Innovating to Solve a Global HR Crisis


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By Meredith Bodgas. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

The COVID-19 pandemic produced what might be the largest workforce disruption since the Great Depression; its effects on the global economy are devastating. Unemployment in some areas hit 30%, which turns the economic crisis into a human resources crisis. Our guest, Christy Pambianchi, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Verizon, explains how her company has transformed recruitment, hiring, and retention, given the chaotic scenario. She describes the challenges of maintaining the company’s values and culture in a virtual environment.

Pambianchi has more than 30 years of experience working as an HR professional. She has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. Before Verizon, she worked for 10 years as HR Director at PepsiCo Inc. When the internet revolution arrived, her passion for communication and technology spurred her to join Corning Inc., optic fiber inventors. She worked her way up in the company, becoming Executive Vice President of the People and Digital department.

Creating People + Work Connect while at Verizon is definitely among her career highlights. The idea came about as an answer to the HR crisis generated by the pandemic. The free, online employer-to-employer platform helps companies that need talent or are displacing workers to quickly identify and fill positions.

The hiring process is also evolving, according to Pambianchi. Companies used to hire for job titles, looking for workers who fit into a specific role. Nowadays, it is more about skills and every worker’s attributes and interest in learning. She believes the skill economy will gain even more prevalence in the next decade.

Plus, Pambianchi shares her thoughts on the best way to assist workers during the unstable times we are going through and the silver linings of the pandemic’s effect on companies.

Some Questions Asked:

  • What are the biggest challenges and surprises this pandemic has presented to companies?
  • How did Verizon recruit for the summer 2021 virtual internship program?
  • How does People + Work Connect help people who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19 get back to work?
  • Are companies looking for previous experience with a specific role, or are they looking for the skills that can be applied to a variety of roles?
  • How can companies help their employees, both full-time and contract, with navigating times of change and instability?
  • The pandemic has hit women, working mothers in particular, especially hard. Can you tell me how Verizon is stepping up for women and what you believe is important to help women in the workforce thrive?

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Verizon’s growth plan in technology and innovation.
  • About finding fulfillment in working for companies where you feel connected to the purpose.
  • Ways to drive retention and tenure.
  • About the innovation happening in HR.
  • Why the Verizon 2020 summer internship was recognized as one of the best virtual internship programs.
  • How Nestlé filled 75 open roles quickly using People + Work Connect when business demand increased due to COVID-19.


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