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Acqui-hiring or Acq-hiring (a portmanteau of "acquisition" and "hiring") or a talent acquisition is the process of acquiring a company to recruit its employees, without necessarily showing an interest in its products and services—or their continued operation.[1][2] "Some technology blogs call it being 'acqhired.' The companies doing the buying say it is a talent acquisition, and it typically comes with a price per head," the New York Times reported in a page-one story describing the phenomenon on May 17, 2011.[3] The process of a talent acquisition also provides a relatively favorable exit strategy for employees with the prestige of being bought by a larger company, combined with the typical process of hiring.[4]

In September, 2010, linguist Ben Zimmer, in an article appearing on Visual Thesaurus, traced the derivation of the phrase to a blog post in May, 2005.[5]

Acqui-hiring has become increasingly common in VC-backed startup companies, especially within the competitive technology sector; as of March 2013, Facebook was the largest performer of talent acquisitions, with 12 over the last five fiscal quarters. Twitter, Yahoo!, and Google rank alongside Facebook as similarly major users of talent acquisitions.[6]

Acqui-hiring is facilitated by acqui-sourcing - the process of identifying companies that agree to be acquired.

A December 2013 article by Forbes Contributor Robert Hof features the subject.


  1. ^ Sullivan, John (10 December 2012). "Acqui-hiring: A Powerful Recruiting Strategy That You’ve Never Heard of". Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Yarow, Jay (10 August 2012). "Why So Many Startups Are Being Acqui-Hired". Business Insider. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Helft, Miguel (17 May 2011). "For Buyers of Web Start-Ups, Quest to Corral Young Talent". New York Times, page 1. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Vanity of the “Acqhire”: Why Do a Deal That Makes No Sense?". All Things D. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  5. ^ Zimmer, Ben (29 September 2010). "Buzzword Watch: "Acq-hire"". Visual Thesaurus. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Facebook leads growing acqui-hire craze". Upstart Business Journal. Retrieved 23 May 2013.