The State of Data Recruitment in the Netherlands

The data market in the Netherlands is already significant.

However, it’s expected to grow even larger over the next decade. Alongside this growth, Harnham’s role in the Netherlands is also expanding—so much so, that we’re planning on opening a local office in the region in the coming months.

With this in mind, we thought we’d take a step back to reflect on how the region’s data recruitment market has evolved over the past year and touch on what’s expected for the rest of 2023.

Trend #1: An Emphasis on Cloud Tech Stacks

While there are plenty of job seekers in the current market, there are also lots of companies looking to make hires. Because of this, we are expecting to encounter a very competitive and fast-paced first quarter for 2023.

In the business intelligence market specifically, we’re seeing companies invest more time and resources into developing their cloud platform tech stacks. This trend is becoming increasingly apparent in both job postings and through our client interactions.

In our experience, bigger companies typically prefer to use a Microsoft heavy stack such as Azure, whereas the smaller scale companies and start-ups lean towards Google and Amazon platforms such as AWS or Google Cloud.

Trend #2: Increased Demand for Analytics Engineers

When it comes to available positions, we’re seeing an increasing demand for analytics engineers, a trend that has exploded in the UK over the last 12-18 months and is now being emulated in the Netherlands.

Essentially, companies are seeking someone with a blended skill set, who has the ability to build out and operate a platform, and then take that data and translate it in a way that makes sense to key stakeholders in the business.

The fusion of the different skill sets that are required for these roles can make them challenging to recruit for. Typically, candidates are more experienced in either engineering or data—not both.

Trend #3: More English-Speakers

Over the past year, we have seen many companies shift from seeking Dutch-speaking candidates to operating almost exclusively in English. Some companies have even translated their whole website into English.

However, this shift to English hasn’t necessarily been a choice. Many companies have made the switch to English simply because it’s been too difficult to find local talent. Many Dutch natives are seeking contract or freelance work over permanent roles because of their flexibility and higher pay.

While Dutch talent is growing scarce, English-speaking candidates are becoming easier to find, largely because of the tax advantage known as the 30% ruling that gives foreign workers a 30 per cent tax benefit for five years. This has increased the supply of international candidates across the Netherlands, which has further incentivised local professionals to look elsewhere.

Trend #4: Employees Want a Hybrid Model

The pandemic made working from home the norm, but more recently, candidates are finding themselves less receptive to remote working and instead craving in-office opportunities. This is because many people have experienced feelings of isolation and a lack of productivity while working fully remote.

However, some smaller organisations that we work with are still opted for an almost fully remote model, for various reasons such as cost savings, etc. And these companies that are mostly remote are finding it challenging to source talent.

What’s on the Horizon?

While no one has a crystal ball, economic experts anticipate that the Netherlands will experience a lighter recession that’s unlikely to hamper the data market’s growth. In fact, it is still forecast to expand.

The travel industry in particular is projected to do well in 2023. It’s experiencing a recovery post-COVID, so we could potentially see an influx in available data jobs with travel companies like hotel chains and online booking websites.

As mentioned, we are expecting to see many companies finally making steps into analytics. We even have clients that have been operating for over a hundred years and are now dipping their toes into the analytics space – an indication that the Dutch market is maturing when it comes to companies seeing the value of data.

Of course, these modernisations are often accompanied by skeptics. When companies have employees who have never made decisions based on data and are reluctant to do so, a consultative approach is required to encourage a mindset shift.

If you are interested in pursuing a data career in the Netherlands or are planning to expand your team, this is an ideal time to explore your options. Harnham is opening an office in Amsterdam and will be on the ground for face-to-face consultations. Get in touch with Ross Henderson to book a meeting.