Exciting Opportunities Await: Introducing MCS Selection, Our Partner in Italy

by Andy Andrews in — March 2021
Get the scoop on the unique challenges and exciting opportunities arising in Italy in this interview with Gianluca Gioia, CEO of MCS Selection, our Talentor partner in Italy.

Hello Gianluca, What Are You Most Looking for in Searches in Italy?

Motivated and engaged people! Our clients are increasingly searching for managers who have not just have the necessary skills but also an intrinsic drive to meet the challenges they are facing. And every placement is a challenge: for the candidate there will be a new environment, new colleagues, and an entirely different company. For the company there is a new person in the organisation.

That is something you have to be ready to manage, otherwise rejection is just around the corner. The critical question in the interview is, “Are you ready to accept this challenge and why?” The answer should include both personal and professional motivators that will push the candidate to success. As head hunters we have a role in boosting motivation, but it is a limited one with a real risk of rejection.

Who Is a Typical Client for You?

Our clients include both multinationals and small and medium enterprises. What they have in common is that they call on us to evaluate and solve problems. Multinationals tend to give us a specific task with a job description and organisational charts. Entrepreneurial companies tend to rely on our expertise to understand their needs and desires and formulate a target profile. In both cases we prefer to work as consultants from the beginning. We never accept a mandate without having collected enough information about the company, the organisation, and all the stakeholders in the recruiting process.

What Surprises Arise for Foreign Companies Recruiting Specialists in Italy?

The Italian market has a few quirks that are sometimes difficult for foreigners to understand. For one, the Italian state is just over 160 years old and consists of several regions with radically different histories and traditions.

It is not just north vs. south, but also west vs. east. There are different approaches to business and to relating to companies and the labour market.

The labour market itself is also quite different than that in northern Europe or the USA. You have to understand our strong labour laws before defining a salary package and negotiating it with the chosen candidate. Nearly every management job is subject to a collectively agreed, management level and industry-based pay scale (inquadramento). That is why our package of consulting services for companies coming to Italy goes well beyond recruiting.

Are There Any Typical Cultural Misunderstandings?

We are a Latin people, perhaps similar to the Spanish. The best deals often happen after sharing a good lunch or dinner with the client. Italians consider this part of the negotiation and foreigners sometimes find it rather perplexing. The most common misunderstanding involves punctuality, and perhaps there is something to it – Italians don’t like being constrained by clocks.

What Makes Milan and Rome Attractive for Expatriates?

Milan is a modern city that is easy to live it, the most northern European style city in Italy. The last 15 years have brought big, continuous change as previously neglected areas have been revitalised and new skyscrapers have been built. Milan is the perfect place for those who like fashionable, modern environments. It is home to the luxury goods and financial industries, with manufacturing also close by.

Office milan

Rome is a historic place, entirely different from Milan. It is the European town with the most greenspace within the city limits. There are many multinational companies, and it is the heart of the public sector, the information and communications technology industry, and services. Because Rome is so large, it is important that your residence is close to your job or well connected to it, otherwise you’ll soon be in trouble. Rome has 3.5 times the area of Paris and 10 times that of Milan. It is the perfect place for those who enjoy a city that never sleeps (except during COVID of course).

Rome Castel Sant Angelo

How Can We Expect the Italian Economy to Develop as the COVID Crisis Ends?

We are expecting a huge increase in GDP in the second half of 2021. There will be a lot of opportunities for those businesses ready and willing to innovate. Italy has already begun connecting the entire country – even small and remote villages – with fibre optic internet access and will complete this massive project within the next few years. This encourages entrepreneurship everywhere, as even remote areas are just a click away from the rest of the world. Italy also needs to push hard in mechanical engineering and green industries. This will create a lot of opportunities and attract foreign investment.

Why Did You Decide to Join the Talentor Network?

I think the future of business is global. I like being connected to colleagues in different countries and cultures. There are a lot of business opportunities that are easier to catch together. I love sharing ideas, opinions, and business!

Where Can We Find You Outside of the Office?

I love spending time with my wife and my two lovely children (Lorenzo – 7 and Martina – 4). I am passionate about sailing, so you’ll find me on my sailboat in my free time. I’ve been involved in international regattas over the past 15 years in the Mediterranean. Currently I’m a member of a 2 person team involved in a circuit of offshore doubled handed regattas. I’m also a sailing instructor and president of a sailing association.

Sailing Regatta