A warm welcome to the March 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
● The Netherlands ranks as the best country in the world for quality of life, according to cost of living database Numbeo, while The Hague and Eindhoven take the top city spots
● Rental prices are finally falling after consistent sharp increases, but supply of properties is down by 9% YoY; Amsterdam is launching a plan to tackle the housing crisis
● One in five workers in the Netherlands changed jobs in 2022, suggesting the country is experiencing its own ‘Great Resignation’ as employees look for better work conditions
● Industrial action on public transport services nationwide is set to continue on specific dates until 7th April - how to support your employees affected by the disruption
● Tulip season is upon us! How to help relocating staff enjoy the scenery in their new surroundings, from picture-perfect Keukenhof to the fields of Bollenstreek and Flevoland
There’s cause for celebration in the Netherlands as international cost of living database Numbeo has ranked it as the number one country in the world in its latest Quality of Life Index!
While the country generally performs very well, usually it’s pipped to the post by its Scandinavian neighbours - but not in 2023! The country took the top spot (followed by Denmark and Switzerland) thanks to strong performance across a number of factors, including:
● Cost of living
● House prices vs. salaries
● The healthcare system
● Safety levels
● Traffic and commute times
And it’s not just the country as a whole that’s come out on top! In Numbeo’s separate Quality of Life Index by City rankings for 2023, The Hague and Eindhoven took the top two spots, and Rotterdam came in at number six. Check out the full list here!
This is a fantastic opportunity for talent acquisition teams to attract top talent from overseas by shouting about these rankings! Like many countries, the Netherlands has been grappling with a severe worker shortage in recent months, meaning recruiting from overseas is a must.
Relocating is a big decision for anyone. However, knowing about the Netherlands’ superlative quality of life will make it a much more attractive prospect from potential candidates from abroad, and is a great selling point for recruiting teams!
Dutch rental market update
Key insights at a glance (source: I Am Expat):
● Property purchase and rental prices fell in Q4 2022 in the Netherlands as a whole, but these markets remain very expensive and highly competitive
● The average price per square metre fell marginally in 2022 (by 1.1%) but the overall supply of residential rental properties fell by 9%
● While on a national level rents have fallen lately, in the five largest cities - Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven and The Hague - prices rose sharply in 2022
Minimum rental costs - Q1 2023 (source: PerchPeek):
For rental cost data for other Dutch regions, give PerchPeek a shout here!
Amsterdam’s city council has unveiled a new plan to tackle the ongoing housing crisis and improve the property shortage by 2040. The plan comprises seven key goals, including:
● Building more residential properties
● Increasing the availability of affordable housing
● Improving the quality and amenities of Amsterdam neighbourhoods
The latest figures from the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) show that one in five workers in the Netherlands - almost 1.5 million people - changed jobs in 2022. According to the UWV, the number of job changes has doubled in the last 10 years.
Some experts suggest that these figures indicate a ‘Great Resignation’ trend in the Netherlands, a term coined in the United States to describe this phenomenon in their labour market. In the US, 47 million workers resigned in 2022 - 10 million more than in 2020.
However, there are subtle but distinct differences in the trend in the two countries:
● Data shows American workers generally change jobs to improve their work-life balance
● However, the UWV puts this trend in the Netherlands down to the tightness of the labour market - with many open roles, workers can afford to be more choosy
PerchPeek’s advice for HR and People teams in light of this trend:
● Use current market data and employee feedback to refine compensation and benefit packages. As well as improving employee retention, this will be attractive to prospective new hires, especially those being recruited from abroad.
● It’s worth looking outside your specific industry for top talent, as there are a lot of stellar candidates considering their options around career changes at the moment!
● Be mindful of what really matters to workers when it comes to benefits - while fruit and foosball in the office are fun, they’re not going to turn people’s heads! Data suggests that what employees value most are flexible working options and growth opportunities.
Dutch residents have had to contend with widespread transport disruption due to strikes, delays and cancelled services recently. These travel woes are unfortunately continuing into March and April; as of 28th February a series of 15 industrial action dates across six weeks has begun.
The industrial action will be nationwide and may include services operated by Arriva, Qbuzz, Connexxion and Keolis - however, it’s unclear as yet exactly how many and which services will be affected. It’s worth noting that Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) rail services won’t be affected.
Upcoming strike dates:
● Monday 20th March
● Wednesday 22nd March
● Friday 24th March
● Wednesday 29th March
● Thursday 30th March
● Monday 3rd April
● Wednesday 5th April
● Friday 7th April
Views around industrial action aside, employees may naturally feel frustrated at the disruption and concerned about making it to the office, particularly new arrivals who are less familiar with the public transport system. Here’s how to support your staff:
● Offer opportunities for flexible and/or remote working where possible, and suggest that employees take annual leave or accrued time off in lieu
● Be understanding and accommodating for those struggling to get to work on time - allow them to come in late or leave early, and in special cases offer overnight accommodation and food
● Make employees aware of alternative routes to the office via services that are running well, and share information about bicycle hire or carpooling options - help staff buddy up!
Not to sound like too much of a cliché, but one thing that springs to mind when you think of the Netherlands is brightly coloured tulips - and for good reason! From mid-March to mid-May, Dutch fields are ablaze with these stunning flowers, attracting many thousands of admirers.
After the stresses of relocating, it’s important to look out for staff welfare and opportunities to help them get settled in. You may wish to share details of where to spot these brilliant blooms!
● The 19th-century Keukenhof park is the biggest and best-known place to see tulips
● Keukenhof is located at Stationsweg 166A, Lisse - 40km outside Amsterdam
● The tulip season runs from 23rd March - 14th May 2023
● The entrance fee is €19 for adults and €9 for children
While it’s the most famous - and will also be the most crowded as a result - Keukenhof is by no means the only place to admire these colourful springtime flowers!
These six countryside areas are fabulous for tulip-spotting, with fewer crowds and no entry fees:
Wherever your employees choose to visit, they’re sure to have a spring in their step!
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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