and the best thing is that the story always has a happy ending.”