Investing In... Turkey

Turkey Is Hot for Hiring Great Talent

Mark Hamill, |CEO SpenglerFox CNBC-YPO Chief Executive Network Member

Turkey is a key market for us when it comes to finding good employees. We are increasingly seeing companies looking for senior level executives not only with experience, but also possessing leadership, interpersonal and communication skills.

Maslak is a neighborhood and one of the main business districts of Istanbul, Turkey.
Salvator Barki | Gallo Images | Getty Images

Our company has had a presence in the country for over nine years and we find the marketplace dynamic. Within the last two and a half years, we’ve made placements within a variety of sectors including life sciences, technology, industrial and manufacturing,energy, consumer and financial services. Some specific roles have included: key account managers, CFOs, supply-chain directors, procurement directors and marketing directors.

While 2012 will prove to be a much slower year for the economy, the Turkish market should pick up next year. It is one of the top markets of the emerging world to invest in and we see an uptick in companies looking to expand there.

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We are increasingly asked to peruse the marketplace and evaluate appropriate talent for organizations by a process we refer to as market mapping. This mapping is a custom-made solution for clients who are not sure of the possibility of finding the ideal person for a role or when a “future” position will be open.

It is the process of collecting market information by assessing prospective candidates from a distance without interviewing them or conducting a full search. Marketing Mapping saves time and offers valuable insights that can facilitate decision making in confidential projects and choosing appropriate locations for growth.

Turkey has approximately 73.5 million people with a median age of 28, making it one of the most exciting markets out there. While the West has a growing older population, Turkey’s young, vibrant population makes it attractive to companies looking to do business in that region. This is making the market extremely hot for talent and causing wage increases to be among the very highest in the region behind or equal with Russia. The reasoning behind this is due to the war for talent and Turkey’s struggle to retain top talent.

Battle for Talent

Our research has shown that there will continue to be a battle for top talent in Turkey, as it competes with the West to attract and retain the best employees. Many companies are developing human capital solution programs to not only assess future leaders but also to provide appropriate personal development and succession plans for their workers.

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Some companies are finding it difficult to keep good local Turkish talent in place, forcing them to provide better compensation packages. Other companies have experienced difficulty with retention as employees choose to emigrate and gain senior level experience in corporate roles within Europe and the US.

One way Turkish firms are counteracting this is by bringing in talent from other markets to fill the gaps. Others are offering bigger managerial roles across Central Europe and the Middle East and Africa where the executive manages a function or product across larger markets.

We are seeing an increase in talent coming from Turkey and we expect that trend to continue as more companies establish a presence in this emerging market.


Mark Hamill, CEO of SpenglerFox
Source: SpenglerFox

Mark Hamill is the Chief Executive Officer of SpenglerFox, a global executive search and human resources consultancy company. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from University College Dublin, and completed his postgraduate studies in International Marketing at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

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