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How to move into the S/4HANA jobs market

16th February 2023


Despite the S/4HANA deadline extension, companies always strive to get the best available talent and balance what new skills they can get externally to enhance their internal knowledge versus what they have available already in-house. With the RED salary calculator indicating a 20% uptick in salaries, as well as countless exciting opportunities to sink your teeth into, consider moving into the S/4HANA jobs market and get yourself S4 ready.

S/4HANA has been the key buzzword in the SAP community for several years now, and with strong reason. Did you know that from January 2018 to January 2019 S/4 implementations increased by 33% across businesses? That takes the total number of customers who have S/4 licenses to a whopping 13,800 and counting.

The S/4 deadline has been extended to 2027, which means you can get ahead of the game in obtaining an S/4 skillset. RED’s SAP Talent Salary Reports for the US and Europe showed that in 2019, S/4 talent received some of the highest salaries across the SAP industry. With the increasing demand for this skillet, we think this trend is here to stay.

If you’re an SAP professional in a different area within SAP, you might be considering what you can do to leverage the opportunity and move into the S/4 jobs market. If you’re new to the S/4HANA landscape, it might take some perseverance in obtaining the necessary skillset and experience.

Here our expert RED SAP consultants give their best tips for you to get ahead.

1. Learn The Skillset

Even if you’re an SAP expert, knowing S/4HANA might entail competencies and specific skills that you might not currently possess. Therefore, if you want to move into the S/4HANA jobs market successfully, you may have some upskilling to do.

A great way to learn the skillset might be working for an SAP solutions provider. Express your interest in upskilling to S/4HANA. Being one of the most in-demand skills in the market, you could be offered training or may even get some hands-on experience. Try to get involved with projects dealing with different industries and employers. It’s important to work on all sides of a project from early stages of scoping to implementation to roll out so you have a thorough understanding of how implementing S/4HANA works. RED’s Delivery Consultant Selena Nicolosi indicates that clients are usually looking for at least 1 implementation, preferably in S/4HANA v.1709 or newer.

A good starting point can also be online learning. For effective learning in a home environment, try SAP’s own learning platform openSAPThe platform is free to use and the information is put together by SAP’s expert insiders, so you’re learning industry-leading insights. There are several S/4HANA specific courses coming up that you might want to look into:

2. Look For Opportunities Within Your Current Employer

Has your organisation transformed its SAP landscape to S/4HANA? If not, chances are it’s on the agenda. With a fixed deadline and a shortage of S4 expertise, there might be a need to invest into new S/4 talent. Most managers would want to invest in their current employees they already trust to do a good job. Take advantage when such an opportunity arises and put yourself forward.

RED’s Senior Recruitment Consultant Kasia Kalandyk advises, ‘First, assess your immediate options. Talk to your managers about your career plans and try to gauge the overall condition of your company and the industry. If the projects are frozen it might be time to look someplace else.’ 

If your organisation has already started or undergone S/4HANA implementation, reach out to S/4 consultants for their personal insight. They might refer you to the best resources for learning S/4 or guide you along their story and how they successfully moved into their field.

3. Experience Over Certification

While earning a qualification in SAP S/4HANA can give you confidence in your theoretical knowledge, in this market hands-on discipline and real project experience is valued much more highly than a certification.

Therefore don’t put the sole emphasis on getting an SAP certification. RED’s Global Account Manager Ben Eddy says, 'Although in many trades, being certified is often essential, I haven’t felt that same level of necessity within the SAP domain. Whilst it can often be reassuring to have it, as an employer or procurer of services, I’ve only ever had it requested explicitly twice in 15 years.'

If you can gain some practical experience, this should be your top priority. It is possible to work alongside your studies, so ensure you consider this option for the most optimal career development experience.

4. Build Your Network Online

Networking is key when job searching nowadays. It can be particularly vital when trying to move into the S/4HANA jobs market. Reach out to experts in the S/4 field for insight about their journey. Finding like-minded non-S/4 professionals can also be a good way to understand the right way forward.

Although there are plenty of online networking platforms, we recommend LinkedIn as a starting point. Take advantage of the numerous groups for SAP professionals to share their knowledge and insights with each other. Some of the ones we think are worth getting involved in are:

Both groups have over 25,000 members which gives you ample opportunity to make valuable connections. If you’re in need of advice on networking remotely, check out our recent blog about it.

Remember to follow RED on LinkedIn while you’re there.  

5. Speak With An SAP Recruitment Specialist

Sometimes changing the trajectory of your SAP career can be an overwhelming challenge. But you don’t need to do it alone and unsupported. The right recruitment partner can guide you along what the challenges might be and what is the right course of action for you to move into the S/4HANA field. If you want to ensure you’re on the right path, find an expert recruiter you can trust to advise you on your SAP career. Click here to read our blog on how to choose the right recruiter for you.

At RED, we have over 180 specialist SAP recruiters who know the ins and outs of a long and lasting SAP career. Over 20 years in SAP recruitment, we’ve gained a firm understanding of what makes success in different fields within SAP, including S/4HANA. RED’s Head of Permanent Recruitment, Life Sciences Ahmed Boutrigue says ‘If you want to be at the top of the game, you need to move to S/4HANA. If you don’t, not only will you be not competitive, but may become obsolete after the deadline.’ Get in touch with our expert consultants for a confidential discussion about your SAP career.

Visit RED’s blog page for further SAP career advice as well as SAP industry insight.

Die große Frage: SAP Custom oder Standard?


Die Frage nach einer standardmäßigen oder maßgeschneiderten Lösung stellt sich bei jeder SAP-Implementierung. Und das aus gutem Grund. Beide Ansätze haben ihre Vor- und Nachteile und können weitreichende Auswirkungen auf Ihr Unternehmen haben.

Doch wie gut haben maßgeschneiderte Systeme in der Pandemie abgeschnitten, wenn man bedenkt, wie schnell sich Unternehmen an die vollkommen neue Situation anpassen mussten? Wir haben unsere Kunden gefragt, ob die maßgeschneiderte oder die standardmäßige Lösung die bessere Wahl war.