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DEMO: Turkcell’s Assess and Recruit Generation Y [2014]


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In the changing landscape of graduate recruitment, the more businesses strive to understand generation Y and tailor their recruitment strategy accordingly, the more they will be able to draw on its multitude of talents.

Turkcell has embraced this change and implemented new approaches to recruitment process of its internship program which are specifically tailored to Generation Y candidates.

We conducted in-depth research which examines recruitment needs and aspirations of Generation Y and implemented a new communication strategy and innovative recruitment tools such as online game, video recruitment and peer interview to recruit the most talented candidates.

In 2010, Turkcell, the leading operator of mobile communications and technology in Turkey, changed its employee proposition to ‘I have much more in Turkcell’ to underpin its new customer positioning, ‘More life with Turkcell’.

As part of the strategy, the 78-strong HR team focused on six pillars: more career, more support, more sharing, more appreciation, more joy and more development. Behind each of these pillars sit tools that create a difference in employees’ lives, making them feel valuable. These include: SMS and business assessment tools at recruitment level; internal communication tools, such as blogs, LCD panels in every office, quarterly CEO presentations and volunteering; employee suggestion schemes; the Turkcell Academy and a talent management system that has resulted in an internal promotion rate of 87%.

The company, which has more than 33.5 million subscribers and is the only firm in Turkey to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, employs 2,800 people. It is part of the Turkcell Group of companies, which employs 10,800 in total and reported TL2.1 billion (US$1.3 billion) net revenue at March 31, 2011.

The mobile operator’s staff can take advantage of Flex Menu, a flexible additional benefits system, the first to be launched in Turkey. This includes a ‘healthy way of living’ package (featuring spa, check-ups and dietician) and retail scheme/shopping vouchers. The employee satisfaction rate for Flex Menu is 99%. Turkcell also offers a pension plan covering all employees and a monthly baby nursery contribution for female staff with children between 2-5 years old.

Last year, Turkcell achieved $271 million savings by putting 709 employee ideas into practice. Its learning academy benchmarked against worldwide organisations and reached 50,000 staff, while saving $100 million through the utilisation of technology and channels and $971,000 through internal academy trainers. It achieved an employee engagement score of 80%, compared to a benchmark in Turkey of 74%, and was ranked the most desired company among university students in a study by market researcher GfK. It was also ranked Turkey’s favourite firm to work for, for the fourth year running, by the country’s most-read business publication, Capital Magazine.

New recruitment strategy delivered benefits for all parties:

Candidates: More candidates had the chance to be assessed. 8200 candidates participated in online game and 1000 in video recruitment. Formerly we had to eliminate most of the candidates by filtering resumes in the first step. They also gained the flexibility and fun.

HR: Recruiters saved time and avoid operational work. They also had the chance to develop their online assessment skills.

Organisation: We received 11.000 applications through the communication campaign. New design reduced costs by 92%. Online recruitment strengthened our technology and innovation based employer brand and increased the quality of the recruited candidates.

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Gen Y candidates need flexibility, fun and online engagement in a recruitment process. That’s why we conducted a communication campaign by using technology and guerrilla marketing.

We designed a special QR Code visual to use in university zones which directed candidates to our microsite that gives detailed information about the program and allowed them apply in 4 steps. We used social media very effectively and reached 1.2 million people.

We developed an online game which not only measured cognitive abilities, but also offered real fun. We used an innovative video question to measure their creativeness and give them the flexibility.

Gen Y demand different things from their careers than older members of the workforce. They are eager to learn. They place the interest and enjoyment of work before salary. And they want to work flexibly. Understanding this segment of the population and
their work aspirations is essential to shape employee value proposition to attract and recruit the best talent.

Highlighting the technology and innovation aspects of our employer brand brought us the right talent. Designing more flexible and entertaining recruitment tools helped us to gain candidate satisfaction. We received great feedback from our candidates, recruiters and business managers.

We gained so many benefits through the research of Generation Y and redesign of recruitment strategy. We continuously request feedback from our candidates and recruiters and track social media to improve our process.

We gave candidates only a weekend to complete the online game to avoid fraud, but we monitored negative feedback on social media that they needed more time. And then we gave the whole week for the video recruitment step. We also realized that our recruiters had some difficulties while assessing candidate videos.

Next year we’ll train the recruitment team more on assessment tools before the process starts.

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