Will the inexhaustible source of cheap employees from Poland dry up in the Netherlands? According the recent messages on this subject one would think it would be, but that is not the case. The world is changing and so is the labour market. An improving economy, an aging population and alternative labour markets are the reasons for the gradual decline. Employment agencies therefore must expand their horizon. We therefore asked reactions from the employment sector.

Not less, but harder

One of the entrepreneurs who sees a decline in the number of Polish temporary agency workers, is Rayif Ayyildiz from the temporary employment agency Voorne Putten. "Since over a year they walk away more easily. There are no less Polish workers, but it is harder to make the right selection."

That's because the economy in Poland, but also in other European countries is recovering. So the Polish workers can choose from more alternatives. Therefore, Rayif increased his scope. "More to the outside, in the sense of getting away from the big cities and more to the countryside. We also switched our attention to other countries. Mainly Romania and Latvia but also to other countries."

A blend of workers from different countries
Frans van der Lugt from staffing company Westflex sees a reason for the improving economy of Poland; salaries and allowances are getting better and therefore less reasons to leave. Frans also sees a greater interest in the region bordering Poland-Germany, where working conditions did not diminish the past few years and is closer to Poland.
"From a Polish majority, we go more towards a blend. But anyway, you see the market change. There is a group which came up through the ranks, who they want to hold on to and for whom customers are willing to spend more".

Job market is moving to Hungary
At the temporary employment agency Tradiro, they notice the decline of Polish employees. "Especially for the minimum pay functions, the quality is getting less," says Peet Grootscholten. “Therefore, we are moving to Hungary." Last month, the company opened a new office in Nyíregyháza for recruitment and selection. "Economic growth in Hungary is less than in Poland. We already received a lot of applications in one month. The next step is to open an office in Lithuania."

According to Peet there is not much difference between Polish and Hungarian employees. "It's a little less Catholic in Hungary, so there are fewer holidays upon which they like to be at home. Furthermore, the reliability of the Hungarian workers is as high as the Polish workers in the past."

P. Looije Verpakkingen
P. Looije Packaging has no trouble recruiting Polish employees. Pawel Kaczmarczyk, director of the Centre for Migration Research at the University of Warsaw, suggests that the positive image that the Netherlands had, suffered damage. This is due to reports in the Polish media about the lack of hospitality in the Netherlands.

"That may be the reason that we do not suffer from fewer applications," said Pete. "From the first moment on we make sure that our employees feel welcomed, at home and feel as a member of the 'family'. Everyone is educated and trained. They get a good salary, are working under good circumstances and we provide a good home. Hospitality is at the top of our list! "