Working with job agencies in the Netherlands

Working with job agencies in the Netherlands

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Madison Parker International lists the golden rules on how to work with Dutch job agencies to ensure they find you the best job in the Netherlands.

Expats looking for a job in the Netherlands will find plenty of opportunities. But how do you find an agency that is both tuned in to the local market and to your personal needs? Madison Parker International offers the golden rules.

Finding a job in the Netherlands

Expats seeking a new career challenge in the Netherlands will find ample opportunities. The Dutch employment market is mature, sophisticated and boasts an impressive array of both local and international companies spread across the Randstad region and beyond. It also has a vast network of specialist and generalist recruitment firms. Many newcomers take the recruitment agency route for speed and convenience, as well as for the valuable contacts that established agencies can tap into, although there are many job hunting streams that foreigners can tap into.

Working with recruitment agencies

Specialist and generalist agencies openly advertise their services on websites geared to expats and are frequent advertisers on job boards and leading publications. Trade directories also carry agency listings and search engines like Google will help you navigate your way to various websites. So how do you ensure that your partner agency will serve your needs positively?

Here are some golden rules:

  • Maintain an up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV) in English that fully reflects your skills, education, work experience and personal profile, and try to keep it as succinct as possible. If you really want to stand out, have a version translated into Dutch, which some companies will appreciate.
  • Always support any application with a clear overview or motivation letter setting out your primary work requirements, personal qualities and career objectives.
  • Follow up any application if you hear nothing back within three to five days.
  • Always try to meet your agent in person as this can build rapport and trust, and make sure that your CV does not get sent anywhere without your permission.
  • Be clear about your work preferences and present yourself in a positive and personable light.
  • Stay flexible and be ready to attend interviews as opportunities emerge, but remain patient while your agent scours the market for the right opportunity.
  • Keep your agent informed of any personal developments that might affect the work they are doing on your behalf.


The interview process

Once you’ve set yourself up with your preferred agencies and the enquiries start to flow in, you need to prepare yourself for interviews. As an expat, one of your primary concerns may be about language. Fortunately, many HR personnel and other hiring managers in the Netherlands speak English at a high level, but this should not stop you from speaking clearly and slowly. Avoid using jargon or colloquial expressions.

Just like in your home country, prospective employers expect interviewees to be well-presented, enthusiastic and well-informed. You should research the company in advance, and while most good agencies will prepare you in the best possible way based on their intimate knowledge of the company, self-preparation is equally important. Always attend an interview armed with a list of relevant questions.

When you receive a job offer that fully matches your expectations, your agent will help you to assess the various aspects of the offer, including salary level, benefits, role progression and career development. Unless you are fully convinced it is the right job for you, allow yourself two or three days to consider all of the angles.

Starting a new job in a foreign country might be a daunting prospect for some, but the Dutch are very tuned into working with foreign nationals and you can be reassured that your new co-workers will be supportive of their new ‘international’ colleague. Finally, make an effort to learn some Dutch as it will pay dividends in the long run.

Madison Parker International – Professional Resource Solutions / Expatica

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Updated 2016.

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