Friday 21st August, 2015 marks the 15th birthday of Recruit 121

R121 15 years
15 years ago we opened our doors and began our journey as SAP staffing specialists, serving organisations domestically and overseas on a “one-to-one” basis.

Now, having placed thousands of candidates with more than 500 SAP customers around the globe, we pride ourselves on connecting the world’s best-run businesses, with the very best talent.

We caught up with some of the team at Recruit 121 to talk about the past 15 years and how they see the industry moving in the future:

James Turner has worked with Recruit 121 since the very beginning, 15 years ago. Starting his journey with us as a resourcer, James is now Sales Director.

How do you feel the industry has changed over the last 15 years? SAP has grown from being niche software to a market leading/ market driving enterprise software. This is also reflected in the fact more and more recruitment agencies offer SAP staffing services.The skills required from candidates are a lot different now compared to 15 years ago, primarily due to developments in internet and mobile technologies.

Where do you see the industry of SAP moving in the future? Cloud integration is definitely a growing field. We see more and more companies looking for candidates who are skilled in this area.

What was your favourite Millennium memory?  My favourite memory from the Millennium was definitely being on London Bridge during the countdown to the new year, watching the fireworks over the Thames.

Kerstin Barthelmes joined Recruit 121 10 years ago in November and is now a successful delivery consultant.

How do you feel the industry has changed over the last 15 years? The industry has become more competitive; it’s important that candidates upskill and it’s definitely worth looking into certification to ensure they hold themselves in the best stead for future work.

What was your favourite Millennium memory? 2000 was my first year in university, so a pretty awesome year which helped me on my journey towards working at Recruit 121. 

Mat Holmes began his journey at Recruit 121 as a business development consultant and is now our corporate accounts manager.

How do you feel the industry has changed over the last 15 years? Technical skills are no longer enough. It is now essential for applicants to possess strong customer (internal or external) facing skills too!

Are the skills required from candidates a lot different now? The SAP market is rapidly changing. Mobile, cloud and Big Data will continue to trend, with IOT becoming more and more relevant in today’s highly connected world. 10 years ago, the thought of running a major corporation from a mobile device would have been laughable. As people’s expectations of what can be done has changed, technology has been forced keep moving forward at an ever-increasing pace.

Where do you see the industry of SAP moving in the future? I predict that SAP will branch away from core ERP functionality to facilitate the interconnectability of a multitude of devices. Maybe one day a system could even talk to your toaster!

What is your favourite thing about working for Recruit 121? As a privately owned company, Recruit 121 has the luxury of ensuring ‘service’ is held in as high a regard as ‘profit’. This is almost unique within our industry, where many are solely profit-focused, and means that we concentrate upon providing the best service for everyone involved.

What does the future hold for Recruit 121? The future looks great! We are already offering SAP Training and Certification solutions (education.recruit121.com) and hope to launch more solution/product lines soon.

If you could travel back in time 15 years and tell yourself something that you know today, what would it be? Last week’s lottery numbers would be great, but assuming that’s not possible, I’d advise myself to stay focused and keep moving forward, whilst enjoying the high’s and not worrying too much about the low’s. However, in 2000 I was a cheeky teenager, chasing girls and watching football, life couldn’t have been much better.

Mike Bobbett is the Director of Finance and Operations at Recruit 121.

How do you feel the industry has changed over the last 15 years? It seems to be far more highly regulated in almost every regard. There is now a clear drive toward the use of SAP certified consultants. The number of freelancers is growing globally and certification is a means of differentiating oneself from others in the market.

Are there any key developments that you feel contributed to the need for new skills? It is hard to look past the growth in cloud computing and the thirst within the industry for accurate analysis of real-time data. We will continue to hear much about SAP HANA and the related technologies that follow.

Where do you see the industry of SAP moving in the future? I believe that SAP will continue to grow through the acquisition of smaller businesses that have identified underserved business needs. I would imagine that we will see the purchase of more successful companies like Concur in order to integrate their products into the SAP suite.

What does the future hold for Recruit 121? Working as part of a fun-loving, well-motivated team is great. We will continue to provide the highest levels of service to candidates and clients and look to innovate within our business to make us better able to do so.

What was your favourite Millennium memory? It was the year of my first visit to the west coast of Canada and the Rockies. I have developed a love of both since visiting other regions of Canada and the American Rockies since.

We would like to thank candidates, clients, friends and family for their continued support of what we do at Recruit 121.

If you’ve worked with us in the past we’d love to hear your story and how you’ve progressed since engaging with us. You can tweet us @Recruit121_SAP using #15YearsRecruit121, give us a call on +44 02920 496121 or email us at info@recruit121.com

Here’s to many more successful years!


‘We’re all going on a Summer holiday’ – Can you use the summer to boost your SAP career?

Summer is well underway and lots of us are longing for a much needed break in the sun, but could you use this time to your advantage when searching for jobs in SAP? 
We sat down with some of the team here at Recruit 121 to see how they’re spending their summer and what advice they have for those thinking about their SAP careers during the summer months.

                                                            Mike Bobbett, Director of Finance and Operations.

Mike Bobbett Recruit 121

How will you be spending your summer break? I took an early break in April and visited France, it’s extremely important to have a good work/life balance. I have also recently started going to salsa classes which is a great way to unwind whilst keeping active too.

Do you feel that taking a break for the summer effects your workload? Work in our industry is fast-paced and often somewhat intense so it is important to recharge one’s batteries. Recently, Mercer, the Human Resource specialists conducted research that indicated that British and Polish employees are the most privileged in terms of statutory paid holiday entitlements. Despite the UK’s generous statutory paid holiday entitlement, other European employees were granted more paid holidays in total, with Austria and Malta topping the list.

Do you have any tips for those thinking about embarking on a new career path? The market slows a little in the summer and both clients and candidates are eager to take a break. It is a fantastic time to include latest SAP news, products, developments and training on one’s summer reading list. As a partner to SAP Education, selling their Learning hub, Recruit 121 Limited can help. If you are in work, it is a great time to undertake projects that busier periods make challenging.

What tips would you give to people who are freelance/self employed but want to take a summer break? It takes a little cash-flow planning! Accrue your money whilst in contract and try and maintain a nest-egg for you to enjoy through the summer. Beware of peaks of expenditure; settling your tax bills or renewing your freelancers’ insurance, for example.

James TurnerJames Turner, Sales Director

How will you be spending your summer break? I’m taking a trip to DisneyLand with my family and will also be going on a few weekend camping trips with the kids.

What tips would you give to people who are freelance/self employed but want to take a summer break? Being a freelancer you always have choice on when to work and when not to work. However, for a freelancer, not working means not being paid. If you have come to the end of your contract, make more applications during the summer break as when people return to work, you will have more chances of multiple interviews being called in.


                                                    Kerstin Barthelmes, Role Delivery consultant

Kirsten Barthelmes

What tips would you give to those looking for a role in SAP during the summer? Summer is a great time to work on your CV. Whether you have finished your latest project or your current role has quietened down a little, set some time aside to ensure your CV is up to date with all skills and experience. Perhaps you have had the opportunity to work on a new skill or have completed some training or a certification?  It’s always worth having a chat with us here at Recruit 121 to see what opportunities are out there and what the best next step for your career could be.

How do countries that you place candidates in differ in terms of their summer holidays allowance? Southern Europe seems to quieten down for the majority of summer.

What tips would you give to people who are freelance/self employed but want to take a summer break? If it fits in with the stage of the project you are involved with – Do it!

Richard Jones, EMEA Delivery Manager

richard JonesHow will you be spending your summer break? I’m going to a few music festivals, some weekend trips away and will be visiting family and friends. Having a few beers in the sun with my mates always helps me to unwind.

Do you have any tips for those thinking about embarking on a new career path this summer? Bear in mind that whilst it is summer time for most of Europe, it isn’t for other regions such as the Middle East and APAC. I would recommend considering using this time to train or go for SAP certification to help you find your next SAP opportunity.

Do you see a rise/fall in people looking for work during summer? Since I began working at Recruit 121, the trend has been for a lot of people to be looking for new opportunities during the summer months. September tends to be extremely busy for us in terms of contracts being sent out and signed.

What tips would you give to people who are freelance/self employed but want to take a summer break? Take one, but have a copy of your CV handy. If an opportunity arises when you are away you can still apply, take a telephone interview or a web meeting. Having a contract waiting for you to start after your holidays is the ideal scenario.

                                                             Mike Collins, Business Development

Mike CollinsDo you feel that taking a break for the summer effects your workload?: Workload will inevitably build up when away, however I believe it’s always good to take some time off to “recharge the batteries” and come back from your break feeling 100%.

Is there any way that those looking for work in SAP can utilise the fact that many people are away on holidays to benefit their job search? Summer breaks often mean the recruitment process can be extended for both the candidate and client. Make the most of this time by brushing up on your CV and getting feedback on it from us here at Recruit 121. You could also take some time to up-skill on the latest SAP Technologies via the Recruit 121 SAP Learning hub as well as doing market research on potential clients that have activity.

How do countries that you place candidates in differ in terms of their summer holidays allowance? Holiday Allowance will vary not only from country to country but also depending on the industry in which you are working. Some manufacturing plants have a summer “shut down” during which workers take the time off whilst vital maintenance is carried out. We see some Nordic countries giving workers the summer months off due to the lack of daylight hours in the winter. In the Middle East, Ramadan and EID impact the working hours and employees are sometimes given this time off.

What tips would you give to people who are freelance/self employed but want to take a summer break? I would advise to still keep an active eye on the market during your time off. Set aside some time to keep up to date with new market requirements, get your applications out and to speak with your preferred recruitment consultants to understand the market and activities. Once you have made applications, ensure you can make time to communicate with the relevant agents and attend interviews if necessary.

Charlotte Rual-Lovell, Placement Manager

Charlotte Rual-LovellHow will you be spending your summer break? At home with family and friends for the most part. I have recently booked a holiday to Dubrovnik, Croatia for September time, which cannot come soon enough. I’ve also found an amazing yoga studio which I visit every Wednesday, which really helps me unwind.

Do you feel that taking a break for the summer effects your workload? Yes. I’ve always been quite nervous about leaving work for a long period of time. I think as long as you leave a thorough hand-over and your colleagues are fully aware of what needs to be done during your absence, then your workload will remain manageable on your return. Everyone needs a holiday.

How do countries that you place candidates in differ in terms of their summer holidays allowance? I’m fairly new to the SAP/Recruitment industry but I have noticed that Scandinavian countries have a much longer summer holiday. I also lived in Dubai for two years, meaning Ramadan has fallen over the summer period, and it will do so for the foreseeable future. This results in a lot of the Middle Eastern countries working shorter hours during the working week, and more often than not people tending to holiday during this period.

Brush up on your SAP skills with our latest announcement

Here at Recruit 121 we’re passionate about providing the right candidate for the right role and ensuring that we help people achieve their potential.

With our blogs on what to include in an SAP CV, first impressions, and the do’s and don’ts of an SAP CV structure , we’ve covered the essentials for getting your foot in the door.

Now, we are thrilled to announce our partnership with SAP Education to give Consultant’s like you the opportunity to purchase SAP’s all-new Learning Hub and/or official SAP Certification via our all new online webshop.

The online hub will provide you with fast, easy access to learning materials to help you transition your skills in line with SAP’s strategic objectives to ensure that you are at the top of your game.

A nine-year survey commissioned by the American Psychological Society, concluded that:

‘Learners learn more using computer-based instruction than they do with conventional ways of teaching.’

So, why should you choose our learning hub?  Follow the three c’s:

Convenience –The SAP learning hub is easily accessible, which means that wherever you are in the world you can log on and access learning material. It allows you to learn from the comfort of your own home at your own pace.  The SAP learning hub provides you with a safe place to ask questions and engage with SAP’s latest learning material.

Cost-Effective – E-learning saves between 50% and 70% by replacing instructor based training with e-learning. (Source: Institute of Management and Administration survey).

By choosing our e-learning platform you won’t be forking out for expensive learning conferences where you pay for companies to hire in speakers, accommodation and travel too. Save yourself money and time with a subscription that allows you to condense your learning whilst reducing your spend on training by up to £4000!

Certification – Few credentials in the business world carry the value and credibility of SAP certification. It is the mark of a consultant at the highest level in their respective area of expertise.

Globally recognised, as an SAP professional being certified carries a number of benefits – advancing your career, gaining more credibility and improving your prospects, to name just a few.

Invest in your skills, boost your CV and go get that dream SAP career!

Partnering with us not only gives you instant online access to SAP learning materials, but preferential access to the latest SAP jobs, career advice and interview tips.

For more information on our Learning Hub offering and SAP jobs, contact us on +44 02920 496121 or Email us at: info@recruit121.com

*The Learning Hub via Recruit 121 is available exclusively for those based in the UK.

Freelancing – how to stay in the know while you’re going solo

Freelancing isn’t for everyone, but for many who embrace it, it can really work.

In addition to a more flexible work schedule, freelance assignments have become a popular choice for many professionals when considering their career options.

According to a recent Freelance Industry Report, 90% of freelancers are happier now than they were before making the decision to go solo. Nearly half of those questioned felt no impact from the economic downturn and 77% were optimistic about their business prospects over the following 12 months.

We are finding that many employers are upping the number of SAP freelancers they are taking on, for reasons such as special projects and high workloads.

One common question we come across at Recruit 121 Limited, when filling freelance roles, is: “Will I be able to develop my knowledge during my time in the post?” If you are a freelancer and want to upskill in a certain area, where do you turn? We’ve come up with some tips and tricks for you to keep on top of the latest skills and information:

Build a community:

Don’t be afraid to ask for the help of other people, you can learn from their skills and develop a broad knowledge of different areas of the industry by asking questions.

By finding people you exchange ideas with you’ll slowly build up a network in which everyone involved can upskill themselves, it’s beneficial for all involved.

Being able to exchange ideas with real people in real life is important, at Recruit 121 Limited we’re passionate about providing the right candidate for the right role and ensuring that we help people achieve their potential. We’re always open to discussing your potential so if you’re looking to upskill in a new role, why not chat with us?

Use social media:
There are many prolific users of SAP on social media. Why not keep up with industry updates and gain some knowledge whilst you surf the net?

Over on Twitter, @SAP share advice pieces, blogs and videos with essential information to keep you in the loop on how the industry is changing.

Here at Recruit 121 Limited, we share advice pieces along with industry news and job posts on our social media accounts, Twitter @Recruit121_SAP, Facebook recruit121emea and LinkedIn recruit-121-limited, to help keep you in the know when it comes to SAP.

A handy Twitter tip is to create or subscribe to lists of accounts that post regular information that quenches your thirst for knowledge, here are some that we find useful: https://twitter.com/Recruit121_SAP/lists

Consider e-learning:

E-learning is a convenient and cost-effective way to develop your knowledge in particular areas of SAP.  It’s a great way to keep on top of your game in an industry which is constantly adapting.

If you are eager to develop, there is no reason why you cannot succeed in the world of freelancing.

If you are a UK based SAP professional and would like more information about SAP eLearning and/or official certification, visit education.recruit121.com

For more information on SAP jobs, both freelance and permanent, contact us on +44 02920 496121 or email us at: info@recruit121.com