Solving staff shortage

Published by:
Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, SZW
Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, SZW
Netherlands Tax Administration, Belastingdienst
Netherlands Tax Administration, Belastingdienst
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

There are several ways to employ or hire staff. For example, by working with on-call staff on zero-hours contracts, self-employed professionals, or temporary staff. Are you looking for a permanent employee? Then consider offering salaried employment. Read more about your options.

Hiring salaried staff

Do you expect to have too much work permanently? Then it may be time to hire (more) salaried staff. It can sometimes be difficult to find new employees.

There is a lot involved in hiring staff. For example:

Read about what hiring staff for the first time involves. Or take a look at the checklist for hiring staff.

Hire temporary staff

Do you temporarily need extra staff? For example, to replace a sick employee? Then temporary hiring is an option, such as through secondment, a temping agency, or payrolling. Then the staff member is not employed by you, but works for your company. Different rules apply to different forms of hiring. Such as for the notice period.

Read more in the checklist for hiring staff.

Do the Waadi check

If you hire temporary staff, you will have to deal with the Dutch Workers Allocation by Intermediaries Act (Waadi). Under this act, you must check if the organisation that is hiring out personnel is registered in the Business Register. You may be fined if this is not the case.

So it is important to always do the Waadi check.

Getting staff to work extra or differently

Do you already employ staff? If so, you can discuss with them whether they can work more hours to accommodate any extra work. For example, someone working part-time. You can also ask them to retrain in the field where staff shortages exist within your company. That way, you will not have to hire new staff immediately.

Also, see what you can do to ensure that your employees continue to enjoy working for you. Read more about what you can do for your employees on

Hiring foreign staff

You can also look for staff abroad. You should first do so within the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Can you not find suitable employees there? Then you may start recruiting in other countries. You need to check if you need to apply for a visa or work permit.

Check in advance what is involved in hiring foreign staff.

Hiring temporary workers

Does it vary per period how much work you have? And you cannot predict when it will be busy? Then hire on-call workers. An on-call worker is an employee without fixed working days or hours. On-call employees work when you call them. You only pay a salary for the hours worked.

Zero-hours contract or other on-call contract

There are different on-call contracts with different rules. Such as a zero-hours contract and a min-max contract.

Read more about the rules for on-call workers.

Hiring a freelancer

Are you looking for temporary help with an assignment or project? Then you can also hire a freelancer. For example, because you are looking for someone with specific knowledge and experience. A freelancer is not employed by you, but will work for you until the assignment is finished.

Draw up the general terms and conditions and purchasing conditions together. For example, about the hourly rate and the number of hours needed for the assignment. You do not pay any personnel costs for a freelancer, such as payroll taxes, pension premiums, and holiday pay.

Hire an intern

Interns or trainees work in your company as part of their education. With an internship, a student gains work experience. You may not employ an intern as an ordinary employee. But it can be a way of training someone. This person may then perhaps be employed by you later on. There are rules for interns. Such as for the internship agreement and compensation.

Are you going to hire an intern? Then take a look at the checklist working with an intern.

Hire family members

Your family may also help with your business. If your partner works in the business, you may get working partner's abatement (meewerkaftrek). You can then deduct an amount from your income tax return. Your children may also work in your business.

Read more about partners or children working in your company.

Hiring holiday workers

You can hire young people during school holidays or outside school hours. This is cheaper than hiring adult staff. However, take the age of these young people into account. For example, children aged 13 and 14 are not allowed to do industrial work. That means they are not allowed to work in a factory. And they are not allowed to work with and/or near machines.

Collaborate with other entrepreneurs

Are you busy, but do you not want to hire staff? Or do you not have enough time for a new, big project? Then consider collaborating with other entrepreneurs. You can outsource work, such as maintaining your website. For example, through contracting. You can also work together with other entrepreneurs in a (temporary) joint venture. For example, for a large assignment. Or you can set up a company together. Such as a professional partnership (maatschap) or a general partnership (vof).

Prevent cartels

If you cooperate with other entrepreneurs, do not make agreements on, for example, product prices or customer allocation. That counts as forming a cartel. And that is illegal. This applies to all types of companies (business structures).

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, SZW