What to expect while working via Abroad Experience Recruitment

After a successful recruitment procedure with Abroad Experience, if it comes to a job offer, Abroad Experience is able to support you with a number of tasks that you may still need to take care of before your first workday, especially if you are not yet located in the Netherlands.

What to expect when working via Abroad Experience Recruitment

Along with information about the contract signing, you will also receive a guidebook with all the information that you will need in regard to what to take care of before starting with your new job – this includes information in regards to getting a BSN number, Dutch health insurance and tips in regards to housing.

We also have an exclusive community group on Facebook for all candidates who have been placed by Abroad Experience. Once you have been placed you will have access to the group.

This community Facebook page is a place to find support, advice, and encouragement when it comes to finding housing, getting settled in your (new) home country & meeting fellow internationals. Furthermore, you can expect the following from the community group:

  • Find a fellow roommate, advise each other on housing or find valuable insider advice about accommodation in the Netherlands- it’s all possible in this group! If you look for a room mater or know about a room/studio/apartment that is available, you may share this in the group.
  • Give each other tips about fun events, how to learn Dutch, arranging documents.
  • Make new friends and get to know other internationals who are also new in the Netherlands/starting a new job/looking to hang out together.
  • Find guidebooks with topics such as how to find housing, how to improve your Dutch language skills and how to find fun activities in the Netherlands year-round.

Another benefit of working via Abroad Experience Recruitment is that you will have ongoing support from your dedicated recruitment consultant- no matter how long you are already working via us. We are always there for assistance when it comes to questions in regard to sick leave and other matters. 

What about my contract and pay-slip when working via Abroad Experience Recruitment?

In The Netherlands, it is common for companies to hire personnel via temping agencies for temporary roles or prior to a direct company contract. This means that you would be officially employed by and receive your salary from Abroad Experience. We work according to the Collective Agreement for Temporary Employees and are also certified according to the NEN 4400-1.

Before starting as a temporary employee at Abroad Experience you will receive an employment contract and an assignment that states all the information regarding starting date, salary, work location, travel allowance and company details.

You will receive a pay-slip and personal login details to access your pay-slip for each payment period that will provide the following information:

  • The salary earned
  • The gross hourly salary
  • The number of hours worked
  • The deductions made from the salary
  •  Travel Allowance
  • The payslip will also show the reserves that the Temporary Employee has accumulated in the preceding period and the total accumulated reserves that have not been used.

Please note: No financial aid can be provided by Abroad Experience for your relocation.

If you are reading this and you recently found a job via Abroad Experience, please do not hesitate to let us know what you thought about your journey with Abroad Experience Recruitment! We’d love to hear your feedback so that we can offer the best service to job seekers.

If you have a few spare minutes, we would truly appreciate it if you could fill in our short review questionnaire on our Glassdoor page. There are many internationals in the Netherlands who find it challenging to find a job in their new home country. Many of them don’t know about recruitment agencies and would love to hear more about the experience from other internationals who found a job via our agency. 

Eigen Risico (“Own Risk”): the Dutch Health Insurance System

The health insurance system in the Netherlands works slightly different from the social or health institutions of other European countries. This blog article will explain everything you need to know about the eigen risico (literally “own risk”, or deductibles) that all Dutch medical insurance companies mention in their policy.

If you decide to move to The Netherlands to live and/or work, it is compulsory to sign up for a Dutch health insurance plan. The monthly premium amount set by the government is a guideline for Dutch health insurance providers, who determine their own prices at the end of the year.

These insurance providers also need to adhere to the Dutch government mandates outlining what is covered in the basic package, which usually consists of general coverage and a compulsory deductible.

For more information check the following link: here

Eigen Risico: the legal amount

Every year, the government sets the fixed legal amount of insurance eigen risico. What this means is that you have to pay the first fixed legal amount in medical expenses yourself. Bills exceeding this amount will be paid directly via your insurer, depending on your chosen policy.

However, you can also negotiate these costs by choosing a voluntary deductible of up to €500 more. In this way, your monthly premium for basic insurance would initially become cheaper. Nevertheless, you could eventually incur more healthcare costs than the basic health insurance package!

You don’t pay excess deductible fees for the following expenses:

  • General Practitioner
  • Costs for nursing care
  • Maternity care
  • Obstetric care
  • Cost of integrated care for diabetes: There is an increasing number of healthcare providers who treat people with diabetes (DM2 or increased risk) in the Netherlands.
  • Vascular risk: addressing risk factors for cardiovascular disease
  • COPD: chronic lung disease
  • Check-ups for donors

We do recommend checking with your own health insurance company to clarify the details of your own policy and avoid any misunderstandings. Make sure to remember that changing your current Dutch health insurance to another one is only possible 15by December 31st of a year. 

For more information about Dutch health insurances, we recommend the following websites: https://access-nl.org/healthcare-netherlands/dutch-healthcare-system/

The Dutch pension system

With the help of Delta Lloyd (a large Dutch insurer), GfK, the fourth largest market research institute in the world, has found that Dutch youths are not keen to work until they’re 70. The age of retirement has been increasing over the last few years in the Netherlands, but those who are just beginning their career journey are not so enthusiastic about this fact.

The Three Pillars of the Dutch Pension System

There are three pillars in the Dutch pension system, the first being the “pay as you go” option in which everyone between the ages of 15 and 65 in the Netherlands contributes to pension benefits through the workforce.

As stated, directly or indirectly, everyone contributes to pension costs whether they work or not.

The second pillar refers to collective pension schemes that are created for those working for companies of all sizes. Though it is not mandatory by Dutch law to become a member of such pension funds, more than 90% of employees have an arrangement with their employer.

The third pillar is for those who may be self-employed or are employees in sectors without a collective pension scheme. In article 2.3 of the  system brochure provided by the Pensioenfederatie, it says, “Anyone can purchase a product in the third pillar to meet his/her requirements. In this way, people can save extra pension, often taking advantage of tax benefits.”

The Future of Retirement in the Netherlands

So let’s not jump the gun and worry about working for another 50 years, as this is not always the case. Certain circumstances may permit you to retire earlier, or even later if you choose. By 2021, it is expected that retirement will begin when one turns 67, but in 2022 the state pension will be linked to life expectancy. To see when you could expect to retire, check here. Recent generations may not have begun looking into how they would go about retiring and what life is like after working, but thanks to the different options we are given in the Netherlands you are supported in any circumstance. It’s just another great benefit to working and living in the Netherlands!

How to reply to the interview question: Where do you see yourself in five years?

As part of an ongoing blog series, we will be taking potentially tricky questions you might encounter in an interview and dissecting it to help you formulate a thorough, satisfying (and always honest!) response. If you have an interview question that has you stumped, leave a comment and let us know!

Five years ago, did you see yourself being where you are now? Probably not. It’s tough to even know what you’re going to do six months from now, let alone 5 whole years. You’ve probably been asked this question in a variety of ways, making it no less difficult to answer. However, it’s something that we should all be asking ourselves every once in a while, and this week, we’re delving into it with you.

So why is this question asked?

Interviewers are interested to see if the job at hand is something that will interest you long term, help you reach personal goals and, ultimately, whether it’s worth your while… and the company’s. So hearing your dedication will be very important to the company, as it will demonstrate that both parties will only gain from you being hired.

So how should you go about answering this question?

At the end of the day, think about responsibilities and achievements, not items, promotions or perks, as well as showing the impact you could have on the company and the kind of positive growth the company could benefit from by hiring you. It’s also best to concentrate on your career goals rather than personal ones unless specifically asked.

Don’t say: “I see myself in an F015 Luxury in Motion Mercedes, driving to work as the CEO of XYZ enterprises with a salary indication of X amount per year.”

What that sounds like: “I expect rapid promotion and an increased salary from the current position I’m interviewing for without specifying how I plan to earn it. I am shallow and don’t seem particularly interested or passionate about the actual job or industry.”

Instead say: “In five years, I hope to know all there is and more about your company’s values, products and services while expanding my skills and responsibilities to become an even greater asset to the company.”

What this sounds like: “I am ambitious, eager to learn and put down roots rather than branches in order to become increasingly valuable to the organization by taking on new responsibilities within the XYZ department/ team.”

This response makes no mention of promotions (vertical growth) by rather the addition of responsibilities on a team or in a department (horizontal growth). You’re expressing a desire to remain with the company for several years and build up your value to them, something all companies are eager to find in their new hires.

Practice makes perfect

Unfortunately, no DeLorean can bring you back to make a second first impression. Before any interview, come prepared with answers to these sorts of open questions. Not only are they looking at who you are now and what you have done, they also want to see the person who you expect to become and if that person is the right fit for their company.

For our previous question series article on “How would your friends and colleagues describe you?”, please click here.

How to reply to the interview question: How would your friends and colleagues describe you?

As part of an ongoing blog series, we will be taking potentially tricky questions you might encounter in an interview and dissecting it to help you formulate a thorough, satisfying (and always honest!) response. If you have an interview question that has you stumped, leave a comment and let us know!

When you’re playing the competitive game of applying for jobs and going forward for interviews, you find yourself triple checking the tasks and requirements of the job description and preparing for any questions that may come your way. But truthfully, you can never be 100% prepared for every curveball a clever interviewer could throw at you. Take, for example, this tricky question:

“How would your friends and/or colleagues describe you?”

 Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Think about it now… What do those people think of you? And how are you really able to speak for them without sounding conceited? It’s not very often that you sit down with anyone to talk about how they feel about you. Most days we can only guess what other people think about us. Everyone just has their own thing going on and probably don’t have time to think about how much they adore you.

So, how best to approach this question?

Get some honest feedback from friends and colleagues. Different relationships involved different sides of your personality that most likely result from the levels of comfort and professionalism that we have with each person; feedback from different kinds of relationships will give you a well-rounded response.

Ultimately, the interviewer wants to know if you are bearable or fun to work with and they’re trying to figure out what type of person you are from the opinion of others. But perhaps they should be asking a different question – how do you see yourself? In life, we are always searching for who we are, what we like and who we like, and all of these features are what make you, you.

A good way to transform this into a concrete addition to your response would be through a removed perspective, such as a reputed personality test based on psychological criteria. This test, for instance, is based on the Big Five personality trait model, which measures Openness, Consciousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. At the end, it will tell you the context of the terms, and what your score in that dimension is. This way you can formulate an honest, yet positive spin on how you may view as an “Introvert” rather than “shy” or “timid” and so on.

Can you think of any other curveball questions that you’ve been asked in an interview? Did they feel irrelevant or out of context, and how did you respond?

The benefits of learning online to grow your career in the Netherlands: Top 8 advantages of following online courses in 2021

Why are online courses so powerful and what are the top advantages of following online courses to grow your career? 

Do you want to become the best and most successful version of yourself and grow out of your comfort zone? Learning something new every day will help you actively grow your career in the direction you want it to go. A very efficient way to learn new skills and to gain new theoretical and practical knowledge in a short amount of time is to enroll in online courses.

There are endless numbers of online courses available on the World Wide Web and if you have never enrolled in one before it can be intimidating and overwhelming to get started.

There are online courses that help you to learn languages, to learn new computer skills, to advance your creativity in photoshop or to improve your marketing know-how. Those who want to learn how to improve their communication skills, want to become a pro in negotiations or want to turn into an excellent writer will also find appropriate courses online. These are just some examples of courses that are being offered and are booming online. No matter what kind of skill you want to work on, there is almost a guarantee that the web offers a suitable course on the topic. Popular websites to enroll in online courses include Udemy, Edx and Coursera. Courses vary in length, content and learning style, so it is up to you to find the course that is matching with your interest, budget and learning type.

But where to get started? Which courses are actually worth your time and are a non-regrettable investment? 

There are many online courses and certificates being offered by premier institutions, organizations and companies. And a lot of them are free! These courses are a great way to gain specialization in a certain area, bring further value to your company or stay active and improve yourself during periods of unemployment.

So while we at Abroad Experience are busy finding you your dream job, have a look at some of the best online courses we have found:

 

  • Coursera (Free MOOCs – Massive Open Online Classes – provided by top universities such as MIT and Harvard. These courses, similar to those in real-life universities, necessitate a certain level of commitment. Many courses also include the paying option of a Verified Certificate, which attests to your completion of the coursework and can be shared on LinkedIn profiles and CVs.)

  • Duolingo (Free language modules offered in a wide selection of languages and levels. In addition, Duolingo is constantly striving to improve their programs, which are also offered in tablet and smartphone applications.)

  • Memrise (An online community learning tool used mainly for language learning but also branches out into other subject areas. Available in applications for tablets and smartphones.)

  • OpenCulture (A selection of online courses and certificates on a variety of subjects from leading institutions provided through other educational platforms, such as Coursera. Classes are organized by course credential codes, some of which require or offer paid verification.)

  • The Open University (An accredited university offering innovative distance learning programmes. Many degree options are available and the university does not take into account previous academic achievements with regard to admission. Course fees vary depending on where you live and financial assistance may be available.)

  • The Dell Training Center (Online courses in 20 minute modules on subjects ranging from cloud computing to virtualization, from data storage to security. Courses are free and are rated on a five-star scale with user comments.)

  • HP LIFE e-Learning (HP’s Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (LIFE) programme is composed of free interactive online courses for entrepreneurs. Course offerings include Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Basics of Finance, Effective Websites and more.)

  • Microsoft Learning (Microsoft’s training and certification portal, where you can find everything from Microsoft office suite video tutorials to a search tool to locate the training providers nearest to a specified location for obtaining certain certifications.)

  • Training for Android Developers (Extensive lessons on development with Android, from the bare essentials to more advanced application development. Also offers a related 6-12 month Android Developer Nanodegree for a monthly fee.)

  • ALISON (A collection of 600 free standards-based and certified courses from top publishers such as Google, Adobe and Macmillan and subjects ranging from finance to health to IT.)

Here are our top 8 reasons why online courses can be what you are looking for to take the next steps forward in your career in the Netherlands:

  • Online courses are the future way of learning:

No need to spend money on gas or train tickets to be able to attend classes. Especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, online classes are an easy and practical solution to keep on learning and developing from your own living room.

  • Online courses save you time:

Stop spending time on Google and on searching for answers to your open questions. There are so many websites out there and they each tell you something different and end up confusing you. If you are looking for compact online course programs, then many courses can provide this. 

  • Online courses save you costs:

Say goodbye to expensive in-person classes and say hello to more inexpensive and efficient online courses. Online courses are practical and summarize the ‘must know’ facts about a topic without overwhelming you and stretching your bank account too much. 

  • Online courses are location independent:

You can follow courses from anywhere around the globe, as long as you have stable internet and a personal device (e.g. laptop or tablet).

  • Online courses give you flexibility: 

You can follow an online course at your own pace because. Many programs can be completed in several days or in several weeks/months next to a full-time job or other obligations. Nobody judges you on your speed of finishing the content as it is for your personal growth.

  • Online courses can get you closer to your goal:

Online courses will give you new inspiration, new tips and new resources and will let you have many ‘aha’ moments. Go on a journey of self-discovery. Reflecting on your personal situation, your next steps and your personality is a crucial part of the job search progress.

  • Online courses are interesting and interactive:

By combining theoretical and practical content, as well as adding interactive exercises, quizzes and handouts, many courses acknowledge that people have different learning styles and want to spend their time well without getting bored along the way. An online course should be a fun way of taking in new information and learning new skills. 

What is a CAO and what does it mean to work as a CAO uitzendkracht?

What is a CAO?

CAO stands for ‘Collectieve Arbeidsovereenkomst’ and can be translated to ‘collective labor agreement’. CAO’s are collective labor agreements between an employer and a trade union in regards to wages, working hours, probation, pension and other important rights & duties of the agency and temporary employee. 

Abroad Experience works in accordance with the ABU’s collective labor agreement. The ABU, which is short for the Federation of temporary employment agencies Federation of temporary employment agencies. Their CAO Collective Agreement is for Temporary Employees working in The Netherlands.

Working as a CAO uitzendkracht via Abroad Experience Recruitment

If you are working as a temporary employee via Abroad Experience and come to our office for your contract signing, then you are working in accordance with the collective labor agreement of the ABU. You are a CAO Uitzendkracht. 

Do you want to know more about how many holiday days you have? Do you want to know more about your pension? Your holiday allowances? Your overworking hours? What to do when on sick leave?

When working with Abroad Experience you will receive an English version of a PDF file with the Collective Labor Agreement of the ABU. You can also find the link to this PDF file below:

ABU CAO English 2019-2021

How to Get the Best out of Social Media in your Job Search

Social media has become one of the most powerful tools for recruiters and job seekers. The importance of being “out there” is so crucial that those who don’t build a strong social media profile may fall behind. Companies are using social media to recruit talent but also to find extra information about them. 

Which Social Media platforms can I use?

There are many different social media platforms. However, at a professional level, we believe that you should work on FacebookTwitter and Linkedin. For marketing professionals and graphic designers, you may consider using extra platforms like PinterestInstagram or Flickr. And if you are in Germany or in the Netherlands, Xing is essential to accomplish your objective!

Below we will explain what we think is the most important when creating a social media profile to get the best of it.

  • Using Keywords:

Use relevant keywords to define your skills and make the search easier for recruiters. A good set of keywords will boost your possibilities of being found and maybe hired!

  • Branding yourself:

Create your own personal branding, use the same style in all your social media accounts, create relevant content in the areas you are an expert at and distinguish yourself from others. Make use of professional pictures on your portrait photo and exclude your personal activities from your non-private accounts.

  • Developing your profile:

This is especially important on Linkedin. Describe all your working experiences, link them to your companies, and add pictures and links. Also include some interests and hobbies in order to show a bit of your personality.

  • Interacting with your connections:

Like, share and comment on what others write and also contribute with your own articles. It is useless to have more than 500 connections if you know none of them!

  • Updating regularly:

Update your status with meaningful titles as this is the best way to create a strong network and to be up-to-date in your field. Try to be active on social media and you will be ranked at the top of the search engine. It is advisable that the updates are based on quality and relevance.

  • Minimizing discrepancies:

Make sure that your profiles look the same as your CV. Check your dates, job titles, duties and employers. If you can, try to explain any gap between employments or leave it for the interview.

  • Joining groups:

On Linkedin, Google+, Xing and Facebook, you have the chance to join different groups. It is a good opportunity for you to show your expertise and increase the number of connections in your field.

  • Being public:

Make sure, checking your privacy settings, that you are open to receiving new connection requests or inmails (on Linkedin), and that you are also visible on Google.

  • Linking accounts:

Link all your accounts in order to be more visible and easy to find. It is also interesting to add your social media profiles to your signature in your email.

We personally recommend candidates to create professional profiles instead of having just one profile for everything. It is important to look professional on the internet as companies tend to do intensive research when they receive an application or want to hire someone.

Speaking of social media, if you are not yet following us on our social media channels, we’d like to encourage you to do so.

We are very active on Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram and Youtube. Be the first to know about the newest vacancies, trends on the Dutch market, application & interview tips, as well as information sessions. 

Abroad Experience Website: https://www.abroad-experience.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abroadexrecruitment/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/728236/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/abroad.experience.recruitment/

Youtube channel: https://bit.ly/326123L

What to do when you get ill while working as a Temporary Employee at Abroad Experience

While working for Abroad Experience, if you do become ill during your contract as a temporary employer, we ask you to keep the following steps in mind:

  • Inform your Hirer (your Manager) before 10.00 on the day of illness and explain your current situation.
  • Inform Abroad Experience after you spoke to your manager and also let us know that you have been in contact with your manager already.
  • When you are back at work, please also inform Abroad Experience of this so we can update our records.

When you do become ill there are some conditions that are stated by the CAO (Collective Labor Agreement) that Abroad Experience follows:

  • When falling ill you will not receive payment until the 3rd day of sick leave, as the first 2 days are waiting days. To compensate for these 2 waiting days you are entitled to a paid percentage (0.71% – waiting day compensation) with every 4-week payment period. This means every 4 weeks you will receive the waiting day compensation paid out with your salary.
  • When Abroad Experience registers you as ill to the UWV (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen, English: Employee Insurance Agency), the assignment that has been signed will come to an end. When you are able to return to work, and the hiring manager has agreed to this, a new assignment will be signed between you and Abroad Experience.

Other useful links:

Working via Abroad Experience on a temporary contract

When finding a job via a recruitment agency, like Abroad Experience, you will either have a direct contract with the company you’ll be working for or you will start with a temporary agency contract via Abroad Experience. When starting as a temporary employee at Abroad Experience, you will receive an employment contract and a corresponding assignment sheet that outlines all the relevant information regarding starting date, salary, work location, travel allowance, etc.

A draft contract will normally be sent to you by e-mail ahead of the contract signing so that you have time to go through it, can identify any questions that you might have and correct any errors in personal information such as your address or given name before the contract signing. At the contract signing, your recruitment consultant at Abroad Experience will also go through the contract with you page by page so that everything is clear and all of your questions are answered.

There are different kinds of temporary contracts and, in general, the hiring company has set policies in regards to what contract they can offer to you as a new employee in terms of duration and employment type.

The most common route is to start on a Temporary Contract with an agency clause (In Dutch: uitzendbeding). This is an open-ended contract that is valid for a maximum period of 78 worked weeks (CAO Phase A). While working in Phase A, you are paid for the hours that you actually work. During this period you have a notification period of one day and the employer has a notification period that varies from 0-14 calendar days depending on the time length of time employed. Most hiring companies choose to offer the employee a direct contract after a period of approximately 6 months.

Some companies prefer to offer the employee a fixed-term contract (in Dutch: detachering). In this case, you would get a contract valid for a specific period of time and for a fixed amount of hours per week.

For more information about contracts, please visit our Youtube channel where we have additional informative video material about contracts & many other topics.