The booming Netherlands
By Ross Henderson, Director, Netherlands at Harnham.
With unemployment rates reducing and economic growth on the rise, the Netherlands has proven a stable place to do business in recent years. It is one of the world’s most competitive business climates and, in the start-up sector alone, Amsterdam has seen phenomenal year-on-year growth of over 50% for more than a decade and was ranked Europe’s second best performing hub for start-up business. Indeed, as part of a €3 trillion European start-up ecosystem, the country sits alongside Germany, France and the UK as a major player in the wider market.
Additionally, huge volumes of investment are being pumped into Data & Analytics in the country, such that the market value is expected to grow to nearly $4.35bn by 2027. With a compound annual growth rate of almost seven per cent, the Netherlands is predicted to be one of the fastest-growing European markets for the sector, ahead of the UK, Germany and France. The burgeoning sector – alongside a tax system whose incentives are aimed at stimulating innovation and growth – has made it a prominent place to do business.
The Netherlands market has long been an area of interest for Harnham. Indeed, the global leader for Data & Analytics recruitment has been operating in the country for over six years, successfully serving over 60 different clients, including many larger companies that have been going through a continued data transformation process. This hasn’t shown any sign of slowing even during market downturn.
Among these organisations, numerous major retailers have taken advantage of the country’s infrastructure – Rotterdam is Europe’s largest port – and established global offices in the region. Alongside the booming start-up market, with smaller companies, consultancies and tech companies popping up at a staggering rate, this has caused the demand for talent in the data industry to soar. Salaries in Data & Analytics roles have been driven up as organisations are motivated to appeal to the best talent, thus providing an ideal opportunity for Dutch data professionals to take advantage of attractive career prospects.
This has propelled Harnham’s expansion in the area, although the recruiter, headquartered in London, is no longer satisfied with operating remotely. A presence on the ground is now an absolute must as its Dutch-focused consultants further embed themselves in the country and community, developing a comprehensive understanding of the sector’s hiring needs. Being there to speak to clients and candidates face to face, hold local events and live and breathe Dutch culture, is only going to be pivotal to helping the company further establish its connections within the country and the local jobs environment.
A proximity to candidates and clients will ensure the team is reaching more local talent, including native Dutch speakers, both for clients and internally, with the aim to be an 80 per cent Dutch speaking office to consolidate its presence in the market, as outlined by Ross Henderson, Harnham’s Director of The Netherlands. He said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time for Harnham and it has been a pleasure to see the growth of the company over the last ten years. With our new Amsterdam office, we are looking forward to fully integrating within the Data and Analytics community in the Netherlands, much like we are in the UK. We felt that the best way to achieve this was to have people on the ground and we are planning to host events, meet more frequently with our clients and potential talent, and to grow this team over the coming months as a primarily Dutch office, with the majority as native speakers.”
The Netherlands is also known for its healthy freelance culture and is second only to the UK in the contract market space. Several key drivers fuel this interim climate, including the high earning potential and the tax benefits of being a freelancer. A trend of candidates wanting to expand their skillsets and test out their abilities in varied environments means technical professionals are often comfortable with moving from project to project frequently, while it remains a good alternative for technical contact workers who are pursuing career progression but who don’t necessarily want to step into a leadership or management position.
Freelance roles will therefore be the focus of a dedicated contracts division at Harnham Amsterdam, with the contract team seeing a major opportunity in the combined impact of the two secular, upward trends of flexible working and the increasing number of companies embracing Data-based decision making. Both trends lend themselves to an explosion in demand for data professionals able to offer value on an ad hoc basis, with Harnham, as one of the only agencies focusing on the Data and Analytics contract market, and able to plug recruitment gaps and fuel growth.
As European Contract Managing Director at Harnham, Dave Curtis will be heading up the contract division. He added, “As a team, our mission is to adopt our clients’ values and become an extension of their team, and we are enthusiastic about the prospect of finding many more fantastic candidates and opportunities in the Netherlands. It’s an exciting place to be.”
Harnham’s Netherlands team is welcoming meetings with local candidates and clients, as it builds on an already solid network across the region.
Author bio: Ross leads Harnham’s Netherlands team, which supports both contract and permanent recruitment services in all areas of Data and Analytics including Data Science, Data Engineering, Business Intelligence, and Customer and Digital Analytics.