Outplacement in Turkey
by Joan O’Rourke, Partner with OneWorld Consulting, Istanbul
With a population of an estimated seventy-five million people and with half being under the age of thirty years, Turkey is one of the most dynamic and fast growing economies in the world. According to recent statistics, Turkey is ranked as having the fourth largest labor force among European Union countries. Over the past decade, the GDP has grown three fold reaching over USD 800 billion in 2013, making Turkey an industrial powerhouse in its region. Outplacement is becoming better known in Turkey and understood as an important part of the employee lifecycle process. Though it is still a nontypical practice and the market is small, it is starting to now grow significantly. It provides support to our clients during times of change and forms an important part of their strategy of how to manage departing employees. As outplacement is a developing service offering in Turkey we often find ourselves introducing and explaining the benefits of outplacement to human resources professionals, outplacement candidates and executive management teams. We have seen the level of awareness of the value outplacement can bring increase over the last few years and this has resulted in an increasing number of Turkish as well as international companies requesting outplacement services. Our outplacement clients tell us they see the benefits both for their departing employees and for the ones who stay behind. We have traditionally seen outplacement being provided to top level executives but we are also seeing an increase in the uptake of outplacement for employees at different levels within an organization. Typically for senior executives this is a face-to-face program of a longer duration than for mid-level managers, with group programs being requested for lower level employees. Currently, there are no legal requirements regarding the provision of outplacement services to departing employees in Turkey and there is no indication that this is likely to change anytime soon. We are still seeing that most job opportunities for our outplacement candidates are concentrated in the larger Turkish cities, mostly Istanbul, but increasingly in the larger industrial cities of Adana, Bursa, Gaziantep, Izmir and in the capital, Ankara. We view this as a positive development but it still remains a challenge for professionals to find work in the second tier cities. Age is another important issue for our outplacement candidates. While we actively support and promote diverse hiring processes among our clients, unfortunately, job opportunities for older employees tend to be limited as clients still favor hiring younger people. We also see that it remains difficult for older, more experienced executives to switch professions and sectors as employers usually look for experienced people and often view those coming from another sector as a hiring risk. However, we work hard to challenge the views of our clients on this and believe things are changing slowly. The length of time it takes for an outplacement candidate to find a new role depends on the individual’s experience and expectation. We are seeing that it usually takes up to six months for middle level managers to find a new role and for senior executives it can take six to twelve months. We have not seen a significant change in this over the last two to three years.
This article is from the Career Star Group’s 2015 First Quarter newsletter http://www.careerstargroup.com/media/26435/csg-newsletter-first-quarter-2015.pdf