Attracting and Retaining Top Talent: How Do Mergers & Acquisitions Affect You?

How is Attracting and Retaining Top Talent Affected by Mergers & Acquisitions?company culture with mergers and aquisitions


Mergers and Acquisitions are a common occurrence in today’s businesses. Although many people have a negative connotation as it relates to their own careers when it comes to M&A activity, it can have a dramatic positive affect if managed well both by them and the organization. I have been fortunate to know and have worked with many organizations that have gone through some form of merger or acquisition and in some cases it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to their organization and their people. The number one factor was the culture of the new organization. In many cases this has included the culture of a Private Equity firm.

Culture: What remains and what changes will determine the retention of talent.

Accept. Companies want the edge over the competition and are typically in a position where they have to acquire, merge or sell to remain competitive. If a strategic purchase or acquisition will give them the edge, they’re going to go for it. A-Players know this is the nature of business, accept it and have learned how to adapt to the change that comes with it.

Leverage. As an employee, use this time of change to leverage your talent, communicate and show your value and know when to challenge yourself to stay engaged or look at outside opportunities. Allow this time of uncertainty to challenge and push you to new levels. Allow yourself to question what is the best next career step for you and your employer.

In my experience during mergers and acquisitions communication, honesty and openness are critical to keeping your workforce motivated and engaged. Change is going to be inevitable; technology, resources, people and culture. The most important impact on retention is going to be culture – when the culture changes so goes your talent. If you manage to maintain the culture that has made you successful you will see a tremendous amount of retention among your leadership and workforce.


Here is an article we feel is very applicable to highlight as you evaluate and manage through M&A activities:

An article from Deloitte Consulting that discusses 3 ways to value your A-Talent –

Make talent a pillar of business strategy, not an afterthought. Talent management strategies should focus on creating business value. By aligning your talent strategy to your business objectives, you can acquire and develop the necessary talent to meet market challenges.

Motivate and support critical workforce segments. Most organizations typically have two to three workforces that generate a disproportionate share of value, are in high demand and low supply and cannot be replaced easily. When you focus on recruiting and developing this critical talent pool, you build the resource pools required to achieve your business strategy.

Support talent with the right infrastructure. Change management, training and technology enablers can help make talent programs sustainable. Some of what you need may already be in place, but you may have to upgrade systems – and maybe even your culture.

If mergers and acquisitions are a part of business life today what are you going to do with it? How are you going to leverage it? How can this experience to make your ‘new’ organization the best it can be?



Other Talent Posts You Might Like:
3 Ways to Recruit Top Talent
Attracting Highly Qualified Candidates through a Job Requisition
High Performance versus High Potential Employees – Can you identify them?

Centennial, Inc. Leadership & Talent Blog

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  • Mike,
    I would agree with you. Culture is critical. I think smart acquirers recognize that the company that they are paying good money for has something that they want to incorporate into their own business which usually exists due to the smart employees that have built it. Most intelligent buyers look to leverage these resources that exist in the business they are buying, rather then eliminate them. Because of this we find that they are more likely to error on the side of not disturbing the business until they absolutely understand what they are working with, which gives the employees the time to assess the new needs of the combined entity and show that they are the person to fill that space.

  • Christina Foster

    I thoroughly enjoyed your post, Mike! I have experienced mergers and acquisitions at both a company and departmental level in the past, and I fully agree with you on the importance of culture.

    As a budding I-O psychologist, I have studied the importance and effects of person-environment fit and how mergers and acquisitions can throw that fit completely out of whack. Often when mergers occur (even at a departmental level), executives do not consider the lasting effects that it will have on individual employees. It’s vital to make sure the culture of one department or company does not simply overtake the culture of another; there must be a transition process and cultural assimilation on both sides. That person-environment fit is necessary for satisfied and happy employees!