NL Jobs – An interview with one of Capitalmind’s Fabulous 20 Staffing companies

Capitalmind Fabulous 20 Staffing

Capitalmind Corporate Finance Advisory regularly publishes the Fabulous 20, a list of the fastest growing privately owned staffing companies in the Netherlands. The historic growth of NL Jobs has been impressive, especially when comparing to the listed companies in this industry.

NL Jobs position in the Capitalmind Fabulous 20 Staffing, based on a revenue CAGR calculated over the three preceding years:

– in 2018 on position 17, with a CAGR of 18,6%
– In 2017 on position 19, with a CAGR of 21,4%
– In 2016 on position 15, with a CAGR of 20,4%

An interview with NL Job’s: an initiative of farmers

Did you ever spot that there is a wide variety of tomatoes in the supermarkets, ranging from vine tomatoes to cherry tomatoes and honey tomatoes? These did not appear out of nowhere. There is a big chance that these have been picked and processed by the temporary workers of NL Jobs.

Four large farmer/cultivation organizations, Van der Lans, Looye, Combivliet and Agrocare, active in North- and South-Holland and Zeeland, started an employment agency in 2002. This was necessary in order to fulfil the need for personnel in the greenhouse farming sector. This employment agency became NL Jobs (Oranjevliet Beheer BV), with their headquarters in Maasdijk.

Only when you drive through the Westland, in the Northern part of North-Holland, you realize how extensive tomato farming is in the Netherlands. In the last four to five years, NL Jobs has grown at least at the same pace as the increase in the number of farmers. Amongst the temporary workers are many Polish employees, but also Romanians, Latvians and Moldavians.

“Dutch people have little to no interest to work in greenhouses”, according to Marina Betting. “We work with job immigrants, not because they are cheaper, but because they are willing to come and work here. Without job immigrants there wouldn’t be any tomatoes –  it is that simple. Our foreign employees are paid according to the Dutch collective job agreement applicant in greenhouse farming”.

“In order to facilitate the job immigrants, we take care of housing arrange ‘jobmates’; these are people who are familiar with the culture and language of temporary workers. If we could find enough Dutch employees, we would save ourselves the trouble, because working with job immigrants is generally more expensive. It requires a multi-dimensional business. For example, we are an employment agency, but we also have recruitment offices. Also we are a real-estate developer in order to make sure we can provide good housing, and we organize the transport of job immigrants between our country and the country of origin as well as the commute in the region. “We have our own hotels for housing. Besides that, we rent locations that comply with our standards. The latter is becoming increasingly difficult, because our competition needs the housing as much as we do and of course people are looking to buy homes as well. The lack of residential space is driving up prices. At the same time we want homes that comply with – or even outperform –  the norms of proper housing according to SNF (Stichting Normering Flexwonen).

That is why we bought multiple hotels over the last few years such as hotel Westland in Maasdijk. In this region it has also been requested that a second hotel is built in order to house all the job immigrants.

In Middenmeer, in North-Holland, we recently built Logiescentrum Agriport. We are very proud of that, because it complies with the newest standards of comfortable, modern living. There is room for 360 people, a shop, a sports field and the employees have an apartment, living room and kitchen per two persons. It is completely furnished to fit the needs of our own temporary workers. We also rent different housing accommodations in Middenmeer to house our workers. In Spanbroek we own another building to house job immigrants. Housing like this is not mandatory: workers can choose themselves whether they want to use our housing options or if they want to find a space on their own.

If a job immigrant indicates that he/she wants to look for a house themselves, our internal employees can give advice. We don’t intend to push them, but are merely available if they require our assistance”

“In any case we also help with the basic requirements for their stay in the Netherlands, like opening a bank account or acquiring a social security number. If someone needs to go see a dentist or a doctor, our ‘jobmates’ can help/serve as a translator as well if required.

“We have work for temporary employees year-round: every year between 1.800 and 2.000 people work via us. In the peak this is an additional 700 to 1000 workers.”

“We still receive many applications from Poland, but in general the interest of Polish workers is declining. Poland is economically doing very well, thereby making people wonder: “how do I have it here and how much better will it be in the Netherlands?

The number of Romanian job immigrants is stable. There, as well as in Latvia, Moldavia and Ukraine, the income level is lower. That is the main reason why people in those countries tend to come to the Netherlands for longer periods. This again requires investments in the recruitment offices and acquiring internal employees that speak the language.

“In the first place we recruit for farmers. Additionally, we serve over 30 companies active in, amongst other things, logistics. For example, we provide order pickers to a company in the Maasvlakte. This has two benefits, because we want to offer our workers jobs, even in low season; the less changes in personnel we have, the more we can count on experienced workers during the year. This lowers our recruitment costs and the time we spend setting up employees.”

“We offer our temporary workers MBO-1 education, which also covers Dutch. There they learn practical skills to use in the greenhouses or in logistics. About 100 people take advantage of this offer.”

Controlled growth

“We keep investing in our recruitment offices and selection bureaus, in our housing options and in the automation of our administrative systems. We chose controlled growth, because the number of housing options we have should be in balance with the number of temporary workers we employ. You can not have one without the other.”

Interview: Hinke Wever, FlexNieuws in cooperation with Bart Jonkman, Marleen Vermeer and Maurits Odekerken, Capitalmind Corporate Finance Advisory

 

 

Bart Jonkman
Bart Jonkman
Managing Partner
Benelux
Marleen Vermeer
Marleen Vermeer
Director
Benelux

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