Acquiring a company is never easy. That’s because it is never fully possible to buy out the core of the firm: Its people. In these days of high attrition and a vibrant job market, companies involved in mergers and acquisitions have to tread lightly when it comes to employees. They have to be reassuring about jobs, and allay all fears and concerns. Given this situation, HR departments are beginning to play a more significant role than ever before, in integrating people during M&A.
The Igate acquisition of Patni last week is an example. It required the integration of 25,000 people (16,000 from Patni and 9,000 from iGate). Though it was not easy telling Patni staff their company had been bought out, HR officials ensured they were informed about this well ahead — even before the external stakeholders. Within minutes of the announcement, employees received mails from the CEO, Powerpoint presentations explaining the benefits of the deal, and timelines for various activities. Discussion forums, Town Hall meetings and teleconferences were set up.