How to maximize your relationship with a SAP recruiter
Having a good recruiter in your corner as an SAP consultant can help even the most seasoned contractors; establishing a solid relationship with a that recruiter can get you even further. Given the opportunity and the right communication, SAP recruiters can ensure that you are kept in the know and eventually taken on for some of the most exciting / challenging projects in the business. They can facilitate your career and secure a healthy pipeline of prospective projects on your behalf.
SAP contractors themselves are a unique breed of consultant because of the kind of projects they work on— they are both functional and technical experts and they tend to be internationally mobile. While SAP contractors may develop their own networks of professionals in the field, project cycles can be intense and keeping track of your contacts can be challenging. Because of this, SAP contractors often seek out SAP recruiters to assist them in securing their next project role.
That being said, it can be tough to find the right recruiter. The SAP recruitment landscape is vast and can be difficult to navigate with projects hard to pin down if you’re not fully immerged in the job hunt. SAP recruitment has exploded over the past decade and there are many agencies out there managing any number of jobs— from generalist to niche roles within SAP. It can be tough to figure out which agency may truly specialise your industry and your particular field— let alone which offers the best service. And while it’s easy to notice that there are a lot of inexperienced recruiters out there, there are many who have years’ of experience in the market and are well trained to help you make your next career move.
So how can you maximize your relationship with a SAP recruiter? How can you ensure that you are getting the best value for the time you invest in speaking to someone?
Focus your approach
The first step in finding a recruiter who can positively contribute to your career is finding an agency that specialises in not only SAP recruitment but also within your specific area of expertise— industry or sub-module. This will ensure that the recruiter can appreciate your particular skillset and better understand how to market your skills to their client. Because a recruiter may be doubly specialised in both SAP and specific modules or industries, this means that they will be working with clients who also work in these specific areas, and thus will be better suited to advise you and match you.
The more specific their focus, the better their market knowledge to share with you and the better the chance that they work with managers who hire for your specific skillset.
Meet in person
The best way of getting the most out of your SAP recruiter is meeting with them in person where possible. While most recruiters well-trained to qualify consultants over the phone and assessing their CV on paper, it is hard to establish a personal connection and trust by these means alone.
Not only do people want to assist the people they ‘know’ more, but they are more likely to go above and beyond. Letting a recruiter get to know you will enable them to not only put you forward for roles they are managing, but actively canvass their clients and make open representations on your behalf— something they can only do if they trust that you are a skilled consultant, which comes from knowing you rather than reading your CV.
Of course, meeting in person may not always be possible given the international nature of SAP contracting. In this case, many recruiters will be open to having a video call in order to put a face to the name. The more time you can spend mutually getting to know a recruiter, the better your relationship will be.
Encourage transparent communication
In such a competitive market it can be tough to lay your entire hand on the table, which is why it is so important to establish a trusted relationship with a recruiter. It is important to be open about your availability, interest, and capabilities both in reference to a specific role and for any future opportunities.
Nothing breaks trust with a recruiter faster than putting a consultant forward for a role and learning only after they are offered a contract that they had no interest in actually taking the role. Equally, trust must be reciprocated on their end meaning that they should keep your information confidential, be honest about client expectations and ensure you’re getting the best outcome in any negotiation.
Ask for support
Recruiters can be more than just source to secure your next project. They are people who specialise in the staffing industry and you should be able to request the following support:
- Feedback on your CV: Recruiters sometimes tailor your CV to certain experiences, given certain roles- this can give you a better perspective of what their clients are looking for and where your strengths lie. Additionally, if you are not a native English speaker, this can be a good opportunity for someone to fine tune your paper profile.
- Tax and freelance regulations: Many SAP recruiters frequently place international consultants in multiple locations globally. This means that most of these recruiters have developed a good understanding of local tax laws and regulations pertaining to freelance and umbrella consultants. Furthermore as they may deal with consultants in a number of different staffing situations, they should be able to advise on using umbrella companies and working with pay-rollers to optimise your next contract.
- Relocations: Given the international nature of many SAP projects, recruiters in this area are well equipped to advise on any potential travel or relocation as required by the role. Advice can extend to the best flight times and prices to accommodation in your contract destination.
- Market knowledge: Especially when you are new to contracting, recruiters can be a valuable resource when it comes to orienting yourself within the market. They should be able to advise you on rates, which vary between cities and module specialty, prospective project opportunities, and in demand skill sets.
Agree next steps
Once you’ve established a trusted relationship with an SAP recruiter, it is important to agree next steps and your preferred way of communicating with one another. Communication is key to a good relationship and by agreeing next steps you can eliminate a lot of uncertainty when it comes to any ongoing processes you might enter together. Agreeing next steps is a good opportunity to set and manage your expectations with one another in order to ensure that future interactions do not fall prey to miscommunication.
This last step can be a way not only to maximize your relationship but test it as well. Honouring agreed next steps will let you know that you’re not only maximizing the relationship to your benefit, but also make sure that you’re in the right relationship.