Last update on September 13, 2019

Your next career adventure is around the corner. With the help of a recruitment agency in Europe, finding a job can be a smooth and seamless process.

It can be demoralizing, wading through streams of listings, uploading reams of applications and motivation letters, into what feels like a black hole. But looking for a job doesn’t have to be stressful, frustrating, and tedious. Finding a job through a recruitment agency in Europe is a sure-fire way to surf smoothly through the flotsam and jetsam of the job search. It can help you secure a role that fits your skills, your experience, your personality, and your aspirations.

Using an overseas employment agency to find a job in Europe is a good idea for individuals with well-defined career goals. Signing up with an international recruitment agency costs nothing. It’s a very effective way for job seekers to find their ideal match. A good agency will be right behind you promoting your name, your brand, and your credentials to their clients.

Here are some insider tips on getting a job using a recruitment agency in Europe, the advantages (and possible pitfalls), and which international agencies can help you find a job in your field.

Find a job in Europe using a recruitment agency

So, you want to find a job in Europe using an employment agency? Perhaps you’ve already been headhunted via your LinkedIn profile or personal website, but the approach came to nothing. Try reaching out to an overseas employment agency specializing in your profession.

Many agencies differentiate themselves into sectors. A good agency will also avoid the cookie cutter approach. They should invest time getting to know both the client and the candidate, and work hard to find the right match. If they can’t meet the candidate in person, they should meet them online via video to get to know them – just 20 minutes in a good investment.

Why use a recruitment agency in Europe?

There are many advantages to finding a job through a recruitment agency in Europe. The bottom line is that they probably know the local job market far better than you do. They should know their clients and the type of candidate (beyond just skills and experience) they typically look for.

An agency should therefore know what it takes to get you to the interview stage and beyond. This might include offering advice on tweaking your CV or interview techniques. It all may be quite different to what you’re used to. The chatty, witty repartee that works wonders in Dublin, for example, may fall on deaf ears in Frankfurt.

Find-a-job

It is extremely important to develop a thorough understanding of business etiquette and culture in each country. Do your homework on the agency (look for testimonials, perhaps), as well as research the prospective employer – what it’s like to work there (Glassdoor is useful for candid employee reviews), benefits, career progression potential, and the work culture. A good agency should (within reason) know their client sufficiently well to answer your questions directly.

International agency vs. local specialist

There are inherent advantages to finding a job through a large international recruitment agency in Europe. They will typically have many expat placements under their belts, and many clients that employ expats on their books. A large overseas employment agency should know the formalities involved in hiring non-EU nationals (e.g., work permits) in each country. They might also have the inside track on jobs which are not (and may never be) in the public domain. If you get an offer, they may be able to help negotiate your package with the employer.

A local agency would likely have less experience dealing with expats. If you don’t know the local language, you might be at a significant disadvantage with their clients. But on the plus side, you might have specific expertise on the location to leverage. The bottom line is weigh up the pros and cons when looking for work in Europe using an employment agency.

Expert tips for expats

Europe is diverse, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to your job hunt. But there are some trusty tips which apply to most markets.

Language skills are important, for example. Unless it is an international firm, most employers in Europe need English plus another language as a pre-requisite. Many employers also still value longevity in jobs. If you have job-hopped, justify why –  you may have a very good reason, but know your CV inside out.

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It’s a candidate-led market at the moment and people have choices. Workplaces are increasingly saying: ‘how can we get the best out of you from the time you’re in the office.’ It isn’t about doing a certain number of hours a day. On your CV, emphasize your contributions and achievements, even if it was for only a year!

There is also an increase in hybrid roles; for example, a position that combines PA and finance functions, or PA and project tasks.

Find an international recruitment agency in Europe

As one of the world’s biggest economic blocs with more than 200 million employed, Europe has a well-developed recruitment agencies network. Candidates looking to find a new job through a recruitment agency in Europe engage specialist international recruiters.

  • Tiger Recruitment specializes in PA/secretarial positions, from graduate administrators to executive assistants, across Europe.
  • Adecco is one of the big names in the industry with offices throughout Europe and globally, as is Hudson, a talent management specialist.
  • Laurence Simons, which caters to legal and compliance recruitment, has European offices in London, Amsterdam, Geneva, Paris, and Frankfurt.
  • Approach People Recruitment claims to be one of the top five most socially-engaged staffing agencies. In Europe, they operate from Paris, Lyon, Dublin, Barcelona, and Geneva.
  • Volt focuses on engineering, IT, life sciences, telecoms and data/analytics with offices in Belgium, France and the UK.
  • Seuss Recruitment, meanwhile, specializes in pharmaceutical and biotechnological roles.
  • European Recruitment claims to be an award-winning agency specializing in niche technologies, including artificial intelligence, virtual reality/graphics, semi-conductors, and web technologies.
  • HR Globally Talent, with expertise in engineering, IT software, life sciences and finance/accounting, is another leading agency in Europe.

Find a job in the Netherlands using a recruitment agency

Expats looking for a job in the Netherlands through a recruitment agency have their pick of agencies that cater for non-Dutch speaking roles. Finding a job in the Netherlands using a recruitment agency is popular because it can typically advise and assist with formalities, including Dutch work permit regulations, Dutch contracts and wages, and guidance on Dutch business culture.

Find a job in Germany using a recruitment agency

Finding a job in Germany using a recruitment agency is an excellent introduction into one of Europe’s most robust job markets. But where to start? Check out the German Yellow Pages under Arbeitsvermittlung for agencies. There are several international recruitment agencies operating in Germany, many of which list specialist jobs for foreigners. A good German recruitment agency will help you navigate German business culture, as well as requirements for visas and permanent residency.

  • Tiger Recruitment is a London-based recruitment agency specializing in PA and secretarial recruitment. They place candidates across mainland Europe, including Germany.
  • StepStone is one of the leading agencies in Germany (and Europe).
  • Contacts & Management helps international companies in Germany fill roles.

Find a job in Belgium using a recruitment agency

Recruitment agencies in Belgium tend to specialize. The principal agencies are listed (in English) in the Belgian Golden Pages. A recruitment agency can help expats understand Belgian business culture and the unique work environment, where both French and Dutch styles – inherently very different – are commonly used. A recruiter will also advise on work permit and visa requirements in Belgium.

  • Tiger Recruitment is a London-based recruitment agency specializing in PA and secretarial recruitment, and places candidates across mainland Europe, including Belgium.
  • Adecco, a large international agency, is also worth checking out.
  • Manpower Belgium has offices in Brussels and other cities in Belgium.

Find a job in Switzerland using a recruitment agency

Private recruitment agencies in Switzerland, called Arbeitsvermittlung or agence de placement, are a popular first port of call for expat job seekers. Not part of the EU, Switzerland has slightly different regulations and requirements for job seekers than its EU neighbours. A recruitment agency with a local presence will be able to advise on specifics of the work culture in the country, as well as work permits.

  • Tiger Recruitment is a London-based recruitment agency specializing in PA and secretarial recruitment, and places candidates across mainland Europe, including Switzerland.
  • Swisslinx offers executive, technology and finance recruitment.
  • Manpower and Adecco are two other leading international agencies in the country.

Finding a job using a recruitment agency in Europe will give you a great shot at success in unfamiliar territory. Indeed, using an employment agency in Europe could well be the best career decision you’ve ever made.

Find part-time work abroad

It has become increasingly popular in recent years to seek work in a different country than you live in. The Good Care Group are always looking for new candidates in the care-giving sector in the UK. As a cross-border commuter, you benefit from living in your home country and working in another, providing the opportunity of embracing, and experiencing a different culture. Living in-house also ensures you become part of a close-knit team to make a real difference for those who need it. You receive an unrivaled employment package including: paid annual leave, 24/7 staff support, and flexible rota patterns, ensuring a healthy work/life balance.