I’ve heard a lot of times people complaining SAP HR is difficult to learn and nobody could explain why. Let me share with you my thoughts why SAP HR is complicated module and why you should not afraid to step into it. There are number of reasons HR consultants paid a little bit higher on the market. Read further to find out why.

First of all I need to say there is a clear and straightforward solution how to become proficient. I’ve written a post about this and you can read it here How to become a SAP consultant. It doesn’t mater what SAP Module you choose but stay there and learn it hard. There is no cheat sheet to jump on the running train and get promoted in months. I’ve mentioned some personal advises if you would like to see my approach. Here is the link 5 Efficient steps to build SAP HCM Consultant Career. Back to HR and SAP. SAP HR is a huge module and a lot of people think of it like a personnel records management or time and attendance, or just payroll. It is not truth. SAP HCM is all about personnel but not as a chunks of separate data. It’s a whole integrated solution which includes personnel records, time management, payroll, performance, talents, learning, recruiting and much more. It’s all named SAP HR module or SAP HR Suite. Architect level guys need to know all these “chunks” and how to marry them in a cake, tasty cake. Other SAP modules have no such variety of functionality or components in SAP terms, this wide spread of data management, reporting and different technologies like old-school assembler coding, infotype-approach and portal solutions – all in one module.

In real life nobody knows all functions of all SAP HR components. This is too much to know for one person. That’s why we have PA/OM consultant, Time Management Consultants, SAP Payroll Consultants and a lot of other talent-pool consultants (one per component). Saying this companies and recruiters don’t make any distinguish within HR module and name all of us the same way – SAP HR consultant – while every component has its own specific.

Let’s answer the question, why HR is so difficult to learn.

  • Like mentioned above it’s a large module with a lot of functionality. You need to choose one or two components and stick to them. It’s rarely happens when you switch them in the future.
  • HR has own coding or programming language. Yes, it’s truth that we code algorithms for time evaluation and payroll functions. And this language looks like old x86 assembler language which is not popular today (in some sense).
  • It has a variety of technologies. HR has a back end like with a classical ERP interface. It has BSP pages for some ECM functionality. It has SAP Netweaver Portal solution.
  • SAP Payroll is something specific. It’s not only about programming skills for schemas and rules but about knowing the Law. In other components the processes are almost the same in every country but in payroll you need to know all Federal and Local Laws to stay current. I’d say this is the main reason why SAP Payroll Consultants are paid more comparing to others.
  • SAP HR updates almost monthly comparing to other modules. Because SAP supports a lot of countries from legal perspective, they stamp a new support package every single month. And HR consultant needs to review it, test it, basically know what is in there and how it could affect current customer’s solution. It could be a single note but could be hundreds of notes in just a one package. Read this my blog post about SAP updates https://saphcmsolutions.com/updating-sap-systems-for-customers/
  • From the user perspective, HR in SAP looks different to a intuitive and easy to understand document approach systems. In other systems there is a document, like a folder or a card with employee’s data. All in one and in one sight. SAP HR infotypes have different nature and allow to track data changes over time more efficiently while it’s harder to understand when you see SAP for the first time.

Doesn’t these reasons seem to be self-explaining why SAP HR is difficult to learn? If it’s not that obvious to you, look at average salaried/rates on SAP HR market. They are usually a little bit higher. And market usually takes into account risks, investments, time to build a fair price per service.

Do you want the final argument? Try to read these two screenshots.

Payroll Schema in SAP HR Payroll Module
Payroll schema in SAP Payroll
Payroll Schema Rule in SAP HR Payroll Module
Payroll Rule in SAP HR

Let me know what you think on this?