Any acquisition comes with both a unique set of challenges and rewards. Acqui-hiring, meaning acquiring a company for its employee assets can be worthwhile certainly in the right situations. However, acquisitions aren’t usually simple processes. So, before you can consider it as a viable option to expand or improve your employee base, you need to make sure your Middle Market organization is capable and ready for the process.
A competitor probably has employees or even teams in-house that are exactly what your company wants and needs. So, you could certainly work to woo them away. However, this can be a very time-consuming process with variable results. Also, when your competition finds out what you are doing, and you’d be naïve to assume they won’t, your reputation and relations could be damaged.
Acqui-hiring can be a much better solution. Especially when you are not talking about one or two A-player employees, but an entire team or staff of them. Also, if you acquire an entire company, the staff already know each other. So, they’ve likely figured out exactly how to best work with each other and they know the products, software, and services of your competitor. You won’t spend as much time getting them up to speed. Acqui-hired staff may breathe new life into your organization. They can offer a new perspective, innovations and a bit of shake-up.
Your competitors also likely have programs, processes, and connections that will be beneficial to your Middle Market organization. Not only do you gain their human capital, you’ll also likely see benefits to every aspect of your organization.
Acqui-hiring can be fantastic, but again, you are acquiring an entire company, not just their staff. Before you actively pursue it, your company needs to be ready to acquire a company – with regards to your finances, infrastructure, employees, support systems, etc. You’ll also need to be prepared to bring on and blend your existing and newly acquired employees. Your current staff will need reassurances, support and to buy into the experience for it to be successful. Acquired employees will need the same things and will possibly be less receptive to the idea or be more inclined to hedge their bets and look for a new position.
There will be growing pains on both sides and it will take time, skill and effort to seamlessly blend your two organizations. When done well, your Middle Market firm will be stronger than it was before the acquisition and you’ll have new resources, connections, employees, and customers at your disposal. When done poorly, it will probably be a lengthy, difficult struggle or even an unmitigated disaster.
Make sure your executives, leadership, managers and employees know what you are doing, why you are doing it and what the successful outcome will be. Communicate often, early and openly throughout the process. Your HR team will be extremely vital during this time, so make sure you have the right people in place before you set out to acqui-hire. Again, this might be a good time to develop a board of advisors or directors to assist with the process.
Acqui-hiring can bring a fresh perspective, new talent and many rewards to your Middle Market organization. Make sure you prepared and ready before you embark so you can help to secure your success.
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