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.

international companies 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.

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Amsterdam is a significant and fast-growing player in the world of startups, according to a report which ranks world cities as ecosystems of entrepreneurship.

Multinational companies key for Dutch economy, job creation

Multinational companies in the Netherlands, though few, are vital generators of jobs, trade and turnover in the Dutch private sector economy.

Long-term unemployment increasing in the Netherlands

The Netherlands' unemployment rate is decreasing, but the ranks of the 'long-term unemployed', who have been out of work for a year or more, are growing.

Gaps in Dutch labour market: ICT, tech and sales skills in demand

ICT, technical and sales specialists are in high demand in the Dutch labour market, but they need experience and the right qualifications.

6 great things about working in a multinational and multicultural company

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New Dutch laws in effect from July 1, 2015

A series of new and revised laws came into effect on July 1. From employment and income to housing and property, find out if you are affected.

Dutch workforce puts in fewer hours, but is more productive

Workers in the Netherlands love their leisure time more than in any other OECD country - but it isn't hurting productivity.

Amsterdam workforce attracts international companies

A record number of international companies set up offices in and around Amsterdam in 2014, encouraged by a skilled, affordable and international workforce.

New residency regulations for start-up entrepreneurs

New residency permits encourage innovative foreign start-up entrepreneurs to flourish in the Netherlands.

Fixed-term employment agreements: new rules for notification of termination

Changes to Dutch employment law for 2015 mean new procedures for the extension or termination of your fixed-term work agreement.

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