New data from leadership Q1* shows that up to 48% of senior hires are unsuccessful or fail completely within their first 18 months. Scary, costly and even greater than the 30% failure rate of most business acquisitions. Can we compare M&A with TA? It’s a change in thinking perhaps but the read-across is real enough. Senior-level hiring is - and should be - a risky business decision. For all other risky business decisions like M&A we apply high levels of independent due diligence and make our decisions on evidence. We then work after the deal to understand one another and prepare both sides for engagement and adopt a bespoke plan of post-merger integration to ensure the transaction is supported through the first months.
HR and line leaders recognise that, in hiring, we fail to do enough of this at any stage of the process. If we think and act in a true due diligence manner for candidate selection, perform pre-employment assessment of needs and use this to target on-boarding, we greatly improve our decision-making and can move the needle on this failure rate.