When is a SAP role not a SAP role?

= when it’s an RFQ.

“Request For Quotation.”

This is when a company knows they want to do an SAP project, but are shopping around for an SAP Partner company to help them do it.

So it’s ‘kind of’ a role, but it’s too early in the process to know which company will be getting it.

The tricky thing is, that companies don’t employ teams of people to sit around waiting for clients to ask them for quotes: their teams are already busy, out doing billable projects, solutioning solutions and generally making the world a better SAP-enabled place already.

While some of these existing staff members might be proposed for this new potential project on the RFQ:

Employers will inevitably go to market to complete a hypothetical team they’ll propose to their potential future client through the RFQ.

So the one role on a potential project, might go to several SAP companies through an RFQ…. and those companies might in turn send it to several recruitment suppliers. Each.


You’ve seen them, right? On job boards: the same role, verbatim, advertised by six different recruitment agencies?

So what’s generally happening here is:

  • A company who uses SAP is planning a project
  • They have invited several SAP Partner / system integration (SI) firms to bid for the work
  • These companies have staff, but they are deployed on other projects
  • Each SI passes the role through to their recruiter panel
  • Who also all advertise it
  • Each recruiter then submits their catch to their respective client firm
  • Who then each submit to the actual business planning the SAP project

So the role exists, but the path to get there that can be the shaky bit.

So to apply, or not to apply?….

– On the downside: the role is not technically ‘real’ yet. As in, it’s not “sold work”. While you might be a perfect match, the channel you go through might not be the successful one, so you miss out through no fault of your own. You are going to the effort of applying, completing selection criteria, sometimes putting your own CV into another companies format: unpaid, to strengthen someone’s sales bid, with no immediate reward.

+ On the upside: it’s an introduction to an employer who might have ‘real’ future roles, that could work out down the track. If you’ve got the right skills, which do strengthen their submission, then you might walk into a role with very little competition (from those who submitted through the unsuccessful suppliers). RFQ’s can also take ages to get an outcome, and it’s better to have future options because #2022…

Understand if a role is for an RFQ or if it’s “sold work”.

This will show the probability of a role actually eventuating.

You can ask this of suppliers. Find out the chain of where you’re being submitted and how many layers of recruiters/suppliers.

Most importantly:

Avoid applying to the same role through multiple suppliers. This causes “duplicate representation”.

What happens here, is that the end client will disqualify you completely, from both companies who submitted you. It’s why a company will often ask for a formal ‘Authority to Represent’, which goes along with your application. This is meant to stop suppliers sending your CV around town without your express permission for each submission.

So when is a SAP role not quite a SAP role?

When it’s an RFQ…..

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Insights from this article

  • Some advertised roles are not yet confirmed “sold work” & may not actually eventuate
  • Not getting the role can have more to do with your supplier than your personal merit
  • It’s still useful to apply, expands your networks, probabilities, helps secure future work
  • Avoid applying to the same role through multiple suppliers – this hinders, not helps, your chance of landing the role.

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