Why Italians Are Like Mobile Phones

Italy is a country of endless resources and at the same time of great contradictions, many of which come from its unique history that also contributed in shaping the culture and personality of the Italian people.

Philip Kotler wrote “For the rest of the world Italy is a proper enigma, the most notable among marketing theoreticals – because it is the only country system that manages to produce value despite the situation of absolute chaos”.

In fact – like Alberto Pratesi said in a brief paper on Italians’ character – understanding the way through which Italians face their work life and business is not an easy task.

The same author helps us to loosen these contradictions, getting inspiration from the mobile phone’s huge success in our country, underlining some of the similarities between Italian people and their so used (and loved) mobile phones.

Like mobile phones, Italians are:

  1. Private: They love the things they possess. We Italians have little consideration for what it is public; even if we’re attracted towards globalization, we can’t give up our dialects, traditions, and local products. In economic terms, this also helps explain the vast predominance of small businesses in our industrial sector.
  2. Always online and flexible: Our relationship with time is particular and the sentence “time is money” doesn’t quite belong to us. We hate to plan with accuracy and even when we do it, we don’t expect every deadline to be met rigorously. In spite of that, we are quite good in finding last minute solutions and in reacting effectively when faced with of unexpected environmental difficulty. Moreover, we’re probably leader in anything “tailor made“ because we can adapt with no difficulties to the customer’s needs.
  3. Prepared for verbal communication: We love to talk and we like written communication less. However, this preference for oral communication doesn’t mean that in businesses the given word is the final one. Therefore, advice, even in Italy, is to follow the old rule of thumb “verba volant, scripta manent”.
  4. Network-based: Like the telephone network, we also work better when we’re part of a network, that we create by adding connection to connection inside our friendship circle.
  5. Mobile: We like to move and you can see this from the traffic in our cities. We prefer a face-to-face form of relationship but we’re quite reluctant in moving for good.
  6. Innovative in terms of design and technology: The importance we give to shapes and exterior appearance is self-evident: everybody can tell an Italian by the way he’s dressed. We keep the same obsession towards the goods we produce, products that have to be good looking and well-designed, until a unique relationship between creativity and technological innovation is sealed.
  7. Handheld: The way we speak is eccentric and the gestures are a kind of prerogative that we use to better relate with others. In fact, sometimes we gesticulate even if we’re talking to someone through what resembles us more: the mobile phone!


Recruiting implications:

Recruitipedia says, for some the reasons here above:

“Word of mouth is still the preferred social network for talent acquisition. 79.4% of Italians believe that it’s the most effective way to find a new job opportunity. The second place is held by recruiting companies and then the direct contact with the hiring company at 54%.”

Most Italians will give a recommendation even if not personally interested in the position offered.

Will The Recovery Arrive?

Improving confidence and hard indicators suggest that Italy’s economy is set to grow at a faster pace in 2016, and real GDP is expected to increase by 1.4% in 2016 and 1.3% in 2017.

A three-year social contribution exemption on new permanent hires supported the increase in head count employment seen over the course of 2015. This, together with a broadly stable labour force, brought down the unemployment rate from 12,7 % in 2014 to 11,9 % in 2015. As the recovery gathers strength, employment is projected to continue increasing in 2016 e 2017 also thanks to the legislative changes introduced by the Jobs Act, the new labor law.

Jobs Act

During the past year, some important changes in labor law work rights have been carried out in our country. To sum it up we can say that the reformation goal is to move from the actual “Job Property” system to the “Flex Security” system. This new law, putting aside the old regulation from the 70s, wants to protect the worker in the work market and not from it, through the introduction of the ‘Increasing Protections Contract’, the new ‘Universal Unemployment Treatment’, and the ‘Relocation Contract’. The final goal is ambitious, but important and noble: to offer the workers a kind of protection centred on easiness and security during the transition between two different jobs, not centred on a counterproductive work relationship rigidness, like it was until not long ago.

More questions on hiring in Italy? My team and myself are here for you!