SAP is the worst non-custom ATS/HR software I’ve found yet

SAP is one of those “enterprise software” suites that claim to be able to essentially do everything except Email for every kind of organization or firm. You can see this on their website, which doesn’t seem to definitively describe what it does in a single sentence.

My experience with SAP is limited to Iberdrola (A Spanish energy firm) and their use of it as an applicant tracking system (ATS) or in other words HR software. It is terrible for this though, at least as they configured it.

First, go to their English language website and then click on “employment channel” once you find it. Hint: It’s on the right side of the page.

Then click on “candidates area”.

Then click on “vacancies”.

Now you are at the SAP ATS/HR frontend for Iberdrola. Note that up to now you’ve just been jumping through hoops to get to SAP, which is their (Iberdrola’s) fault, not SAPs.

Now that we are at SAP, note the extreme paucity of options for job searching. You can specify keywords (and hope that the system can interpret them correctly and that the HR people correctly entered them), select some “job famil[ies]” and the country they are posted in. That’s it.

Other ATSs let you do things like drill down within countries, specify skill levels or travel requirements or even things like salary range. This one barely lets you pick countries you’re eligible to work in.

Anyway, type in something like “engineer” and hit “search”. This brings up a goodly listing of positions, but notice something unique (and not in a good way): The scroll bar is content, not chrome. In other words, SAP bothered to “reinvent the wheel” and program their own scroll bars instead of using ones that every web browser since Berners-Lee’s has builtin support for.

Clicking on any title brings up a popup (!) with an embedded PDF with the job description, requirements, etc. This isn’t so bad (the PDF part, not the popup, which will probably be blocked by default on your system), but foreshadows a true misuse of PDFs later on. O and by the way, the PDF is too big to display in the window, so you have to enlarge it or side scroll.

Now, click the “Apply” button and you’ll get sent to a logon page where you can create a new account. I don’t expect anyone to create an account just to follow along, so I’ll take a screenshot:


First off, the error message is wrong. It somehow (??) got written backwards and means to say “cannot be shorter than 8 char.” Aside from this, anyone at SAP want to explain why “character” is abbreviated here, and also why the password has to be only in upper case??

Finally, after completing the rather short registration form, you get sent a confirmation Email. Nothing strange about this really, many sites require this to ensure that your Email is a real Email and entered correctly. You get the message, click a link and your account is now active…

…except SAP manages to make it hard. They send you a PDF, in a completely blank Email, that contains an unclickable, two line link. Here’s mine with personal data removed:


You have to meticulously copy that blue string and paste it into your browser to finish registering with them. I know from personal experience that PDFs support hyperlinks. That mess of a URL could be easily made clickable. Even if this was for security, they could do better, such as by putting it at the end so it would be more easily selectable. Not claiming that you should “click this link” would also help.

Finally, I can apply for a job with them!

If anyone is interested, I’ll report how my application went in a separate post.

1 thought on “SAP is the worst non-custom ATS/HR software I’ve found yet

  1. Pingback: Further SAP ATS trash | FlowCoef

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