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2023 Report

Developer Hiring Trends in the Netherlands

In this report

Job search trends

Despite a cooldown in the tech hiring market, developers see plenty of promising opportunities: 1 in 3 are looking to change jobs in the next year.



It’s hard to overstate how tough the past 12 months have been. Difficulties in fund-raising and mass layoffs have rocked especially the US tech market. At the same time, Europe has been far from immune. The war in Ukraine, rising inflation and interest rates, and the energy crisis are shaping a challenging macroeconomic climate.

Amid so much uncertainty, the ability to see the signal in the noise has become more important than ever. The data shows that there are reasons for cautious optimism for the Dutch tech industry:

Tech companies with solid business models continue to grow and developers still have plenty of exciting opportunities and growth potential.

This year's data shows that salary is 2023's biggest draw card for software developers in the Netherlands. They consider it their most important factor for career growth at a company and they know that changing jobs gain them greater increases.

To retain your team members, our data shows it’s most important to offer market-related salaries and challenging projects.

Philip Joubert
OfferZen Co-founder and CEO
Philip Joubert
OfferZen Co-founder and CEO

Developer retention

Nearly 2 in 3 developers in the Netherlands feel like they can grow their careers at their companies: Earning potential is the top way to retain talent.

Developer retention

Developers stay for earning potential and growth

Two thirds of developers believe they can grow at their current company

'Do you feel you can develop your career at your company?'

We've seen in previous reports that growth opportunities are one of the top reasons that developers stay in their roles.

That means it's a very good signal for retention that nearly 2 in 3 developers in the Netherlands feel like they can grow their careers at their companies.

Let's investigate what exactly growth means to developers.

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Earning potential and challenging projects are key to retention

Developers' top factors for career growth

Unsurprisingly, the top factor that makes developers feel like they can grow in their careers is earning potential.

However, money isn't everything. Offering your team challenging work matters nearly as much as salary growth.

To win at retention, make sure you regularly check in on these two important career factors with your team members. This will allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of your team’s happiness, before they look for opportunities elsewhere.

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More than half of developers can work internationally

Same country as my company
Any country within the same/similar time zones
Anywhere in the world
Same city as the company

Another important factor for retention is your team's well-being. Previously, we saw that a poor work-life balance ranks among the top reasons for developers to leave a role. From our remote report, we also know that the majority of devs want remote work options to have better control over their environment and time management.

The Netherlands already has this covered: The Flexible Working Act now requires that employers in the Netherlands have a good reason to refuse a request to work from home.

This also shows in remote policies: The majority of developers have options to work remotely, only 3.9% have to be in the same city as their company. More than half of developers can even work internationally!

Despite this, most developers in the Netherlands prefer to stay local. Almost half of developers live in the same city that their company is based in.

There are a few possible reasons for this. One might be that most companies prefer to hire developers based in the same city to cater for a potential shift to hybrid. Another could be that developers value flexibility and control over their work environment, and enjoy the option to connect with their peers to achieve a good work-life balance.

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Hybrid reigns as the most popular and most common set-up

Developers' work set-ups
Fully remote
Fully office-based

Offering remote work options has become the norm in the Netherlands. Hybrid is both the most popular and most common work set-up, with more than 60% of developers preferring the option and already working according to this model.

Post-pandemic, it's clear that developers value the comforts offered by working from home, but enjoy seeing their coworkers face-to-face on a regular basis.

That said, it's worth keeping in mind the effects that a hybrid policy will have on your available talent pool. If you require team members to come into the office, it would mean you're limiting your talent pool to your city bounds.

One solution could be to have an office or co-working space available for those who want to work in a hybrid model, but not make it a requirement for all developers. This gives you the freedom to hire more broadly, while still giving team members the chance to connect in person.

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Lack of interaction with co-workers is the top challenge in remote work

Developers' biggest remote challenges

The popularity of a hybrid working model is reflected in what developers find challenging when working remotely, with a lack of day-to-day interactions topping the list.

Making your office – or a co-working space – an attractive space to work can encourage your team members to head in from time to time and give them the time they need to connect to their co-workers.

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50% of devs won't apply to job ads without upfront salary info

Find developers who ignored your job ads: On OfferZen, your role, tech stack, and salary info get shared with devs upfront. It's how we achieve a 96% developer response rate.

Hire developers

Growing your developer team

Transparency is key to attracting new talent, and preventing drop-off in your pipeline. More than 50% of developers won't apply to a job ad without upfront salary information.

More than 50% of developers won't apply without salary info

'If a job ad doesn't share a salary range would you still apply?'

Within a highly competitive market, it's vital to do everything in your power to widen your talent pool. Every choice you make in the hiring process affects the number of developers you could be reaching or turning off.

A prime example are upfront salaries in your job ads. Not including a salary in your job ads could cost you more than half of potential applicants, drastically narrowing your available pool of talent.

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More than 70% of developers abandon a hiring process due to a negative experience

'Has a negative experience during the hiring process ever made you drop out?'
Never had a negative experience

Providing salary information upfront is not enough to keep candidates in your pipeline. You need to ensure your candidate experience is top-shelf. More than 70% of developers have dropped out of a process due to negative experiences. This number rises with seniority, with more senior talent being most likely to cut their losses after a bad experience.

So, which of their paint points should you avoid at all costs? Let's unpack this next.

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Being lowballed on salary is a developer’s biggest pain point in the hiring process

What developers most dislike in the interview process

Developers know what they want and are prioritising their salary growth when changing roles. Being lowballed on salary is their number one pain point in a hiring process, especially for juniors. Having discussions with developers about their salary expectations early on can prevent developers from dropping out of your process.

You should also ensure your hiring team's outreach tactics are on point. Developers are in high demand so they get inundated with messages that are often not relevant to them. In fact, being approached with an irrelevant role is their second biggest pain point. Why is it important that developers don't associate your company's hiring outreach with spam? Because developers talk to each other.

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Many hiring processes fail because of poor transparency and communication. These failures include situations such as offering a lower salary than agreed upon, neglecting to inform candidates about remote work policies, and not communicating the reasons for delays in the process. It’s important to keep in mind that candidates often interpret a lack of communication as negative news. Therefore, it’s better to communicate any updates, or even the absence of updates, rather than remain silent.

Janine Leitner, Account Manager at OfferZen

4 out of 5 developers share their hiring experiences with peers

'Have you ever shared your hiring experiences with other developers?'

Providing a negative experience during your hiring process affects more than your current pipeline. It makes it harder to attract new applicants in future. 84.3% developers share their experiences with their peers.

That means you need to do everything in your power to leave developers with a good impression. Be sure to provide room for developers to give input on your hiring process, whether they're successful or not, so that you can identify where you're winning and what you need to improve.

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Almost 50% of developers share their experiences publicly

'How do you share your hiring experiences?'

Developers are a tight-knit community that talk amongst themselves. While almost all developers rely on word of mouth, 48% also take their experiences public.

This means that any touch point in your hiring process can have repercussions on your brand long after it's over, giving even more reason to pay close attention to developers' pet peeves and what they value in the hiring process.

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42% of developers use the interview process to assess culture

'What helps you assess company culture?'

The above goes to show: Interviewing is a two-way street. Developers use your process as a window into what it might be like to work with you.

Again, we see evidence of the importance of candidate experience: Developers will rely on existing and former employees and word of mouth to assess your company culture. If those peers had a bad experience with you in your hiring process, you might lose future candidates.

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Transparency about salary, role and interview process is key

What developers appreciate in the hiring process

When it comes to providing a great candidate experience, software engineers care about transparency and good communication. They want to know whether you're aligned in terms of salary and role expectations, what your process looks like, and how they've been doing during the interviews. Seniors place even more value on transparency, with almost 68% rating it as the factor they most appreciate in a hiring process.

Seniors are in greater demand, have more experience, and potentially a better understanding of what they want. They generally have more options and can take their pick.

Being clear about the role, the salary, and how your candidates are doing will help prevent drop-off in your pipeline and leave developers with a good impression to share with their peers.

0% represents no respondents at that seniority choosing that option.

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I’ve seen a hiring team lose the majority of their candidates at the technical stage. We tweaked the message they sent candidates before the assessment to include concise information on what candidates can expect, a clear deadline, and had the team set up a follow-up call. Technical assessments are a heavy investment from a time perspective: if you put this effort into your process, it will result in a good conversion rate. The team ended up hiring someone within 4 weeks.

Kieran Varkevisser, Senior Account Manager at OfferZen

Get tips on being more transparent in your hiring process

5 Dutch employment practices you need to disclose
Why a candidate's experience matters

An attractive offer includes the promise of bonuses

Most desired benefits

  1. Bonuses
  2. Retirement contributions
  3. Equity

Current benefits

  1. Commuting allowance
  2. Retirement contributions
  3. Conference/training budgets
Developers' current vs. desired benefits

What benefits make up an attractive offer? Bonuses are the most desired benefit of 58% of developers, followed by retirement contributions and equity. However, bonuses and equity are uncommon in the Netherlands, with neither appearing in the top 5 current benefits received by developers.

Offering a commuting allowance is the most common benefit, perhaps unsurprising given the preference for hybrid work amongst both developers and employers.

Since bonuses and equity are developers' most desired benefits, you can get an edge on your competitors by advertising this in your job offers.

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Want more insights into the minds of developers?

What is the hottest industry according to developers? Which developers are earning the big bucks? Read our Netherlands State of the Developer Nation Report to find out.

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Developer Hiring Playbook

To help you win at dev hiring, we're sharing winning practices, hacks and templates from 7 years of helping over 2000 companies build world-class tech teams.


The data in this report does not claim to be representative of the entire developer population in the Netherlands. Any time the term, 'software engineer, ‘developer’ or 'software developer' is used, it refers to the group of developers who took our #DevNationSurvey between 23 February and 12 April 2023.

In cases where no data slicing occurs, all 255 valid responses were included. In order to shed light on survey participant characteristics, we’ve included the demographic breakdown of all 255 valid responses below.




Coding experience




Organisation size


OfferZen conducted a survey to find out more about skills, work experience and job search behaviour of developers. A total of 267 people took the online survey between 23 February and 12 April 2023. Of these responses, 255 were counted as valid because they were from developers, or developers who manage other developers, and are currently living in the Netherlands.

We hosted the survey itself on Typeform and recruited respondents via emails sent to more than 40 000 software makers in the OfferZen community and social media posts to the public. Data was anonymised in accordance with GDPR guidelines and is housed separate to any and all of OfferZen’s platform data. Percentages may not always add to 100% due to rounding.

About OfferZen

OfferZen is a developer job marketplace by developers for developers. Our platform matches job-seeking developers with exciting opportunities at companies, but this effort actually encompasses a much wider mission: To help developers and their teams thrive in the tech ecosystem.

Over the last six years, this has manifested in a multitude of ways from our core business of helping developers find awesome new jobs, to hosting local maker evenings and tech events, or helping developers share their experiences on our blog. We want to help build an inclusive, transparent, and thriving tech ecosystem.

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