Navigating SAP SuccessFactors Staffing For Your HR Transformation

Reading time: 4 mins

Meet the Experts

  • Craig Powers

    Research Analyst, SAPinsider

  • Luke Marson

    SVP Human Experience Management, The Silicon Partners (TSP)

    SAPinsider Expert since 2021

Investment in technology is getting back to normal at many SAPinsider organizations. Companies are no longer shrinking their budgets for SAP-related projects at the rate they were in 2020 and 2021, according to our recent research on CIO priorities in 2022. The big question is, with all these projects coming back, does the SAP ecosystem have the staffing, including SAP SuccessFactors staffing, and experienced talent to support renewed investment?

SAP-Related Budgets Recovering Year-Over-Year

SAP budgets 2022

HR Technology Budgets Coming Back

Even in the human resources technology space—called Human Experience Management (HXM) by SAP—spending has recovered, according to Luke Marson, Senior Vice President of the HXM practice at The Silicon Partners (TSP), an SAP services and digital automation consulting firm.

“Things are pretty much back to where they were before the pandemic. People have money they want to spend,” says Marson. “HR is typically last at getting funding, but those projects are getting budget.”

He explains that some of these current projects were lined up in 2020 and put on hold, but there are also many new HXM projects. That combination of backfilled work and new opportunities has strained SAP SuccessFactors staffing at many consulting firms.

This is also likely to be the case in other areas of the SAP sphere, according to Dudley Cartwright, Managing Director and co-founder at Soterion, a GRC-focused SAP partner.

“The move to SAP S/4HANA is bringing a lot of big projects, but there may not be enough resources to handle that move,” says Cartwright. “It’s going to be interesting to see how companies go about it, many consultancies are at 100% capacity.”

SAP SuccessFactors Staffing and Skills Needed

Marson says that 2020 was a hard year for SAP SuccessFactors staffing because there was just little or no work for consultants to do. That sought some to seek new career paths.

“I know a few people that have left the industry or intended the leave,” he says. “Some contractors have a good setup that brings in consistent income, but some left during the pandemic because there wasn’t a lot of work.”

Some vendors had to lay off SAP SuccessFactors consultants, while others like TSP chose to cover salary for employees that didn’t have work to do. Unfortunately, consultants are not salaried employees at many companies, so that didn’t work for every organization.

With SAP HXM projects recovering but fewer consultants available, that has led vendors to seek alternative solutions for SAP SuccessFactors staffing. This includes utilizing subcontractors from other firms, as well as bringing in new junior consultants.

Top skills that companies are needing from subcontractors and junior consultants include those across the SAP SuccessFactors suite according to Marson. Most notably companies are seeking Core HR, payroll, integration skills and and Workforce Analytics knowledge. Our executive research suggests both integration and analytics skills are in higher demand across all SAP project work and not just limited to SAP SuccessFactors staffing.

Most Important SAP-Related Skills to Add or Develop

SAP SuccessFactors skills 2022

How SAP Customers Can Ensure SAP SuccessFactors Staffing on HXM Projects

SAP HXM service providers should be careful about what they are selling and making sure that they deliver, but Marson suggests that’s not been the case, particularly in the United States. For SAP HXM customers, how can they ensure that the vendor can supply SAP SuccessFactors staffing at the quantity and quality they need?

Making sure that the implementation partner has resources available would be prudent, says Marson. Also, asking what type of resources—will they be in-house or will they be subcontractors? If they are subcontractors, will they be held to the same standards as the vendor’s in-house consultants? Subcontracting isn’t necessarily a negative, it certainly is likely to be at the same level of quality and standards, but it’s good for customers to have peace of mind on that.

With vendors trying to add new staff, customers should also ask how junior consultants will be used. Typically, partners will suggest having juniors on as non-billable shadows to senior consultants. If they do help with the work, that is also typically non-billable.

The answers to these questions should be confirmed in writing, says Marson. If not in the Master Service Agreements (MSA), then in the Statement of Work (SOW). He also suggests requesting named resources—consultants you know will be on the projects.

Communication via email is also important to ensure your project has the SAP SuccessFactors staffing it needs, that is much more traceable than a verbal agreement, Marson adds.

What This Means for SAPinsiders

Identify the skills you most need for SAP HXM projects and see what you can develop in house. If SAP SuccessFactors staffing is still recovering back to pre-pandemic levels, SAPinsiders should be seeing how they can develop the skills they need in-house. That can help supplement any HR transformation projects, and even reduce the cost of implementation.

Verify who will be doing your SAP HXM project work. When you are deciding on a vendor to provide SAP SuccessFactors implementation services, don’t be afraid to ask in writing who will be doing the work. Ask for names. Determine how subcontractors and junior consultants will be utilized.

If you are a consultant, time to brush up on SAP SuccessFactors skills. There is a growing need for SAP SuccessFactors staffing. Consultants in the SAP HXM space might consider adding skills and certifications around integration and analytics, among others, to capitalize on that opportunity.

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