To sum things up, 2014 was a great year to be in SAP. And 2015 shows much promise. But like the world around us, things are changing quickly. Notice: when I say “change” there should be no positive or negative connotation attached to that word. Change isn’t inherently good or bad – it just happens. I will say this – when we consider the word “change” in the context of SAP and SAP jobs, it often means one thing: opportunity. It’s important to note that you’re reading this post toward the end of November 2014. These four trends – nobody could have guessed or predicted these trends. But here we are and this is the market we have. So enjoy your new found freedom and prosperity that SAP work provides.
Important: I’m highlighting the trends I’m noticing in SAP hiring so you know what to expect. As always, arming yourself with additional knowledge pays dividends – it allows you to negotiate better work situations, better rates, better travel schedules, and in general use your skills and knowledge in SAP to improve your way of life. After reading this you’ll know how much leverage you have with recruiters and hiring managers. Don’t be fooled~! With demand at present levels, SAP resources are firmly in the drivers seat.
1. Many more opportunities for remote work
It seems that not a day goes by that I do not receive recruiter emails with “20 new remote positions!” This is a recent development, perhaps in the past 6 to 12 months. In the past, remote work was either a perquisite or a necessity born of massively distributed, global businesses. Today, I feel like these two reasons for remote work situations are still true, but now companies are also so desperate to find the skills they need that they really don’t care where you work. To be clear: demand is so strong for SAP skills that they will let you work wherever you like.
Want to come to our office? Sure. Want to work from your office? That’s OK, too. We just need your skills with SAP.
I’m seeing requirements go unfilled for several months. The job requirement will ask for one location, then it will ask for a regional person, Finally, the requirements are changing to “After an initial period of on-site work, strong possibility for remote.”
I read this as “Please, we need these skills and we’re desperate – you can work wherever you want to, but please just join our project!”
If you’ve been waiting to make a move into SAP – let me interpret this trend for you — now is a good time to start interviewing.
2. Opportunities – No interview required
Need I say more? More than one opportunity to join a project that required 3 or more positions, and no interview was required. What was required was the ability to travel at the last moment to the client site on an exact date. I’m seeing more of this “exact date” hiring. They need you for a week starting on December 7th, and then on Feb 18th. And rather than a focus on skills or experience, they insist on having somebody there for that schedule. This means they care little for the qualifications and that the need a “warm body.”
My Breaking into SAP students understand the concept of warm bodies, hired guns, and gurus — and they know that maximum rate and work efficiencies are to be found in the “warm body” category of contract labor, and they seek out these opportunities.
Consider: a company is saying, “we don’t much care what you’ve done in the past or what you know today – but if you can show up on Monday, we’ll pay you $100/hr to be here..”
This is pretty incredible, my friends. Opportunity is here for those who understand that inefficiencies in the market for contract SAP labor means you can get hired with little or no experience and get paid handsomely for the presence of your warm body. So to speak.
3. Hiring continues at a robust pace, even into the holiday season.
Used to be that SAP work ran, more or less, according to time schedules that shut down over the holidays. And in the USA this means from November 15th or so through to the end of the year.
A trend I’m noticing: aggressive hiring and start dates throughout the holiday season. Many start dates scattered throughout November and December.
What does this mean? It means companies are desperate for your skills and they’ll start you even though they know not much is going to get done during the holidays.
4. No extreme downward rate pressure
About 2 years ago we were seeing real pressure on hourly rates and salaries. This has largely evaporated – particularly in the last six months.
Demand is increasing. Supply is stagnant. Barriers to entry are high for those seeking new positions in SAP. For all of these reasons, rates are stabilizing and you should not accept too much pressure from your recruiter on rate.
Also, companies have projects and work that need to be completed. They have cut their staffs to disastrously small levels. And so who does the work?
When you cut staff to unsustainable levels, you will then have to scramble to hire people to pick up the slack and to take assignments and move projects forward. I believe that is some of what we’re seeing: staff who don’t know what they’re doing, and few of them — trying to find people to come in and help out with their information systems.
That’s real, long-term opportunity for those of us who are interested in making a good living in technology.
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