Posted on March 2022 By Jack Bland
As many people connected to the industry are aware there is a skills shortage in the SAP market currently. SAP is not alone in this instance and there are many industries and sectors facing similar pressures. We look at some of the changes and impacts the market is facing.
Demand is high
The first and most obvious factor is that demand is high. 24 months ago, Speller met in a park as per COVID restrictions and the outlook felt quite bleak. The initial 6 months of the pandemic were very tough, however since then we have seen high levels of demand in the SAP market. Over the past 4 quarters we have had record highs of requirements and placements. The economy has performed better than expected and many companies have invested inIT. This combined with the skills shortage has driven up demand.
One of the largest contributing factors to the skills shortage is the lack of migration that has occurred over the preceding two years as well as foreign nationals returning to their respective homes to deal with the constraints travel bans put on families. International borders are now back open however we are not noticing a significant increase in the number of job applications from overseas. It is still early days, but Australia has built a reputation of being tough with lockdowns and travel and therefore it may take several months if not years of the “new normal” before migration returns to pre pandemic levels. There are a number of consultancies that rely on an overseas workforce that have had to turn to Australian based workers which has driven up demand in Australia considerably and is a large contributing factor to the market changes. It remains to be seen how quickly these consultancies can convince overseas staff to take the plunge and move to Australia.
An Ageing workforce?
The SAP workforce in Australia does seem to be weighted towards highly experienced people more towards the end of their career than the start. I am often asked what the best way for graduates to get into SAP is and, in all honesty, we do feel that the options are limited. The market needs to look at innovative ways to start engaging young talent as currently there seems to be a lack of graduate schemes and pathways into SAP.
Workforce expectations have changed
At Speller we have seen a boom in permanent roles as companies look to secure their workforces. The expectation of the workforce has changed markedly. Candidates are expecting flexible working arrangements and the ability to Work from Home. Any company that does not offer this will struggle to attract the best talent. We advise companies looking to hire permanent staff to look at how they differentiate themselves from the competition and how they sell themselves. Candidates need to be courted in this market and sticking to slow processes with no focus on the candidate will lead to unfilled roles. Companies need to consider showing flexibility in skill set and hire based on attitude, skills can be trained.
The SAP market is not the same place as it was before the pandemic, there are positives to take from this as well as considerations for hiring managers to take into account. We do encourage customers put serious thought into how they attract talent. Doing things, the way you have always done things is likely to put you behind the competition, however there are unique opportunities to engage a more flexible work force. How this works will be different for every business and Speller Consultants are always open to a chat as to how this may work the best for your team should you wish to chat about SAP market considerations.