Dear Ashley, thank you for starting this topic. I believe that talented people are the most important asset of each company. What is a company without people? Assets, IP, factory…people make the companies.
Optimally, the company would have an HR system with documented annual performance assessments. To review the assessments for each department: OPS, procurement, finance and others.
i think it’s most important to get an idea from managers who have worked with their teams and have the best understanding who performs well. On top of that, to avoid bias, use the performance assessments as Ksenia has already mentioned.
Hi Ashley – great questions. It depends on many factors like deal type, size, location, financials, etc. but I think it should occur later in the DD process. It is also influenced by both the buyer, seller, and intention. For example, a large corp acquiring a small business for its IP may want to evaluate talent early in the process so they put the correct incentives together to attract/retain. On the other hand, two medium-sized companies merging for marketshare might want to create an integrated system to evaluate all talent formally before making key decisions. Like many things it depends but I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all answer unfortunately.
To add to the comments on the performance of the associates, we also need to look at the future competencies needed in the company. We might have great performers in areas which we might not want to pursue further after the M&A. Is there a potential and need for retraining or do we need to part is one of the important questions to be asked.