The HR Olympics

Oh, I got me some Olympic Fever!  The Summer Olympics are the best – it’s like NCAA Tournament time but with sports we only care about once every four years!  This Summer Olympics I’m even more invested than usual because we have a local athlete from our hometown of DeWitt, MI, Gymnast Jordyn Weiber, competing, so I expect I’ll be sitting inside watching TV for 2 straight weeks during the only time it’s actually nice to be outside in Michigan (BTW – Jordyn is you read this – you have permission to take my son to the prom, home coming, the movies, marriage, whatever, I’m good). That’s called dedication folks – get some!

I love the Olympics mainly because I LOVE competition.  Seeing someone compete at the highest level for the love of their sport – well let me tell you – it doesn’t get more exciting than that.  I wish we had something like that for HR.  I mean HR as a profession doesn’t really have anything to get to excited about – but if we had an HR Olympics – there would be a reason to come to SHRM13 (besides to see Kris Dunn and I do our thing!). You could have the best HR and Talent Pros from companies all over the world compete against each other for those stupid stuffed animals all the people freak out about getting at the national conference (BTW #2 – Monster snubbed me at SHRM12 – so I’m back on the CareerBuilder bandwagon – go spend your money with them – I think they’re better! That being said we’ll have to hit up CareerBuilder for our awards – call me!).  Pure HR magic! Imagine the Events:

2013 HR Olympic Events

Recruiter Sprints – how fast can you steal the top talent from a competitor – you get a phone, internet access and all the coffee, Red Bull and 5 Hour Energy you can choke down.

HR Generalist Pentathlon – 5 tests of your HR skills –

    • Employee Relations – Quid Pro Quo case investigations without legal support
    • Compensation – Executive Comp Design in under 3 weeks
    • Organizational Development – Design and facilitation of operational initiatives
    • Talent Acquisition – full life cycle recruiting on a shoestring budget
    • Benefits and Wellness – Explaining an EOB to an employee’s spouse with a smile on your face

HR Daily Gymnastics – How many hoops can you jump through on a daily basis?

Synchronized Performance Reviews – get matrix organization managers to work together.

Talent Management Marathon – can you lead your organization through a full succession process?

Termination Triathlon – Get the documentation, coach the manager and duck the EEOC charge!

Let’s face it the events could be endless! Plus, most of us run around our organizations so much, training for these Olympics would seem like a vacation!  And just like the real Olympians we would have to raise money to afford to go, because many of our organizations don’t see what we do as important, which means no funding.  Wouldn’t that be cool – to send your HR Team to an HR Olympics representing your organization, building team spirit, sharpening your skills, getting out of the office for 2 weeks!

So, what do you think – what HR Olympic Events would you want to see? Hit me up in the comments section…

FOT Background Check

Tim Sackett
Tim Sackett SPHR, is the ultimate Mama’s Boy!  After 15+ years of successfully leading HR and Talent Acquisition departments for Fortune 500s and smaller technical firms, Tim took over running the contingent staffing firm HRU Technical Resources in Lansing, MI. Serving as the Executive Vice President, Tim runs the company his mother started over 30 years ago, and don’t tell Mom, but he thinks he does a better job at it than she did!  Check out his blog at Because he's got A LOT to say, and FOT just isn't enough for him.


  1. How about Olympic Lifts for each of Porter’s 5 forces:

    – What’s the threat of new competition?
    – What’s the threat of substitute products/services?
    – What’s the bargaining power of customers (buyers)?
    – What’s the bargaining power of suppliers?
    – What’s the intensity of competitive rivalry?

    If you know the answers to these questions than chances are you’re developing HR solutions that are addressing these questions.

  2. Jamie Womack says:

    Thanks for the CareerBuilder shout-out, Tim. If this ever materializes, let’s chat. In the meantime, what about providing bonus points for participants who use big data around candidate behavior for (legal) ‘performance enhancement’? Or even create another sport – let’s call it Archery Analytics – where participants capture and use talent analytics to aim for their target candidates.

  3. Mukul says:

    I like the idea, the content and the tone..
    For me, there are two more events in this Olympics..
    1. As the war for talent rages, HR loses its focus and starts getting more transactional, operational in nature. Who is more transactional in nature?
    2. on a serious note,the time is over-ripe (is there a word like that?) we get more systemic in nature at the core.. The core is – converting population to resources. Thought paper..

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