We have interviewed one of our Team Lead Consultants to find out how the market is performing in regards to SAP UK Contract Recruitment.
What parts of the UK have been the busiest right now?
Currently in the SAP UK Contract market, we are seeing the busiest locations being the Midlands and the Greater London areas. I think in the SAP Contract market, professionals accept that there is always going to be a need for travel and prepare themselves for this, hence why they are paid better and also tend to work long hours, especially around go live.
I would say a good 70% of the SAP professionals working the Contract market tend to stay away Monday to Thursday and either travel back or work from home on the Friday. However, you will find that a contractor will always opt for the Contract role which is commutable from their current location regardless of money if they have a young family.
What SAP modules are most in demand for SAP UK Contract roles currently?
In all honesty, I wouldn’t say that there is a high demand for anything specifically SAP wise at present, I think that core SAP modules such as SD, MM, LE, WM, PM, QM, PP, PS, FI/CO and HR are always going to be popular. However, there are more niche areas like SAP HANA where available pools of candidates are not as big as the core areas. SAP have also been enhancing SAP HR adding areas such as SAP RTI (Real Time Information) and SAP PAE (Pension Auto Enrollment) which I can see being a busy area in 2013/14. Whitehall Resources has already started to work with Clients implementing this and I can see a lot more Clients looking to use SAP RTI & SAP PAE in the not to distance future.
What are rates like and what modules are paying more?
In the SAP UK Contract market, rates are definitely better than what they were this time last year, but like anything this all comes down to supply and demand. If one particular module like SAP PP was in extremely high demand then the rate would go up. It also heavily lays on what budget the Client has or what they have been given to play with and how critical the role is.
The main problem for contractors in UK market is that I am seeing more and more inclusive rates rather than rates plus expenses being paid. For a Contractor, paid expenses make a huge difference and it also allows them to have more movement than they could have with an all-inclusive rate.
I have heard that the UK SAP permanent market is tough with salaries as clients budgets are becoming increasingly tight, however like anything in life you are only going to get what you pay for. It is exactly the same with SAP Contract resource.
Are there any specific training programs or certification I should get to ensure future contracts?
I don’t think so, when speaking to Clients and discussing a Contract opportunity they are always looking for someone with prior hands on configuration experience in the specific area which they are looking to hire. It is only on a very rare occasion a Client may ask for someone to be Prince II certified or have SAP HCM certification. Contracting in the SAP industry requires you to be a true professional, most of the time you need to able to hit the ground running and in some instances having the ability to turn your hand to other areas than your core module area. When a business has a critical need that requires an immediate resource, I don’t think the Company would be worried if a consultant didn’t have the specific certification as long as they had a proven track record in a role with similar requirements.
What is your take on the current market situation?
The SAP UK Contract market is very buoyant at present. There are a number of new SAP projects happening in the UK as well as the usual suspects carrying out enhancements and upgrades. However, it has been good to see a few new names implementing SAP and hearing about Greenfield sites. I think with SAP releasing new tools and niche parts of certain modules such as SAP HANA, increasing sales and providing a stronger service than ever before, my gut feeling is that it is going to be a good year for SAP.