The Netherlands Most Attractive Employers 2021 (2024)

AMSTERDAM – May 31st, 2021 – Today Universum – the global leader in Employer Branding – released the 2021 findings of their Netherlands Most Attractive Employers. This year, over 28,100 Bachelor- and Master- students from 53 universities shared their opinions and views on their career goals and ideal employers. Set out to track career aspirations and preferences of the future talent pool, the Netherlands’ Most Attractive Employers 2021 reveal who are the most coveted employers based solely on the responses collected.

What does Dutch talent want right now?

The pandemic has had a big effect on the outlook of Dutch talent. Looking at the long-term careergoals tells us that students thisyear feel a stronger need for asecure job. Both business and law studentsclearly lost interest in aninternational career, likelybecause such a career pathhas suddenly become quiteuncertain with borders closingand ongoing advice not totravel abroad unless necessary.

Describing the change in the attitude of Dutch students, Universum Country Manager for The Netherlands, Aurelie Pradier, said “only two years ago we witnessed the emergence of a confident and ambitious new wave of talent, however, the pandemic has dampened this optimism, and this is reflected in the 2021 students’ preferred industries and choice of employers”.

The recent rises in youth unemployment since last year has certainly had an impact on talents’ confidence in certain industries. Before the partial lockdown in March 2020, youth unemployment stood at 6.3% and reached its peak at 11.3% in August. It currently stands at 8.8%, but ongoing labour market uncertainty can perhaps explain the record number of students enrolled in universities and colleges this year.

Looking towards the future

Pradier continued “The uncertainty that talent is currently facing has led to rising importance in job security and interest in stability. “A good reference for a future career” has risen in importance for law, tech, and business students alike. For business students, it has become significantly important during this period to secure a good stamp on their CV. We have seen this in the past in other markets during times of recession. It’s a subtle indicator that talent is less confident in the job market at present and are planning for the future”.

Law studentsare showing an increasing interest in the human side of the company. These young lawyers in the making want to find an employer that can provide them with a friendly work environment, that has respect for its people and that will give them inspiringpurpose.

Tech students seem to be heading back to basics. This year they are focused on finding an innovative company to work for, which embraces new technologies, they do however want this employer to provide them with a friendly working environment.

The Netherlands’ hiring environment: Employers vs. Students

On top of the Dutch Talent Survey, for the last two years, Universum has also surveyed Dutch employers to ask their opinions on several Employer Branding related topics including the hiring environment. One interesting, point from this year’s survey is that74% of companies in the Netherlands said that the hiring environment will either become easier or will remain the same, compared with 2020 when 42% said it will become harder.

At the same time, we are witnessing a pause in the number of considered employersamong Business and techstudents for the first time in five years. Last year business students would consider 19.3 employers on average before choosing one to work for, tech talent would consider 15.7.

2021 marks the only year this number has not increased, with business students now choosing an average of 18.7 employers and tech talent choosing 15.6.

Explaining this trend, Universum Senior Research Project Manager, Rosemarije Haasnoot, said” Even though theeffect is subtle, one explanation for this pause or drop in the number of considered employers may be due toabsence of campus activities since March 2020. Before the pandemic, employers could easily tour campuses, attend career fairs and engage with talent face to face.”

Haasnoot continued “Some employers have adapted by taking these activities online, but the lack of physical presencehas had a negative impact onthe number of differentemployers they would now consider, so companies must try harder to attract the attention of talent or risk being overlooked”.

2021 provides mixed fortunes for Dutch Employers

Over the past five years, Universum’s rankings have revealed the stronghold Dutch employers have over talent in the Netherlands. Local heroes have had an incredible run during this time and won over talent against many of the world’s most renowned and attractive international employers. This year, however, has seen a dip for many of the country’s best-known companies including HEINEKEN which fell on both tech and business rankings this year.

The effects of the pandemic on certain industries are very evident across the board on all three student rankings. One example of this is KLM, which was at number one in the business rankings last year but has now dropped to fifth place this year.

The airline is one of many from around the world that had to pursue a rescue deal to fight through the pandemic. One would expect that during this period, that the travel industry as a whole would not be so appealing to join. By remaining within the top ten it does show that Dutch talent hasn’t given up on this local hero completely and KLM should take some pride and reassurance that its strong employer brand is at least for now keeping it in a respectable position among local talent.

Is Dutch talent falling out of love with their local heroes? Not quite!

Similarly, also dropped nine places and now sits in 33rd place. Other local employers from the worst affected industries include HEMA from the retail sector which sits in 50th place on the business rankings after falling 13 places and NS which fell nine places to 54.

On the other hand, we can see among business talent that online retailers Coolblue and are gaining preference among business students this year despite dropping in popularity among tech talent.

The tech rankings show a brighter outlook for many Dutch employers, with ASML making the biggest jump in the top ten, while Ministerie van Defensie is a newcomer to the rankings and comes in strong in ninth place.

Similarly, to the business rankings, employers within the FMCG industry have seen declines, however, companies within Aerospace and Defense have benefitted from considerable jumps in attractiveness, including European Space Agency/ESTEC, Thales, and GKN Aerospace.

A special mention should be given to the European Space Agency and their 2020 campaign to recruit astronauts for the first time in 11 years. The campaign caught the attention of Dutch tech talent and saw it rise by seven places this year.

Business Top Ten

  1. Apple
  2. Tesla
  4. Nike
  5. KLM
  6. Google
  7. Rijksoverheid
  8. Coolblue
  9. Unilever
  10. Rabobank

Tech Top Ten

  1. Tesla
  2. Google
  3. Rijksoverheid
  4. Philips
  5. Apple
  6. ASML
  7. Microsoft
  8. Rijkswaterstaat
  9. Ministerie van Defensie
  10. KLM

Law Top Ten

  1. Rijksoverheid
  2. Ministerie van Defensie
  3. Loyens & Loeff
  4. De Haan Advocaten & Notarissen
  5. Trip Advocaten & Notarissen
  6. Belastingdienst
  7. Apple
  8. KLM
  9. Gemeente Amsterdam
  10. Google

Click here to see the full ranking

About Universum

Universumis a data-driven, insight-led employer branding agency. Founded in Stockholm, we are now active in over 60 countries, with key hubs in Paris, Berlin, London, New York, Singapore and Shanghai. We provide our clients with the research, strategy and creative solutions they need to compete more effectively for talent.


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The Netherlands Most Attractive Employers 2021 (2024)


What are the top 5 companies to work for in the Netherlands? ›

Best companies to work for in the Netherlands

According to LinkedIn, the top five companies to work for in the Netherlands are Rabobank, ABN AMRO Bank, ING, ASML, and Philips.

Which company has the most attractive employees? ›

Apple, Google & Microsoft dominate rankings

Nike and Daimler/Mercedes-Benz among business students; Volvo and Facebook among engineering students; Oracle and JPMorgan Chase & Company among IT students. All these rank in the Top 25 and moved up significantly in 2022.

Why Netherlands is the best country to work? ›

High standard of living

The Dutch also enjoy a high quality of life! The OECD reports that Dutchies enjoy a significantly better level of satisfaction in life than the global average, with above average career and earnings opportunities, housing, education, health and environmental standards.

Why do companies choose Netherlands? ›

Cultural Diversity Advantage. Dutch culture is open and accepting of differences. This cultural diversity advantage has made the Netherlands a hub for international companies. The Dutch people are also known for their entrepreneurialism, with 38% of Dutch businesses starting in the last year.

What jobs are in high demand in Netherlands? ›

Popular Job Sectors in Netherlands
  • IT professional. ...
  • Engineering jobs. ...
  • Finance sector. ...
  • Healthcare jobs. ...
  • Insurance: If you want to work, you are protected on the insurance front because non-EU nationals who come to the Netherlands to study are already required to get Dutch health insurance.

Who is the largest employer in the Netherlands? ›

The company with the highest number of employees is Johnson Controls International B.V. with 112,000 people followed by Volvo Construction Equipment B.V. and Heineken Holding N.V. with 92,260 and 82,257 employees respectively.

Who is the #1 top employer? ›

Top 10 best employers in the world
  • IBM.
  • Alphabet.
  • Apple.
  • Delta Airlines.
  • Costco Wholesale.
  • Adobe.
  • Southwest Airlines.
  • Dell Technologies.
Oct 18, 2022

Why do companies hire attractive people? ›

Due to positive stereotypes toward attractiveness—the widely held, often unconscious beliefs that prettier people are also smarter, more competent, and more successful—attractive individuals often get more attention from others, have higher status in social groups, and receive preferential treatment.

Do companies hire more attractive people? ›

Impact of Beauty Bias in Hiring

Not only are more attractive candidates more likely to get hired, but they're also more likely to command higher wages. Attractive applicants earn 10-15% higher salaries than their equally skilled colleagues, totaling an estimated $230,000 additional dollars by the end of their career.

Why is the Netherlands so successful? ›

The Netherlands is a prosperous country with one of the world's top 20 gross domestic products. This is despite being densely populated and having to retake the land from the sea. Blessed with resources including the North Sea, natural gas, and rich soil for farming.

What are the benefits of working in Netherlands? ›

10 Mandatory Employee Benefits in the Netherlands
  • Minimum Wage and Maximum Working Hours. ...
  • Notice Period and Termination. ...
  • Paid Time Off (PTO) ...
  • Sick Leave. ...
  • Health Insurance (Zorgverzekering) ...
  • Holiday Allowance (Vakantiegeld) ...
  • Maternity, Paternity, and Parental Leave. ...
  • Occupational Pension Funds.
Jun 1, 2023

Why to move to the Netherlands for a job? ›

The Netherlands is an attractive country to relocate to. It is ranked 11th on the global quality of life index, with a very good health service, high employment rates, good public safety and high life satisfaction levels.

Why are people migrating to the Netherlands? ›

In 2021, labour was the most common motive for 38,860 immigrants from within the EU/EFTA. For 29,350 immigrants, the reason was family-related. Education was the reason for 21,125 EU/EFTA citizens. The motive is unknown for 28,240 EU/EFTA citizens who immigrated to the Netherlands.

What is Netherlands famous for in business? ›

Some of the largest businesses in the world have their headquarters in Netherlands, including Philips, Shell, and Unilever. The country is also home to many large banks and financial institutions.

What is special about Netherlands? ›

The Netherlands is famous for its capital city, Amsterdam, windmills and tulips. The Netherlands is also known for being the world's second-largest exporters of food and beer.

Where is the best place to work in the Netherlands? ›

Salesforce, AFAS Software, Viisi and ViewSonic came in first in 2022. AbbVie, AFAS Software, TalentCare en Viisi Hypotheken came in first in 2021.

What is the top industry in the Netherlands? ›

Industrial activity is dominated by the machinery, electronics/high tech industry, metalworking, oil refining, chemical, and food-processing industries. Construction amounts to about 6% of GDP. Agriculture and fishing, although visible and traditional Dutch activities, account for just 2%.

What is the top 5 industry hiring globally? ›

The top industries hiring in 2023
  • Technology. COVID-19 and the resulting need for many of us to work from home accelerated digital transformation in ways we were perhaps not expecting. ...
  • Accountancy and Finance. Every business needs a strong finance team. ...
  • Construction and Property. ...
  • Engineering. ...
  • Sustainability. ...
  • Life sciences.
Jan 31, 2023

What are the big multinational companies in Netherlands? ›

International companies such as Shell, Phillips, Heineken, Unilever, KLM, ING, Tom Tom and BAAN were not only founded by Dutch people but are also headquartered in the Netherlands.


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