My Kilpatrick Experience Alessandro: Navigating the Evolving Headhunting Industry, Diversity and Inclusion, and Candidate Trends

Alessandro Battini is a Client Manager in the Milan Team who has progressed his professional career over the course of four years in the company, having initially started as a Junior Consultant and advanced to a Senior level position. In this interview, we explored several topics, including the evolution of the industry, diversity in the workplace, and anticipated trends for the upcoming year.


 Could you describe your role as Client Manager?

As a Client Manager, I see my role as wearing two hats. Firstly, I am the primary point of reference for the client, and my goal is to ensure that we meet the highest standards of delivery. Secondly, I strive to establish a solid and trusting relationship with the client, which can be successfully developed throughout the course of the year.

This role is dynamic and versatile, requiring me to be able to solve problems in a time-effective manner and to support choices with a strong consultative mindset. In short, there is never a dull moment in my job as a Client Manager!


You have been working at Kilpatrick for quite some time now and have grown from intern to client manager. Could you explain how you have experienced this growth within Kilpatrick?

From the moment I joined Kilpatrick, I felt a strong sense of responsibility and the expectation to deliver added value. This motivated me to set a medium-term goal and strive to perform to the best of my potential, thereby beginning a growth path within the company.

My development has been possible thanks to the right mix of initial training and the autonomy to make choices from the outset. This dynamic approach has allowed me to evolve and learn from my mistakes, which I believe are essential for real professional growth. Overall, I am confident that my commitment to excellence and willingness to learn will continue to drive my success at Kilpatrick.


Looking back on the growth you have gone through and challenges you have overcome, what advice would you give your younger self?

 My advice to those starting their professional journey would be to listen to the recommendations of senior colleagues and accept constructive criticism. This is because they are the ones who can help you learn and grow, particularly in the early stages of your career.

Furthermore, I would recommend emphasizing your curiosity from day one, as this will drive you to gain an in-depth knowledge of the headhunting business. Staying curious and continually seeking to expand your knowledge will set you up for success in the long term.

Finally, it is important to be proactive and not be afraid to take on responsibility early on in your career. Only in this way can you develop the ambition to rise and create a real impact within your organization. By taking ownership of your work and striving to make a meaningful contribution, you will demonstrate your value and potential for growth within the company.


How have you observed the headhunting business shifting through your years in the industry?

Having worked in the headhunting industry for some time now, I have observed significant changes, particularly accelerated by the pandemic crisis.

It’s important to acknowledge that the headhunter’s job has never been easy, but in recent years we have faced increasingly complex challenges. The period of uncertainty in recent years, and subsequently the reluctance of companies to take risks, has resulted in fewer but more targeted hires with specific hard and soft skills. This has left less room for flexibility to find alternative solutions.

In parallel, this low-risk attitude has been matched by a similar reluctance among candidates to put themselves forward and evaluate the job market. However, I believe that only companies with a long-term vision, international business diversification, and a well-defined strategic plan will continue to play a leading role within our industry.

As the headhunting industry continues to evolve, I am confident that by staying adaptable and remaining focused on delivering value to clients and candidates, we can navigate these challenges and continue to thrive.


Regarding diversity, what changes do you note regarding foreign talent? (are companies looking more abroad, are they more likely to accept foreign people when shortlisted?)

Regarding diversity, I am glad to note that companies, whether multinational or SMEs transitioning from entrepreneurial to management phases, are increasingly open to evaluating foreign candidates positively.

However, despite Italian companies’ willingness, it is clear that foreign candidates are not yet showing significant interest in the Italian job market. Studies conducted by the OECD indicate that Italy is still among the least attractive countries for high-skilled workers due to a poverty of high skills overall.

Nevertheless, the government is taking steps to implement economic policies that encourage foreign talent to consider working in Italy. One such policy is the “Legge del Rientro dei Cervelli”, which grants attractive tax benefits.

As companies and the government continue to work towards attracting foreign talent, it’s important to also focus on building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture that values and promotes diversity at all levels of the organization.


How does Kilpatrick relate on the topic of diversity and inclusion? 

Kilpatrick is a company that places great importance on Diversity & Inclusion, and I’m proud to be part of a team that actively promotes these values. Over half of our consultants are women, and we have a diverse range of nationalities represented within our team, with more than ten different countries represented.

This diversity enables us to interact with different cultures and exchange ideas and approaches that have contributed to Kilpatrick’s global growth. By prioritizing these issues, we can establish ourselves as a credible and respected partner for clients who share our values of inclusion and respect for diversity.

I firmly believe that diversity is not a disruptive element within an organization but rather a cohesive force that helps the entire structure to evolve and prepare for future challenges.


Could you pinpoint three trends in things that in-demand talent is looking for within a new employer and that companies could capitalize on?

Recent research conducted by Kilpatrick has shown that Work-Life Balance is the primary factor that candidates consider when making a decision about their professional future. This trend is common among all generations of professionals surveyed and is increasingly seen as a key factor in retaining talent and discouraging corporate turnover.

Another trend observed is the desire of candidates to continue smart working as a way of working in the future. This is especially important in certain sectors, such as digital-first, and for some groups of specialized professionals. Companies that offer flexibility in this area will be better able to attract and retain top talent, which in turn contributes to improved performance.

A third trend is the increasing attention of new generations to a company’s vision and values. They are not only interested in professional growth but also in the company’s values and assets. The media attention given to topics such as Diversity, Inclusion, Climate Change, and Business Sustainability has inspired the new generations to adopt these values as their own. Therefore, it is crucial for companies to promote these subjects with concrete plans to secure future talent.