Boasting one of the most educated, highly skilled, multilingual, and productive workforces on the planet, the Netherlands has much to offer employers who are considering sourcing exceptional talent from the nation of 17 million. With the European Union’s sixth-largest economy and the world’s 18th largest nominal GDP (making it one of the highest per capita income countries in the world), the Netherlands has earned the attention it consistently garners from companies that are looking to expand into Europe.
While the United Kingdom has long been the target country for companies wishing to do business in Europe (and within the EU, specifically), the ambiguity surrounding post-Brexit Britain has shifted attention eastward across the North Sea to the Netherlands. This is no more evident than Unilever’s recent decision to station its headquarters in Rotterdam rather than London, and Royal Bank of Scotland’s announcement to trade Edinburgh for Amsterdam as its epicenter. With moves already being made and mounting speculation that more organizations will follow suit, the Netherlands’ already-attractive talent pool may become exceedingly enticing.
High Educational Attainment
The Netherlands has long laid claim to many of Europe’s top universities, rightfully earning its number seven spot on the Human Development Report’s Education Achievement Index and coming in third on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report for 2016-2017. Moreover, nearly one-third of Dutch adults between the ages of 25 and 64 holds a university degree. This is eight percentage points higher than its OECD counterparts, making Dutch nationals some of the world’s most educated. Notable teaching and research achievements include:
- Wageningen University’s globally respected position as a leader in green biotechnology
- Leiden University’s reputation as experts in biomedical life sciences
- The University of Amsterdam as one of Europe’s largest research universities in terms of both scientific publications and research funding
Booming Innovation with Government Support
With one of the world’s most highly educated populations, it may come as no surprise that the Netherlands consistently ranks as one of the most innovative nations both in- and outside of Europe. For the last five years, the Netherlands has ranked in the top ten — most recently ranking third and outpacing the United States — on the United Nations’ Global Innovation Index.
While this innovation largely comes off the backs of hard-working, educated individuals, the Dutch government recognizes that private sector innovation benefits from state investment — and has contributed to a low unemployment rate of 4.2%, By providing fiscal support to innovators across numerous sectors, the Dutch government has supported and continues to support countless entrepreneurs and start-ups. Specifically, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency provides resources for innovators through various subsidies and programs. Some support offerings include:
- Patents and IP rights
- Instruments for startups and scale-ups
- Research and development
- Startup Box: an online resource showing entrepreneurs their options for funding
Quality of Life
Perhaps it’s the generous government funding allotted for education, a healthy startup and scale-up sector, or maybe it’s the affordable and exemplary healthcare and supplemental employment benefits that consistently contribute to the Netherlands offering an excellent quality of life. Each of these factors undoubtedly contributes to long life expectancy, with the Dutch having one of the longest life expectancies around the globe. But other factors certainly contribute, too. Dutch citizens’ love of cycling isn’t just a stereotype; it’s a socially and physically active part of life that results in €19 billion worth of economic health benefits.
If you’re considering sourcing local talent in the Netherlands but aren’t sure where to start, reach out to Velocity Global today to learn how we can help you plan your Dutch talent acquisition.