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Recruiting expats? TestGroup has online tests and assessments in 20 languages

Wednesday 05 June 2024

The Dutch labor market is very tight, and this problem extends far beyond the Randstad. In all areas of the Netherlands, companies are experiencing increasing difficulties in finding qualified personnel. Amsterdam and the surrounding area occupy a special position in this. This region, also known as the Metropolitan Region of Amsterdam (MRA), has seen large numbers of foreign companies opening offices for some time now.

In 2021, 133 international companies opened a branch in the MRA. Among those establishments, there were even 32 head offices. Companies active in ICT (37 companies, 972 jobs), the financial sector, and fintechs (31 companies, 602 jobs) in particular seem keen on the Amsterdam region. The transport and logistics sector (15 companies, 781 jobs), creative industry (12 companies, 332 jobs), and life sciences (11 companies, 493 jobs) are also finding their way to Amsterdam.

Together, these newcomers brought with them over 4,000 jobs. Other foreign companies already established in MRA, added - through expansions - another 2,500 jobs. Thus, in 2021, international companies provided 6,500 new international jobs. According to the Amsterdam alderman for economic affairs, this figure can even be doubled, as he states that each new international job creates another extra job elsewhere.

Brexit not the main reason

When the United Kingdom wanted to leave the European Union (Brexit), there was wild speculation about companies moving. Figures from the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region show that Brexit was a reason why many companies relocated to Amsterdam (24) or expanded their Amsterdam branch (3).

Out of a total of 163 companies, the 27 companies citing Brexit as a reason form a small minority. Other reasons appear to be more important.

Highly educated labor force

Amsterdam's popularity has everything to do with the strong competitive position of the Netherlands (and Amsterdam in particular). Dutch legislation makes doing business easy, the infrastructure is of a high standard, and our workforce is highly educated and enormously skilled.

Aldermen in the region are happy with the new employment opportunities. HR professionals will be a little less enthusiastic. Finding good people was already difficult, but the competition has become even fiercer. Potential employees have more options to choose from. That means your recruitment & selection process must adapt accordingly. Endless procedures and assessments are a no-go, because if you move too slowly, the candidate will direct their attention elsewhere. Also, you may need to recruit more broadly. Don't just look at the usual candidates, but also at the less obvious ones.

Online testing at different education levels

One way to expand the pond you're fishing from is to look beyond diplomas. With TestGroup's online cognitive capability tests, you can easily test candidate’s abilities. You will discover that someone who has never studied can actually function at, for example, the college level.

The test, which the candidate completes at a time and place that is most convenient for them, provides a good picture of their capabilities, whether the candidate has mastered them at school or in practice.

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world”

By looking beyond diplomas at capabilities, the number of potential candidates becomes much greater. But remember the words of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951): "The limits of my language are the limits of my world."

By this, he meant that your understanding of the world is limited by your linguistic skills. Although he would not have immediately thought of job application procedures in this context, these words are also important in recruitment and selection. If your entire recruitment and selection process is in Dutch, you will only recruit Dutch speakers. With international companies, Dutch is often less important. Therefore, TestGroup has developed online personality tests and cognitive ability tests of The Bridge that are available in more than 20 different languages.

Of course, the tests are available in the language of our largest trading partner (German) and the international business language (English), but candidates can also take the online tests in Polish, Portuguese, French, Spanish, Russian, Romanian, Lithuanian, and Czech.

International companies recruit internationally

Recruiting foreign employees has been common practice in certain industries for years. Dutch companies mainly look across the border for relatively low-skilled work, such as in industry and agriculture. An entire industry of temporary employment agencies and intermediaries has arisen specifically for these foreign employees.

The international companies that have chosen Amsterdam as their home port are particularly in need of highly qualified personnel. Fintechs are looking for financials and programmers, not assembly-line workers, so the recruitment agencies that have focused on foreign production workers are of no interest to them. On the other hand, it is quite natural for foreign companies to also recruit across borders.

This is where international recruitment comes into play. TestGroup's international tests and online assessments also make selection a lot easier. The reports are clear and transparent. Because a lot of attention has been paid to the validity and reliability of the online tests and their scientific underpinnings, the reports offer all the information you need to make a well-founded hiring decision.

This is what our satisfied customers say about us

“For Young Group, the results of The Bridge Personality tests do not only provide insights into recruitment. They are also a guideline for the long term, both for the manager and for the development of the employee.”

Anne Huijgen

Young Group