Tricks SAP agents play and how to survive them
How to deal with an SAP agent?
How does an SAP agency work?
The best way to understand this question is to compare it to a musical band that you once knew - originally you liked the band because they sounded great - the band still has the same name but all (or most) of the members have moved on - do you still like the band?
SAP agencies have good recruiters in them from time to time and some of those stay on with the same agency. However, and here is the problem, a lot of people consider if you go to one agency and have a good experience, then using that same agency another time will give you the same good results. In reality this is simply not the case, as the help you get is dependent on the person you speak with - here are a few examples of what can happen at an SAP agency - there are lots more and if you can add anything please do.
- One of the tricks that SAP agencies favor is sending out a CV without asking permission first - is this a problem? Well yes, at best - if a SAP client gets your CV without you knowing about it, the client wants to proceed with an interview and the agency contact you and say so...but you don't fancy the job - guess who is going to get the blame when the agent tells the client? Worse - your CV turns up at a job you do want - but as your CV came twice from two different agencies, no SAP client wants the problems of an agent war, hence they simply turn you down as being too desperate or too stupid to control your CV. Worst however, is if you are still permanently employed and your CV gets sent by an agent to your current employer - complete with your name. Ouch!!!
- Another favorite agency game, is to call up and ask if you would be interested in a job. At best - they know what the job is and who it is for - but wont tell you! Worse - they know what the job is and will tell you but they lie, because they want to get an interview at all cost, then you get a phone call and you look like you are the one who lied on your CV (the agency 'only' changed it a little bit). Worst - the agent changes your CV to the point that when you finally get the call, you have no idea of what the interviewer is talking about and you end up branded as an idiot and a liar in that SAP clients mind.
- Or - they simply call you for every job they have on their books, and each time you explain that is not what you do - but they keep calling.
- Maybe they simply charge a ridiculous rate for their services - recently I had a friend who was working for €80 per hour - unfortunately the agent had not worked out that the consultant might speak with the client and discover that the agent was earning €40 for every hour my friend worked!
- Sometimes it can be the little things that you notice when working with an agent - they offer you a role, explain something about it, tell you that you are perfect - when can you start? and you never hear from them again - until they have another role to offer you!
- Other little problems that exist are - you get the project, the agency gets paid - but where you stay or how you get there is simply not their problem, they do not offer you any help or assistance with looking for flights or accommodation.Personally I think it s part of an agents job, lets face it, most of them charge enough!
Dealing with SAP Agents without your blood pressure rising (too much)
- Always work with a person rather than an agent - if you have a good relationship with one agent make sure you know if they are going to leave the agency - it is quite easy to explain to any agent that you want to stay in touch even if they move and ask for a personal email address.
- Before even sending a CV make sure that you have, in writing, a confirmation that your CV will not be sent to anyone without written permission.
- Ask the agent, if you don't know them, how long they have worked in SAP recruiting - recruiting is the same for most businesses but someone with SAP experience will have a better understanding of what they are doing and the problems of the job - less surprise is usually a good thing for you!
- Take some time talking with the agent to make them understand what it is that you actually do on an SAP project - if they understand what you do, there is less chance they will call you about the wrong job - although this wont always work.
- Avoid signing up with too many agents at one time - but, regardless of what the agent tells you, always remember that any agent will only get a certain amount of the jobs that are available on the market at any one time, some companies will get contracts from IBM while others will have agreements with Deloittes etc - so you need to know who each agent has as their clients before sending your CV there.
- Obviously, when setting your rate, expect the agent to tell you, they will do their best, but ask if you are flexible on that, do consider that the less the agent pays you, the more they will earn, both as a company and on a personal level.
- One of the best ways of dealing with an agent, is to ask a friend for a recommendation to an agent - not an agency but one very specific person in an agency.
- Finally, how ever much you spend time checking on an agency you are going to have to accept that agencies (if used) will cost you money for every hour that you work, they will not do the SAP work but they will get paid for every SAP hour you work, and so the food chain continues!
Best of luck with the agency battle, whoever you chose to work with, you will always need to be careful - a good agent is hard to find, if you have any tips or hints then please add them here, for everyone's sake.
Useful SAP related links
- ConsultantBox - agent free jobs where your reputation counts
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- SAP - Business Software Solutions Applications and Services
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- Homepage for SAP Professionals - SAP News - Help - SAP Security - SAP AG
The Homepage for SAP Professionals gives lots of necessary information about SAP, its initiatives and also connects SAP professionals worldwide.