1. About Turkey
  2. Working conditions
  3. Sectors and companies that are recruiting
  4. Applying for a job
  5. Major recruitment pointers
  6. Recruitment Resources and networks

1. About Turkey

Turkey’s economy is increasingly driven by its industry and service sectors, although its traditional agriculture sector still accounts for about 30% of employment. An aggressive privatization program has reduced state involvement in basic industry, banking, transport, and communication, and an emerging cadre of middle-class entrepreneurs is adding dynamism to the economy. Turkey’s traditional textiles and clothing sectors still account for one-third of industrial employment, despite stiff competition in international markets that resulted from the end of the global quota system. Other sectors, notably the automotive, construction, and electronics industries, are rising in importance and have surpassed textiles within Turkey’s export mix. Oil began to flow through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in May 2006, marking a major milestone that will bring up to 1 million barrels per day from the Caspian to market. Several gas pipelines also are being planned to help move Central Asian gas to Europe via Turkey, which will help address Turkey’s dependence on energy imports over the long term. After Turkey experienced a severe financial crisis in 2001, Ankara adopted financial and fiscal reforms as part of an IMF program. The reforms strengthened the country’s economic fundamentals and ushered in an era of strong growth – averaging more than 6% annually until 2008, when global economic conditions and tighter fiscal policy caused GDP to contract in 2009, reduced inflation to 6.3% – a 34-year low – and cut the public sector debt-to-GPD ratio below 50%. Turkey’s well-regulated financial markets and banking system weathered the global financial crisis and GDP rebounded strongly to 7.3% in 2010, as exports returned to normal levels following the recession. The economy, however, continues to be burdened by a high current account deficit and remains dependent on often volatile, short-term investment to finance its trade deficit. The stock value of FDI stood at $174 billion at year-end 2010, but inflows have slowed considerably in light of continuing economic turmoil in Europe, the source of much of Turkey’s FDI. Further economic and judicial reforms and prospective EU membership are expected to boost Turkey’s attractiveness to foreign investors. However, Turkey’s relatively high current account deficit, uncertainty related to policy-making, and fiscal imbalances leave the economy vulnerable to destabilizing shifts in investor confidence.

Read more: Information about Turkey at www.cia.gov

Population: 78.8 million

GDP per inhabitant (2010): USD 12,300,-

Unemployment rate (09/10): 12%

2. Working conditions

Major companies are open from 8:30-17:00, Monday through Friday, though this often changes depending on the job. In spite of the law, there is no standard work week in Turkey.

You may be surprised to see children working in service and even industrial industries. Turkish workers are eligible for full-time employment at the age of 15, and widespread poverty means that many of them take full advantage of it. Children as young as 13 are eligible for part-time employment so long as it is not hard physical labor and they are attending school. Even still, illegal child labor is not uncommon in Turkey, especially among poor and rural families.

Most Turkish companies offer two weeks vacation time each year. It takes years of loyal work before this amount increases, and unsurprisingly, it does not apply to part-time workers or most English teachers. These groups have to remain content with one day off a week. Foreign workers should not expect all standard western holidays (such as Christmas and Easter) to be recognized by their employers unless they work at major international companies. Time off is given for Turkish holidays.

Full-time employees benefit from union support, though Turkish unions face certain restrictions that unions in other countries do not. For example, for unions to be legally recognized as bargaining agents they must represent 10 % of Turkish employees in their field. In addition, there are certain industries that are not allowed to strike: education, national defense, sanitation and utilities fall into this category. All things considered, you might say that the Turkish Labor Code is still a work in progress. Therefore, do not be afraid to stand up for yourself in the workplace if you feel you are being mistreated.

Read more: Information about Working conditions in Turkey from justlanded.com.

Legal working hours : 45.0 hours per week.

Length of trial / notice period: Officially 3 months.

Employment formalities: Work Permits are either obtained from the Work Ministry of Labor and Social Security Institution or from the Consulates of Turkish Republic in foreign countries. When starting a job in Turkey, the employer company usually asks for Medical Check.

3. Sectors that are recruiting

FMCG, High Tech and Telecommunication, Services (Health, Insurance, Law,Logistics, Banking, Tourism, Consulting), Industries (Automotive, Food, Chemical, Energy, Construction) Finance.

Companies that are recruiting: Merck Sereno, Astra Zeneca, Wyeth, Würth,Fresenius Medical Care, Zevtiva, Schering-Plough, Abbott, Nestle, Frito Lay, Perfetti, Pepsi, Vaillant, ABB, Vodafone, Bosch, Turkcell, Areva, General Electric, TNT, KPMG, Federal Electric, Henkel, Huawei Technologies, BP, Siemens.

4. Applying for a job

Cover Letter and CV in Turkish & English. Internet mail is most welcome.

Advice regarding the CV: Usually one or two sheets are ideal ones. On the top on the left, contact details, below that educational background and languages (level). Below, suite of positions to be presented in chronological reverse order, with information on the company, position, results and figures. Publications, leisures or interests, could be the last part. References can be added (not an obligation).

5. Major recruitment pointers

Business Etiquette/knowing how to behave during interviews:Behave in a Turkish interview as you would in any other. You should dress formally, and take special care to be on time. Shake hands with the recruiter, introduce yourself, explain about the responsibilities and achievements briefly. Be polite and thorough when you answer questions, but avoid rambling or monopolizing conversation. The interviewer is certain to ask about your Turkish language skills and your living arrangements in Turkey. Answer honestly, but remember that your integration into Turkish culture will be looked on as a positive. Interview lengths will vary. They could last anywhere from a half hour to two or more, especially if you are asked to take a skill test (common for IT and related jobs). Again, avoid exaggerating your experience. As a general rule, don´t claim anything you can´t prove through your CV or a reference. Depending on the job, you may have to interview several times before your employer makes a final decision.

Languages you must be able to speak: Turkish. Business: English, French and German would be an additional advantage.

Flagship training: Istanbul Technic University – Engineering, Middle East Technical – University-Engineering, Istanbul University-Business Administration, Economics, Law and Medical. Bogazici University – Business Administration, Engineering. Marmara University, Sabanc? University, Koc University, Business Administration. Bilkent University. Engineering, Hacettepe, University Medical.

Compensation&Benefits / Taxes: Social Security , Private Health Insurance (usually), Company Car (usually at managerial positions), Lunch, Mobile phone & Laptop (sometimes), Vacation (it changes according to the working year/ duration of the employment). The 2008 individual tax rates vary from 15% – 35%.

6. Recruitment resources and networks

Important business networking sites:

Where to network:
Alumni Societies, Professional Associations, Turkish or International “chambres de commerce”.