Beware of Acquisition Synergies: Lay Offs

by Bill Humbert, RecruiterGuy.com

“U.S. companies are poised to launch a merger and acquisition spree fueled by the recent tax overhaul, reports the Wall Street Journal. A new Ernst & Young survey of 500 major company executives showed 73 percent plan to “accelerate” deal-making strategies with 48 percent of them willing to pay more for acquisitions in light of tax reform.” (Corridor Business Journal)

Over the past 37 years as a recruiter, I have seen a pattern that appears to be repeating. It is an interesting pattern that impacts many professionals in a negative way.

With the new tax laws in place, professionals do benefit with increases in spendable income. Unfortunately (or fortunately in some cases), it gives corporations more profitability.

How can that be a bad thing? Those companies will have more profits to acquire other companies. They will take advantage of “synergies” created by the acquisition.

What are synergies? Let’s look at the acquisition of one bank by another. If both banks have a branch at opposite ends of a shopping mall, will they keep both branches open after the acquisition? No, not if they are taking advantage of the “synergies” created by the merger. What does this mean to the workers at one of the branches? They need my book to find their next job.

Continuing to use the banks as the example, will they need two Demand Deposit IT organizations? No. Will they need two whole Personal Banking organizations? No. Will they need two Vice Presidents of Human Resources? No. Will they need two Chief Financial Officers? No. You can see how this process flows.

Unfortunately, especially since companies tend not to have success metrics in place for their annual reviews, excellent performers are released at the same time as poor performers.

Certainly, some of you reading this blog have been caught up in one of these reductions in force. Over the years, I either recruited or career transition coached some of you.

How do you avoid becoming one of the victims of these synergies? Become Employee 5.0. This is a person who ALWAYS has their search for a new position on simmer, ready to turn to boil as soon as the rumors of an acquisition begin to swirl around their company.

The choice is yours. Be the victor or be the victim. Now is the time to start plotting your next career move, not when the corporation tells you to.

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