🦜 PerchPulse - The Netherlands Market Update July 2023 🦜

A warm welcome to the July issue of PerchPeek’s Netherlands Market Monthly update!

Here’s where you’ll find the hottest updates around employee relocation and international talent strategy, insights from our experts on housing and cost-of-living news affecting your staff, the latest trends in global mobility, and tips and tricks on ways to support your teams.

A fly-by summary

●     Netherlands ranked 5th best country in the world in terms of employment in World Expat Index due to good working conditions - how business leaders can benefit

●     Overbidding for rental properties is an increasingly common trend due to high demand and low supply - how to help support relocating employees and manage expectations

●     The government is to limit the number of courses taught in English at Dutch universities - what a possible decrease in international student numbers could mean for HR teams

●     Children can travel for free on public transport in Amsterdam this summer - cost-saving advice for relocating employees with kids, plus PerchPeek’s top activity ideas!

Talent strategy: Netherlands ranked 5th best country in the world in terms of employment for expats - how TA leaders can benefit from this ranking

The Netherlands is retaining its reputation as an excellent country for expat life, according to a new study! Here’s PerchPeek’s summary of the findings, and how Talent Acquisition leaders can use this information to their advantage in recruitment efforts.

The Netherlands was ranked as the fifth best country in the world in the Employment section of British insurance provider William Russell’s World Expat Index for 2023.

●     Employment - The Netherlands was ranked 5th out of 59 countries, thanks to relatively low unemployment, high average income per capita and good working rights

●     Quality of Life - The Netherlands was ranked 10th, thanks to factors like low crime levels, quality and accessibility of drinking water, and quality of parks and green spaces

Looking at the results as a whole, the Netherlands came in as the 14th best country in the world for expat life, out of 59 countries, ahead of top contenders like Singapore and Denmark.

In the overall rankings, Australia came out on top, scoring particularly highly for expat happiness levels. Iceland and Finland came next up in the rankings, followed by Switzerland, New Zealand and Austria. Completing the top 10 were Norway, Kazakhstan, Germany and Ireland.

This just adds to the list of accolades that the Netherlands is building up when it comes to expat rankings. In March, international cost of living database Numbeo ranked it as the number one country in the world in its 2023 Quality of Life Index. What’s more, in the separate City rankings, The Hague and Eindhoven took the top two spots, and Rotterdam came in at number six!

How can businesses benefit?

This is a fantastic opportunity for HR and recruiting teams to attract top talent from overseas by shouting about these rankings! Like many countries, the Netherlands has been grappling with a significant worker shortage in recent months, meaning recruiting from overseas is a priority.

Relocating is a big decision for anyone. However, having knowledge of the Netherlands’ excellent employment conditions and opportunities will make it a much more attractive prospect from potential candidates from abroad, and is a great selling point for Talent Acquisition leaders!

Home-finding: Overbidding for rental properties becoming more and more common - key home-hunting guidance to share with employees

Overbidding, which has long been a common practice in property purchases, is now spreading into the Dutch rental market too, according to estate agents. Here are the key stats to be aware of when supporting relocating employees, and how to manage their expectations well.

High competition for rental properties has led increasing numbers of hopeful tenants offering over the asking price in order to secure the place. According to estate agents, as part of an investigation conducted by broadcaster NOS:

●     Overbidding by around 10% of the monthly asking price is not unusual

●     It’s usually an extra €50 to €100 per month, but can be as high as €200 or even €300

●     Expats are most likely to overbid, but Dutch nationals are catching on to the trend too

●     It’s particularly prevalent in Amsterdam, but has also been observed in other cities

Agents say the cause of these bidding wars is the shortage of available rental properties. Indeed, housing platform Pararius recently reported that they had just 2,500 rentals available in Amsterdam in Q1 2023, versus 7,000 in the same period of 2021 - a fall of around 64%.

Insights from PerchPeek’s Netherlands experts

Overbidding is a fairly new phenomenon in the Dutch rental market. In the past it would’ve been considered rather rude, as if suggesting the agent had put the property on the market at too low a price! Yet we’re seeing it more and more, since late 2022 and especially in Amsterdam. There are some bidding sites where prospective tenants may bid in increments of €25 after viewings.

How to support relocating employees

In a market where overbidding for rental properties is now a reality, home-hunters will need to be savvy and know where to draw the line. It’s important to be realistic and know that offering a higher bid may help, if employees are in a financial position to do so. However, if it starts climbing to exorbitant levels, it’s crucial to know when to walk away. 

To help home-hunters secure a property at the best possible price:

●     Manage expectations early on by providing benchmark rental costs

●     Share information about overbidding and offer guidance on maximum limits

●     Provide the services of a local consultant who knows the market and its nuances, and may have their own network of agents

Talent strategy: Calls to limit international student numbers & English-language courses at Dutch universities - how this could affect TA efforts

The government is calling for a limit on the number of university courses taught in languages other than Dutch, in light of increasing pressure to curb international student numbers. Here we explore the potential impact on international talent leaders when it comes to effects on the Dutch rental market, and how this could affect the local talent pool in years to come.

For the last several years, Dutch universities have been offering more courses in English, and international students have flooded in, leading to a serious shortage of student housing.

In late 2022 MPs called on universities to stop actively recruiting students from abroad, and this new policy is the latest attempt to counteract the ‘internationalisation’ of Dutch universities.

Facts and figures

●     Universities will be required to teach at least two-thirds of Bachelor’s credits in Dutch

●     There are over 120,000 international students in the Netherlands

●     This is 15% of all students in higher education in the country

One critic of the policy, a professor of economics at Tilburg University, has pointed to research stating that international students give back more to the economy than they cost:

●     The amount of money a European student ‘pays back’ to the Dutch economy through entering the workforce is up to €17,000

●     Whereas this figure is €69,000 - €94,000 for non-European students, because a quarter stay on after completing their degrees

PerchPeek insights

Efforts to reduce international student numbers could affect People Leaders in numerous ways. Firstly, the possible effect on the rental market: if fewer international students are looking for housing, this could ease the high demand for properties (as many Dutch students choose to live at home with family), meaning relocating employees may find it easier to secure a home.

However, for TA Leaders, it’s worth considering the notion that discouraging foreign nationals from choosing the Netherlands as their country of study - in other words, losing this bright young talent to other countries - would have an impact on the local talent pool further down the line.

In light of this policy and its potential effects, and with ongoing skills shortages, there’s even more of a need for employers to look abroad for prospective candidates. To facilitate this, it’ll be crucial to have a well thought out relocation policy in place, to be able to attract the top talent.

Support your talent: Free travel for children in Amsterdam this summer - transport cost-saving tips to share with employees

All aboard! Great news to share with employees relocating to Amsterdam with young children - in a bid to help families tackle the high cost of living and enjoy days out without worrying too much about prices, the local municipality is offering free travel on public transport for children.

Key details:

●     From 22nd July through 30th November 2023, children between the ages of four and 11 may travel for free on bus, tram and metro services operated by GVB in Amsterdam

●     Each child will need their own OV-chipkaart, loaded with the Kids Vrij (Kids Free) product

●     Parents can find more information and apply from 3rd July here

Relocating to a new country is an exciting adventure, and relocating employees and their families are bound to be keen to explore and get to know their new surroundings. This scheme presents a great opportunity for young families to go out and enjoy themselves and explore their new city at a low cost, especially in light of the ongoing cost of living crisis.

To support Amsterdam-based relocating employees with young families, why not provide details of the summer travel scheme, plus PerchPeek’s top activity ideas for inspiration!

●     Visit the NEMO Science Museum - Children can engage in hands-on experiments and interactive exhibits, as well as enjoy the play area and large terrace on the rooftop.

●     Explore Vondelpark, Amsterdam's largest park. Children can run, play, and cycle in the open green spaces, visit the playgrounds, or watch shows at the open-air theatre.

●     Discover Amsterdamse Bos, a vast natural area with forests, lakes, and walking trails. It's a great place for picnics, bike rides, hiking, or even a swim in designated areas.

And one final note: it’s of course super important to stay sun-safe while out and about, keeping in mind that these days temperatures in the Netherlands regularly tip over 30°C in summertime!

It’s a good idea to inform employees that free factor 30 sun cream dispensers will be placed in 100 locations across the country this summer, including schools, parks and sports venues. It may also be a good opportunity to distribute company-branded water bottles to staff!

We hope you enjoyed this month’s update!

If you have any feedback, comments or questions about what's happening in your location, feel free to reach out via the form at the bottom of this page.

Thanks for reading, and see you next month!


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