For SAP, it must be disastrous to appear in 39th place among Germany’s most popular employers for engineers, far behind the national railway (Deutsche Bahn) and the army (Bundeswehr). This poor performance is certainly not the reason why HR Director Sabine Bendiek will be leaving the ERP company at the end of this year. She is leaving of her own accord, but rumor has it she never fully settled into the position. Apparently, the chemistry was off, or perhaps HR work is particularly challenging at SAP.
In any case, her colleague Cawa Younosi, who is responsible for HR in Germany, is satisfied with himself and his work, as can be seen from the article found in the aforementioned German magazine. On LinkedIn, the “Global Head of People Experience” has more than 90,000 followers and promotes equal opportunities and more diversity. In Germany, Cawa Younosi is responsible for around 24,000 employees.
This leads to a myriad of questions: the Executive Board member for Human Resources, Sabine Bendiek, is leaving SAP; the HR manager for Germany, Cawa Younosi, seems to be popular and well-known far beyond SAP’s borders—but SAP itself is experiencing difficulties in being an attractive employer for young engineers. What is going on?
It seems to be a recurring problem at SAP: losing touch with reality! On the one hand, SAP is celebrated for equal opportunities and more diversity, but on the other, even the German railways and armed forces are more popular as employers. Last year, SAP was still in 37th place in the rankings, but as the supposedly leading technology company in Germany, that was no reason for celebration either. The reason for this divergence between the company’s own perception and official facts is a lack of self-criticism.
SAP has created an information and communication bubble for itself that exists separately from the real IT world. An IT company that does not find it necessary to share its 50th anniversary celebrations with its community, that doesn’t have an invitation management system for its Sapphire event, and that even attempts to discourage journalists from attending, would give the impression of being out of touch with the times.
We live in an age where popularity and communication are becoming more and more important. The craziest corporation in the world, Red Bull, sells a great deal of beverages, but it thrives on communication, entertainment, and popularity. In the past 50 years, corporate values have changed and adapted. There was no social media, no bloggers, and no popularity scales for employers back when SAP was founded— but there weren’t any for Red Bull either. However, nothing is as constant as change! SAP should actively work towards becoming more popular again.
In any case, the gap between self-perception and external perception must be closed. The SAP bubble must be popped, and the company should once again communicate with its community.
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