IR Search Anton van Rossum

Anton van Rossum 

23 March

J.F.K. asks:

As an R&D manager of a fast-growing high-tech company, I have daily video interviews with candidates and I see dozens of resumes. I’m looking for highly specialized engineers who, at the same time, are eager to learn and flexible, willing to work on other projects if necessary. As the local pool is small, I rely heavily on international candidates, from the EU or beyond. For many positions, most of the applicants come from India.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many prospects who make it through the selection process. Most just aren’t interesting enough to make an offer. I often receive extensive resumes, listing projects and responsibilities that are almost impossible for a single person to handle. I get candidates who say they have experience in a certain field but in a technical interview turn out to lack even the most basic knowledge. I see resumes of Indian applicants who have been working for a company in the Netherlands for less than a year and are already looking around – I’m not very keen on hiring job-hoppers like that.

The few candidates I am enthusiastic about sometimes decide not to take up employment in the end, for various reasons. It may be because their salary requirements don’t match our budget or they prefer a position with another company. The latter doesn’t happen very frequently as we have a very nice company culture and top-notch technology. We’re small and well-organized, so the engineers are aware of the entire development process as well as marketing and customers.

I’ve heard of Linkedin groups where expats are driving each other crazy with stories about how much you can earn where. No doubt these stories are completely taken out of context as the cost of living varies greatly by country and region. Still, I feel that they play a role in the job-hopping behavior of this category of employees. What do you think?

The headhunter answers:

It will certainly hold true for many engineers that they don’t just come here for the beautiful weather and the good food. There are many motives for wanting to work in Europe and the Netherlands in particular: getting to know other cultures, the high technological level, career advancement, the lifestyle, status and, of course, also the salary. But why would an Indian engineer already start looking for his next job so soon after arriving in Europe and onboarding at his current employer?

I often see that Indian engineers have to wait quite some time for an opportunity to work in Europe, especially during the pandemic. Some apply for a job below their level and even manage to get a contract despite the mismatch. Furthermore, due to the 30-percent rule, their gross salary is sometimes less than that of their peers, which makes them feel underpaid and undervalued. In such cases, it isn’t surprising that people quickly start looking for a more suitable position – with an adequate wage. This easily explains the popularity of Glassdoor, where current and former employees can anonymously review companies and submit and view salaries.

When I look at your hiring situation, not only from the point of view of the company but also from the perspective of candidates, I don’t think you have anything to worry about. Given what you have to offer, I don’t see new employees resigning after a short time.