In this article I will briefly explain some aspects that I think might increase your chances in finding a new SAP Contract position if you are working as an SAP Freelance consultant. Although there are many other factors you still may find out you'll obtain better results if you at least apply the below ones.
As I personally work as a SAP Freelance consultant I have different means of finding a new SAP Freelance Contract position:
• Finding a SAP contract through a SAP Recruitment Agency
• Finding a SAP Contract via one of the established larger SAP Consulting companies
• Getting hired by an end-client who knows me or where I have worked in the past
Over the past 6 years I have ‘luckily’ been able to participate in many SAP implementation projects and SAP support roles without spending 1 day “on the beach” as we say in Belgium…or not being billable if that makes it more understandable.
Perhaps 1 aspect might have been that I work in a niche market such as SAP CRM, in which there are not ‘that many’ experienced consultant – who knows.
Personally I think other factors play a more important role:
1. How large is your professional network:
- The number of End-clients you already worked for
- Other SAP consultancy companies you have collaborated with or even worked for as an internal employee (assuming you still have a good relationship with them)
- How many recruitment agencies have access to your “up-to-date” CV
2. How strong is your online presence in the SAP Market
- Do you have a LinkedIn profile? If you don’t, make sure to create one!
You can use LinkedIn in a passive or active way. By this I mean, that once you have your profile online, updated it with relevant information about your skills and knowledge, you can next also join LinkedIn Groups related to SAP modules. By participating in discussion groups you can easily connect to other SAP experts and grow your network.
- Participate in other SAP related platforms such as:
- www.sapfans.com (a forum used by SAP consultants to post questions and answers for your day to day issues)
- SDN or SCN: SAP’s own platform where you can post questions, and help other people solve issues. You also can participate in blogging here.
- SAP University: well –this is our platform developed to share knowledge and quality articles by and for SAP consultants
- Have you created an account at Specific SAP job boards such as:
Just do a search for quality Job boards in Google and find out which ones have many SAP related Job postings. You might want to create a profile at those sites!
3. Do you increase your knowledge on a regular basis?
- I personally buy quite some books each year at SAP Press. For me, these quality books often allow me to perform self-study without needing to take multiple days off in order to follow some official SAP Training. The latter part would mean – no income during those days off, and investing a substantial amount of money.
- Try to follow an official SAP Training from time to time. If you feel you already have the necessary knowledge about most of the offered courses within your own domain of expertise, you still might consider following the more advanced Deep Dive Workshops, usually held at SAP Walldorf in Germany! For my domain SAP CRM they can be found for example on SCN.
- As a freelancer I think having access to a proper SAP IDES system helps me when studying SAP Press books, SAP courses (e.g. BC400 ABAP Programming) and other tutorials or guides I might find back online. I do not just want to read stuff, but also test and implement things whenever I have some spare time. For example, I always wanted to learn ABAP Programming. Although at the very beginning of my career I actually have followed the BC400 course at SAP, and also followed a SAP ABAP training for functional consultants, without really working as a developer for a certain period of time, you kind of forget the knowledge you learned during such a course. As now – 12 years later – my consulting strengths are rather located in the functional domain – it’s hard to find a new project where I am allowed to program. Even getting a developer key on a customer’s sandbox system is not that obvious anymore. Therefore, in my case, I really NEED access to an SAP IDES system in order to increase my technical skills, at my own pace and rhythm.
About their customer service: I only have experience with the customer service @ SAP IDES ACCESS, which is very good! They always replied and/or solved my issues within 48 hours max (usually even faster). You will probably even find a recommendation made by myself at their site, so you can see I actually USED their offering.
As I have not created a problem ticket at the other provider, I cannot tell you more about their support, but the system access works well at least.
4. How good is your direct relationship with other consultants/freelancers in the market
In point 1 I mentioned establishing a network where I was referring to your connection with other Consultancy companies. However, I rather like to think in terms of maintaining your “relationship” with PEOPLE from other consultancy companies. People move to other companies, end-clients, but as long as you keep in touch, and you meet with them once in a while, might lead to “them” contacting you whenever they have a position that needs to be filled at their ‘current customer’.
As such I think it’s important that on any project you work at, you try to establish a good working relationship with other consultants from other companies. Get to know them, help them whenever they need your help or advice and in the long run you will probably reap the rewards.
The SAP University Team