Four Strategic Areas where HR Shouldn’t be Late to the Party

February 25 2019

All too often HR is involved in strategic decisions too late. It could be a merger, acquisition, opening in a new location or entering a new market. By the time the decision is made, it’s too late and the people piece has to ‘fit in’, regardless of cost or impact. This leaves HR and talent teams reacting to a problem, rather than proactively informing the decision.

Whatever the scenario; skills, trends, behaviours and activity in talent outside your organisation are influencing your chances of success. Which is why HR should be involved from the outset. Our philosophy is that to revolutionise the decision-making process, we need to empower HR with the right information.

Four Strategic Areas where HR Shouldn’t be Late to the Party

1. M&As: 47% of executives leave within 12 months of an acquisition and £46bn is spent each year on M&A activity that won’t deliver returns. One of the major reasons for failure is cultural clash as a barrier to effective integration. By understanding cultural difference and flight-risk, HR can help M&A teams be prepared.

2. Expanding into a new location: If people are your biggest asset, make sure they’re where you need them! Combining location, skills, culture and property data – and modelling different scenarios – enables HR to contribute to discussions on viability from a talent point of view.

3. Entering a new market: When businesses expand their product or service offering then understanding skills supply and demand, employee expectations, employment law and HR maturity all impact the viability and cost. Competitor information and relevant HR news keep HR teams ahead of the game, helping them to understand what’s new, what’s changing and what’s unusual in the competitive environment.

4. Business continuity: Understanding where the people are that you need to deliver your strategy is risk management at its best. Access to external talent data enables HR to take a proactive approach to managing people risk.


This isn’t only an issue within our organisations and their senior teams. Strategy consultants also rarely take into account people intelligence and data when making strategic recommendations. By leaving it too late to include HR, companies are missing out on valuable insight and making costly mistakes.

The Stratigens way

In the past, finding a way to measure the intangible impact people have on an organisation has been hard for finance teams to assess in financial terms. Using Stratigens to generate talent data and intelligence helps companies make effective decisions and closes the strategy - execution gap.

We believe all businesses should be proactive in their preparation for the future. People data can inform strategy from a variety of angles that are often neglected:

  • Inform location decisions from a talent perspective
  • Inform talent strategy from a skills perspective
  • Inform your M&A strategy from a leadership perspective
  • Inform your integration strategy from a cultural perspective

Towers Watson’s 2018 research  found that best practices for companies with successful deals include involving HR earlier and more heavily in all phases M&A transactions. Deloitte talks about the role of HR in global mobility.  Elsewhere, there is little evidence of HR playing a role in informing strategy from a skills, talent and culture perspective.

With new tools like Stratigens available to HR, I hope this will change in the very near future.