More than coders: Amsterdam startups are in need of a diverse set of skills

Now in its fourth year, the Amsterdam startup jobs report in partnership StartupAmsterdam, shows that tech companies account for 78K jobs in the city.

Despite a turbulent H1 2020, the number of people employed in Amsterdam’s startup sector keeps growing. And these jobs are about more than just software developers. Amsterdam startups are creating jobs, and in need of talent, in all areas of business, from operations and sales to marketing and HR.

Report - Startup jobs in Amsterdam in 2021

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Amsterdam’s homegrown tech companies are responsible for 44K jobs, while foreign tech companies established in the region (including Netflix, Tesla and Amazon) add another 34K jobs, and jobs at startups are growing faster than any individual sector in 2020/21.

Younger companies drive most rapid growth

Despite a number of important unicorn employers in the city, startup job growth in Amsterdam is disproportionately driven by younger companies. Startups under five years old account for half of all local jobs created since January 2020. But older companies, those founded before 2010, still account for a majority (52%) of tech jobs in Amsterdam.

"Scaling the organisation structure, hiring new people, and maintaining a healthy culture is exciting, but also comes with its own challenges of constantly communicating our vision and plans for the future."

Thomas van Til, VP Marketing at Founda

Contrast across sectors

2020 and 2021 have understandably had varying impact on startup sectors. Companies in the Travel, Events, Marketing and HR tech sectors faced major challenges over the course of 2020 leading many to contract or freeze their headcount. While Foodtech and Healthtech stand out as the fastest-growing startup sectors for employment in Amsterdam. In these areas, where digital product adoption was accelerated by the pandemic, it resulted in +20% year-on-year job growth.

But with overall startups jobs growing +6.6% in 2020 and 2021, faster than any individual sector, the data demonstrates that startups are a resilient job creation engine, even in the most challenging of conditions.

Not just technical talent

Demand for talent in startups is high and competitive, but this is not limited to technical talent. Startups are creating roles in diverse areas, from data and development, to sales, marketing and product management. 

Amsterdam startups are in need of a diverse range of talent

"We’re recruiting heavily across all areas of the business with the most volume in Tech, Customer Experience, and of course, our Experts who review and select only the best items for our auctions."

James Lesner, Head of Recruitment at Catawiki

Growing impact

Job creation is also accelerating at impact-focussed startups, which now account for 8.6% of startup jobs in Amsterdam, up from 4.6% in 2018.

Our research has previously shown that impact startups attract a higher number of applications per position than non-impact startup, meaning that impact companies can fish from a bigger talent pool in their recruitment processes.

"Diversity starts with understanding the why, what and when. Most important thing for us is to combine the purpose of Picnic with the ambition to build a diverse team that strives towards our ambitious goals."

Roline Spijkervet, Head of Talent Acquisition at Picnic

Report - Startup jobs in Amsterdam in 2021

Get the complete report