Bologna Inside - Second Edition

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5 > WORK



Employment classifieds are published in Il Sole 24 Ore on Mondays, La Repubblica on Thursdays and Il Corriere della Sera and Il Resto del Carlino on Fridays. You can also check the weekly classified newspapers and specialized publications such as the Bollettino del Lavoro, also found online at Newcomers are sometimes surprised and even offended to read specifics regarding age and sex in job announcements. While seemingly discriminatory, companies include this information in order to narrow their applicant pool. If you are interested in the job but fall outside of the age bracket, apply anyway. As a foreigner, your age and experience is likely to differ from the Italian average.

The internet is helpful in understanding the job market and current offerings. The websites listed below have information about openings all over Italy:
(Italian version of the US-based job search portal)
(service to forward your CV directly to HR directors)
(interactive job bank)
(online recruiting agency) (online recruiting agency)

Especially for recent graduates: (interuniversity consortium that works to facilitate young graduates’ access to the Italian labor market) (self-described bridge between graduates, universities and companies)

A listing of the latest internet sites related to work can be found on the comprehensive site of the Direzione Provinciale del Lavoro di Modena (Provincial Direction of Work of Modena):

Work is extremely important for someone who moves here. It helps you adjust. I’d say the hardest thing is finding a job. Once you do, it will really help you feel as if you are a part of things.

Peggy Kidney


Whether you are searching for part-time or full-time work, one option is to register with a temp agency. These agencies do not send out one-day replacements, but rather seek to place candidates in positions. Temp agencies mostly offer opportunities for operai (manual workers) and impiegati (office workers). Larger agencies may even have separate locations for the two categories.

In order to register with a temp agency, you need to bring your CV, permesso di soggiorno and valid ID. Once you have completed the agency specific scheda (form), your information will be inserted into their database at no cost to you. If and when the agency places you in a job, you will sign a work contract to become an employee of the temp agency, rather than of the company where you are placed.Be sure that the agency you choose is registered in the guild authorized by the Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali (Ministry of Work and Social Politics). This information must be provided by the agency. National authorized temp agencies with multiple offices in the Bologna area include Adecco, Manpower and Obiettivo Lavoro. For a complete list of agencies, see the yellow pages under LAVORO INTERINALE E TEMPORANEO.


Via Irnerio, 18
Tel. 051.241045


Via Oberdan, 27
Tel. 051.273207

Obiettivo Lavoro

Via della Grada, 4/b
Tel. 051.6493421


The main difference between a selection agency/headhunter and a temp agency is that selection agencies are mediators between candidates and companies, not employers themselves. If you find a job through a selection agency, you will then sign a contract directly with the hiring company. Agency fees, usually equivalent to a month’s salary, are paid by the hiring company, never the candidate. Job seekers looking for positions as dirigenti (managers) should turn toward selection rather than temp agencies.Whereas you can walk in off the street at a temporary agency, meeting with a headhunter usually requires an appointment and sometimes even a recommendation.

That’s right: a recommendation just to meet the person who could potentially give you a recommendation! Selection agencies are listed in the yellow pages under RICERCA E SELEZIONE DEL PERSONALE. Below are a few recommended agencies:

Cubo Consulenza

Via G. Mazzini, 51/3
Tel. 051.397380

Focus Head Hunting

Via degli Orti, 44
Tel. 051.6238776

Manager Società Ricerche Direzionali

Piazza Cavour, 2
Tel. 051.228787


Via Marconi, 71
Tel. 051.246130


Recent graduates can meet with representatives of large national and multinational companies at CESOP Communication’s annual job fair. Dates of job fairs in various Italian cities may be found at:

CESOP, a recruiting advertising company, also offers an online job bank, information about Masters programs and detailed profiles of some of the most important companies in Italy. Even if you are not a recent graduate, it is worth a visit to this website to get an overview of the market:

Interviewing in Italy is quite different compared with the UK. Everything takes time: a long while can pass between sending in your CV, being contacted, interviewing and receiving a reply. It is often necessary to contact the company yourself to discover the outcome as many companies only give spontaneous feedback to successful candidates. And don’t be surprised if you are asked personal questions which would be considered inappropriate elsewhere such as “do you have a serious boyfriend?” or “any plans for marriage or kids?” These are all acceptable and standard questions when interviewing women.

Kate Porter

Employment Centers

CIP - Centri per l’Impiego (Employment Centers) are government offices that provide work-related information on training courses, job opportunities, unemployment benefits and more. Most comuni in the province also have a CIP sportello (help desk). The central CIP in Bologna has a cultural mediator who offers assistance in English.

CIP Bologna

Via Todaro, 8/a
Numero verde 800.286040 (active Monday-Friday 9-17)

Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9-13; Thursday 16:30-18 The University Career Service, an American-style career guidance center, is officially open to all students and graduates of the University of Bologna, however, it also provides assistance to graduates of foreign universities. The center offers help in Italian with job searching as well training seminars on successful interview techniques. They have an excellent library of company directories and information about continuing education that you can consult during office hours without an appointment.

University Career Service

Via Zamboni, 7
Tel. 051.272618 or
Open Monday-Wednesday 9-13 and 14:30-18; Thursday and Friday by appointment only


PromoBologna, a local development agency for the promotion of the Bologna metropolitan area, has published an online brochure in English called “Discover Bologna.” “Discover Bologna” gives an excellent introduction to the Bolognese economy and is required reading for understanding the major players in the city and province of Bologna.See website:

Information about Italian companies nationwide may be found in the Seat or Kompass guides. If you don’t find them at your local library, try the Bologna Chamber of Commerce library. You must first call for an appointment to consult the library’s resources. Bring a notebook to write down information as the library does not have a photocopy machine.

CCIAA - Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato e Agricoltura di Bologna (Chamber of Commerce)

Palazzo della Mercanzia
Via Santo Stefano, 1/c
Tel. 051.6093435
Open by appointment only


You will undoubtedly notice the number of businesses with the letters “Coop” or “Co” in their names, for example, the supermarket Coop Adriatica, the construction company Coop Ansaloni, maintenance services ManutenCoop and so on. Others, without the Coop, like Granarolo and Unipol, represent some of the largest economic forces in Italy. Cooperatives, a source of Emilian pride, are private companies with a unique organizational structure. Profits are not paid out in dividends but are instead re-invested in the cooperative. Employees have the opportunity to become shareholders, usually following a number of years of service and an inscription quota. Many cooperatives also publish a bilancio sociale, a statement of social responsibility. To learn more about cooperatives, visit the website of LegaCoop, one of the national umbrella organizations, located in Bologna:


Positions in the public sector at the local and national level are usually reserved for EU citizens. However, positions in select areas, such as education or medicine, are sometimes open to non-EU citizens. Most public positions are filled by concorso (public contest). News regarding concorsi for public sector positions are advertised in government journals that provide a description of each position and list job requirements and rules for each contest. Consult the supplemento ordinario (regular supplement) of the Gazzetta Ufficiale for information about openings at the national level and the Emilia-Romagna Region’s Bollettino Ufficiale for information about local openings, both of which are available at newsstands and in the library. Be sure to note the published deadlines for submitting your candidacy. Sometimes a written and/or oral test is part of the application process. Positions are awarded according to a point system.


The non-profit, or terzo settore (third sector), is an emerging area in Italy. Although Rome is the Italian base for most international non-governmental organizations, Bologna also has many opportunities for non-profit work. These organizations, known as no-profit or senza scopo di lucro (without goal of profit), are often structured as social cooperatives, meaning they are partially funded by fees collected from soci (members). Others are structured as fondazioni (foundations). The title ONLUS means that a non-profit has a

Every once in a while, the fact that you’re “different” and foreign can pay off. In academic settings, we are sometimes perceived as having an edge in research, writing, or editing skills (especially when an employer has worked or studied abroad). So sometimes it’s good to stress that you’ve had a different background, because this background has provided you with an expanded set of skills - skills which Italians may not have.

Liz Kaplan

special fiscal status. Visit the following websites to learn about opportunities to work or volunteer in the terzo settore:


In addition to research conducted at the university level, Bologna is also home to one of Italy’s CNR - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (National Research Council). CNR Bologna hosts eight research institutes and a library with over 6,000 scientific journals.

CNR - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Area della Ricerca di Bologna

Via Gobetti, 101
Tel. 051.639811

CNR Library

Tel. 051.6398034

For creative types interested in the arts, theater, web and multimedia, visit the selfdescribed “help desk for the creative class” Poplab, or LADIS, which offers courses for multimedia production, web design and other cutting-edge professions.Young artists should also visit, which includes information regarding funding, jobs and contests for artists in Italy.


Via delle Belle Arti, 19
Tel. 051.226232

LADIS - LAboratori DIdattici Sperimentali (Experimental Didactic Laboratories)

Via Giuseppe Petroni, 9
Tel. 051.271533