Do you see the big picture?

The SAP job market is being shaken up. You can recognize the attractive companies by the fact that they have convincing answers to the challenges of our time ready. This can also be seen in the specific SAP projects.

Please “recognize the signs of the times”, you have to “anticipate the trends” and it is always particularly important that you “take a step back to see the big picture”. Yes, actually: There is seldom a lack of good advice – and certainly not when it comes to a professional career. Many career tips have been read in the same or similar wording for decades. The well-intentioned advice comes up so often that it is hard to recognize its honest intention. What can we say: This autumn is indeed a very good time for many SAP specialists to take the advice seriously. The prize question is: Is the current position still the right one for the future?


Confidence is the right attitude. According to a survey by DSAG among its members, only a fifth (22 percent) will reduce the investment budget for IT by more than 20 percent in the next year. Around half of the companies surveyed are expressly committed to consistently pursuing or even accelerating the SAP projects that have started. Walldorf is also convinced of the prospects. SAP boss Christian Klein emphasizes that the pandemic, in particular, reveals how important digitization is. So the work doesn’t run out. The migration to S4/HANA and the integration of various systems are central tasks that guarantee job security and career prospects for each individual in the long term.

Check the long-term prospects

With all due optimism, SAP specialists should use the situation to critically examine the prospects of their own employers. Is the business model suitable for the post-corona era? Does the company have answers to the complex challenges in times of climate change, paradigm shifts, and international framework conditions that are changing rapidly? Is there still room for improvement so that improvements on the SAP side can provide new growth spurts? It’s the big questions that suddenly become important.
SAP Jobs - ERProof

Look beyond your own SAP team

Personnel consultancies are increasingly observing that the motivation to change is driven by the industry and the state of the employer. This also applies to SAP professionals. The movement is understandable. Some business areas will be hit harder by the pandemic than others. The situation in the hospitality and travel industry is well known. On the other hand, there is now a good opportunity to take advantage of new opportunities. The current survey by DSAG shows that half of all SAP user companies surveyed have enough pressure on their tanks. This is exactly where you are desperately looking for fresh strength to bring the desired acceleration onto the road. As banal as it sounds, the question is allowed: Do you see the big picture?

What is the point of what I do every day?

Which SAP jobs benefit society? More and more professionals are asking this question. The trend is clear: When changing jobs, the focus is increasingly on what a company does for society. Anyone who as an SAP specialist would like to inquire about meaningful jobs will find answers and specific vacancies at duerenhoff.

Whether nursing staff and supermarket cashiers got so much of the applause they received from Germany’s balconies a few weeks ago remains a question of a personal point of view. Nobody can bite off the applause alone. Appreciation must always be shown on the payslip. This essential need has not changed after the corona crisis.

But there are actually things that are weighted differently these days than before. For example: When choosing their next job, more and more people are making sure that their job makes sense.

A small contribution to a better world. A big one, too.

SAP professionals are no exception. They too are increasingly questioning the contribution their work makes to society and the common good. Of course, not all companies are of prime systemic importance. One must not see the “world improvement” too global. No job saves the world alone – and that also applies to SAP jobs. And yet: It is legitimate to check your own actions and the company you work for for the components that benefit society. This is exactly what more and more SAP specialists are doing these days.

The good ones are getting more

The trend towards fulfilling jobs is evident in current studies, for example in the salary study of the career network XING. One in ten respondents would change jobs for more meaningful work. The job is not seen as just a way to earn a living. He should fulfill and demand. Happiness researcher Karlheinz Ruckriegel from the Technical University of Nuremberg considers “contributions to society” as one of the three central factors in being happy.
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Duerenhoff knows more

In terms of specific job changes, this welcome trend means that every company is required to appropriately present the contribution it makes to society. Mind you: This is by no means a rhetorical beautification exercise or a benevolent judgment. It’s about hard facts, for example, ecological sustainability, resource conservation, equal opportunities, and the social impact of the company’s products or services.

Anyone who, as an SAP specialist, thinks about these factors and their own career will find specific answers from the duerenhoff personnel consultants. From long-term knowledge of the company, duerenhoff knows which SAP jobs are suitable for people for whom the social dimension of work is important. Anyone who would like to change to such a company or institution will meet consultants at duerenhoff who understand this wish very well.

Business innovation and climate are the future topics of SAP

The intelligent company that will be environmentally friendly in the future – this is the focus of SAP at the online in-house exhibition Sapphire. A lot to do for SAP specialists – and also for SAP HR consultants. There are many opportunities for SAP specialists willing to change.

Industry 4.0 optimizes supply chains

According to SAP, the lever for this change of direction is the use of artificial intelligence to increase the automation and productivity of a company. With the Industry 4. Now SAP offers innovations for the entire supply chain from development to operation and enables insights, greater automation, and responsiveness. Industry 4.0 should develop into a company-wide business strategy. So far, such initiatives have only been aimed at manufacturing facilities.

“With Industry 4. Now SAP provides innovations for companies to ensure seamless data flow for these intelligent products and systems throughout their entire life cycle,” explains SAP board member Thomas Saueressig. “Real-time information flows back into the business processes – from development to operation.” With predictive analysis, this information enables better business decisions to be made and new business models and sources of income to be opened up.”

An industry cloud with open standards

Smart companies strike a balance between optimizing their existing business models and innovating for industry-specific business opportunities. The aim is to develop additional sources of income with digital technologies. Together with partners, SAP offers industry-specific cloud solutions to expand the integrated processes of SAP S/4HANA.

“The industry-specific cloud enables innovative industry solutions from us and our partners,” explains Saueressig. “These solutions are developed with technologies from the Business Technology Platform portfolio and use an open framework for program interfaces, an open process model, an open domain model, and general business services to offer customers and users seamless processes.”
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Climate 21 aims to reduce greenhouse gases

The topic of sustainability is also addressed by SAP CEO Klein in his keynote. Applications such as SAP Product Carbon Footprint Analytics are to be used under the Climate 21 banner to help companies to record and reduce their greenhouse emissions. In a roadmap that will run over several years, SAP will work with innovation partners to integrate sustainability indicators into SAP’s solution portfolio. This is intended to help customers analyze and optimize the carbon footprint of their products and business operations. The software manufacturer sees itself in a good position here. According to Klein, 85 percent of the companies with the highest CO2 emissions use SAP systems, and he sees this as an opportunity: “If industries such as utilities, agriculture, and transport reduce their emissions with IT, that corresponds to a possible saving of 26 gigatons of CO2.”

An eye on the SAP job market

Industry 4.0, industry clouds and applications that minimize the greenhouse effect: SAP’s portfolio of control applications for business processes is huge. Many companies will use it to stimulate their growth. But there is still a bottleneck: SAP specialists are scarce and hard to find on the open market. Companies benefit from an SAP-specialized HR consultancy like duerenhoff. Applicants also benefit from individual advice. They use duerenhoff’s insider knowledge and market overview to their advantage. Important decision-making bases for a job change – earning potential, team atmosphere, working conditions, further career opportunities – can be assessed more objectively with a personnel consultancy at your side. The next career decision is too important for many SAP specialists to make alone. Sapphire makes it clear: It is high time to leave survival mode behind in your own career.

Well-qualified IT experts are in short supply

The need for experts in hybrid IT systems is increasing. To be successful in cross-functional teams, they need to hone their skills in project management, leadership, and communication. SAP specialists also benefit from this.

Cloud computing is growing, and as a result the need for experts for the management, performance and security of hybrid IT infrastructures is increasing. Because of the close networking, the roles of technology experts are changing. “While classic IT silos are breaking up, the core competencies for in-house IT systems and cloud environments are growing together,” reports Joe Kim, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Technology Officer at SolarWinds, a provider of IT management solutions. “In order to move the business forward, IT specialists will have to work very closely with management in the future.”

These are the key findings of the study SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2020: The Universal Language of IT. The basis for this is a survey carried out in December 2019 of 150 technology experts, managers, and executives of medium-sized companies in the private and public sector.

Cloud know-how is more important than artificial intelligence

Three results stand out in the study: the dominance of hybrid IT and security, the converging roles of IT experts, and the increasing need for non-technical know-how.

The most important technologies that are currently driving up the personnel requirements of companies are security and compliance with 52 percent of the mentions, cloud computing including software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service (41 percent), and hybrid IT (31 percent).

New technologies such as artificial intelligence, edge computing, microservices and containers name only 28 percent of those surveyed as the greatest influencing factor on their personnel requirements. Almost three-quarters of those surveyed (74 percent) say that their technology budget is less than 25 percent for new technologies.
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Previously separate IT roles are growing together

According to the study, hybrid IT has created a “universal language of IT” in which the previous roles and silos of technology experts converge and at the same time the complexity is increased by constant or falling budgets and a lack of qualified personnel. As part of the changing roles, the technology experts report an increase in weekly working hours (45 percent), the need to re-qualify existing staff (40 percent), and an expansion of IT staff as a result of new technologies (33 percent) over the past three to five years.

As obstacles, respondents cite a lack of budget/resources (33 percent), unclear or changing priorities (23 percent), poor management and a lack of orientation (11 percent) and the complaint that current IT management solutions meet the needs do not cover functionally well enough (11 percent). Besides, almost half of the respondents (43 percent) believe that technology professionals entering the world of work today do not have the necessary know-how to manage modern, distributed IT environments.

Non-technical skills facilitate teamwork

To master the “universal language of IT” necessary for cross-functional and business communication, IT experts have to sharpen their know-how in non-technical areas. According to the study, this includes project management (59 percent of responses), interpersonal communication (58 percent) and personnel management (50 percent).

These results are confirmed by the annual State of the CIO Survey by CIO, which names the most important skills for a successful digital transformation: strategy formation (40 percent), project management (32 percent) and the management of business relationships (25 percent). These interpersonal skills become more important as technology professionals increasingly communicate and collaborate across previously isolated IT functions.

SAP HANA experts have the best chances

The results of the SolarWinds study should be transferable to the labor market for SAP experts. The good news: SAP specialists will still find a wide range of vacancies. Specialists who have already acquired skills in the SAP Cloud Platform and the in-memory database SAP HANA or who want to qualify in this direction are, particularly in demand. The non-technical skills named by SolarWinds complement these strengths and mediation through duerenhoff ensures that the candidate and the company are a good match from the start.

If grandpa is still working

There can be no talk of youth madness in IT personnel departments. The industry is increasingly discovering the benefits of age. A strong message for IT professionals: if you like, you will always find exciting challenges. The date of birth does not have to be a factor.

“My wife knows that I need this to be satisfied,” says Peter Gethmann, who started a new job at the age of 79. The senior consultant had previously prevailed against several candidates. In June 2020 he started his new position at Adata Software GmbH. The previous project at Fiducia was quite demanding. But Gethmann never wasted a thought on the fact that it could have been his last. Anyone speaking to the senior consultant suspects a misprint given their date of birth. Does it really say 1941 – not a mistake? Tim Seiler, the HR consultant, had to follow up again when he discovered the year of manufacture of his hottest candidate. Gethmann has energy and esprit that you rarely find in the mid-fifties.

Personnel consultant Seiler works for grinnberg Personnel Consulting, a partner company of duerenhoff that takes care of the broad field of IT personnel consulting. For his customer Adata Software GmbH in Verden/Aller, Seiler was looking for a developer who was very familiar with the COBOL programming language. But should he really dare to recommend near the eighties? Why not, he told himself. After all, Gethmann’s profile exactly matched the advertised position. As an experienced personnel consultant, Seiler immediately felt: The man is good and has the necessary fire.

Simone Wiese felt the same way. She is responsible for human resources at Adata. “We only spoke briefly about age,” she remembers of her first direct contact with the experienced applicant. “Even so, the interview took longer. At that age, you just have a lot more to tell. That thrilled us.” Resilience, communication skills, teamwork – that’s how Peter Gethmann scored points at Adata. The senior consultant is no longer an isolated case. In the IT industry, you can grow old happily, even if a job change at the proud age of eighty is not for everyone.

Age is not a factor

More and more HR managers are turning around. The times of unconditional rejuvenation in IT HR are a thing of the past. If there are two good applicants, the younger one is preferred – this unwritten law no longer applies. Numerous studies can still be found today that claim the opposite. An IT job portal recently reported that only around 2 percent of all jobs are given to candidates who are older than 50 years. Many still remember how an SAP manager mocked in 2013 that 35-year-old developers were already far too old. Apparently, times have changed. Experience has long played an important role – and exclusively in a positive way. grinnberg personnel consultant Seiler confirms: “Given the lack of IT specialists, no company can afford to take into account anything other than professional criteria when recruiting. The focus is on professional and human suitability. Nothing else. ”

HR managers are well advised if they fully rely on the qualifications and practical experience of their candidates. So seniority quickly becomes a plus. “The age will soon no longer be there when you start an IT specialist discussion,” says Simone Wiese. Of course, your new colleague is pulling the average age of the team-up. “But that didn’t matter,” confirms Wiese. She is looking forward to many years in which the company can benefit from Gethmann’s experience. The generation conflicts also failed to materialize, according to the HR manager: “The ice was broken quickly, even if there were around 50 years between the team members.”
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Enjoyment of creativity

Peter Gethmann now commutes five times a week. He is happy to contribute and pass on his project experience and COBOL knowledge every day. He has long been amazed that COBOL and other mainframe languages ​​are little taught. “Many of these systems cannot be replaced at all,” he says and is happy because it ensures that he will never run out of challenges.

“I like the feeling of creating something new at work,” says the IT senior happily and emphasizes: “A programmer is an incredibly creative person.” Gethmann is looking forward to a long collaboration with Adata. With a smile, he denies that he is suspected of being a workaholic or of having no other hobbies: “I was able to make my job my hobby, nothing better could have happened to me.” He reports to children and grandchildren: “Everyone is happy that Grandpa is still working.”

Job interview: change your perspective

Whether by video or in-person: Interviews are crucial dates when it comes to changing jobs at SAP. Decisive for whom actually? “Especially for the candidates,” says mental trainer Dr. Dieter Bähr and advises a change of perspective.

The SAP labor market has long since turned. As a result of the change from the employer to the employee market, the war for talents, companies are trying to find well-qualified SAP specialists and have to apply to you.

Imagine: You are extremely satisfied with yourself and your professional qualifications. You go to an interview to find out if the company is a good fit for you. You want to be addressed and won over on a factual, personal and emotional level.

How do you go about it? What questions do you have for the company?

Such a change of perspective has several advantages:

  • You concentrate on what you can do and who you are.
  • The question is dealt with in depth: “What do I expect from the company?”
  • An open interview will take place.

Questions you could ask the company :

For example, for motivation

  • Which of my qualifications are of particular importance to you?
  • Am I replacing someone? If so, what was he particularly good at? What should I be able to do better?
  • What is particularly important at this point?
  • Why did you just invite me?

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For example, for qualification

  • In which points does the position fit my qualifications? In which not?
  • What are you doing to improve the qualifications of your employees?
  • In which areas is your company of top quality? In which ones not yet?

For example, on the cultural fit

Every company has its own culture. How do you get dressed? How long do you work? How do you behave towards superiors? How close is the contact between employees? How do you deal with mistakes?

  • What are the specific characteristics of your corporate culture?
  • Can you name three things that you should definitely do in your company and three things you should definitely not do?
  • How would you describe your company’s error culture?
  • What are the specifics of the team I will be part of?

Of course, you have a double advantage if you are recommended by duerenhoff. You can discuss your questions in advance with the duerenhoff personnel consultants. Then you will receive, among other things, an assessment of how the company and those responsible could answer your questions. In the interview itself, you are then even better prepared and able to follow up on answers at important points. So that you can get a better idea of ​​what to expect in this next SAP position.

10 years of duerenhoff

A decade ago, duerenhoff personnel consultancy started in a makeshift office that was set up in the backroom of a carpet center. Thousands of job placements later, the team is celebrating its first major anniversary. The success story is impressive.

You know it: two close friends have a plan. If you ask the two of them, he is of course unbeatable. If you ask other people, it turns out that not everyone shares the euphoria of friends. In the case of duerenhoff, the skeptics have long been forgotten. Even the skeptics themselves may hardly remember their predictions – especially not on the occasion of the tenth anniversary. Alexander Himpel and Martin Lange and their team have long since left the back room of the carpet center. 40 employees now work in a spacious, airy building in Stuttgart. duerenhoff is a natural part of the SAP industry. Unimaginable without it. Some SAP specialists are even wondering: I’m sorry, only ten years old – are they still that young? It feels like duerenhoff has always been there.

The personnel consultancy for SAP specialists. And 100 percent.

If you take a closer look, Himpel and Lange have implemented two ideas at once with duerenhoff personnel consulting. On the one hand, the obvious unique selling point of duerenhoff: The personnel consultancy specializes fully in the field of SAP. In fact, the SAP landscape forms its own sector within the IT world. Around two-thirds of all large companies worldwide use the programs of the world market leader for business software. From today’s perspective, it only seems logical to concentrate on this powerful segment as a personnel consultancy. Lange and Himpel recognized this. The personnel consultants who mediate at duerenhoff know the SAP system and the structures in the teams on the customer side in an astonishing depth.
Work in Flanders

The less obvious unique selling point is the intensive, almost friendly relationship that the consultants develop with the SAP specialists. The mutual understanding is no coincidence but is firmly anchored in the duerenhoff DNA. duerenhoff takes its time for communication. In the detailed discussions with the candidates, things and topics are always discussed that go far beyond the technical aspects. Humans are more important than any system – that may sound like a matter of course. The translation into the typical working method of a personnel consultancy is less obvious. If you really want to know people, you have to take your time. A lot of time. It is the only known method of finding out more about very special wishes, goals, and life plans that play a decisive role in filling a vacancy. Seen in this light, the many questions and the intensive discussions about seemingly trivial matters are only professional. After ten years it can be said: The accuracy of the specific recruitment recommendations at duerenhoff is simply higher.

3,500 companies. Ten years. 2 moves.

Video interview: tips and tricks

Formulate objectively. Talking emotionally.

In personal encounters, we listen, look at something and then continue to listen. This divides the information so that it can be absorbed. If we are only offered information, we are quickly overwhelmed. This is especially true with visual media. Therefore, one should never speak quickly, form long sentences and not include too much information.

The easiest way to achieve this is to have a dialogue and avoid any monologue. Also, the screen medium demands that one speak clearly. But avoid sounding artificial.

There is a handicap in speaking clearly. It goes badly with filler words. That ranges from “uh” to the repeated “so”. The “uhs” vehemently stifle the flow of speech and come more and more to the fore. You avoid these weak points if you know beforehand what you want to say. With the unnecessary filler words, you have no choice but to train them off.

Monotonous speaking is always boring. But when you are offered nothing other than a monotonous speaker, you quickly drift into nirvana. A screen speaker must therefore speak more accentuated than you normally do.

What increases boredom is that many are emotionally inhibited in front of the screen. Who tells their screen with a lot of emotion that they are passionate about cooking. But to create a positive impression of yourself, you need feelings.

Before starting the conversation, imagine that the person you are speaking to is sitting across from you, and you are speaking to him through the screen. You have to practice that. The following technique helps: In this case, the easiest way to overcome your inhibitions is to tell something to your (screen) counterpart with a lot of feeling and then lower it to a suitable level.

Distance is good for you. Even on the screen.

What are you showing about yourself on the screen? I don’t just mean clothes. Everyone knows that the home feel-good dress or the three-piece business suit are usually not the right outfit and that a well-groomed appearance is a matter of course.

In addition, there is the question: How much body does your counterpart get to see? Only the head and neck usually seem a bit too penetrating, and you keep a distance. If you also show your chest, that’s much better, but when the hands suddenly appear out of nowhere, it is irritating. Likewise, your picture shouldn’t end just above your eyebrows.

As a rule of thumb, sit down so that the lower edge of the image begins at the level of your solar plexus and the upper edge of the image ends a little above your hair. This means that the person you are talking to gets to see so much that they can get an impression of you as a person.
How to Succeed at Video Job Interviews - Claire Doole Communications

Avoid getting too close to the screen with your body.

In a face-to-face interview, it is appropriate if your interest in the job is accompanied by an accommodating movement. On the screen you get the impression that my counterpart is getting on my skin.

And finally: you should also use your arms and hands when talking in front of the screen. But slower.

If the waving gets too much in everyday life, you automatically look elsewhere. But screens have a magical effect. They cast a spell over you.

Conclusion: Check your own performance. Before.

In order to adapt to the special features of this magical medium, only four things help: Practice, record yourself and then look at yourself (I know how embarrassing that is sometimes) and Skype with others regularly and get feedback.

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Interview: You ask the questions

Let’s extend the list of questions to help you find out if the company is right for you. But first, let’s take a look at the innocuous opening of the conversation.


Put the first accent in the conversation. That speaks for your communicative competence. Say something positive about the company. There is always something that makes a first positive impression. Otherwise, you should reconsider your application. You can start with “I was given a very friendly welcome. I appreciate something like that. You have a very individual style of clothing here. I like that.” Or “I’m impressed by the architecture. Live it makes an even bigger impression than on the homepage.”

Questions you could ask the company

For example about age

You have gained a lot of experience over the years. You are not only technically fit but also have social, strategic, and personal skills.

  • In what form will I be able to use my diverse skills?
  • Which of my competencies is of particular importance to you?
  • What fears do you associate with older employees?

For example, on change and change

Changing employers and occupations is not a blemish; you have worked in various industries to gain a broader view of the world of work. You also wanted to find out which of your interests and talents will prevail. So you are flexible, open, and self-critical.

  • Today we are in a time of extremely rapid change: How is your company dealing with it?
  • How do you approach digital transformation as a company?
  • What competencies does your company have to be able to implement rapid change (disruptions)?
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For example, about gaps

You did not have a job continuously but used the interim times for at least as important.

  • At some point, I realized that my personal development was going in the wrong direction. I needed time and strength to reorient. And the break was worth it. How does your company deal with emerging or existing undesirable developments?
  • During this time I did well with others (parents, partners, social projects). How do you support social engagement? What initiatives are you taking?
  • I am a mother/father. What do you do for your parents?

For example, about weaknesses and strengths

  • What are you particularly proud of in your company? What do you think should be improved?
  • What is special about your company? How do you beat the competition?

And here are three ideas for the personal area

  • How is the onboarding process going for you?
  • What are my development opportunities?
  • How can you support me in looking for an apartment, working from home?