At EMTG we aim to connect motivated European healthcare workers to Dutch healthcare institutions. Our international recruitment team consists of highly experienced staff members with great knowledge of the Dutch healthcare system. They are the first contact point to healthcare professionals interested in pursuing a new professional challenge in their life abroad. Today, we would like to introduce our Talent Acquisition Specialist in Croatia & Slovenia, Blaž Petrič. Blaž has had an extensive career as a recruiter and worked across several countries across different regions. Since May 2021 he has been working at EMTG. As the baby of the team he provides fresh insights to the recruitment process. Today he will share an overview of working from Slovenia and provide an insight on how to prepare for your next interview.
1. Can you tell us something about yourself? My name is Blaž Petrič, I come from Sloveniaand joined the EMTG family earlier this year in 2021. It has been an interesting period so far. Every month I learn something new. I am in charge oftwo countries, Slovenia and Croatia where I oversee the recruitment process. At the same time, I am learning a lot about the Netherlands and everyday try to get involved as much as I can.
2. What top attributes do you look for when screening and interviewing candidates? Some attributes are shown straight away and some are seen throughout the process. For example, when I ask a candidate for their motivation to apply, I will notice from their answer some of the attributes I look for. This can be the way in which a candidate handles him/herself. Whether they came prepared, are dressed neatly, are they motivated to join the program or just checking out their options? I look for whether they really want to relocate and other attributes I will find out later on. While we try to get the documents and go through the procedures I can see how disciplined they are and whether they follow certain patterns. Basically, the most important aspect is whether they are serious about their career. They need to show the desire to want to know more and work in the Netherlands.
3. What motivates you the most about your work? The best motivation comes after the work has been done. The final result gives the ultimate satisfaction. When I meet candidates, we usually go through a long and grueling process before they start work. It requires a lot of documentation and procedures before the registration process can start. It is a long process but after I meet with candidates down the line when we go for a coffee or beer and see that they are happy in the Netherlands, I truly feel blessed and feel that the hard work we have put into a candidate has paid off.
4. What are the basic requirements for working in the Netherlands, via EMTG? The basic requirement would obviously be to have a nursing degree. It is easier if the degree comes from a European institution. However, it is not impossible to start the EMTG journey with a nursing degree from outside the EU. For example, I recently had a candidate who is a European citizen but did not have a nursing degree from within the EU. We managed to convert her documents through Nuffic and right now she is trying to learn the language.So basically a nursing degree is required and preferably a certain level of English so that someone can start learning Dutch.So where there is a will, there is a way!
5. Since you are active in two countries, do you approach candidates differently or do you use the same methods and strategies? Croatia and Slovenia are close to each other in language, geographically wise and also in culture. Now for me the difference lies in the region. Someone who lives close to Croatia but is Slovenian and someone that is Croatia but lives near Slovenia may be similar in terms of cultural habits. But someone who is down south near the seaside could have a totally different mentality. As far as the countries go, there are some trends regarding social media. In some channels I will have more success in Slovenia and others in Croatia. When I talk about social media you have to think about platforms such as Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.
6. What can healthcare professionals expect in the Netherlands? The Netherlands has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, offers incredible professional growth opportunities, a great life / work balance and competitive salaries. The work sphere is informal but respectful towards everyone competencies, cultural background and skills.
7. In brief, what is the main (cultural) difference of working in Croatia/Slovenia and the Netherlands as a health care professional? The number one thing I always hear during info days are the working hours. In the Netherlands our nurses work between 32-36 hours which is way less than Slovenia or Croatia. The salary is also more attractive in the Netherlands plus the geographic location of the Netherlands is advantageous. It takes around an hour to fly to Croatia. The whole structure of the healthcare system in the Netherlands is a very secure place to work, it is a safe country and there are a lot of investments in the healthcare which means that there are a lot of opportunities for nurses. The horizontal hierarchy is prevailing in the Netherlands. There are no 10 bosses or managers on top of you, it is very horizontal. Everybody is working as a team and this translates very well to the nurses.
8. Have you been to the Netherlands? What’s your favorite city in the Netherlands and what do you like the most about the Netherlands? Obviously we have colleagues from different cities so I won’t pick one out. Amsterdam is the most famous Dutch city, the biggest city, the most culturally diverse city. There’s also Rotterdam, a bright modern city with one of the biggest ports in the world. You also have Utrecht which is very catered to students with many young people. You have the Hague which has an important administrative role in the Netherlands. Then there are other cities such as Gouda and Leiden who have a rich history. I like them all!
9. What are the professional growth opportunities for foreign healthcare professionals in the Netherlands? As far as professional growth and pure specialization opportunities, things move much more rapidly in the Netherlands. When I was in the Netherlands, I was talking to a nurse that has been living there for 9 or 10 years. She came from Spain and she is already a specialist in her field. She obviously put a lot of work in and is disciplined but she managed to specialize very fast. Now she’s working at a high level and is earning an attractive salary. Of course it depends on the individual but a lot of doors open once you reach the Netherlands!
10. What do you like the most about being a Talent Acquisition Specialist? Having the chance to help and guide nurses on their way to a better career, meeting people from different countries and working in a diverse, talented and openminded team. It gives me inspiration to be able to work with the different departments within EMTG too. This gives me energy and motivation to help the company reach new heights.
Would you like to learn more about the opportunities for health care professionals in the Netherlands? You are welcome to attend an (online)info day or contactBlaž directly. Furthermore, you can follow him on Instagram here and here and see what life is like working and living in the Netherlands.