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Breaking into SAP HR

I have masters in business management with five years experience in human resources. I was recently trained on SAP HR and am now practicing it and looking for junior level jobs. I am also planning to do SAP HR certification. Please advise me on how I should search for jobs and land a good one.

I have masters in business management with five years experience in human resources. I was recently trained on SAP HR and am now practicing it and looking for junior level jobs. I am also planning to do SAP HR certification. Please advise me on how I should search for jobs and land a good one.
Well, so far, so good. You have chosen to pursue an area of SAP that is relevant to your overall background (in this case SAP HR). You have combined that background with some SAP HR training as well. This all lines up pretty well for you because there is a significant level of demand for HR on most SAP sites. It may be worthwhile to recognize that this is a big change from the late '90s, when many SAP shops were actually running on best-of-breed HR packages such as PeopleSoft. But in recent years, many SAP customers have been standardizing their back office on SAP (HR and Financials), and the "upgrade wave" is adding to the HR demand. So, the opportunities are out there for you. Your next step is pretty simple: get a job with a company implementing SAP.

Now, let's clarify this seemingly simple step. Some people think that if you can't get a job working in an SAP...

role right away, you're out of luck. But that's not always the case. If you can get a job in an HR-related role working for an SAP end user, over time, you should be able to work your way towards an SAP-centric role. Of course, I'm only offering this advice in case you are having trouble finding an SAP-specific role from the beginning. The best rule for a job search is to "go for broke" seeking your perfect job first, and then, if that doesn't work, then you can pull back and consider your "plan B" positions. If you continue to have trouble, you may want to educate yourself on the latest SAP HCM capabilities, and make sure your knowledge of HR includes not just the core payroll capabilities but the cutting edge components, such as Portals-based functionality like Employee Self-Service, or E-Recruitment, which we have seen a lot of jobs lately. Good luck!

This was last published in February 2008

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