Ranked fourth in the world on Forbes’ “Best Countries for Business”, the Netherlands has set itself apart as one of the top business destinations on the globe for multinational businesses of all sizes looking to make an entry into the highly lucrative European market – from SMEs to Fortune 500 leaders.

However, there are several compliance obligations that any international business operating in the Netherlands must fulfil to employ permanent or temporary staff. There are also a number of compliance obligations that must be observed when it comes to employing staff from outside the Netherlands.

Identifying a unique expert problem

Dutch nationals Cornelis Leerlooijer and Michael Thurkow both have a history working in multinational organizations, both large and small scale companies and both mature and startup companies.

“What became clear when working for all these companies was that the larger, more mature companies could make use of (internal and external) expert teams which helped the organization develop quickly in a specific area,” Cornelis remarked.

“Meanwhile the smaller companies did not have the funding to create or hire those expert teams to bring them further, leading to all type of inefficiencies and compliance related matters. HR was more of a distraction than a value ad, yet it could and should be the opposite,” he further explained.

The birth of a unique expert solution

With this in mind, the two started to think about what they could do to support these companies. They were particularly looking for how they could offer an instant and direct expertise experience for international businesses, against an affordable price and with the right level of experience.

They also knew that this experience had to be delivered in such a way that the business has an external knowledge group available that knows and understands it like insiders, and can support it on demand.

“We came to the conclusion that a network should be made available with small expert teams that are available to support the needs of the business. We thought that a platform which could bring supply and demand together would be the solution in this situation,” Cornelis said.

“We have created this network and platform in the form of our HR management startup – HRhelp.”

How exactly does HRhelp work?

The main purpose of HRhelp is to bring together supply and demand without the costly experts from the big consulting firms while delivering a full up and running “department” with experts who are able to deliver flexible business solutions on demand from a single point of contact.

HRhelp can help with anything from handling payroll to training and onboarding employees to filling in for the absence of an existing team member to setting up an Organizational Development Program to executing a restructuring or setting up an entire HR department in a new country.

Its team of experts can provide international businesses in the Netherlands with local HR solutions that are both practical and customized to keep the business running smoothly. HRhelp also offers contracted service where they are able to externally run the HR operations of a company based on a fixed fee and standardized services. The key thing is that you only pay for what you need – nothing more.

This is unique in a space where most companies can take a part, but not the entire portfolio. Accounting firms can take transactional HR, but the price normally is not always right. In addition they are not able to deliver on demand (within 24 hours). Agencies can deliver experts, but they are not able to deliver teams of experts and can only bring together individual experts – also often at a high price.

What is the vision behind HRhelp?

HRhelp co-founder Cornelis Leerlooijer says his startup believes that outsourcing of activities and bringing together supply and demand in a more liquid form is the approach of the future.

“It creates a form of flexibility in which both experts and companies can benefit. You can already see it in other areas, like Uber with their global mobility solution, Airbnb with their possibility to arrange a night to stay. Both of them bring together supply and demand,” he went on to explain.

“Although more complexity is in place while dealing with a virtual HR team that is at your disposal, we see that HRhelp can bring together supply and demand in a similar way – both for short term requests and long term partnerships. We first needed to create the right environment to act, now it is time to show what we can deliver, both from the demand side as well as the supply end too.

“We are aware that the COVID-19 situation makes things different but we also see the opportunity where companies can no longer afford full HR departments or have specific needs like restructuring.”