Checklist for evaluating a good recruitment agency in the Netherlands

1. Is the accommodation SNF approved?

First things first, you need a safe, decent place to settle down before you can concerntrate on your new job and deliever good work. Nowadays there are more and more expats coming to Netherlands for work. To catch up with that, a lot of employment agencies start to provide their workers with housings under company and SNF supervision. In the Netherlands, SNF, which literally translated into ‘foundation, standardization, flex living’, manages the registers of companies that meet the standard for housing migrant workers and maintains the standards. The standards cover the areas of space and privacy, sanitation, safety and hygiene, facilities, fire safety and good employement practices. Each component consists of a number of specific requirements that accommodations must meet. When a company registers at SNF and meets all the criterias, it’ll get a SNF certificate. Whether or not the accommodation from the agency meets the requirements, you can often find out on their home pages. Otherwise, you can simply just ask during the interviews.

2. Are the coorinators always accessible for emergencies?

It’s essential to be in touch with the coordinators in the office about what’s going on with your work. Do they put your emergencies to a priority position, always respond and take measures in time? When emergencies happen, it’s often obliged for you to report the urgencies and turn to authorities for help. Usually Dutch recruitment companies follow a 8/9 to 5 schedule during the work days. However, a good agency usually has telephone shifts that allow you to reach them for emergencies even outside the office hours.

3. Are the transportation costs covered?

Travel costs are often under regulations. It’s very common that you get €0.19 per kilo meter reimbursement from the company for commuting to work. The companies usually have requirements about how far you’re located from workplaces, e.g. within 50 kilometers. These information you can often find on the vacancy page. If your situation meets the descriptions they provide, they’re usually able to pay your money back for public transportation to work or personal auto. In case of using company accommodation, it’s also possible that the agencies offer company cars for commuting from accommodation to workplace. Private drives are usually forbidden and you don’t get more reimbursement from the company. However, the company pays for the gasoline.

4. Do they conduct frequent employee check-ins?

You want to cooperate with a good agency that actually cares about your well-being and listens to your actual needs, not just some giants who treat you as a number. A good agency should maintain contact with you from time to time after they send you to work. An employee should feel comfortable to talk about issues over work and living conditions. You can often already get an impression about the agency during the interviews, whether they’re lack of interest or overpromising. You want to get a clear image and get sincere answers before you enroll in a company.

5. Are they overpromising?

There are all kinds of attractive job offers in the Netherlands on the internet. You come to a foreign country to make money, but you also don’t want to be blinded by these appealing commercials. It surely doesn’t hurt to do your research before you actually start job hunting. How much is the usual rate for your profession considering related experience, reviews from former employees over their ability for on-time payment, how many facts and future blue-prints they’re showing you… These are the things you should take into consideration, as you don’t want to perform your excellent work for nothing.

6. How is their turnover rate?

At some aspects, the turnover rate measures the ability of a company to keep their people. For a good business, it’s ideal that the company has a 10% turnover rate and 90% retention rate of regular workers. These 10% usually come from people who are lack of motivation at work and they’re able to be replaced by highly motivated, experienced workers. Maybe it’s hard to find the specific statistics online. But you can still get some information, such as how long the recruiter has stayed in the current company. A high turnover rate might result in the fact of being ignored, and your consultant may not have developed long-term, established relationships with the employers. Surely, it be hard for you to build a long-term healthy cooperation with them.

7. Are they proficient in your expertise?

No other feelings are better than when someone can speak your mind. It is the same when applying for your dream job. You attempt to use your expertise to the ultimate, instead of being a substitute waiting to be filled in the blank. Of course, nothing can be perfect, so is job hunting. You might not immediately get the exact job you want, considering education background, practical experience and language obstacle. That's why it is important that the recruiter shares the same expertise in your industry. As a good employment agency, the staff should be capable of analysing your situation and guide you through with their specialty, in order to find you the most ideal job possible.

8. Do they boost your motivations?

Everything should be hard if you want to get to the top of it. It’s more important how you manage to jump over the barriers. A good agency is not only your employer, they should also play the roles of a leader, a listener, a consultant. Positivity is usually inside the company culture. When your employer shows that they’re positive, inspirational, hard-working, it somehow affects you to be more productive as well. You know you’re in good hands, if you’re always looking forward to starting your work, instead of staring at the clock until it points to five. You want to work in a company where you can grow and build up your future. Short-time motivation is not enough,it takes up a bit day by day.

9. Do they provide you with resumé help?

After you cooperate with each other for sometime, you might want to move up to a bigger stage. The end of contract shouldn’t be the end of the cooperation, after you delivered your hard work day by day at this place. As your former employer, the agency should know most clearly what you’re good at and what you still need to improve. It’s a good gesture of them to help you with a recommendation letter if needed, or give you some personal and professional suggestions, as they’re experts in recruitment and they know exactly what employers are looking for. 

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