Winning Plays on Talent Management

Talent management is a competitive sport — and who should know better about that than the National Football League? If you think talking HR and pro football at the same time is strange, think again. For the NFL, which next year marks the golden anniversary of the Super Bowl as well as the return of the Pro Bowl to Hawaii, having a talent strategy that is fully integrated with its overall organizational strategy and financial planning is the goal.

This month’s program of the SHRM Hawaii Educational Foundation, Oahu District, held November 18 at the Sheraton Waikiki, featured Mike Smith, NFL SVP – Talent Management and Rewards. Smith presented "The NFL’s Winning Play on Talent Management & Workplace Engagement: How to Attract and Retain Top Talent to Create an Engaged Workforce,” outlining how the NFL breaks down its talent strategy. Among the points discussed: engagement (the “end zone”) – minimizing the downsides and maximizing the upsides; creating a high-performance culture through talent planning, acquisition, assessment, and development; how to use both financial and non-financial rewards; and the benefits of turnover — to help balance institutional perspective and fresh ideas. The bottom line: “We want people who skip to work and run through walls when they get there,” said Smith, and that applies both on the field and off.