Many of us are SAP consultants. We are on different levels, from “SAP freshers” to salted SAP professionals with decades of experience.
What do we all have in common? We are on the same part of the job market scales: we are the labour force, even when we are self-employed contractors.
However, there are two more parts of the SAP job market, which we all depend on. One of them is, of course, employers. The second is an intermediary part: recruiters.
Are you interested in looking onto the SAP job world through the lens of a recruiter? SAP Expert is! That is why SAP Expert arranged some interviews with recruiters, making something like a round table, where everyone answers the same questions.
Today I am presenting the first part of the recruiters’ team. Both of them work in respectable companies, but decided to stay anonymous in the interview. Let’s call them Recruiter 1 and Recruiter 2.
SAP Expert: Could you please introduce yourselves. How long have you been in the business? What kind of recruitment do you do, markets/countries etc.
Recruiter 1. I am a SAP recruitment consultant having worked global markets for the past four years, the first two years of my career I recruited within the UK post-compulsory education system.
Recruiter 2. I work within the UK IT and SAP recruitment industry and have 4 years experience. I mainly work in all areas of SAP, however I also provide other IT resources such as Business Analysts, Project Managers etc. I work within several different industries, from Banking and Media to FMCG.
SAP Expert: What is the current state of the SAP job market? Is there any improvement or perspective of one?
R1. The SAP market is always active, however industries and geographical locations will occasionally have a lull of activity. I would say Europe is definitely improving and is in a better situation than 2010.
R2. The UK market is quiet compared to recent years. Obviously due to the current state of the economy, a lot of projects have been placed on hold due to budget issues and I know of projects that have been cancelled completely. As the market is starting to look brighter, managers are now able to focus on growth; I have met several managers recently who are looking to start projects that have recently been placed on hold or cancelled.
SAP Expert: There are 4 types of specialists on the SAP job market: freshers, freshers with certificate, experienced consultants, and experienced consultants with certificate. How does certification affect the ability of the candidate to secure the position? Do companies really pay attention to this?
R1. I would disagree with pigeonholing applicants in to one of these four groups, the first thing I would do is divide these groups into technical and functional, business and IT roles, at this point I would also comment that “freshers” without qualifications will rarely be considered by recruiters as our function is to support in the resourcing of hard-to-find and -attract resources.
R2. Most companies that I work with will look at experience over qualification. A certification looks nice, however someone who has work experience is more crucial. Anyone can take a qualification, it does not state whether they would be able to get involved with difficult SAP implementations.
SAP Expert: Is it a good time for people to become an SAP consultant? How saturated is the market now?
R1. I believe SAP is and always will be a highly sought-after skill set, more so for the consultants who leave an industry to specialise in a module, such as the warehouse manager who becomes a WM consultant. You cannot teach the real-life insight gained by working in a role.
R2. I would not say it is the best time to become an SAP Consultant in the popular modules like FICO & BI/ BW (although in some of the more niche SAP areas it would be, like APO). There are quite a lot of candidates currently available on the market in the popular SAP modules as projects have been put on hold or cancelled.
SAP Expert: It is not a secret that the UK and Western Europe is an attractive place for people from all over the world. Is there any reason for people from other countries to try to get into the EU market with or without requirement for a visa sponsorship?
R1. To put things simply, applying for a role in a country you are not eligible to work in is a long shot at best for getting an interview unless the skill set required is extremely rare; moreover, being successful after an interview is even less likely. That said, the EU Blue card seems like the best way for non-Europeans to enter the EU and work.
R2. I would say firstly working in the EU market there are a lot of opportunities due to the number of businesses that operate within SAP across the EU. Secondly, the EU pays well too.
SAP Expert: There are some recruiters on the market who announce non-existing vacancies only to harvest CVs of potential candidates. Also, there are recruiters who ask candidates for recommendations with the purpose of using a call to the referee as a sales pitch. Why does this behaviour exist and become more popular?
R1. This activity has taken place since before I had my first job, let alone my first role in recruitment. It is a shame false jobs are advertised and it is also a shame some pushy recruiters think it is smart to “pump” candidates for information, but it happens. Although I don’t condone these actions, the question answers itself.
R2. I am aware there are recruiters on the market who conduct this type of behaviour; I personally feel that they act in this behaviour in order to get business leads as they do not have enough business to work with in the first place. I would not say this has become more popular. In my experience there have always been recruiters who act in this manner and most likely always will be in the near future.
As you can see, different recruiters have different views. And what is your own view on these questions?
Maybe you want to ask more questions of recruiters as well?