Q: As an HR professional, what competencies do I need to become a strategic partner in the M&A process?
A: HR professionals have a significant role to play in the success of M&As but can only do so if they have the business acumen to understand all aspects of the deal. HR must be able to evaluate the people-related ramifications of strategic and financial decisions made in the Planning stage. This includes understanding the strategy that is driving the merger or acquisition and being comfortable with the core activities of the different phases. Some of the key competencies required are related to business acumen and insight; strategy development and measurement; target-company analysis; HR technical expertise in due diligence; integration planning; organizational communications, cultural assessment; investigative skills; personal comfort with change; change management; M&A influenced organizational behavior; staff assessment and selection; internal consultant; technology mastery; training and development; and International HR.