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Key Trends Shaping the Dutch Labor Market in 2024

By Universum, 2024-06-04

Universum has officially released the results of its 2024 Most Attractive Employers survey in The Netherlands, providing key insights into the companies and sectors that are capturing the attention of the nation's students and professionals across various disciplines. With participation from over 18,000 students and 10,000 professionals between October 2023 and April 2024, the survey presents fresh data, highlighting trends and employer preferences among the Dutch workforce.

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Key Trends Shaping the Dutch Labor Market in 2024 

Amsterdam, Netherlands. June 11, 2024 – As the Dutch labor market continues to evolve, several key trends are emerging, transforming the landscape for both employers and employees. Based on recent research by Universum, these trends highlight significant shifts in priorities, expectations, and the overall employment environment. Here are the top five trends reshaping the Dutch job market in 2024: 

1. Labour Shortage and High Recruitment Intentions 

The Dutch job market is experiencing a critical labor shortage, particularly in high-demand sectors such as IT, Engineering, and Healthcare. This shortage has led to an intensely competitive landscape for high-skilled professionals. The scarcity of talent is driving employers to increase their recruitment efforts significantly, with a noticeable rise in the number of employers considered by job seekers. Most noteably, business students and engineering/IT students are now considering nearly 20 and 18 employers respectively. This trend shows the importance of innovative recruitment strategies and attractive employment offers to secure top talent who are considering multiple employers​​. 

Roderick Arts, Country Manager of Universum in the Netherlands, emphasizes, "The current labor shortage in the Netherlands has created a highly competitive environment. Recruitment strategies should now focus on not only attracting but also retaining top talent by offering innovative and appealing employment packages.'"

2. Work for a Cause, Not Just a Boss  

Modern talent is increasingly seeking purpose-driven employment. Today's job seekers prioritize roles that offer meaningful work and align with their personal values. Attributes such as inspiring purpose, opportunities to make a personal impact, and clear paths for advancement have gained importance. Employers need to highlight these aspects in their employer branding and job offerings to attract and retain talent who are not just looking for a paycheck, but for a sense of fulfillment and contribution to societal goals​​.  

3. Reward is of Major Importance 

Competitive compensation packages remain a crucial factor in attracting talent. Over the past five years, there has been a marked increase in the importance placed on competitive base salaries and high future earnings. In 2024, students rank high future earnings as the #1 prioirity, where professionals rank that as #3. This trend is particularly pronounced among younger generations, who are looking for financial stability and growth opportunities. Employers must ensure their remuneration packages are attractive and competitive to remain appealing to top candidates​​. 

4. Work-Life Balance Matters 

Work-life balance has emerged as a top concern for both students and professionals. More emphasis is being placed on flexible working conditions and the ability to work remotely. In 2024, 79% of students and 88% of professional state that they would lijke to have the capability to work from home. This shift reflects a broader societal change towards valuing personal time and well-being over traditional career goals and high levels of responsibility. Employers who offer flexible working options and promote a healthy work-life balance are likely to attract and retain happier, more productive employees​​. 

'"The growing demand for work-life balance is undeniable. Employers who do not adapt their policies to offer flexible working conditions and remote work options, will lose out on top talent they seek to attract. Recognizing that employee well-being directly impacts productivity and job satisfaction is the key to building an organization with highly engaged and efficient employees", mentions Roderick Arts.

5. The Success of the Dutch Public Sector 

Public sector employers in the Netherlands have seen significant success in attracting talent. Institutions like Rijksoverheid and Rijkswaterstaat are highly ranked among the most attractive employers. These organizations are associated with secure employment, professional training and development, and good references for future careers. The public sector’s ability to offer stability and career growth opportunities makes it a competitive choice for job seekers across various fields​​. 


The 2024 labor market in the Netherlands is characterized by a blend of traditional and emerging trends. The pressing labor shortage calls for innovative recruitment and retention strategies, while the growing emphasis on meaningful work, competitive earnings, and work-life balance reflects changing workforce values. The public sector's success further highlights the need for secure and development-oriented employment opportunities. As these trends continue to unfold, they will shape the future of work in the Netherlands, influencing how employers attract, retain, and engage with their talent. 


About Universum Talent Research:  

Universum Talent Research is a leading provider of insights and data analysis in the talent acquisition space, offering comprehensive research products and strategic solutions to empower organizations in attracting and retaining top talent.  

The Universum 2024 Talent Insights report serves as a critical tool for employers in The Netherlands, offering detailed analyses and trend forecasts that help navigate the complexities of the job market.   

For more information about the Universum 2024 Talent Insights report and to see a full list of top ranked employers in The Netherlands, please visit our rankings page.




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About Universum

Universum is a research company, specialized and world-leading in Employer Branding. Universum has 36 years of valuable experience in employer branding and is pioneers in the field. Universum is established in over 50 markets worldwide, with physical presence in 20 countries. Annually, Universum collaborates with 1,420 clients, including the majority of Fortune 500 companies, to attract and retain optimal employees. We collaborate with 1,000 universities and partners to compile surveys on career expectations and employer preferences.

For questions or interview requests, please contact:

Roderick Arts

Country Manager Netherlands roderick.arts@universumglobal.com
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