Job search in The Netherlands – Ultimate Guide

job search in the netherlands

Are you looking for a job in The Netherlands? But you don’t know where to start? This guide is for you! Here you will find everything you need to know for your job search in The Netherlands. From taxes to the working culture to job sites where you can find your next job:

How to find a job in The Netherlands?

Intermediary

Randstad is the most popular intermediary in The Netherlands. It offers mainly temporary work, but its separate brand Yacht has more white collar jobs. There are also intermediaries specialized in finding work for expats and people who speak multiple languages. Examples of these are Blue Lynx and Undutchables. You can always have an informal call with intermediaries to explore the opportunities and get a sense of the market. This might be a good first step to start you job search in The Netherlands.

Job sites

Indeed.nl is the most popular job site in The Netherlands. Followed bij LinkedIn Jobs, Nationale Vacaturebank and Monsterboard (Monster.com). Jobbird is also a popular job site in The Netherlands. There are also job sites specifically for expats like I Am Expat or Expatica. There are many more niche job sites for specific industries. Think about specific job sites for IT jobs, fashion jobs, jobs in a startup etc. Often you will find more specific job postings tailored to what you’re looking for. Looking at these job sites will give you an overview of available jobs in your market.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an important tool when looking for a job in The Netherlands. Not only are there jobs advertised, but there are also many recruiters actively looking for talent on LinkedIn. Make sure your profile is updated and you’re easy to find on LinkedIn. The more complete your profile, the more easy it is for recruiters to find you on LinkedIn. If people visit your profile; is it clear what your work experience is? Is it clear what you’re looking for as a next step? Is it clear in which country you’d like to work? Tip: change your location to ‘The Netherlands’ or any city in The Netherlands you’d like to work in. This way recruiters can find you more easy.

Network

Did you know that most jobs are not even advertised online? Many job openings are filled by worth of mouth. You can try to connect with people in The Netherlands and get inside information about job opportunities. How many people do you know in The Netherlands? Can you set up informal chats with them and ask questions about the working culture and opportunities? You don’t have to ask for a job right away, but you can focus on building relationships. You can mention what you’re looking for and be top of mind when people hear of a job opening that might fit with you skills and qualifications.

How much can I earn in The Netherlands?

Salary

An average salary in The Netherlands is between € 30,000 – € 40,000 gross per year. Your salary highly depends on the industry you’re in, your education and years of experience. If you’re a software engineer with 5 years of experience you can easily make a salary of € 70,000 gross per year. International companies in The Netherlands tend to pay above the market rates. Always ask if your salary is with or without vakantiegeld. Vakantiegeld (holiday allowance in English) is 8% on top of your gross yearly salary. It is normally paid out in May.

Professions with the highest income in The Netherlands are pilots, ministers, psychiatrists, lawyers, dentists, doctors and surgeons. These professions can easily make more than € 100,000 gross per year. There are also many less traditional professions that can make you a good income. Think about positions in IT like data architects, product owners and software developers. If you’re in management you generally make more money than as a specialist, even though this is not always the case. A very helpful website in gaining salary information is Glassdoor.

Taxes

Taxes in The Netherlands are based on a box system. Each box contains an income which is taxed against a certain rate. You pay 9.45% tax over the first € 35,129 that you earn. From that amount up to € 68,507 you pay 37.10%. From that amount upwards you pay 49.50% in taxes.

If you’re an expat coming to The Netherlands on a highly skilled migrant Visa you might qualify for the 30% tax ruling. Your employer can apply for the ruling for you. It means that you only pay tax over 70% of your income. The maximum taxrate with the 30% tax ruling is around 36%. Be sure to check if you’re eligible for the 30% tax ruling as this can save you a lot of money.

What are the costs of living in The Netherlands?

Day to day costs

The costs of living in The Netherlands are comparable to other countries in Western Europe. For a coffee you pay around € 3 and for a lunch around € 10-15 euro. A one way ticket by train from Amsterdam to Rotterdam is € 16,50. A useful website to compare your cost of living to that of any city in The Netherlands you can use Numbeo. Keep the costs of living in mind during your job search in The Netherlands.

Housing

Popular housing sites in The Netherlands are Pararius and Funda. You can also decide to work with a real estate agent for finding your house in The Netherlands. Housing can be expensive depending on the area where you’d like to live. A one bedroom apartment in the centre of Amsterdam is around € 1,500. Rental prices are listed without utilities. On top of the monthly rent you pay for the costs of electricity, gas, water and internet. These costs depend on the providers you work with and your living situation, but you can expect around € 150 per month on top of the rent.

If you don’t want to spend that amount of money on rent, there’s other possibilities as well. Rent prices outside of city centres are more affordable. The public transportation in The Netherlands is good. Making it easy to get to the city centre or to get to work. It’s also common for people living in cities to share a house with roommates. There’s many Facebook groups where you can connect with other people looking for an apartment.

Relocation

You can ask the company you’re interviewing with if they offer a relocation package and what it consists of. If they don’t offer this, you need to keep the costs of relocation to a new country into mind. It’s a big change to move to The Netherlands for work and many international companies in The Netherlands do offer relocation packages. This makes the move easier for you and you won’t have extra expenses. A relocation package covers the costs you have to make for your move. Think about flight tickets and the shipment of your goods.

job search in the netherlands

Which practical things do I need to keep in mind?

Work permit

If you’re from the European Union or European Economic Area you can live and work in The Netherlands without a work or residence permit. You do need to register with the Dutch government. If you want to work in The Netherlands as a non-EU citizen you need a work and residence permit. In most cases your employer needs to arrange this for you. Many international companies in The Netherlands can sponsor non-EU citizens and apply for a highly skilled migrant visa for you. The salary threshold is € 4.752 gross per month for people over 30 and € 3.484 gross per month for people under 30. An employer can also apply for a single permit. This applies for example for labor migrants or workers.

Language

It’s not necessary to speak Dutch to find a job in The Netherlands. There are many international companies where the business language is English. Many companies in The Netherlands have employees from all over the world. There are many expats in The Netherlands. You don’t need to know the Dutch language either to make friends and find your way around. Dutch people speak English really well and you will notice Dutch people switching to English when they find out you don’t speak Dutch. If you’d like to learn Dutch there’s many options to do so. Sometimes companies even offer Dutch language courses.

Working culture

The Netherlands is known for their work life balance. There are people that start their job search in The Netherlands just because of this. The standard working week is 40 hours, but it’s common for people to work less. Dutch people favor very much quality of life. The minimum amount of holidays is 20 working days, but most companies offer more than this. Compare this to 10 days holidays in the US or the working culture in India where overtime is the norm.

Dutch people are known for their efficiency and direct way of communicating. There is not a lot of hierarchy in most organizations and you can call your supervisor by its first name. It’s also expected for everyone to be involved in discussions and decision making.


Wondering which international companies are hiring in The Netherlands? In this e-book you will find 250+ companies that are hiring non-Dutch speakers.

International companies in the netherlands

Job search in The Netherlands – Ultimate Guide

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