Multilingual recruitment in The Netherlands: why?

Hi all,

Ok, not many Dutch people here (yet). But since I tend to recruit people from all over Europe and even worldwide, I presume it might be interesting for 1 or 2 others to know about this new venture called and the Dutch multi-lingual jobmarket in general.

So, what's the deal over here? Well, Holland is home to many European or EMEA headquarters of some major international companies (Philips, Shell and Unilever not surprisingly, but also for example Cisco or Nike). Some of the reasons are: people tend to speak their languages, infrastructure is higly developed, Holland is in the center of Europe and it has always been a major transportation and logistics hub.

Hence, many companies, especially in and around Amsterdam, have a multi-national staff with English being the company language. Jobs most common within these organizations are mid-level, in IT (support and software development), Finance (debt/credit control, accounts payable etc.) and Customer Service (many many call centers servicing the European region).

Every year, about 10.000 people from the European Union alone move to The Netherlands for employment. Some major call centers in Amsterdam provide work for 500-1500 non-Dutch speakers each. Ok for some of you this might not be big numbers, but remember Holland is a very small country with just 16 million inhabitants, so it's a relatively interesting niche market.

What makes it even more interesting, is the fact that the majority of jobseekers is relatively easy going and open to a variety of different job offers, which makes it fun to work with them. And since you can recruit throughout Europe, the pond holds a lot more fish. Furthermore, the number 1 channel through which people search for a job in Holland is the internet, which makes it relatively easy to decide in which channel to invest to reach those candidates.

So, what's my ideal recruitment solution for this particular market? I'll get to that later in another post...

Thanks and bye for now, or as we say in Brabant: Houdoe!

Views: 80

Comment by Careers In Holland on July 9, 2008 at 11:48am
Regarding the comment above, I feel the need to shed some light on rules and regulations with regards to jobseekers form outside the European Union, seeking employment in The Netherlands.

First of all, inhabitants from any of the EU member states can travel and work freely in any other member state. No work permit needed. In Holland, there's an exception though for people from Romania and Bulgaria, who still need a permit. There are also some European countries that are not an EU-member, whose nationals don't need a work permit either (like Switzerland).

For people from any other country (like the US, India, Russia etc.) it's a different story. You will need a work permit, and that's not easy to get. The easiest way is to get based at the Dutch branch of your employer, which makes you an expat and you can get a work permit specifically for that employer. It will not allow you to work for any other company, but you do get some nice tax advantages.

If you want to find employment at just any company, it will make it easier if you will earn at least ca. € 49.000,- per annum. This will make you eligable for the status "skilled migrant" or knowledge worker. And that will make it easier for your prospective employer to gain the necessary permit. It's still a permit for just that one employer though, and the salary mentioned will only apply for senior level positions (seasoned network engineers, financial experts etc. for example).

If you're not in one of the mentioned categories, there's only a very very small chance you will find a job in Holland. Recruitment agencies will most likely not support your jobseeking efforts and they can not supply a work permit.

There is another solution. Simple enough: get married to Dutch citizen, or someone who is going to work in The Netherlands. As a partner you can get permission to work also :)


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