Associate Professor Yeşim Toduk Akiş is the founder of The Amrop Hever Group, executive search and placement company finding general management to external clients. Akiş also teaches marketing in Bilgi University. Conducting close to 15000 interviews up to now, Akiş asks the interviewees what their mothers and wives think about them as well. Head hunter Akiş believes that Turkey will show up in the forefront of the world not with its abundant bor minerals but with its leaders.

 What is the difference between headhunting and employee search?

Real headhunters do not find the people they look via newspaper ads or the internet. We call that finding an employee, placing anybody to any position with use of your resources.It might succeed or not.

 What do you do?

First we get to know the firm, then we find the right person. In seven years, we have come to a point to introduce a new concept called “360 Degree”. We are setting the standard to do this job right from top down.

 If the employee you found did not suit well to the company in three months or so?

If  the company we are working with wants to change that particular employee within a year, we find a new alternative free of charge.

 How do you find the ‘brains’?

Let’s assume that we are looking for a General Manager for Automotive subsidiary industries. We make contact with the General Managers of every firm member of the Association of Automotive Subsidiary Industries.

 Do they accept to meet up with you right away?

95% of the candidates accepts to meet. We don’t have anybody that we couldn’t meet with within the next 24 hours in automotive, pharmaceuticals and FMCG industries.

What is your first question in an interview?

Why are the most suitable candidate for this position?

What do you say when you come across with a “being perfectionist” answer from a candidate to a question about their worse characteristics?

After asking about his/her good and bad characteristics, I ask “ What sides of you did your mother criticize the most?Or your wife?”

What can you say about managers in Turkey?

Managers working in multinationals in Turkey are above world’s standards, they are very good. They are coming from a very good educational background and knowledge system in Turkey. In my opinion, Turkey’s most important resource is not the bor mineral but human

Resource with leadership traits. Turkey should invest in its leaders.

 You drew the leadership map of Turkey. Can you comment on it?

The structure in Turkey is mostly composed of family-owned businesses. Families are more than to be partiarchal therefore we mostly observe ‘fatherly’ type leadership models. Compassionate, embracing, listening to others and guiding them. Fatih Terim’s type. There are also leaders who bring innovation, bring change. Transformational leaders. There are many of this type of leaders in Turkey. And there is another concept newly being developed throughout the world: Servant Leader. The person who is in charge in the firm invest in people with whom (s)he works with and prepares their environment to make them successful.

 What do the companies look for in searching for an executive?

Whether they have leadership traits is the first thing they look up to? Whether (s)he can change a group into a team? Does (s)he have the ability to think strategically? Long-term vision? Can s(he) make a difference? What would be the added value of this particular person? They ask these type of questions. It is very important that s(he) is honest, decent and creative.

 What do the employees look for in the companies?

A lot of people seeks a place where they can get promoted in the long-term. They consider whether and to what extent the company can educate them.


Money is important for everbody but does not have a limit.

 Is there any difference of expectations betweeen men and women?

While women ask if they can do the job, men primarily consider the position. Because of childhood experience such as soccer and alike, men think “ In any case, I will manage to create the team and score”. Women on the other hand, are reluctant and hesitant in managing teams large in number because they work hand in hand with smaller teams and home.

 How do you evaluate women in Turkey in terms of leadership?

Servant leader is closely related to classical Turkish mother type. What are we going to expain to the world is this:“Mother-like leader”. Turkey will be the pioneer in the world. Because there aren’t any mothers as self-sacrificing as Turkish mothers. Even though Turkish mother manage the family by herself, she brings forth the children and the husband.

 Do Turkish Bosses have confidence in women managers?

They trust extensively. But women leader ratio in the world is 4%. It is alike in Turkey as well.