Global talent at Heesen

Heesen seeks the best talent. Building world-class superyachts requires a variety of roles with specific skill sets, so it will always compete for highly skilled workers to join our shipyard, whether that talent is found at home, in our neighbouring EU countries, or further afield. The company has a total workforce of more than 1,000 people, including contractors. Motivated and satisfied colleagues are the key to keeping the quality of Heesen’s yachts superior and it is always looking for better ways to support them.

FT Live’s recent panel on attracting and retaining global talent highlighted challenges facing talented people looking to move abroad, as well as policy issues in a number of countries. In this article, we’ll outline how Heesen addresses a number of these concerns.

FT Live: At a time of structural changes such as a shrinking workforce in many countries, digitalisation, and the green transition, what role does a global workforce play in addressing skills shortages?

An efficient transition – in true Heesen style
According to the Decoding Global Talent Survey 2024, 1 in 4 people are actively searching for a job abroad and up to 63% would be open to the possibility. But moving countries can be time consuming and stressful without the right support system. Heesen smooths the process for its overseas hires by partnering with recruitment agencies with a large international network, who help handle visas, paperwork and accommodation. All new employees will also receive training in Dutch, so if it’s not their first language, they’ll soon be able to converse like a local in the office. Dutch traditions and culture are considered precious at Heesen and anyone with an open mind is welcome to join in.

FT Live: What institutions, policies, and factors give countries a competitive edge?

Dutch 30% ruling
Highly educated foreign employees moving to The Netherlands qualify for the Dutch 30% ruling. This is a Government expatriate scheme offering an annual tax-free allowance of up to 30% of a person’s salary via an employer. Heesen participates in this scheme and those extra funds can help with essentials like travel and the cost of furnishing a new home.

FT Live: What new forms of mobility are emerging? How are pioneering organisations using skill-based approaches to find and retain the right global talent and build an adaptable and resilient workforce?

A culture of learning and growth
Heesen aims to inspire and motivate all colleagues, both local and international, to stay by offering opportunities to train within the company at the Heesen Academy. Typically, the people Heesen hires are naturally ambitious and have a variety of aspirations, especially younger candidates. Individuals can decide to develop in leadership, but also other practical skills. As a specialist that puts craftsmanship at the centre of everything it does, a core focus is on retaining knowledge and transferring it to new generations so that Heesen can continue to build beautiful, quality yachts. Doing as much as possible in-house is a key way to distinguish ourselves from competitors. Any mobility within the company contributes to that legacy is welcome and encouraged.

FT Live: What talent strategies are leaders deploying to attract, retain, and develop talent from around the world while maximising organisational efficiency, minimising risks, and creating a future-ready workforce?

Heesen prides itself on a world-wide reputation for being the best in the industry – known for pioneering design and engineering, and exceptional, Dutch-quality yachts. New colleagues join a company that’s renowned for its bold spirit, where there is no mission impossible. 

Heesen also cares about the impact we have on the world around us. The company has always been dedicated to the ongoing protection of the world’s oceans and its marine life, and proudly supports a number of ocean conservation-based charities – notably the Blue Marine Foundation. This exists to combat overfishing and the destruction of biodiversity by delivering practical solutions, including the creation of large-scale marine reserves. 

Heesen also supports the Water Revolution Foundation that works to drive sustainability in the superyacht industry, leading the way towards neutralising its ecological footprint and preserving the oceans. Finally, it supports the brave and tireless work of the  International Red Cross, which responds quickly and efficiently to disasters in conflict zones.

Written by Sara Gioanola.





Mark Cavendish   Chief Commercial Officer

| Robert Drontmann   Sales Director

Heesen Yachts North America

Thom Conboy   Agent North-America, Mexico, Bahama's & Caribbean