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It’s hard to believe that SCN turns 10 years old this year.  I joined the SCN Team in November 2006, and since then I have had a chance to experience and influence many of the changes and features you see today.  One of those features is the Career Center. It was four years ago on August 23, 2009 when Mark Yolton’s announced, Introducing the Career Center, Part of the SAP Community Network.

I can imagine that some of you reading this blog may have never even heard of the Career Center.  So, let me explain a little bit about the purpose of the Career Center, and then I will dive into the Career Center today.

Career Center 2009

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The Career Center was originally conceived in 2008 where the business case was developed and socialized within SAP.  This established the project for execution and launch in 2009.  The main goals of the Career Center were to:

  • Provide a SAP-centric job board hosted to connect SAP skilled talent with employers
  • Increase activity and co-innovation levels within SAP Networks by connecting job seekers, partners and customers together
  • Enable job seekers to showcase their skills in the rich, collaborative environment of the SAP Community Network

While this sounds good, you may ask yourself, “Why a job board?  Do we really need another one?”  This is certainly an understandable question, but the reality is that there is unmet market need. Other career sites tend to be either:

  • Too broad and create too much clutter for employers (monster.com, careerbuilder.com, dice.com) or
  • Too small to provide effective coverage and matching across geographies (sapcareers.com, sapjob.net, simplysap.com, sapaspirinlist.com)

Great!  So, what happened?  How was this service accepted by the community?  In just a few short months by the end of 2009 there were some very promising statistics:

  • Signed up 427 Employers, 2,366 Job Seekers
  • Over 170,000 Page Views and over 25,000 Job Views
  • 1,249 Active resumes, 154 jobs posted

And there were some setbacks as well:

  • Negative feedback from employers who have not been able to find any qualified candidates on the site
  • Few local candidates in places where jobs are posted
  • Complaints from users about the site being dated, missing functionality, lack of integration to SCN
  • Furthermore, those other job boards don’t have the access to the SCN which allows employers to learn more about their applicants through community participation in blogs and forums.

Career Center 2013

Career Center 2013.jpg

So, let’s fast forward to today.  The Career Center is alive and well.  The vision and mission remain the same.  Let’s take a look at what we have learned.

The Economy

Although there was some success immediately following the 2009 launch, the effects of the 2009 economic downturn were coming into play.

“If IT jobs ever return to their 2008 levels, don’t bet on it happening until 2012 at the earliest. The jobs needle will barely move next year…” – Foote Partners, LLC (Dec 4th, 2009)

This did impact the usage of the service early on, but we have seen growing demand throughout 2011 and 2012.

The Job Board Solution

The job board solution has matured significantly and includes social media feeds, geo-targeting, SEO tuning and candidate to job matching software.

Community complaints about a lack of integration to SCN has been somewhat addressed by the migration of SCN to the Jive platform.  This new community platform provides a consolidated view of blogs, discussions, and documents within the context of SAP Careers, and better overall integration with SAP systems.  Enhanced social sharing features also enable broader visibility of recruiters and job seekers.

So, what’s next?

The talent recruitment market is changing, and SCN continues to be a leader for attracting SAP talent. Traditional job boards like Monster are moving into survival mode, and online communities are quickly becoming the effective talent discovery channel as they retain talent over the long term.  I certainly do not have a crystal ball that allows me to view the future, but I can tell you that demand is strong for community-driven recruiting, and SCN will continue to play a leading role.


Special thanks to Kuhan Milroy for helping with the historical content.

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9 Comments

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    1. Scott Lawley Post author

      Hi Onkar,

      You have expressed a valid concern, one that some folks at SAP shared prior to launching this service.  First of all, SCN has been and will continue to be an online community of professionals who are part of SAP’s ecosystem.  SCN is a popular destination for developers to access the latest information about SAP products and technologies, and to ask questions and give answers.  And finally, given what I have just mentioned, SCN is a place for professionals to shine, to show the community how much they care and how good they really are at what they do.  Putting the Career Center aside for a moment, I wonder how many SCN members were able to secure a job because of their involvement on SCN.  I don’t have hard statistics, but I do know the number is significant.  If this is happening now, what threat then does a job portal connect pose to SCN?

      Scott

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  1. Jürgen L

    Thank you Scott for giving this overview about the Career Center.

    I knew it was there and I had moved some content into it which was posted originally in the technical spaces, but I actually never browsed its content.

    Good to know that the Career Center is that much integrated. I hope many more people will read this blog and give their content then a second thought before submitting.

    I am certain I will share this blog many times.

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