HR Insights: The Podcast, Series 6 - The Significance of HR’s Role in the M&A Process

Stuart Elliott

By Stuart Elliott


Graham Poole

Graham Poole

M&A refers to the phrase mergers and acquisitions, a term used when one company merges with or buys another and covers the whole process from beginning to end. Today our host, Stuart Elliott, is joined by HR M&A Lead, Graham Poole to speak about why the role of HR is so critical to this process.

During their conversation, Stuart and Graham discuss the role of HR in the M&A process, the aligning of workforce and culture of the two merging entities, the best practice for a smooth transition and some key considerations for companies during the due diligence phase of the merge. They also touch on the challenges HR teams can face during the integration process and tips for HR professionals embarking on an M&A journey.

Graham is an experienced international HR Director with a global track record in successful HR M&A and change projects. He provides HR support to organisations undergoing the M&A process and offers executive coaching for leaders going through change. His expertise includes full-scope HR M&A programmes, organisation design and global transformation initiatives. Previously, Graham has lived and worked in multiple regions including APAC, LATAM, Northern Europe & Russia and Africa. 

You can listen to and download HR Insights from Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and most popular podcast apps, subscribe so the latest episodes are directly available!

Key Timestamps:

01:24 – An introduction to Graham Poole 

06:06 – Graham’s early career

07:55 – Why the role of HR is so critical in the M&A process 

12:27 – HR’s role in aligning the workforce and culture of the two merging entities

18:10 – Cost elevation and organisation design process

20:25 – The due diligence phase

27:04 – Challenges and successes when going through the M&A process

35:30 – Why Graham likes working within the M&A space

38:29 – Tips for HR professionals embarking on an M&A journey