The technology industry is growing exponentially, with each year bringing new, exciting and innovative solutions to businesses’ doors with the promise of fixing one problem or another
But as amazing as these technologies and services might be, the crucial factor driving business growth and overall success is the workforce behind it.
The market is full of aspiring talent, building their portfolios with certifications and experience, on the hunt for that ideal role. In the face of the widening skills gap in the tech industry, organisations are clambering over one another to snatch up the talent available, but there is one particular sector that has the quality and quantity of roles tech experts are seeking. The sector is positively brimming with opportunity for job seekers.
A focus on “cloudifying” business operations
As the industry stands, there is a lack of available and sufficiently skilled SAP-on-Cloud consultants, exacerbated by an ageing workforce. As this is currently one of the most demanded capabilities in ongoing digital transformation efforts, there is a huge opportunity for incoming workers to stand out to recruiters and subsequently bridge the existing skills gap.
Moving to the Cloud is key to cost saving and increased flexibility for businesses who are keen to move away from the restrictiveness of SAP on-premise, with its need to balance capacity planning, business demand and cost. Beforehand, organisations would generally choose to go with traditional shared data centre providers where they are forced to plan well in advance for hardware to support any new business growth or initiative. Now, there’s been a rush of movement towards the cloud to improve cost savings and manage capacity, with more flexibility. In shared data centres, quotes of three to four months for new environments were not uncommon, whereas in the cloud, teams can easily spin infrastructure up or down to meet demands.
These are the main reasons why businesses are wanting to move to the cloud. And when we look at the bigger picture, most of the workforce in the sector are used to working with these traditional environments. What organisations are in dire need of is a balance of professionals who are dedicated to the cloud offering and have different points of view on the way things work. Demonstrating skills and experience in Cloud and traditional settings is a real asset for applicants.
Knowing what the employer wants
From the business’s point of view, one of the biggest barriers in recruitment is finding applicants with the necessary Cloud and SAP skills – finding people with one or the other is easy. The ageing workforce is leaving a significant gap in the market, which job seekers can use to their advantage, understanding that organisations are on the lookout for applicants with experience in both sectors. But it’s also important for these individuals to acknowledge
other valuable skills they may hold and ensure these are clearly demonstrated to potential employers. Experiences including working with commercial contracts and general client handling will boost an applicant’s position in the recruitment arena.
Generally, we’ve seen that organisations are looking for individuals with 80% of the desired skills and experience; the remaining 20% is down to internal training and mentoring. Businesses are looking to champion their workers and provide them with a platform to grow and develop with the business.
There are also skills that are becoming more and more valuable in our evolving, hybrid world that applicants should keep in mind. A whole new section has been added to CVs since the pandemic turned the working world upside down: interpersonal skills and adaptive working. This is the perfect opportunity for job seekers to showcase their value and capabilities in this space.
Hybrid by choice to hybrid by force
Due to the nature of the SAP-on-Cloud industry, with customer engagements often spanning the circumference of the globe, a lot of business pre-pandemic was already conducted on a remote or hybrid basis. Attending client meetings when the two sides were continents apart was naturally very difficult, so teams became used to connecting over the phone or via other comms channels. But there was still the option of working in an office and interacting with colleagues round the watercooler on a daily basis.
In the blink of an eye, this freedom was taken away and remote working took hold. For those just entering the industry, this change meant they were stripped of the social opportunities an office provides – with some not meeting their colleagues in person until months after joining the company. Now that most organisations have settled back into a hybrid working practice, interpersonal skills have become a prime focus, where they weren’t necessarily before. Being able to interact effectively face-to-face was a given.
But when most interviews are still conducted over digital platforms, how can job seekers genuinely demonstrate interpersonal skills? When some people thrive in face-to-face situations and others prefer digital comms, there is no right answer. It’s therefore important to dedicate part of the CV and application process to demonstrating these underlying but critical skills to the best of their ability.
Refreshing the job-hunting process
Our hybrid world has changed working practice expectations, where the day is no longer defined by needing to be at a desk or seen to be at a desk. But there is also the added pressure of the ‘always on’ culture. The recruitment and application process can no longer be shaped based on pre-pandemic culture. For job seekers, it’s never been more important to communicate their flexibility as workers, given this is a considerable demand in today’s modern work landscape. Applicants should use their CVs and any other opportunity in the process to illustrate their experiences operating under different working practices, painting a picture of their flexibility to employers.
A successful application means demonstrating practices that align with the latest trends that will benefit businesses in today’s landscape, placing greater focus on that underlying value that previously was not on the radar, such as interpersonal skills.
Both job seekers and recruiters stand to benefit if all of the above is acknowledged, not to mention the positive impact on the industry skills gap. Let’s champion those entering the industry, continue to build out a talented workforce, and close the gap!
About the Author
Chris Calver is CDO of Lemongrass Consulting. Lemongrass is a software-enabled services provider, synonymous with SAP on Cloud, focused on delivering superior, highly automated Managed Services to Enterprise customers. With a unique combination of experience, expertise, and best practices designed to deliver the desired outcomes from an SAP transformation, Lemongrass engineers strategies, and services that enable the economics, scale, and agility of hyperscale computing while unlocking business innovation and controlling the risks and uncertainties. Lemongrass Cloud Platform (LCP) enables near zero downtime migrations to Cloud and differentiated Managed Services for SAP and its related workloads.
Featured image: ©Jacky