General information & International companies in the Netherlands
The numerous international companies that are based in the Netherlands compete in a global business context and seek open-minded and diverse people.
Due to the comparably large number of jobs in the Netherlands, the local workforce is not sufficient to satisfy demand and English is the main business language in most big companies. However, it should be stressed that many companies consider speaking Dutch a plus.
A master’s degree is not a standard requirement. In fact, you will probably find that prior work experience is higher on a job's list of requirements than a postgraduate degree. Nevertheless, obtaining a Master’s degree or a PhD is considered a significant accomplishment and asset for (certain types of) jobs.
In a nutshell, a higher educational background combined with prior work experience will definitely increase your chances of finding a job in the Netherlands.
The Dutch usually start working from an early age either as interns or in part-time jobs. Internships and graduate programmes are offered by many companies, which typically do not require prior professional experience.
As a rule, candidates who perform well are hired by (the same) companies as full-time employees right after or even during these programmes.
International companies in the Netherlands
International companies such as Shell, Phillips, Heineken, Unilever, KLM, ING, Tom Tom and BAAN were not only founded by Dutch people but are also headquartered in the Netherlands.
Take a look at our list of international companies and recruitment agencies in the Netherlands that are looking for expatriates, along with links to their current open positions.
Why do international companies choose the Netherlands to set up their offices / European headquarters? Well, the answer is very straightforward: the Dutch working environment is very open, multicultural and business-oriented, and the country can proudly boast one of the most stable economies in Europe.
Also, an abundance of multi-skilled expatriates, a corporate taxation system that offers great economic incentives and the country's nerve-centre geographic location have established the Netherlands as an ideal destination for many industries.
Finally, one might think that most firms are concentrated in the main industrial cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. This is not always true. Lots of companies are situated in city suburbs or in specific regions, which means working in the Netherlands often entails commuting to and from work each day. Nevertheless, this rarely proves a great disincentive, as travel distances are not that long and transportation is extremely reliable, accessible and easy to use.