Harmonizing the workforce is hard when everyone is managing talent in different ways.
After a recent acquisition, a government contracting company needed organizational change management help. The organization they acquired had its own talent acquisition team that needed to be integrated with the company’s team. The company also had an un-integrated talent team from a previous acquisition years earlier.
The company tasked the teams with creating a unified operating model covering the needs for all three organizations. When trying to implement this model, the teams ran into three roadblocks:
- Each had their own software platform and nomenclature. This made it difficult to collaborate across organizations and report on the key metrics management needed to evaluate team performance.
- Each had unique processes, sequences, SLAs, and key stakeholders.
- The newly acquired organization had to operate under legal constraints that required a degree of separation from the government contracting company due to the nature of their work. This meant that any change management process would need to comply with extra regulations.
Celerity was already consulting with the company on other aspects of the merger and had experience developing the legal operating principles for the acquired organization. With expertise in organizational change management, integration management and process optimization, Celerity was a natural fit for the change management team as well.
Addressing a change management process in three steps
Step 1: Ascertaining the current state
Harmonizing the workforce is hard when everyone is managing talent in different ways. We also requested data field extracts from each of the three systems to compare them side-by-side. When assessing the three talent acquisition processes, we looked at process flow documentation from each team. Then we brought all teams together and walked through each step of the process using the documentation as a broad guideline, noting the actions of key stakeholders, tools and forms used, and any pain points.
Step 2: Mapping similarities and differences
Celerity next mapped the similarities and differences among the platforms, processes and data. We found that all three teams used their own configuration of the same talent acquisition platform. This simplified matters somewhat. However, the data was organized with custom names, categories and fields that were not shared among the three.
The teams generally had similar processes and pain points. Nonetheless, several issues emerged. For two teams, one stakeholder would perform an action, while on the third team, a different stakeholder was responsible for that same action. Additionally, and key to the platform harmonization discussion, Celerity learned that one talent acquisition team used the capabilities of their platform to a much greater extent than other two. From this information, Celerity was able to determine which processes were best practices worthy of meeting all three teams’ integration management needs.
Step 3: Proposing a unified future state with clear benefits to all
Celerity proposed adopting the platform of the team that utilized the most of its automated features. However, we recommended using the nomenclature of the team that had the least customization and was most common to the other two, creating a best-of-both-worlds combination. Working with the organization’s outside counsel, Celerity also modified the platform vendor contract, calling for a 1-platform-3-instances approach and other modifications.
To develop the proposed, unified process, Celerity crafted a swim lane flowchart depicting a single, end-to-end talent acquisition process. The chart visually depicted the best and common practices captured from the team meetings, so there were no surprises to the team. Due to legal restrictions and different business needs, exceptions for the different teams still had to be built in, but the new process flow offered cultural integration—a common set of steps everyone could harmonize around.
Reaping the benefits of a unified talent acquisition approach
While the work on platform and process is still in progress, the company has signed an agreement with the platform vendor to implement their system using the unified process Celerity provided. As a result, several benefits are now closer at hand. The company can now enjoy:
- A smooth change management process that stakeholders collaborated on
- Better visibility into team performance, across all business units
- Seamless, unified reporting
- Shared services, eliminating duplication of efforts
- Standardized practices and data elements across the team, reducing error and improving performance
The success of organizational change management—whether you are performing cultural integration, technology integration management, or other enterprise-wide change—all hinges on stakeholder input and buy-in early in the process. If you need help leading the charge, give Celerity a call.
3 separate talent acquisition platforms and nomenclatures
3 separate organizational processes with limited documentation
Limited use of system tools and best practices led to tedious, time-intensive reporting
Uncertainty about how to proceed in a regulation-compliant manner
1 harmonized talent acquisition platform and nomenclature, now in progress
1 unified organizational change management process with extensive documentation
Expanded use of system tools and best practices as new technology and processes are implemented
Decisive knowledge of regulatory safe harbors put into practice