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.

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.

Joining the Dutch labour market: legal factors expats need to remember

What are the most important legal factors to check when signing a work contract in the Netherlands? De Vreede Advocaten guides us through these issues.

Working in the Netherlands: changes to Dutch labour law

On January 1, 2015, the Dutch labour law will change drastically. Find out how it could affect your work agreement in this overview.

More expat women in top jobs in the Netherlands

The number of female CFOs in the AEX top 25 companies has gone from zero to three in the past six months- and they're all expats.

The Netherlands: biggest tax haven for Fortune 500 companies

Just as the Netherlands is revealed as the world's largest tax haven for US multinationals, EU announces an investigation into Starbucks' Dutch operations.

Huge increase in international companies setting up in the Netherlands

A record increase in the number of international companies setting up in the Netherlands with hundreds of new companies creating thousands of new jobs.

Record number of jobs in the Netherlands created by foreign investment

New statistics show that the number of jobs created in the Netherlands by foreign investment rose by 60 per cent last year.

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