Finding and hiring talent in the Hague region
The Hague attracts highly skilled professionals from all over the world. This makes it an excellent place to build a multilingual and highly international workforce for your company. There are several ways to locate these workers, from locally and online to attracting talent from abroad. But with many different kinds of visas and permits for such workers, hiring international employees might seem complicated at first. Read more about this and learn how to find and hire talent in the area.
Multilingual and International Talent in The Hague Region
The Hague region already has one of the most highly skilled talent pools around. Many are multilingual: most Dutch people already speak excellent English, but they are often fluent in one or two other languages too. And thanks to its many world-class educational institutions, the area is home to countless highly educated and motivated graduates. This also contributes to the area's expertise and innovation in sectors such as new energy, IT and technology, legal and policy, finance, cybersecurity, and NGOs and impact.
Many of these sectors cultivate strong networks of world-leading local as well as global talent. Besides those already based in the region, it’s also easy to connect with staff from abroad. This is thanks to the high quality of life and numerous incentives to attract highly skilled workers, many of which stay permanently.
Where to Find Talent
There are several ways to find employees for your business in The Hague region. Alongside graduate fairs and scouting opportunities at the institutions and sectors mentioned above, there are also numerous platforms online. Much of the Dutch workforce uses LinkedIn and there are also many independent job boards where potential employees search for positions. Scaleup Jobs lists vacancies for start-ups and scale-ups, while Security Talent targets employees specifically in the safety and security fields.
Our new regional job portal also offers a comprehensive set of listings across all sectors.
Permits and Visas for International Employees
If you're looking for international employees, you may need to apply for certain documents on their behalf. Such workers may need different permits or visas depending on their nationality and the duration of their stay in the Netherlands. Employees from EU or EEA countries (and Switzerland) are free to work in the Netherlands and do not need a visa or a permit. However, workers from other countries will need to apply for a visa or permit, depending on how long they will be present in the Netherlands.
If the employee is coming to the Netherlands to work for fewer than 90 days, they must have a short-stay visa. They will also need a work permit (TWV), except in certain circumstances (available in Dutch). The same applies to cross-border workers.
If the employee is coming to the Netherlands to work for more than 90 days, they must have a residence permit, usually in addition to a temporary residence permit (MVV). There are different types of residence permits for different employees and salaries. See which category best applies to your employee(s) below. Note that the IND applications linked below are addressed to employers. In most cases, employers must apply on behalf of their employees.
Permits for Different Types of Workers
Does your employee work for a company with a registered office outside the EU, and who is now moving to a branch in the Netherlands? Then apply for a permit as an Intra-Corporate Transferee.
Are they going to earn a high salary and work in a very high-level position, such as a guest lecturer, trainee doctor, or scientific researcher? Register as their sponsor and apply for a highly skilled migrant permit. If they are earning a particularly high salary, you may also be able to apply for them to obtain a European Blue Card permit.
Is this person a researcher without paid employment – perhaps researching with a grant but no salary? If your research institution is officially recognised as a sponsor, apply for a permit as a 'researcher within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2016/801'.
Are you employing this person in an essential role for an innovative start-up? Apply for an essential start-up personnel (pilot) permit.
The employee may instead be eligible for an 'orientation visa for highly educated persons'. If they have recently completed a degree in the Netherlands or at a high-ranking international institution abroad, they can work for one year without restrictions.
There are also permits for internationals coming to the Netherlands for work experience as a trainee or apprentice.
Do none of these apply to you or your employee? Then you may need a standard residence permit: see one of the many types of permits listed under 'work in paid employment' on the IND website.
Sponsors and Recognised Sponsors
If you're hiring a highly skilled employee or researcher from outside the EU or EEA, you may need to be recognised as a sponsor. This means you have an interest in this worker's residence in the Netherlands. Any employer of a foreign national becomes their sponsor. A 'recognised sponsor', however, specifically refers to the recognition of an organisation, rather than an individual. You or your organisation can be a sponsor for multiple employees at the same time.
The Dutch government wants to attract international talent to work in the Netherlands. That's why certain international workers can apply for the '30% ruling'. This aims to make up for the 'extraterritorial costs' for these employees. For example, the additional expenses of moving to a new country: such as housing, travel costs, childcare, or international education. To compensate for these, those eligible can claim a tax exemption for 30% of their taxable income.
Dutch Labour Law and Work Contracts
Whether you're employing Dutch residents or internationals, it is important to be familiar with Dutch labour laws. Some aspects are unique, such as rules about trial periods, temporary contracts, paid vacation, notice and dismissal terms, and minimum wage requirements. Overall, these laws offer workers a great deal of protection and rights. For example, contracts can be fixed-term or permanent, but there is a limit on how long an employee can be working on temporary contracts. They automatically enter into permanent employment starting with the fourth consecutive contract, or after two years, whichever comes first.
Are you an employee in The Hague or looking to become one? Learn more about working in the Netherlands, from work and resident permits and workplace culture to the main economic sectors in the region.