Finding a new job in the Netherlands as an expat can be quite challenging. Luckily, there are ways for you to get some assistance with your job search. One of these ways is signing up with a recruitment agency – Undutchables explains how recruitment agencies in the Netherlands work and how they can help you out!

An employment agency is an intermediary between employees and employers. Their aim is to find the ideal vacancy for you and the perfect candidate for an employer. In the Netherlands, it’s pretty common to work with an employment agency.

The different types of Dutch recruitment agenciesNow, there are different types of recruitment agencies you can make use of. Which one suits you best depends on your personal situation.

Employment agency (Uitzendbureau)An employment agency, or uitzendbureau, generally takes on the complete recruitment process, from the selection of candidates to the actual hiring. Usually, they focus more on temporary jobs. So, if you are looking for a job that is a bit more short-term to, for example, gain experience, an employment agency could be a good fit for you.

Recruitment and selection agency (Werving-en-selectiebureau)A recruitment agency, or werving-en-selectiebureau, mainly suggests good candidates for a certain position, while leaving the hiring decision to the employer. Usually, a recruitment agency targets highly educated candidates. So, if you are looking for something long-term to further your career, talking to a recruitment bureau could be a step in the right direction!

What are the benefits of working with a recruitment agency?There are various benefits to working with a recruitment agency:

Well-connectedA recruitment agency is well-connected. They work closely with employers, so they know all the ins and outs of the companies they work with. This also means that they often know about vacancies before they are even published!

Better chance of being seenAn introduction from an agency often gets your foot in the door more quickly and makes sure that your CV will not disappear under the giant pile of other applications!

Tips & TricksA recruitment agency is also able to give you some valuable tips and tricks when it comes to pimping your CV, after all, they see thousands of CVs, so they know how you can stand out. They can really “hold your hand” throughout the whole process and even give you tips on what to wear to your interview!

What to look for in a recruitment agencyA good idea is to find the right fit for you. There are many different recruitment agencies in the Netherlands, and not all cater to expats and / or non-Dutch speakers. Plus, many recruitment agencies also have their own expertise. There are recruitment agencies for people in the tech industry, health sector, catering, etc., so it’s important to find one that meets your career wishes.

Another tip is to see if the agency is ABU / NBBU certified to make sure you are dealing with a reliable agency. The ABU is the Dutch Association of Temporary Employment Agencies and the NBBU is the Dutch Association of Mediation- and Temporary Employment Agencies.

Recruitment agency red flagsWhen looking for recruitment agencies, beware of the following red flags:

They ask you for money. They make unrealistic promises they can’t keep. They are being vague about the job in question. A recruitment agency should not be asking you for money. Furthermore, they should not be vague about the job on offer and certainly not make you any promises that they can’t keep. If you have found an agency that does the aforementioned things, best to look for another!

What does the recruitment process look like?So, you have found a recruitment agency that you like. Where do you go from here? Well, what the recruitment process looks like may differ depending on what recruitment agency you will be working with. Usually, it will look something like this:

RegistrationGenerally, you are required to sign up, either online or in person. A profile will be created, which includes your up-to-date CV.

ApplicationAfter registration, the agency will then start to look for suitable positions for you. Plus, you can also apply to the agency’s vacancies that fit your experience and career ambitions.

InterviewIf there is a job match, a recruiter will generally contact you for a meet-up where they can assess if you are indeed the right fit.

Company introductionIf you are a match, you will be contacted and, with your permission, your profile and CV will be sent to the employer for review. 

Company interviewIf the company is interested in working with you, you will be invited to their office for a job interview. If you are nervous about this step, be sure to listen to your recruitment agency’s tips and tricks.

HiredDid you get the job? Congratulations! You will now sign a contract with either the employer or the recruitment agency, depending on the company and the job requirements. Need help with contract and salary negotiations? No need to worry, most recruitment agencies will help you out with that too!

Give your career a boostIf you need some help giving your career in the Netherlands a boost, don’t hesitate and contact a recruitment agency. They might just help you find your dream job!

Undutchables has a proven track record in international job matching and placement. They help both starters and executive candidates, who are fluent in languages other than Dutch, advance their careers in the Netherlands. Are you looking to further your career and start working in the Netherlands? Have a look at their vacancies and register here. They will be happy to help you find your dream job!


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