Finding talent in a tight labour market: becoming a recognised (work permit) sponsor

The job market is getting increasingly tight. For the first time in 50 years there are more vacancies than unemployed people in the Netherlands, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS). In line with these statistics we notice that more companies are coming to us for support in their recruitment process. In a tight labour market like this it is sometimes necessary to think about alternatives and, for example, consider looking for talent abroad. Sometimes even outside of the EU.

We have clients who are not open for recruiting candidates from abroad. Reasons mentioned for this are “risk of failure higher”, “expect higher cost” and “too much hassle”. In many cases they are right but we are in a situation choices have to be made. Do you want to wait and how long? Can you train a junior? Will you abandon some requirements? In this article we want to inform you about the possibilities and requirements for hiring candidates from abroad. Many employers already found this solution works well for them.

In the Netherlands we have the opportunity to hire a so called “highly skilled migrant”. There are certain requirements for such an application, for both you as an employer and for the candidate you want to hire. You can find the full list of requirements at the IND (Immigration and Naturalisation service) website, below I will discuss the most prominent ones in short.

Conditions for hiring a highly skilled migrant

There needs to be an employment contract between the candidate and the employer in the Netherlands AND this employer is a recognised sponsor by the IND. Recognised employers are listed in the Public Register of Recognised Sponsors. (There is an exception for highly skilled migrants with the Turkish nationality. Candidates with the Turkish nationality can submit an application themselves. Note that when a recognised sponsor submits an application, the application is completed sooner.)
There is are certain salary criteria you need to meet. (Click this link for more information on these salary criteria).
If you are considering sponsoring work permits for candidates in the future, it might be useful to make sure you are listed as a recognised sponsor before starting your recruitment process. As this process will take time (up to 90 days).

Recognition as a sponsor has a number of advantages:

The IND handles your applications quicker : a complete application is usually decided on within 2 weeks.
You need to provide fewer supporting documents with an application.
You can use the online Business Portal of the IND to submit digital applications and notify changes.
Click this link to go to the IND website for more information about the procedure, application forms and costs.

Although the process of becoming a recognised sponsor will take some time, it does give you access to a bigger candidate pool. In a tight labour market like the one we have at the moment, it can offer you great possibilities. It can help hire talent that you might not find locally and having a bigger candidate pool can speed up your recruitment process.

Note that we do not by any way imply to have all the information regarding this topic. For complete and up to date information, we refer you to the IND website. Hiring from abroad is not the solution for all of your job openings. It might be for some. For questions regarding support in treasury recruitment processes, we are always available!

Kim Vercoulen

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