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Hire Employees in the Netherlands — Overview

The Netherlands is one of the most economically prosperous countries in the world, due in no small part to its thriving horticultural export sector, favourable business and tax laws, and its possession of Europe's largest seaport (Rotterdam).
A highly-educated workforce of fluent English-speakers also makes it a desirable location for remote hiring. However, any business interested in hiring employees in the Netherlands needs to comply with Dutch labor laws, and consider whether a Netherlands hiring partner could be of benefit.

Facts & Stats


17.53 million (+ 9.89 million)

Capital City


Languages Spoken

Dutch (56th most spoken). English extremely common. 


Euro (€)

GDP per capita


Ease of Doing Business

42nd in the world

Minimum Wage

€1,756.20 per month

Average Wage

€36,500 per year

Paid Leave

20 days

The Netherlands: Business Environment

Business outlook in the Netherlands

One of the strongest economies in the world on a per capita basis, growth of 2.9% in is expected for 2022. While inflation has been relatively high, as it has been globally, this is projected to halve in 2023, going down to 4.8% on average in 2023.

As the second largest food exporter in the world, and with internationally favorable corporate tax laws, the Netherlands is expected to retain a desirable location for international business setup over the next decade. 

Business regulation in the Netherlands

Labour laws in the Netherlands are extensive and cover areas such as minimum wage, paid leave, temporary and permanent contracts, notice periods and dismissal.

The three main sources of employment legislation in the Netherlands include the Dutch Civil Code (the Burgerlijk Wetboek), collective bargaining agreements and the employment contract itself. International law has also had a significant role to play when it comes to Dutch labour laws. European Community law in particular, has shaped much of its legislation in this area as certain EU Directives imposing minimum requirements on employment matters such as working conditions have been incorporated into domestic law.

In general, the employment contract between the employee and the employer must not contradict statute or collective bargaining agreements in ways that are less favourable to the employee.

Business culture in the Netherlands

Doing business in the Netherlands is generally more informal and relaxed compared to some other parts of the world. Known for its laidback and liberal outlook, the Dutch are polite but egalitarian in their dealings with other colleagues and employees, treating everyone equally irrespective of their seniority or hierarchy within the company.

This lack of formality extends to business dealings and meetings, where a direct and straight-formward approach is valued and communications are taken at face value. It is important, therefore, to do what you say, whether in writing or in word.

The Dutch concept of polderen also plays a key part in negotiation and decision-making, placing value on the sharing and expression of opinions and ideas in the workplace.

Recruiting employees in the Netherlands

Recruiting employees in the Netherlands — Overview

Many employers in the Netherlands use online job platforms to recruit new employees. Employers also target candidates through social media as a large percentage of the population are active on sites such as LInkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Recruitment agencies or professional employer organizations (PEOs) are also commonly used to hire employees in the Netherlands.

Most important recruitment tools in the Netherlands

1. Vacatures


Vacatures is one of the most popular online job boards in the Netherlands with more than 500,000 visits per month.

2. Werkspot


Werkspot is one of the Netherland’s top classified websites for jobs. It also includes content on how to find jobs as well as the job industry itself.

3. Blue Lynx Recruitment Agency


This recruitment agency specialises in the recruitment of multilingual professionals in the Netherlands and globally.

Interviewing candidates in the Netherlands – Overview

Due to its Calvinist roots, the Netherlands is a country that upholds tenets such as moderation, modesty, self-discipline and hard work. Taking this into account, candidates who demonstrate these values and can confidently express their skills and abilities without arrogance will fare well during interviews. The concept of polderen places high value on teamwork and cooperation so candidates may be invited to demonstrate their willingness to discuss important issues and to take a consensus-based approach to decisions.

Although punctuality is a must, the Dutch take a less formal approach to work attire and business casual wear is acceptable dress code for most interviews.

Can I ask the candidate’s previous salary in the Netherlands?

The Dutch are known for their directness and the interview process is no exception. When it comes to a candidate’s previous salary, however, it is advisable not to ask questions. 

The European Commission has also proposed a directive on equal pay and pay transparency which bans employers from asking candidates about their salary history. 

What is the typical salary increase at a new job in the Netherlands?

Salaries in the Netherlands are expected to increase by 3.8% in 2023.

Onboarding employees in the Netherlands

Onboarding employees in the Netherlands – Overview

Every company will have its own procedures in place when it comes to onboarding employees. While there is no set way for a Dutch business to do this, it is important to ease the transition for new employees by making them feel welcome and providing them with the resources, training and support they need to integrate into your organisation and their new role.

The onboarding process should be aimed at helping employees successfully execute their new jobs. Assigning a dedicated person such as buddy or mentor can help in this process as can allowing adequate time for training and setting clear goals and expectations.

Best remote working tools to use in the Netherlands

Consistently ranked number 1 on the Remote Workers Index, the Netherlands is one of the most popular countries for hiring virtual employees in the world. 

Below are some of the best remote working tools to use in this country: 

  • Zoom: This cloud-based video conferencing tool allows remote workers to hold virtual team meetings via video or audio calls with other colleagues and enables the hosting of live webinars, video demos, online training and more.
  • Microsoft Teams: This cloud-based hub for team collaboration provides real-time messaging, communication, meetings and file sharing throughout an organisation. This tool lets people access and contribute to shared files allowing them to work in a team, remotely.

Holiday season in the Netherlands – 2022

The following days are public holidays in the Netherlands in 2022:

  • New Year’s Day – January 1
  • Good Friday – April 15
  • Easter Sunday and Monday – April 17 & 18
  • King’s Day – April 27
  • Liberation Day – May 5
  • Ascension Day – May 26
  • Whit Sunday and Monday – June 5 & 6
  • Christmas Day – December 25
  • Boxing Day – December 26

What is the typical salary increase employees in the Netherlands expect?

Salaries in the Netherlands are expected to increase by 3.8% in 2023.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ):

This will depend largely on the needs of your organization. Hiring freelancers is generally more cost-effective compared to hiring employees and avoids the need to administer employee benefits such as health insurance and paid vacation. It is also a simpler process, especially in terms of onboarding which may take no time rather than months and offers greater flexibility for your business. 

For lengthier roles and for creating greater permanency within your organization, it is better to hire employees. While the upfront costs may be higher, in the long term employees will be more invested in the growth of your company and can contribute more directly to its success.

Yes, however, you must first look to recruit within the rest of the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland. If you are unable to find suitable candidates within these areas you can then recruit from other countries. Proof that you carried out this search may be required by the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV).

Employees hired from outside the EU and the EEA will require either a work permit (TWV) or a combined residence and work permit (GVA).

To set up a Dutch branch office, you must register it with the Dutch Business Register (Handelsregister) at the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK). It will also need to be registered for tax purposes.

Opening a Dutch subsidiary is a slightly more complicated process compared to opening a branch office. While the registration steps will be similar for both entities, a subsidiary will require the drawing up and notarizing of its Articles of Association and conducting a risk evaluation.

Employers can post job listings in the Netherlands using sites like Vacatures, Monsterboard.nl and Werkpsot to hire employees. They can also use the services of recruitment agencies such as Undutchables, Blue lynx and Adams Multilingual Recruitment. 

Another way of hiring employees in the Netherlands is by working with a Netherlands PEO. This can save your business time searching for suitable employees speeding up the recruitment process and ensuring you hire the right person for your company.

Hiring in the Netherlands, Made Easy

Your business can easily hire employees in the Netherlands without opening a local entity. We handle local employment law, complex tax regulations, and international payroll in 150+ countries worldwide. All you need to do is focus on your business.


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