Mergers and Acquisitions
M&A Readiness Podcast Series: Talent Assessment for Corporate Buyers and Sellers

Thousands of transactions and discussions with M&A professionals point to a significant trend: the need for corporate buyers to seriously invest in talent assessments for new leaders. In this podcast, Mercer’s Global M&A Transaction Services Leader Jeff Cox and Dr. Patrick Shannon discuss why a disciplined approach to assessing key talent is necessary for a successful merger or acquisition.  

Jeff Cox, Global M&A Transaction Services Leader

Dr. Patrick Shannon, Leadership Development

Considering a leader for a key role in your new organization? Consider a structured talent assessment. A talent assessment gives you an in-depth, objective, deep read on the potential leader that could make the difference in your new organization. With so much at stake and so many “unknown” factors waiting to creep in, this is one area that organizations can’t afford to let slip.

In a seller’s market like the one we’re in today, time before close is incredibly compressed—as is access to leaders.  So when is the ideal time to do the assessment?

“There are certainly informal assessments occurring pre-close as the parties are getting to know each other” in which “you can begin to define the competencies or capabilities you need in the new organization,” says Patrick. Usually, though, the assessment process occurs post-close when access to leaders ggrid-xs.

The talent assessment process has evolved greatly in recent years. An effective talent assessment can be broken down into three key steps:

  1. Define the role and competencies to better target the assessment process.
  2. Do the assessment. This typically involves an in-depth structured interview in which the leader can share their career experience. We also recommend an online psychometric assessment.
  3. Compile the data into a report to make recommendations regarding the leader’s fit.

What about organizations that want to do the talent assessment in-house? While companies get the benefit of objectivity working with a third party, Patrick says, “We certainly support organizations that want to do it themselves by defining the playbook to help them at a functional level.” That includes assessing what they’re looking for that function to achieve, the mission, roles, and process for making talent decisions to staff the new function.

Listen to the Podcast

View the Podcast transcript

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