Amsterdam is seeing a rise in English-speaking hospitality employees, many of which are international students trying to earn a living alongside their studies. Student company R’Cruit, part of the HRBS incubator, wants to help international students in Rotterdam find a part-time English-speaking job.
Several studies have shown that finding an English-speaking job in Rotterdam, home to around 9,000 international students, can be difficult. In response to this, Hogeschool Rotterdam Business School (HRBS) students Alex Hoogenbosch and Dave van Eijmeren created ViviRdam. The start-up’s aim was to help international students that are struggling with the Dutch paperwork to find a place to live as well as a suitable job alongside their studies.
The two entrepreneurship and retail management students started the initiative in May this year. It proved so successful that they met the requirements to enter the HR incubator, a collection of successful start-ups founded by HRBS students.
The incubator mentors students and facilitates their participation in workshops relevant to their company.
The incubator mentors students and facilitates their participation in workshops relevant to their company. This took Alex and Dave in a whole new direction, and they now focus entirely on student side jobs. Their company has since been rebranded with a new name and a new website, which went live last week.
From ViviRdam to R’Cruit
And so ViviRdam became R’Cruit, a recruitment agency that helps international students find a suitable side job in Rotterdam. ‘Using our knowledge of Rotterdam’s labour market and the Dutch integration process, we try to put employers and international students in contact with each other,’ says co-founder Alex. ‘We strive to find a strong personal match between student and employer, solving two problems with one solution: we provide international students with a job and tackle the huge shortage of labour in the hospitality industry at the same time.’
In addition to hospitality, R’Cruit is also active in other industries such as IT and retail. ‘In these industries, you can find a lot of side jobs that require very little contact with customers, such as grocery delivery or working at festivals,’ co-founder Dave explains.
R’Cruit meets potential candidates through a variety of channels. ‘The foreign agencies of Hogeschool Rotterdam and Erasmus University Rotterdam help us, and we also do fun campaigns, put flyers up and advertise. When a student registers, we look both at their needs and requirements as well as at those of the potential employer.’ If there’s a match, the student is often hired as a temporary or on-call employee.
Change of direction
R’Cruit currently has a pool of around thirty international students. Some of these students work for two different partners on a regular basis. The start-up is also in negotiations with a market research company looking for a constant stream of international students. When those negotiations are complete, they could help between eight and ten new students find a side job every month.
‘Many companies don’t want to deal with all the paperwork.’
According to Alex and Dave, more vacancies need to open up. They also say that it’s time for a change of direction when it comes to jobs for international students. ‘Lots of companies aren’t ready to accept English-speaking employees, even though this has become very common in big cities. In addition, many companies don’t want to deal with all the paperwork involved.’
Text: Asli Kösker