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After the German SAP job market has up until now gotten through the first (and hopefully last) brunt of the COVID epidemic without losing much of its stability, I have experienced a large number of questions from candidates interested in relocating to Germany on how to best go about this.

 

In order to help everyone interested in pursuing their SAP career here, I will give you some essential tips regarding the job market to maximize your chances and minimize disappointment.

To kick things off, I would like to give you an overview of the market as I currently experience it. At the moment, there are 3 main trends that dominate the demand side:

 

  1. Specialists for one module are more sought-after than generalists
  2. End-to-end knowledge trumps pure process-side or pure hands-on skills
  3. German knowledge is an absolute prerequisite

 

To give you a better overview, let’s look at each of those points in detail.

PSA: The most important skills to work as a SAP Consultant in Germany gratisography 231H scaled  tipps, fuer-kandidaten, bewerbungen  sap personalberater SAP Kandidaten SAP Jobs

Specialization

 

In general, especially larger companies prefer in-depth knowledge in one specific module to a wider range of modules. There are – as always in life – distinctions in this of course. For example, it is considered completely normal that candidates who are specialized in SD will have some knowledge in intersecting modules like MM.

 

 

The challenge is when a candidate has worked (or in many cases claims to have worked) in almost all modules. Whenever I talk to candidates who say that they cover FI/CO as well as SD/MM as well as WM/LE/EWM, this in most cases leaves only two options: Either they are developers who do not need very deep knowledge of the business unit side of things or they have only scratched the very surface of the individual modules.

 

 

As mentioned above, for developers, this rule does not apply as much as for business consultants. For them, it is more important to have solid knowledge in ABAP-OO, ideally Fiori / SAPUI5, and perhaps (in ascending order of relevance) SAPScript, Smartforms or SIFbA.

 

 

Of course, from time to time there will be positions popping up on the market where the company is looking for a consultant who can work in all the modules. Speaking from experience, these positions stem from two possible reasons: The company is looking for the „eierlegende Wollmilchsau“ and/or don’t know the SAP market. Mostly this is categorized by them only being willing to pay a salary that is below market standards. Or they are in fact not looking for a SAP consultant but rather either a developer or a key user.

PSA: The most important skills to work as a SAP Consultant in Germany Depositphotos 77280426 ds scaled  tipps, fuer-kandidaten, bewerbungen  sap personalberater SAP Kandidaten SAP Jobs

End-to-end project experience

 

Generally speaking, most SAP consultants specialize either on the process/project side of things with skills including project management, analysis, process design or on the hands-on part with a focus on customizing, support, and day-to-day business. As the German market has a lot of SME companies looking for potential employees, this clear distinction is often only possible with very large companies. With most SMEs the vacancies will consist of both process-based as well as hands-on work. If you can gather experience in all parts of the project life cycle, this will drastically raise your chances in finding more than 1-2 positions that might be a good fit for your next step.

 

This will in turn also have a very positive impact on the salary available to you.

PSA: The most important skills to work as a SAP Consultant in Germany Depositphotos 88248102 xl 2015 scaled  tipps, fuer-kandidaten, bewerbungen  sap personalberater SAP Kandidaten SAP Jobs

Language skills in German

 

This is actually the main road block many candidates experience when relocating. When I take a look at the market and at the positions I have worked and successfully placed since 2007, 95%-96% require at the very least B1 level German skills.

 

 

This stems from the fact that within most companies, the company language is German. Yes, there are exceptions. But these make up only a tiny fraction of the total number of vacancies available on the one hand. Resulting from this, these positions have the further disadvantage that they get absolutely swamped with applications. Leading to lower chances of you acquiring that position as well as often lower salaries compared to the rest of the market because the shift in the supply-demand dynamic.

 

 

Considering the stress, energy, and planning involved in moving to a new country, I urgently recommend not placing all your eggs in one basket but rather to first remove the biggest hurdles that might impede a great new step in your career. And speaking from experience, this involvies getting your German skills to at the very least B1 level. This will in most cases have the single most positive impact on your chances of getting a new job.

 

 

I have spoken to so many frustrated candidates in the past that I can not stress this enough: Most of them are great at what they do. They have the technical skills, the mind set, and realistic salary expectations. All of that will not be the deciding factor though if the communication side of things does not work.

Now, I am purely focussed on the German SAP market, so I can not claim to be an expert on the corresponding job markets in other countries. As far as I have heard, the situation is similiar in France regarding knowledge of the French langugage, while native English speakers often have an easier time in Scandinavian countries or (of course) the UK.

 

 

If you can check off these 3 points, I heartily recommend relocation: The job market is very solid with a positive salary direction, and experienced candidates are often spoilt for choice. Just keep in mind that in order to get a great start, it makes sense to not only look at the possible rewards but also to consider potential risk factors to make an informed decision.

 

 

Please feel free to contact me in case of questions or corrections, I look forward to your feedback!

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