Are you tough enough? Netflix expands in Europe, offering exciting but demanding careers

Netflix is in a knock-down, drag-out, winner-take-all battle with new over-the-top entertainment entries Disney, Apple and other media companies, trying to protect its lead in the streaming video industry. Which is a good thing for expats because this Los Gatos, Calif.–based tech-company-turned-entertainment giant needs highly skilled English-speaking internationals. LOTS of highly skilled internationals.

As a combination tech company/movie studio, Netflix is recruiting both creative and marketing/management types across the globe from Hollywood to Bollywood. Because cranking out content is hugely labor-intensive.

Netflix just announced a major commitment to Europe in a new EMEA headquarters in Amsterdam – 95,600 square feet of office space at Karperstraat 8 in Amsterdam, with a move-in date of 1 May 2020.

This is an addition to two other buildings they have around the Dutch capital, a total of about 163,100 square feet of space. 

To fill all that space, and to thwart Bob Iger, Netflix execs plan to add 400 people to the 800-person Amsterdam workforce.

Now, Netflix also has offices in Berlin, Madrid, Paris and London, with plans to expand to Italy. So this is a big deal. And it’s an obvious push into underserved markets. The Hollywood Reporter points out that Netflix reported adding 6 million international subscribers last quarter compared to only 800,000 in the US.

Currently, Nexflix has offices in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Madrid and Paris.

Now, you need to know this:

We checked the open positions and most are high level with serious salaries. Based on data on Glassdoor and other job aggregation websites, we’re estimating salaries start at 70,000 euros and go to mid-six-figures for the top jobs.

BUT, the Netflix corporate culture is infamously demanding, cutthroat and confrontational, 180-degrees from the typical European collaborative and benevolent European multinational.

Karen Barragan, Netflix’s V.P. of publicity for original series, supposedly told a group of company PR types that it’s good for employees to come into work every day fearing an abrupt and brutal termination. The distinct possibility of getting fired (oh, and humiliated when you do) is a great motivator, Barragan said, according to Vanity Fair and other industry websites.

Netflix responded to the VF post with this compassionate gem:

Getting cut, when it happens, is very disappointing but there is no shame at all. Our former employees get a generous severance and they generally get snapped up by another company.

Netflix founder Reed Hastings has even admitted his management style is somewhat, well, obsessive. But hey, Hastings’ obsessive attention to detail disrupted the entire global entertainment industry, wiping out Blockbuster along the way.

We Americans are used to this. Some of us (guilty) even thrive on this win-at-all-costs approach, taking the money and moving on when we (only occasionally) lose.

Our European friends not so much.

For you brave souls who think you can excel in such an up-or-out culture, we decided to aggregate and curate some of the company’s career opportunities in Europe. Unfortunately, there are literally too many to list … 69 openings across Europe. So we just cherry-picked the coolest/most lucrative.

Originals Publicity Manager – Middle East

Speak English and Arabic? And a lot of us expats do ….

If that’s the case, then Netflix has a high-profile gig for you in Amsterdam, working pub across the Middle East.

So, the requirements are what you’d expect … 7-10 years of experience in an Arab entertainment or lifestyle PR setting, and agency, TV network or lifestyle brand. You should know that what works in Beirut or Baghdad ain’t gonna cut it in Dubai.

The most interesting part of this posting is the explanation of what works in the Netflix culture.

You should be “a smart minimalist,” keeping things simple.

You can apply here.

Events Manager, Spain & Portugal (based in Madrid)

This is cool … you would organize big promotional/marketing events, working with publicists and others on regional and pan-European campaign strategies. The role description makes it clear they’re looking for someone amazingly confident and resourceful.

Compared to the tech/exec postings we’re used to, the job requirements are brief and to the point:

The successful candidate for Events Manager EMEA (Spain) will have at least 7+ years of entertainment experience organizing, planning, executing and staffing events at an agency, studio, network or with a brand. A deep understanding of the Spanish market and entertainment landscape with fluency in Spanish also required. 

And no, you don’t have to know C# or have Microsoft/Oracle certifications. You just have to be a freakin’ smart showbiz kid.

EMEA Tax Compliance Analyst (based in Amsterdam)

Okay, this isn’t as dope as the above jobs or writing new “Mind Hunter” episodes, but tax compliance is one of those skills that never goes out of favor, especially in the web of tax policies that is the EU.

Not surprisingly, given the importance of the job, Netflix asks a lot of potential candidates:

  • A minimum of 3 years of relevant tax compliance experience
  • A combination of Big-4 experience and in-house experience is a plus
  • Experience working with international tax requirements
  • Experience in working in a multinational environment
  • Undergraduate or advanced degree in finance, tax or fiscal economics
  • Ability to team with cross-functional teams in legal, tax, accounting, content, etc.
  • Advanced MS Excel and Google Sheets experience with the ability to navigate large data sets
  • Project management experience and demonstrated ability to drive process improvements
  • Experience in the entertainment/tech industry is a plus

Oh, and you have to speak fluent English. If you speak other European languages, that’s cool, too.

You can apply here.

Coordinator, Post Production, International Originals, Nordics (Amsterdam)

The winning candidate would oversee Netflix’s Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish and Icelandic-language series produced in the cold, dreary climes. So English skills, as well as fluency in a Nordic language (Swedish?), are required.

You also need three to five years of experience as a freelancer or in-house post supervisor/coordinator/scheduler on independent or studio feature films or network series.

So this is a process job, heavy with scheduling … not for the disorganized. You also need to know about basic task-management SaaS, UHD/4K cameras and editing software such as Final Cut Pro. Kinda cool!

You can apply here.

You can see all the Netflix jobs in Europe here.

The big question we have is, will the aggressive Netflix management approach infect Europe, or will Netflix mellow out in the more regulated and humane labor market here?

You can see more about Netflix in Europe here.

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Co-CEO of Dispatches Europe. A former military reporter, I'm a serial expat who has lived in France, Turkey, Germany and the Netherlands.

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