We spend so much time today creating a pipeline of talent for our current roles, but what about developing a pipeline of talent that your company will need for years into the future? Learn how Münteha Mangan, from Turkish Aerospace, developed a program to attract young people to his jobs and company.
99.9999% of thought leadership and educational resources for Recruitment Marketing, employer branding and talent attraction focuses on how to attract more quality candidates today. And that’s valid! Many companies are struggling to attract and hire talent for roles they desperately need to fill in order to produce their products, service their customers and ensure their companies can operate at capacity.
But what if, for a few minutes, you stopped thinking about what you need right now and envisioned your business’s talent needs 10 years from now? What about 20 years from now? Will there be enough qualified candidates available for your company to grow? There are high demand roles today that are only going to get harder to recruit for. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fastest growing occupations (projected for the next 10 years) include nurse practitioners, wind turbine service technicians, data scientists and information security analysts.
Now, how many kids say they want to be an information security analyst when they grow up? Maybe not a lot today, but what if your company invested in educating and engaging the next generation of talent? This could both spark an interest in kids and teens to become nurses, data scientists, engineers, etc., but it could also build brand affinity with your company so their goal becomes being employed by you!
At our last RallyFwd Virtual Conference, focused on Recruitment Marketing Reimagined, Münteha Mangan, Chief of Employer Branding for Turkish Aerospace, shared how he and his company are reimagining how they are attracting early careers talent to their company.
Read on to learn more about Turkish Aerospace’s outside-the-box Talent of Tomorrow strategy and, I challenge you, as you’re reading about what Münteha and his team have done, imagine what you would do to attract young people to your employer brand today and develop them as future employees.
Meet the Expert
Münteha Mangan is the Chief of Employer Branding at Turkish Aerospace and has been in the role since 2019, having been in the employer brand space since 2008. Turkish Aerospace, established in 1973, produces aircrafts, space systems, helicopters and drones. They have nearly 15,000 employees and are continuing to grow, expecting to hire 3,000 new employees this year.
Building a pipeline of future talent
Turkish Aerospace’s employer branding programs primarily target new graduates from universities since they also function as a school for engineers. Having just graduated from a program as electrical, mechanical or computer engineers, early career talent join the company and are then trained to be aerospace engineers.
Each year, the company has around 3,500 interns work with them through a variety of talent programs. Turkish Aerospace has a summer intern program, a long-term candidate engineer program, a program for foreigners and one for Turkish people living abroad. These 4 programs together get about 20,000 applications each year, which is more than enough to keep them staffed.
But Münteha and his team began to wonder what will happen in the future. The competition for engineering talent is already growing more competitive and it’s only going to continue. From these initial thoughts, the team developed their Tomorrow strategy.
Münteha explained, “The idea behind the Tomorrow strategy is, if we can prepare a program that gets the attention of kids while they’re young, we can increase their awareness of Turkish Aerospace and the aerospace industry.”
They devised a program that divided future talent into 3 groups based on age: ages 6-10 (Hurkus, which is the name of one Turkish Aerospace plane), ages 11-14 (Hezarfen, named after an Ottoman scientist and inventor from the 1600’s who is reported to haven achieved unpowered flight) and ages 15-18 (Demirag, named for a Turkish industrialist who started a flying school for getting young turks interested in aviation).
They also developed 4 key steps (or stages) that future talent would go through during the program:
- Step 1: Attention
- Step 2: Awareness
- Step 3, Motivation
- Step 4: Guidance
Münteha and the team aligned each step with an age group and developed appropriate programming and content that met the goal of the step. Step 1 (attention) was assigned to ages 6-10, Step 2 (awareness) was designated for ages 11-14 and Steps 3 and 4 (motivation and guidance) targets ages 15-18.
Programming and content assets were then created for each age group that focused on the goals of the assigned steps. Münteha and his team got really creative with how and what they did to reach each group.
In the following sections, we’ll explore each age group and the events, content and messaging that was created.
Capturing the attention of future talent early
For the youngest group of kids, ages 6-10, they created a number of programs to build awareness of the aviation industry and Turkish Aerospace including a traveling musical, an e-magazine and workshops.
Münteha shared, “I think the brightest idea we had for this entire program was doing a stage musical. Every age range has different communication skills and you cannot go to all the audiences using the same messages and tools. After a lot of discussion around kids ages 6-10, we came up with a musical for elementary schools using 2 of our products, the Hurkus plane and the Gokbey helicopter, as our main characters.”
The Hurkus and Gokbey musical was created for elementary schools to bring awareness to the aerospace industry and the Turkish Aerospace brand.
This touring musical has visited over 70 cities so far, holding 350 performances and reaching more than 100,000 kids. Additionally, after the major earthquake that hit Turkey in February 2023, Turkish Aerospace sent their production to 11 impacted cities as part of a special corporate social responsibility project.
For the e-magazine they published for this age group, it was designed to showcase some of the company’s products, including planes, drones and helicopters (no armed products were highlighted).
Bringing awareness to career possibilities
To bring awareness of aerospace careers to kids ages 11-14, tactics included an e-magazine (more advanced than the version for ages 6-10), development seminars, field trips and a career festival.
For the kids 11-14, the e-magazines are more advanced than the one produced for the younger age group. To build awareness of career possibilities, this content includes details and stories about the various types of engineers that work at Turkish Aerospace Space.
The development workshops and seminars are also available and can reach kids from anywhere because they’re all online. Münteha explains, “With our workshops, we give them the opportunity to develop their engineering skills teaching them about things like coding, design, etc.” The main difference between the workshops and seminars is that with the seminars, there is no limit for the audience. Anybody can participate and watch our seminars.
Starting in middle school, field trips and a special career festival (which happens once per year) are also available.
Motivating and guiding young talent towards career opportunities
For the most advanced group, ages 15-18, the goal is to motivate their interest and guide them to a career in the aerospace industry (ideally with Turkish Aerospace). To do this they participate in engineering seminars, counseling events, field trips and a career festival (the same that’s offered for ages 11-14).
The company offers engineering seminars, where they go into high schools with actual engineers and their interns and talk to the students about the field and industry. They also have counseling events available for students when they finish their university entrance exams. Like the seminars and workshops, the counseling events are held online.
Their biggest event is a large career festival that takes place once per year. This event. Teknik Gezi XL (which is Field Trip XL in English) is a large festival held onsite at Turkish Aerospace. It includes recruitment booths, engineering coffee talks, seminars, workshops, their musical, and air show and more.
Turkish Aerospace’s Field Trip XL event is held each year to motivate and guide teens to careers in aerospace engineering.
By focusing on building career interest in engineering as well as brand awareness for their company, Turkish Aerospace is focusing their efforts on future talent. These programs have now won 12 international awards in addition to making an impact on the thousands of young people who’ve participated.
Thank you again to Münteha and the Turkish Aerospace team for sharing their Tomorrow strategy! If you’d like to hear more from Münteha, you can watch his RallyFwd presentation on demand.
You can also register for our next RallyFwd Virtual Conference, Talent Acquisition Innovation, to learn about important innovations happening right now in talent acquisition, recruitment marketing, employer branding and candidate experience. Join us on Dec. 6, 2023 to discover what you can do to modernize your strategy and advance your skills, right now.