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The Importance of Retaining Key Talent after an Acquisition

In the unpredictable world of M&A, winning companies prioritize talent. Here's why keeping people a priority is critical to successful dealmaking.


The Importance of Retaining Key Talent after an Acquisition

According to our survey of executives, talent retention is the second-largest contributor to deal success. This is even more important after the industry-wide impact of the Great Resignation. Sinead Mullen, a partner with Bain’s M&A practice, discusses ways for M&A executives to manage the widening talent gap and address people issues throughout the entire deal process.

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Reimagining Talent in M&A

With survival and growth riding on a company’s ability to hire the best talent, more executives are finding creative ways to solve the people equation.

Read a transcript of the video below:

SINEAD MULLEN: Even in the best of times, mergers and acquisitions cause employees to worry about uncertainty and change, often leading some of them to consider other job options. But these are not the best of times. Virtually no company has been unaffected by the great resignation as record numbers of employees explore new opportunities. These realities haunt any proposed talent-focused deal. People were already thinking of leaving, and depending acquisition or merger can make that decision even easier.

Our survey of executives found that talent retention is the second biggest contributor to deal success. When talent is a major factor in a potential deal, acquirers need to proactively address people issues throughout the entire diligence and integration process. The best companies take a number of critical steps in both the diligence and the integration stages to ensure talent stays put.

For example, they take the time to understand a target center of influence. They perform extensive diligence pre-close to assess attrition risks and get a firm grasp on employee engagement metrics. And they walk away from deals if the people and culture issues are too challenging.

Executives who successfully retain key talent through the integration say that establishing a strong and compelling vision for the future is the most important element contributing to that success. They reach out to key leaders and critical influencers below the executive level. And they directly engage them in the process, enlisting them as integration ambassadors.

As the talent gap threatens growth and profits across industries, companies will devote more energy to performing creative people diligence and enabling people insights to guide their deals and integrations. How to predict the winners in the raging war for skills? They're the companies with an unwavering focus on talent before, during, and after the deal. Deal after deal.

Explore the full report

M&A Report 2022

What the best companies did to win in a white-hot market.


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