The country has been resilient, and there is hope for growth in some sectors, but generally the challenges employers faced in 2022 are likely to continue in the year ahead.
Inflation rates and the cost of living
This year, Turkish employers will be focusing their efforts on talent retention, since the weakened lira has made it more appealing for foreign investors to operate in the country, and for professionals to work abroad.
The government has twice raised the minimum wage quite significantly in the past year, and many business leaders are struggling to match salaries with rising inflation. In response, many employers gave their existing workforce a similar pay rise mid-year to encourage them to stay in their current roles. However, it has been difficult for employers to match the rising cost of living, which is impacting everyone in Turkey.
As a result of the financial crisis, food and housing prices are especially high in cities like Istanbul. This has caused many to feel stressed and disengaged with work, and ready to move for a higher salary and lower living costs outside the capital. The resulting talent shortages in more senior positions, where remote/hybrid working isn’t possible, are likely to continue over the next few years, if the government doesn’t take further action.
Top trends of 2023
With more foreign companies now operating from Turkey, there are more opportunities for professionals and more competition between employers. Many businesses are having to cut costs and will potentially have to downsize to manage, but some sectors including defence, e-commerce, marketing, and sales are growing as companies navigate global supply chain issues.
We have seen significant growth in the engineering and manufacturing sectors, and this is likely to continue throughout the year. Our geopolitical location gives us a great advantage in terms of logistics. Manufacturing and logistics cost more in the Far East and European countries, which makes Turkey a profitable place to manufacture and export from, as companies worldwide try to cut their own costs.
Naturally, as demand for manufacturing grows, engineers and those in procurement and supply chain will find far more opportunities. With many in these sectors approaching retirement, businesses will need to strategise to retain the knowledge of those experienced workers. This has contributed to the high turnover across the country. One way to mitigate the impact of this is to upskill workers into more senior positions and hire externally for junior positions.
Optimise your offer
Employers must focus on employee engagement and doing their best to support their current workforce. Turnover is currently high in all industries, with many professionals moving for higher salaries to support themselves, although some are hesitant to leave a stable role without adequate incentives. Employers must ensure they don’t exclude anyone from the limited talent pool. Demonstrating a commitment to inclusivity is the best way to encourage more job applications.
It’s cost-effective to hire internally or temporarily fill roles with professionals who could potentially become permanent if they are right for the position. Upskilling workers who lack all the right skills or qualifications offers a great return on investment, as most people appreciate the opportunity to learn and develop and will reward their employer with their loyalty and hard work. The new generation entering the workforce is especially keen to learn and organically progress through the business.
Professionals are increasingly concerned with finding employers whose values match their own. It’s no longer enough to offer the most competitive salary – even in the cost-of-living crisis. Having an employee value proposition that honestly reflects the ethos, values and culture of a company is a great way to help people make a more informed decision before joining a business. When someone knows what to expect from the outset, they are more likely to stay for longer and not be disappointed if their values don’t align with those of the company.
Business leaders must offer a robust package in addition to a high salary, growth opportunities, desirable benefits, and the flexibility of working hours and locations that professionals have come to expect since the pandemic. Some employers have gone the extra mile, for example, with the introduction of energy and fuel allowances to support workers with heating their homes and travelling to work during winter.
Our salary guide will help inform your decisions through data illustrating average salaries for roles across multiple industries, as well as insight into the latest sector-specific trends.