Whitehall Careers - What is SAP Recruitment

Starting Your Career as an SAP Recruitment Consultant | An Introduction to SAP

Have you ever wondered why your favourite store always has your size in stock? Or how global businesses handle thousands of transactions a second without breaking a sweat? The answer lies in three simple letters: SAP. As the backbone of numerous industries, SAP’s influence stretches far and wide, touching almost every element of our daily lives.
If you’re considering a leap into the recruitment world, set your sights on SAP recruitment—a niche filled with innovation and vast potential. Whether you’re a seasoned recruiter or just stepping into the realm, the world of SAP offers a unique blend of technological mastery and the nuanced art of matchmaking. In this guide, we’ll delve deeper into SAP’s monumental role and show you how you can embark on a rewarding journey in SAP recruitment. But first, let’s explore the basics of SAP.
If you’re brand new to recruitment, and want to learn more about the wider industry, start by checking out this article, ‘what is recruitment?.

Understanding SAP: A Quick Overview

At its core, SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) is a robust software suite designed to simplify an organisation’s various business processes—everything from HR to finance. Imagine the intricacy of global businesses; SAP is the software that helps them function smoothly.

Founded by five former IBM engineers, SAP started with a vision to revolutionise the way businesses operated. Their goal was to create integrated software solutions that could handle diverse business processes in real-time, replacing the disjointed systems of the time.

Over the decades, SAP has grown exponentially, marking its presence in over 180 countries. Today, it stands as the third-largest software and programming company worldwide, right behind giants like Microsoft and Oracle.

  • Total revenue 2022: £25.46b
  • Employees: 105,000+
  • Founded: 1 April 1972
  • Headquarters: Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg.
Nathan Joseph - SAP Consultant

Nathan Joseph
Senior Client Services Manager

“It was daunting at first trying to come to grips with all of the different modules, functionalities and terminologies that SAP encompasses. Still, thanks to the support from senior colleagues at Whitehall and speaking to SAP professionals regularly, my understanding of it grew. The more I learned, the more I was amazed at how much SAP impacts our lives.”

SAP in the Real World: What is it Used For?

As Nathan describes, SAP touches many facets of our daily lives. From managing stocks in a shop to ensuring hospitals have patient data on hand, SAP’s tools (or software modules) are versatile. Let’s break down some practical, everyday instances where SAP works behind the scenes:

  • Shopping: Have you ever wondered how shops rarely run out of your size or favourite brand? SAP helps retailers predict what items to stock and when.
  • Hospitals: When doctors have all your health information at their fingertips during your visit, SAP’s healthcare tools often play a role.
  • Banking: Your bank uses software like SAP to keep track of transactions, detect suspicious activities, and provide you with tailored services.
  • Farming: From predicting weather patterns to managing harvests, SAP helps farmers get the most out of their crops.
  • Travel: When your flight or train is on time, or when you receive real-time updates about delays, SAP’s transportation management tools are at work.
  • Power Supply: Energy providers use SAP to predict power needs, ensuring there’s always light when you flick the switch.
  • Schools & Universities: From student enrollments to managing course schedules, SAP helps educational institutions stay organised.
  • Making Goods: Manufacturers use SAP to ensure they make just the right amount of products and maintain quality.
  • Building Projects: Constructing buildings or infrastructure efficiently, on time, and within budget often involves SAP’s project management tools.

So, the next time you find a product easily in a store, have a smooth bank transaction or enjoy uninterrupted power at home, there’s a good chance SAP is working behind the scenes to make it all happen.

What Kinds of Business Use SAP?

SAP is behind a large variety of industries, but what businesses actually use it? According to recent data, over 24,000 organisations run on SAP. Let’s take a look at how they use SAP.

  • BMW Group: Pioneering automotive digitisation, the integration of SAP S/4HANA and supply chain logistics at BMW’s iFACTORY sets a blueprint for future automotive plants.

  • Under Armour: In the competitive world of sportswear, SAP’s Integrated Business Planning enabled precise demand prediction, ensuring that athletes and enthusiasts never miss out on their favourite gear.

  • Asian Paints: Colouring Asia, this paint mogul streamlined its massive distribution network with SAP Advanced Planning & Optimisation, ensuring vibrant walls across the continent.

Video: FC Bayern and SAP – Leveraging Data On and Off the Pitch (YouTube)

  • FC Bayern Munich: Sports & Entertainment’s giant leveraged SAP Emarsys Customer Engagement to touch the hearts of its global fan base with personalised marketing campaigns.
Nicola Saxham

Nicola Saxham
Managing Consultant | DACH SAP

“Don’t be intimidated by the job title or the fact you don’t know anything about IT. You don’t need to be an IT expert to be a successful SAP recruiter. As with anything in life, you pick things up as you go, and this is how I personally approached it.”

Understanding the Need for Specialist SAP Recruiters

We’ve discovered that SAP’s reach is vast, touching on a variety of industries and many of our lives. That said, SAP has an ecosystem of it’s own, which is just one of the reasons companies using SAP, rely on specialist SAP recruiters.

In contrast, generalist recruiters work a broad scope of industries, whereas SAP recruitment demands a depth of understanding that only specialists can provide. It’s a niche but an expansive one, and that’s what makes it both challenging and rewarding.

Max Taylor

Max Taylor
Executive Consultant | SAP | USA

“When I first joined Whitehall Resources, I had no prior understanding of SAP. The initial stages of learning the industry terminologies and getting to grips with the modules felt quite daunting. But for anyone feeling overwhelmed at the start: remember, it’s natural to feel this way. With the incredible support system at Whitehall and by consistently engaging with candidates and the market, you’ll be surprised at how swiftly you gain a grasp on things.”

The Role of an SAP Recruitment Consultant

An SAP Recruitment Consultant, you’ll play a critical role in matching businesses with the right SAP expertise. Your primary duty is to liaise with clients and candidates, understanding the intricacies of the required SAP roles. This is more than just knowing the technical specs; it’s about grasping the broader business context.

Utilising platforms such as LinkedIn and specialist job portals, consultants source candidates. But it doesn’t stop at sourcing. They vet these candidates for both technical proficiency and alignment with the company’s culture and objectives. Interviews are coordinated, and when a potential match is found, you’ll navigate the negotiation phase, balancing the interests of both parties.

So, what sets SAP recruitment apart from general recruitment? Depth of expertise. SAP recruiters thrive on an intricate knowledge of the vast SAP ecosystem, from its modules to its real-world application.

Success in this niche demands a solid foundation in the fundamentals SAP, strong communication skills, sharp analytical abilities, and a knack for relationship-building. Given the ever-evolving nature of SAP, adaptability is also crucial.

In essence, an SAP Recruitment Consultant ensures that businesses can fully leverage SAP by connecting them with the right talent.

Learning and Evolving Your SAP Recruitment Career

To truly succeed in SAP recruitment, continuous learning is crucial. Max elaborated on his experience: “I was curious. So I connected with people, read articles, and as weeks turned to months, my SAP knowledge grew substantially.”

LinkedIn is filled with professionals and content related to SAP. By joining relevant groups, you can gain insights that might be unavailable elsewhere. Connecting with prominent SAP professionals on the platform allows you to learn valuable information from industry thought leaders. Some great examples include David Lowson, Head of Global SAP COE, and Alisdair Bach, SAP Programme Director.

Nicola offered a tip to newcomers, “Don’t be daunted. You pick things up as you go. Even after 7 years, I sometimes face unfamiliar roles, but there’s always guidance available. The SAP website is an invaluable tool.”

One of the simplest ways to begin to increase your SAP knowledge, is by familiarising yourself with their products. The SAP website is an excellent resource for this, providing detailed breakdowns of their services and use cases.

Nathan added a personal touch, “It was daunting initially. However, speaking to SAP professionals regularly and the support from senior colleagues at Whitehall deepened my understanding. Even now, I’m still learning, which keeps things interesting.”

At Whitehall, your personal development and growth are important to us. Whether you’re a newcomer to the realm of IT and SAP or already have experience in the field, know that your team and colleagues are always here to assist and guide you throughout your learning journey.

Embracing Challenges and Leveraging Team Support

Every journey into the world of SAP comes with its set of challenges. George, an SAP professional, mentioned a compelling reflection about his own experiences:

George Baker - SAP Recruitment

George Baker
Consultant | UK SAP Contract Team

“When I first considered diving into SAP, I was advised against conducting independent due diligence because of SAP’s vastness. Approaching it without prior context can be intimidating, and many might feel overwhelmed even before truly getting started. This perhaps explains the historically high turnover rates at some recruitment firms. However, in the right environment, newcomers are not expected to enter as self-proclaimed experts. Instead, they are provided with the tools and resources to boost their chances of success. It’s not an easy task—it demands dedication and hard work. But a supportive team can ensure that you keep your standards high and avoid complacency.”

George’s insights underscore the value of working in a supportive environment like Whitehall, where there’s an appreciation for individual learning curves and an emphasis on team collaboration. It’s not just about the technicalities of SAP, but about fostering an atmosphere of growth and understanding. This supportive backdrop ensures that individuals, whether they are newbies or seasoned professionals, are equipped to face challenges, adapt, and excel in their roles.

The Fulfillment and Pride in SAP Recruitment

SAP recruitment isn’t just about understanding the technical details – it’s about making meaningful connections in the industry. Nathan shared, “I strongly recommend pursuing a career as an SAP specialist. As one of the world’s leading ERP systems, SAP is widely adopted by many of the world’s most iconic brands and companies. I take pride in knowing that I contribute to the success of these organisations.”

Nicola, too, shares her experience of the non-technical side of recruitment and the learning curve. “Don’t be intimidated by the terminology. You don’t need to be an IT expert to be a successful SAP recruiter. Throughout my journey, interactions with clients and candidates have been invaluable; it’s where I learn the most. They get it – they don’t expect you to know everything from day one. But a foundational understanding is essential. With the support and training from your team and colleagues, combined with tools like the SAP website and good ol’ Google, you’ll continuously add to your knowledge and gain confidence over time.”

The human touch is important. Beyond the roles and responsibilities, it’s the genuine relationship, the care to ensure the right match, and the passion to see both candidates and organisations success that differentiates an outstanding SAP recruiter.

Start Your SAP Recruitment Journey

Ready to start your career in SAP recruitment? At Whitehall, SAP isn’t just a specialty—it’s our foundation. Whether you’re new to recruitment or come with a wealth of experience in other sectors, there’s a place for you here if you have the drive to thrive in a constantly changing industry.

Discover the exciting roles we offer on our vacancies page. Ready for a chat? Reach out to our recruitment team to find out how you can begin SAP recruitment journey.

After working at Whitehall for a number of years now, I look back and wonder why I didn’t get into recruitment sooner. The company values, team spirit and the atmosphere is what makes Whitehall the place to be. On top of that, the commission structure, company rewards and career progression are second to none and I am excited for what my future holds and the goals I can reach.

Nicola Saxham - Senior Consultant – International (DACH) team

I have worked at Whitehall for a long time now and it has been a pleasure to be part of the company’s continued growth. It is an exceptional place to work, with a family orientated mentality, and you are rewarded for working hard and being dedicated. I have loved my time here so far and look forward to progressing further.

Jason Wood – Credit Control Supervisor

Whitehall has really helped me curate my career into one I can be proud of – starting as an admin assistant,  I was promoted to the Facilities & Senior Administrator after just 18 months! Just recently, I was part of a project to help the company become Carbon Neutral, which is the best news!! The camaraderie of the whole team is wonderful, and I would thoroughly recommend Whitehall to anyone who is looking to kickstart their career into something amazing!

Abbie Elwood – Facilities & Senior Administrator

I joined the company as an entry-level consultant in the newly formed Key Accounts team back in 2010. Throughout those years I have progressed within the company and have had multiple promotions along the way and have never once looked back. At the moment, I’m looking to continue the growth of my team by adding to the current headcount and in supporting their development to help them to achieve their aspirations.

Adam Edgell – Associate Director – Key Accounts Delivery

The environment here is second to none, I am constantly learning and improving thanks to those around me and from the support of my managers. This is a company that rewards hard work and gives you all the tools you need to develop and succeed. I would recommend Whitehall to anyone, from those looking to start their journey into recruitment to those who already have a number of years’ experience as you will be joining a close-knit team and have the opportunity to thrive and work with some of the best in the industry.

Nathan Joseph – Principal Consultant – UK Permanent – ERP & IT Client Development

Since joining Whitehall Resources, they have given me the opportunity to grow and develop from a trainee position. Whitehall Resources is the ideal company if you are looking for career progression.

Kirsty Small – Contracts Administrator

I joined Whitehall with no experience in recruitment or IT and I could barely use a computer myself. Since joining, I have built a career and a joined a family here. I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity I have been given and the guidance I have received from my managers and colleagues (friends). With hard work and a bit of tenacity, Whitehall can give you the chance to change your life for the better.

Jacob Lee – Executive Consultant – UK SAP Contracts

I joined Whitehall Resources with zero recruitment experience and a background in pharmaceuticals. Fast forward six years I have been promoted on multiple occasions and can vouch first hand that Whitehall Resources is a great place for career progression whilst having lots of fun along the way. On top of the career available you get to win lots of incentives including holidays abroad and overall, it is a great place to work.

Georgia Pike - Executive CSM - CSM

After joining Whitehall, I have really found myself within recruitment and even achieved rookie of the year! I am continuously learning and growing. I am looking forward to challenging myself in the future and seeing what I can achieve here at Whitehall.

Hannah Pile – Consultant – UK SAP Perm

I joined Whitehall in late 2015 as IT Support Engineer and have now progressed to Team Lead. Whitehall is a fantastic place to work, where hard work and a strong work ethic is rewarded in both Sales and Operations alike.

Dan Appleby – IT Team Lead