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Talent Shortage in the Netherlands

Talent shortage in the Netherlands: Tech companies struggle to hire software developers

The Dutch tech scene is one of the most vibrant in Europe. The Dutch speak English almost better than native speakers, score among the best worldwide in math and science, have strong economic foundations in industry and commerce, a favorable tax code, and strong international travel infrastructure. This offers tech entrepreneurs, investors, and software engineers the perfect environment for continued growth and innovation in 2017.

Want to hire software developers in the Netherlands? Know that the country is facing a major talent shortage

The main strengths of the Dutch tech industry — software, fintech, medtech, space, smart energy, sharing technology, and 3D printing — align perfectly with the overall direction of global innovation.
Multinational tech giants like Oracle, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Intel, LinkedIn, Apple, Salesforce, Verizon, Netflix, and Uber have all set up shop in the Netherlands to make the most of the country’s tech ecosystem.

With such a thriving tech scene and an abundance of schools training IT and engineering specialists, one could think that Dutch tech employers would have no trouble finding skilled workers willing to join their ranks. Yet the reality isn’t quite as optimistic: like so much of the world, the Netherlands is facing up to a major tech talent shortage.

In fact, the Netherlands has the second highest demand for engineers globally, with 13 percent of all job ads coming from the engineering sector.

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) has reported that in each quarter in 2014, over a fifth of vacancies in the ICT industry went unfilled. Although research by Indeed suggests that the gap between employer demand and job seeker interest has generally been decreasing over the past couple of years, the number of tech job postings is still far greater than jobseeker interest.

The Gap Between Employer Demand and Jobseeker Interest Q2 2013 to Q2 2015
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Tech Job Postings per Million vs. Searches per Million

How can Dutch employers hire software developers in challenging conditions?

In a job market where tech talent is scarce, many Dutch employers have no other choice than to seek alternative ways to fill their vacancies. One way is to hire software developers in countries with larger tech talent pools. This may include relocating engineers (kennismigranten) to the Netherlands, or otherwise working with them remotely.

This is exactly what we can help you with. We take care of office space, HR, team retention, and administrative hassles related to having a dedicated development center abroad. 

Read more: 10 Reasons You Should Hire Software Developers in Ukraine

Alex Stoelwinder
Alex Stoelwinder
“We noticed a shortage of qualified local tech workers quite a while ago,” says Alex Stoelwinder, Operations Director. “We started helping Dutch companies hire software developers in other countries back in 1999, and have now grown into an international business. Today, we employ over 200 developers who work from Ukraine’s biggest tech hubs — Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Dnipro — for clients based in the US, Europe, and the Middle East. Despite our international growth, Dutch companies still make up 40 percent of our clientele.
“We’ve definitely seen an increasing demand for the type of service we provide in the Netherlands. Even companies that didn’t consider remote options a few years ago are coming back to us, because the task of finding local tech talent is getting more challenging year on year.”
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Startups have it especially hard. “Insiders at startup companies know that it’s a challenge to find quality Java developers willing to embrace the associated risk/reward ratio. It’s even harder if the right Java developer needs to be found in the Netherlands, as the current demand is so high,” says Onno Becker Hof, CTO at Euretos
“The experience we’ve had with Grid Dynamics has been very positive, and they’ve been able to deliver the Java development resources we need. The English classes for my team, pizza parties, and corporate events are all part of the Grid Dynamics approach, and I consider these important elements in building a sustainable development team. Grid Dynamics takes care of the team members’ social contributions, pension fund payments, taxes, vacations, sick days, and the like, which means I don’t have to worry and can fully concentrate on the actual development work.”
Elena Ruchko
Elena Ruchko
“We’re often approached by companies that develop complex software,” adds Elena Ruchko, Head of Digital Marketing. “They can’t risk working with outsourcing companies or freelancers as these options rarely provide enough transparency and security. As an alternative, our model is the perfect solution. Our clients personally interview and approve the developers they want to hire, and these developers go on to work a regular 40-hour week exclusively for them. There are no hurdles between the client and the engineer because they always communicate directly.”
We’d love to tell you more about how we can help you with your hiring challenges. Leave your contact information in the form below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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