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B On Board Invites You to the Event ‘Multicultural Recruiter Network (MRN)’

Have you had experiences abroad? Do you have a network of multicultural contacts?

The Multicultural Recruiter Network (MRN) could be right for you: this is the first Italian network of ‘Multicultural Recruiters’ that supports B On Board in its search for talents with an international experience and background. This initiative has already involved dozens of professionals from over 20 countries, who are leveraging their innate international networking skills.

Do you want to be part of it, or simply know more? Join us at our meeting on March 9, 2017 where you can ask any information!

The event will take place at the School of Science of Linguistic and Cultural Mediation (Università Statale di Milano), in the framework of the orientation meetings for students and recent graduates.

Event information:

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Worldwide Skills: Meeting HR Professionals

The community “You Multicultural”is meeting two HR Professionals:

  • Joe Severi  former Vice President Human Resources Global HRIBM
  • Ruth di Nunzio, Head of HR Southern Europe Groupon

5th of April at 6:30pm at Open Milano -Viale Montenero, 6 (Porta Romana M3)

In a growing international working environment, HR professionals must confront each other on:

– How the markets are changing.

– What are/will be the required skills for the global market.

Have you ever been curious about talking to an HR professional? Now is the time!

To participate in this event, simply look for the group “You Multicultural” on www.meetup.com

Participation is free of charge.

For more information: youmulticultural@gmail.com

Supported by B On Board

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The right attitude for a perfect job interview

In the 50’s, Albert Mehrabian discovered that your communication impact is based predominately on the following variables: 7% in the use of words; 38% on the tone of your voice and inflections, and the remaining 55% refers to non verbal communication. That means that the perception people may have of you, depends on your body language, and it all happens very quickly, in the initial 4 minutes of a meeting.

 So, now that we know this, let’s take a look at how to prepare our non verbal communication during a job interview. From our point of view there are certain moments in which it is very important to show the best of you:

  1. Your entrance into the room

It’s better to reach 10 minutes early but not any earlier. Don’t ever be late and if it were to happen,  you must warn the recruiter ahead of time. SWITCH OFF YOUR MOBILE PHONE.

Enter into the room with enthusiasm, smiling, look into the person’s eyes. Enthusiasm will help you hide the stress. Firmly shake their  hand: first wrap the counterpart’s hand and then tighten your grip, be careful to not hurt him/her. Some studies affirm that the handshake is a very important factor for the outcome of the job interview. Make sure your grip is strong!

  1. When you sit down

Before sitting down,  make sure to ask the recruiter where to sit, unless it’s clearly obvious. Good manners are important. If is your first time there and someone offers you something to drink, it’s better not to accept. Maintain a correct posture while sitting: sit upright and ensure your feet touch the ground. Put your hands on the armrest and keep them free unless you want to take notes, in which case you can use a pen and paper, but make sure you are not creating a barrier between you and the recruiter.

  1. The interview

Don’t be too relaxed nor too rigid. Stay upright with your back touching the seatback. Gently recline your body towards the recruiter, because that will show your interest in the subject. Make sure your movements are controlled and not too abrupt and keep your shoulders back. Nodding your head will show which are the topics that most interest you and remember that the recruiter will pick up all these signals.

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Infostranieri: integration through a click

Italy could be the first country in Europe to have an app specifically dedicated to foreign people.

“Infostranieri is a free mobile app which will help immigrants’ integration in Italy, because it is their right”, quoted Bashkim Sejdiu, Albanese entrepreneur who has invested lots of time and resources developing this app, created ad hoc to facilitate the complicated Italian bureaucracy for immigrants.

Infostraneri is an idea created by Bashkim and other foreign people’s experiences: many queuing up nights to renew documents and not only, but also the feeling of not knowing if the process was going to have a good outcome. Instead, now with some institutions’ help, foreign people in Italy will be able to officialize their documentation and have access to other services with just a “click”, there will no longer be the need to go to the government offices, and most importantly, the immigrants will definitely understand all the information provided as of what they should do and what the requirements are, as Infostranieri is available in eight languages.

The app is organized in 5 main areas: procedures, embassies, news, associations and  freelancers. Every procedure is divided into kits in which you will find all the information and formats to start (and finish) the whole process.

At the moment and as the developer states “ this app is only runningat 5% of its potential, in the future I would like to include other services like the SOS button, which will allow people with problems to contact the authorities”. The SOS button will be extremely important for the weakest  groups in society, like women who suffer from gender violence, that in many cases don’t ask for help because they think they may lose their documentation/ID.

The app Infostranieri will obviously be a mean to simplify foreign people’s lives, but it is much more than that, it is a tool that will allow immigrants, i.e., 5 million people in Italy whorepresent  10% of the country’s GDP, to be the leaders of their own lives, because integration will cross theawareness of their own rights andof their own obligations.

For now, Bashkim is communicating with some official institutions to try and involve them in this interesting initiative. There are already some great possibilities of collaboration agreements and one of them could be a pilot project in Milan, that could later allow the app to be accessible from all over the country. So, let’s wait forthe “click”.

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Multilocal people: where we really come from…

A few days ago, I watched a video that really changed my vision of multiculturalism, maybe the verb “change” is not the appropriate one, so it’s better if I say that this video gave me the confirmation that I was looking for. To sum up, in this video  an original Ghanaian woman who had lived in several countries talked about nations, personal identity and how a person can be defined based on his/her experiences. She said “nations are a power (governs) invention, so people cannot be national, but local. That means that people are made of experiences and they can belong to more than one so called nation” . As she did, I will give you an example to better explain this concept. I will give my own example that will also allow me to introduce myself (and will allow you to come to your own conclusions).

If I am a Spanish journalist woman who has spent 21 years in Spain, 1 year in Belgium, 3 years in Congo and 4 years in Italy, who am I really? Am I just a Spanish citizen? Ok, I grew up in Spain, so obviously every time that I think of going back to my roots I come back to Merida, my Spanish town. But also when I’m there and I talk to my Spanish friends and family, I can’t forget the first day that I went to visit my Congolese friends at home and they offered me saka-saka (a typical Congolese food); I worked and paid my taxes in Belgium and now I receive my mail in Italy …I think that’s life, real life! So I’m not an ordinary national Spanish citizen because the way I interact with other people is influenced by my former life lessons.

So can you imagine how a person whose father is Russian, mother Italian, who has spent years living in Spain and France can say about where she or he comes from? And no, it’s not an extreme example, today the globalization system can easily show us thousands of people with this profile. That is why this video touched me, because it was explaining real life and not frontiers, not nations but local habits and customs that in my case, still now,  are part of me, as are Spanish omelettes, cured ham or the siesta! All these former experiences took me to where I am now, so I believe this concept really suits me: I’m a multilocal person, and not a national person.

Coming back to today, now I live in Milan. I’m a multicultural consultant and I work for BOnBoard, a recruitment agency specialized in multicultural profiles that also guides the internationalization process of Italian companies. We focus on who has an international background, like second generation people, Erasmus or Leonardo program participants…etc.

Every day, companies try to enlarge their possibilities looking for new international markets. As we all already know, the former economic-leading nations are in crisis and there is an outburst of new powerful countries. But to get to know how to manage the whole internationalization process, it’s necessary to think about cross-cultural strategies, that means to consider the characteristics of the country you are approaching. Otherwise the business will inevitably fail.

So companies like BOnBoard and platforms like Check-in Europe are a “must” in our society. They are the bridges between these new professional figures which are multicultural people (persons who have interacted/lived/ come from two or more different cultures) and companies which want to face and begin an internationalization path.  From my point of view, this is how the world is running right now.

Watch the video: https://www.ted.com/talks/taiye_selasi_don_t_ask_where_i_m_from_ask_where_i_m_a_local?language=en

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Business Etiquette with China

Doing business with Chinese people is very complex. You have to be very humble and have a lot of patience. A Chinese business person makes concessions only after long discussions.

A Chinese business person, takes into consideration every single detail in order to reach goals, whilst a westerner prefers to achieve goals quicker and then look back at the details. If you have to discuss with a Chinese delegation, you should know that there is always a leader, that normally is the oldest person. Anyway, decisions are always taken together, with all of the members of the group.

This point is very important because everything that has already been discussed with the leader could be distorted later by the rest of the group. That’s why, most of the time, agreements take place after long and expensive talks . For a Chinese business person negotiation is a pleasure.

For a western business person it’s impossible to conclude or to create commercial relations with Chinese people without the hongjian ren’s help (the intermediary). In western countries, normally, people trust each other unless they have a reason not to. During meetings with foreign people, Chinese are particularly suspicious and cautious.

The negotiation is a way to get to know the counterpart better and to be able to consolidate possible future relations. You may find yourself going back and forth during a discussion as it can be interrupted by a long and pleasant dinner with twenty different dishes served.

During dinner it’s essential to respect the protocol. One must never gesticulate. The person sitting at the head of the table starts with a collective toast (gan bei), then you may start eating. Normally, the main dishes are eaten first and the rice (or wheat pasta) is served only at the end to satiate (fan). It’s important to always leave some food on the plate, so you can show you are satiate. Anyway, Chinese people love intelligent sense of humor and they appreciate pleasant and relaxing company, especially during business meals; it is useless to be too serious.

You must always offer your business card with both hands and direct it towards the counterpart, the same applies if you are receiving one, always use both hands, look at it for a few seconds and then put it delicately on the table, in front of you. You must not just take it and put it immediately in your pocket or in your  wallet, because it’s a lack of respect.

If a western person makes a Chinese person feel embarrassed or is not well-mannered, even unintentionally, this could be a disaster for the commercial negotiation.

Chinese people are very superstitious. Being born on a date like the 8th – 08 (August) is a good sign because number 8 means prosperity and it is in contrast with number 4 which means death. You must never offer fruit baskets, handkerchiefs, umbrellas or watches because it means that you are inviting them to die. It may be better to offer a gift wrapped in red-wrapping paper with a yellow ribbon. Never use white wrapping paper because it symbolizes death.

Roberto Colella

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Doing business with Japanese people

Japanese culture is quite different from the western one, starting from greetings. It wouldn’t be nice at all to greet a Japanese person shaking hands, instead, people usually bow at 45° or 30° depending on the hierarchy, or they will just make a sign.

During job meetings pleasantries are very important for the Japanese. Normally Japanese people don’t answer questions just by saying “No”, they would probably use a formal and long way to say “NO” after some compliments.

Therefore, the success of an economical proposal will be the result of an elaborate and long conversation. Also if the process is via letter or e-mail, it’s better to avoid going directly to the point. For Japanese people, the approach is “somehow holy”!

Normally all the staff work together in the same office and on the same floor. The manager has a privileged position from which he/she can observe all employees while working. Working-time goes from 9 a.m till 5 p.m.

During the months of July and December, the Japanese exchange presents. I should open a parenthesis about presents. Presents can never be wrapped with white gift-wrap, because it symbolizes death. Also the gift is never to be opened in front of the person who gives it.

Japanese people make a strong difference between the external and internal environment. Before entering a Japanese house one must take off their coat and then their shoes. The woman who accompanies the man will place the shoes facing the exit. The guest will be accommodated in the furthest room from the entrance. Remember that a Japanese house, as in the traditional ones, not the skyscrapers that you find in Tokyo, are made of wood, with a characteristic sliding door and at least one tatami room.

Obviously, at restaurants people walk over tatami floors without shoes, eating traditional meals with hashi, wooden sticks with which you should never pierce the food. It’s possibly the worst offense you can make.

Inside the restaurant you don’t ask for the menu because the meal is exposed in the display cabinet. Japanese cuisine is definitely one of the world’s most international cuisines, because Japan, in particular Tokyo, is one of the countries which symbolizes finance and business in the whole world. This is a typical week: Monday (western lunch), Tuesday (Chinese lunch), Wednesday (traditional Japanese lunch), Thursday (sashimi), Friday (curry), Saturday (vegetables or sea food), Sunday (tempura). Tipping is not a common Japanese tradition because this service is already included in ryokan (typical Japanese hotels) and restaurants’ bills (more or less 10-15% of the total amount). So you don’t need to tip.

To conclude, Japan is also well known because it’s a very safe country. It’s normal for women to walk alone day and night and to see kids taking the subway on their own. No one would worry about a forgotten jacket, bag or wallet in a restaurant because no one would ever dare to steal them.

ROBERTO COLELLA, Esperto di Protocollo e Cerimoniale Nazionale e Internazionale

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How to show your own skills in a CV or during a job interview: STAR strategy

Anyone can write “ optimal interpersonal skills” on their CV or affirm it during a job interview, but to be able to really show it, is very important. This way the recruiter won’t forget you. You can try using this method:


Situation: describe the context of your example. Where, when, why, with who…

Tasks: talk about your objective or the problem to solve in the example.

– Action: describe your own actions to solve that problem.

Result: present your specific results, if you can, use numbers and quantitative information.

This model is always useful for enhancing your personal skills. The most difficult thing is to remember good examples for each ability you want to show. We advise you to prepare some different STAR stories so you can firmly highlight your personal qualities.

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5 reasons why diversity always counts, especially in the working environment. Diversity is an advantage!

– Languages: you can use your language knowledge to solve cultural or linguistic problems. You can do so in the office or in the market, with your colleges or with costumers.

– Adaptability: multicultural means being able to show a high level of adaptability. You can fix your style and your mood according to different people and situations.

– Authenticity: diversity means having an original perspective and having your own opinions on leadership and creativity. Your point of view probably won’t be the majority’s.

-Open minded: you have had different experiences and probably know how to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. For you it will be easier to understand and appreciate someone who follows Ramadan or who  doesn’t eat veal.

-Sensibility: If you are of a different origin to the place you reside in, especially in a country like Italy, you definitely have learnt to avoid incomprehension’s or at least manage to find solutions in such situations.

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Five ways to positively “punch” the recruiter

-A good rule is to write an e- mail after the interview, expressing your interest in the position so that the recruiter remembers you. Your determination will be highlighted.

– Take care of your outfit: you don’t always need to be extremely formal. Every working environment has its own personality, you have to be able to get a hold of it.

-Pay attention to your standing: your behavior or your non verbal communication are very important because they will speak for you. Pay attention to the tone of your voice, your body structure and, please, look into your interlocutor’s eyes.

-Show personality, but be careful with the sense of humor:  let the recruiter be the first to use it!

– Be curious and open minded but make no superficial questions: show that you have previously studied the company profile and that you know what the job entails.

-Do you have any more questions? Feel free to write to us at Info@bonboard and insert “Punch a recruiter” in the e-mail subject.