Postal Service strives to maintain a deep bench for executive jobs

In the face of budget deficits and a shrinking workforce, the U.S. Postal Service is looking to develop its leaders and recruit new talent, according to an agency official.

In an interview with Government Executive, USPS Chief Human Resources Officer and Executive Vice President Anthony Vegliante said having a strong workforce succession planning process to identify employees to fill important leadership vacancies is the key to managing the agency's 500 executive and 40 officer positions.

"The most important thing [about succession planning] is it delivers results," he said. "People see results for their efforts."

Vegliante said the process begins when employees nominate themselves for executive positions and Postal Service leaders review performance ratings, education experience and job history. That information then is stored in a human capital enterprise system capable of providing real-time information. Candidates for leadership jobs could include people who are ready to take on executive roles immediately, as well as those who need more experience, which could be gained from detail assignments, additional education or cross-functional projects. Most USPS executives have worked in three to five job functions and geographic locations, according to Vegliante, which allows them to step up for a variety of positions.

"Not everyone has the same job or the same degree of difficulty, but nobody has the inability to perform," he said. "At the end of the day, that's what we look at."

The idea is to have two to three people with varying retirement windows lined up for executive positions at any given time, Vegliante said, adding the Postal Service also tries to ensure its top ranks are as diverse as the USPS workforce as a whole. The agency has consistent turnover for these positions, which Vegliante said isn't a bad thing because it gives other employees opportunities for promotion.

"High turnover is a bit of a headache, but some turnover is not a problem," he said.

The Postal Service also has focused on improving its recruiting efforts. For example, the agency is turning to technology like social networks and skill-specific job sites to pinpoint candidates looking for jobs in areas such as engineering. Recent college graduates also can join a two-year internship program, after which they would be eligible for a full-time position and a four-year master's degree. Despite the Postal Service's need to reduce its workforce, Vegliante said the agency still will focus on recruiting for certain positions.

"Where there were maybe 100 opportunities five years ago, there are 75 today and [will be] 60 five years from now," he said. "We still will need portable skills like engineering, human resources and finance."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.