Headhunting in Challenging Emerging Markets: The Turkish Retail Industry
Turkey has long been a premier destination for those seeking a fabulous shopping experience. The many bazaars are packed with treasures, from intricate jewellery and leatherwork to the most sumptuous rugs. But the nation is distancing itself from its reputation as a supplier of cheap knock-off designer brands and re-emerging as a serious competitor in the luxury clothing sector. This is great news for the industry but presents a unique set of challenges for recruiters seeking to fill vacancies in this developing market.
Plenty of Vacancies
The retail sector in Turkey is separated into two main strands – small independent shops and the large shopping malls. These modern complexes are where many luxury clothing brands are seeking premises, hoping to attract not only the local market but also international clientele from Turkey’s thriving tourist industry. This type of shop offers many recruitment opportunities, from senior retail operations managers to oversee the business to retailer merchandising managers to work on the shop floors. In order to create a successful identity and compete with more established brands, it is important for shops to have an effective marketing strategy. Part of this entails having a strong visual profile, so utilising staff with exceptional visual merchandising skills is vital. Recruiters must seek out staff with plenty of experience so that high-end boutiques are able to offer excellent customer service to clients who expect nothing less than the very highest levels of professional care and attention.
Turkey has traditionally been regarded as a difficult market for foreign retailers to break into, as local businesses have proved to be such strong competition. The market is very fragmented, which has not made it easy for global brands to achieve the success they might have expected. Part of this is due to the unusual challenges presented by Turkey’s geographical location. Turkey is ethnically extremely diverse and can be regarded as a melting-pot of an array of different cultures. As a country straddling two continents, Turkey must cater to a variety of tastes and appeal to a broad spectrum of customers in a location where East literally meets West. Many retailers require staff that are fluent in both Turkish and English in order to provide high levels of service to the largest possible number of customers and compete effectively in the global marketplace.
As a rule, in Turkey the relationship between employees and management is a closer one than in many other cultures. Staff are generally very loyal to their company. In return, they are rewarded with additional benefits such as transport to and from work or meals whilst on duty. This close relationship is undoubtedly beneficial to both staff and management. However, this makes it even more vital for recruiters to ensure they put forward suitable candidates in order to sustain this positive dynamic.
The Turkish retail sector is an emerging market that presents unique challenges to luxury brand recruiters. However, sourcing the right candidates will enable businesses to compete effectively in the global marketplace.