On November 13 and 14, 2023, the WEC— a council of human resource executives assembled by CNBC—hosted its WEC Summit event in New York. One session featured a 20-minute discussion involving Christina Schelling, Verizon’s SVP and Chief Talent and Diversity Officer, focusing on Verizon’s strategic use of data science and talent intelligence over the past 12 months to revamp succession planning and executive development for its top 300 VP+ level executives. A few points from the discussion:
- Movement in top roles. In the past year, 7 out of 9 of the direct reports to the CEO have changed positions due to retirements, rotations, promotions, and external hires for critical capabilities.
- Reevaluation of succession plans. Movement within executive roles indicated that it was time to replenish the succession pool and determine whether the internal candidates on succession slates were viable candidates (e.g., would we really put this person in the role if the position became open?).
- Expanding the succession pool: a) consider external candidates from other industries to bring in new capabilities (e.g., telecom isn’t known for great customer service, so consider talent in other industries and organizations known for high customer service levels, such as The Ritz-Carlton); b) Drop unnecessary qualifications in selection criteria (e.g., 90% of Verizon jobs now do not require an academic degree).
Other ideas are discussed on how Verizon partnered with an external provider to use data-based talent intelligence to achieve these and other goals.