As one of the most developed countries in the world, the Netherlands has one of the lowest unemployment rates and it continues to fall. The average unemployment rate for 2017 was only 4.9% –this means that roughly 438,000 out of a total workforce of 9,017,000 workers, were unemployed. By the end of 2018 unemployment is expected to reach 3.9%.
By comparison, the average unemployment level in the EU for 2017 was 7.7% with Greece having the highest percentage of unemployed people – 20.6% and Czech Republic scoring lowest – only 2.7%. The general GDP growth within the EU, the increase in wages, a higher purchasing power and the rise of investments are just some of the reasons why more and more people are employed.
How does the low unemployment rate affect businesses in the Netherlands? First of all, the job market becomes candidate-driven and companies are competing more for talented candidates. As the labour market gets tighter, employers need to rethink their approach to attracting and retaining the right people. Companies have to provide higher wages, health and pension contributions and offer more permanent contracts amongst other benefits. Secondly, the current state of the labour market means that the hiring process should be shorter as the interviewees are likely to have several other opportunities. So, if organizations want to have top candidates they need to speed up their process and act quickly on job applications.
Companies also need to think outside the box with their job requirements and embrace new ways of identifying talent. Rather than searching for someone who ticks all the boxes, they should expand their search, focus more on abilities and general competencies and consider training candidates for technical skills required for the job.
Take a look at this infographic to get an overview of the Dutch labour market: