Category: InterSearch Turkey – Ageo International

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Executive search is a challenging business in Turkey

Executive search firms face greater obstacles in Turkey than in other European countries. This is the assessment of Fatih Algan, Managing Partner at Ageo International, executive search firm and InterSearch member based in Istanbul. As a country struggling with economic crises and a high inflation rate, Turkey is not an easy place for high-quality and high-priced executive searches. Customers here still rely on traditional recruiting with a success fee model. Retainer models are not as established and there is often a lack of understanding on the customer side. In the executive search sector, on the other hand, about 75% of all contracts go to global players. Considering the hurdles yet to overcome in the Turkish executive search market, Algan particularly appreciates the international InterSearch network. “The numerous partner companies and strong position in the international market help us explain the quality of our services to clients.” The network also lends legitimacy over competing firms, he finds.

Clients still need to learn the difference between executive search and recruiting

One of the biggest challenges Algan faces in his work as an executive search consultant is the fact that executive search is not as established in Turkey as it is in other countries. “Clients often do not understand the difference between executive search and recruiting and tend to hire traditional recruiting firms when the search would actually be in the right hands with an executive search firm.” This often leads to disappointment when the recruiting firm cannot find quality candidates, he said. “Traditional recruiters often do not ask the right questions because they lack management and industry experience” Algan explains. They are often quite young and rarely have the necessary knowledge to fill middle management and “C-level” positions, he adds. Algan therefore sees it as a task for executive search firms in Turkey to educate their clients about the differences and make clear the benefits of working with experienced executive search consultants within a retainer fee model. “The client’s attitude of always choosing the cheapest solution needs to change” Algan adds.

Respect and age play a role

In addition to the classic qualifications that an executive search consultant should have anywhere in the world – business expertise, negotiation skills, communication skills – other factors also play a role in the Turkish market. “Age is very important in Turkish culture. Customers and candidates might not take a younger recruiter seriously,” Algan says. Experience and a certain gravitas are helpful in recruiting, he adds. “Otherwise, someone might not even agree to an interview in the first place” he explains.

Investing in a good executive search consultant will pay off in the long run

Algan cites the example of a longtime client who wanted to start a winery with an attached cheese dairy in addition to his supply company in the automotive industry. They hired Algan’s company to find a manager for the cheese dairy but withdrew the assignment after a newly hired HR manager wanted to take the search into his own hands. “Six months later, I was on the phone with this client again because the newly hired head of the cheese dairy had embezzled funds and caused over half a million Euros in damages to the company. In the end, I found a manager for him who is successful leading the company to this day” Algan recalls. Of course, this is a rather extreme example, but it clearly shows that investing in a good executive search consultant pays off in the long run.

Companies and executive search consultants need to be proactive in finding and retaining talent

Finding qualified candidates in Turkey is no more difficult than in other countries, Algan finds. With Istanbul as a business hub with a population of 15 million, he says the candidates are there, but it has become more difficult to convince them to switch. “Since the pandemic, very few want to leave their comfort zone. And if they do, they are asking for significantly higher salaries. Where a 15-20% raises used to be the norm when switching, 30% is now expected.” Algan explains that it is imperative for both executive search firms and their clients to be proactive in finding talent. As an executive search consultant, he says, one of the most important components of the services provided is finding and contacting the very candidates who are not even thinking about changing their jobs. “We need to show what sets us apart from traditional recruiting firms; what additional value we provide through our profound, in-depth assessment of candidates” Algan says.” On the corporate side, initiative must be taken before positions become vacant. “Through appropriate trainee programs and “talent pipelines”, our clients need to continuously procure new talent.” Even in times of increasing digitalization, when recruiting also makes use of tools and algorithms, Algan continues to see executive search as a “face-to-face” business: “After the pandemic, people will realize that purely digital recruiting is not sustainable.”

Fatih Algan

Fatih Algan has been Managing Partner of Ageo International in Istanbul since 2018. Algan has 16 years of experience in marketing, finance, and HR in the Automotive and Durable Goods sectors. Prior to working in the executive search industry, he served as Commercial HR Director at a leading European manufacturer of household appliances. Algan is currently working on his PhD in Strategic Management.





Turkey in numbers:
GDP: 719.5 billion USD
Economic growth: 1.8% compared to previous year
Per capita annual income: 8,548 USD
Inflation rate: 12.3% compared to previous year
Unemployment rate: 13.2%
Employment rate: 43.4%
Service sector employees: 55.9%
Quelle: destatis/Statista 2020

Why Do We Fail In Job Interviews?

What brings an interview to failure?

We’ve all asked ourselves why this happens after a bad job interview. Even though we mostly like to blame our resumes, a resume actually has only one function in reality; to buy a ticket for an interview. If you get an invitation and the process has not continued, the reason must be sought elsewhere.

Generally, the small nuances that we live or encounter in the dynamics of the negotiations can put the negotiations on a negative course. Individual frictions with the interviewer, inability to express oneself, technical problems, might be some of the reasons in the list.

Let’s look at the most important reasons together.

1. Not Conducting Sufficient Research

Some professionals tend to ignore this step. Success is not a coincidence; it is result of hard working and preparation. This is not so different for job interviews.

Having not made required search neither for the company nor for the interviewer, or having not studied on the role brief sufficiently, may cause the candidate to miss critical information that will be required during the interview. It also risks being perceived as sloppy person or uninterested for the role.

In order to prevent this situation, it will be useful to search the company to be interviewed, obtain information about the corporate culture, examine the details of the role, check the information for the professionals that you will meet on social media, and talk to people who are related in your network.

2. Presenting Inconsistent Statements During the Interview.

During an interview, the interviewer examines how consistent the candidate is. Since it is not easy to analyse an adult in an interview that lasts for 40 minutes on average, interviewer will get tired and feel distrustful when he/she encounters contradictory and superficial answers. Unfortunately, this can lead you to a negative result in the final.

In order to prevent this situation, sending as clear, consistent, detailed and non-contradictory messages as possible may help you. This attitude will also create trust and make the interviewer feel that you have the required competencies for the position.

3. Fail to Express Yourself Clearly During the Interview.

Expressing yourself clearly and being able to set out the goals are indicators of a strong personality. The lack of interview experiences of candidates, their lack of clarity along with inadequate preparation or excitement, is often negatively evaluated by recruitment professionals. To rehearse before the interview, to get prepared psychologically and to express yourself as clearly and honestly as possible may help to prevent this situation.

4. Lack of Motivation.

A strong motivation puts a candidate ahead in the first place. The recruitment professionals who manage the interview, specifically question the candidate’s motivation for the company and position that is discussed, among many other characteristics. Even the process easily may go on negative, because a candidate simply shows an arrogant stance or considered as unmotivated by appearing irrelevant. One of the most important reasons for this is that candidates think that expressing their interest to the firm or position is an unfavourable thing.

When you come across an opportunity that really interests you, stating this and reflecting your motivation and goals clearly puts you ahead of your competitors.

5. Extreme Modesty/Extreme Arrogance

Since we are taught that “self-disclosure” is a negative thing in our culture, most candidates can be too modest in the interviews, leading them to be reluctant to reveal their strengths. Occasionally, some candidates may be extremely arrogant in order to retain the control of the interview. Unfortunately, in both cases, the result becomes negative.

Being able to express yourself without slipping to both sides, expressing your achievements without exaggeration, will support you in the way that the result of your interview can be positive.

6. Creating the Feeling of “Unrouteable”

Especially in an interview for a managerial role, candidates tend to over-emphasize their managerial competencies, tend to show that they are successful in this regard, and thus pass on the feeling that they can move away from team spirit in general. Today, in parallel with the importance of continuous development, institutions are looking for leaders who can support this development and who will develop in this way. And for sure, rather than trying to be Superman, those who will run for success with the team are preferred in this quest.

In order not to create such a negative perception, it will be to your advantage to correctly mention yourself and your “already existing” competencies, while correctly addressing your development areas, how you think you can reach them and how you can express yourself within the team.

7. Looking Sloppy

An interview isn’t just a process where you walk into a room and tell them what’s on your resume. From the moment you reach the place where the job interview will be held until the moment you leave there, your appearance, smell, movements, the way you express yourself will tell you as a whole. Therefore, not taking sufficient care when going to the interview, fail to be dressed in accordance with the culture of the relevant institution and the requirements of the role, of course without exaggeration, can cost you points.

In addition, this attentive appearance and integrated posture are no longer limited to your physical appearance. It’s also very important how you look on social media, especially on your Linkedin profile, and how much your profile in these media reflects you. It should be noted that many recruitment professionals are now getting to know you through your social media accounts before the interview. That’s why the footprints you leave on the internet are just as important as how you express yourself in the physical world.

Making sure that your social media profiles reflect you correctly, displaying adequate and non-contradictory content on your profile, especially your profiles in professional life channels, reflecting full and accurate information, will make it easier for recruitment professionals to reach you and make a positive impression before the interview. Afterwards, going to the interview in a punctual and prepared manner, choosing a dress that is compatible with the culture of the relevant institution together with the requirements of professional life. Also during the interview, taking a confident, comfortable stance, expressing yourself in a clear, detailed, energetic way will also make you stand out.

8. Failing to Capture Mutual Interaction.

Everything went well, you paid attention to all the key points, but you couldn’t express yourself because you couldn’t catch enough interaction with the other person in the interview, and one more process ended in a way that you didn’t want. In fact, this happens much more often than you think; a study conducted in the USA in 2017, shows that this reason is behind 68% of failed job interviews.

Research in the field of behavioural psychology shows that people’s impressions of someone they’ve just met occur within the first 10 seconds of their encounter. It takes an average of half a minute for the judiciary to become a verdict. So in fact, before the conversation even begins, the interviewer may have made up his mind about you. So how does this judgment form? Our smell, our body language, then our tone, our articulation, and finally what we say, builds this judgment.

That is why, as we explained in the previous sentences, showing a painstaking and consistent appearance will give you the chance to achieve the necessary interaction with the interviewer and, as a result, to express yourself effectively.

9. Technical Problems.

Perhaps one of the least mentioned, but one of the factors that stands out with the introduction of online interviews into our lives is technical problems. Many glitches, from your connection speed to equipment performance, can cloud your interview success. And unfortunately, these technical glitches are not limited to on-line interviews; your car may not work that morning, and your computer charge may run out of the time when you are starting your presentation.

Checking everything before the interview, being able to predict the problems that may occur by testing, will allow you to control these technical glitch risks by reducing them.

Paying attention to all these small points will change the course of a conversation, increasing your chances of success. But first of all, all these studies aim to raise your awareness, increase your chances of expressing yourself correctly and achieve your goal at the end of the day.

We support professionals who want to receive consultancy on these issues individually with our detailed designed and one-to-one coaching products.

#fail, Executive Search, InterSearch, Intersearch Turkey, InterSearch Worldwide, interview, job

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