The Netherlands

  1. About The NetherlandsNetherlands
  2. Working conditions
  3. Sectors and companies that are recruiting
  4. Applying for a job
  5. Major recruitment pointers
  6. Recruitment Resources and networks

1. About The Netherlands

The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, but suffered invasion and occupation by Germany in World War II. A modern, industrialized nation, the Netherlands is also a large exporter of agricultural products. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EEC (now the EU), and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999. In October 2010, the former Netherlands Antilles was dissolved and the three smallest islands – Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba – became special municipalities in the Netherlands administrative structure. The larger islands of Sint Maarten and Curacao joined the Netherlands and Aruba as constituent countries forming the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Population: 16.8 million

GDP per inhabitant (2009): USD 40.300,-

Unemployment rate (02/11): 5.5%

2. Working conditions

It is inadvisable to schedule meetings during the summer (between the months of June and August). In business, punctuality is taken seriously. If you are late, people will think that you are untrustworthy and will doubt your capacity to honour your commitments. It is polite to maintain visual contact with the person you are talking to.

Legal working hours : 48 hrs / week max. Average: 46 hrs / week

Length of trial / notice period: Depending on the contract. When the contract is temporary the notice period is 1 month. When contracts are indefinite the notice period is 2 months or more. For some key positions up to 4 months.

Employment formalities: Reference and certificate checks are usual in the recruitment process. For some positions with the Government a declaration of good behaviour is needed. Workers who come from outside the EU need to have a working permit.

3. Sectors that are recruiting

Government, High Tech industry, Hospitals and business services.
Philips, Ahold, Ernst and Young, Unilever, Shell, VDL and Belden.

4. Applying for a job

Application documents: Short motivation letter and resume. A photo can be applied, but is not necessary.

Advice regarding the CV: No more than two pages, except for candidates that apply for a technical position within the IT sector. Write about the experience and the competencies you have that are required for the position you are interested in. Also state the results you achieved and how.

5. Major recruitment pointers

Business Etiquette/knowing how to behave during interviews: First of all be in time and be well prepared. Ask for more information before having the interview, eg. ask for a brochure or an annual report and look at the internet site of the company. Dress up professionally and be well mannered. Shake hands firmly and look people in the eyes. Take notes.

Languages you must be able to speak: Dutch and English. German is an advantage.

Flagship training: In the Netherlands there are a few universities of high quality; University of Tiburg, Erasmus in Rotterdam, Technical University Eindhoven and the University of Groningen. Next to this there are a few Business schools like TIAS in Tilburg and Nijenrode close to Utrecht. The education that really offers good labour opportunities at this moment are the technical and business studies.

Compensation&Benefits / Taxes: Bonuses are very common in The Netherlands. Tax reduction for expads from outside Europe. Salary above average compared to other European countries..

6. Recruitment resources and networks

Important business networking sites: Hyves, LinkedIn, XING

Best sites for jobs:,,,,

Where to network: There are regular labour fairs in The Netherlands where companies present themselves. There are also regular network meetings between universities and companies.