Dutch Recruitment Trends and Skills to Watch 👀

May 21, 2024


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? 


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we’re seeing more and more companies focusing on digital transformation projects, modernisation and streamlining of outdated processes. 


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. 


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: 

  • Apache Spark, Snowflake, DBT for data transformation. 
  • Emerging tools like Polars and DuckDB. 
  • Hugging Face Transformers for NLP work. 
  • Julia for high-performance numerical tasks. 
  • Ray for scaling Python applications. 
  • 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.

contact our team.