Mis Guleryuz and Her Career Bringing New Talents to the Business World

Tags: Spenglerfox News, Interview, Career Advice, Talent & World Of Work

Mis Güleryüz, Regional Practice Group Leader of SpenglerFox, talks to Talentpolitan magazine about her career that brings new talents to the business world. 

In a few sentences, tell us about yourself and your business.

I was born and raised in Istanbul where I studied to become an electrical and communications engineer.  I ended up working in the executive search sector; most recently in the Industrial and Manufacturing Practice Group at SpenglerFox.

When and how did you begin working in this field? How did you choose this profession?

I worked in sales and business development for 25 years.  I was eventually approached by the SpenglerFox executive search company to come work for them. Their contacting me happened at just the right time, for I was considering a career change and a role with less travel. It took two years and five rounds of intense meetings, but I ended up here.

Is there a difference between headhunting and executive search?

Generally, the processes are the same. In both roles, you are looking to find the right person for a specific role. “Headhunting” is more of marketing term that had been previously used to reflect the challenge of finding highly-skilled people for critical professional roles. That term tended to reflect the perceived aggressiveness of the process.  In executive search, we tend to deal with C-suite level positions that focus on company strategy and leadership.

How is the executive search process evolving?  What are the critical points in the process for finding talent? And what methods do you use: from beginning to end?

The process has evolved mainly based on how clients perceive the market.  The market for placing new talent is now more global.  So, we address all projects from a global perspective working with all the experts in our team to provide input. The most critical aspect of search is communications.  There has to be chemistry between ourselves and the client. A successful search process always starts with a very good brief:  we sit down and talk to the client about what they want and what they need.  The client has to trust us: they need to see that we understand their business, how leadership interacts with employees, and that we can deliver the right talent to execute the given role. The process is not just about one-off assignments: businesses grow and change and, for us, this means we need to monitor our clients' evolution and develop relationships and care programs that are responsive to their changing needs.

Does successful recruitment require specific skills? 

Communication is critical. To be a good executive search consultant you need a strong level of social and emotional intelligence.  You have to view assignments from a global perspective, sometimes taking a deeper look at what clients need just as much as what they want.  Success in our industry involves having a superb network of contacts and knowing our clients’ businesses from back-to-front.

What are your favorite questions used when interviewing candidates? Do you feel that any specific questions are either loved or hated? Do you have a favorite trick question?

My favorite question to ask is “What makes you happy?"  I ask this both generally (about life) and specifically (about career).  Other questions I like to put to candidates include “Can you define an ideal leader?” and “What does success mean to you?”  These questions usually give me good insight into the candidate and help me get an idea of their work process, what metrics they use to evaluate other employees’ success, as well as their ability to manage and delegate work.

Have you ever experienced failure in life? When and how?

For me, failure is a relative term. I think we all have different measures for where we think we “should” be at any given moment in our careers and this defines how we feel about success or failure. I can remember a time at a former company when I really wanted to move to a role at the company's offices in Switzerland. I had delivered on my work, executed well but, in the end, I didn't push hard enough.  I later realized that perhaps I didn’t want the move as much as I thought. If I had, I would have pushed myself much harder.

What defines your ability to succeed in your business?

I think I’ve been successful because of my openness and my honesty. Plus, I am very eager to learn.  I think my approach to our business as a positive, but analytical, thinker has helped a lot.  So much of what we do is about how we speak, how we approach people and how we deliver on client requests. I think my biggest success has been learning how to engage with clients and deliver specific messages. This has helped develop trust and personal bonds over the years.

Do you follow up with people after you’ve placed them in a job? How do you feel watching their personal development?

The key thing here is that we’re not selling a product.  We are changing peoples’ lives. That’s why we integrate follow-up tools into our placement support processes. We have a multi-phases review scheme to monitor how candidates are doing and to discuss their satisfaction.  As a rule, I also make calls to candidates right on the first day. I want them to know that we care how they do in their new role and are willing to pass relevant information back to their bosses so that management can work to improve onboarding processes.  Finally, follow-up with candidates is definitely an investment that pays off, because many times over we’ve received very good referrals from people we’ve successfully placed. They trust us and know their colleagues will be in good hands with us.

Let’s talk about your customers?  Why do, or should they, choose to work with SpenglerFox?

I’d say because of our commitment to candidates and our thoroughness in managing the placement process.  We do client feedback reviews and most often they compliment us on our communications process, our support programs, speed of response and our integration of coaching services into our search process. There are many other businesses out there that do what we do.  However, we invest a lot in relationship-building. We place emphasis on our trusted advisor role. We also focus on a borderless approach to doing business, where we leverage the contacts and know-how of experts in our global practice groups to find clients the best talent available on the market.

How does someone follow in your career path? How do they begin and how do they advance?

Essentially, there are two routes. Either you join the business as an intern and then gradually move to a consultant role.  Or, in other cases, people move to this business after having worked for several years in a specific industry segment. I think that, afterwards, to thrive in our business you have to have a strong interest in people: in building long-term relationships. People in our business advance and succeed because of a willingness to learn and take on new skills. Our business is constantly evolving and we increasingly see impact from sector overlap (i.e. integrating disciplines like tech and psychology) and the need to learn continually.

How would you define a talented candidate?

I think your best talent comes from people who are willing to engage.  You want someone with people skills as well as emotional and social intelligence.  It truly depends on the situation though. Some businesses may feel that the top talent is the executive that performs best; the one who meets quarterly targets.  Others may define success as the manager who finds the best solutions to problems.  At SpenglerFox, we do our best not to pigeon-hole talent or insist on working within the paradigm of traditional roles. In some cases, we help clients define and place candidates in jobs that hadn't existed in the past.  Top talent is able to work across disciplines and inspire and motivate colleagues and teams with their problem-solving skills.


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