When you’re looking to hire an SAP consultant, you must know what to look out for. With “SAP Consultant” as a job title being relatively new, tech recruitment agencies are often confused by what this job role covers and how it fits into a modern development environment.
Today, we’re going to look at what tech recruiters need to know when they’re looking to hire an SAP consultant.
Before You Get Started
If you’ve not hired an SAP consultant before, it’s important to understand that there are two distinct fields that SAP consultants typically specialise into – Technical or Functional.
Technical SAP Consultants
Technical SAP consultants typically come from a programming or software development background, and as such, they focus more on designing, building, and implementing SAP software solutions and enterprise applications. If you’re looking for an SAP consultant that can build custom software solutions, and one that can be placed in a development team, then this is the skill base you’ll need to look for.
Functional SAP Consultants
Functional SAP consultants, on the other hand, tend to have a background in finance or account management. These specialists focus on developing ideas and proposing solutions to clients or their employer, and often further specialise into understanding the SAP climate of certain industries or niches. If you’re looking to place an SAP consultant in a product management, design, or financial team, then you’ll need to hire from the functional skill base.
The SAP Consultant Hiring Process
Hiring an SAP consultant follows a similar structure to most hiring processes, however, tech recruitment companies need to follow a slightly different approach when they’re looking to hire a specialist to place in another company.
Step 1: What Do You Need?
As we discussed earlier, SAP Consultants have a wide range of specialisations and skillsets between them, so you need to understand what you need from this new employee.
With that in mind, you should start the hiring process by listing all of your criteria for your SAP employee. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:
- Are you hiring an SAP consultant to be placed with a specific company?
- If so, what skillset is that company looking for?
- What is your budget?
- Are you willing to provide training for less-qualified candidates?
- Do you need an all-rounder or someone who specializes in certain tech stacks, industries, or niches?
- Where will the SAP consultant be based day-to-day? Will they be expected to travel?
- If they’re not going to be based at your office, can you hire them remotely?
- What contract are you willing to offer to an SAP consultant – will they be full-time, part-time, or contracted?
- If you’re looking for a full-time SAP consultant, will they complete any work for your company between placements at other companies?
When you’re going through this process, it’s often helpful to categorise what you need from an SAP consultant in terms of whether something’s necessary, or a nice-to-have.
As an example, let’s say you’re looking for an SAP consultant in London to place with your clients in the financial industry. So, you’d note that previous experience as an SAP consultant working in the financial industry is a necessity. However, you know that some of your financial clients specifically work with non-profit organisations, so you note experience with those organisations as a nice-to-have.
Step 1.5: Understand Your SAP Solution Needs
If you’re hiring an SAP consultant to get them to work on SAP solutions for you in between company placements, then you need to think about how software can improve your company’s procedures. Even though you’re looking to hire for placement, SAP consultants can also offer a major benefit to your tech recruitment company.
So, you should consider all the different ways that software could improve your company. From increasing employee efficiency, eliminating paperwork, or even reducing entry errors that creep in from manual data entry, all of these abstract ideas can be made possible by an SAP consultant.
SAP consultants often prefer that businesses have an idea of what they’re looking for their software solution to achieve, as it makes their job easier and gives them greater insight into your processes.
Step 2: Understand What Makes an SAP Consultant Great
Now that you have a list of things you’re looking for in SAP consultants, ideally split in a list of necessary vs. nice-to-have qualities, then it’s time to start looking for candidates that you can get in contact with.
Before you do that, however, it’s useful to know what makes an SAP consultant stand out from the rest.
This perhaps goes without saying, but any SAP consultant should be able to demonstrate that they can communicate effectively with their coworkers, managers, and clients. While longevity with a certain client or company is a great indicator of this, you should also be looking for indicators that they’re happy working with a team. People will always want to do business with people that they like, and when you’re placing SAP consultants with other companies, they must make a good impression.
If having knowledge of a particular industry is important to you, then you need to look for previous experience in that industry, or at the very least, a passion for learning. This will depend on whether industry knowledge is a necessity or a nice-to-have for you. You should also seek examples where an SAP consultant has worked with clients or employers to better understand business processes and needs to build a more efficient SAP solution.
The technical skills you decide are a necessity vs. a nice-to-have will depend on you and what you need from an SAP consultant, but it’s worth understanding what technical skills these specialists should have at their level.
As we discussed earlier, the number of technical skills an SAP consultant has will depend on whether they’re a technical or functional SAP professional. However, if you already know that you need someone to build SAP enterprise applications, then you need to make sure you’re looking for an SAP consultant with experience in the relevant coding languages.
Step 3: Review SAP Consultant Portfolios
With a greater understanding of what kind of SAP professional you’ll need for your tech recruitment company, you can start reviewing portfolios. Whether you’re advertising for a full-time or part-time role at your company, or you’re looking to hire someone on a contract basis, you’ll want to start reviewing portfolios now in preparation for interviews.
When you’re going through a portfolio, remember to look for any inconsistencies or information that doesn’t match with their social media or LinkedIn profiles, as this is one of the biggest red flags you can come across.
As you would do when you’re hiring any other professional, conduct a thorough search of their online presence to make sure they’re the kind of person who you’d be proud to work with. Having a presence on SAP’s Community Network, especially if they’re answering questions and helping other users, is a great indication that they’re a qualified candidate.
LinkedIn is also a great place to gather information, particularly as the platform allows other professionals to recommend their skills and leave feedback about their work.
Step 4: Set Up an Interview
If all goes well and you like the look of a candidate, then you need to get an interview set up. Regardless of if you’re hiring a technical or functional SAP consultant, we always recommend that you stage a technical interview alongside a traditional one, so you can see a candidate’s skills firsthand.
At the interview, you’ll want to look for how the candidate explains their work and SAP processes. A great consultant will be able to easily translate very technical language into something that’s more easily understood, particularly by people who don’t have much technical knowledge in that field. Not only is this a great example of their communication skills, but it’s also a good demonstration of their knowledge in this field.
Step 5: Double-Check References
This is good advice for any tech recruitment company, but it’s something that’s missed surprisingly often with companies that hire consultants. When you collect a candidate’s references, then make sure you take the time to contact them and ask them about the candidate. This can help you narrow down your shortlisted candidates, but it’s also a good way for tech recruiters to gain an “in” with other companies and teams.
How to Hire an SAP Consultant: In Summary
“SAP consultant” is sometimes a vague job title that encompasses many different responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean that hiring one has to be difficult. Hiring an SAP consultant for your tech recruitment company more often than not follows the same procedure as with any other employee, but you have to be aware of skill levels and whether that individual can consult as well as be an SAP specialist. Remember to always keep your necessities and nice-to-haves in mind when you’re looking to hire an SAP consultant, and you’ll quickly be welcoming a new team member.