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Ways to collaborate

Ways to work together, personnel consulting Italy, personnel search Italy

The company has made the decision to have its own sales force in Italy and is now considering which Italian employment contract the new employee should be employed with. When looking for personnel in Italy, the decision for a specific contract at the beginning of the search is crucial because, depending on the contract, other candidates become the focus of the selection.

As a rule, an employee contract is up for discussion. Forms of freelance work, including through sales representatives, are possible, but do not fulfill the goals associated with one's own, long-term company presence and the important communication with the customer.

Italian labor law divides dependent employment relationships into categories that relate to the level of independence of the employee. These categories are also important for the collective agreements of the individual sectors (CCNL - Contratto Collettivo Nazionale di Lavoro), e.g. for collective bargaining and the attribution of employee rights and protective regulations.

Impiegato refers to the simple employee who carries out factual and specialist tasks under instructions, has little or no management responsibilities and whose scope for decision-making is rather limited. A classic example is the clerk.

Quadro refers to the employee who takes on additional tasks and whose scope for decision-making is increased. A classic example is the team leader or head of a small department.

The “Conductor”, on the other hand, is a figure that can be compared to the executive officer. It stands between “work” and “capital”, between workers and employees on the one hand and the organs of society on the other. The conductor (from “dirigere=to lead”) is closer to the company management, he takes on management tasks independently and has a different legal status: there is a separate collective agreement for conductors in the respective industry, they enjoy advantages, for example in terms of pension and health insurance and severance pay upon termination of the employment relationship.

Opinions differ when it comes to the conductor and this figure has occupied generations of judges, lawyers, trade unionists and business leaders. From a candidate's perspective, the conductor's contract is often the holy grail and a sign of the final climb up the career ladder. For companies, it is often an evil that should be avoided because higher employer costs are incurred, especially in terms of severance pay upon termination of the employment relationship.

However, it doesn't help: the hiring company is not completely free to decide which contract to conclude. Regardless of the possible demands of the candidates selected during the search for personnel in Italy, the company must usually grant a conductor contract for a certain typology of tasks. For example, a Country Manager Italy who manages the sales branch for a German company and only consults with the German management when organizing Italian sales would be classified as a conductor. The situation may be different if an employee is initially supposed to work in an Italian region without other employees in close contact with a German sales manager, without being able to decide on the sales strategy and pricing, for example, and without being responsible for their own budget.

But here too, as in many other areas of life, the following applies: where there is no plaintiff, there is no judge. The position of Country Manager Italy is attractive to many candidates, so hiring as a Quadro may well be an option. A pragmatic solution here is a contract structure in which the candidate starts as a Quadro and provides for a promotion to Conductor after a certain period of time or when certain criteria are met.


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