Je maintiendrai

Who contributed to this guide?

Dutch recruiters are amongst the largest cohort of the brainfood community – 647 subscribers! We received 77 responses from this contingent. Amsterdam based recruiters were dominant, with over 32% of the responses coming from largest city in the country. Rotterdam and Utrecht both contributed 7.8% of the responses, whilst we also received responses from recruiters / HR folks from Haarlem, Eindhoven and The Hague

What category best describes your work?

  • Internal Recruiter
  • Agency Recruiter
  • HR
  • Other

What city or town do you currently reside in?

  • Amsterdam
  • Rotterdam
  • Utrecht
  • Haarlem
  • Nijmegen
  • Oegstgeest
  • The Hague
  • Den Bosch
  • Eindhoven
  • Tilburg
  • Amersfoort
  • Badhoevedorp
  • Bergen op Zoom
  • Berlin
  • Blaricum
  • Breda
  • Bussum
  • Enschede
  • Gelderland
  • Heerenveen
  • Hoofddorp
  • Leiden
  • London
  • Maastricht
  • Madrid
  • Malaga
  • Nieuw-Vennep
  • Rijswijk
  • Vught
  • Wageningen
  • Zaltbommel

What industry sectors do you have recruiting experience in?

  • Tech
  • IT
  • Finance
  • Sales
  • Engineering
  • Marketing
  • HR
  • ICT
  • Legal
  • E-commerce
  • Logistics
  • Consultancy
  • Customer Success
  • Saas
  • Digital
  • Executive
  • FMCG
  • Medical devices
  • Pharma
  • Recruitment
  • Retail
  • Advertising
  • Banking
  • Communications
  • Creative
  • Creative
  • Fintech
  • Health & Safety
  • Healthcare
  • Healthcare
  • Heavy equipment
  • Life sciences
  • Oil & Gas
  • Procurement
  • Product
  • Security

Insights from Local Dutch Recruiters

We asked all respondents to anonymously contribute their thoughts on working and recruiting in Sweden. All but one of the contributors were Swedish nationals and all but one of them still lived and worked in Sweden. Here is a summary of their best quotes, followed by advice to a non-native recruiter derived from that insight.

30% Rule

” The 30% ruling works like honey on bees here in the Netherlands… at least for developers and other highly skilled migrants. This tax benefit gives foreigners the opportunity to pay less income tax for 5 years – which can often mean a difference up to €1000 net per month extra. A lot of expats would invest that money in buying a property in their early years here. This makes The Netherlands a super attractive destination for EU talent and an easy choice for a lot of highly skilled migrants, when compared to other tech hubs in Europe”

Screenshot 2019-05-27 at 11.04.00

Recruiter Tip: Cast a EU wide net for hiring highly skilled talent, especially in tech

Screenshot 2019-05-05 at 22.00.13
Screenshot 2019-05-05 at 22.00.21

Social Equality

“Sweden is a highly liberalised country with permissive cultural values; there is no debate on the topic of equality, language is ‘politically correct’ and there is no value at all attached to those who break these rules.

Indeed, contravention of these social norms is deeply frowned up, edging toward taboo.

Paradoxically, a place where language would be policed if you did not accept liberal approach”

Recruiter Tip: Respect how important human and equal rights are in Sweden

Swedish Midsummer

Midsummer is an important holiday for Swedes.

It is always on the first Friday closest to the summer solstice, the timing a legacy of pagan rituals which continue to permeate in modern Swedish culture.

As a friend of mine said ‘Modern Swedish culture is basically secular with Christian baseline and pagan vibes’.

Swedish Midsummer is meant to be taken outdoors and away from the cities.

Check out this video on what it’s all about

Screenshot 2019-05-05 at 22.04.26

Recruiter Tip: Get involved!

Screenshot 2019-05-05 at 22.23.10

Communication Style

“Swedes will ask for things politely so it seems optional but they really expect the work to be done. It is important to ask for clarification about the expected deadline and how important the task is, since some requests are made in such a polite way that they seem unimportant.

Similarly, we also do not give a lot of direct feedback. In groups and face-to-face, it is generally positive and nice, but it is hard to really know whether people think you are doing a good job or require correction”

Recruiter Tip: Clearly confirm understanding, especially on expectations, deadlines and outcomes

Work Life / Balance

“Work / Life balance is unambiguously clear in Swedish office culture – life comes first, especially if it involves family!

Staying late is unexpected and unrewarded, and is more likely to be considered a failure to prioritise rather than any commitment to the work or the employer. Overtime is also expected to be paid for, not voluntarily donated. Suffice it to say, weekend work and ‘always on’ culture is not present in Sweden.

Minimum is 25 days paid holiday a year, with 11 public holidays. You can of course have a contract giving you more”

Screenshot 2019-05-05 at 22.26.40

Recruiter Tip: Recruiting is likely to be highly seasonal – July is holiday for most of Sweden

working for less makes for better workers


“I find absenteeism can be a problem in Sweden.

We Swedes have a lot of flexibility to come to work and leave when we need to, but people can leave very early to pick up kids, and or stay home to take care of sick kids. Of course family is priority but it can be hard to plan ahead as a result of these values being common.

People also do not go the extra mile to come early for an event or to have “”all hands on deck”” for an important team effort – the 40-hour (or less) workweek is sacred, so it can be impossible to accomplish something on a short deadline with everyone staying late”

Recruiter Tip: Unanticipated deadlines might be difficult to resource. Pre-planning is essential


“Many excellent Swedish candidates have sparse CVs and even sparser LinkedIn profiles because Swedish recruiters and employers know what specific degrees, schools, and certifications are a signal of talent.

Some Swedish employers will only want to see candidates who have gone to certain schools, worked at certain companies (and not others), and have specific certifications. Whereas in the US a English or political science major with top grades might be recruited by an investment banking firm, Swedish employers are reluctant to look at candidates who have changed careers, have followed unconventional paths, or have educational training from unrecognized places. Self-taught individuals have a challenge finding work.”

Screenshot 2019-05-05 at 22.31.30

Recruiter Tip: Target education qualifications when sourcing

Screenshot 2019-05-05 at 21.41.51

Personal Branding

“There is some sense that the consensual, egalitarian and  “jantelag” meaning you can’t brag or aim publicly for success. There seems to be a taboo about standing out too much (“”ta för mycket plats”” – take up too much space) in the workplace. Colleagues may not appreciate ambition, out of the box ideas, working extra, etc. It is the norm to try to fit in, not make too many waves, not stand out too much, do a good job, and not take individual credit for accomplishments. Social expectation is to the collective endeavour and so this may inhibit personal branding efforts. This represents a potential handicap in an increasingly networked and globalised economy”

Recruiter Tip: Do not mistake lack of prominence for lack of competence or influence

Employment Law

“Lagen om AnställningsSkydd”  translates as “The law of employment protection”. The law is set out to protect the employee, not the employer. Employment contracts usually have a 6 month trial period, during which either employer or employee can terminate the contract for no reason. After 6 months it automatically becomes permanent and it will be difficult for the employer to fire the employee, even if they are poor performers.  Labour unions are very strong in Sweden and have a lot of influence”

STOCKHOLM 20071026
Högsta domstolen på Riddarhustorget 
Foto Leif R Jansson / SCANPIX / kod 10120

Recruiter Tip: Invest more time in building relationships with HM’s



“Literally ‘coffee and cake break’, Fika is an important feature of Swedish culture, specifically the idea of taking a pause, and socialising with your teammates. It is important for foreigners to participate fully in this!”

Recruiter Tip: Relax and enjoy!

Best sites, tools, communities, events & people

The purpose of these guides is collect information from local recruiters. As such, the following list(s) of services describes the responses of these recruiters when asked questions which usually began with the formula ‘what is the best X’. All services mentioned are listed, with the order determined by frequency of citation. It’s the verdict of the local recruiters with no editorialising from brainfood!

LinkedInProfessional social network84.42%
IndeedJob board / aggregator63.64%
StackoverflowQ&A site for developers19.48%
Company website14.29%
GlassdoorCompany review site14.29%
MonsterboardMonsterboard is the Dutch name for Monster11.69%
AngelListFunding / research site7.79%
Nationale VacaturebankCentral government job board (free job posts)6.49%
Magnet.meEntry level / Internship job board5.19%
FacebookSocial network3.90%
ICTergezochtIT job board3.90%
TweakersTech product review site3.90%
IntermediairWork / life productivity site2.60%
JoobleJob aggregator2.60%
StepstoneGeneral job board2.60%
AcademictransferNo1 academic job board in the Netherlands1.30%
BanenrijklimburgRegional job board for Limburg1.30%
CollegelifeJobs and careers site for students1.30%
FrankwatchingOnline trends website, also digital jobboard1.30%
Iamexpat.nlGo to site for English language speaking immigrants1.30%
JobbirdJob aggregator1.30%
JoofJob aggregator1.30%
limburgvacRegional job board for Limburg1.30%
PharmiwebEurope’s largest job board for Pharma1.30%
techniekwerkt.nlICT job board1.30%
VillamediaIndustry website for journalism & meda1.30%
WatertalentIndustry website for journalism & meda1.30%
XINGProfessional social network1.30%
Y Combinator HN feedNews site for tech / engineering1.30%
VONQRecruitment marketing service / job post outsourcer1.30%
ServiceDescription%age cited
LinkedInProfessional social network97.40%
StackoverflowQ&A site for developers22.08%
GitHubCollaboration software for engineers18.18%
GoogleX-ray search14.29%
IndeedJob board / aggregator, also CV database9.09%
FacebookSocial network7.79%
MeetupEvent organisation site7.79%
AngelListFunding / research site6.49%
BehanceProfessional network for designers5.19%
DribbleProfessional network for designers5.19%
InstagramSocial network5.19%
Honeypot.ioMatching platform for devs; now part of XING3.90%
ICTergezochtIT job board3.90%
Magnet.meEntry level / Internship job board3.90%
MonsterboardMonsterboard is the Dutch name for Monster3.90%
XINGProfessional social network3.90%
AmazingHiringPeople aggregator, focused on software engineering2.60%
SlackCollaboration / community org software2.60%
WerkGovernment job board; unclear whether you can search it2.60%
CodeforcesCoding competition site1.30%
dblpComputer science blibliography archive1.30%
GlassdoorCompany review site1.30%
Google ScholarCustom search engine for peer reviewed research1.30%
KaggleCommunity site for Data Scientists1.30%
MediumPublshing platform / social network1.30%
OctoHuntSits on top of Github1.30%
ResearchGateCommunity site for Researchers1.30%
StackexchangeQA site, originally for developers1.30%
Vacature.comCareer site, also has a searchable paid for database1.30%
ServiceDescription%age cited
Recruitment SlackersActive Slack channel for internal recruiters. English language32.47%
Recruitment BuddiesFb group ran by Bas Westland. Dutch & English language22.08%
Recruiters UnitedPaid for members group in Dutch & English15.58%
Recruitment VrijstaatActive Dutch language fb group for recruiters15.58%
WerfKnowledge sharing commmunity from Werf & Media6.49%
BadAss Recruiters & Sourcers (BARS)Sourcing focused fb by Marcel van der Meer2.60%
Dutch SourcersDutch language sourcing focused recruiter group1.30%
HR CommunityDutch language HR Community1.30%
HR Tech MeetupHR Tech meetup community by Wendy van Ierschot1.30%
HR Young MeetupHR meetup group for knowledge share by Wendy van Ierschot1.30%
Nederlandse Vereniging voor Personeelsmanagement (NVP)HR networking community1.30%
RecruitmenttechTA & RecTech event and community by Martijn Hemminga1.30%
TA InnovatorsAlso a fb group, but meetup group seems active in Amsterdam1.30%
EventDescription%age cited
Emerce RecruitmentConference business with Recruitment specialist event24.68%
Sourcecon AmsterdamAmsterdam was the 2019 location for Sourcecon Europe20.78%
Recruitment TechAnnual recruitment event for recruitment & tech18.18%
Werf& LiveWerf & Media annual event18.18%
TA LiveEnglish and Dutch language recruitment event16.88%
SOSURegular annual headline event for Sourcing Summit14.29%
Recruiters UnitedMultiple events throughout the year7.79%
TruAmsterdamUnconference format, one of first TRU events outside of the UK5.19%
Recruitment Slackers meet upsInformal and impromptu meetups from Recrutiment Slackers5.19%
Digitaal-WervenDigital Recruitment annual event3.90%
HRTech meetupHR Tech meetup community by Wendy van Ierschot3.90%
BadAss MeetupNew meetup series by Marcel van der Meer2.60%
Futureproof RecruitmentConference & Workshop2.60%
High Tech CampusEindhoven based startup community events2.60%
InternationsCommunity of ex-pats in Netherlands2.60%
SourceCon Amsterdam Chapter MeetupSourceCon have a franchise like organisation2.60%
TA InnovatorsImpromptu meetup series2.60%
Events by UWVEvents series by Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen1.30%
Innovation CafeWeekly walk in event. Based in Eindhoven1.30%
PersonDescription%age cited
Marcel van der MeerIn-house Recruitment leader at Rabobank12.99%
Hung LeeCurator of Recruiting Brainfood10.39%
Sjamilla van der ToorenRecruiter10.39%
Bas WestlandRuns Emerce Recruitment9.09%
Bas van de HaterdFounder of TA -Live and Digitaal Weeren6.49%
Geert-Jan WaasdorpFounder of Werf&6.49%
Martijn SmitRecruiter / EB consultant6.49%
Tamara RoodFreelance Recruiter / Consultant / Coach / Speaker6.49%
Enrico HeidelbergIn-house Recruiter (interim)5.19%
Jan BernhartIn-house Recruiter (interim)5.19%
Teddy DimitrovaIn-house Recruiter (interim)5.19%
Rob van ElburgIn-house Recruiter / Strategist (interim)3.90%
Tommy ThomassenRecruiter at bol.com3.90%
Willem WijnansRecruiter at Aula Education3.90%
Ellen van DierenRecruitment trainer2.60%
Eva BaluchovaTalent Leader at GeriMedica2.60%
Gordon LokenbergOSINT expert2.60%
James LesnerRecruitment Manager at Catawiki2.60%
Kim LokenbergOSINT expert2.60%
Martijn HemmingaEvent, Conference and Community organiser2.60%
Monique de JongFreelance Recruitment Marketer2.60%
Reggie EbbeRecruiter at LevelUp Ventures2.60%
Yves GreijnRecruiter at QuantumBlack2.60%
Jitske van de WorpRecruiter at bol.com2.60%
Aaltje VincentConsultant / Speaker / Coach1.30%
Adriaan van der HeijdenRecruiter at ERIKS Digital1.30%
Adrie SmithHead of Content at Recruitee1.30%
Aik DeveneijnsFounder of LevelUp Ventures1.30%
Annemarie SterkCo-founder of We Are Keen1.30%
Britt van CapelleveenRecruitment at Yacht1.30%
Daphne DarrettaRecruitment business owner1.30%
Eirini Syka-LeriotiDeveloper Advocate at ASML1.30%
Floor NobelsHeadhunter at WorkLife Recruitment1.30%
Gusta TimmermansFounder at Recruitment Builders1.30%
Harold LosInterim Recruiter at Deloitte Nederlands1.30%
Heleen StoevelaarFounder the Referral Company1.30%
Jacco ValkenburgFounder, Recruiter University1.30%
Koen RoozenFounder, HRK1.30%
Linsey SterkLead of Technical Talent Acquisition at Alliander1.30%
OlfertJan NiemeijerConsultant at Independent Recruiters1.30%
Oscar MagerTalent Acquisition at Sonos1.30%
Patrick BoonstraProject Lead at Rabobank1.30%
Remco MostertmanFounder at HRCommunity1.30%
René BolierCEO of OnRecruit1.30%
Roeland van LaerHead of TA at Alliander1.30%
Sandor LokenbergRecruiter at de Volksbank1.30%
Sandor SnoerenMD at Brandchart1.30%
Stanislaw WasowiczChief Commercial Office at Recruitd1.30%
Tessa de JongInterim Recruiter at Koopman Logistics Group1.30%
Tomas HaviarTalent Acquisition at Mollie1.30%
Tom HaakFounder, HR Trends Institute1.30%
Ton RodenburgStrategy Director, Clubgeist1.30%
Wouter KoelemanRecruitment Advisor at Drees & Sommer1.30%
Yulia BondarGlobal Tech Recruiter at Backbase1.30%
Service%age citedCount
Academie voor Arbeidscommunicatie18.18%14
Social Talent16.88%13
Recruiter University5.19%4
Bas Westland3.90%3
Recruitment Academy3.90%3
Ellen van Dieren2.60%2
Gordon Lokenberg2.60%2
LevelUp Ventures2.60%2
Schouten & Nelissen2.60%2
Boolean Results1.30%1
Boolean Strings1.30%1
HR Academy1.30%1
HR University1.30%1
Marcel van der Meer1.30%1
Sourcecon Academy1.30%1
Service%age citedCount
Orange Quarter6.49%5
LevelUp Ventures3.90%3
Michael Page IT2.60%2
that recruitment company2.60%2
The Blue Chips2.60%2
USG Technicum2.60%2
Boolean Results1.30%1
De Staffing Groep1.30%1
Myler Global Sourcing1.30%1
On Time Engineers1.30%1
PD Personel1.30%1
We Think New Recruitment1.30%1
Don’t know422.22%
Academic Work211.11%
Made for Sales211.11%
Wells rekrytering15.56%
Service%age citedCount
New People5.19%4
LevelUp Ventures2.60%2
Michael Page2.60%2
Top of Mind2.60%2
De Staffing Groep1.30%1
Independent Recruiters1.30%1
Robert Walters1.30%1
SAM Recruitment1.30%1
Trust in Soda1.30%1
Velde Group1.30%1
Vroom & van den Heuvel1.30%1
We Think New Recruitment1.30%1
Service%age citedCount
Top of Mind5.19%4
Egon Zehnder3.90%3
Korn Ferry3.90%3
Michael Page2.60%2
The Blue Chips2.60%2
Arno van der Voort (Hunter 9)2.60%2
Batenborch International1.30%1
Boet & Croon1.30%1
Boolean Results1.30%1
Cramer Search1.30%1
De Vroedt & Thierry1.30%1
LevelUp Ventures1.30%1
McDermott & Bull1.30%1
Rob van Elburg1.30%1
Russell Reynolds1.30%1
Seuss Recruitment1.30%1
Spencer Stuart1.30%1
Talent Sourcer1.30%1
The Up Group1.30%1
VA Search1.30%1
Velde Group1.30%1
Vroom & van den Heuvel1.30%1
Walters People1.30%1
We Think New Recruitment1.30%1
Service%age citedCount
LevelUp Ventures9.09%7
EN HR Solutions3.90%3
Alexander Mann Solutions2.60%2
Scale Force Talent2.60%2
Boolean Results1.30%1
Cielo Talent1.30%1
Paul Fynch1.30%1
Perrett Laver1.30%1
Talent Sourcer1.30%1
Time to Hire1.30%1
De Wervingsfabriek1.30%1
Services%age citedCount
Indeed Prime11.69%9
Nationale Vacaturebank7.79%6
Intelligence Group1.30%1
Service%age citedCount
Recruit Robin5.19%4
Intelligence Group3.90%3
Search Software2.60%2
European Recruitment Dashboard1.30%1

How does the Netherlands compare vs the Rest of the World?

The methodology is based frequency of citation / number of contributors to generate a percentage of the responder population which made the citation. This ‘frequency score’ is compared against other countries and against global averages.

Percentage of respondents who cited LinkedIn as a primary source for active sourcing

LinkedIn for posting jobs?

Screenshot 2019-05-06 at 17.32.48

LinkedIn for active sourcing?

Screenshot 2019-05-06 at 17.30.28

Email as preferred channel for candidate first contact

Screenshot 2019-05-06 at 17.28.48

‘Not enough candidates’ as main problem in hiring

Screenshot 2019-05-06 at 17.40.54

If I was hiring in the Netherlands right now, I would…..

1. Join the HR Get to Work Network

2. Make friends with Sofia Broberger

3. Buy a ticket to Stockholm TA Summit

4. Embrace Fika culture

5. Plan on a Aug-June hiring cycle

6. Tighten up prioritisation & time management

7. Ensure to reconfirm & clarify on expectations and deadlines

8. Find someone to invite me to midsummer party

9. Over index on academics qualifications on candidate search

10. Learn a little Swedish and have kids

I will uphold

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