The four challenges of recruiting IT talent across borders

There are various reasons to specifically choose the Netherlands, according to the survey. 46% choose the Netherlands because English is spoken well here and 45% because of the work-life balance.

Challenge 1: Get approval

But bringing talent from abroad to the Netherlands is not that easy. Companies that want this will face four challenges. The first consists of the rules for highly educated migrants (highly educated immigrants) and for foreign labor.

For example, highly educated migrants from outside the EU and the European Economic Area must have a residence permit to work here, and highly educated migrants must earn a minimum amount per month. Companies wishing to employ foreign labor not seen as highly educated migrants must also prove that there are no workers within the EU for this work.

Still, Martina does not immediately see bears on the road. “It all always sounds much harder than it is. But there are a number of processes that you can do with the Danish Immigration and Naturalization Agency [IND, red.] must agree and what you need to get approved. After all, you are responsible for the people who come to Holland and come to work for you. Fortunately, IND has put a green tick behind IT and tech: There is demonstrable scarcity there. So those applications are quickly approved. ” In addition, organizations such as Your Talent Agency and Ravecruitment help remove such barriers, for example by overseeing applications at IND.

Challenge 2: the right level

Then it is important to find the right person for the job. For anyone applying abroad will soon have to deal with juniors. “Most companies want people with a little more baggage. But seniors in the Netherlands are much more likely to freelance,” Martina explains. “So there is still a challenge: How can you get people up and running quickly?”

Unfortunately, there is not really a simple solution to this, other than just giving people a chance. “The market may be more in demand for seniors, but you often have to settle for juniors. And there is a wave of seniors on the way, so it is very important to transfer knowledge from seniors to juniors. That is why we always say that you have to give people who are only 70 or 80% a match a chance. So train them further instead of continuing to look for the five-legged sheep. ”

Challenge 3: onboarding

The one who has finally found an employee must then deal with onboarding. And it’s much more complicated for people from abroad than for employees who have lived in the Netherlands all their lives.

“People have to come and live and work here, and often also work hybrids. So the people you pick up from abroad must be able to settle here, also as individuals, ”explains Van Elburg. “You have to do this partly outside working hours and with colleagues. It requires some adaptability. It is smart to take this into account in the selection. ”

Furthermore, highly educated migrants here often have to deal with a completely new culture and new norms and values. “It just takes a little more time and attention to make these people familiar with how we work here,” Martina agrees. “For example, lunch is already different here: we do not eat hot, but rather a cheese sandwich.”

According to research from Ravecruitment and Intelligence Group, it is especially helpful when new employees enter an international environment, according to 57% of respondents. In addition, 51% would like to receive information in English and 40% would like help with legal paperwork, such as applying for a visa.

Challenge 4: the housing shortage

Just under a quarter (23%) of respondents also say they would like help finding housing. And it’s also the fourth challenge for employers who want to recruit across the border. After all, the Netherlands is struggling with a huge housing shortage, so it is not that easy to find housing for the new employee.

Companies like Ravecruitment and Your Talent Agency therefore help find housing for highly educated migrants so that they or companies do not have to do it themselves. “We know the housing networks, we invest a lot of time and energy in them,” says Van Elburg. He also sees that many migrants do not necessarily want to live on their own, but prefer to share a living space, “to achieve a soft landing”.

Martina focuses primarily on expectation management: “We tell employers and candidates in advance that they can not immediately buy a house here. That’s what the rules are for. You must live and work in the Netherlands for at least six months before you can apply for a mortgage loan. “Most highly educated migrants therefore start in a rented house in the free sector.

Not a complete solution

Recruitment across borders can therefore certainly help to get more employees into the company, especially if companies choose to attract new talent. However, it is not the case that it will completely solve the shortage of IT professionals in the Netherlands, also because there is also a shortage in many other countries. There is therefore also considerable competition with other companies seeking talent abroad.

But the thinking of the companies themselves is also important for the chance of success, Martina emphasizes. “If you notice that there is doubt or especially fear among the management and the board, an idea like this is not well received. And that attitude is copied by the layers below. So when a few say they are scared or afraid that it will go wrong, fear will also arise in the other layers. And they must end up working with the people. But if C-level says: this will help us achieve the business goals, then everyone sees the possibilities. ”

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