HR strategy and best practice › M&A due diligence: HR’s role in the initial stages of a deal

M&A due diligence: HR’s role in the initial stages of a deal

Become a proactive and strategic partner in M&A due diligence

This is a sample learning overview that we can design and deliver specifically for your organisation.

The significance of people and cultural issues to the success of a merger or acquisition are now well recognised and HR has a key role to play in both pre-deal due diligence activities and the post-deal integration strategy. During the pre-deal stages of an M&A transaction HR has an important contribution to make to assess the viability of the deal and its likely impact on the various workforces involved.

However, HR can still struggle to make their presence felt and in order for this to change it is vital that all HR professionals involved in M&A ensure they have the necessary knowledge and skills to contribute effectively.

We can deisgn and deliver an interactive workshop that examines the proactive approach HR should take during the due diligence stages of a deal in order for them to become a strategic partner to the business.


HR readiness: Explore competencies required by HR to add value to the due diligence process when a target is identified

HR due diligence: Identify and assess the critical areas which will be impacted by the transaction

Integration planning: Review strategies for integration and how this can commence in the due diligence stage

Benchmark your practices against your peers: Share your experiences and practices with colleagues from a range of organisations


Designed for

  • HR Managers, HR Directors and Managers of Strategy
  • Legal and financial experts
  • Internal M&A consultants
  • Integration Managers
  • Other functional leaders involved in the M&A process

View typical programme content


Pre-deal: organisation and HR readiness

  • Securing involvement: is HR involved early enough and is it up to the task of playing a strategic role in a merger or acquisition? If not, what steps can be taken?
  • Involvement in identifying and qualifying suitable target companies to acquire
  • Assessing strategic capability in key people areas that will lead to success:
  • Evaluation of target companies
  • M&A and integration know-how
  • Ability to lead /manage complex integration project
    • Ability to assess employee attitudes/engagement
    • Motivating & retaining critical talent
    • Expertise with people, organisation and cultural integration
  •  Defining the cultural and value requirements of potential deal partners
  •  Understanding the political and reputational risks that may result from cross-border deals
  •  Ensuring required resources are in place when a target presents itself
  •  Assessing and addressing  team training and understanding of best practices

The importance of HR due diligence of deal target

  • Key critical areas to assess and focus on: Leadership and management style, talent, communication, compensation & benefits, HR service delivery
  • Assessing cultural and values fit
  • Identifying HR financial issues
  • Feasibility and issues around realising planned synergies
  • Meeting with HR opposite numbers
  • Identifying employee retention risks
    •     The place of HR due diligence checklists
    •     Basics of the dataroom and virtual datarooms
    •     Planning for success after a merger or acquisition

Integration planning

  • Timelines for integration planning, when to get started
  • Establishing the integration strategy and plan – or “blueprint” to follow-including critical interdependencies.
  • How HR can make a key contribution to employee communication strategies
  • Develop a plan to address employee engagement and manage uncertainty
  • Talent assessment and retention planning can be happening now

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