Shortage of staff is a serious issue for four in 10 Dutch firms

Photo: Dutch News

Three in four Dutch companies currently face a shortage of staff and this is becoming a serious problem for 40% of them, according to a new report

At over one-third of firms, the pressure on the workforce has increased because of the lack of people, the report, drawn up by national statistics agency CBS and business organisations, said. 

The shortage has gone down since July 2022 when there were 142 vacancies for every 100 unemployed people. But there are still 122 vacancies for every 100 people without work. In 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit, there were just 68 vacancies for everyone on the unemployment register.

The lack of staff is particularly serious in the hospitality industry, business services, and transport and logistics.  

Some 15% of firms, many of them in the hospitality sector, say costs have gone up because of the shortage of staff. And 11% say that job seekers are asking for more pay and other secondary benefits than they can or are willing, to meet. 

At the same time, people who used to work in cafes and bars, or in retail, are now moving to other sectors, the survey shows. 

The state jobs agency UWV has come up with a list of 34 suggestions for employers to help them find the best people for their jobs. 

UWV labour market advisor Saskia Grit told Trouw that the list is divided into three strategies – how to find new people, how to reorganise your labour force and how to keep those you already have on board.  

Some employers are so busy recruiting new people that they are not paying enough attention to those who are walking out, says Grit.

Employees, she said, want autonomy, a good atmosphere and a good relationship with colleagues. “Something as simple as putting up a ping pong table can help workers get to know each other,” she says.

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