Q&A with Jeff Lackey, VP Talent Acquisition, CVS Health
(Originally published for Harvard Business School)
Describe your organization in three to five sentences.
CVS Health is at the forefront of a changing health care landscape, with an unmatched suite of capabilities and the expertise needed to drive innovations that will help shape the future of health. Through its approximately 9,600 retail pharmacies under the CVS, Navarro and Longs Drugs brand names, more than 1,135 walk-in MinuteClinc locations, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 75 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than 1 million patients each year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. CVS Health serves 5 million customers each day through its retail pharmacies, dispenses or manages 1.9 billion prescriptions annually, and has supported 28 million patient visits through MinuteClinic since its inception. Ultimately, this one-of-a-kind, integrated business model is focused on creating superior value for patients, payers and providers, while driving continued growth for the company and its shareholders in an evolving health care market.
How long has your organization been recruiting at Harvard Business School and what roles do you hire for?
CVS Health has enjoyed a mutually beneficial recruiting partnership with HBS for the past several years. HBS is our top MBA school for intern hires within our Corporate Intern Program. We hire interns across a diversity of business areas working on market-shaping strategies in areas which include Digital Innovations, Merchandising, Marketing, Analytics, Product Development, and Government Services. In addition, the members of the Career & Professional Development team have been fantastic partners in helping us develop and execute successful recruiting plans on campus. The team is always willing to work with us on creative ideas.
What recruiting tactics have you found most successful in engaging with students and/or alumni at HBS?
A must-have element in our recruiting plan at HBS each year is personal engagement of senior leaders – both HBS alums and even non-HBS alums. Bringing leaders to campus to interact with students or hosting students at our office demonstrates our commitment to hiring fresh talent and also connects students on an intimate level to very senior leaders for informal career path talks and other discussions. This year, we will be hosting a private reception for candidates to connect to leaders at our Boston Digital Innovation Lab in November to help students foster connections and gain insights prior to applying for on-campus interviews. We are also lucky to have our President of CVS Pharmacy, Helena Foulkes, as an HBS alum and recruiting advocate. She was also named one of Fortune Magazine’s most powerful women in business.
Give us your elevator pitch – what is the one thing students should know about working for you?
We are a large, complex Fortune 7 company, however when you intern here you can develop personal connections and impact our business, whose purpose is to help people on their path to better health. Through our Corporate Intern Program, each intern works on a project that contributes to a specific strategic initiative for their business area with set goals and anticipated outcomes for their work. We also offer many opportunities to connect across our business both on an individual and group level. Each intern has a personal support network consisting of an Intern Leader, Colleague, and Mentor. For the interns as a group, we offer intern-only sessions with senior leaders (and HBS alums), interaction with our Colleague Resource Groups, community relations activities with non-profit partners in the community, and more. The opportunities to learn and grow at CVS Health are really unlimited.
Is there anything else you would like to share with fellow recruiters or those who are new to recruiting at HBS?
HBS students bring a wealth of experience and diversity of perspective. Because of this, they have a lot of career options to consider. It is worth the investment of time in advance of the recruiting season to develop a clear and unique recruiting plan for your organization, taking into account adjustments and learnings each year.