Netherlands 10 min

Tech recruitment in the Netherlands: uncovering hidden remote-working talent

Written by Nadia Vatalidis
Nadia Vatalidis


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New research shows Dutch companies are world leaders in recruiting international tech professionals. Remote surveyed 250 Dutch hiring managers across a wide range of industries, in companies of all sizes. The results of the 2022 Remote Tech Talent Report showed an overwhelming attitude in the Netherlands to keeping all options open when looking for tech staff. 

Highlights include:

  • Just over half (52 percent) of Dutch hiring managers focus on the local market, the lowest percentage globally. 

  • Twenty-one percent report difficulty finding tech talent in the Netherlands.

  • Thirty-five percent of Dutch companies recruiting internationally have embraced remote working.

  • When recruiting globally, the majority of Dutch companies focus on well-known tech hubs. 

The Netherlands are global leaders in remote work

No one has embraced remote working quite the way the Netherlands has. Slightly more than half (52 percent) of Dutch hiring managers search exclusively in their own country to find tech talent. This is lower than other countries who participated in Remote’s tech talent survey. 

  • United States: 68 percent

  • United Kingdom: 63 percent

  • France: 62 percent 

  • Germany: 59 percent

  • Sweden: 57 percent

  • Netherlands: 52 percent

When you compare global hiring practices, the Dutch lead the way. More than a quarter of all companies (26 percent) say they’ll hire anywhere in the world. There are more hiring managers in the Netherlands open to hiring internationally than in other countries, by sizable percentages. 

  • Netherlands: 35 percent

  • United States: 30 percent

  • United Kingdom: 27 percent

  • France: 24 percent

  • Germany: 24 percent

  • Sweden: 16 percent

What motivates Dutch hiring managers to hire remotely?

Diversity is the driving factor for hiring remotely in the Netherlands. The majority (54 percent) of talent acquisition professionals want to add diversity to their team. For those hiring globally, the number jumps to 62 percent.

Nearly half (46 percent), say trying out new markets is part of their hiring strategy. 

Language skills are a concern, resulting in 35 percent of Dutch companies looking in regions with a high number of English-speaking candidates. Interestingly, for those looking to hire outside of the Netherlands, 30 percent cite English language skills as a motivation for hiring. 

For those looking to hire globally, 42 percent say they only hire talent where they have legal entities. 

The pandemic helped businesses transition to a remote working model. More than a third (35 percent) of Dutch hiring managers say they were able to broaden their search for remote talent after work from home arrangements became commonplace. 

Finding talent in the local market is a struggle according to 21 percent of the survey respondents. Of those who are looking in global markets, nearly one quarter (24 percent) say they can’t find at home the talent they need.  

Looking for knowledge workers in a crowded market

Despite the openness to looking outside national borders, Dutch human resources managers may be missing a trick when it comes to finding untapped talent pools. The majority of hiring managers, 70 percent, are looking in traditional tech talent hubs that are crowded with competition from other companies. 

Remote used Gartner’s Emerging IT Talent Hubs in 2022 analysis as a guide to support our our research on how global employers identify opportunities for recruiting tech talent. Some top existing markets where Dutch hiring managers say they are very likely or somewhat likely to hire include:

1. Berlin, Germany: 83 percent

Top reason(s) to hire: Hire in same/similar time zone, local insight to improve our product/service

Supply-demand ratio: Favorable

2. Paris, France: 81 percent

Top reason(s) to hire: Try out new markets

Supply-demand ratio: Moderately favorable

3. London, United Kingdom: 79 percent

Top reason(s) to hire: Give people a chance to work for our company

Supply-demand ratio: Low

4. New York, United States: 77 percent

Top reason(s) to hire: Good cultural fit with team

Supply-demand ratio: Low

5. San Francisco, United States: 68 percent

Top reason(s) to hire: Diversify the team, hire in same/similar time zone

Supply-demand ratio: Moderately favorable

6. Tokyo, Japan: 68 percent

Top reason(s) to hire: Good source of talent, give people a chance to work for our company, registered business entity

Supply-demand ratio: Favorable

Dutch employers are finding out that sourcing talent from the most competitive established tech hubs can be more expensive, and logistically complicated. This is especially true for Ducth companies considering talent outside Europe as timezone issues can complicate operations for teams that don’t offer flexible working conditions. Existing tech hubs tend to also suffer from a combination of low supply-demand ratios and high salary expectations.

Download the 2022 Remote Tech Talent Report for a full analysis of tech talent recruitment in established tech talent hubs (and uncover 15 emerging tech talent hubs around the globe).

Find new hiring opportunities with Remote's Top Tech Talent Report

Insights from 1400+ hiring managers to help you find and attract top remote professionals (with city profiles of 15 new talent hubs)

How Dutch employers can find hidden pockets of remote tech talent 

The good news is Dutch hiring managers are also looking in emerging tech hubs for talent. Of the 250 surveyed, 70 percent say they are looking in new places for top talent. These less popular areas are excellent places to find candidates with established tech skill sets. 

Our survey respondents say they are very likely or somewhat likely to hire remotely for tech talent in the following markets:

1. Helsinki, Finland: 58 percent

Top reason(s) to hire: Good source of talent

Supply-demand ratio: Very favorable

2. Mexico City, Mexico: 58 percent

Top reason(s) to hire: Give people a chance to work for our company

Supply-demand ratio: Very favorable

3. Melbourne, Australia: 56 percent

Top reason(s) to hire: Hire qualified talent cost effectively

Supply-demand ratio: Favorable

4. Budapest, Hungary: 56 percent

Top reason(s) to hire: Hire qualified talent cost effectively, try out new markets

Supply-demand ratio: Moderately favorable

5. Warsaw, Poland: 51 percent

Top reason(s) to hire: Good cultural fit with team

Supply-demand ratio: Moderately favorable

6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 53 percent

Top reason(s) to hire: Try out new markets

Supply-demand ratio: Moderately favorable

Download Remote’s Tech Talent Report to uncover a collection of 15 emerging tech talent hubs around the world, complete with hiring profiles for each market.

These emerging markets provide an enticing opportunity for Dutch tech leaders looking for hidden pockets of tech talent as remote professionals in these regions are actively seeking roles from global employers offering flexible working conditions. 

Why it matters where you look for tech talent

Dutch employers are competing with a global spread of competitors for the same top tech performers. Of the 250 hiring managers Remote surveyed in the Netherlands, the most sought-after roles by Dutch companies are also in hot demand globally. For example, the table below shows a side-by-side comparison of the top six tech roles Dutch managers plan to hire in the next year and the overall demand from 1485 global responses. 


Percentage of Dutch companies looking to hire

Percentage of global companies looking to hire

Project Managers



Cybersecurity roles



Network Engineer



Systems Engineer



Cloud Engineer



Software Testing Engineer



Those employers who are open to a remote work model can access top tech talent everywhere. Those employers who stick to local professionals now have increased competition from international employers who can poach talented professionals who want the flexibility and autonomy of working from home. 

This is why international employment can give Dutch hiring managers a serious competitive advantage. When everyone is looking to fill the same roles, tapping into an emerging market can feel like striking gold in the hunt for tech skills. If your company is open to hiring globally, you have the added benefit of building a more diverse and inclusive culture at the same time. 

Making an ethical impact in emerging tech talent hubs

When asked to name the biggest ethical impact to hiring from emerging tech hubs, most hiring managers from the Netherlands were quick to pinpoint the positive benefits for their company, and their employees. Only a very small number of respondents (3 percent) didn’t highlight any immediate benefits to hiring in emerging markets.

Benefits of hiring from emerging tech talent hubs

  • Giving people the opportunity to build a career without having to move to another country: 62 percent

  • Increasing diversity in the workforce: 57 percent

  • Enabling communities to grow through maintaining local talent: 53 percent

  • Don’t know: 3 percent

What’s preventing companies in the Netherlands from more global recruitment?

Dutch human resources leaders are aware of the challenges that can occur when hiring in new regions. It’s a mix of managing people – something HR managers know how to do –  and dealing with the unknowns of a new location. When asked about the challenges their business faces when hiring in new regions, this is how they responded.

Challenges of hiring from emerging tech talent hubs

  • Having to work across multiple time zones: 53 percent

  • Language barriers: 51 percent

  • Learning about local legal requirements: 45 percent

  • Learning about local regulations around payroll: 43 percent

  • Understanding what benefits are coming in that region: 38 percent

  • Bringing together different work and management cultures: 37 percent

  • Managing payroll: 33%

For companies who don’t have a legal entity in any of these emerging tech markets, Remote can simplify and scale the process. As an employer of record (EOR), Remote’s global hiring platform handles local payroll, taxes, benefits, and compliance so your team members feel as safe and secure as your business does. Even if you want to hire only one employee or contractor in a region, Remote removes the hassle and allows you to build a global team with speed and security. 

Get more insight into resourcing tech talent

The 2022 Remote Tech Talent Report aims to help hiring managers and decision-makers from the Netherlands and around the world. Insights from this research, combined with Remote’s in-house expertise, are distilled into practical advice and tactics for employers who are struggling to find and recruit the best knowledge workers to meet their needs and stay competitive.

Download the report now.

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