The Challenge of Hiring SAP Consultants in Brazil
As companies initiate global IT programs, acquire new business units, and merge with competitors, support is often needed to enable seamless service or product delivery. Global IT programs are the bread and butter of many SAP consultants— whether they’re based locally or they travel internationally for work.
In 2017, SAP made substantial investments in Latin America. As a result, more and more global companies have taken on projects and are now searching for SAP consultants in Brazil to execute their project plans. However, many of these companies struggle to find staffing solutions at are affordable, compliant and scalable.
Why is it so hard to employ SAP consultants in Brazil?
When it comes to contracting SAP consultants in Brazil, procurement offices and SAP program leads struggle to navigate the ever-changing labor restrictions and develop strong networks of locally based consultants. Those new to operating in Brazil face the following hurdles:
- Legal definition of freelancers in Brazil: Technically, Brazil does not recognize freelancers in the same way as in the USA or Europe. Instead they use the term autonomous worker. This usually refers to people in informal employment situations (home employees, street vendors), rather than freelancers who work on a contract basis for a company. This ambiguity leads to uncertainty when it comes to the legal enforcement of various laws pertaining to autonomous workers.
- Employee versus freelancer: Like in many European countries, there are steep penalties for treating freelancers like permanent employees. Small technicalities like issuing a company email address or dictating set work hours in some cases may be seen as treating a freelancer as a permanent employee. The laws around the freelancer-employee divide often appear unclear to those new to operating in Brazil.
- Compliance: Many multinational organizations lack the appropriate legal expertise to navigate the Brazilian market. This makes it very difficult for organizations to ensure compliance with all local legislation and decisions may be plagued with uncertainty. Taking on freelancers becomes risky. Additionally, multinational corporations face barriers when it comes to ensuring the compliance of individual SAP freelancers in Brazil, especially when it comes to taxes or accepting liability for damages.
- Difficulty sourcing: As companies expand their SAP programmes to Brazil their network of SAP freelancers often becomes sparse. Many multinational organizations find it challenging to find and secure the services of the right SAP freelancers in Brazil. Weak networks can be exacerbated by language or niche skillset requirements. These same companies also face difficulties finding local partners to assist in sourcing SAP consultants, as the market remains volatile due to changes in local labor legislation.
Despite these challenges, the SAP market is absolutely booming in Brazil. Last year, Brazil claimed to have an estimated 20,000 SAP consultants in the country and multiple local and international projects underway. Even in such a seemingly SAP-friendly environment, many multinationals new to operating in Brazil continue to struggle to find the right talent that won’t pose a compliance risk.
Of course, there are partners who can assist with contracting SAP freelancers in Brazil compliantly. Global Enterprise Partners provides bespoke SAP staffing solutions in over 100 countries, Brazil included.