An employment agency: How does it work?

If you are looking to get a job in the Netherlands sooner or later, you’ll stumble upon an employment agency. Working with an employment agency is far more common in the Netherlands than in most other countries. Both for employers and employees. They can prove useful for your job hunt but before you can start working with them it’s good to know the ins and outs of how they work.

What is an employment agency?

An employment agency is an intermediary between employers and employees and aims to find the perfect employee for an employer and the ideal vacancy for a candidate. Finding talented employees can be hard and some companies can’t attract sufficient capable resources. Hence why the recruitment business is booming.

Usually, companies will work together with an employment agency and post either a job opening on the employment agencies website or they will hire a recruiter from the agency to fill the vacancy for them. The potential employee can sign up with the employment agency as well to regularly check vacancies or get in touch with a recruiter. Candidates can open their own profiles with their work experience and filter on what they’re looking for. It’s basically a giant database of both talented employees and employers seeking this talent. In other words, an employment agency is the place to be when you’re looking for a job!

Are there any differences?

When it comes to agencies, there can be confusion between what services an employment agency and a recruitment agency provide. Although they sound very similar on the surface, the way they operate can be different.

An employment agency also known in Dutch as an ‘uitzendbureau’, usually takes on the whole recruitment process from choosing the right fit to hiring the candidate. Generally, they focus on temporary employment and candidates who sign up with them usually get matched to multiple jobs.

A recruitment agency also known in Dutch as a ‘recruitment bureau’ or a ‘werving-en-selectiebureau’, is mainly responsible for suggesting fitting candidates and leaving the decision to hire to the employer. They target higher educated candidates who are further in their career and are looking for a long-term job.

There are also hybrid agencies who focus on both. But the main thing to keep in mind is that a good agency will add value for both the company and the candidate.

Why should I work with an agency?

Finding a job as an international in the Netherlands is not always easy, so enlisting the help of an employment- or recruitment agency can really help you out. However, who’s help you should enlist really depends on what you’re looking for. If you're looking for a long-term job where you can grow your career, you might want to look into signing up to a recruitment agency rather than an employment agency. Looking for something a bit more short-term to gain experience? An employment agency is the right choice for you.

But why should you work with an agency? Well, there are a multitude of reasons! Agencies usually are pro’s in linking talent to fitting jobs. As they work closely with the employers they know all the ins and outs of the job as well as knowing all about the company itself. Recruiters working for these agencies are often wildly connected and generally find out about open vacancies long before they even get published.

On top of that, if you get introduced by an agency, chances are that your resume gets reviewed before disappearing under a pile of other applications. Also keep in mind that a recruiter has seen thousands of resumes already and will be able to give you valuable tips for pimping your CV.

Are you interested in signing up with a recruitment agency and kick-starting your career in the Netherlands? Have a look at our vacancies and sign up here!

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