Following our inaugural Breakfast Briefing on “The Art of the Team Move”, where the panel led a wide-ranging and thought-provoking discussion, we have prepared our ‘Top Tips for a Successful Team Move’.

  1. Originating a successful team move requires adopting the mentality of an M&A transaction. This means focussing on cultural alignment and seeking support from third parties, such as specialist lawyers and recruitment agents, early on in the process.
  2. Parties should have a clear picture of why they are pursuing a team move from the outset, be it to accelerate the pace of growth of the business; resolve a succession issue or simply break into a new business area. A clear plan will help to guard against distraction from the goal.
  3. The courtship stage is an important part and allows both sides of the deal to assess each other. A mixture of formal and informal and work and social meetings can minimise the risk of deal fatigue further down the track.
  4. Seeking early advice to identify where the risks are; what behaviours to avoid; and developing a protocol for how to move forward can minimise the risk of litigation.
  5. Be mindful that correspondence between moving team members, including WhatsApp and instant messages will be disclosable if relevant. Deletion is not the answer and may result in a court drawing an adverse inference.
  6. Businesses should remain vigilant and be ready to act where they detect any “irregular” activity, such as printing out voluminous documentation of sending emails very late at night/early in the morning, or to personal email addresses. Companies may deploy monitoring technologies, but this in turn may give rise to privacy issues.
  7. One way for a departing employee or partner to preserve good relations with a previous employer or firm is, subject to duties of confidentiality to a new employer or firm, be upfront about future plans. Making clear that details of restrictions have been
  8. On the cultural side, it is important to be prepared to articulate how people actually behave within the recruiting business. As the team is embedded, an honest discussion with key influencers goes a long way to avoid culture clash.
  9. Be mindful that individuals will have to adapt to change as part of the process and there is the possibility for them to experience negative emotions, including feeling unsettled or excluded. Empowering individuals across a team to drive their own culture and supportively challenge behaviour may be used to address this.
  10. The new team should agree ground rules or a set of behavioural benchmarks with the recruiting business and people should be encouraged to reflect on how they wish to be treated at work. As the team integrates, these benchmarks may be used to monitor progress.
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