Meet international recruiter Ritsa Paraskevopoulou

Ritsa Paraskevopoulou is the multilingual expert within Exactpi. Born in Cyprus and later on lived and studied in different countries, she herself is an example of an international who came to live and work in the Netherlands later in life. We ask her about her work with international professionals.

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interview multilingual recruiter Ritsa Paraskevopoulou

Ritsa's personalized approach while helping
international professionals

Ritsa Paraskevopoulou is the multilingual expert at Exactpi. Born in Cyprus and later on lived and studied in other countries like U.S Hawaii and the UK, she herself is an example of an international who moved to the Netherlands later in life and embarked on a professional journey.

However, instead of pursuing her trained profession as an English teacher, she found her calling as a recruiter, particularly catering to fellow internationals. Also now at Exactpi Multilingual Recruitment, her focus remains on multilingual job openings and the surging demand for candidates who are proficient or native speakers of multiple languages within Exactpi’s client network.

We engage her (switching between Dutch and English) in an in-depth conversation about how she and her colleagues at Exactpi can support international professionals seeking employment opportunities in the Netherlands.

From your own experience, what can you encounter as
an international searching a job in the Netherlands?

“Living in different countries it is something that I can easily adjust. However, every country has its own cutlural differences and habbits. Moving to the Netherlands I must say it was one of the countries that I really had to get used to the people and their lifestyle.

One thing that struck me the most were the bicycles and all the bike paths across the country. Basically drivers just need to deal with it. Another thing was how direct people are in the Netherlands and they will tell you immediately what it is on their mind. I definitely had to work on this a lot and digest it somehow as in my culture or at least how I was raised,we are careful with our words and be mindful how it will comes across.

Getting a job as a foreigner in the Netherlands is possible but certainly not always easy. This has to do with the small size of the country, large population, housing shortage, and immigration rules. The fact that the Netherlands is such a popular international country with so many international jobs, can make it very competitive for applicants. However, if you have the right skills asked by the Dutch employers, you will likely find a job much easier.”

What did you miss when you wanted to start working
in the Netherlands?

“After completing my master’s degree at Leiden University and commencing my job search, I encountered a lack of proper guidance and advice from certain recruiters. I struggled to receive appropriate feedback about my interviews, whether they resulted in rejections or not. This hindered my ability to enhance and better equip myself for later opportunities. My interactions with recruitment agencies also often revealed a mismatch between my skill set and the job offerings. Sometimes I simply missed the empathy and passion of the recruiters. Because I know how difficult it can be to start over in another country, I pay extra attention to this in my contacts with our candidates.

From my own experience I know all about the strict rules and all the procedures you need to follow in order to get a document or ask for a simple request in the Netherlands. I must say I had to struggle with this and I still do sometimes. It is so much easier if you have somebody experienced by your side who can help you with these things.”

What can multilingual candidates expect
when working with Exactpi?

“The relationship between the Recruitment consultant at Exactpi and the candidate is built on a personal level.  We give a lot of attentive care. We recruiters are internationals ourselves who understand the differences of cultures and we adapt. When a candidate is invited, we ensure they are thoroughly prepared. Personally, I sit down with them for a face-to-face meeting or have a brief video call. If they prefer, they can also visit our office where we provide them with comprehensive tools, tips, and practice questions. This is crucial because not everyone is aware of what to expect or the type of questions they might encounter during an interview here. We strive to ensure they are fully equipped and ready. So it’s not just about us getting to know the candidate; we also ensure the candidates are familiar with our clients.”

Ritsa op de Iamexpatfair 2023 in Amsterdam

Ritsa at the Iamexpat Fair 2023 in Amsterdam

What is the procedure for international candidates
in applying for a job?

” There are few steps before applying for a job in the Netherlands. Updating your LinkedIn profile holds a great value in job search and networking in the Netherlands. Most of the companies and recruitment agencies do not provide sponsorships (this applies for the non-EU countries) so it is important that you already have a work permit, unless you are working with a partner or can be sponsored. Make sure your resume is ready. Before you apply for a job, you must also have your BSN (social security number) because it will be asked for during your application. Without a BSN, you are not legitimized to work here.

When you’re seeking assistance from Exactpi Multilingual Recruitment in your job search in the Netherlands, the most logical course of action is to submit an open application through our website or to respond to a specific job vacancy. At that point, we will start working with your CV and assess whether we can indeed provide support for you. If that’s the case, we will extend an invitation for an introductory meeting, from which we will delve deeper into your aspirations and abilities. Subsequently, we’ll proceed to introduce you to our client connections of your preference.”

What are the benefits of working with
an employment agency?

“Collaborating with an employment agency while searching for a job in the Netherlands offers a range of valuable advantages. Firstly, recruiters play a major role in conserving your time, effort, and reducing stress throughout the job hunting process. Additionally, they grant you access to a wider array of job opportunities, significantly expanding your horizons. We also serve as your supportive partners, guiding you through every stage – from refining your resume and cover letter to perfecting your portfolio, acing interviews, and skillfully navigating negotiations.”

Our expertise lies in comprehending precisely what both employers and job seekers seek, enabling us to forge impeccable matches. A significant perk is the extensive preparation we provide, ensuring you’re well-prepared and privy to inside information. Last but not least, these services are offered at no cost, making the collaboration even more attractive.”

Interested in meeting Ritsa to hear what Exactpi can do for you? Then feel free to contact her at ritsa@exactpi.nl.

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