Turkey’s population is young and growing – currently standing at over 80 million people in total, and over 41% under the age of 24 – the country is entering into a so-called demographic sweet spot. That only 15% is over 55 years of age or moving towards retirement means the burden of supporting an ever-growing elderly population will not hit the country for at least a generation. This good news contrasts with the fact that unemployment has been on a steady rise since 2012, peaking at 11.7% in February 2017, with projections that the figure will stubbornly stay above 10% until the end of 2018.

However, the good news is that the Turkish employment rate of 48% is creeping up to OECD levels (61%), although this figure is somewhat hampered by the relative lack of women in the workforce (27.9%) compared to other nations (48.5%). Overall, the employment picture is improving in Turkey, as the country continues to deal with external influences on its economy.

What the HR professional in the country will have to deal with soon is an explosion of Generation Z employees entering into the workforce. More than 2 million students sat the National University entrance exam, which translates into another 900,000 students on two to four year courses. This new student body will join the estimated six million further students who are in full time education, raising the total in population terms to almost 9%, one of the highest ratios in the OECD and the world.

Acquiring the talent of tomorrow

To cope with this influx of digital natives, HR professionals in Turkey will be able to select from a deep and wide candidate pool for their respective companies, meaning talent acquisition and retention strategies will be key to future successes. As the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends study highlights, “Talent acquisition is now the third-most-important challenge companies face, with 81 percent of respondents calling it important or very important.” It also means the advent of Digital HR will be vital, as employment takes on new structures and meaning, with the ability of the HR professional to manage employees of different generations with different expectations key.

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Generation Z enters the employment market and Turkey is in need of new HR measures. What strategies can be observed in global markets for 2018?