Integrating Human Resources Programs When Acquiring a Company

Steven Cesare, Ph.D.

The other day, a business owner from Texas called me to discuss multiple, diverse issues related to buying another company. The owner was in the early phases of the process which allowed us a suitable time to consider multiples aspects of the desired acquisition. We conferred about discussing the legal implications with his lawyer, the financial issues with his accountant, and the acquisition process with his broker. With that context in mind, we then talked about the myriad complexities related to integrating the human resources components of the seller’s programs, practices, and personnel into his own company’s culture.

At a very high level, I suggested that the human resources integration phase of the potential acquisition focus specific attention onto the following areas:

  1. Legal Compliance
    I-9 Forms, OSHA recordkeeping, FMLA requirements, past and open litigation, pay equity, audits
  2. Organizational Culture
    Each company’s core values, communication networks, leadership trust, goals & metrics, surveys
  3. Human Resources Administration
    Policies and procedures, employee handbooks, employee files, corporate calendar, EPLI
  4. Organizational Charts
    From each company as well as proposed consolidation, redundancies, value-added functions
  5. Employee Entry
    Hiring procedures, New Employee Orientation, Onboarding Programs, follow-up, retention rates
  6. Training and Development
    Each company’s programs, action plans vs. development plans, performance validation
  7. Performance Management System
    Job descriptions, performance reviews, High Potentials/Performers, accountability mechanisms
  8. Compensation and Benefits
    Salary scales, benefits plans, severance packages, perks, PTO, bonuses and commissions, 401(k)
  9. Staff Transition Packages
    Retention package for keepers; transition package for trainers; severance package for dismissals
  10. Integration Team
    Responsible for developing recommendations, fact-finding, implementation process, contingencies

If you have any questions or comments about this topic or anything else related to human resources, simply call me at (760) 685-3800.


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Steve Cesare Ph.D.

Steve Cesare Ph.D.

has more than 25 years of Human Resources experience. Prior to joining The Harvest Group, Steve worked with Bemus Landscape, Jack in the Box, the County of San Diego, Citicorp, and NASA. Steve earned his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University, and has authored 34 human resources journal articles. As a member of The Harvest Group, Steve’s areas of expertise include: staffing, legal compliance, wage and hour issues, training, and employee safety.  Read Steve's full bio.