The Netherlands has long been a top assignment destination for multinational companies. That’s why it was probably no surprise when your executive leader came to you and said, “We’re opening an office in Amsterdam – make it happen.” Opening a new company location in any country can be both exciting and overwhelming for Global HR professionals. Since our Amsterdam office is celebrating its one-year anniversary we asked our Executive Director of HR, Samantha Hernandez, to share a few insider secrets to make your life much easier. These simple tips and tricks will make the process smooth and let you shine as an HR superstar!
- Contact your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). When Pro-Link GLOBAL decided to open an office in Amsterdam, I quickly began to search online resources to learn more about Dutch labor laws. However, the most valuable time I spent was sitting with Counsel, Accountants, and Benefit Specialists in the Netherlands. Learning the legal requirements for opening and running a new global office is very different from learning the best practices for the same, but getting these requirements right is equally (if not more) important. Meet with SMEs to get the scoop on how best to proceed.
- Market your brand. Opening an office in a new location means you must introduce your employment brand to a new audience. We started a marketing campaign months in advance of our recruitment campaign so applicants would have some brand recognition. By the time we came to town, applicants knew us and new what place our company occupied in the industry.
- Network. Hiring staff for a new location is always a challenge. Just like in any recruitment campaign, having different pools and sources of applicants is important. LinkedIn, industry blogs, recruitment agencies, and local job boards can help you build your applicant base. Be familiar with your local resources and how best to utilize them.
- Be aware of cultural fit. The people and culture of the Netherlands have a lot of similarities to the U.S. Understanding where there are differences makes a successful integration. Be it the attitudes toward commuting, the famous Dutch directness in communication, or even the standard styling of C.V.s, your understanding of social differences will allow you to best select, train, and develop talent that will fit with your company’s culture.