The Key to Success in Today's Recruitment Market

By EMEA Recruitment
04 September, 2023
The Key to Success in Today's Recruitment Market

Thomas Powell, Recruitment Consultant, takes a look at the Finance and Accountancy recruitment market in the Netherlands and shares the key to success...

In today’s recruitment market, demand for talent is heavily restricted and continues to be candidate driven across the junior to senior level.  

To be at the top of the competition, it is crucial for you, as the hiring manager, to offer the candidate the right opportunity with clear plans of progression - not a sidestep where they are doing the same role for more reward.

We are noticing that the biggest motivation to move in today’s market falls to the following:

  • Lack of responsibility in their current role - in turn, looking to move to take on more responsibility and have each day be a new challenge where they learn and add value to a company
  • Looking for progression, wanting the step up - candidates in the mid to senior market are constantly looking for the step up in their career and will rarely make the sidestep for additional compensation

How can you do this when recruiting into your team?

First, what profile are you looking for? If you have a strong desire for a particular level of experience in local reporting, you know this is non-negotiable for your business.

However, think about why someone who does this role already would move to your company to do the same role. Think of ways this person can progress and move up in the company.

To retain the best talent in your company, this is what you need to be outlining. This is where you sell yourself to the candidate.

As recruiters, we hear, “This role will have progression opportunities” all the time. Be direct about what progression opportunities are available and ask the question of why the candidate should move.

Secondly, identify a success story. If you have a profile that may fall slightly below the criteria - maybe they don’t hold enough Dutch GAAP or don’t have enough payroll processing experience - offer the training and development to the candidate.

While this can take time, look at how attractive your role becomes and look at the success story you can create in your company. You as the manager have achieved this and, in turn, this profile is likely to stay with your business in the long term, given the time and value you have invested in them.

This is where EMEA Recruitment can add value. We are a candidate-driven business and skilled in mapping the candidate’s motivation to the right business, where they will add value to your organisation and thrive.

If you’d like to speak to me about how we can assist you in your search for talent, please get in touch with me at [email protected]

More insights

Q2 2023: Finance Recruitment Market Update - Switzerland

Q2 2023: Finance Recruitment Market Update - Switzerland

As we concluded 2022, we experienced normal market conditions across Switzerland. And, as predicted, an extremely high volume of hiring started from January onwards. 

At EMEA Recruitment, we analyse market data so that we can understand trends and skills shortages to provide factual evidence to our candidates and clients. Some of this data - and feedback from companies that were recruiting during Q1 - has been used to produce the following overview:

German-speaking region

  • Over 100% increase in directly advertised Finance roles during January to March 2023 compared to the same period of 2022
  • Many roles seen in January were re-advertised in March, as they failed to attract the desired audience
  • Companies requiring fluent German language skills experienced the greatest difficulties in hiring
  • Significant increase in roles advertised by Swiss-owned international companies compared to those with non-Swiss ownership

French-speaking region

  • Similar volume of vacancies during January to March 2023 as we saw in the same period of 2022
  • Slight reduction in roles advertised by Swiss-owned international companies, but a corresponding increase in roles advertised by non-Swiss-owned international companies

Hybrid thoughts

  • Requiring 4-5 days’ attendance in the office does impact the diversity of candidates attracted to the role
  • We have seen very little evidence of fully remote roles being offered

Job-seeking process

  • Candidates are happy to look at attractive opportunities, but those in work are being selective about the roles they consider and are less likely to apply directly to advertisements given the limited amount of information available through that method
  • Given the high volume of roles available and the difficulties companies expect when replacing staff, top talent is being recognised more and more by their current employers - therefore, they are more selective about the roles that they would consider externally

What do we expect in Q2?

Business sentiment is still positive, so we expect to see a very busy quarter again for Finance recruitment. We also predict continued pressure on salaries as the battle for talent remains fierce.

Having access to current market information, whether you are job-seeking or recruiting, is more important than ever before.

If you would like to discuss your own career situation or hiring into your team, we would be happy to speak with you. Please reach out to Mark Robinson, Insight & Optimisation Director, for a confidential discussion: [email protected]

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Q1 2023: PSC Recruitment Market Update - Netherlands

Q1 2023: PSC Recruitment Market Update - Netherlands

2022 has undoubtedly been a time of reflection and change, and quarter 4 continued this trend.

We saw the increased demand for Logistics specialists within Procurement & Supply Chain and the emergence of new standalone categories in energy/utilities.

The current crisis in Ukraine - and the ongoing geopolitical influence across Europe - is having far-reaching effects.

Supply Chain has had a relatively smooth ride since its adoption in the late 70s with the introduction of Just in Time (JIT) methodology, created by Taiichi Ohno for the automotive industry (Toyota).

However, are we seeing the end of it? Logistics is a critical player in the success of the JIT process. Unfortunately, due to the rising cost of fuel and the lack of available drivers across Europe, it may not be sustainable.

What is the alternative?

Digitalisation is the apparent solution. However, are organisations willing to spend the money on implantation and development? This will not be a quick fix; another obvious answer may be Just in Case, which is very much the opposite of JIT.

Unless you have a crystal ball, we need to embrace multiple solutions, and digitalisation must be part of this discussion. Data is crucial in an ever-changing world, and systems must be more robust and versatile to external effects.

Change in the market

From a recruitment perspective, we have continued to see an evolving market again, driven by geopolitical influence and the rising cost of living.

Change is positive. It creates both opportunities and growth. EMEA Recruitment has adapted to these changes by continuing to listen and learn. Q4 saw the expectations of candidates change drastically, from wanting work-life balance in August (EMEA poll of 120 candidates) to salary negotiations in October. Now, the overriding message is job security.

From the aftermath of the Christmas rush - particularly within the FMCG sector - we will continue to gain valuable insight into the market. Organisations certainly recognise the vital role Procurement & Supply Chain plays in the overall success of a business and is no longer just a cost centre.

EMEA Recruitment are keen to support candidates and organisations in their ongoing development and transformation. For further infomation on how we can support you, please contact, Richard Bailey. We wish everyone good fortune for 2023 and look forward to what the year has to offer.

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Q1 2023: Finance Recruitment Market Update - Switzerland

Q1 2023: Finance Recruitment Market Update - Switzerland

As we enter the New Year, Mark Robinson, Associate Director in our Finance & Accountancy team, shares an insight into the Swiss Finance recruitment market...

First of all, Happy New Year to everyone. We hope that 2023 brings you good health, happiness and success.

The New Year begins with far greater confidence than in 2022, due to the control achieved over COVID-19 and, despite some current market challenges, the economy in Switzerland remains positive, particularly compared to European neighbours.

Inflation is expected to reduce to 2.4% (source: Swiss National Bank) and the country will continue to achieve growth in 2023.

Finance recruitment market

There is traditionally a lull in recruitment in December before an increase in activity in January. This means that companies find recruitment difficult in January, due to the higher level of competition.

However, in 2022, the market was busy all the way up to the festive season, with many companies continuing try to attract talent in a typically quiet period.

We undertook significant research in the last quarter of 2022 about the methods that mid to senior level candidates use when job seeking. This confirmed that professionals find direct job applications an increasingly inefficient and impersonal way to secure their next career move.

We heard strong preference for securing a new role through a recruitment consultancy or through a known network, which partly explains why so many companies are struggling to attract the talent they desire through simple advertisements.

The competition for quality candidates remains strong, with companies struggling to attract interest from the passive market. This is where EMEA Recruitment provides the most value, being able to use our network and market knowledge to ensure that the best - and most suited - talent in the market is made aware of opportunities that fit their career goals, even when those individuals are not actively engaging with the recruitment market.

Market shortage/pressure point

In 2022, one area where we started to see increased recruitment activity at large companies was in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), as the new reporting regulations came into effect.

As a new field of reporting, there are very few candidates who already possess this experience, so those individuals are likely to have a wide range of opportunities to choose from in 2023.

Is ESG an active area of recruitment or interest for you? If so, please get in touch. We would be happy to provide further information and share thoughts from the wider market about this subject.

Hybrid working – follow-up to Q4 2022

In our last newsletter, we discussed how hybrid working has brought many positives to the workplace, but has also resulted in some challenges for both employers and employees.

We have seen some pushback against working from home in the USA, most notably at Tesla and Twitter, but also some other companies in the tech sector. However, the vast majority of businesses are still very much on board with developing their strategies to make hybrid working as effective as possible.

We recently ran a LinkedIn poll to ascertain our network’s latest thoughts about hybrid working, as shown below:

What do you think are the biggest challenges associated with hybrid working?

  • 60% - Maintaining company culture
  • 26% - Onboarding is more difficult
  • 11% - Ensuring consistent policy
  • 3% - Identifying top talent

Will the challenge of maintaining company culture lead to changes to career development for candidates in the future?

Instead of staying with a company and progressing, these results suggest people are likely to move more regularly, as they are less engaged with their employer.

Those with a significant length of service at one company and a number of promotions on their CV/resume are typically the most desired candidates in the market. If individuals are less engaged with their employer, we are likely to see shorter tenures at companies in the future, so the most desired CV could look very different.


We are all used to a marketplace that changes quickly and can be affected by a range of global factors, but that does not make recruitment any easier. Switzerland is in a much stronger position than many of its neighbours, so we expect to see another exciting year of recruitment and new opportunities coming to the market.

If you would like to discuss your own career or are recruiting into your team, we would be happy to speak with you. Please contact Mark Robinson: [email protected]

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Quarter Performance: Procurement & Supply Chain - Switzerland

Quarter Performance: Procurement & Supply Chain - Switzerland

Despite the obvious external challenges being faced by all in our disciplines, we continue to see a robust attitude from our client base towards bringing in new talent.

Across the quarter, we saw an increase of successful hires (up 12% YOY). The standout industries for us were life sciences and FMCG focused.

It is clear the need to help manage current market demands has never been more important or challenging to our clients. We received strong testimonials over the quarter reflecting how we have offset some of these difficulties and helped alleviate the time and cost elements associated.

Energy and sustainability

We are in unprecedented times. The global economic headwinds across both Europe and the wider world have been at the front and centre of not only business, but our personal lives in 2022.

Whether that is rising inflation, higher energy costs or the devastating war in Ukraine, it is almost certain to say there have been profound changes and events that will leave an everlasting mark.

For the Procurement & Supply Chain world, there are many effects, none more so than the efforts and realignment needed in a sustainable approach to sourcing - in particular, how we realign to focus on higher raw material costs.

How has this impacted the recruitment market?

We are potentially seeing a new Procurement category form – that of Energy. We have been asked by several of our clients to work on mandates where the primary focus is to be responsible for sourcing of not only raw materials, but mainly energy and green energy, to stabilise their exposure to such volatile markets.

Whereas previously this may have been wrapped up within Utilities or Facilities, we are now seeing businesses create a standalone function to be leaders in the market in sourcing energy and sustainable energy solutions (such as the green energy or green vehicles sector).

Businesses are investing more than ever in sustainable raw materials and energy suppliers, and are therefore seeking profiles that have genuine, tangible experience of operating within this category and area.

What can you do to stand out?

We are seeing candidates taking a much more proactive approach to the sustainability topic – taking on external courses or extra learning.

Given how relatively new this area of sourcing is, the race to get ahead of the competition and be a leading profile in the Procurement world is well and truly under way.

If you’re interested in discussing this topic with one of our Procurement & Supply Chain recruitment experts, please get in touch with Neil Cope, who will connect you with the relevant Consultant: [email protected]

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Q1 2023: HR Netherlands - Recruitment Market Review

Q1 2023: HR Netherlands - Recruitment Market Review

As we move into the New Year, it’s been interesting hearing the thoughts of our network regarding their recruitment plans.

We may be experiencing high levels of inflation - as well as some economic challenges – however, the tone amongst many of our clients remains positive.

Although there are economic uncertainties, we still have a labor market with significant competition for talent and individuals who still have an appetite to explore new opportunities.

We ran a poll last month asking our network if they would consider moving roles in 2023 - 71% said they would. Although there may be a perceived risk attached to taking a new role, making a move in this market often accomplishes a substantial salary/package increase, so remains attractive to many.

If we compare the approach to recruitment versus last year, we have seen an even greater emphasis on headhunting - especially the need to reach out to passive candidates. Those interested in a career move no longer need to apply for roles, as they are proactively contacted about new opportunities, so including this approach in your sourcing strategy is essential.

In terms of market trends, we have seen an uplift in specialist areas, including HR analytics. Many organisations continue to experience significant digital transformation and are looking to data to drive better business decisions. The use of HR analytics - especially talent/workforce analytics - is helping organisations tackle some of the key issues around talent management and retention.

We also see an increase in the number of reward opportunities in the market, as organisations review how they compensate employees in a bid to retain top talent.

If you’re hiring into any of these areas in your business in 2023, we can help you find specialist talent. We would also like to discuss some of these topics further with our network, so please get in touch with Katie Insley, if you’re interested in market insights as we enter a New Year.

Latest Event

Driving your ESG Agenda with Responsible Rewards

On the topic of Compensation and Benefits, we had the pleasure of hosting our quarterly event with guest speakers Xavier Baeten, of Vlerick Business School, and Frederic Barge, of Reward Value, who shared their insights and expertise in the field of Responsible Reward.

Attendees were introduced to a wide range of Sustainable Development Goals and a Responsible Reward framework, giving steps to follow when modernizing a remuneration policy to drive a company’s Environmental, Social and Governance agenda.

This was coupled with a deep dive into executive compensation and how developments in the current model can act as a catalyst of social change.

A recording of the event is available, so do reach out to Katie Insley, Associate Director in our HR team in the Netherlands, via email: [email protected] if you’d like to receive the link.

At EMEA Recruitment, we operate as a true partner to our clients and are keen to ensure topics covered in our events are of value to our network. We are therefore always keen to receive your feedback on topics you’d like us to address in the future.

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Successful Hiring in an Evolving and Competitive Market

Successful Hiring in an Evolving and Competitive Market

Over the last quarter, we have seen 14% inflation in the Netherlands. However, we have seen a buoyant market, despite a rather unstable financial climate.

Even with the cost-of-living crisis, hybrid vs. office debate, and a looming recession, we are still seeing candidates change roles.

It is still a candidate-driven market, so companies are having to put forth a strong value proposition to attract the right talent.

  • Is your business financially in line with the market?
  • Are you offering the right benefits?
  • Do you need to re-evaluate your recruitment process?
  • How is the candidate’s journey?

These are all questions businesses must answer before entering the marketplace.

There is a growing concern in the market, due to inflation, which has caused a rise in salaries. Businesses may have to offer competitive salaries outside of their yearly reviews to current staff for retention, alongside competitive pay to attract new staff.

Candidates are also looking for a business that can offer career development and provide a flexible working environment, which allows for a good work-life balance. Therefore, hybrid working is key to successfully retaining staff.


  • Make a clear choice - Is your compensation in line with the market and/or does your business have enough differentiators to compete with the marketplace?
  • Career development – Are you creating an environment where candidates can grow and progress their career?
  • Flexibility – Since the pandemic, the market is not just driven by high compensation, but also hybrid working.

EMEA Recruitment support

EMEA Recruitment is focused on working closely with both passive and active candidates. The aim is to ensure that we are clear on the drivers and motivators for candidates to move. This way, we are sure that the candidate we put forward for your roles are aligned with your value proposition.

Currently, most of our roles are filled through the headhunt approach, with candidates who may not be currently looking for a role. This success results from the insight we gain into our candidates’ longer-term aspirations.

Our focus:

  • Career consultation and advice – Understanding the vertical and horizontal growth of candidates.
  • Focusing on the employer and candidate journey – Understanding the timeline of the recruitment process to maximise chance of securing the ideal candidate.
  • Understanding what makes a candidate stand out.
  • Understanding a company’s value proposal and what makes a potential employer unique.

For more information on our approach, please contact Michael Bentil, Senior Consultant, in our Finance & Accountancy recruitment division in the Netherlands.

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