An Engineer’s Guide to Relocating to the Netherlands 

June 18, 2024

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Are you an engineer considering a move to the Netherlands? This guide is here to help you every step of the way!  

From understanding the cost of living to sorting out visas and finding a place to stay, discover everything you need to know for a seamless transition and make your relocation as smooth as possible. 

Part One: Starting Your Search 

Research Cost of Living 

Before you start packing your bags, it’s a good idea to check out the cost of living in the Netherlands. You can use a cost of living calculator to compare what you’re currently spending with what you might need in Dutch cities. This will give you a better idea of the salary you should aim for to match the lifestyle you have in mind. 

Fred Flintstone counting up on an abacus. A joke to reference working out the cost of living related to relocating to the Netherlands.

Consider the 30% Ruling 

As a highly skilled worker moving to the Netherlands, you might qualify for the 30% ruling, a tax reduction benefit that lasts for the first five years of your work.  

Under the new guidelines, you receive the full 30% reduction for the first 20 months. After that, the reduction drops to 20% for the next 20 months and finally to 10% for the last 20 months of the five-year period. You can check how this might affect your income here.

Check Visa Requirements 

If you’re planning to move to the Netherlands for work, you’ll need an MVV (long-stay visa) to get started. You can pick this up from any country with a Dutch consulate where you’ve been legally staying for at least 90 days.  

Once you’re in the Netherlands, you’ll get your Highly Skilled Migrant Visa (HSMV). Both of these applications will be handled together with your future employer. The HSMV is a great option for highly skilled workers, but remember to check if you meet the minimum salary requirements, as they vary depending on your age.  

Prepare for Fixed Term Contracts 

Fixed-term contracts are common in the Netherlands, but don’t worry—they’re usually extended or renewed. It’s just a different way of doing things here! 

Know Your Holiday Allowance 

By law, Dutch employees are entitled to an 8% holiday allowance on top of their base salary. Sometimes job ads include this in the base salary, so be sure to clarify. 

Part Two: After Securing a Position 

Visas 

If you need a visa, your employer will help with the application process. It might take around six weeks, and sometimes, you might need to collect it from the Dutch embassy in your home country. 

Travel Arrangements 

Once your start date and visa are confirmed, it’s time to book your travel!

Some employers might help out with relocation costs, so it’s worth asking. Make sure to check travel expenses properly before you decide on anything. 

Finding Accommodation 

Your company may offer temporary housing or help to find a place to live. If not, consider temporary solutions like Airbnb. Local contacts can also give you great tips on the best places to live. 

Setting Up Banking 

It’s essential to have a Dutch bank account to be able to rent an apartment or sort out other essentials. Check out what different banks have to offer in terms of options and perks to find the one that suits you best. 

Preparing for Onboarding 

Check whether your onboarding will be remote or in person. Get any materials you need from your new employer and prep by reading up on the company’s tech, processes, and rules. 

Part Three: Preparing to Move 

You’re almost there! As you prepare for your big move, a reminder of these tips:

Alexis Rose from Schitt's Creek attempting to close her suitcase to close it. GIF is a joke about having to pack to relocate to the Netherlands.

  • Double-check your visa and travel arrangements. 
  • Confirm your first accommodation and banking setup. 
  • Get ready for onboarding and familiarise yourself with your new job’s requirements. 

With these steps in mind, you’ll be well on your way to a smooth and enjoyable transition!  

You can find a checklist to keep track of your progress here, alternatively, get in touch & find out how we can help you. 

Dutch Recruitment Trends and Skills to Watch 👀

May 21, 2024

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If you’ve had anything to do with recruitment in the Netherlands over the past year, you’re probably well aware that it’s been a bumpy ride. 

However, it looks like the clouds are parting (finally!), we’re seeing more roles on the market, and lots of highly-qualified candidates to fill them! We’re on the brink of some very exciting times, with lots of new roles and exciting developments coming this year. Read on for our take on the dutch recruitment trends and skills you need to watch for the second half of the year. ⬇️

What are the key trends? 

We’re seeing a major shift in the Dutch labour market, fueled by automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and data analytics.  

Data and AI are being increasingly integrated into daily business operations, and only the companies that act fast will be able to get ahead. 

GIF of Patrick Swayze's character, Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing, with the caption 'nobody puts baby in the corner' - the word 'baby' is covered and replaced by the word 'data'. Nobody put's data in the corner. Relating to the fact that data used to be separate within companies, but it's being increasingly included in business operations.

Gone are the days of data being a secluded department in the shadows.

What Does This Mean for the Dutch IT Market? 

DATA TRENDS

In an effort to keep up with technological advancements and shifts towards more data-driven practices, we’re seeing more and more companies focusing on digital transformation projects, modernisation and streamlining of outdated processes. 

AI/ML TRENDS

Obviously, AI and ML technologies are taking over the world and it seems like companies are starting to realise that AI isn’t just a ‘fad’. It’s no longer about just keeping up with trends – for businesses that want to stay competitive and innovative, they’ve got to get ahead of their competitors and make use of all the technology available. There’s also huge potential for companies to boost team productivity, innovate and elevate customer experiences. 

In particular, we’re seeing companies in the FinTech, EdTech and EnviroTech spaces leaning into AI/ML. As a result, it’s likely that earlier adopters, who invest in this technology now, could end up being the unicorns of the future. 

CYBERSECURITY TRENDS

Given that The Netherlands is home to almost a third of Europe’s data centres (and Google starting work on a new data centre in Groningen this year!) clients recognise huge opportunities for growth.

On the flipside, with so much more of our data being processed online, the target for hackers is getting bigger and bigger. With this in mind, clients are expressing concerns around needs for improvement and investment in protection from cyber-terrorism. 

The Netherlands’ cybersecurity market is projected to continue increasing, from USD 2.16 billion in 2024 to USD 3.27 billion by 2029 (Security Insight).  

Does this mean we need to adopt a load of new languages or frameworks?  

Don’t panic!  

Python continues to reign supreme across all these areas, making it indispensable for most tasks. Candidates with a strong Python background often excel due to its simplicity and versatility, supported by over 135,000 libraries. 

Python’s role in data science, AI, ML, and cybersecurity is significant: with essential libraries like NumPy, Pandas, Scikit-learn, TensorFlow, PyTorch, and Scapy driving advancements. 

Candidates and clients we’ve spoken to recently highlight the importance of proficiency in C, Bash, and PowerShell for cybersecurity roles. They provide the low-level access and automation capabilities necessary for system programming, exploit development, and managing security operations.

Hiring managers frequently emphasise the value of candidates skilled in these areas to ensure teams are equipped to handle challenges effectively. 

However, staying ahead means being aware of other key players gaining traction: 

Data: 
  • Apache Spark, Snowflake, DBT for data transformation. 
  • Emerging tools like Polars and DuckDB. 
AI/ML: 
  • Hugging Face Transformers for NLP work. 
  • Julia for high-performance numerical tasks. 
  • Ray for scaling Python applications. 
Cybersecurity: 
  • Rust for secure application development. 
  • Tools like Darktrace and Cylance are leading in AI-driven threat detection. 
  • Burp Suite remains essential for web app security testing. 
  • Swift for system programming and security applications. 

What’s our advice? 

For candidates:

We’re advising Data candidates to focus on building skills in essential libraries like NumPy, Pandas, and TensorFlow. Also, engaging in data-centric projects helps build a strong portfolio while staying updated through online courses. 

As AI/Machine Learning are particularly sought after areas. As a result, we recommend enhancing your visibility by participating in competitions and contributing to open-source projects.  

For cybersecurity, focus on the tools we listed above, using these in personal projects where possible. What’s more, we’ve found that obtaining certifications like CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) or CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker) can be beneficial. 

For clients:  

Promote a culture of knowledge sharing through internal workshops and encourage team participation in industry events and conferences. This approach ensures your engineering team remains competitive and well-equipped to handle emerging challenges.

Investing in continuous learning and development not only keeps your team at the forefront of industry standards. It also aids in team collaboration and idea sharing helping keep staff engaged, crucial for retention. 

Finally, we recommend leveraging consultative recruiters (like Foxtek) to navigate technological advancements and avoid hiring mistakes. We focus our search on candidates familiar with key tools relevant to upcoming trends in each industry.

Wrapping up 

GIF of Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story with the caption 'you might want to buckle up, baby'. The gif is a joke referencing a line in the blog about how this is going to be a wild ride. We're expecting to see trends in the dutch market.

In conclusion, the next year is shaping up to be a wild ride. For tech professionals, the opportunities are vast and varied, with a strong push towards innovation, sustainability, and efficiency. Expect to see a load more companies looking to hire roles related to Data, AI, Machine Learning and Cybersecurity. 

On the other hand, for companies, adapting to these trends early will ensure you attract the right talent and stay competitive. 

Want to get ahead of the curve? Reach out to discuss your requirements, or check out our open roles.

International Girls in ICT Day – Breaking Barriers

April 25, 2024

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Today, technology drives almost all innovations that shape our world. Yet, behind the scenes lies a harsh reality – in the Netherlands, only 16% of technical roles are filled by women. (Teamrockstars) This International Girls in ICT Day, we’re shining a light on the challenges faced and the opportunities for progress within the Dutch Tech space. 

International Girls in ICT Day was set up by the United Nation’s specialised agency, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), to encourage girls and young women to pursue STEM education and careers.  

Infographic showing some of the statistics mentioned above.

The Numbers

  • 0,8% of all investments since 2008 went to startups with only female founders. (Techleap)
  • Only 15% of students taking technical courses in the Netherlands are women.(Teamrockstars)
  • Start-up companies run by women typically obtain approximately 20% less investment than those by males. (OECD)
  • 3% of females say a career in technology is their first choice. (PWC)
  • 78% of students can’t name a famous female working in technology. (PWC)

The Impact of Homogeneity 

A lack of diversity doesn’t just have a negative impact on the image of a company, it can also be detrimental to the output of a company. 

With around 84% of the Dutch tech workforce being male, there’s a likelihood that a large majority of that have come from similar backgrounds and/or have similar experiences, and perspectives. This can lead to a narrow approach to innovation or problem solving.  

Obviously it’s not as black and white as this, and as it goes, the Dutch tech scene is incredibly diverse in other areas. But there is still work to be done… 

We’ve got to start somewhere! 

Alarmingly, without intervention, the share of women in tech roles in Europe is projected to decline by 2027 (McKinsey) 

There are lots of organisations & communities aiming change that, here are a handful: 

S#E (pronounced She Sharp)  

An Amsterdam based non-profit foundation that makes it easier for all women and non-binary people to enter, stay, and grow in the Tech industry. 

They have a large community on Slack, run events, and offer funding for people within the community to develop through training & courses.  

Women in Tech  

A global charity, with a Netherlands-based chapter, supporting women and girls in ICT & STEM and closing the digital divide. They donate computers & laptops to schools, establish learning centres, and provide digital literacy courses for girls in places like India, South Africa and Brazil. 

Tech She Can  

An European charity, working together with industry, government, and schools to improve the ratio of women in technology roles. Educating, equipping and inspiring young people, especially girls, to study technology subjects and choose a career in technology. 

How can I help? 

As an individual, the most important thing you can do is advocate, but here are a few other ways you or your company could help:  

  • Volunteer to become a mentor 
  • Join or support the organisations, donate to their causes and help fund training to encourage more young women to pursue a career in tech. 
  • Work with your company to set hiring targets, and communicate those to your chosen recruitment partner. 
  • Set up links with communities that work with women in ICT, so that women can find new roles. 
  • Look for opportunities to speak and inspire others to get into a career in tech. 

Hiring for your team? Get in touch with us to discuss your requirements, and gain access to our diverse talent pool. 

Working at Foxtek in 2023

September 26, 2023

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​We’re on a mission to build the world’s best talent company – and we want you to join us! Our first ever newsletter aims to take you on that journey with us, sharing news, our latest roles and insights into life at Foxtek from the people who know it best: our team.

We’ve created a culture where personal learning and development is fundamental to the fabric of the business. Taking people with little to no experience, training and empowering them to be great at what they do is our core focus. Whether you’re a recent graduate, or you’re already working and looking for a new challenge, we want to connect with motivated, energetic people who are ready to take their career to the next level.

Recruitment is the perfect career choice for people who are highly motivated, great communicators, and want to earn life-changing amounts of money. To succeed in this environment you’ll need to be able to build relationships with all sorts of people, adapt easily in a fast-moving market, and be resilient. At Foxtek, you’ll be among people who are the best at what they do: we’ve achieved over 700% growth in the past 4.5 years and turned over £10 million last year. We’ve continuously smashed our company targets and recently won the APSCO Award for UK Best Recruitment Company 2021.

If you want to get in on the action, our newsletter is a great place to start. Not only will we be advertising the most exciting new roles, but we’ll also be sharing info on careers fairs we’ll be at and details of our upcoming assessment days, giving you the best possible chance of getting in front of our team and impressing us.

Over the coming months, you’ll have access to some of the best brains in the business, including one-on-one interviews with our consultants, our Head of Learning and company founders. This is the inside track for anyone who wants to power ahead in the recruitment sector.

.NET vs .NET Core

September 26, 2023

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If you were a hiring manager for a .NET Core role, would you rather someone with…?

A) 10 years total .NET experience, 2 in .NET Core….

B) 5 years total .NET experience, 4 in .NET Core….

In my limited experience, the answer seems to be ……B! ✔

I am new to the market, but I have noticed this pattern emerging and I am keen to find out why.

Candidates with half of the development experience seem to be favoured for these roles and I am wondering if it is because they have spent a higher % of their career using that specific technology or simply a coincidence?

What do you think?

Why Should You Become a Freelancer?

September 26, 2023

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Why Should You Become a Freelancer?

I’d like to discuss the benefits of working as a freelance developer, based on conversations I’ve had with developers over the last few months…

As I’m sure many developers are aware, there’s a huge market for Freelancers right now.

With that comes a lot of opportunities…

  • Flexibility- Having more choice on working hours 32 or 40 (getting that 3-day weekend in!)
  • Financial- You’ll get a large increase in your pay!
  • Experience- You can have roles in different sectors, start-up/scale-up companies, varying projects
  • Technology- Able to try out different technologies for each project- maybe you want a D3.js project on your CV?
  • Holiday- With freelance projects you have the opportunity to work full-time for 3/6 months and then take as much time off as you want before your next role…

What advice would you give someone considering the move into freelance, is it worth the risk?

When the market for development talent is so stretched, can you afford to say no to freelancers?

September 26, 2023

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​When the market for development talent is so stretched, can companies afford not to hire freelancers?🤔

It’s no secret that the market for Developers in the Netherlands is nearly at a breaking point.

A booming Dutch tech economy, coupled with the lack of incoming talent due to travel restrictions, has left the employment market short on job seekers🔍

For the first time in my career, I’m being approached by developers who want to start freelancing because their current company is “under-staffed”, and there is too much pressure on them😓

They want to escape that environment and see freelancing as a route to that.

Yet I still speak to many companies who are reluctant to hire freelancers due to the perceived costs, but is it worth losing your permanent staff over?

When good developers are so challenging to find and expensive to replace, surely it’s worth biting the freelance bullet for 6-months?📆

It will enable you to keep your projects on track and allow your current team some breathing room.

Have you found yourself or your colleagues turning to freelance due to an unmanageable workload?

What should you do if you receive a counter-offer?

September 26, 2023

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​You’ve just received a great offer from a company you’ve interviewed with.

Your current employer makes you a counter-offer.

What should your next move be?

STOP AND THINK.

If the only reason you were interviewing in the first place was to use it as leverage to negotiate a better deal with your current employer, then it’s mission accomplished.

However, a lot of the time the counter-offer will come as a surprise, so you need to consider your options thoroughly.

Ask yourself WHY you wanted to leave in the first place.

Extra money is simply a tactic to try and convince you to stay.

It doesn’t solve the lack of career growth.

It doesn’t solve boring projects.

It doesn’t solve poor management.

It doesn’t solve inflexible working arrangements.

It’s like putting paper over the cracks.

Accepting a counter-offer also poses risks.

The relationship with your employer has been damaged – the level of trust and loyalty may not be the same, which could affect future promotions.

Future expected salary increases may not materialise as they’ve raised your salary already.

Make sure you’re not blinded by the money and weigh up all of the pros and cons before making your decision.

Amsterdam Ranked Best Place To Live For Tech Enthusiasts

September 26, 2023

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Here at Foxtek, we know Amsterdam is one of the best places on earth for Tech Startups & Tech Enthusiasts alike.  However, it’s always good when this gets recognised by others in the industry. Electronic Components Company, RS Components, published a list of the best places for Tech Enthusiasts to live in 2018.  Amsterdam was #1.

Factors include it’s Advanced Technology Infrastructure, early adoption of electric vehicles, high quality of living and affordable housing (hmmm not sure about this one but better than San Fran I suppose!)

Philadelphia & Oslo were 2nd & 3rd respectively.

Check out the link below for the full article and credit to the guys at Verdict.co.uk 🙂

https://www.verdict.co.uk/tech-cities-index-2018/

contact our team.