SAP in Ireland has grown dramatically in the 14 years I’ve been at SAP. As 1 of the 1st 100 employees in Ireland I have seen the company grow to over 1500 employees, in 2 locations (Dublin and Galway) and to over 37 different lines of business. In the last year alone we’ve added over 450 permanent positions across most of the LoBs. With the fastest growing groups being Development, Support and Inside Sales.
This rate of growth has been hugely demanding on the supporting functions of the organization, specifically on the HR and recruitment teams. Its difficult to build and maintain a strong pipeline of candidates when you yourself are consuming that pipeline by hiring 60-80 people per quarter.
But we found an answer that spreads the burden across the organization via Internships. In 2013 SAP Ireland took on close to 100 interns for 6-18 months duration. Mostly 3rd year IT, Computer Science, Math, Science, Engineering and Business & Languages students from a variety of courses from a large selection of the 27 3rd level institutions in Ireland. In 2014 we will take on over 120 interns. Our aim is to eventually hire 80% of these interns once they graduate from their studies.
So far we’ve been very effective in hiring from this pool of candidates that have been trained and treated as new hires for the duration of their internship. So when they come back to us 18 months later they hit the ground running in a company and with teams they already know. The logistics and burden of providing internships is greatly outweighed by the value of these candidates bring to SAP, the speed at which they can be recruited and the additional branding they do amongst their peers on behalf of SAP.