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November 2, 2020

COVID-19 has changed everything. And while this may seem like an obvious statement, many people still haven't adapted and refuse to change the way they work.

This discussion is all about human capital management in M&A, and helping us in this subject matter is Tracy Levine, Chair and CEO of Advantage Talent Inc, a Culture and Engagement Data Science Consulting Firm.

"We (M&A practitioners) have to start thinking differently. We can't have our process around what supposedly worked in the past." - Tracy Levine

According to case studies, in January 2020, companies need to retrain billions of employees by 2025 to keep businesses running. That's how much of a shortage we have on skills. As a result, M&A practitioners need to start thinking differently and to have a more agile approach. 

As of 2018, only 42% of companies have more than 50% of their employees full-time. They have already moved to an agile workforce because of the extensive skills gap that we are having. They are already considering who to buy, who to rent, and who to upskill.

"If we want an inclusive culture, we have to stop telling people what your culture is and actively listen to AI and data to know the people as individuals." - Tracy Levine

According to a McKinsey report, there is a straight line between revenue and inclusiveness. The more inclusive you get, the more revenue you get. And this is why culture is not a big problem as people would like to think. Inclusiveness of ideas is better for your company. Hiring for culture is wrong, and companies should be hiring for resilience. 

Engagement is also critical. If people are disengaged in your company, then productivity goes down. So you need to assess your employees individually and get to know them to understand how to engage them better. And in an era of technology, you can do this using AI and Data. 

AI and Data in Engagement

When it comes to employee engagement, you have to know your people individually using data and AI. Data can tell you whether a person is open to new ideas and is open to learning. Almost all HR uses AI to learn how you can communicate, motivate and engage a particular person. You can know how people behave and their likes through LinkedIn and other social media platforms.

AI and Data in the Hiring Process

Some companies are now using AI with absolutely no interviews in their hiring process. Using AI removes people's personal biases screening the talent pool because genders and names are removed from the equation. Because of this, there are better and larger pools of talent showing up at the primary decision maker's door. They have found this process more successful, and employees are staying longer.

What AI and Data also show us, is the efficiency of remote work. Data shows that people who go into the offices, like remote work, have increased their productivity post-pandemic. So suddenly, you're not bound by geography anymore. You can tighten your skills gap by hiring people anywhere in the world. You're actually saving money, and you take the office politics out of it so the culture wouldn't be much of an issue anymore.  

AI and Data Tools for M&A

  • LinkedIn
  • Crystal knows
  • Humanix
  • IBM
  • Bunch AI


AI and Data is a great tool that you can use in human capital management. You can assess people's behavior, motivations, and skills while removing the equation's biases. 

But even with all this technology, you cannot remove the human aspect of it. The Data could be wrong, it could have glitches in them, and you also need someone to interpret the Data. So you need to mesh the human and Data together to get the best outcome. 

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