Attraction and retention

The employee journey within PostNL starts with recruitment. In recent years we have been tailoring our recruitment campaigns and channels to reach potential employees effectively, following societal trends, such as communication through social media. We have also streamlined our recruitment processes to make it easy for people to join PostNL. Once recruited, onboarding is key to an effective start at the company and our focus on retaining people.

Hiring the right people

The pandemic continued to impact the labour market in 2021, and led to a shift in our staffing requirements. The labour market in the Netherlands tightened, with the number of vacancies across the country at one point outnumbering those seeking a job. This applies to operational positions as well as IT personnel. During the year we filled more than 6,365 operational vacancies to help us grow the business, including delivery and sorting positions, and 675 corporate vacancies, of which 39% were internal hires.

Throughout the year we ran a series of recruitment drives and campaigns, targeting mail and parcel deliverers. This included a national multimedia campaign in September and October, with advertising on bus shelters, radio commercials and across social media and job boards. Internally, we continued to run our 'Tip a winner' campaign, a referral programme in which PostNL colleagues receive a financial payment for successfully registering a new mail or parcel deliverer. Despite our recruitment efforts, filling vacancies was challenging, which resulted in structural shortages, especially of mail deliverers in specific regions. This led to an increase in hiring costs per FTE. In 2021, the recruitment costs per new hire increased by 25%, from €1,088 to €1,363.

Managing employee retention

Download spreadsheet

PostNL Employee turnover In percentage

Year ended at 31 December



Turnover rate (share of total headcount)



Voluntary turnover rate



We want to provide new hires with a warm welcome to the company. Onboarding is one of the areas in which we are putting more effort, given the relatively high early turnover rates we have seen in the recent past. Overall turnover rates are fairly high in our business compared to other sectors.

The turnover rate in 2021 was comparable to 2020 and previous years. Due to the sale of Cendris at the beginning of the year, around 1,700 people left PostNL. Corrected for these employees, the underlying turnover rate is around 26%, which is lower than previous years and indicates that we are successfully retaining our employees, on average, for longer.

Office workers helping out

For many years now, office-based PostNL employees have been helping out in our operations during the busy holiday period. In 2021, a total of 1,100 shifts were filled by office workers. Suzan Kuiper, team manager IT, helped in our parcels sorting center in Den Hoorn.
“Together with another colleague from IT I had to make sure the chute that carries the parcels to the loading dock did not overflow. You have to take parcels from the chute and help the drivers load their vans. I do this every year because I really enjoy doing it! It’s a totally different work experience that helps me get a perspective on how busy it is at this time of the year. And it also helps me understand the importance of IT in the operational processes when I hear from the drivers what the impact is of an IT failure. Within the sorting centres I really feel I can help alleviate the pressure in the operation process. I’ve helped out in different locations and each location has its own feeling, which proves to me that this is really a people’s company.”