Despite the economic crisis, Netherlands has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in Europe.
The job market in the Netherlands is experiencing a slight slowdown but there are still opportunities for the right candidates. Here are a few tips for expats from a local recruitment expert on finding a job in Amsterdam or elsewhere in Holland...
"For internationals there are several ways to search for and find a suitable job. The best place to start are the recruitment agencies specialising in jobs for non-Dutch speakers: Undutchables, Kelly Services, Michael Page or Blue Lynx, just to mention a few. Most of them have branches in Amsterdam and also in the main cities in the Randstad area. Since not all of them have a walk-in policy, it is recommended that you first send off your CV - after which they get back to you to make an appointment for an intake.
The best time to contact the agency is a few weeks before you move to Netherlands, since the majority of vacancies on offer are for immediate start. By the same token, the first interview with the agency will offer you the opportunity to ask all general questions you may have about working in the Netherlands.
Another good way to find a job is to check out the expat job sites such as Monsterboard, NativeSpeakerJobs, TogetherAbroad and ExpatJobs. On such sites you can enter your search criteria and will see that a number of job descriptions are in English.
The reason is that quite a number of multinational companies have based themselves in the Netherlands and regularly recruit for their customer service contact centres or help desk positions.
For these type of entry level jobs the more languages you speak the better.
If you are looking for mid-range positions, you will find these a little harder to get - they can also be filled by Dutch applicants who generally have good grasp of English too. The advice is to be persistent and bear in mind that once you have entered the company in an entry level position it is easier to make your way up than it is as an outside applicant.
Thirdly, use your network to maximise your potential opportunities within the Dutch job market. If you already know people who work here, ask them if they can put your CV forward to their company. Some employers have a recommendation scheme, where the employee receives a bonus if they put forward a new applicant who subsequently gets hired.
Social media is used extensively in the Netherlands, so make sure to combine your face-to-face networking with your online activities on LinkedIn and Twitter.
If you don't have a network yet, then there a number of websites such as Expatica and InterNations where you can meet people who already living here and are happy to share their experiences. Or sign up for a sports team or other activity like yoga which can increase your network.
One final piece of advice - be creative. If you are in the process of applying for a work permit for instance, check out if there are any possibilities in your area to do some volunteering work.
Good luck in finding a suitable job!"
To summarise, our recruitment expert advises the international Dutch job seeker the following points:
Apply at job agencies for internationals.
2. Search positions on major job boards and sites.
3. Actively use your network and social media.
4. Be active and creative - consider volunteering.
5. Entry level positions can be a 'foot in the door'.