A Closer Look On Current Developments of Executive Recruitment From A Dutch Perspective (Part 1)

Written by Joost Eijkens on Feb 13, 2019


Time is still the decisive factor in filling executive positions

Time is one of the most important KPIs in the recruitment process today. Candidates often leave as quickly as they come in this tight labour market. In terms of time, there are several goals imaginable, which usually involve keeping the time as short as possible. A few examples:

The time between the first vacancy post and the acceptance of the offer by a candidate.

The time between the first contact with a candidate and signing the contract.

How long it takes between signing the contract and the actual start of a candidate.

How long it takes internally for a decision about a candidate who has been interviewed to be taken

How long it takes internally before it is decided who to invite for an interview

These days it takes longer and longer to fill a vacancy, and even a response to a job application takes longer and longer. Although time-to-hire says little about the quality of your recruitment process, it says a lot about its efficiency. And thus also about the possible outcome.

Scarcity is increasing - Panic is not a problem

Dutch unemployment has fallen below 400,000 people by the end of 2017. Unless something crazy happens in the world, unemployment will fall in 2018, to perhaps historic levels of under 340,000.

This will undeniably lead to more scarcity across the full breadth of the labour market. But panic will most probably not happen. Employers and sector organisations blame the shortages on inadequate inflow and mismatch with education. They point to the government, seek regional and collegial cooperation and/or accept the scarcity as ‘a fait accompli’.

The real solutions therefore often remain out of sight: opening up the labour market with good labour market communication and smart employer branding. In other words: Introduce more suitable employment conditions for certain target groups, open up other target groups (think: traineeships for people over 40), train your own employees, put more effort into retention.

Which industrys/positions will be more popular in the future?

At 11.2 per cent, revenue growth in the first quarter of 2018 was once again the highest in the transport equipment industry. Car manufacturers accounted for the largest growth in this sector (12.8 per cent). Manufacturers of means of transport such as ships, trains, aircraft and (mopeds) bicycles also posted higher turnover than twelve months previously: 7.9 per cent. Although these producers generated less turnover in the Netherlands than twelve months previously, turnover abroad grew by 13.5 per cent.

The producers in the refineries and chemical industry achieved a turnover growth of 5.0 per cent due to positive revenue developments both within and outside the Netherlands. The producers in the oil, chemical, pharmaceutical, rubber and plastics industries generated more turnover than a year earlier. The largest increases in turnover were in the pharmaceutical industry (10.8 per cent) and the oil industry (8.9 per cent).

The growth in turnover of producers in the basic metal and metal products industry was modest at 0.5 per cent. Foreign turnover in this sector fell by 2.5 per cent, after nine quarters of increases. Because metal producers in the Netherlands achieved 4.4 per cent more turnover, the total turnover development was nevertheless positive.

The so-called fourth industrial revolution will radically change the labour market

Net five million jobs are expected to disappear in the next five years due to robotisation and the application of nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and 3D printers. 

For the research, HR directors and strategic directors from nine different industries in the fifteen largest economies were interviewed. These economies account for 65 per cent of the global workforce. The researchers estimate that by 2020, some 7.1 million jobs will be automated or eliminated. Also, many brokers and intermediaries will no longer be needed. Administrative functions and office jobs in particular will be hit hard. At the same time, 2.1 million jobs are expected to be created in the coming years. This will mainly concern specialised jobs in the field of computers and mathematics or architecture. Major changes are also predicted in the skills needed to be successful.

The most important source of change for all industries is that the nature of work itself changes. Because new techniques make it possible to work at any time and any place, tasks are distributed differently. This can lead to fragmentation.



Joost Eijkens
EO Netherlands




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