Guide to hiring employees in the Netherlands

Last updated:
January 22, 2021
December 22, 2021
min read
Dominic Serkis
Table of contents

Clients and entrepreneurs establishing companies or ventures in the Netherlands are always interested in expanding their businesses in Europe.

To achieve this, they typically need local employees in the country, employees with the appropriate set of skills, proper behavior, excellent language skills like fluency in English and Dutch alongside, and an impressive understanding of the vision and mission of the business.

Locating the best employees in the Netherlands

Getting an ideal candidate can come with its challenges but for those establishing businesses in a country that you are not very conversant with can offer even more challenges.

The Netherlands boasts of almost 10 million people for its labor force and the annual rate of unemployment is just under 5%. That said, there are steps you can take as a new employer interested in getting the most brilliant workers that can let you meet the business goals.  

Hiring a recruiting agency or PEO

For clients who can foot the bills, hiring a recruiting agency or a Netherlands PEO (professional employer organization) will help a great deal. An excellent venture in this niche can offer services relating to payroll, PEO, and recruitment services.

On the whole, a typical recruiting agency or PEO can ask for a fee that is equivalent to anything from one to six months of the salary you are to pay the new local employee.

This fee might appear high but it is an investment that is worth it. This is because these recruiting firms have direct access to a comprehensive database of the most qualified candidates so your search is dramatically reduced. Apart from being able to quickly get you the candidates that you need, they do a lot more.

They are also able to help you in reducing the time you are going to spend on the screening as they streamline the process for you and send you the details of candidates so all you have to do is conduct the interview.

Note that a PEO will help you do more in the Netherlands than just hiring. Perhaps the most important role of PEO’s is helping businesses with global expansion without necessarily establishing an entity in the country they expand to.

In Dutch, for example, a PEO will help you navigate the complex business registration process, bypass many time-consuming and strict administrative procedures, and understand the nuances of doing business in the European country faster and from an insider’s perspective. All these lead to faster returns and higher revenue.

But that said, not every client can afford the fees of recruiting firms when it comes to hiring local employees in the Netherlands. For those who cannot adopt this method or strategy, there are still techniques that they can utilize.

Online advertisements

Much of the employee recruitment niche today is digital and if you are tech-savvy, you can take actions on your own.

Just as is the case in many countries, you can make use of online job platforms where you can make listings for local employees in the Netherlands.

Good examples of the main job boards in the Netherlands are Vacaturekrant,,, or Nationale Vacaturebank.

Social media hiring

About 64% of the Dutch population is active on social media, especially Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

You can bet that the new employees you need in the Netherlands are on social media. And it is really easy to find them. You can always advertise for job vacancies through sponsored Facebook ads or hire a few social influencers to get the word out. This method is unbelievably effective and it won’t cost you much.

Although advertising for job vacancies in the Dutch social space is pretty straightforward, you need to understand a few critical “social media hiring” ground rules. First, just like in any other labor market, job seekers in the Netherlands aren’t always honest when describing their qualifications online.

Be watchful for out-of-date and inaccurate profile information when shortlisting potential candidates. Secondly, social media vetting isn’t illegal in the Netherlands, but it is regulated by the country’s Recruitment Code. The code stipulates that employers must respect the privacy of potential employees during the vetting process.

Processing applicants’ personal data without their consent can also land you in trouble as it goes against the European Union's (EU's) General Data Protection Regulation. Thirdly and lastly, you will need a local social media strategist to help you reach out to potential candidates without jeopardizing your brand’s online reputation. That’s mainly because disgruntled candidates can misuse your good intentions to destroy you on social media even before you are done setting up shop.

Relevant: 9 social recruiting tips to attract top talent

Utilizing LinkedIn

LinkedIn Recruiter is another excellent tool that can be deployed when searching for the most ideal local worker in the Netherlands. Many professional recruiters have also made use of this tool with impressive results. The tool provides access to well over 560 million candidates across the globe. It has a sophisticated filtering system that allows you to focus on the employees that meet all your requirements.

LinkedIn Recruiter tool does not come free but it is a lot more cost-effective than going for the services of a typical recruitment agency. It is a tool that you can use to make the best of the existing and current workforce while separating the wheat from the chaff. It allows you to quickly get what you desire with minimal stress.

Relevant: How to recruit on LinkedIn

Try freelancers

You can find freelance employees on platforms such as and They are particularly good for your administrative and business projects, IT needs, and customer service, among others.

The platforms help you sieve the talents you need through a few mouse clicks. And because freelancers on these platforms have been vetted and reviewed by multiple employers before you, you are always confident that the candidates you shortlist are worthy as per the set industry standards.

Freelancers come with a host of benefits. First, most Dutch freelancers are good English speakers so you will have an easy time training them and giving instructions. Secondly, freelancers are always open to working remotely so you don’t have to worry about renting office space in the Netherlands. Thirdly, freelancers aren’t technically full-time employees, so you are exempted from most employment and labor laws and the compliance bottlenecks that they bring along.

Additional details on employing workers in the Netherlands

If at the end of the day you can get the employees you want to work with, there are additional steps you still have to take. You have to decide whether the task is going to be short-term or permanent. This is followed by verification and registration of the identity of the employees following the guidelines of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

There is also the need to do registration as an employer of labor with the relevant government agency like the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration.

Contract of employment is prepared and you also have to pay the minimum wage and the holiday allowance as stipulated by the laws of the country. Hiring a local employee in the Netherlands also means providing safe and healthy working conditions while also having a risk inventory and evaluation in place.

Get in touch with the relevant Netherland PEO professionals to ensure proper deduction of the social insurance premiums and ensure verification regarding healthcare insurance for the worker. If there is a need for it, you may also need to send in an application for a work permit or even arrange for decent accommodation for workers.

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