Businesses shouldn't overlook talent gained through acquisitions

Businesses shouldn’t overlook the benefits of obtaining new talent through acquisitions, according to Andy Campbell, HCM strategy director of Oracle.

“A lot of our acquisitions have consisted of small teams of younger employees,” he told HR magazine. “Companies need to take advantage of that when acquiring businesses.

“We have a reverse mentoring programme. Instead of having employees with longer tenures taking on new staff we do it the other way round. That way new blood keep asking questions like ‘why is it done that way?’”

Campbell argued that it is not always the age of the employee that determines their attitude. “I was a panel member at the HR Tech London event earlier this year, and we came to the same conclusion: everybody is a millennial now,” he explained. “Everyone is looking for flexibility, creativity, and the chance to collaborate with a team.”

Companies must pay close attention to the messages they are sending staff, added Campbell. “An organisation’s philosophy should serve as a reference point for how the employees make decisions, develop and perform to the best of their ability,” he said. “If created correctly it can underpin an organisation’s success. With young people less driven by financial incentives and more by the values of an engaging workplace culture, getting them right has never been so important.”

Campbell cited San Francisco-based digital communications company Slack as an example of a successful working philosophy. ”Slack’s decision to distil its values down to a simple list of six key words, such as ‘empathy and courtesy', crystallises its philosophy as a firm,” he said. “They guide all of Slack’s employees in their actions and behaviours on a day-to-day basis, which is contrary to the usual banalities, such as 'integrity', that many organisations use and that employees cannot relate to.”

Campbell said that many companies forget that everything they do, from creating understandable values through to using big data to inform HR policy, needs to focus on improving the performance of the employees and of the business as a whole.

“This cannot just be the sales team optimising performance for lead generation,” he said. “This approach needs to filter through to the HR team, to encourage and empower them to think about how they can engage with the entire organisation to drive excellence.”