Nikki A. Bethel
Senior Vice President, Talent Management
Home Box Office Inc.
New York, N.Y.
If Nikki Bethel had her way, she would travel the world often with her husband and daughter. For now, however, the senior vice president for Talent Management at Home Box Office Inc. is content to continue in her 14-year tenure at HBO, where she oversees talent acquisition and organizational effectiveness, encompassing executive leadership and coaching, management training and professional development, employee communications and initiatives. “I like to think of the work we do as part of the retention strategy for the company; we are responsible for the life cycle of an employee. We get the employees coming in on the recruiting side; they are transitioned back to us on the OD [organizational development] side insofar as training; and we ensure that the on boarding is appropriate. We see to it that they’re having a good experience both culturally speaking and in terms of skill set,” explains Bethel. “What I enjoy most is watching these employees evolve. Part of what we do well is keeping them here. It’s one thing to hire; it’s another to keep.”
Bethel’s role at HBO is hardly her first foray into developing talent. Prior to joining HBO, Bethel was a consultant at A-List, where she developed strategies to help college students and professionals find placement and/or transition across industries. Since then, she’s found other outlets to help students. In her spare time, she works with various organizations to ensure that “brown kids see their faces in high places.” A board member of the Emma L. Bowen Foundation and an honorary member of the Women’s League of Science and Medicine Inc., Bethel earned a bachelor’s degree in government and politics at the University of Maryland, College Park; a master’s degree in education at Harvard; and a Human Resource Management certificate at New York City College of Technology. Her crowning achievement? “My daughter, Sydney,” she says.