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

New research from human resources firm ADP has revealed significant gaps in the Dutch labour market.

Though the number of people now trying to find a job in the Netherlands is relatively high, there is a discrepancy between the kinds of skills and experience employers are requesting and what job-hunters' CVs have to offer.

HR workers struggle to find job candidates

In an independent study titled HR Trends 2015-2016, ADP collected survey data from more than 800 HR professionals. The results show that 23 per cent of respondents were struggling on a regular basis to match job candidates with employers’ criteria.

This is a slight improvement from the 2014 edition of the study, when 28 per cent reported feeling frustrated by the labour market "mismatch".

Experienced ICT, technical and sales specialists in demand

The most difficult-to-find candidates, according to HR professionals, are experienced, well-educated ICT specialists, technicians, sales employees, and production specialists.

Educational background matters

Above all, there is a heavy demand for ICT workers with a technical college (HBO) background. A whopping 76 per cent of HR employees reported having difficulty finding enough candidates with this qualification.

By contrast, only 18 per cent struggle to find enough university-trained ICT specialists.

When it comes to technicians, candidates with training at a secondary vocational school (MBO) or technical college are the most sought-after.

Among the most in-demand candidates of all, however, are sales specialists with training at a technical college. 82 per cent of HR employees find it difficult to find candidates who fill this profile.

Jobs more likely in some sectors

The ADP report also reveals which industries and sectors are the most promising for job-seekers.

Demand for ICT workers is highest in public administration and government, followed by the information-communications, financial, specialised consultancy/research and transport sectors, in that order.

Opportunities for technicians are greatest in industry, and to a slightly lesser extent in consultancy/research and construction.

Sales employees are most needed in wholesale and retail trade. There is also a shortage of production and operations specialists in the construction industry.

Starters still facing job competition

While the opportunities for experienced workers in these sectors may be plentiful, starters are still having to cope with intense competition across the Dutch labour market.

Only 10 per cent of HR workers report having trouble locating candidates for entry-level positions.


Emily McCallum


Emily McCallum

Emily grew up in a small coastal town in western Canada and moved to Utrecht in 2014, after completing her studies in Vancouver and Germany. So far, she has been...

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