Work abroad in the Netherlands can be found in many industries, but one of the most popular is horticulture. The Netherlands is famous for producing flowers and flower bulbs, and work with flower bulbs is especially popular. If you are also interested in it, check out what you can expect from it.
Flower bulbs work for everyone
Dutch employers are looking for both temporary and seasonal workers to work in their companies. Depending on your availability, you can choose to work for three holiday months or for longer – even if you start with a seasonal company and the job ends after a while, you can move on to a year-round company. Ask the recruiters at the READY STEADY GO agency for details.
Working with bulbs is an occupation for almost everyone. Age is no barrier – young people, full of strength and vigour, as well as older people in their 50s or so, can do the job just as well.
Sounds appealing? Read how to find a job in the Netherlands working with flower bulbs, write your CV and covering letter, and apply for the position of your choice!
Working conditions – you work a lot, you earn more
Flower bulb work in the Netherlands is very popular because it allows you to earn a lot in a short period of time. This is for several reasons.
Firstly, the hourly rates are attractive, especially when you go to the same company for the next time.
Secondly, during the high season, which falls in the months of July to September, it is possible to work up to 60h per week (the norm is usually 50 to 60h per week)! For Seasonal Workers, this is a huge plus, as they can work longer hours than in companies in another industry and thus earn more in the same period.
Finally, thirdly – in this job it is easy to get promoted and get a higher hourly rate. You don’t need to have specialist knowledge – you just need to work well, be committed to your tasks and, most importantly, come back to the same company the next season. Dutch employers value Employees who come to work for them repeatedly. They do not need to train them additionally, but only to pass on current information, while being sure that the work will be done solidly. So, if you make a good impression once, you are very likely to secure a seasonal job for many years to come.
What kind of Employees are Dutch employers looking for?
First and foremost, those who will be committed to the work. Bulb work requires no experience, special knowledge or strength. It is relatively light and easy, so there is no need for intensive preparation. You will receive the necessary training when you arrive and start working on the very first day.
A basic knowledge of English to communicate with other Employees and supervisors is welcome. If you don’t speak English, you will have time to learn the basics before you leave – you can read about how to do this in the article How to learn English to communicate easily while working abroad?
Availability for two or three months
If you want to get a good job at a flower bulbs company quickly, take care of your availability. Competition is high and the work is popular, but priority for hiring is given to those who have declared their availability to work from the beginning of July or August until the end of September, so for two or three full months. Employers do not want to lose an Employee two weeks before the end of the season – hiring another involves spending time training them, which is not cost-effective.
So, if you want to work with flower bulbs, make time to work not only for July and August, but also the whole of September. As we wrote in the article What can destroy your chances of finding a job in the Netherlands?, shorter availability can be a barrier to employment.
What about students?
Are you a student? Working with flower bulbs is also for you. Remember, however, that employers are most keen to hire Employees with long availability. So, if you were planning a holiday at the end of September, think about changing your holiday plans. This will not only increase your chances of getting hired, but you will also earn more.
What’s more, the READY STEADY GO agency works with flower bulbs companies that are located in the north of the Netherlands, in the Noordwijkerhout area, which means by the sea. While you are there during the holiday season, you will therefore not lose the opportunity to enjoy the delights of relaxing on the beach or sightseeing. You can go to the seaside at your leisure, for example using the bicycles provided by the agency. It is worth postponing your trip to warm countries until autumn or early spring – then you will not only pay less for your trip, but you will also have a peaceful holiday without the crowds of tourists around.
If you have chosen seasonal work, it is probably because you want to earn money. You will earn more of it by working longer hours. Set your priorities and consider whether going on holiday before the academic year starts is worth the loss of earnings and the chance of employment the following holiday season.
What is it like to work with flower bulbs?
The scope of your responsibilities will depend on which position you end up in. Women usually work on the production line, sorting, packing, sticking labels, placing bulbs in boxes and preparing orders. This is not hard work, but requires attention and accuracy. Men, on the other hand, do slightly heavier work, which includes transferring bulbs from boxes to sorting machines, taking packed bulbs to the warehouse, labelling or handling packed cartons.
Depending on the company, the season starts in June or July. Employees often work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., so they spend 9 h at work, but during this time there is a compulsory break, spread over three parts – two of 15 minutes and one of 30 minutes. During the high season, in some companies it is possible to work as much as 12h, including a one-hour break, and coming to work also at the weekend.
The season begins with preparing the bulbs for packing. Workers pick and peel them from their skins. They then sort the bulbs on machines, then into bags, and finally stack and pack them into cartons. Each carton is labelled with a sticker indicating the number and type of bulbs – wrapping the cartons can also be part of your job.
Working with bulbs is not difficult
The responsibilities do not include complicated activities that require special skills or training. You will quickly learn how to perform your tasks reliably and not make mistakes, and you will receive help with your introduction to the job at the beginning.
How to prepare for flower bulbs work?
Above all, take a positive attitude and willingness to work with you, but specific items will also be useful. It is usually room temperature on the hall, so many Employees work in short-sleeved shirts. However, just in case, have a sweatshirt with you that is easy to put on or take off. Bulbs are also stored in warehouses where the temperature is lower than on the hall. There, a sweatshirt or other warm covering is definitely useful.
If you have very small or extra-large hands, take customised gloves with you to work. Usually, Employees will receive these from their employer, but these gloves are standard sizes. Those with different needs, at least initially, should have their own gloves.
The type of bulbs you will be working with may also influence the need for preparation. If you are assigned to hyacinth bulbs, make sure to cover up all exposed parts of your body, including your cleavage and neck. These bulbs give off substances that cause an allergic reaction among many people, so it is advisable to work in a turtleneck or neck warmer.
Contraindications to work in the Netherlands with flower bulbs
There are actually not many contraindications to this job. Choose a different industry if you have an allergy or hypersensitivity to pollen. You can check this before you leave by having allergy tests carried out. Remember to tell a recruiter from the READY STEADY GO agency about your health problems – the recruiter will help you choose a suitable job offer.
Is flower bulbs work for you?
Definitely yes, if you are looking for an occupation that is light, undemanding and profitable. With a little effort and commitment, one trip for three months will get you a job for several more seasons, so don’t hesitate any longer. Check out how to apply for a job with our agency, how to prepare for a holiday job in the Netherlands and start packing your suitcase!