BT have recently announced that they have entered exclusive negotiations to acquire EE, the UK’s largest mobile network operator. Subject to regulatory approval, the acquisition would result in BT being able to offer their customers quad-play services. Even if the acquisition is not approved by the regulators, the announcement is great news for telecoms recruitment and is expected to increase recruitment activity throughout the marketplace.
Integrating back ends
Merging two such monolithic companies as BT and EE will require a great deal of work and a great deal of staff. One obvious area which we would expect to see a lot of hiring would be systems integrators, especially on the BSS and OSS side. As BT work to integrate the two companies’ systems to produce one seamless interface, there will be increased demand for program managers, project managers and integration managers. In addition there will be the increased security risks as systems and processes are altered, which will need to be mitigated. This is expected to result in a large number of security roles becoming available and require filling in a very short space of time.
Battle of the brands
While there will be a huge amount to do behind the scenes on integrating the two companies’ systems, there will also be a large amount of customer facing work to do. This will include work on brand identity and rebranding or assimilating the EE brand into BTs existing products and services. Even without a full scale rebranding project, the merger will require identity managers and architects to manage the customer facing elements of the acquisition.
Adding value for customers
Acquiring a mobile arm is only half the battle for BT. Once the acquisition has been completed there will be a lot of work to bring their newly available mobile and quad-play offering to the market. This will include the need to create or curate new content for their mobile arm. In addition they may need to create a platform to offer their TV services on mobile in a way that makes subscribing to a BT bundle an attractive proposition for the customer.
If it doesn’t happen?
As yet there are no guarantees that a deal will be done. BT is in exclusive negotiations but there are a number of hurdles to overcome before the deal is complete. However, even if the deal isn’t successful, we still expect the negotiations to have a very positive affect on the telecoms market both in the UK and across the globe.
Companies will start looking for more imaginative and exciting ways of attracting customers in a bid to protect themselves from any future giant mergers or acquisitions in the market. Each organisation will need to distinguish themselves from their competitors and offer customers something no one else can. This will mean a great deal of investment in attracting the best staff and building new teams to help companies move out of their traditional areas and exploit new revenue streams.
What happens next?
There is still a long way to go before the acquisition is official. It still needs to pass the regulatory scrutiny of Ofcom and the shareholders will need to vote the acquisition through. However, if it does go through it will not only mean big changes for BT and EE but for the telecoms industry as a whole. Companies associated with BT or EE such as the vendors and consultancies working within the companies will obviously be the first to feel the effects. It is expected that these companies will increase their hiring to cope with the greater demand for their services that the acquisition will bring.
We also expect the acquisition to have a huge effect on hiring amongst BT’s competitors. If the acquisition goes through, BT will run the largest mobile, broadband and fixed line networks in the UK as well as having a very competitive TV package. Precisely how individual companies will react to this is yet to be seen but it will no doubt encourage other companies to offer more, offer better and be more competitive, all of which will involve increased hiring.
Other things to consider if the deal does go through is what will happen to BT’s other suitor, O2? How will the announcement effect Vodafone’s plans to bring their own quad-play offering to the UK market in spring 2015? Whatever the answers, we can safely say that increased hiring amongst the major telecoms companies could lead to a ‘war for talent’ as companies look to bring in the best talent at any cost so that they do not lose them to their competitors.
Whatever the outcome of the proposed acquisition, we expect this announcement to pave the way for increased investment in the telecoms market which will require a great deal of new staff within the sector. Skilled professionals at all levels will be in demand, especially contract and interim workers. Increased numbers of skilled contract workers will be needed for project based work to help implement the changes that companies now need to make to ensure they are not left behind.
Source: Vine 15