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How to Hire an SAP Developer

Key Takeaways

1. SAP offers a wide range of solutions that are designed to improve the way businesses manage core business processes across the entire value chain.

2. SAP’s range of solutions incorporate emergent technologies, allowing organizations to harness the power of AI, Machine Learning, and advanced data analysis.

3. SAP’s proprietary programming language, ABAP, allows SAP developers to customize packaged solutions and develop SAP-compliant applications.

4. SAP certifications are a quick and reliable signal for assessing the experience level and competency of an SAP developer.

5. SAP developers can be hired on a remote basis or full-time basis depending on the needs and objectives of your organization. Horizons can help companies hire SAP developers anywhere in the world.

Founded in 1972, SAP pioneered the development of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, helping organizations realize efficiencies across core business areas. SAP remains a market leader in ERP software but has expanded its business software offering. 

Today, SAP offers a wide range of solutions designed for various business processes, including; Network & Spend management, HR & Employee Experience, Supply Chain Management, Database and Data management, Advanced Analytics, and CRM & E-Commerce. Furthermore, SAP’s proprietary programming language, ABAP, allows SAP developers to customize packaged solutions by programming SAP-compliant applications.

The breadth of end-to-end solutions, combined with the ability to customize applications and add additional modules makes SAP developers highly sought after; across industries and by businesses of all sizes. At the time of writing, SAP is Europe’s largest tech company and ranks among the world’s top 10 software companies by market capitalization. 

This article gives an overview of the key benefits of hiring an SAP developer, before exploring the options available to businesses looking to hire an SAP developer. 

What is an SAP Developer?

SAP developers help organizations integrate SAP solutions into their existing business processes, platforms, and applications. Keep in mind that SAP solutions cover the entirety of the value chain. In this regard, SAP developers are responsible for overseeing the creation of, and maintenance, of a data-rich environment in the form of a single source of truth-style architecture. 

Competent SAP developers use the ABAP programming language to customize and create applications within the SAP environment. This is a crucial aspect of the SAP developer’s role: using ABAP to augment SAP applications so that organizations can better meet specific business needs. 

What are the Benefits of Hiring an SAP Developer?

With its fifty years of commercial experience, SAP has developed a range of end-to-end solutions. However, as good as SAP products are, the effectiveness of any technology is dependent on the user. The value of hiring an SAP developer lies in their ability to utilize SAP applications effectively. SAP developers are also responsible for helping managers and non-technical employees work with SAP applications, so they can glean valuable insights and drive improvements across business processes.

In addition to effectively utilizing SAP’s software suite to unlock business potential, a key benefit of hiring an SAP developer is their ability to affect innovation. SAP’s extensive R&D budget sees the company incorporate emergent technologies into its products and applications. SAP developers harness the power of SAP applications, allowing for:

1. App Development 

Using the ABAP programming language, SAP developers can further develop and customize applications to enhance digital experience capabilities. 

2. Automate SAP Operations

Working with pre-built SAP automations or by creating custom automations, SAP developers can automate repetitive workflows across a range of data entry tasks, such as invoicing and payroll. 

3. Integrate Applications

SAP developers can link various business processes together using SAP’s API Management and Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) tools. 

4. Extensive Data Management

SAP S/4HANA is an ERP software that uses in-memory computing artificial intelligence and machine learning to process vast amounts of data. Using SAP HANA, developers can build powerful analytics applications that maximize the value of company data.

5. Take Advantage of AI-powered Analytics

Certified SAP developers can take advantage of SAP’s AI-powered applications that enhance the planning and analysis capabilities of certain applications. 

What to Look For in an SAP Developer

We’ve previously covered many of the fundamental skills to look for when hiring a software developer. The use of SAP applications across multiple business processes makes soft skills a particularly important trait for SAP developers. The ability to collaborate and communicate complex processes to non-technical colleagues is a key consideration. 

Ultimately, identifying a competent SAP developer relies on having clear ideas of what you hope to achieve through the use of SAP software.  

SAP Certifications

The first thing to look for from an SAP developer is whether or not they hold SAP certifications. SAP runs a tiered certification program, categorized as Intermediate or Advanced.

At the intermediate level, there are two certifications:

Associate Certification covers fundamental knowledge and skill requirements for a broad range of SAP solutions. 

Specialist Certification focuses on a specific role within the SAP business environment such as a particular integration component or module. 

A Professional Certification is the most advanced certification offered by SAP. To earn a professional certification a developer must demonstrate proven project experience and business process knowledge that reflects a detailed and practical understanding of SAP solutions. 

SAP’s range of solutions are constantly evolving. When assessing a developer’s certifications, enquire if they have stayed current with SAP’s recent solutions and updates. 

A final point to consider, especially for recruiters and project managers, is the ‘record of achievement’ that can be attained through SAP’s learning site. The record of achievement represents a foundational understanding of SAP’s range of solutions and is useful for those who will hire or work alongside SAP developers. 

Practical Experience of ABAP Programming & Models

SAP’s ABAP programming language can be used in SAP NetWeaver, to customize SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA to better meet certain objectives.

SAP Developers can also deploy ABAP programming models within SAP Fiori applications to create optimized data services.

Complementary Programming Languages

Specific technical requirements will depend on your company’s tech stack and project software needs. Note that SAP applications written in ABAP can run alongside others developed in other programming languages.

Experience with certain programming languages, such as Javascript and Node.JS is essential if your company plans to use SAPUI5. 

How to Hire SAP Developers

The decision around the employment model for your SAP developer will come down to a range of factors. 

In-house

SAP developers tend to be hired on an in-house basis for work on larger projects where there is a need for long-term collaboration and knowledge transfer or training of other employees. Considering the need to integrate SAP solutions with other platforms and business applications, organizations with extensive tech stacks tend to hire SAP developers on an in-house basis. 

Furthermore, many businesses employ SAP developers as part of a wider in-house IT team to mitigate latency and the associated costs of systems downtime.  

Remote/Freelance/Contractor 

Increasingly, businesses are hiring remote workers. The practice is particularly prevalent among tech companies and the remote and contract employment model is popular amongst developers. 

An openness to hiring remote workers offers a range of benefits; not least the ability to engage the open talent marketplace and gain access to a global talent pool. Another understated benefit of the ability to follow an asynchronous working model which brings benefits previously only available to large multinationals, such as having employees operating in different time zones, thus increasing workflow capacity. 

Video | What is SAP’s ABAP Programming Language?

Hire SAP Developers with Horizons

With offices in over 150 countries worldwide, Horizons is a leader in Global recruitment and PEO services. Our expertise in talent acquisition and local employment law means we can support your company’s hiring projects from anywhere in the world, whilst ensuring full legal compliance. 

Contact us for a free consultation on your hiring project and begin adding suitable SAP developers to your candidate database within 48 hours. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

In the US, the average hourly rate for SAP developers in 2022 is $41, with the typical SAP developer salary range falling between $33 and $50 per hour.  

Outside of the US, you can find SAP developers for much more affordable rates, then legally hire them using an EOR service like Horizons.

There are plenty of reasons to hire an SAP developer. Ultimately, SAP developers allow organizations to get the full potential out of the full range of SAP solutions.

Other reasons to hire an SAP developer include:

  • Automating repetitive workflows and data entry tasks;
  • Integrating SAP applications with the existing tech stack to improve data sharing between various work processes;
  • Ability to harness the power of emergent technologies such as AI and Machine Learning capabilities;
  • Extensive data analysis functionality including process mapping and advanced analytics to drive innovation and business transformation.

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