How to utilize the incentives by Italian government to attract international talents

A complete guide for Italian ex-pats and foreign talents to work in Italy.

Our Managing Partner Claudia Paoletti, and Barbara Peressoni, Global Mobility Consultant of WiLegal spoke in detail on tax benefits for expatriate workers in Italy and everything you need to know about hiring Italian or foreign workers living abroad from international headhunters’ perspective.

The challenge of attracting talents from abroad with distinctive skills and give an international mindset to fulfill positions in your organization has become evident in recent years.

To encourage Italian ex-pats to return, Italy has introduced a series of tax incentives for returnees, as well for the companies that are willing to employ ex-pats by implementing a lower tax rate, thus higher wages.

Luca Grazioli, Director of the Research Centre of SHR Italy was the moderator at the webinar, joined by companies from Italy and overseas.


Growth trend of repatriation to Italy
The first part of the webinar focused on the “humanistic” aspect of the topic.

Claudia Paoletti experienced first-handly the challenges of attracting ex-pat professionals to return to Italy at Kilpatrick Executive Seach. Ms. Paoletti gave insights into market demand and the growing trend of repatriation in comparison to previous years when attract ex-pats professionals posed major challenges for Italian companies.


Why this an interesting increase in repatriation?
Ex-pats who return to Italy rarely return because of the feeling of nostalgia for their homeland, they return to Italy because for the first time in years they see professional opportunities that match their know-how.

The candidates feel optimistic about the private and professional life, after aspect of living, such as relation, education, culture, locations also play important roles in decision making.


Brexit, with its destabilizing effect, became a determining factor for Italian ex-pats to return.  In addition, Covid has kept people away from each other for a long time due to travel restriction, and the value of family push ex-pats to re-consider living overseas. The ongoing pandemic shed light on other aspects of lives other than career.


The Italian Government introduced, some believe the best defiscalise package in Europe for returnees.


Skilled Italian professionals from abroad

Skilled that on high demand in Italy are:


Digital transformation
In Italy, many companies in various sectors are facing Digital Transformation processes. However, there are few people with the right skills, therefore the costs are often high. We are not only talking about technical skills but also about the right mindset to transform the company. Italian companies need to look overseas for professionals with experience from countries that are more advanced in the digitization process.


International minded managers
Italy also increasingly attracts Private Equity Funds, which see great potential in the country and need managers accustomed to international and multicultural environments to guide the acquired companies through the process of change.


SMEs, in turn, have a strong need to bring in methodology, new and international experience. To survive and grow, they need new brains capable of internationalizing and innovating. Moreover, there is an influx number of  STARTUPs in Italy in recent years; the number of Club Deal, Angel Network, and Angel Group fuel the further growth of startups, candidates with managerial and technical skills from overseas with track records are essential for helping startups to scale up.


How to attract foreigners?
The above concerns returning Italian professionals. But how about foreign candidates?  What can they find in Italy that will induce them to settle elsewhere?

Made in Italy posses a highly sought-after status. Italians are recognized for their creativity, and the land is praised for its beauty.  In comparison to other major European cities, such as Paris, Zurich, or Barcelona, Italy represents opportunities that are normally associated with developing economies, such as Poland, Turkey, China, or Mexico.


Strong levers to negotiate
With foreign managers, it is necessary to use strong levers of attraction to present Italy as a favorable working and living place. It is therefore essential to follow them step by step to reassure them and immediately bring their professionalism, international visions, and competence to the new workplace.  There are only a few cartridges to shoot when contacting foreigners, and their potentials must be fully recognized and put into action right from the start.


The importance of retention
Lastly, Claudia Paoletti addressed the issue of retention.

Italy must be able to retain the talents that have returned or will return: it is not enough to work on actions that encourage return, long-term incentives, and agility are needed, otherwise we risk losing them again.

The companies that work so hard to bring ex-pats back to our country are the first to benefit from ex-pats or foreign talents, by integrating these people and ensure that they find a stimulating environment in which returning or incoming managers can develop their full potential.

Especially when it comes to foreign candidates, the risk of rejection is very high and we have to be aware of the difficulties we are facing; in some cases, it is better to give up than to hire people who are perfect on paper but who clash culturally with our reality. It is destabilizing for the candidates, his family, and the company’s employees. The candidate must be taken in hand and guided on his Italian adventure in order to achieve success.


Favorable measures to attract talent
Now, what is the law, and what are the measures that Italy introduced to defiscalise the income of returning or foreign professionals?


Barbara Peressoni, an expert in international mobility, spoke about this in great detail.


To read the detailed description of these measures you can .