Q and A


Q&A with Jon Jenkins and Joe Lee on SAP E-Recruiting

by Amy Thistle

I recently moderated a web forum with HR 2012 speakers Jon Jenkins and Joe Lee on making e-recruiting an effective part of your talent management strategy. Jon and Joe took questions on the new SAP E-Recruiting features in enhancement package 5, infrastructure requirements for running SAP E-Recruiting, integration and customization options, and the value of implementing SAP E-Recruiting, among other topics. HR Forum, or read excerpts from the transcript of the Q&A below.



What is new in EHP5 for eRecruiting? Please advise.

Joe Lee:

Enhancement Package 5 contains quite a few new features. Below are some of the highlights:

- Email verification process for Candidates

- Improvement of application process w/o previous registration

- New POWL queries -- Open Registrations -- with new buttons to allow recruiters to complete registration, and send confirmation email

- Admin -- ability to delete unverified candidates

- New "Internet Presence" section of candidate profile

- Navigation improvements in the candidate profile and application

- Improved Tell a Friend

- New UI for Confirmation Activities

- Publications can now be in Draft status, one-click Publish

- Quick Search now has direct access to postings/requisitions

- Side-by-side candidate comparison

- Improved New Hire interface


For an organization considering implementing e-recruiting and recognizing that SAP has come a long way in this area up to and including EHP5, I'd like to know, in your opinion, where does SAP e-recruiting still come up short compared to the Taleo's, PeopleClick's, etc. Do you see SAP addressing these shortfalls in upcoming EHPs or is stronger lobbying required by SAP customers?

Jon Jenkins:

Good to hear from you -- I think we may have met at a previous HR conference. In all honesty, I have been working with SAP E-Recruiting for more than 6 years and it has come a long way. We continue to see SAP E-Recruiting being chosen and implemented over (and to replace) other "best of breeds".

With that said, there are some shortfalls that customers typically point out, such as the ability to schedule interviews, offer letters, and dispositioning a single candidate from multiple requisitions. I haven't heard that any of these are being targeted for future EhPs, but since we hear about them so often, I'm sure that SAP is aware.


#1 - Outlook Integration - What options might exist to enter/update interview requests to Outlook Calendars?

#2 - Option for Search Engine Optimization - BSP/Webdynpro ABAP Interfaces and Adobe forms are all excluded from Internet Search Engine Crawls. What options are available or coming to allow positions to be returned in a result set from Google?

#3 - What are the infrastructure/hardware requirements to run the external piece of the eRecruiting software?

#4 - Are there any options for integration with Social Media Sites - specifically LinkedIn. Other software packages can handle actual applications using a LinkedIn profile (Taleo).

# 5 - As the SAP product is delivered without Resume Parsing, a common requirement, is there a clean/standard way to integrate this component (such as Sovren) into the Candidate Profile?

# 6 - Personnel Administration Infotypes, eRecruitment Infotypes and Talent Management Infotypes have some redundancy amongst them (for example, all 3 store data for work history, education history independently from one another). Is there a delivered option to keep these in line?

Joe Lee:

#1- Currently, no Outlook integration exists around activities, and it has to be done manually if you want to add it to Outlook. However, this is an area where a custom solution could definitely be developed.

#2- Due to the nature of BSP/Web Dynpro, web crawlers, such as Google, cannot scrape job information from SAP E-Recruiting. This seems to be a system limitation with Web Dynpro and BSP. On the flip side, this prevents external services and websites from potentially finding and exploiting system flaws.

Jon Jenkins:

#3- There are multiple options for E-Recruiting when setting up the infrastructure. At the highest level, customers have the choice of implementing it within the same instance as HCM -- or in a standalone environment. Once this is decided, they then have to determine if they want to allow the frontend screens (web dynpros) to run on the same instance as E-Recruiting (or on a potential third instance). In addition, other infrastructure topics typically include security, middleware (PI), TREX, reverse proxy/webdispatcher, etc.

#4- A custom interface will be required to integrate with social media sites. However, since all social sites seem to have open APIs, it should be relatively easy to create the integration.

Joe Lee:

Here are our thoughts on the last 2 questions:

#5- Yes, you can, through standard configuration, input a vendor and easily integrate using resume parsing technology. Furthermore, the candidate and recruiter user interfaces come standard with the resume parsing functions, so no UI changes would be needed.

#6 - As of EhP5 (and via support package with EhP4), SAP offers migration tools for customers who have been running succession planning software from SAP based on former data models (SAP E-Recruiting based solution or the solution prior to SAP ERP 6.0) and who want to use the new talent management and talent development processes. SAP recommends referencing notes 1223936 and 1272565 (which includes additional information on migration reports and valid software components).

Note: Unfortunately, as far as we understand, migration tools are not available for the PA infotypes of Education (IT0022) and Other/Previous Employers (IT0023) with the infotypes in E-Recruiting or Talent Management.

Thanks, and I hope this helps!


SAP is now promoting their predefined consulting services solutions for eRecruitment and the SAP enhanced user interface.

Do you have any experience with these services and what value these will offer to customers in terms of cost/benefit, reduced implementation time, etc.?

Jon Jenkins:

Thanks for the question. I am aware of the predefined consulting services that SAP now offers, although I'm not sure they are available for E-Recruiting quite yet. As far as I understand, one of the main intents is to reduce implementation time. Unfortunately, aside from that, I have to recommend that you follow up with SAP directly to learn more.


Regarding EHP5 and e-recruiting, anyone have a clarification to OSS Note 1318299 that states the e-recruiting add-on is not released for EHP5?


Joe Lee:

Unfortunately, we're not too familiar with that particular note. From our best guess, it looks like it simply means that it is not yet fully compatible with the new Ehp5, or they have updated that particular add-on (its successor) and the current one is no longer valid.

I would recommend following up directly with SAP via Service Marketplace regarding any Add-on compatibility with Ehp5.


What's the direction of SAP on e-Recruitment? Are they going to move towards WebDynpro for ABAP or will they stay on WD4J? As we are looking to implement ESS/MSS but not sure, should we go to the portal or should we be on NWBC? Thank you.

Joe Lee:

SAP's UI direction for E-Recruiting is definitely with Web Dynpro for ABAP. Since Enhancement Package 2, the candidate user interface (optionally) switched to WD4A, and is now used for the recruiter as well. To fully leverage the features in future enhancement packages, Web Dynpro for ABAP is definitely the way to go. :)

In terms of the Portal, SAP's direction is actually the same as E-Recruiting - the portal will be completely in Web Dynpro for ABAP. If you are looking to implement ESS/MSS, I would recommend using the portal, as SAP is updating to include the same technology as almost all of the Talent Management applications.


Thank you Joe for your insight. I really appreciate taking the time to answer the question. My understanding is that since Ehp5, SAP is allowing to implement say Enterprise Compensation Management (ECM) without the portal. I'm thinking that more and more applications are going in that direction. So what is the advantage of having the portal? What functionality will I lose if I go to NetWeaver Business Client 3.0? Please advise. Thank you.

Joe Lee:

You're very welcome!

With Ehp5, E-Recruiting is now also Portal-independent. This is very convenient if you are using E-Recruiting as a stand-alone application. In terms of the advantages of the portal:

1 - If you have more than one HCM module, this allows you to have a one-stop-shop for all your applications. Each of the modules can be accessed in one location.

2- Security - you can setup and maintain the roles/authorizations within the portal, which will make it much easier to control security throughout your applications.

3- By using Single Sign On, your users will not need to keep multiple usernames and passwords for each system. The user will login once, and have access to the applications that your roles allow.

Admittedly, we're not experts on NetWeaver Business Client 3.0. We recommend following up with SAP for further details regarding your application integration with NetWeaver Business Client 3.0.



Bette Ferris:

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions today. Could you tell me ????what are the options for integrating with job boards? Does this require a PI system?


Joe Lee:

SAP E-Recruiting unfortunately does not have a standard solution for distributing your jobs. A custom solution, however, can definitely be develo ped to easily integrate with a job board distributor.

In terms of using PI, you do not need a PI system to integrate with these distributors. SAP ABAP comes with multiple HTTP and SOAP classes that can be called to integrate with the job board distributor of your choosing. You may also send along rich HTML postings so that your branding will appear on the job boards.


Kir Chern:

Many companies find it hard to justify the ROI and investment in SAP E-Recruiting vs. Best of Breeds e-Recruiting solutions. Beside hefty infrastructure/licensing/implementation costs, the implementation resources with diverse skills and time required to implement is extremely hard to justify. Though the benefit of choosing SAP is integration, not all integration points are necessary for each customer and most of the other vendors can do a very good job in integrating their solution with SAP. What is your take on this?


Jon Jenkins:

We get asked this question a lot and I would recommend comparing the total cost of ownership over the course of 3-5 years. From what we have seen, typically the cost of implementing SAP E-Recruiting is much higher initially (when including licensing, etc. as you mentioned), but over time it pays for itself. One of the other major benefits of implementing SAP E-Recruiting is that the customer is able to own their own data -- and this is one of the main reasons they tell us that they are moving away from the best of breeds.


Kir Chern:

< p>SAP E-Recruiting offers 2 ways to interface to SAP PA, i.e., the PI Interface approach vs. the RFC approach. Clearly, the former requires more technical resources, budget (including TCO) and skill-set to support. May I have your expert advice on what are the disadvantages of the RFC approach (since it is simpler) as compared to the PI, and how one should decide the choice? Thanks.

Jon Jenkins:

Another good one. You're right, the RFC is much easier because it is delivered with the standard solution -- however, I will warn you that this is one area where we typically add a minor enhancement to include more information than just the basic fields that are sent with the standard solution.

Looking forward, as of EhP5 SAP has enhanced the PI interface to include work experience, education and qualifications -- to integrate more closely with talent management -- and I do not believe they will do this for the RFC.

Again, I hope this helps and thanks for attending,


Joe Lee:

Unfortunately, there is no standard solution to integrate directly to a job board. However, through custom development, you can easily integrate your job postings to Monster, CareerBuilder, etc.

You may also interface to a job board distributor, allowing you to post to multiple job boards through one SAP E-Recruiting interface.

Gilvan Lima:

Please do you have a list of all business functions available to be activated since Ehp 1?



Jon Jenkins:


I just looked quickly and I have included the list of business functions and the links to further documentation.

I just looked quickly and I have included the list of business functions and the links to further documentation.





Amy Thistle (moderator): Thanks to all who participated in today’s Q&A and followed the discussion!

Joe Lee:

Thank you all for the questions! We hope to see everyone at HR2012!


An email has been sent to:

More from SAPinsider


Please log in to post a comment.

No comments have been submitted on this article. Be the first to comment!