General information & International companies in the Netherlands
Numerous international companies based in the Netherlands compete in a global business context and seek open-minded and diverse people. Due to the number of jobs in the Netherlands, the local workforce is not sufficient to satisfy demand and English is the main business language in most companies. However, it should be stressed that lately many companies consider speaking Dutch a plus.
A master’s degree is not a standard requirement. In fact, you will eventually notice that prior work experience may be higher on the requirement list than a postgraduate degree. Nevertheless, obtaining an Master’s degree or a PhD is considered a significant accomplishment and asset for (certain types of) jobs. In a nutshell, higher educational background combined with prior work experience will definitely increase one's 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 a plethora of companies that 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 are not only founded by Dutch but also headquartered in the Netherlands. To check the largest 500 Dutch corporations press here.
Why do international companies choose the Netherlands to set up their offices / European headquarters? Well, the answer is very straightforward: the country offers a very open, multicultural, business-oriented environment and can proudly boast having one of the most stable economies in Europe.
Besides, the abundance of multi-skilled expatriates, a corporate taxation system that offers great economic incentives and the country's neuralgic geographic location have established the Netherlands as an ideal destination for practically any industry.
Finally, one might think that most firms are concentrated in the main industrial cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam. This is not always true; working in the Netherlands often entails commuting to / from work each day, since loads of companies are situated in city suburbs or in specific districts. Nevertheless, this may not necessarily be disincentive since travel distances are not that long and transportation is extremely reliable, accessible and easy to use.