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Published on Friday, 07 Sep 2012
Helen Wong says Verizon has allowed her to work in a number of different departments.
Photo: Gary Mak

Seeing huge potential in the cloud-computing and security-space sectors in Asia, Verizon is actively looking to expand its workforce in 2012.

“We are investing heavily in recruitment this year, and are anticipating 15 per cent staff growth. We are also looking to diversify our skill set and attract new talents in line with our regional growth strategy,” says David Kim, regional vice-president of global strategic services, Asia-Pacific, at Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

The company are looking for people who subscribe to the company’s mission to open the connections between people, systems and machines. “We want to hire people who share our values. Ultimately, you can train, mentor and develop knowledge, but if staff don’t share the same core values then all the training in the world won’t help,” Kim says.

“The four core Verizon values are: accountability, integrity, respect and performance excellence. These values drive our recruitment and corporate culture globally. Every staff member at every level and across all functions has been given an action plan to bring these values to life within their team and their day-to-day work,” he says.

With a strong strategic direction to grow its Asian business portfolio, Verizon is looking to develop a specialist team that understands the local Asian culture and way of doing business.

“We have historically found great talent with the right mix of specialised sales skills here in Hong Kong, especially for our professional services team,” Kim says.

“Candidates obviously need to have English language skills as well as Cantonese. It’s also important to have Putonghua on the résumé. They need to be technically proficient in the area of business they are going into, and be able to work with customers across Asia and around the world.”

Besides external hires, the company is also looking to grow internally, making use of its talent-management programme to find the right people for the job. “This includes internal transfers from Hong Kong to offices across the region, and vice versa,” says Kim.

“Our workforce is global and mobile. We believe in retaining talent and growing careers. We also encourage cross-functional transfer, to allow people to develop their skills and careers in different business areas. We look to optimise staff, developing them as professionals and giving them opportunities within the business anywhere in the world.”

Verizon is devoted to nurturing young talent and inspiring staff to do their best.

“We offer a graduate training programme here in Hong Kong where we bring in students and rotate them around the various business functions. These young professionals are future leaders of our business. They will spend time in different departments to understand our networks, services and business from every angle,” says Kim.

Verizon’s mentoring programme focuses on work and personal development. “We have a person in our human resources department solely dedicated to driving and managing top talent through internal-leadership and talent-management programmes. All of our managers and line managers are encouraged to identify people of potential within their teams,” says Kim.

The positive collaborative culture and values-based approach of Verizon makes for an interactive, inspiring and fulfilling place to work. “We are a multicultural business and the culture allows for this,” Kim says.

“For example, we have staff from India, Australia and Britain who have very different individual cultures and heritage to staff from the mainland, but we all work together under the same inclusive working culture and everyone brings something new to the table. It’s inspiring! I have been in Asia-Pacific for Verizon for 15 years. I am originally from the US and one thing that has struck me is how the Verizon culture transcends cultural differences.”

Helen Wong, director of network planning, Asia-Pacific, was one of the few women to break into the male-dominated telecommunications industry in the early 1990s. Born in Hong Kong, she was educated in Australia and worked there before coming back to Hong Kong in 1998.

Wong was asked to join Verizon by a colleague who thought that her personality and professional background would fit right in. She says the company has allowed her to try different things in her pursuit of success. “I have worked in just about every department and that’s very rare. I was even given the chance to work in a new business unit, network planning, which I had never worked in before. This is testament to the flexibility of the company,” she says.

“There is a recognition culture [at Verizon]. If you’re doing well, you will be credited for this and recognised. I haven’t looked back since joining the company in 2005.”

For Wong, another thing that stands out is the company’s willingness to invest in staff participation in global conferences. “I have attended conferences in the US and Europe with my managers. At these conferences you meet your customers and partners, and stand side by side with senior Verizon executives. This helps grow your reputation and your network,” she says.    

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