HR Strategy

‘Next Level HR Recruiting and Development’: Realignment of recruitment and personnel development at Swisscom AG

Initial situation:

Swisscom is the leading telecommunications company in Switzerland, with around 6.4 million mobile communications customers, 1 million Swisscom TV customers and 1.9 million (retail) broadband connections. In 2013, 20,108 employees generated sales of CHF 11,434 billion. Swisscom is active throughout Switzerland in all services and products for mobile, grid-connected and IP-based speech and data communication. The company is also involved in IT infrastructure outsourcing and in the management of communication infrastructures.

In the course of 2012, in preparation for the integration of its B2B business, the Swisscom HR organisation was reorganised from a specifically departmental approach – to support individual companies within the Group (Swisscom Schweiz, Swisscom ITS etc.) – to a centralisation of its competence centres into a Group-wide function. Through the former, locally organised organisation, there were many different approaches, tools and processes at Swisscom in the various HR fields.

At the same time, Swisscom extended its existing guiding principle – its promise to customers to “act as their trustworthy companion in the digital world” – by carrying this into the outside world and extending it by defining requirements for behaviour within the Group.

As part of the Next Level HR initiative, the processes and tools in recruiting and development were to be realigned, harmonised and adjusted to the Group positioning under the guidance of Promerit AG.

Swisscom Factsheet



  • Creation of a unique and positive employment application experience
  • Taking diverse target groups, with very different quantitative requirements, availabilities and preferences, into account
  • A focused drive to access the target groups critical for Swisscom by deploying the most up-to-date customer-acquisition approaches


  • Minimising risk through optimal assignment of  staff to key positions and functions
  • Consistent identification and validation of employees with high potential
  • Focused and continuous development of employees with high potential
  • Firm employer commitment to succession planning

“We are not satisfied with mediocrity in recruiting; we want to be leaders in both recruiting and personnel marketing. It is especially important for us that candidates experience our recruiting process as something professional and positive. Promerit’s consultants provide a partner who responds to this demand and constantly challenges it. We have developed and realised ideas together that are both innovative and effective.” (Alexander Senn, Head of Recruiting and Employability)

Approach and Services of Promerit AG:

The objectives were pursued in three dovetailed areas of activity:


The preferences, communication behaviour, strengths and weaknesses of Swisscom were ascertained in a target-group analysis. On this basis, example target group profiles and selling stories were developed for two pilot target groups, and the channel mix was established. Then the acquisition processes and tools, the roles and responsibilities and a set of management instruments were conceived at a comprehensive level and implemented as a prototype. In the process, classic project management methodology was combined with human-centered design approaches to create ‘experience chains’ for candidates.


Within the personnel development programme, the methodology for managing potential and succession planning (identification and validation of employees with high potential) was newly conceived.  Besides the procedure and organisation of the development programme, a system of key figures was developed as well as a methodology for deriving and following up development measures. Its realisation was ensured with Promerit guiding Swisscom in carrying out its first succession-planning stages.
To enable the new practice to be benchmarked effectively, a round-table discussion was set up with selected best-practice companies to share their experience of innovative and successful approaches


Comprehensive new high-potential indicators were developed to function as a link between recruiting and development. From these, further demands were derived for managing potential, succession planning and recruiting; processes and tools were developed for personnel selection and the recruiters were trained in their application.

Client benefit:

  • Provision of a consistent candidate and employee experience through integrating internal and external recruiting, potential management and succession planning processes
  • Group-wide quality standards for the identification and development of employees with high potential to raise the performance of the whole organisation
  • Optimal assignation of employees to key positions through early recognition of vacancy risks and ensuring suitable successors both from within and outside the company
  • Increasing the attractiveness of the company as an employer through clear, consistent and fair allocation of positions and targeted development measures

“With our approaches to strategic succession planning and talent management we are able to ensure the ideal occupation of key positions and retain our freedom of action in critical situations. Comparing ourselves with other companies in a benchmarking activity has shown us that we are in tune with the times. Professionally, Promerit is first choice for the development and shaping of these issues. And on top of all that, our work together was a pleasure.” (Boris Billing, Head of HR Group Development at Swisscom)

other cases